The Jewish Heritage Travel tour to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia inclues a visit to the historic Trakai Castle, in Trakai, ancient capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. (photo from jhtravel.org)
In August 2015, the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will launch a new program devoted to exploring Jewish cultural destinations around the world. From the Baltic states to northern Spain, Cuba and Poland, Jewish Heritage Travel journeys will be unique learning experiences led by experts and accompanied by scholars who will shed light on Jewish life throughout the ages. In addition to private tours and lectures by some of today’s top scholars, many of the trips include opportunities to meet with Jewish community leaders abroad.
“We’re so pleased to be able to team up with Dr. Aryeh Maidenbaum, a world-class expert on educational travel,” said David G. Marwell, director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Maidenbaum earned his doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a graduate of the Jung Institute of Zurich. He brings with him more than 25 years of experience organizing and leading educational travel programs, including trips focusing on Jewish culture and history and psychology. He will be supported by a dedicated staff and able to draw from the museum’s resources.
The program will launch on Aug. 30 with Jewish Jewels of the Baltic: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Highlights of the trip include the city of Vilnius, the countryside of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the ancient capital Trakai, and the city of Riga, followed by Tallin. Prof. Sid Leiman, an expert on Lithuanian Jewry, will accompany the trip, which will run through Sept. 10.
From Oct. 28-Nov. 8, travelers can explore Mysticism, Music and Poetry: The Jews of Northern Spain with accompanying scholar Prof. Ray Scheindlin, an expert on the Jews of Spain. Travelers will visit Barcelona, Girona, Tarazona, Madrid, El Escorial and Toledo, where they will have the opportunity to tour the city’s surviving synagogues.
Travelers will discover A Marriage of Different Cultures when they arrive in Havana, Cuba, on Feb. 9, 2016. Once there, they will be treated to presentations by local scholars and experts, and an overnight excursion to Cienfuegos and Santa Clara. Along with the chance to meet local community leaders, there will be the opportunity to explore Havana and the outlying provinces and experience the flavor of Jewish life in Cuba.
The inaugural travel season will conclude with a look at Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: The Jews of Poland, which will take place from May 2-12, 2016. Accompanied by Marwell, travelers will begin in Warsaw, where they will tour the new Museum of the History of the Polish Jews and other sites of interest. The next stop will be the old town of Wroclaw (Breslau), followed by a trip through Poland’s countryside and villages including Lodz. Visitors will continue to Krakow, then to Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and to the recently expanded Auschwitz Jewish Centre, for a private tour with the director.
All trips include deluxe accommodations, land transportation, some meals, and all lectures, presentations, guided tours and site entrance fees. For more information and to register, contact Jewish Heritage Travel at 1-825-256-0197 or [email protected], or visit jhtravel.org.