Dates: July 24–August 3, 2023
Both Austria and the Czech Republic are internationally acclaimed for their abundance of rich intellectual scholarship, and artistic, and musical contributions, some of which we’ll experience through visits to The Schönbrunn Palace, the Salzburg Castle, and Mozart’s birthplace, to name a few.
Both countries were also the home of flourishing Jewish communities for hundreds of years. Walk the neighborhoods of Sigmund Freud, Theodore Herzl, Arthur Schnitzler, and Arnold Schoenberg, and explore the dynamic impact and contribution that Jews made, particularly to Western civilization, at the turn of the century. In Prague’s Old Town, visit the shuls, museum, memorial, and cemetery, and stroll through the charming Jewish Quarter to get a taste of medieval Jewish life.
Tragically, in both Austria and Czechoslovakia, Jewish life was largely annihilated during the Holocaust. We will visit concentration camps and memorials and investigate the role played by the Austrians as perpetrators of the Shoah. We will also discuss the rebirth of Jewish life in both countries.
The July 2023 Melton seminar to Vienna, Salzburg & Prague will be led by Avi Ben-Hur. The seminar is open to adults who enjoy in-depth Jewish educational travel, including all Melton students and graduates.
We are so pleased that you are interested in travelling with Melton! As you may know, Melton provides the educational content for its seminars, but is not a travel agency. Gil Travel Agency (“Gil”) is the travel logistics provider for this seminar and is responsible for the collection of all deposits and other fees. Because Melton does not collect any travel deposits or fees, it is not responsible for any financial loss associated with a cancellation of this seminar for reasons beyond Melton’s control, including COVID.
We encourage you to read Gil’s Travel Protection Recommendation thoroughly, advising that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers both “cancellation for any reason” and for “COVID-related” reasons. Even where your destination does not presently restrict travel due to COVID, we still recommend you purchase a policy with such coverage.
Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to travelling and learning with you,
The Melton Travel Team
- Schönbrunn and Belvedere palaces
- Freud and Frankel museums
- Anschluss memorials
- Strahov Library
- Mauthausen and Theresienstadt
- Jewish Quarter and ancient cemetery
- Royal castle and cathedral
- Famous Prague synagogues
- Accommodations: 10 nights
- Meals: Breakfast every day, 3 group dinners, 2 group lunches, 1 light afternoon meal
- Educational Programming: All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton itinerary.
- Hotel Stefanie, Vienna: Taborstraße 12, 1020 Wien, Austria: +43-1-211500
- Hotel am Mirabellplatz, Salzburg: Paris-Lodron-Straße 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria: +43-662-881688
- K+K Central, Prague: Hybernská 10, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia: +420-225-022-000
Note: We will do our best to assist you with extensions both before and after the seminar.
- Flights and personal insurance
- Personal expenses, including meals or drinks not mentioned in the itinerary, unless specified
We will be pleased to assist you in any and all flight arrangements, including additional travel plans, through our partners at Gil Travel. Please contact Julian Banegas (
Please note: Itinerary subject to change
Day 1: The Glory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Sites: Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace
Our seminar opens with an introduction to the cultural and architectural centrality of 18th & 19th century Vienna, with a visit to key imperial sites. Schönbrunn Palace, the Habsburg summer residence, where we will learn about the Empire’s changing policy towards its Jewish subjects at that time. Belvedere will highlight stunning 19th and 20th century art, including an incredible collection of Klimt’s works.
Day 2: Jewish life in Austria before and after 1933
Sites: Leopoldstadt, the Jewish Museum at Dorotheegasse, Freud Museum, Old Jewish Cemetery in Seegasse, Wahringer Cemetery
Located in the heart of the city, the Jewish population in 1920s Leopoldstadt totaled almost 40%. The Ghetto was established in the 17th century. Famous Jewish residents of the neighborhood included Freud, Herzl, Schnitzler, and Schoenberg, to name a few. Almost all local synagogues were destroyed on Kristallnacht. The Jewish Museum in Vienna has two locations: The main one is in Dorotheegasse and is the latest iteration of what was the first Jewish Museum in the world when it opened in 1896. Our tour of the Old Jewish Cemetery of Seegasse will expose us to 16th-18th century Jewish life in the city. From the 18th century, the cemetery at Wahring was used by the Jewish community. Its history from the beginning of the 20th century until today is a large part of the Austrian Jewish story. The Sigmund Freud Museum will be an important stop on this day.
Day 3: Anschluss & the Shoah
Sites: Aspang Train Station, Memorial Against War and Fascism at Albertinaplatz, Holocaust memorial at Judenplatz + Jewish Museum annex, Viktor Frankl Museum
We begin this day with a visit to the Aspang Railway Station Memorial which marks the point of departure from Vienna for over 45,000 Jews sent to ghettos and camps between 1941-1942. Following that, we will visit the Memorial Against War & Fascism, unveiled in 1988 to immediate criticism a result of which is the Holocaust memorial at Judenplatz. The memorial was dedicated in 2000 and is situated above the Medieval ruins of a synagogue that was destroyed by the local authorities in the 15th century. Our last destination will be to the Viktor Frankl Museum, where we will reflect upon his magnum opus, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
Day 4: Memory & Education in Austria Today
Sites: Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, the Wall of Names Shoah Memorial, meeting with member of the Jewish community, the Museum Quarter
Today we will unpack Austria’s attempts to grapple with their role in the Shoah. As such we will visit the Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, followed by a view of the newly inaugurated Wall of Names (2021). This latest memorial assigns clear blame to the Austrian perpetrators and commemorates Austrian Jewish victims. We will wrap up our stay in Vienna meeting with a member of the local Jewish community as well as some downtime in the Museum Quarter – the premier cultural and shopping center in the city.
Day 5: Complicity from Start to Finish
Sites: Hartheim (guide from Hartheim), Mauthausen Concentration Camp (guide from Mauthausen)
The Austrians participated in the Nazi so-called Euthanasia program (T-4), the center of which was in Harthiem, in Upper Austria. Following a tour of the memorial site, we will drive to Mauthausen, the most notorious Nazi concentration/slave labor camp located in Austria. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Salzburg.
Day 6: Jewish Life in Salzburg Past & Present
Sites: Salzburg Synagogue, Judengasse (Jews’ Lane), Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg Cathedral, and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
We will begin our day with a visit to the local Salzburg synagogue and walk through what was the Jewish quarter. From there we will enjoy the Old Town of Salzburg – a Baroque UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 7: From Austria to Czechoslovakia; Exploring Medieval History
Sites: Cesky Krumlov
On our way to Prague, we will stop in the small medieval town of Cesky Krumlov, which is situated near the Vltava, the longest river in the Czech Republic. The town’s main attraction is its well-preserved medieval beauty. After visiting the main sites and enjoying the local shops and cafes, we will depart for Prague.
Day 8: Cultural Backdrop
Sites: Strahov Library, Prague Castle Complex, Lobkowicz Palace, Powder Tower, Municipal House, Na Prikope Street, and Wenceslas Square
Our first day in Prague will begin with a private tour of the famous Strahov Library. From there we will explore the royal hill, including Prague Castle and the Lobkowicz Palace. Crossing the Charles Bridge to the Old Town, we will visit the Municipal House, Wenceslas Square, and Na Prikope Street to dive into the modern history of Prague in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Day 9: Unwrapping Jewish Prague from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Sites: Jewish Quarter in Old Town, Maisel Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, Old Jewish Cemetery, Klausen Synagogue, Ceremonial Hall, High Synagogue, Jewish Town Hall, Alt-Neu Shul, and Spanish Synagogue, reflection time, the Golem and Kafka
The Jewish Quarter in Prague might very well contain the largest concentration of preserved Medieval and Early Modern period synagogues anywhere in the world. We shall begin with an exploration of the Alt-Neu Shul – the oldest Gothic synagogue and continue through the complex of other synagogues in the area. Our aim is to follow the historic development of Jewish life in Prague from the Middle Ages until the 19th century. In the afternoon, we will reflect upon Jewish cultural contributions to Czechoslovakia through Franz Kafka, finishing with time to wander the city on our own.
Day 10: Terezin and Lidice - Nazi Oppression and Murder
Sites: Terezin Ghetto-Labor Camp, Lidice, Jubilee Synagogue
Terezin, also known as Theresienstadt, was the town the Nazis used to concentrate Czech, Austrian, German, Dutch, and Danish Jews before sending them on to their death at Auschwitz. The Ghetto-transit camp exists in its entirety today as a national museum. Following our visit, we will go to Lidice, where in June 1942 the Nazis killed most of the village’s inhabitants as a reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Gestapo and the Governor of Bohemia and Moravia under the Nazis. In the late afternoon we will go to the Jubilee Synagogue in Prague to reflect on Jewish life in Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the Holocaust and until today.
Day 11: Farewell & flights home
Need to Know
- Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 fully paying participants. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we may 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.
- A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person is due upon registration. If the seminar is cancelled, the registration fee will be refunded. The final balance will be due by May 24, 2023.
- All cancellations must be submitted in writing. Up to 61 days prior to departure: $1,000 per person deposit paid at registration is non-refundable. 60-31 prior to departure: 50% of the trip cost is non-refundable. 30 days or less prior to departure – no refunds.
- Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private bathrooms. 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.
- Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. Participants can order kosher meals at prices set by our local agents.
- A Melton educator will be with the group throughout the tour.
- All gratuities are included.
- Baggage: The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach, please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.
- Porterage at hotels. Please note that room service is not included.
- Flights and personal insurance are not included.
- Personal expenses, including meals not mentioned in the itinerary or drinks during meals, unless specified, or room service.
Please note that Gil Travel will obey all protocols/restrictions in place regarding COVID.
We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Melton is not responsible for cancellation of this program for reasons beyond its control. Your comprehensive travel insurance should cover both "cancellation for any reason" and "COVID-related cancellation". This latter policy is being offered by a number of insurance companies. We refer you to a list published by Forbes magazine, showing those companies that offer this new policy.
Please note that such policies may require registration for the policy within 14-21 days of your registration for the seminar.
Gil Travel recommends RoamRight Travel Insurance.
For more information on the available plans or to enroll, visit RoamRight Travel Insurance or contact RoamRight at 1-866-891-6614 and reference Gil Travel.
Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 21 days from the time you make your initial trip deposit, the entire non-refundable amount of the trip must be insured, and you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. However, the travel protection plan itself can be purchased any time prior to departure.
- Airline Security Measures: Your name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket, or you may be denied boarding. It must also be exactly as it appears on your passport. Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date of your return home.
- If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S., you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that particular airport.
- Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the U.S. Transportation Security Administration website at tsa.gov to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
For more information about this seminar, or to be added to the waitlist for our February 15-19, 2023 seminar to Mexico, please email
T: 1–646–921–0747, Ext. 4