Discover Poland with your East Bay Jewish Community

June 23 – July 2, 2017

Embark on a trip like none other — witness the rich, 1000-year-old legacy of Polish Jewry; participate in the Jewish cultural revival underway in Poland.

Federation and Taube Jewish Heritage Tours are excited to take you to Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow — where Jewish culture is experiencing a rebirth after nearly perishing during the Holocaust and under Communism.

For registration and trip details, please call or email Judith Markowitz at 510.809.4901 or – you can use the contact form below Itinerary.

Trip cost: $4,000

  • 5-star accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Event admissions, meals and transfers inside Poland included
  • Airfare not included in cost

Trip chair: Moses Libitzky


  • VIP access to Krakow’s Jewish Culture Festival
  • Private tour of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Warsaw Ghetto Memorials
  • Shabbat dinner hosted by the JCC Krakow
  • Former shtetls in Galicia
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau and the new Yad Vashem exhibit
  • Exclusive viewing of the Warsaw Ghetto Archives
  • Personalized genealogy sessions
  • Meetings with officials from the Polish government and the Israeli and US embassies
  • Heritage Tour of Jewish Lodz



Arrival in Warsaw

TJHT staff will meet and greet the delegation at the Chopin International Airport (WAW)

Transfers to the Bristol Hotel (an approximately 30-minute drive depending on traffic)

The Bristol Hotel, built in 1901 and renovated after the war, offers pre-war charm, an excellent location and superb service. Next door to the Presidential Palace, the hotel was a backdrop in Leon Uris’s Mila 18.

Check in and refresh

Orientation and briefing with scholar-in- residence, Dr. Agi Legutko, Yiddish Department, Columbia University, at the Bristol Hotel

Welcoming Shabbat dinner

Overnight in Warsaw


Breakfast in the hotel

Shabbat services (optional):

  • Nozyk Synagogue, Warsaw’s only synagogue to have survived the war and endured decades of Communism (traditional), is an iconic symbol of Jewish continuity in Warsaw
  • Ec Chaim, a Progressive community, celebrating its sixth year serving the Jewish community of Warsaw, is housed in a building overlooking the Palace of Science and Culture, a gift from Stalin to the Polish People’s Republic

Walking tour led by Dr. Legutko from the Umschlagplatz following the Route of Martyrdom and Struggle, which includes Mila 18, to the POLIN Museum Plaza

Lunch at the POLIN Museum’s restaurant

Welcome by Museum Director Dr. Dariusz Stola, followed by a private guided tour through the Core Exhibition, “1,000 Years of Polish-Jewish History,” led by curator Joanna Fikus

Q&A session and coffee/tea with Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Chief Curator

Return to the hotel

Dinner with cultural and civic leaders

Free evening in Warsaw

Overnight in Warsaw


Breakfast in the hotel

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

Boker Tov Brunch at the JCC Warsaw and meeting with the Director Agata Rakowiecka, JDC representatives, and Jewish communal leaders and activists

Visit to the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute with private viewings of selections from the Ringelblum Archives and consultations with the staff of the Jewish Genealogy & Family Heritage Center

Return to the hotel

Dinner on your own (recommendations provided)

Overnight in Warsaw



Breakfast in the hotel

Early departure by coach to Lodz

Introduction by tour chair, Moses Libitzky

The full-day tour with Milena Wicepolska, tour guide and educator, will include visits to the Jewish cemetery; the Radegast memorial; meeting with the Jewish community leadership; visit to the Matanel Kindergarten, and a session at the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center

Time to enjoy Manufaktura, Israel Poznanski’s former textile factory complex

Dinner in the Delight at Andel’s Restaurant, an impressive venue with its historic red brick façade and renovated interior, housed in a former weaving mill on the grounds of Manufaktura, the city’s premiere shopping, arts and cultural center

Late return to Warsaw

Overnight in Warsaw


Breakfast in the hotel with briefings by U.S. and Israeli embassy representatives

Guided tour of Warsaw’s Old Town with its 15th-century Jewish roots with Dr. Agi Legutko

Free time to shop

Pierogi (a typical Polish dish akin to kreplach) lunch in the Old Town

Tour of the Praga district of Warsaw, on the right side of the Vistula river with Natalia Romik, PhD student, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

Visit to the Zabinski Villa, the site where the zookeeper and his family hid Jews during World War II.

The story is now a film, The Zookeeper’s Wife, based on Mrs. Zabinski’s diary.

Return to the hotel

Free time

Dinner on your own (recommendations to be provided and reservations arranged)

Overnight in Warsaw



Breakfast in the hotel


Luggage loaded on the bus

Departure to Krakow by express train

Light lunch served on the train

Transfer to the Stary Hotel

Check-in and time to refresh

Walking tour of Krakow’s Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, with Dr. Agi Legutko.  Kazimierz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to seven pre-war synagogues, as well as to today’s reviving Jewish community.

Book Release Party, Out on a Ledge

Dinner at the JCC Krakow with Director Jonathan Ornstein

27th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival Concert at the Tempel Synagogue. With its beautiful interior, Tempel Synagogue is not only a place of worship, but also a center of Jewish culture, hosting numerous concerts and programs, especially during the Festival.

Overnight in Krakow



Breakfast in the hotel

Early departure for Auschwitz-Birkenau

Framing the day on the coach with scholar, Dr. Tomasz Cebulski, experienced tour leader in Poland and Central Europe

Study tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau with Dr. Anna Sommer Schneider, Georgetown University

Light lunch at Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oswiecim followed by meeting with Director Tomasz Kuncewicz

Return to Krakow and refresh

Dinner on your own

27th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival concert at the Tempel Synagogue

Overnight at Krakow


Breakfast in the hotel

Guided tour of Krakow’s Old Town and its Jewish history, from medieval times to the start of WWII, with Dr. Karen Underhill, University of Illinois at Chicago


Cultural events including: private tour of Galicia Jewish Museum and exhibition opening of “Rywka’s Diary” with Dr. Anita Friedman, Director, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, San Francisco

Free time

Taube Foundation’s 2017 Irena Sendler Memorial Award ceremony followed by a Jewish Culture Festival concert at the Tempel Synagogue

Shabbat services (optional)

Shabbat dinner with the Jewish community of Krakow and 500 guests from Poland and around the world hosted by the JCC Krakow

Overnight in Krakow



Morning Shabbat services optional OR free time OR optional tours:

  • Shtetl Tour including Tarnow to see its unique preserved bimah and other material heritage remnants
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines, one of the largest tourist attractions in Poland, registered on the UNESCO list and visited by over a million tourists each year
  • Schindler’s Factory Museum. Oskar Schindler’s Factory of Enameled Vessels ‘Emalia’ is now a museum devoted to the wartime experiences in Krakow under the five-year Nazi occupation during World War II.

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

Farewell dinner at Ariel Restaurant

Shalom on Szeroka Street: Finale Concert of the 27th Krakow Jewish Culture Festival – a six-hour, outdoor concert with 30,000 participants, featuring the Festival’s major musical ensembles and soloists; Lounge at Café Ariel; Taube Foundation & Taube Center Reception

Overnight in Krakow



Breakfast in the hotel