Texas Jewish Historical Society
Journey to Poland

price per person from $3365

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!

  • 7 nights' accommodations at select hotels.
  • 6.5 touring days with English- speaking local tour guides.
  • 6.5 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • 1 group transfer and assistance from/to the airport.
  • Whisper system throughout. 
  • Train ticket from Krakow to Warsaw, with separate luggage transfer.
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 2 lunches & 4 dinners.
  • Portage at the hotel.

DAY 1 DEPARTURE

Saturday, September 05, 2020

  • Depart the US. 

Overnight: Flight 


DAY 2 THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY

Sunday, September 06, 2020

  • Arrival at Krakow International Airport.  
  • Meet your tour educator, who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration. 
  • Medieval and Modern: Explore the Main Market Square, Krakow's city center and one of the best public spaces in Europe today. It combines modern street life with medieval architecture. One of the largest medieval squares still in existence, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Grandeur and Vulnerability: Visit the Wawel Royal Castle. This palace was the magnificent home of Poland's kings and rulers from 1038-1536 and is a key symbol of the nation's culture and independence. Learn also how Polish independence has been repeatedly threatened as we examine how the castle was, in later centuries, repeatedly sacked by invading armies. Highlights of the visit will include the stunning grounds and cathedral.  
  • Check into the hotel.  
  • LaDa'at Focus 1,000 Years of Jewish History: Orientation dialogue with your tour educator over dinner. During this introduction session, we'll look forward to the days ahead, preview some of the highlights and themes of our trip, and share personal expectations of what we will experience in Poland.   

Meals: Dinner 

Overnight: Krakow 

DAY 3 RE-CREATING MEMORY

Monday, September 07, 2020

  • The Kazimierz Jewish Quarter has been the heart of Jewish life in Krakow for 500 years and is now one of the city's most attractive and Bohemian areas. Our tour will include: 
    • The Altshul. Built in the 15th century, this is the oldest synagogue still standing in Poland and an important example of Jewish architecture in Europe. It was designed as a fortress synagogue to assist in the defense of the city. We'll visit its museum, which celebrates Krakow's Jewish heritage through exhibits based on lifecycle events. 
    • The Rema Synagogue, named after Rabbi Moses Isserles (the “Rema”), a great Talmudic scholar and codifier of Jewish law. Reconstructed many times, the synagogue still includes some of its original features from the 16th century. It is one of the few synagogues in Krakow that is still active today.  
    • The Rema Cemetery, which was established in 1535. Many renowned rabbis, including the Rema himself, are buried here. But this is also the burial place of a man who may not have existed. A tombstone marks the grave of “Yossele the Holy Miser,” a legendary figure of Polish Jewish folklore. 
    • The Tempel Synagogue. Built in the 19th century and repeatedly extended, this Reform synagogue with its 36 stained glass windows is evidence of the growing power of non-Orthodox religious movements in Poland before the war. No longer used as a synagogue, it instead hosts artistic events and is a key venue in the revival of Jewish culture in the city.  
    • The Galicia Jewish Museum, with its powerful photographs of Jewish life in Polish Galicia. It includes exhibitions on the richness and diversity of Galician Jewish culture as well as haunting images of its destruction.  
  • We will then cross the bridge from Kazimierz to the site of the Podgorze ghetto. This was the tragic path taken in 1941 by thousands of Krakow Jews. After being forced into the ghetto, many were then deported to the death camps. Others were killed in Podgorze when the ghetto was liquidated in 1943. Our guided visit will include:
    • The Krakow Umschlagplatz memorial, now called Ghetto Heroes Square, which was the center of the Podgorze ghetto. Its “lonely chairs” are a remarkable monument to those who have vanished. 
    • The Under the Eagle Pharmacy, a pharmacy inside the ghetto run by Tadeusz Pankiewitz. We'll hear how this Polish-Catholic pharmacist saved many Jews and was subsequently recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.  
    • The Oskar Schindler Factory Museum tells the story of Krakow and its residents under Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945. The museum is located in the enamel factory owned by Schindler and his wife Emilie, which they used to protect over 1,000 Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.  
  • Return to the hotel.  
  • Enjoy an evening at leisure in the vibrant university city.

Meals: Breakfast  

Overnight: Krakow


DAY 4 THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPEAN JEWRY

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

  • In This Place: Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, the largest of the Nazi concentration and extermination centers and a key location of the Holocaust in all its inhumanity. Over 1.1 million people lost their lives in the Auschwitz camps. Our experience will include: 
    • The first camp built at Auschwitz, a mass concentration camp. Here, we'll visit the Auschwitz museum which contains powerful artifacts and haunting footage of the lives and deaths of prisoners.  
    • We will then make the short drive to the Auschwitz II death camp, also known as Birkenau. Largely untouched since the war, it provides intimate insights into the tragedy of the Holocaust. We'll reflect here on the personal stories of some of the Jews held and killed here and read accounts from survivors.
  • Boxed lunch en route. 
  • After Auschwitz: At the Oswiecim Synagogue, we will reflect, as individuals and as a group, on what we have experienced. This synagogue stands as a silent witness to the Holocaust. Before the Holocaust, Oswiecim (in German, Auschwitz) was a Polish town with a Jewish majority, many synagogues, and a thriving Jewish communal life.  
  • Return to the hotel. 
  • The Krakow Jewish Community Today and a Vision for the Future: Evening program at the Krakow Jewish Community Center with Jonathan Ornstein, the JCC Director. Enjoy dinner with members of the local Jewish community and learn more about the cultural and religious revival happening at the JCC.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: Krakow 


DAY 5 AN INTRODUCTION TO WARSAW

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Load your luggage onto the luggage truck; it will be transferred separately to Warsaw.
  • A World Made of Salt: The Wieliczka Salt Mines are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Poland's most popular attractions. We'll experience this underground labyrinth of tunnels and shafts, which houses a salt lake and many intricate statues and creations (including an entire chapel) chiseled out of salt.
  • Transfer to the Krakow train station.
  • Depart Krakow and travel north by train to Poland's capital, Warsaw (The journey is approximately 2.5 hours).
  • Boxed lunch, en route.
  • Visit Warsaw's Old Town. Established in the 13th century but destroyed by the German army during World War II, the Old Town has been meticulously rebuilt. We'll walk through the market place, once a center of European cultural life and now again a vibrant area of fashionable restaurants and shops, see the medieval walls and the Warsaw Barbican, the fortifications that encircled the city. John's Archcathedral, reconstructed according to its original 14th-century Gothic style, is another impressive example of a city and culture rebuilt after the carnage of the war.
  • Check into the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Warsaw


DAY 6 EXPLORING LODZ

Thursday, September 10, 2020

  • Depart for Lodz. 
  • Visit the Jewish Cemetery of Lodz, the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. Learn about the rich history of the city's Jewish life through the tombstones of its rabbis, scholars and artists, and stand along the “Ghetto field,” a mass grave of the Lodz Holocaust victims. 
  • What Remains: Lodz's rich Jewish communal life included hundreds of synagogues. Today, only one of those synagogues remains. The Reicher Synagogue was the private synagogue of an industrialist family. We'll see the synagogue and learn how it survived Nazi destruction and discuss recent efforts to revitalize Jewish life in Lodz.   
  • The Ghetto: In 1940, all of Lodz's Jews were forced into a tiny area that was sealed off by barbed wire and German soldiers. We'll visit what remains of the Lodz Ghetto and its key sites. At Koscielny Square, we'll learn how even in the most horrendous of circumstances, Jews in the ghetto tried to keep education, social welfare, and communal life going in spite of the increasing disease and atrocities as the ghetto was turned into a slave labor camp.  
  • Lodz - From Industry to Entertainment: We'll experience firsthand the transformation of Lodz's economy. The great complex of 19th century factories known as the Izrael Poznanski Empire is now a 21st-century center of shopping and entertainment called Manufaktura. There will be free time to shop as well. 
  • Deportation and Devastation: Stand at the Radegast train station from where 150,000 Lodz Jews were sent to their deaths. In 1942, this station was used for the first mass deportation of Lodz Jews to the Chelmo extermination camp. In 1944, with defeat in sight, the Nazis sent almost all of Lodz's remaining Jews to Auschwitz and liquidated the ghetto. Our visit will include the original station building, the Tunnel of the Deported, and the Hall of Towns, memorials that mark the destruction of a the once-powerful Jewish community of Lodz. 
  • Depart Lodz and return to Warsaw.

Meals: Breakfast 

Overnight: Warsaw 


DAY 7 THE WORLD THAT WAS

Friday, September 11, 2020

  • The World That Was: A guided visit to the Jewish Cemetery of Warsaw (Gensha) on Okopowa Street is a chance to mourn what has been lost but also to recall the strength of Jewish life in Warsaw. From 1806, many of the great figures of Polish Jewry, including rabbis, communists, scientists, and Yiddish writers, were buried here. One of the world's largest Jewish cemeteries, it was badly damaged in World War II and then neglected for many years. Since the 1990s, Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers have been repairing and trying to trace the names of the many Jews buried here. We'll walk among the earth-laden paths, overgrown thicket and worn-down tombstones and talk about the Jews of Warsaw.  
  • Still Standing: Warsaw had over 400 synagogues before the Holocaust. We'll visit the Nozyk Synagogue, the only stand-alone synagogue that remains today. Badly damaged during the war, it was eventually returned to the Jewish community, restored, and is now an active synagogue.  
  • Take a guided visit to the Warsaw Ghetto. Here, we'll see the Remnants of the Ghetto Wall and the Nathan Rapoport Warsaw Ghetto Memorial and retrace, at the Path of Remembrance, the steps taken in 1943 by heroic fighters during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. At Mila 18, we will commemorate the doomed uprising and at Umschlagplatz, the holding area before transportation to the Treblinka death camp, reflect on the fate of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. 
  • Shelter from the Storm: Local guides will escort us to the site of a remarkable display of heroism. During World War II, hundreds of Jews were hidden at the Zabinski Villa at Warsaw Zoo. Learn how zookeeper Jan Zabinski smuggled Jews to the zoo from the Warsaw Ghetto and see the cellar and abandoned animal enclosures where they hid. We'll also view the piano on which Jan's wife, Antonina Zabinski, would play a special tune to warn that Germans were approaching. Honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations, the story of the Zabinskis inspired the book and film, The Zookeper's Wife
  • Return to the hotel with free time to prepare for Shabbat. 
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue.  
  • Shabbat dinner with members of the local Jewish community.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Overnight: Warsaw 


DAY 8 CULTURE IN WARSAW

Saturday, September 12, 2020

  • A Very Large Symbol of Soviet Power: We'll venture to the top of the Palace of Science and Culture, one of Europe's tallest buildings, for 360-degree views of modern-day Warsaw. Find out why, in the 1950s, Joseph Stalin ordered this massive example of Soviet architecture to be constructed in the war-destroyed capital of Poland. An optional tour of the cavernous interior will include exhibitions, socialist statues, and massive halls where the Polish Communist party met and the Rolling Stones played.  
  • Many Stories: We'll visit the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, located in the center of what once was the Warsaw Ghetto. Opened in 2014, this massive (over 43,000 square feet) museum explores the history of Poland's Jews from their arrival one thousand years ago until today. Our visit will begin with a discussion on the richness and variety of Jewish life in Poland and an introduction to key features and highlights of the museum. It would take weeks to explore the entire museum, but you'll get the chance to visit the exhibitions and issues that especially fascinate you.  
  • A free afternoon in Warsaw will give you the chance to check out the city's combination of rich history and contemporary fun. We recommend:  
    • The 187 acres of gardens, lakes, and glades at Lazienki Park. The city's largest park also includes palaces, museums, and some fine peacocks.  
    • The Fryderyk Chopin Museum. Warsaw's favorite son was a composer and pianist of genius. Multimedia exhibitions explore Chopin's life, while listening booths let you lose yourself in his wonderful music.  
    • Wilanów Palace. Miraculously, the royal palace and grounds known as “Poland's Versailles” survived the carnage of WWII. First commissioned by King Jan III in 1677, it is one of the country's most visited sites due to its beautiful Baroque and neo-classical architecture and lavish interior packed with art and treasures. 
    • The Polish Vodka Museum. Find out why Polish vodka is considered better than the rest as a guide takes you through the vodka-making process and explains the cultural importance of Poland's favorite drink. The visit concludes with a tasting session. 
    • The Warsaw Rising Museum: The city's doomed but heroic uprising against the Nazis in 1944 is commemorated through interactive displays, exhibits, and personal accounts. It's a powerful and large museum, so allow yourself plenty of time. 
  • Farewell dinner and group reflection at a local restaurant.  

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Overnight: Warsaw 


DAY 9 RETURN HOME

Sunday, September 13, 2020

  • Check out of the hotel 
  • Group transfer to Warsaw International Airport. 
  • Departure flight to the US.

Meals: Breakfast 

 


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.

In order to complete your registration, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is required.
 
2020 Land Only Status  
Sep 05 $3365 On sale

Flight Details


Accommodation Details



Novotel Krakow Centrum Hotel Image

Novotel Krakow Centrum Hotel
Krakow

Novotel Kraków Centrum- this 4-star hotel close to Wawel Royal Castle. Indoor pool, sauna and massages at the leisure center In Balance by Novotel Wellness offer relaxation after a day's sightseeing or business meetings. The fully equipped conference center guarantees that your conference will be a great success. Our modern restaurant at Novotel in Kraków offers a welcoming atmosphere and international cuisine

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre Image

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre
Warsaw

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre in the heart of Warsaw; the amid dynamic Warsaw Business District is also close to theatres, trendy shopping malls and many major sights.


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 5, 2020

  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 10 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

All cancelations need to be made in writing. The cancelation fee depends on the date when we receive written notification of your request to cancel your booking. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.

Cancelation fees:

  • Cancelations made 90 or more days prior to departure incur the loss of the deposit.
  • Cancelations made 89 to 46 days prior to departure incur the loss of 50% of the full trip cost.
  • Cancelations made 45 days or less prior to the departure incur the loss of 100% of the full trip cost.

Cancelation fees may also include:

  • Hotel or supplier cancelation fees.
  • Group airfare penalty fee.

Da'at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Please refer to the small print tab on your trip's webpage or in your proposal for your cancelation policy and fees.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact  Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date. 

 

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

  • The trip price includes hotel accommodations. 
  • Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort.
  • We reserve the right to make substitutions with hotels of equal standard. No refunds will be issued for differences between hotel prices.
  • The standard hotel room in Israel is generally smaller than in the US, comfortably accommodating two people in either one queen-size bed or two single beds. Some hotels offer triple rooms consisting of standard twin beds plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for the third person.
  • Special requests such as room selections, bed types, and smoking preferences are subject to availability and are strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. 
  • All hotel rates are non-negotiable and are based on the agreements made between Da'at Educational Expeditions and its suppliers. 
  • Hotel check-in time is generally not before 3:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you are taking a late-night flight, make sure to organize adequate arrangements for accommodation until you are ready to leave for the airport. If a day room is included in the itinerary, check-out time will usually be at 6:00 p.m.

 

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.

 

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • Credit card fees.
  • Transportation in 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.
  • Water or 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 - per participant per day

   Group of 10-19 participants:

Da'at Tour Educator: $10 | Local Guide: $6 | Driver: $3 - per participant per day