The Cradle of Ashkenazi Culture

June 23 — 30, 2019


For 1,000 years, Poland was the cradle of Ashkenazi Jewish civilization — rich in spiritual, intellectual, artistic, architectural, political and secular traditions, from rabbinic, reform and Hasidic centers, to Yiddish literature, Bundism, and Zionism. 

Much of world Jewry can claim their ancestral roots to Poland, where for hundreds of years, Jews comprised 10% of the entire Polish population. 

Today, 75 years after the tragedy of the Nazi genocide and 30 years after fall of the Communist rule, Jewish life is undergoing a remarkable rebirth.

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Jewish Poland, hosted by Helise Lieberman, Director of the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, and led by Dr. Tomasz Cebulski, PhD in Polish Jewish and Holocaust studies and scholar-in-residence.

Dr. Tomasz Cebulski

PhD in Polish Jewish and Holocaust studies, and scholar-in-residence

Helise Lieberman

Director, Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland Foundation




Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is often referred to as the Phoenix City.  More than 85% of the center of the city was destroyed during World War II. The city is a palisest, with layers of visible and invisible Jewish history and a skyline full of eclectic architectural styles. The city, the largest in Poland, is now a European economic and cultural hub and the home of Poland’s largest Jewish community.

Arrival in Warsaw

Suggested time of arrival time by 12:00 pm

Check-in time starts at 2:00 pm

TJHT staff will meet participants at the airport for hotel transfers

(an approximately 30-minute drive depending on traffic)

Check in, Bristol Hotel and refresh

Founded 1901 by Ignacy Paderewski – world recognized composer and piano virtuoso, the Hotel Bristol has been at the heart of Poland’s rich history and international cultural life.

4:00 pm Welcome and Orientation with scholar-in- residence Dr. Tomasz Cebulski and Taube Center director, Helise Lieberman

Guided walk down through the Grzybowski Sq., former heart of Jewish Warsaw, to Warsaw’s Jewish Community Center

Welcome Dinner with members of Warsaw’s Jewish leaders and community members at the JCC

Walk back to the hotel

Overnight in Warsaw


Breakfast in the hotel

8:45 am – 9:30 am Framing the day session with scholar-in-residence, Tomasz Cebulski

9:45 am Coach to the Umschlagplatz Monument, commemorating the 300,000 Jews deported from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka

10:00 am – 11:00 am Guided walking tour from the Umschlagplatz following the Route of Martyrdom and Struggle, which includes Mila 18, to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Plaza

11:15 am – 2:00 pm Welcome by a Museum senior representative, followed by a curator-led tour through the Core Exhibition, “1,000 Years of Polish-Jewish History”

2:00 pm Lunch in the POLIN Museum

Post visit Q&A session with curator over coffee and tea

Return to the hotel

Dinner in the Old Town on your own

Free evening in Warsaw

Overnight in Warsaw


Breakfast in the hotel

8:45 am – 9:30 am Framing the day session

Brief walking tour of Pilsudski Sq, Saxon Gardens and Grzybowski Sq. en route to the Nozyk Synagogue

Meeting with Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, at Nozyk Synagogue

Coach to Okopowa Jewish Cemetery.

Guided tour of Okopowa Jewish Cemetery

The Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, was established in 1806. The cemetery, a portal into more than 200 years of Jewish life in Warsaw through the present day, contains over 250,000 graves, as well as the mass grave of victims of the Warsaw Ghetto.  

Coach to Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

Visit to Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute with a private viewing of the new permanent exhibition.

The exhibitions tells the story of the hidden archives of the Warsaw Ghetto, which were collected by Jewish researchers imprisoned in the ghetto, hidden underground, and rescued after WII. They are conserved at the Jewish Historical Institute for all to cherish.

Return to the hotel

Dinner and Warsaw wrap up session led by a special guest and scholar-in-residence

Overnight in Warsaw


Early breakfast in the hotel


Departure to Chmielnik via coach (an approx. 3-hour drive).


Chmielnik is a showpiece of Polish religious mosaic, during the so-called “Golden Age” of Polish Kingdom it was one of the centers of Polish protestant movement, consolidated around local congregation, dissolved after disastrous wars of the middle 17th century. The history of the town is also inseparably connected with the history of Jews, who since the end of the same century became the main organizers of local social and economic life. The Jewish community was ultimately destroyed during the Holocaust, but the memory of Chmielnik’s Jewish past is kept and can be discovered with a visit to a surviving synagogue, serving now as a museum and cultural center. The glass bimah, unique on a world-wide scale, is the highlight of the synagogue’s interior.

Lunch break – boxed lunch provided.

Drive from Chmielnik to Tarnów (an approx. 2-hour drive)


Tarnów’s vibrant Jewish community included large numbers of both Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, and the city remains a pilgrimage site for many modern Hasidic Jews. On the day WWII broke out in Europe there were about 25,000 Jews living in Tarnów, making up about 45% of the city’s population. Between June 1942 and September 1944 virtually the entire Jewish population of Tarnów was either shot or deported – almost certainly to their deaths, ending almost exactly 500 years of Jewish cultural life in the city.


Coffee break in Tarnów

Drive from Tarnów to Kraków (an approx. 60-minute drive)


Arrival in Kraków

Check-in, Holiday Hotel and time to refresh

The stylish Holiday Hotel Kraków City Centre is conveniently located in the heart of Kraków’s Old City, only minutes away from the main Market Square, Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, Wawel Castle, the central train station and bus terminal, and Kraków’s biggest shopping centers. This luxury hotel itself is a unique architectural blend of a 19th century palace encompassed by modern buildings.

Dinner on your own

Kraków Jewish Culture Festival concert at the Tempel Synagogue

Overnight in Kraków


Breakfast in the hotel

Framing the day session

Tour of Kazimierz, Jewish quarter of Krakow, a UNESCO Heritage Site. Meeting with the Director of the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival.

The tour includes visiting 3 out of 7 remaining synagogues and the Remuh cemetery.

Guided visit to the Galicia Jewish Museum, an entry in to the heart of prewar Galicia, and meeting with the Director.

Lunch break at JCC Krakow and meeting its Director

Afternoon tour of Podgórze, former ghetto district of Kraków

Back to the hotel

Kraków Jewish Culture Festival concert at the Tempel Synagogue

Overnight in Kraków


Breakfast in the hotel

Framing the day session

Early departure for Auschwitz-Birkenau

Study tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau concluding with a visit to Block 27, curated by Yad Vashem.

Return to Kraków and reflection session

Free time

Dinner on your own

Kraków Jewish Culture Festival concert at the Tempel Synagogue

Shabbat Services (optional)

9:00 pm Shabbat Dinner with the Jewish community of Krakow and 600+ guests from Poland and around the world hosted by the JCC Kraków

Overnight in Kraków


Breakfast in the hotel

Optional Shaharit services

10:00 am – 12:30 pm Guided tour of Kraków’s Old Town and its Jewish history, from medieval times to the start of WWII

Lunch on your own and free afternoon

6:00 pm Summary session of the trip

7:00 pm Farewell dinner

9:00 pm VIP reception with an overview on Szeroka street

6:00 pm – 1:00 am Shalom on Szeroka Street: Finale Concert of the 30th anniversary of Kraków Jewish Culture Festival.

It’s a six-hour, outdoor concert with 30,000 participants, featuring the Festival’s major musical ensembles and soloists.

Overnight in Kraków



Breakfast in the hotel

Departures on your own

These are prices based on deluxe accommodation:
Price per person, double occupancy: PLN 15,870; approx. $4,375*
Price per person, single occupancy: PLN 17,850; approx. $5,250*

*All payments are accepted in Polish currency (PLN – Polish Zloty). The price in USD is presented only for orientation purposes and may vary depending on the exchange rate and bank spread.
1 USD = 3.75 PLN (exchange rate as of November 27, 2018)

For tour details, please call us at toll-free phone number: 800 394 1245; or email us at: tours@taubejewishherutagetours.com

Deadline for registration: February 15, 2019

TJHT is an official partner of the Kraków Jewish Culture Festival and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • Deluxe hotel accommodations in Warsaw and Krakow (double occupancy)

  • Tour leader: Helise Lieberman, Director, Taube Center

  • Scholar-in-residence: Dr. Tomasz Cebulski, PhD, Polish Jewish and Holocaust Studies

  • Full-time Program Coordinator

  • All private services throughout the tour, as specified

  • Ground transfers as specified

  • VIP access to the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival

  • Full breakfast buffet daily at the hotels (kosher-friendly meals available on request)

  • Scheduled meetings and briefings

  • Meals (kosher-friendly, no pork, no shellfish) as specified in the itinerary. All dinners will include cover charge, water and coffee/tea. Alcoholic beverages are not included.

  • Airport transfers
  • Airfare is not included
  • Optional excursions, some of which we can recommend and/or help you arrange
  • Meals, drinks, laundry, entrance fees, porterage, tours/excursions and transfers not specified in the program
  • Any scheduled flights and related taxes
  • Cancellation, baggage and medical insurance
  • Staff gratuities
  • Any new government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases, which are beyond TJHT control
  • Any items of a personal nature or anything not specifically stated as included
  • Transfers on other days than the announced arrival and departure dates
  • Pre- or post-tour hotels or other arrangements
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Services not mentioned


Scholar- led tours

Warsaw: The Phoenix City - Former Shtetls of Chmielnik and Tarnow - Kraków: The Royal Capital


with: Jewish community leaders - Polish government officials - Embassy officers

Shabbat dinner

At the Kraków JCC with 700+ guests from Poland and around the world

Genealogical consultations

Prior or after the tour

Curator - led Visit

POLIN Museum of The History of Polish Jews

Scholar- led tour

Auschwitz - Birkenau Memorial and Museum and other Holocaust sites

VIP access to the 29th Kraków Jewish Culture Festival

The world's largest festival of its' kind

Deluxe accommodation

Register today

One person

Double Occupancy
$ 4,375 PLN 15,870
  • Excellent hotels
  • VIP program
  • Unique experience
EArly bird

One person

Single Occupancy
$ 5,250 PLN 17,850
  • Excellent hotels
  • VIP program
  • Unique experience
early bird


"- The Taube team organized a first-rate tour program for my friends and colleagues.  I always begin my visits to Poland with a briefing by the Taube team.  They bring me up to date on contemporary issues in Poland in a serious, balanced, and honest fashion.  At this moment, when both history and democracy in Poland are in flux, the TJHT team’s forthright approach to the past and the present is more important than ever."    
- Dr. Deborah Lipstadt
Emory University
"Taube Jewish Heritage Tours provided us with a truly memorable visit to Kraków and Auschwitz Birkenau last week. The guides you selected were so knowledgeable and enthusiastic and they went out of their way to insure that we learned as much as possible about the history of Jews in Poland, the Polish people, the holocaust experience and how each of these related to each other.  We couldn’t be more pleased and we thank you so much for your effort in putting this together."
Michael R. Koplik
"- I cannot believe how long ago our wonderful trip to Eastern Europe and Poland was!  Our time in Warsaw was the most meaningful and we both credit you with making that happen!  It was, as I said to you, “so much more than we ever expected!”  Your arranging to meet us at the JCC after our morning tour of Jewish Warsaw was planned so well.  Seeing Jewish families eating and playing together juxtaposed with World War II events really showed the power of your “Jewish renewal” efforts! You and the Taube Foundation have accomplished miracles.  The tour you arranged for us to visit my grandfather’s town of Mszczonow with Jakub was magical for both Ron and I.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I have talked up your foundation and you personally to several potential visitors.  Thank you, Helise, for the opportunity to reconnect with a part of my history that I thought was beyond connection Again I wish wonderful things for you this next year and Shalom for us all."
R. Brown
""There is no doubt that study tour programs are extremely successful. Not only are Jews discovering the important place that Poland played in their history, but Poles are discovering that they can’t understand their own history without thinking about Jews. And so, it’s a very interesting process, where people learn about each other and they also learn about their own identity.""
Dr. Samuel D. Kassow
Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.