Szeroka Street in Kazimierz, the old Jewish District of Krakow, Poland. Photo by Espiegle, iStockWhere God Dwelt, a Poland & Israel Seminar

Location: Poland (8 days) and Israel (4 days)
Dates: TBD
Prices from: TBD

At the start of the 20th century, Poland’s Jewish community was the greatest in the world, having grown and developed over a full millennium. This seminar visits a number of pivotal locations in Poland and Israel, tracing the outlines of a critical chapter in the history of the Jewish people from Medieval times through to the Shoah and considering its central role in the development of the Yishuv (Palestine) and the State of Israel.

 

  • DAY ONE: Sunday
    "POLIN" - EPICENTER OF THE JEWISH WORLD

    1:30 p.m. Introductory session

    • Excursion through the Warsaw city center, introducing pre-war Poland and its capital, Chopin and all....
    • Praga: Old Home to the Jews of Warsaw
    • Meeting with a member of the Warsaw Jewish community, over group dinner: To be a Polish Jew

    Overnight: Warsaw


    DAY TWO: Monday
    WHAT WAS BUILT ? A WORLD THAT WAS...
     

    Morning

    • Study session at hotel; tour and study at The Museum of Polish Jewry
    • Warsaw as the religious, cultural, economic and literary center of European Jewry before W.W.II
    •  Central Warsaw (through Y.L. Peretz and IB Singer, great writers)

    The Destruction of Warsaw During the Second World War

    • Exploration of Warsaw Ghetto on the ground and through historical records
    • Krochmaina Street: A Microcosim of the Effects of the war on the city 
    • Visit the Jewish Historical Institute (archives and exhibition)
    • "Oyneg Shabbes": Study session on the Ringelblum Archives
    • Janusz Korczak and his Orphanage (site visit and study session) 

    Evening

    • Free

    Overnight: Warsaw


    DAY THREE: Tuesday
    …AND WHAT DESTROYED?...

    Morning

    • Depart Warsaw from Umschlagplatz; travel towards Bialystok region
    • Portrait of a Town over 300 Years
      Journey to Tikocyn and Lupochowa Forest
    • Packed Lunch

    Afternoon

    • Into that Darkness 
      Visit Treblinka and study session

    Evening

    • Free

    Overnight: Warsaw


    DAY FOUR: Wednesday
    BETWEEN JEWS AND THE OTHER

    Morning

    • Today we travel south to Krakow via old Jewish communities, utilizing the route to learn about Polish history                    
    • Stop at Pinczow: History and guided tour of synagogue 
    • Packed lunch en route

    Afternoon

    • Krakow as Old Polish Capital, including Stare Miasto and Rynek
    • Tour of Jagiellonian University Library Museum

    Evening

    • Free or option to Unwind with Chopin - evening recital

    Overnight: Krakow


    DAY FIVE: Thursday
    BETWEEN JEWS and the OTHER
     

    Morning

    • Krakow's Jewish Heart: Kazimierz
    • Visit synagogues and other locations in Kazimierz to learn about a once-flourishing community                                       
    • Study session in the Remuh Synagogue cemetery
    • Polish Society and the Jews
      Meet with a Krakovian "Righteous of the Nations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
    • Lunch at the Jewish Community Center
    • Meeting with Jonathan Ornstein, Director of Krakow Jewish Community Center

    Afternoon

    • March 1941: Into the Ghetto
    • Stop at Ghetto Walls, Plac Zgody and Pankiewicz pharmacy
    • Visit Schindler's factory
    • Plaszow: Memorial to One Camp
    • Towards visit to Auschwitz - group session

    Evening

    • Free

    Overnight: Krakow


    DAY SIX: Friday
    TO THE NADIR...AND BACK UPWARDS from AUSCHWITZ
     

    Morning

    • Anus Mundi: Universal and Particular Nightmares
    • Visit Auschwitz and Birkenau camps

    Afternoon

    • Lunch and processing session in Oswiciem 
    • Which Questions Are We Left With?
    • Which Have We Just Formulated?
    • Return to Krakow and Prepare for Shabbat

    Evening

    • Kabbalat Shabbat at Remuh Synagogue
    • Shabbat Dinner at the JCC

    Overnight: Krakow


    DAY SEVEN: Saturday
    A DAY FOR PRAYER, TOURING, RESTING
     
    Afternoon
    • Study session: Parshat Hashavua with the Esh Kodesh and the Sefat Emeth
      Discussion and seudah shlishiet
    • Havdalah service after sunset

    Evening

    • Free

    Overnight: Krakow


    DAY EIGHT: Sunday
    SO WHAT WAS "OM YISROEL"?

    Morning
    • Early departure for Warsaw by train
    • Lunch in Warsaw

    Afternoon

    • The Cemetery as Living Space: Tour and study session in Okopowa Street Cemetery, the great cemetery of Warsaw Jewry over 200 years  
    • Visit Warsaw Ghetto Fighters Square, site of the Museum of Polish Jewry

    Evening

    • Summary discussion with local voice of Warsaw Jewish community and dinner

    Overnight: Warsaw


    DAY NINE: Monday
    BETWEEN THERE AND HERE
     

    Morning

    • Transfer to airport for 10:35 El Al flight 564 (the cost of the flight is not included in the land package and needs to be booked individually)

    Afternoon

    • Arrive in Israel mid afternoon and transfer to Tel Aviv hotel
    • From Yellow to Blue: Starry, Starry Night
      Transition Session on Tel Aviv Beachfront

    Evening

    • Group Dinner at hotel

    Overnight: Tel Aviv


    DAY TEN: Tuesday
    POLISH JEWS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF URBAN PALESTINE

    Morning

    • Meet with Shalmi Bar Mor, educator and son of first Israeli diplomat to Poland 
    • Exploration of Tel Aviv from "Lodzia" and Nahalat Binyamin through to today's "Israeli Poles"
    • Group Lunch Polish-Jewish style… 

    Afternoon

    • How Did We Rebuild Ourselves Here? The Shaping of Israeli Cultural Life
    • Discussion with Polish-Israeli personality regarding the immense contribution to Israeli cultural life
    • Optional: Visit to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

    Overnight: Tel Aviv


    DAY ELEVEN: Wednesday
    POLISH JEWS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL PALESTINE AND ISRAEL

    Morning

    • Travel north to the Sharon and Carmel regions, rural communities reflecting Polish contributions before and after the war
    • Socialist Models and Educational Models: Giv'at Haviva   

    Afternoon 

    • Lunch with Shosh Yonnai at Kfar Hassidim
    • A Rural Model of Community: The story of Kfar Hassidim
        
    • Return to Tel Aviv

    Evening 

    • Free

    Overnight: Tel Aviv


    DAY TWELVE: Thursday
    STOCKTAKING: WHERE DID GOD DWELL?

    Morning
    • Depart for Jerusalem
    • Into The Valley of the Shadow of Death - Yad Vashem's Valley of the Communities
    • Israel: From Past Challenges to Challenges for the Future - Meet with faculty member of Hebrew University 
    • Lunch

    Afternoon

    • A Town That Was Lost... Agnon and Jewish Israeli culture after the Shoah (Study session)
    • Reflections on Loss and Rebuilding: A View of the Shoah and Israeli Society - Prof. Gad Yair, sociologist
    • Final processing session

    Evening

    • Farewell Dinner and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport or back to Tel Aviv

    Note: Itinerary subject to change. Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays observed in the destinations being visited.

  • For more information, please contact us.