2019 Culinary Heritage Tour to Lithuania & Poland

October 13–20, 2019

Embark on an unforgettable culinary and historical journey through Jewish Poland and Lithuania

History, Heritage & Herring explores Jewish Eastern Europe through a distinctive culinary lens, taking participants to some of the most culturally rich and dynamic places in all of Jewish history. We will visit sites of major landmarks and Jewish heritage, as well as markets, restaurants, farms, forests, and breweries, where we will sample, learn about, and make some of the foods and drinks that added color and flavor to Jewish life in pre-war Europe.

 

Discover what contemporary Polish and Lithuanian cuisines owe to the legacy of Jewish cooks, bakers, and spice traders. Explore the regional terroir through cooking workshops with local experts and our three extraordinary trip leaders. 

Embark on an unforgettable culinary and historical journey through Jewish Poland and Lithuania, led by Jeffrey Yoskowitz, Jewish food expert and chef-and-scholar-in-residence; hosted by Helise Lieberman, Director of the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland Foundation and co-designed by Magda Maslak, Culinary Curator, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Jeffrey Yoskowitz

Jewish food expert, chef and scholar-in-residence

Helise Lieberman

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

Magdalena Maślak

Culinary Curator, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Ashkenazi

Heritage

Beginning in Vilnius, Lithuania, home to the intellectual flourishing of Yiddish culture and the home of famed vegetarian Jewish restaurateur Fania Lewando, the tour then winds its way through Polish cities, shtetls and countryside, culminating in Warsaw, Poland’s capital, to catch the second annual TISH Jewish food festival. The tour will explore Polish, Lithuanian and Jewish culinary heritage’s shared roots and points of divergence, as well as American Jewish favorites. By the end of the trip, participants will have learned about a history that is obscure to most, added several recipes to their own cookbooks, and, most importantly, eaten a lot of delicious food!

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Book of recipes from Trip

Curated dinners

Cooking Classes

VIP access to TISH Jewish Food Festival

itinerary
Subject to change

ARRIVAL IN VILINIUS: JERUSALEM OF THE NORTH

We start our journey by explorig the beautiful city of Vilnius. 

Arrivals in Vilnius International Airport (VNO)

Suggested arrival time 1:00 pm

TJHT staff members will meet and greet all participants arriving on October 13 (individually and as a group) in the arrival hall upon exiting baggage holding a sign with the Taube Center logo on it. 

Transfer to the hotel. The drive to the city takes approx. 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

Check in, Amberton Cathedral Sq. Hotel Vilnius, located in the very heart of the capital – in the old town, a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

Check in time is 2:00 pm

Early check-ins on request

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Welcome to Vilnius (formerly Polish “Wilno”, Russian “Vilna”, Jewish “Vilne”), a walking tour.

A legendary focal point of Jewish life and learning, today Vilnius is a bustling modern capital of a European Union member state, centered around the beautiful Old Town – rich with centuries-old historic monuments. The tour will include viewing the stumbling stones commemorating Fania and Lazar Lewando, which are laid at Vokiečių g. 14 in Vilnius on the former site of the restaurant “Dieto-Jarska Jadlodajnia”.Frania’s cookbook, “The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook”, was recently translated to English.

6:00 pm Introduction and orientation, followed by a dinner led by Jeffrey Yoskowitz, and Helise Lieberman, Taube Jewish Heritage Tours.

6:45 pm Dinner at Forto Dvaras

Overnight in Vilnius

VILNE/VILNA/WILNO/VILNIUS

Breakfast in the hotel

 

9:00 am Framing the day session with Jeffrey Yoskowitz, scholar-in-residence in the hotel

 

9:15 am – 12:00 pm Walking tour of Vilnius. In the Old Town  we visit the Hales Turges market which has always been popular among the townspeople and its guests for its locally grown and very fresh produce as well as for the home manufactured goods. 

 

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch in the Hales Turgus

1:30 pm Drive to Bagel shop

Visit to the Bagel shop café. 

“I like the atmosphere, the café is cozy, it feels like being at home. I come often, whenever I can, and it doesn’t matter if beigalakh were supposed to be for breakfast or lunch. I can eat bagels day and night.”

Violeta Palčinskaitė, a poet, playwright, scene designer and translator.

 

Culinary workshop

Free time

Dinner with a special guest

Overnight in Vilnius

VILNIUS  – SEJNY – BIALYSTOK: JOURNEY THROUGH THE LAND OF SHTETLS

Breakfast at the hotel

 

Check out

9:00 am Departure via coach for Poland. Framing the day session with Jeffrey Yoskowitz on the coach. (an approx. 3-hour drive)

12:00 pm Arrival in Sejny

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch in Sejn at Karczma Litewska, which specializes in Lithuanian and regional cuisine.

1:30 pm  – 3:00 pm Tour of Sejny. It will include visit to the synagogue, called the White Synagogue in Sejny. It was used by the Nazis as a fire station, the interior was gutted and all furnishings were destroyed. It was restored – with a plain, modern interior – in 1987 and now serves as a cultural center, theater and museum.

We will also visit the Centre “Borderland of Arts, Cultures and Nations”.  The facilities include three buildings, i.e.: The Borderland House, the Old Yeshiva and the White Synagogue.

3:00 pm  Drive to Bialystok (an approx. 3 hour drive)

6:00 pm Check in, Hotel Branicki, a first class hotel reflecting the atmosphere of pre-war Bialystok and the tradition of “Ritz” Hotel.

 

Free time

7:30 pm Dinner Café Esperanto
A diverse menu includes unique regioinal specialties (e.g., bialys).

Overnight in Bialystok

 

BIALYSTOK– SUPRASL – KRUSZYNIANY – BIALYSTOK

Breakfast at the hotel

 

Framing the day session with Jeffrey Yoskowitz

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cooking workshop: Homemade Bialys

Visit to Supraśl: we sample zeppelins, a Lithuanian potato dumpling that has also made its way into northeast Poland.

In Kruszyniany, we enjoy staples of Lipka Tatar cuisine at Tatarska Jurta, a local family restaurant, Tatars, the oldest Muslim community in Poland, trace their roots in the country back to the 14th century.

Dinner in Tatarska Jurta

Overnight in Bialystok

BIALYSTOK – TYKOCIN – LUBLIN

 

Breakfast at the hotel

Check out

 

9:30 am Framing the day session with Jeffrey Yoskowitz on the bus

Drive to Tykocin (an approx. 40 minute drive)

10:15 am – 11:30 am Visit to Tykocin, a former shtetl. It was one of the most important Jewish centres in the First Polish Republic. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the community was considered to be “the second in importance after the community of Kraków. Viewing the Tykocin Synagogue, built in early Baroque style in 1642. 

11:30 am Drive to Lublin (an approx. 4-hour drive)

Lunch en route

3:30 pm Arrival in Lublin

Check in, Hotel Wieniawski. Wieniawski, located in the quiet area of Lublin city center, near the Old Town and other main tourist attractions. the hotel is a fusion of tradition and modernity, fresh design and functionality. 

Free time

Dinner

Overnight in Lublin

LUBLIN: THE GATE TO THE EAST – WARSAW: THE PHOENIX CITY

Breakfast at the hotel

Framing the day session with Jeffrey Yoskowitz

9:00 pm – 11:00 am Brief walking tour of Lublin, and Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, which was the biggest centre for Torah study in the world.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm Cooking workshop: cebularz lubelski, originating from Jewish cuisine, is a flattened wheat roll, with a diameter of 15-20 cm, topped with diced onion and poppy seed, characteristic for Lublin cuisine

1:00 pm Drive to Warsaw

Stop at Mleczna Droga (Milky Way Dairy), to taste freshly made cheeses and learn how they’re produced.

5:00 pm Arrival in Warsaw

Check in, Sofitel Victoria Hotel. Set in the very heart of Warsaw, among the capital’s historic and cultural attractions, Sofitel Warsaw Victoria is a luxury hotel designed by Didier Gomez Studio. The contemporary lobby leads to the restaurant, La Brasserie Moderne, where the guests can try exquisite French and Polish cuisine or sample wine, champagne and local vodkas.

Optional Shabbat services

5:35 pm Sunset

7:00 pm Festive Shabbat dinner at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Overnight in Warsaw

WARSAW: FAREWELL

Breakfast in the hotel

 

Free time or events of the Tish Jewish Food Festival

Optional:

Introductory guided walking tour of Warsaw’s Old Town, with its 15th century Jewish routes, a stroll down the Royal Route to the University and Pilsudski Square.

10:00 am – 11:00 am Visit and shopping at Hala Mirowska

11:30 ampm Cooking workshop at Menora

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm Guided tour through POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, highlighting the sites, historical events and figures included in the tour. 

The Museum, created by Poland’s first public private partnership, opened the doors to its eight-gallery Core Exhibition in 2014.  It draws visitors from around the world, with the largest percentage coming from Poland.  In 2016, it was honored with the European Museum of the Year Award.

Back to the hotel

7:15 pm Van to Praga district

7:30 pm Farewell dinner at ZONI in Praga district

Overnight in Warsaw

 

DEPARTURES

Breakfast in the hotel

Check out

Walk to the JCC Warsaw

 

10:00 am – Boker tow brunch at the JCC Warsaw

A kosher, Polish-Jewish-Israeli brunch served by Maryla Musidłowska and Kuba Chojecki with delicious coffee brewed by Uri Wollner. Everything you can find on the tables is freshly homemade and to give you an idea here is a list of some of our every weeks delicacies: freshly baked focaccia served with hummus, tapenade, egg salad, toppings based on cottage cheese and lots of different pestos, together with fresh vegetables and homemade pickles. And don’t forget our (already famous) fruit & yoghurt granola, the delicious homemade challa pudding, homemade falafel and many many more.
Drinks i.e. water, tea, coffee brewed by a professional barista and milk included.

Transfers from the hotel to the Warsaw International Airport (WAW) will be arranged.

Transfers to the airport are scheduled 3 hours before the departure.

TJHT covers airport transfers only on October 20

Register today

register online or download pdf registration file

Don’t miss out early bird discount! Register by December 31, 2018 and get a 5% discount! use code: HERRING2019

USD 4,890*

PLN 17,965

Per person Double occupancy

  • 8 days/7 nights
  • Deluxe accommodation located in the city centres
  • Private cooking classes led by Jeffrey Yoskowitz
  • VIP access to TISH Jewish Food Festival
  • Curated dinners
  • Two countries: Poland & Lithuania
  • All meals included
  • Full time tour manager throughout
  • Genealogical consultations prior or after the tour
  • Curator-led visit to the world-class POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and other museums

Our TOUR PARTICIPANTS say

"- 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 E. 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
philanthropist
"- 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.