• “This was a richly rewarding visit. I am deeply grateful to the Taube Center for all that it is doing for people interested in learning about Jewish life in Poland, past and present. I am now working with TJHT to bring students from my university to Poland, so that they can make discoveries of their own.”    

    Dr. Jeffrey Shandler Chair and Professor of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University

Study Tours

For students, faculty and researchers, there’s nothing like the opportunity to explore your academic field of interest at its source. TJHT consults with its committee of scholars to design tours that can be adjusted to specific curricula and meet the diverse interests of each campus group eager to encounter Poland’s past and present. We create thematic-based study tours for students and faculty that combine site visits, lectures and workshops with educational and cultural activities.

At TJHT we believe the most important ingredient in good student travel programs is variety. On the one hand, students and faculty will visit the great monuments of the Jewish past in Poland, such as the remnants or restorations of synagogues and cemeteries. And on the other hand, they will experience the present, alive with real people, JCCs, Hillels, literary and music festivals, and interact with people their own age. Participants meet with local scholars, civic and political leaders, and cultural activists to ensure an educational journey that is rigorous, relevant, and fulfilling. As our academic advisor, Dr. Samuel Kassow has said:

“We meet with Poles, both Jewish and not Jewish, to understand that Poland is no longer part of what we used to quaintly call ‘Eastern Europe’; that is a relic of the Cold War. Instead we encounter today’s Poland, which is in the center of the European Union — in fact, one of the most dynamic countries in the EU. An interesting process is going on. Not only are Jews discovering the important place that Poland played in their history, but Poles are discovering they can’t understand their own history without thinking about Jews. People are learning about one another and from one another, and they are also learning about their own identities.”

Study tour themes include:
  • On the Edges of the Ghetto: Cultural and Spiritual Resistance
  • Anti-Communist Opposition and Reclamation of Jewish Identity
  • They Were Our Age: Youth Fighting for Freedom in WWII, 
the Holocaust and the anti-Communist opposition
  • Tradition and Faith: Jewish Communal Life in Poland Past and Present
  • The Heritage of Litvaks and Galicianers
  • Destruction and Reconstruction of Polish Multicultural Identities
  • Living in the Shadows of World War II and Communism
  • Polish Entrepreneurship: Business, Technology and Culture
  • Transmitting Intangible Heritages

 

Standard Itinerary for University Hillels

Standard Itinerary for University Hillels


Day One: Warsaw

Arrive at the International Warsaw Chopin Airport

  • Participants with be met by Taube Jewish Heritage Tours Staff for transfer to hotel.

Check into hotel. Time to refresh and rest.

Welcome lunch at a nearby restaurant

Walking workshop along the Royal Route and through the Old Town

Orientation and dinner with representatives of Warsaw’s Jewish Community


Day Two: Warsaw

Breakfast at the hostel

Visit Plac Grzybowski, a square at the heart of Jewish life in Warsaw

  • Meet with Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich
  • Visit the only surviving pre-war synagogue in Warsaw

Lunch at the Lauder-Morasha Jewish Day School, the first Jewish school to open in Poland after the fall of Communism

Afternoon walking tour of Jewish Warsaw, past and present

  • Tour the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery
  • Visit the site of the Umschlagpatz, now a memorial
  • Follow the Route of Memory & Martydom, including Mila 18
  • Explore Hala Mirowska, an indoor market hall

Meeting with Forum for Dialogue Among Nations representatives

Dinner at JCC Warsaw

  • Meet with members and staff of the young JCC over a kosher dinner

Overnight in Warsaw


Day Three Warsaw – Kraków

Breakfast at the hostel

Visit POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • Welcome at POLIN Museum by Director Dariusz Stola
  • Lunch on your own at Besamim restaurant (kosher service provided)
  • Special guided tour through the POLIN Museum’s Core Exhibition of the 1,000 year history of Jews in Poland

Afternoon train to Kraków

Welcome and Dinner at JCC Krakow

  • Greetings from JCC Krakow Director Jonathan Ornstein

Day Four: Kraków

Breakfast at the hostel

Afternoon walking tour through Kazimierz, Kraków’s Jewish district

  • Visit it’s seven surviving synagogues
  • Walk through the hub of Kraków’s Jewish revival
  • Tour through the site of the annual Jewish Culture Festival, the largest of its kind in the world

Visit the Galicia Jewish Museum

  • Conversation with Director Jakub Nowakowski
  • Guided tour of the GJM

Pierogi lunch

Afternoon walking tour through Krakow’s Old Town, listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites

  • See the ancient underground foundations of the city
  • Wander through the centuries-old Main Market Square and Cloth Hall
  • Visit Collegium Maius, the university where Copernicus studied

Free time to explore Kraków

Dinner

Overnight in Kraków


Day Five: Nowa Huta – Wieliczka – Kraków

Breakfast at the hostel

Visit Nowa Huta (by bus)

  • Walking tour of the city, the Church and Polish Resistance in Nowa Huta
  • Light lunch with a short movie screening

Visit Wieliczka Salt Mines (by bus)

Evening and dinner in Kraków on your own

Overnight in Kraków


Day Six: Auschwitz-Birkenau – Oświęcim – Kraków

Early breakfast at the hostel, before departure to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Guided Study tour of Birkenau and Auschwitz State Museum

Lunch at the Auschwitz Jewish Center

  • Meet with peers from the town of Oświęcim

Return to Kraków for Shabbat services at the Izaak Synagogue

Shabbat dinner organized by JCC Krakow for guests from Kraków and around the world

Overnight in Kraków


Day Seven: Kraków

Breakfast at the hostel

Shabbat morning services at Izaak Synagogue

Shabbat lunch at JCC Krakow

  • Meet with the GIMEL Jewish Student Club

Free time to explore Kraków

Dinner, lecture, and wrap-up session

Overnight in Kraków


Day Eight: Chmielnik – Warsaw

Early breakfast at the hostel; Check out

Visit the former shtetl of Chmielnik

  • Tour the Chmielnik synagogue and the town’s Jewish cemetery

Depart for the International Warsaw Chopin Airport for return flight to USA

Exploring Poland/Polin

EXPLORING POLAND/POLIN
1,000 Years of Polish and Jewish History along the Vistula River

This past itinerary is from TJHT’s annual study tour for American college students of Polish-Catholic and Polish-Jewish origin to learn about the multi-cultural history of Poland. The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Republic of Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Day One:
Welcome to the Ancient Capital of Polish Kings
  • Free time upon your arrival in Kraków
  • Welcome and Orientation with Faculty Advisor
  • Walk to Kraków’s Main Market Square along Floriańska Street
  • Dinner with Faculty Advisor
  • Overnight in Kraków

Day Two: Urban Renewal in Kazimierz – Bridging the Past and the Present
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • A brief Polish and Yiddish languages lesson to have an overview of the languages that were most commonly spoken in Poland until WWII. Throughout the trip we’ll learn some Polish and Yiddish words.
  • Walking tour of Kazimierz, the former Jewish district of Kraków, to explore how past and present relate to one another and why this district was made a UNESCO Heritage Site, with Faculty Advisor
  • Lunch in Kazimierz
  • Tour of Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum
  • Free time in the afternoon
  • Cultural Regeneration and Heritage Transmission panel discussion at JCC Krakow
  • Dinner underground in Kraków with volunteers from the Jewish Culture Festival and JCC Krakow
  • Wrap Up Session
  • Overnight in Kraków

Day Three: City of Culture, Art, & Underground Treasures 
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Morning Walking Tour of Old Town including Wawel Hill, Cathedral, Bell Tower, Royal Tombs, Planty, Papal Window, Collegium Maius Museum, Main Market Square, Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Church, as well as a visit to the Rynek Underground Exhibition
  • Lunch
  • Urban Games followed by a coffee break and free time
  • Dinner and Wrap Up Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Overnight in Kraków

Day Four: Auschwitz-Birkenau 
  • Early Departure
  • Guided Study visit through Birkenau and Auschwitz State Museum
  • Lunch at Auschwitz Jewish Center
  • Wrap Up Session and a short visit to the Synagogue & Museum in Oświęcim
  • Return to Kraków for an afternoon and dinner on your own
  • Overnight in Kraków

Day Five: Into the Polish Countryside – Sandomierz and Kazimierz as Archetypical Polish Towns and Landscapes
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Bus to Sandomierz
  • Coffee and ice cream break in Sandomierz and short walk through the Old Town including the former synagogue and Sandomierz Cathedral
  • Bus to Kazimierz Dolny
  • Late lunch and tour in Kazimierz Dolny
  • Bus to Warsaw
  • Shabbat services and dinner at Ec Chaim Synagogue in Warsaw
  • Wrap Up Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Overnight in Warsaw

Day Six: Warsaw, The Phoenix City – Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Polish Heritage
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Into the Cityscape walking workshop through Warsaw’s Old Town, Royal Route, and Pilsudski’s Square
  • Short coffee break at the History Meeting House and view the exhibition The First Photographers of Warsaw – Beyer Brandel, Fajans
  • Lunch
  • Visit to the top floor and a panoramic view from the Palace of Culture and Science
  • Visit to the Warsaw 1944 Rising Museum
  • Panel about the Warsaw Uprising & Wrap Up Session
  • Dinner with peers
  • Outdoor dancing and prewar hits concerto near Stacja Muranow, an event during the “Anders’ Festival”
  • Overnight in Warsaw

Day Seven: Deconstructing Myths and Stereotypes – Transforming the Past into a Living Identity
  • Time for optional church services or free time
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Meeting with a Warsaw Uprising Veteran and member of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa)
  • Workshop led by Faculty Advisor on deconstructing myths and stereotypes: “Comparing Polish American and Jewish American images and impressions of Polish history and contemporary Poland”
  • Walking tour of Muranów
  • Lunch at Besamim Restaurant in POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews
  • Tour of the POLIN Museum’s Core Exhibition, starting in The Town Gallery, through the lens of the theme Historical Community of Poles and Jews: Points in Common, Testimonies and Experiences
  • Dinner and Wrap Up Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Overnight in Warsaw

Day Eight: Memory, Space, Art, & Innovation
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Meeting with a representative from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Visit Grzybowski Square taking the themes of the POLIN Museum’s 19th century gallery into the field, followed by a short walk through Próżna and Grzybowski Square, Nożyk Synagogue, and Kościoł Wszystkich Świętych
  • Visit to Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to view their As You Can See Polish Art Today gallery
  • Lunch & afternoon on your own
  • Dinner with young business and design innovators, and discussion on Polish Innovation in Business, Technology, and Design
  • Wrap Up Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Overnight in Warsaw

Day Nine: Multicultural Perspectives on Polish Heritage – The Polish North as an Example of Mixing Cultures in the Baltic Region of the Former Hansa; Teutonic Traits in Polish Landscape
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Bus to Toruń
  • Lunch at Toruń’s Old Market Square
  • Gothic at Your Fingertips (Gotyk na Dotyk): Touring City Hall, Copernicus’ House, Szeroka Street, New Town Market Square
  • Bus to Malbork Castle for a tour
  • Bus to Gdańsk
  • Wrap Up Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Dinner in Sopot
  • Overnight in Sopot

Day Ten: Polish Amber Coast 
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Poland’s Emigrees: Escape to a better life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the roots of a Polish diaspora Guided visit to the Core Exhibit of the Emigration Museum in Gdyńia
  • Lecture about Kashubians on the bus
  • Lunch at the Windmill in Reboszewo
  • Pottery workshop at the 150 year old Necel Family Workshop in Chmielno
  • Visit the beach in Sopot
  • Sightseeing with Polish musician through Sopot, visiting Monte Cassino Street, the Old Settlement, the Pier, and the Old Lighthouse
  • Dinner
  • Overnight in Sopot

Day Eleven: From a Gateway of the Commonwealth to the Birthplace of Freedom 
  • Framing the Day Session with Faculty Advisor
  • Guided visit through the European Solidarity Center
  • Panel Discussion on Gdańsk Solidarity Movement with Solidarity workers and activists who are proud of what has been achieved in the last 25 years or who are frustrated by the challenges that remain. Learn about efforts to protect the remaining shipyard site
  • Lunch
  • Gdańsk Walking Tour
  • Afternoon free time or a meeting with the owner/curator of the Wyspa Art Institute to learn about the contemporary art scene in Poland and its role in urban regeneration
  • Wrap Up Session and Tour Summary with Faculty Advisor
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Overnight in Sopot

Day Twelve
  • Early departure to Warsaw by bus
  • Departures and Extensions