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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
Women's Philanthropy Mission to Riga & St. Petersburg

price per person from $3175

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!

Main trip - 

6 nights’ accommodation at select hotels
5 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus +1-day walking tour (Shabbat) with licensed, English speaking local tour guides
Da’at field representative/tour educator accompanying the group from arrival to departure
Land-only cost includes one-way flight from Riga to St. Petersburg
1 group transfer and assistance to and from the airport
All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
Meals: daily breakfast, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
Porterage at the hotels
Mineral water on the bus throughout
Whisper system throughout
 

Extension to Moscow - 

3 nights’ accommodation at select hotels
2.5 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle with licensed, English speaking local tour guide
Da’at field representative/tour educator accompanying the group from arrival to departure
1 group transfer and assistance to the airport
High-speed (Sapsan) train ticket from St. Petersburg to Moscow (economy class), with accompanying transfers to and from the train stations
All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
Meals: daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 2 dinners
Porterage at the airport and hotels
Mineral water on the bus throughout
Whisper system throughout

Day One: Sunday, June 16, 2019
DEPARTURE

  • Depart the U.S.A.

Overnight: Flight


Day Two: Monday, June 17, 2019
ARRIVAL IN RIGA 

  • 1:55 p.m. Arrive at Riga International Airport on Finnair flight #1073 from Helsinki.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Transfer to the hotel.
  • Enjoy a welcome cocktail at the hotel.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Riga's Old Town, a beautiful reflection of architecture, cafés, music, history and more, with visits to:
    • The Riga Castle.
    • Mary's Dome Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the Baltics.
    • The Large Guild, home to the Riga Orchestra and the Small Guild, a Crafts Corporation House.
    • The Freedom Monument, a 138-foot high granite, travertine and copper monument honoring soldiers killed during the 1918-1920 Latvian War of Independence.
    • The House of Blackheads, originally mentioned in the 14th century as an important center of public life for unmarried merchants - the Brotherhood of Blackheads was later destroyed during WWII and reconstructed at the beginning of this century.
    • The Town Hall square and an old Town Hall devastated during WWII and rebuilt in 2002.
    • Peter's Church, first built in the 13th century has since been expanded upon.
  • Welcome dinner and orientation to the program at 1221 restaurant.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Elizabete, Riga


Day Three: Tuesday, June 18, 2019
JEWISH LIFE IN RIGA

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Journey through Jewish Past, Proud and Painful: Visit the Old Jewish Quarter of Riga, which at its peak, prior to the Holocaust, was home to almost 44,000 Jewish inhabitants and was the heart of Jewish life in Latvia.
  • Visit the Memorial of the Burnt Synagogue, site of the Great Choral Synagogue, destroyed by the Nazis on July 4, 1941. It stands as a memorial to the Jewish victims killed by the Nazis. In the aftermath of the war, the once strong Jewish population of Riga numbered 150 alone.
  • Visit Rumbula Memorial where many Jews of Riga and Germany perished.
  • Visit the Peitav Synagogue, the only synagogue in Riga that survived the Holocaust.
  • Visit the Jewish community building, which is the center of Jewish life in the city.
    • Visit the Jewish Museum to learn more about the Jewish History of Latvia.
    • Visit the Jewish Community Center, partially funded by the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and learn about the community activities that take place here for participants of all ages.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Home visits with JDC.
  • Art imitating life imitating art: Walk through Riga's Art Nouveau district; the Art Nouveau Movement was the architectural and artistic answer to the literary modernist movement that began in the late 19th Riga has one of the largest centers of Art Nouveau in Europe.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Elizabete, Riga


Day Four: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
INTRODUCTION TO ST. PETERSBURG

  • Early check out of the hotel.
  • 5:10 a.m. Transfer to Riga International Airport.
  • 7:50 a.m. Depart Riga on Air Baltic flight #442.
  • 9:10 a.m. Arrive to St. Petersburg and transfer to the city.
  • Enter the Peter and Paul Fortress, the oldest building in St. Petersburg and the founding location of the city. The fortress, located on the smallest island on the Neva River, was planned as a defense against the Swedes but the Swedes were defeated before its completion. Its main use until 1917 was a political prison; one of its first inmates was Peter the Great's own son, Alexey.  You will walk through the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is the final resting place of all of Russia's pre-revolutionary rulers from Peter the Great onwards with a few exceptions.
  • Lunch at Korushka restaurant.
  • Enjoy a boat cruise along the rivers and canals of the city to see the city's landmarks from a different perspective.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Free time for shopping or to relax.
  • Introduction to the History of the Jews of the Russian Empire and the Origin of the Jewish Community in St. Petersburg Dinner and dialogue Professor Shimon Iakerson, the Head Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy, at Percorso restaurant.

Overnight: Angleterre, St. Petersburg


Day Five: Thursday, June 20, 2019
JEWISH HISTORY & LIFE IN ST. PETERSBURG 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Dialogue with Alla Mitelman, Director of the Sha'arei Shalom Progressive Jewish Community.
  • Visit the JDC-founded YESOD, a Jewish Cultural Center that serves as a hub for Jewish life and offers meaningful Jewish and Israeli programming to thousands of children and adults. YESOD has become the venue for cultural events and activities such as Interactive Theatre Sundays and professional concerts that attract previously unaffiliated families. YESOD also houses numerous Jewish organizations including the Adain Lo Jewish Family Center, Hesed Avraham, Hillel, and the Granatik kindergarten — providing a Jewish culture curriculum to more than 100 children and recognized as one of the top kindergartens in the city. We will have an opportunity to have a tour of the building, meet with elderly clients, and visit the early childhood center and interact with the children.
  • Lunch at Yesod with guests from the local community.
  • Visit Yusupov Palace. Once the residence of the wealthy and respected Yusupov family this palace was the site one of the most dramatic episodes in Russia's history - the murder of Grigory Rasputin. Felix Yusupov (1886-1967) was the Russian nobleman who arranged the murder in 1916 of the Tsar and Tsarina's close adviser, the 'holy man' Grigory Rasputin. A series of lavishly decorated rooms, each more spectacular than the last, culminate in a gilded jewel box of a theatre, where classical music, ballet and opera performances are still held. In the cellar room where the plot to murder Rasputin was hatched, are the waxworks of Rasputin and his nemesis Felix Yusupov.
  • Visit the Jewish Agency Activity Center, and enjoy an Interactive meeting with the women's club, including Hafrashat Ceremony.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner on own and evening at leisure with the option to attend a cultural event.

Overnight: Angleterre, St. Petersburg


Day Six: Friday, June 21, 2019
AN INSIDE LOOK INTO ST. PETERSBURG HISTORY & CULTURE

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart the hotel.
  • Experience a guided tour of the splendor of Peterhof ("Peter's Court" in German). This fabulous complex of gardens and residences masterminded and built by Peter the Great as his summer palace was renamed Petrodvorets ("Peter's Palace") after WWII. Located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the breathtaking centerpiece of Peterhof is the Grand Cascade, comprising three waterfalls, 64 fountains (some of which are hidden, only triggered by the unsuspecting visitor!) partially engineered by Peter himself.  The elegant Grand Palace, finished just before Peter's death, was enlarged for Empress Elizabeth and redecorated by Catherine the Great, and contains original paintings, furniture and chandeliers.  Peterhof was completely destroyed during WWII, and is largely a reconstruction from photos, drawings and anecdotes. 
  • Lunch at Standart restaurant at Peterhof.
  • Return to the city by hydrofoil.
  • Visit the Hermitage Museum. Housed in the lavish Winter Palace from which Tsars ruled Russia for one-and-a-half centuries and housing what was once their private art collection, the Hermitage is one of the world's most famous and greatest art museums, comprising 18th century masterpieces by Leonardo, Titian, El Greco, Van Dyck, Rubens, and Rembrandt, amongst many more.
  • Return to the hotel with free time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Shabbat dinner at LeChaim restaurant with members of the local Jewish community.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Choral synagogue.

Overnight: Angleterre, St. Petersburg


Day Seven: Saturday, June 22, 2019
SHABBAT IN ST. PETERSBURG | walking tour

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat services at a local synagogue OR morning at leisure to explore the city on your own or relax.
  • Lunch at Biblioteka restaurant.
  • Optional walking tour in the city center of St. Petersburg, including:
    • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory.
    • Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great who had been born on the feast day of that saint.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah and group reflection.
  • Farewell dinner at Russian Ampir restaurant.

Overnight: Angleterre, St. Petersburg


Day Eight: Sunday, June 23, 2019
RETURN HOME 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • 8:00 a.m. Transfer to St. Petersburg International Airport.
  • 10:30 a.m. Departure on Finnair flight #702 to Helsinki.


Da'at Educational Expeditions itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.

Additional subsidy of $250 for young adults ages 22-45 at the time of the mission.  Subsidy will be applied to your final balance after registration. 

We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.
Please call Travel Insured - through Traveland at 1-800-344-6226 for information on their insurance programs. It is important to note that some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in proximity to your initial trip deposit.
For more information, please contact Travel Insured - through Traveland, or your preferred insurance provider.



 
To book this package, please contact one of our reservation agents at 888-811-2812.

Flight Details


Accommodation Details



Radisson Blu Elizabete Image

Radisson Blu Elizabete
Riga

This modern hotel is a 7-minute walk from the Freedom Monument, a 9-minute walk from the Latvian National Museum of Art and a 15-minute walk from Riga Cathedral.

Angleterre Hotel Image

Angleterre Hotel
St. Petersburg

Opposite St. Isaac's Cathedral, this elegant hotel is an 11-minute walk from the Hermitage Museum and a 12-minute walk from the Winter Palace.


  • 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.
  • The initial deposit for this tour is $500 per person. This deposit is non-refundable.
  • Final payment for this tour is due March 1, 2019.
  • Cancellation policy for this tour:
    • Cancellations received up to 107 days prior to departure (i.e. until March 1, 2019): entail a cancellation fee of $500 per person (the initial deposit)
    • Cancellations received between 106 and 45 days prior to departure (i.e. from March 2, 2019 to May 2, 2019): entail a cancellation fee of 50% of the tour cost.
    • Cancellations received between 44 and zero days prior to departure or no-shows (i.e. as of May 3, 2019): entail a cancellation fee of 100% of the tour cost.
  • Hotel Accommodations: The tour 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. Two-bed rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are two-bed rooms with a rollaway cot where available and are not recommended when considering the comfort of those in the room. King-size beds are not available in most hotels; what is considered king-size usually consists of two single beds pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard. Some two-bed rooms may have two twin - not full- or queen-size - beds.
  • Meals are included as specified in the itinerary.
  • Expedition Director / 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 are included.
  • Baggage: All tour packages / group tours allow one piece of luggage per person and one carry-on bag. Excess luggage will be subject to charge of up to $100 per piece. 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.
  • For IRS Charitable Deduction reporting purposes, subsidies received for this mission will be reported as goods and services received from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.  For Federal Income tax purposes, your deduction of annual contributions to the Federation will be limited to the amounts contributed in excess of this subsidy.

Not Included

 
  • Visa to Russia
  • Personal Expenses: All personal expenses such as: laundry, valet service, cables, telephone calls and postage are not included.
  • Guide and Driver Gratuities:
    In keeping with normal standards in international tourism, we recommend the following for tipping:
    • 20 passengers and more: Da'at tour educator $8, local guide $5, driver $3 - per participant per day

 

Additional Information

 
  • Airline Security Measures: In the U.S., you must provide identification in the form of a passport at the time of airport check-in for travel to international destinations. Your passport name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket or you may be denied boarding.
  • 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 Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
  • Air Services: Once issued, tickets are non-refundable. Airline schedules and flights are subject to change without notice. We will not be responsible for penalties incurred for tickets, international or domestic, not issued by us due to schedule and/or flight changes. Airlines reserve the right to demand immediate issuance of tickets whenever they determine that specific flights are heavily booked even when normal ticketing rules do not require tickets to be issued until a later date. In this instance, we will require immediate and full payment of the airfare and airport taxes and fees as itemized on the invoice. This situation overrides invoice terms and conditions and payment due dates. If full payment is not received, seats will be cancelled by the airline and may not be available to be rebooked on the same flights or at the same airfare. Any replacement air arrangements and airfare will be the sole responsibility of the passenger. We suggest you contact your travel agent or the carrier several weeks prior to departure for seat assignments. Passengers are responsible to reconfirm their flights 72 hours prior to departure for all flights. Package is based on discount fares for group travel. Group members deviating from group dates will be charged a $75 deviation fee per person.
  • Holidays and Museum Closures - Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays locally observed in the destinations being visited
  • Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer that your photo not be used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.