Park Avenue Synagogue | A Jewish Journey to Russia
Revolutions, Repression and Renaissance
Led by Rabbi Cosgrove and Rabbi Savenor

price per person from $5815

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!

Per person sharing a double room: $5,815
Per person in a single room: $6,785
Estimated airfare on group flights: $1,000

Vilnius Extension:
Per person sharing a double room: $1,490
Per person in a single room: $1,760

* The Initial non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $500 per person is due at the time of reservation.

Main Trip
November 3-11, 2019

Optional flights as listed in the air section of this program (Taxes and fuel charges are included and are subject to change by the Airline).
7 nights’ accommodation at select hotels

4 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus + 2 days of walking tours (Moscow) with licensed, English speaking local tour guides

Da’at tour educator (one per bus) accompanying the group from arrival to departure

Da’at field representative (aka hostess) throughout the tour (1 for the whole group)

Economy class Sapsan (high-speed) train ticket from St. Petersburg to Moscow, with separate luggage transfer the night before

1 group transfer and assistance to and from the airport

All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary

Meals: daily breakfast 5 lunches and 5 dinners

Portage at the airport and hotels

Mineral water on the bus throughout

Extension to Vilnius
November 11-13, 2019

2 nights’ accommodation at select hotels

2 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking local guide.

Da’at tour educator accompanying the group from arrival to departure

Land-only cost includes a one-way flight from Moscow to Vilnius (estimated rate)

1 group transfer and assistance from the airport

All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary

Meals: daily breakfast and 2 dinners

Portage at the hotel

Day One: Sunday, November 3, 2019

  • 1:25 p.m. Depart JFK Airport on Aeroflot flight #101.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Monday, November 4, 2019

  • 6:20 a.m. Arrive at Moscow's Sheremetievo Airport.
  • 9:05 a.m. Depart Moscow on Aeroflot flight #012.
  • 10:35 a.m. Arrive at St. Petersburg International Airport.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Transfer to the city.

For participants who arrived earlier than the group flight:

  • 12:00 p.m. Gather in the hotel lobby and depart to begin the program.
  • Opening orientation and coffee at Taleon
  • 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 as a political prison; one of its first inmates was Peter the Great's own son, Alexey. 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 onward with a few exceptions.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Visit the Grand Choral Synagogue, the second largest in Europe after the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest.
  • Building a Community: Dialogue with Chabad Rabbi Menachem Mendel Pewzner. In 1992 Rabbi Pewzner became Lubabitcher Rabbi's emissary in Petersburg; he is the rabbi at the Grand Choral Synagogue. Since 1996, he is also the Chief Rabbi of St. Petersburg.
  • Welcome dinner at the Choral Synagogue.

Overnight: Four Seasons, St. Petersburg

Guarded by two marble lions at the entrance, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace is a converted 19th-century royal palace in the Admiralteysky district. The hotel is located just a few blocks from the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum, with St. Isaac's Cathedral “right next door.” The palace was designed in 1817 by Auguste Ricard de Montferrand, who is best known for designing St. Isaac's Cathedral. The building was opened as a hotel by the Four Seasons in 2013.

Day Three: Tuesday, November 5, 2019

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • 8:30 a.m. Introduction to the History of the Jews of the Russian Empire and the Origin of the Jewish Community in St. Petersburg: Dialogue with Professor Shimon Iakerson, Head Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy, over

Today each bus will rotate between the following historical sites and a meeting with one of the Jewish communal agencies listed below. Each bus will have its own schedule for this part of the day:

  • Visit the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated; the church was dedicated in his memory.
  • Visit Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who was born on the feast day of that saint.
  • Lunch at a restaurant.
  • 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 tour the building, meet with elderly clients, visit the early childhood center, and interact with the children.


  • Visit the Jewish Agency Activity Center, including meetings with beneficiaries and seeing programs in action. Possible programs include: Meet and engage in activities with children ages 6-10, who are campers and participants of Masoret Sunday School Program, along with their parents and counselors; meet with participants of the Moreshet Project for a facilitated discussion about community and leadership; hear personal stories of these young leaders and learn about their volunteer projects.


  • Visit the Adain Lo Mohovaya Inclusive Kindergarten to see and discuss working with kids with special needs.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Free evening for dinner or cultural offerings. (Details and costs for cultural events to be advised closer to the date.)
  • After your night out, you're welcome to join group members in the lobby bar for late-night conversation and drinks

Overnight: Four Seasons, St. Petersburg

Day Four: Wednesday, November 6, 2019

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • 7:45 a.m. A New Russian Empire? Russian Foreign Policy Today: Dialogue with Professor Artemy Magun, Professor of Democratic Theory at the Department of Sociology and Philosophy in the European University in St. Petersburg, over breakfast.
  • Travel to the small town of Pushkin, named in honor of the great Russian poet.
  • Visit the Summer Palace and park of Catherine the Great, one of the most-photographed palaces in Russia and the elegant Rococo-style summer residence of the Russian Czars, named for Catherine I (widow of Peter the Great).
  • Stop at the Formula of Sorrow, a memorial to the Jews of Pushkin who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
  • Lunch at BIP
  • Return to St. Petersburg.
  • We will break into three groups to visit one of these touring options of your choice:
    • 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, culminates 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.
    • Faberge Museum. Explore the Faberge Museum, housed in the Shuvalovsky Palace, for a peek into the work of Carl Faberge, the Russian Imperial Court master jeweler.
    • The General Staff Building of the Hermitage Museum, which features an impressive exhibition of world-famous Impressionists including Renoir, Cezanne, and Monet, as well as numerous canvasses by Van Gogh, Matisse, and Gauguin.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Russian Jewry 30 Years After Rebirth: Dinner with Jewish community leaders at
  • Return to the hotel and prepare luggage for separate transfer to Moscow.

Overnight: Four Seasons, St. Petersburg

Day Five: Thursday, November 7, 2019

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • 9:30 a.m. Early entrance to 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.
  • 11:40 a.m. Transfer to the train station in St. Petersburg.
  • 1:00 p.m. Travel to Moscow by Sapsan high-speed train. (The train journey is approximately 4 hours.)
  • Boxed lunch, en route.
  • Transfer to the hotel and check in.
  • 8:00 p.m. Dinner with caviar and vodka tasting on a Radisson boat cruise along the Moskva River.

Overnight: Four Seasons, Moscow

The Four Seasons Moscow is a modern reimagining of the legendary Hotel Moskva, which was originally opened in 1935 as a symbol of socialist construction. The hotel is a five-minute walk from the Red Square and GUM Mall. The hotel is also known for its impressive spa facilities.

Day Six: Friday, November 8, 2019

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early entrance to the Kremlin Territory, the chief architectural ensemble of the city. The fortified complex in the heart of the city includes five palaces and four cathedrals and serves as the home of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. Take in this extraordinary development, including the Kremlin Armory, one of Moscow's oldest museums, established in 1808.
  • Visit Red Square, the heart of the famous historical center of the city.
  • Lunch (not included in package) and free time for shopping at the GUM mall and the surrounding area.
  • Return to the hotel with free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat.
  • 4:15 p.m. Candle lighting at the Moscow Choral Synagogue.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Moscow Choral Synagogue.
  • Shabbat dinner with leaders of the local Jewish community, including Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the Chief Rabbi of Moscow. Rabbi Goldschmidt, originally born in Zurich, Switzerland, moved to Soviet Russia in 1989 and has been the Chief Rabbi of Moscow since 1993. Rabbi Goldschmidt has also been serving as the president of the Conference of European Rabbis since 2011.

Overnight: Four Seasons, Moscow

Day Seven: Saturday, November 9, 2019
SHABBAT IN MOSCOW | walking tour

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

Option 1:

  • 9:00 a.m. Shabbat services at the Moscow Choral Synagogue, followed by Shabbat lunch.
  • Free time to relax or explore the city on your own.
  • (Optional) Walking tour to Zaryadye Park.

Option 2:

  • 9:00 a.m. (Optional) Walking tour to Zaryadye Park.
  • 10:30 a.m. Departure from the hotel by bus.
  • 11:00 a.m. Shabbat services at the Moscow Progressive Synagogue, followed by
  • 1:30 p.m. Return to the hotel to relax or explore the city on your own.


  • 3:00 p.m. (Optional) “Two Cups of Tea” at the hotel. This is an opportunity to meet with local members of the Russian Jewish Community.
  • 4:00 p.m. Group session led by PAS clergy and staff.
  • 5:34 p.m. Ben Kodesh Lechol:
  • Free evening for dinner or cultural offerings. (Details and costs for cultural events to be advised closer to the date.)
  • After your night out, you're welcome to join group members in the lobby bar for late-night conversation and drinks.

Overnight: Four Seasons, Moscow

Day Eight: Sunday, November 10, 2019

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Tour the Moscow Metro, which is well-known all over the world as the most beautiful underground transit system. It is one of the main and significant memorials of the Soviet Union era. Many stations here will remind you of the halls of palaces, with beautiful sculptures and chandeliers, decorated in a style of Communist ages - huge statues of workers, farmers, and soldiers.
  • Visit Victory Park, located on Poklonnaya Gora (literally “bow-down hill”), one of the highest spots in Moscow. The park has served as an open-air museum to the Russian victory over Napoleon in the 19th century since the 1960s.
  • 9:30 a.m. Dialogue with Ilya Alexandrovich Altman, a Russian historian and founder and co-chairman of the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center in Moscow, at the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue, which was built in 1998 and stands as a unique memorial to the memory of Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
  • Participate in a memorial service in honor of Kristallnacht.
  • 11:30 a.m. Meet with Chief Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazar.
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch at the Mogen David restaurant at the Marina Roscha Synagogue.
  • We will break into three groups to visit the Jewish Museum and one of these touring options of your choice:
    • Cold War Russia-themed tour, including a visit to the Tagansky Bunker (also known as Bunker 42). The bunker was built in the 1950s as an underground fortification facility in case of nuclear war with the US. Note: The bunker is an underground complex 65 meters below ground level. The visit entails descending 18 flights of stairs to reach the bunker and then walking up the same 18 flights of stairs at the end of the tour.
    • Visit to Yandex to learn about this Russian entrepreneurial technological success story.
    • Enjoy a cooking workshop at Lavka Lavka, a gastronomic loft that specializes in natural organic products. Try your hand at cooking a traditional Russian dish.
  • Explore the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. The museum is dedicated to the complex history of Russian Jewry and is thoroughly modern in approach, including personal testimony, archival video footage, and interactive displays - all translated into Russian and English. We will also visit The Schneerson collection, the famous library of the Lubavitcher Rebbes - leaders of the Chabad movement (founded in the late 18th to early 19th century) housed at the museum.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • 8:00 p.m. Final Thoughts and Feelings: Farewell dinner and group reflection at Turandot

Overnight: Four Seasons, Moscow

Day Nine: Monday, November 11, 2019

For participants continuing to Vilnius:

  • 5:45 a.m. Early breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 6:20 a.m. Transfer to Moscow Sheremetievo International Airport.

For participants on the Finnair flight #712:

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 7:00 a.m. Transfer to Moscow Sheremetievo International Airport.
  • 10:55 a.m. Depart Moscow on Finnair flight #712 to Helsinki.

For participants on the group flight to New York:

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 11:20 a.m. Transfer to Moscow Sheremetievo International Airport.
  • 2:35 p.m. Depart Moscow on Aeroflot flight #102, arriving to New York JFK Airport at 5:20 p.m.


November 11-13, 2019

Day One: Monday, November 11, 2019

  • 10:05 a.m. Arrive at Vilnius International Airport on Aeroflot flight #210.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Begin your Baltics trip with a panoramic tour of Vilnius, Lithuania's capital and largest city.
  • Stop at the Hill of Three Crosses, originally constructed in 1916 by Polish sculptor Antoni Wiwulski. The monument was torn down by the Soviets in 1950 and reconstructed in 1989 by Henrikas Šilgalis.
  • Enjoy a welcome brunch at Grey
  • Yerushalayim De Lita: Join your tour educator and begin to unravel the story of Jewish life, thought, and prayer in Vilnius, a city that rivaled Jerusalem itself.
  • Guided walk through the Medieval Jewish Quarter and what was traditionally known throughout the Jewish world as Vilna, ‘The Jerusalem of Lithuania.' Vilna was one of the most significant pre-Holocaust European Jewish communities, with over 100,000 Jews, a world center for the study of Torah, and the home of Rabbi Eliyahu Kremer, the Vilna Gaon (the Genius from Vilna).
  • Walking through what was once the heart of the Jewish people. Your tour will include:
    • A view of the uncovered heart of Lithuanian Jewry, the Great Synagogue. A team of archaeologists uncovered the remains of the synagogue and other buildings which were destroyed by Nazis 70 years ago.
    • The Vilnius Choral Synagogue, built in 1903 and the only active synagogue remaining in this city that once boasted over 100. We will explore the legacy of Vilna Gaon and the Litvak's conflict with the Chasidism.
  • Memories of the Past Come Alive: Visit the Jewish Cemetery of Vilna, including a stop at the tomb of the Vilna Gaon.
  • Check into the hotel and enjoy free time to relax and shop before dinner.
  • Walk from the hotel through Vilnius' Old Town. First mentioned in written sources in the early 14th century, the Old Town was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
  • A Jewish Journey to the Baltic States: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Now? Welcome dinner at Ertlio Namas restaurant.

Overnight: Kempinski, Vilnius

Grand Hotel Kempinski is located in the center of Vilnius' Old Town, right on Cathedral Square. The Presidential Palace and the main shopping street (Gedimino Blvd) are within walking distance of the hotel.

Day Two: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

  • (Optional) Morning minyan.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The War Against the Jews: Walk through the Vilna Ghetto where around 40,000 Jews were imprisoned by the Nazis from 1941 to 1943. We'll learn of the suffering and death in the ghetto before its liquidation and the murder of nearly all its inhabitants. It was in the Vilna Ghetto that one of the first Jewish resistance organizations dedicated to fighting the Nazis was established, with members from all the local Jewish political parties and movements. The tour will include:
    • The building which housed the Judenrat (Vilna Ghetto Jewish Council) during the Holocaust. There we will assess the controversial role of its leader, Jacob Gens, during the Holocaust.
    • The Ghetto Theater - We will also pay tribute to the heroic attempts to maintain Jewish life and culture in the ghetto.
    • The street corner where Abba Kovner inspired his generation to resist and fight the Nazis as part of the FPO (United Partisan Organization).
  • 11:00 a.m. Yung Vilna (Young Vilna): We will visit the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and meet with archivist Lara Lempert, who is working on a project to digitize YIVO and Strashun Library books at the library. Fluent in several languages, Lempert is one of very few individuals in Vilnius with the expertise to catalog Yiddish and Hebrew books and documents.
  • Visit the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, dedicated to the history of Lithuanian Jewish life, including a contemporary Center of Tolerance.
  • Lunch (not included in package), en route.
  • Visit Ponar Forest Holocaust Memorial, in honor and memory of the 100,000 people who were killed during the Holocaust, of whom more than 70,000 were Lithuanian Jews.
  • Stop at the memorial to Chiune Sugihara. Sugihara was the Japanese consul in Lithuania during World War II who saved the lives of thousands of Jews by providing them with visas for Japan. Sugihara was later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Rebirth and Renewal: Meet with Simonas Gurevicius - economist, lecturer, long-time Jewish community volunteer, and former executive director of Lithuanian Jewish Community - for a conversation on Jewish memory and current reality.
  • Dinner at Mykolo 4

Overnight: Kempinski, Vilnius

Day Three: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 8:30 a.m. Transfer to Vilnius International Airport.
  • 10:55 a.m. Depart Vilnius on Aeroflot flight #2105, arriving at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport at 12:01 p.m.
  • 2:35 p.m. Depart Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport on Aeroflot flight #102, arriving in New York at 5:20 p.m.

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.

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

Flight Details

Accommodation Details

Four Seasons Hotel St. Petersburg Image

Four Seasons Hotel St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

Within a 19th Century Russian royal palace, its entry guarded by two marble lions, Four Seasons St. Petersburg reveals a restored luxury hotel treasure in the historic Admiralteysky district - just two blocks from the Hermitage Museum and close to Nevsky Prospekt and the Mariinsky Theatre.

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow Image

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

A modern replica of the legendary Hotel Moskva, originally opened in 1935, luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Moscow is connected to history, yet sylish and contemporary. Enjoy a convenient location in the heart of the historic district with views of Kremlin, Red Square, the colourful domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, and the State Duma.

  • Registration deadline: July 4, 2019.
  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 60 full paying participants. 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.
    - The Initial non-refundable, non-transferable $500 per person is due at the time of reservation.
    - Final payment is due 105 days before the scheduled trip begins (July 22, 2019), 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:
    • 105 days or more prior to departure: the deposit
    • 104 to 60 days prior to departure: 50% of the total trip cost
    • 59 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.
  • irport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges are estimated and subject to change at any time. 
    Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges are not guaranteed unless the group air tickets have been issued. Group air tickets are issued approximately 35 days prior to departure. Group air tickets are only issued upon receipt of full payment from all of the trip participants. 
    Air and land packages are open for registration until Sep 08, 2019 (based on availability), thereafter the tour will be available for land-only services. Cancellation of group air reservations after Sep 08, 2019 (and before the group flight tickets are issued) will entail a penalty of $100 per ticket. 

    Airfare to the tour departure point and from the tour ending point is not included. 
    Airfare may be purchased from us for travel originating in the United States. Please see Flights tab in the right-side toolbar.
  • 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. Two-bedrooms 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.
  • 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.


  • Visa to Russia
  • 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.
  • 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):


  • Group of 20 participants and more:
    • Da'at Tour Educator: $8 | Local Guide: $5 | Driver: $3 | Hostess: $2 - per participant per day