Taube Jewish Heritage Tours is an official tour provider for the award-winning POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw as well as the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, the largest such festival in the world.
Walking Warsaw’s streets or smelling the sea air of Gdańsk on the Baltic coast, studying the architecture of Łódź or dancing in the market squares of Kraków, our travelers don’t just witness the sites from the sidelines, they actively engage in transformative journeys that continue long after they’ve returned home.
Books or documentaries can only bring you so far – nothing compares to actually being in Poland, where so much of our Ashkenazi heritage took root and developed centuries ago and continues to this day. Taube Jewish Heritage Tours are designed to go well beyond the usual guided tour, facilitating intimate, memorable, life-changing experiences.
Toward these objectives, we partner with major cultural and academic institutions in Poland to create Specialty Tours for the inquisitive, adventurous traveler like yourself. The two tour offerings below were developed in partnership with two award-winning museums: the Galicia Jewish Museum, in Kraków, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, in Warsaw.
Galicia was a province of the Austro-Hungarian empire which came into being when Poland was partitioned between three great powers at the end of the 18-century (Austria-Hungary, Tsarist Russia, and Prussia). Consequently, Poland disappeared from the map of Europe for the next 125 years. At the end of WWI, Poland reappeared as an independent nation and this time it was Galicia that disappeared from the map as a distinct geo-political entity. Its territory was incorporated into the newly independent Polish democratic republic. After the upheavals of WWII, the boundaries were changed once again. The territory of old Galicia was divided in half: that which would had once been eastern Galicia was given to Ukraine, and Poland kept only the western half. But the memory of the region remains very strong, both among local people and also among the descendants of Jews who were born there. The most important cities of western Galicia were Kraków, Katowice and Oświęcim, and the shtetls include Chielmnik and Myślenice; the historic cities of eastern Galicia include Lviv and Drohobych.
On both our 8-day (below) and 10-day tours, we travel the breadth of Galicia, across Poland and Ukraine.
Taube Jewish Heritage Tours and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews share a common goal to enable visitors from around the world to understand Poland’s multicultural landscape and the centuries’ old Jewish culture that developed in Poland.
With the POLIN Museum’s core exhibition as the entry point, TJHT’s itineraries for its Museum Without Walls making use of the museum as our base, we explore Poland’s 1000-year Jewish history, starting with the museum’s state-of-the-art exhibition galleries, and then fanning out to relevant sites in cities and villages across Poland. This special journey illuminates why Jews settled in Poland, how Jewish communities grew into the epicenter of the Jewish world up to WWII, what distinguishes Polish Jews from other Jews, what were the enduring cultural contributions they made, and what happened to those who returned to Poland after the Holocaust.
As further example, the Warsaw-based walking tours offer segments titled “The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto”; “The Urban Kibbutz Movement;” and “Jewish Soldiers and Resistance Fighters in WWI and WWII.” The Kraków-based tours include segments such as “The UNESCO Heritage Sites in the Historic Jewish District Kazimierz”; and “The Jewish ‘Rockefellers’ Who Developed Poland’s Early-20th Century Oil Industry”. In the city of Łódź, we show you “Jewish Contributions to the Arts and Industrial Modernization.” The tours are enriched by workshops, meetings and lectures, and cultural events.
The 10-Day itinerary includes Warsaw, Góra Kalwaria (Ger), Auschwitz, Kraków & Kazimierz, Łódź, Kazimierz Dolny, Lublin, Chmielnik and Szydłów.