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Temple Beth-El of San Antonio
Jewish Heritage Trip to Poland and Germany
Led By Rabbi Mara Nathan

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  • 9 nights' accommodation at select hotels
  • 8.5 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking local tour guides
  • ARZA World tour educator accompanying the group throughout
  • Train ticket from Krakow to Warsaw, with separate luggage transfer
  • Land-only cost includes one-way flight from Warsaw to Berlin
  • 1 group transfer and assistance to and from each airport
  • All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 4 dinners
  • Portage at the hotels

Day One: Sunday, May 3, 2020
DEPARTURE

  • Depart the U.S.A.

Overnight: Flight


Day Two: Monday, May 4, 2020
ARRIVAL IN KRAKOW

  • Arrival at Krakow International Airport.
  • Group transfer to the hotel and check-in.
  • 3:00 p.m. Gather in the hotel lobby to meet your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration and begin the program.
  • Guided walk to Krakow's Historical Market Square, with its medieval architecture, basilicas and sculptures. This UNESCO World Heritage site, once the capital of Poland, was not destroyed during WWII and bears witness to the rich history of the country.
  • LaDa'at Focus 1,000 Years of Jewish History: Welcome dinner and orientation with your tour educator. Overview of the group journey; including reviewing the itinerary, the group themes, the different narratives. Share group and personal goals with your tour educator at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Krakow


Day Three: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
RE-CREATING MEMORY         

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Connect to the story of Jewish life in Krakow with an interactive program in the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, including:
    • The Altshul, the oldest synagogue in Poland, transformed into the local Jewish life cycle museum.
    • The Rema Synagogue, the synagogue of Rabbi Moses Isserles (the “Rema"), the great codifier of Jewish law.
    • The Rema Cemetery, where many great rabbinical leaders of Polish Jewry are buried.
    • The Temple, once the first “Modern” orthodox synagogue.
    • The Galicia Jewish Museum, which exists to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and celebrate the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia, presenting Jewish history from a new perspective. Learn and explore the past, present and future through the unique photo exhibit which captures life through the still media.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Take a guided journey following the Jewish community on their descent from Kazimierz, crossing over the bridge into the Jewish Ghetto of Podgorze, including:
    • The Krakow Umchlagplatz memorial, now called Ghetto Heroes Square.
    • The Oscar Schindler Factory Museum. The museum tells the story of the city of Krakow and its residents under Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945. The museum is housed in the administrative building of Oskar Schindler's enamel factory. Schindler, a successful businessman, and his wife Emilie, managed to provide a safe environment for over 1,000 Jews, and saved them from being sent to Auschwitz. They were later honored with the title of “Righteous among the Nations”.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Enjoy dinner on your own and an evening at leisure in the vibrant university city. Your tour educator will be available for a night tour of the city.

Overnight: Krakow


Day Four: Wednesday, May 6, 2020
THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPEAN JEWRY

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • In This Place - Guided visit through the Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex, reflecting on personal stories and texts. Walk through the Auschwitz Museum exhibits, built in the original blocks of the camp, see the original artifacts and footage, and witness the life and death of the prisoners of this work camp. A short drive will take you to the Auschwitz II death camp, better known as Birkenau. This camp was barely touched or renovated, allowing you a first-hand experience to understand the last moments of the prisoners of this camp.
  • Boxed lunch.
  • Group reflection and conversation at the Oswiecim Synagogue, on the site of one of Oswiecim's many pre-Holocaust synagogues - a silent witness to what was once an ordinary Polish town known as Oswiecim with a Jewish majority, later to become the ultimate symbol of the Holocaust.
  • Return to Krakow.
  • The Krakow Jewish Community Today and a Vision for the Future: Evening program at the Krakow Jewish Community Center with Jonathan Ornstein, the JCC Director. Enjoy dinner with members of the local Jewish community, and learn more about the cultural and religious revival happening at the JCC.

Overnight: Krakow


Day Five: Thursday, May 7, 2020
FROM KRAKOW TO WARSAW

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Load luggage onto the luggage truck. (Luggage will be transferred to Warsaw separately.)
  • Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Explore magnificent chambers chiseled out of rock salt, underground saline lakes and unique statues sculpted in salt.
  • Guided visit to one of Kraków's most famous landmarks, the Wawel Royal Castle. This Gothic style Castle, built by Prince Casimir the 3rd, holds beautiful grounds, a cathedral, the Crown treasury and armory.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Depart Krakow and travel to Warsaw by train. (Train journey is approximately 2.5 hours.)
  • Arrive in Warsaw and transfer to the hotel for check in.
  • Enjoy a free evening in Warsaw, once considered to be the European “city of lights”. Enjoy the vibe of the restaurants and cafes, with its local and international cuisine.

Overnight: Warsaw


Day Six: Friday, May 8, 2020
THE WORLD THAT WAS & THE WORLD THAT IS

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The World That Was: Visit the Gensha Cemetery, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world. Revive the names on the unique tombstones of the famous Jewish leaders, artists, Rabbis, and intellectuals, including Yiddish writer, author of “If Not Higher” L Peretz, “Esperanto” language creator Ludwig Zamenhoff, Warsaw theater diva Ida Kaminska and Adam Czerniakow, the beloved head of the “Judenrat.” The cemetery is a testimony to hundreds of years of Jewish life in Poland.
  • Visit the Nozyk Synagogue, the last remaining pre-WWII synagogue in Warsaw.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Take a guided journey through the Warsaw Ghetto, including the Remnants of the Ghetto Wall and the Nathan Rapoport Warsaw Ghetto Memorial. Follow the footsteps of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes along the Path of Remembrance, commemorating the heroic Warsaw Ghetto uprising at Mila 18, and reflecting on the last moments of the Warsaw Jewish Community at the Umschlagplatz - the gathering area of the Jews before they were sent to the death camp of Treblinka.
  • Tour the underground archive of the Warsaw Ghetto at the Jewish Historical Institute, the so-called Ringelblum Archive. The archive consists of a unique collection of documents that are one of the world's most significant testimonies about the extermination of Polish Jewry.
  • Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat services and dinner.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue.
  • Shabbat dinner with members of the local Jewish community.

Overnight: Warsaw


Day Seven: Saturday, May 9, 2020
EXPLORING WARSAW

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Walk through Warsaw's Old Town. Established in the 13th century and destroyed by the German army during WWII, it was meticulously rebuilt using the original stones. Walk through the Old Town Market Place, once the center of European cultural life, and now a vibrant and colorful center. Explore the fashionable restaurants and shops, the beautiful, medieval architectural city walls, and a lookout of the Warsaw Barbican and John's Cathedral.
  • Explore the newly-opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews located in the center of what once was the Jewish Ghetto. Explore the 1,000 years of rich history of the Polish Jews; beginning from their arrival as merchants, through the medieval ages until today. This 43,000 sq. ft. museum includes rare and valuable art, photos, documentation, and footage of what was once the largest Jewish community in the world.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Visit the Villa at the Warsaw Zoo, which was once the home of the zoo director, Jan Zabinski, and his wife Antonina Zabinska. Learn the story of how they saved the lives of many Jews during the Holocaust.
  • Walls that Talk: Take a journey to discover mezuzah traces that adorn old tenement buildings in the city, led by Helena Czernek and/or Aleksander Prugar, founders of MI POLIN, created in 2014, the first Polish Judaica company since World War II. These traces are enduring symbols of the strong prewar Polish-Jewish presence in the city.
  • Return to the hotel with free time for last-minute shopping or exploring the city on your own.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.

Overnight: Warsaw


Day Eight: Sunday, May 10, 2020
INTRODUCTION TO BERLIN

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Transfer to Warsaw International Airport.
  • Depart Warsaw on your flight to Berlin.
  • Arrive at Berlin International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the city center.
  • LaDa'at Focus the Enigma that is Berlin: Orientation dialogue with your tour educator.
  • Lunch on own, en route.
  • Panoramic tour of Berlin including:
    • The Brandenburg Gate. Originally commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II to represent peace, the gate was ironically incorporated into the Berlin Wall during the years of the Communist regime. Perhaps Berlin's best-known landmark, it now stands as a symbol of the city's reunification.
    • The Holocaust Memorial, the monument dedicated to the murdered Jews of Europe. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman, this undulating field of reflection, comprised of thousands of concrete dark gray slabs forming a gentle wave, ankle-high in some places, the monument gives visitors a sense of groundlessness and loss of orientation. The memorial also includes a subterranean information center at the edge of the site which houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
    • View the Reichstag, the seat of the German Parliament and one of Berlin's most significant landmarks.
    • Visit the Berlin Wall Memorial, an open-air exhibition that explains the history of division and the impact of the Berlin Wall on the city and its residents.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.

Overnight: Berlin


Day Nine: Monday, May 11, 2020
JEWISH LIFE IN BERLIN

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • LaDa'at Focus Progressive Judaism in Germany Today: Dialogue with Rabbi Walter Homolka, Director of Abraham Geiger College, the first liberal rabbinical seminary in Continental Europe since the Holocaust.
  • Walk along Grosse Hamburger Strasse, once the center of Berlin Jewry.
  • Tour to Jewish sites in East Berlin including:
    • The Hackescher Markt
    • The Jewish Cemetery, including Moses Mendelsson's grave
    • The site of the Women's Protest on Rosenenstreasse
  • Stop by the house of Rabbi Regina Jonas, the first female Rabbi ever to be ordained.
  • Pass by the New Synagogue and the Centrum Judaicum, one of the most important locations for contemporary Jewish life in Berlin.
  • Visit the Museum of Otto Weidt's Workshop for the Blind, a safe haven for Jews during the Holocaust years in Berlin.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Guided visit to the Jewish Museum of Berlin, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. One of the most conspicuous architectural landmarks in the city, it embodies remembrance, melancholy, and departure.
  • Continue to Gleis 17 (Track 17), the main deportation center for Berlin Jews during WWII, located in the neighborhood of Grunewald. Witness the contrast between the calm atmosphere and the tragic history of the place.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.

Overnight: Berlin


Day Ten: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
BERLIN TODAY

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • From the Divided to the City of Freedom: 30 years after the fall of the wall, stop at the East Side Gallery, a part of the former Berlin Wall now serving as a memorial of 150 wall paintings from a slew of international artists.
  • Street Art Tour of Berlin - get to know the weird and wonderful areas of Berlin. Check out the street art on many hidden corners and be impressed and inspired by the varied and dynamic works of art.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Germany, the Refugee Crisis in Europe & the Israel Connection: Germany has more asylum seekers than any other European nation, many of them having fled the war in Syria. Dialogue with a representative from IsraAID about the remarkable efforts of this Israeli-based aid organization to assist and integrate these refugees. Visit a refugee shelter in Berlin and hear personal stories from refugees. (pending confirmation)
  • Return to the hotel with free time for last-minute shopping or exploring the city on your own.
  • Festive farewell dinner and group reflection at a local restaurant.

Overnight:  Berlin


Day Eleven: Wednesday, May 13, 2020
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN  

  • Breakfastat the hotel before checking out.
  • Transfer to Berlin International Airport for your return flight to the USA.

 

 

Need to Know

  • Registration deadline: December 19, 2019
  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 full paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
  • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
  • Payment Policy
    Da'at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancellation policies and initial deposits. Notification of any changes will be made explicitly to the participants where relevant.
    - Initial deposit of $500 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due at the time of reservation unless another amount is indicated for the particular trip or seminar.
    - Final payment is due January 3, 2020 (121 days before the scheduled trip begins), or as specified in your invoice.
  • Cancellation Policy:
    Cancellations need to be made in writing. Cancellation fees will be based on the date that the written cancellation is received.
    Cancellation fees:
    • 121 days or more prior to departure: the deposit
    • 120 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of the total trip cost
    • 45 days to the day of departure/no-show: 100% of the total trip cost
      Cancellation fees may also include:
      - Hotel or supplier cancellation fees.
      - Group airfare penalty fee.
  • Hotel Accommodations: The trip price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Standard-size rooms are generally smaller outside of North America. They usually accommodate two people and include either one queen-size bed or two single beds (pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard). While some hotels provide an extra bed in a standard-size room for use by a child under the age of 12, we recommend that families of four or more should book adjoining or connecting rooms.
  • Meals are included as specified in the itinerary.
  • Tour Educator or Guide: All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.
  • Gratuities Included: All gratuities for restaurant staff at group meals are included.

 PRICE EXCLUDES

  • Transportation in the evening when dinner is on own.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d'hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • Water or snacks on the bus (unless indicated otherwise)
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Gratuities for Tour Educator (Guide) and Driver. We recommend the following guidelines for tips (amounts indicated in US dollars):

TRIPS TO DESTINATIONS OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL:

  • Group of 20 participants and more:
    Da'at Tour Educator: $8 | Local Guide: $5 | Driver: $3 - per participant per day

  • Hostess (when included in the package):
    $2 per participant per day or a minimum of $50 per day total
  • Security guard and/or a youth counselor (when included):
    $1 per participant per day per security guard, per youth counselor
 
Temple Beth-El of San Antonio | Jewish Heritage Trip to Poland and Germany | Led By Rabbi Mara Nathan
2020Land OnlyStatus 
May 3$4630On Sale
 
  
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