Da'at Educational Expeditions
Day One: Monday, November 11, 2019 THE MANY LAYERS OF VILNIUS
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 a local restaurant.
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 a restaurant.
Overnight: Kempinski, Vilnius
Grand Hotel Kempinski is located in the center of Vilnius' Old Town, right on the 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 HISTORICAL MEMORY, PERSONAL JOURNEY
(Optional) Morning minyan.
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
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).
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 a restaurant.
Overnight: Kempinski, Vilnius
Day Three: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 RETURN HOME
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 to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport at 12:01 p.m.
2:35 p.m. Depart Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport on Aeroflot flight #102, arriving to 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.
Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square is located in the very center of Vilnius Old Town, right on the Cathedral Square easy accessible to all tourists attractions within walking distance.
Discover the finest collection of 96 luxury Rooms and Suites.
Indulge into local flavours and superior cuisine in one of the best restaurants in Vilnius - Telegrafas and Bar Le Salon.
Organize your ideal conference or meeting at the state-of-the art Conference centre, covering 600 sqm and divided into six conference rooms.
Finally, indulge yourself in the pleasures of the fully appointed spa and wellness centre, Kempinski The Spa.
Registration deadline: July 4, 2019.
Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 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.
- 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 July 22, 2019, or as specified in your invoice.
Cancellations need to be made in writing. Cancellation fees will be based on the date that the written cancellation is received.
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.
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.
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):
TRIPS TO DESTINATIONS OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL:
Group of 10-19 participants and more:
Da'at Tour Educator: $10 | Local Guide: $6 | Driver: $3 - per participant per day
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