KESHET JEWISH HERITAGE TOURS
TO CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
Explore and trace the story of Ashkenazi Jewry past and present, to remember and learn the past and ultimately to better understand our own contemporary Jewish identity, belief and practice.
Our group trip destinations in Central and Eastern Europe include: Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Participants on Keshet Jewish Heritage Tours:
1. Explore the sites which testify to the rich Jewish history in Europe, including synagogues, cemeteries, schools and museums
2. Meet members of local Jewish communities and join them in celebrating holidays and Shabbat
3. Pay tribute at the sites of Jewish martyrdom
4. Sample local cuisines
5. Enjoy the magnificent cultural life, art, music and architecture of Europe
6. Explore castles, attend concerts, shows and opera, and cruise on the rivers
7. Stay at great hotels in the historic centers of Europe
8. Travel on private chartered buses
9. Tour with Master Keshet Tour Educators and expert local guides throughout the trip
10. Have free time to explore on your own
And so much more!
Click for more information about our Jewish Heritage Tours to: Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
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Come with Keshet to Poland and discover over 1,000 years of rich Jewish history.
Most Keshet groups spend 4-7 days in Poland as part of a broader Keshet Jewish Roots trip which can easily include Austria, Czechia, Hungary or Germany. The main cities visited generally include Warsaw, Lublin and Krakow where we can trace centuries of Jewish presence and creativity and encounter today’s small but vibrant Polish Jewish communities. Throughout the Polish countryside and in every Polish city there are physical remains of the rich Jewish communal life that once existed – synagogues, cemeteries, neighborhoods and schools.
In 1939, the 3.3 million Jews of Poland made up the largest Jewish community in Europe. The Germans and their allies murdered almost all of the Jews of Poland, but their legacy is still alive and relevant in contemporary Jewish life all over the world. Keshet groups learn this legacy and stand in solemn memory at some of the sites of German mass murder centers and ghettos including Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Belzec or Chelmno.
While a visit to Poland includes many somber and sobering moments, it also includes much joy and beauty. We celebrate the Jewish life that was over the centuries and the renewed Jewish life that is taking root today. We explore the beautiful countryside and the medieval town centers and castles remembering the Polish rulers who provided sanctuary and protected their Jewish subjects when nowhere else in Europe would do so.
Some additional highlights of a Keshet journey to Poland include: Polin Jewish Museum in Warsaw, Warsaw Old Town, Wawel Castle in Krakow, Krakow Old Town Square, Lublin Old Town, Kazimierz Krakow Old Jewish Quarter, encounters with today’s Jewish community and with members of Polish non-Jewish families who risked all to save their Jewish neighbors and more.
Come with Keshet to Germany. Our visits to Germany focus on Berlin, the center of so much of what has impacted the world in general and the Jewish community specifically over the past two centuries. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as Jews grappled with the new challenges presented by emancipation and freedom, Berlin was in the forefront of the evolution of new models of Jewish living, laying the groundwork for the development of the Reform, Conservative and Modern Orthodox movements. As the capital of Nazi Germany, Berlin was the nerve center
of the brutal German war machine and the mass murder of the Jews of Europe. As a divided city, it came to symbolize the Cold War while the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 heralded the end of the Soviet Union.
Most Keshet groups spend 2-3 days in Germany as part of a broader Keshet Jewish Roots trip which can easily include Czechia, Austria or Poland. One of the ironies which we explore in the course of a visit to Germany, is the tension inherent in the German Jewish community being the fastest growing Jewish community outside of Israel.
Some highlights of a Keshet visit to Germany often include the Brandenburg Gate, The Berlin Holocaust Memorial, The Berlin Jewish Museum, The Tiergarten Memorials to Gay, Sinti & Roma Victims of Nazism, Wansee, Checkpoint Charlie and the remains of the Berlin Wall, Potsdam, Dresden, encounters with today’s German Jewish community and more.
Come with Keshet to Vienna – discover its beauty, power, grandeur, architecture, art and music - and the triumphs and tragedies of its long Jewish history.
Most Keshet groups visit Austria as a 2 – 3 day segment within a broader Keshet Jewish Roots Tour. Austria – and especially its capital city Vienna - is easily accessible from Poland, Czechia and Hungary.
Some highlights of a Keshet visit to Vienna often include: The Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens, St. Stephens Cathedral, The Stadtempel Synagogue, The Jewish Museum, Hofburg Palace, The Imperial Art Museum, the Ringstrasse, a live classical music performance and more.
Come with Keshet to Prague and discover why so many visitors fall in love with this city. From its magnificent Old Town Square to the Old Jewish Quarter to the Prague Castle, Prague has a special magic and charm.
Most Keshet groups spend 3 – 4 days in Czechia as part of a broader Keshet Jewish Roots trip which can easily include Germany, Austria, Poland or Hungary. In addition to exploring Prague in depth, many of our groups visit and stand in solemn memory at the Nazi era Terezin Ghetto and get to know members of the renewed Jewish communities in the city and/or in the Czech countryside.
Some highlights of a Keshet visit to Prague often include: The Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, The Jewish Museum and Synagogues, Wenceslas Square, Opera or Classical Music Performance, Shabbat services with the Jewish Community, a dinner cruise on the Vltava River, beer tasting and more.
Come with Keshet to Budapest, home to the largest Jewish community in Central and Eastern Europe to have survived the Shoah.
Most Keshet groups spend 2-3 days in Budapest as part of a broader Keshet Jewish Roots trip which can easily include Austria, Czechia or Poland.
Some highlights of a Keshet visit to Budapest often include Castle Hill, The Dohany Synagogue and Museum, a cruise on the Danube River, a dip in the famous hot spring “baths”, Fisherman’s Bastion, Shoes on the Danube Memorial, a chance to sample Hungarian Jewish cuisine, encounters with today’s Jewish community and more.
Ever wonder what a Litvak is? Come to Lithuania and Latvia with Keshet to find out!
The Jewish community of Lithuania in general and Vilna specifically - known as "The Jerusalem of Lithuania" - was once one of the most important Jewish communities in the world. Home of great rabbis, scholars and yeshivas, in the early 20 th century it also became a center of enlightenment and Jewish political life, educational institutions, libraries and theatres, Jewish intellectuals, poets, authors, artists, craftspeople and educators. Today’s tiny surviving Jewish communities grapple with the reality that during WWII, almost of all of the Jews of Lithuania
and Latvia were murdered, often by home grown anti-Semitic mass murderers.
Most Keshet groups spend 7-8 days in Lithuania and Latvia. (A 2 -3 day visit to Poland can be easily added as well). Some highlights of a Keshet journey to Lithuania and Latvia include learning about Rabbi Eliyahu ben Sholom Zalman (1720-1790) the towering Rabbinic figure known as the “Vilna Gaon”, Vodka tastings, Shabbat with the Jewish community of Vilna, the wooden synagogue at Ziezmariai, visiting Trakai to learn about the Kairite community, Jewish museums, memorials and communities in Kovno and Riga and more.