Guaranteed Departure

WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT POLAND

Join us on an emotional and spellbinding journey to Poland, once the hub of Jewish life around the world and home to 3.5 million Jews. Poland is usually associated with bleak greyness because of the Holocaust but we will also be experiencing this fascinating and enchanting country through a colorful lens as we explore the rich pre-war cultural and intellectual contributions of Polish Jews that pushed boundaries and left a distinctive impact on the world. It’s not only Poland’s past that is colorful but also its present and future as we encounter the revival of Jewish life today, a testimony to the resilience of the Jewish people in the face of brutality and devastation. In a small and intimate setting with like-minded travelers, your expert educator will take you back in time through the complexity and richness of Jewish history in Poland while introducing you to a country of extraordinary beauty and culture – from Krakow’s medieval markets and klezmer music to Warsaw’s creative street art and the Warsaw Zoo, a large green island in the middle of the city that was inspiration for The Zookeeper’s Wife.

Best of Poland

  • The story of 1,000 years of Jewish history come alive
  • The Warsaw Ghetto: its uprising and legacy
  • Mourn the destruction of Jewish life
  • Warsaw Zoo, inspiration for The Zookeeper’s Wife
  • Traditional Klezmer music
  • Experience authentic Polish cuisine
  • Shabbat with the Krakow JCC
  • What’s it like to live as a Jew today in Poland?

THE DA'AT DIFFERENCE

  • Small & intimate group
  • Guided by an expert educator and a local guide
  • Behind-the-scenes exploration of the human stories
  • Access to lesser-known sites
  • Trip of remembrance and renewal
  • Backed by a company you can count on
  • Superb lodgings & attention to detail

DAY BY DAY

  • Depart the US for your journey to Poland. 

Overnight: Flight

  • Welcome to Poland! At Krakow International Airport, your driver will be waiting to greet you and drive you to the hotel for check-in.  
  • 5:00 p.m. You will meet your fellow travelers, expert educator, and local tour guide. 
  • You are going to begin your journey by checking out the beating heart of Krakow, the Main Market Square. The very best of vibrant modern street life combined with medieval architecture, this market is a rare and beautiful treat. 
  • Your first evening in Poland, you will enjoy delicious Polish cuisine in a welcome dinner followed by a traditional Klezmer music concert.  

Meals Included: Dinner
Overnight: Krakow

  • Begin your day by meeting Dr. Edyta Gawronwho heads the Center for the Study of the History and Culture of Krakow Jews at Jagiellonian University. She will share fascinating insights into the complex relationship between Jews and their Polish and Ukrainian neighbors.  
  • The Kazimierz Jewish Quarter has been the heart of Jewish life in Krakow for 500 years and is now one of the city’s most attractive and Bohemian areas. You will see Poland’s oldest standing synagogue, the Altshul; the Rema Synagogue, one of the few synagogues in Krakow still active today; the Rema Cemetery, where many renowned rabbis are buried; the Tempel Synagogue, a Reform synagogue before the war and today a key venue in the revival of Jewish culture in the city. 
  • You will then walk the tragic path taken in 1941 by thousands of Krakow Jews – across the bridge from Kazimierz to the site of the Podgorze ghetto. Your guided visit will include: 
    • The Ghetto Heroes Square, including the memorial to the Jews that were deported from here.   
    • The Under the Eagle Pharmacy, a pharmacy inside the ghetto run by Tadeusz Pankiewitza Polish-Catholic pharmacist who saved many Jews.  
    • The Oscar Schindler Factory Museum, which tells the story of Krakow and its residents under Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945. The museum is located in the enamel factory owned by Schindler and his wife Emilie, which they used to protect over 1,000 Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.   
  • Visit the Galicia Jewish Museum, with its powerful photographs of Jewish life in Polish Galicia.  
  • Return to the hotel. 
  • Experience authentic Krakow cuisines and culture on a tasting tour as you discover the best local foods and markets. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Krakow

  • You will visit the Auschwitz–Birkenau complex, the largest of the Nazi concentration and extermination centers, where over 1.1 million people lost their lives. You’ll reflect on the personal stories of some of the Jews held and killed here and read powerful accounts from survivors.  
  • Boxed lunch en route. 
  • It’s time to process everything you have experienced at the Oswiecim Synagogue, where you will meet with Tomasz Kuncewiczdirector of the Oswiecim Jewish Center.  
  • Return to Krakow with time to freshen up before Shabbat. 
  • (Optional) Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue.  
  • Enjoy Shabbat dinner at the Krakow Jewish Community Center with members of the local community and JCC director Jonathan Ornstein. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Krakow

  • Check out of the hotel. Your luggage will be transferred separately to Warsaw. 
  • So long, Krakow. Travel north by train (approx. 2.5 hours) to Poland’s capital, WarsawAt the train station, you will meet your local tour guide. 
  • Explore Koszyki Market Hall, a bustling, renovated market hall for trendy restaurants & boutiques, street food & cultural events. 
  • You’ll visit the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, located in the center of what once was the Warsaw Ghetto. It would take weeks to explore the entire museum, but you’ll get the chance to see the exhibitions that especially fascinate you. Meet Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Program Director of the Core Exhibition of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Check into the hotel. 
  • Enjoy a free evening in Warsaw, once considered Europe’s “city of lights.” It is now regaining that reputation with its dazzling array of restaurants, bars, cafés, and other options.  

Meals Included: Breakfast
Overnight: Warsaw

  • In your visit to the Jewish Cemetery of Warsaw (Gensha) on Okopowa Street, you will not only mourn the lives that were lost – including rabbis, communists, scientists, and Yiddish writers – but also recall the immense strength of Jewish life in Warsaw.  
  • It is fitting that after reflecting on the loss, we turn our eyes to the present and future. Enjoy brunch at the Warsaw JCC and learn about the joys and challenges of rebuilding Jewish communal life in Poland.  
  • Was there really a Ghetto here: Not much is left of the Warsaw Ghetto after it was demolished by the Nazis. But if you know where to look you can find testimony of Jewish life during World War 2, Hiding behind tall modern buildings. Our tour will include:  
    • The Ghetto wall – the Warsaw ghetto was separated from the rest of the city by a brick wall. It created two distinctly different realities 12 inches apart. 
    • Warsaw had over 400 synagogues before the Holocaust. You’ll visit the Nozyk Synagogue, the only stand-alone synagogue that remains today.  
    • Grzybowski Square was once a bustling center of Jewish life. It has around it Jewish and Christian buildings, culture, religious, residential and commercial institutions.  
    • Waliców Street was the home of the Jewish young poet Władysław Szlengel, who’s words caught the spirit of a whole generation imprisoned in the Ghetto.  
    • Chłodna street separated two parts of the Ghetto. This is one of the places where past and present scenery changed only little and can allow us to reconstruct life in the Ghetto.  
  • “Let the World Read and Know What the Murderers Have Done”:  Explore the Ringelblum Archives, an eye-witness record of life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto. These diaries, letters, underground newspapers, and studies were collected and collated, at great risk, by a group of Jewish historians and leaders living in the Ghetto. We’ll see the milk cannisters and metal boxes where Dr. Emmanuel Ringelblum and his “Oneg Shabbat” team hid this material and examine what they reveal about Jewish life under Nazi terror. 
  • Return to the hotel.  
  • (Optional) A guided evening walk through Warsaw’s Old Town, once a center of European cultural life and now again a vibrant area of fashionable restaurants and shops as well as medieval walls and cathedrals.  

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Warsaw

  • It’s time to see the Warsaw Ghetto. Here, we’ll stop at the Nathan Rapoport Warsaw Ghetto Memorial and retrace, at the Path of Remembrance, the steps taken in 1943 by heroic fighters during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. At Mila 18, we will commemorate the doomed uprising and at Umschlagplatz, the holding area before transportation to the Treblinka death camp, reflect on the fate of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. 
  • You are going to visit the Warsaw Zoo, a large green island in the middle of the city, whose wartime zookeeper Jan Zabinski inspired the book and film, The Zookeeper’s Wife.  
  • The Polish Vodka Museum in Warsaw is the only place dedicated to the history and production process of Poland’s favorite drink. Discover the secrets and special taste of Polish vodka as well as food pairing.  
  • Return to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon taking care of last-minute shopping, packing, and pampering. 
  • Private farewell dinner with your expert educator and the new friends you have made during this journey. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Warsaw

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out. 
  • Transfer to Warsaw Airport and check in for your return flight to the US. We can’t wait for you to join us again for your next adventure. 

ACCOMMODATIONS

Radisson Blu
Krakow
Hotel website
Sofitel Victoria Hotel
Warsaw
Hotel website
Days
Hours
Min.
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Why You Should Join me: Message From GILAD PELED

Gilad

I’d like to invite you to join me on a journey to unravel the Jewish story of Poland. Legend has it that when the first Jews arrived in Poland, the birds on the trees would sing to them “Po-Lin, Po-Lin.” Identifying the two words as Hebrew for “lodge” and “here,” the Jews decided to build their homes and future right there. Since then, the Hebrew name for Poland is Polin, home to countless generations of Jews. My family also originates from Poland, but It is not only my personal roots that connects me to the country, but also our common Jewish roots. From the old and dilapidated synagogues of long-forgotten shtetls to the mighty capital cities to the tragic end that Polish Jews met during the Holocaust, the Jewish story can be felt everywhere, woven in thin threads, touching the past and present.

For 15 years, I have shared in people’s amazement at discovering the Jewish story, meeting the people of the past, and hearing their voices in the places they lived. I cannot wait for you to experience with me this vast and beautiful country, rich with history, culture, and wonder.

  • 6 nights’ accommodations at select hotels.
  • 5.5 touring days with English-speaking local tour guides.
  • 5.5 Days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • Da’at tour educator accompanying the group throughout.
  • Train ticket from Krakow to Warsaw, with separate luggage transfer.
  • Transfer from/to the airport.
  • Porterage at the hotels.
  • Meals: daily breakfast. 2 lunches & 4 dinners
  • Transportation in evening when dinner is on own.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d’hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • Water or snacks on the bus (unless indicated otherwise)
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Gratuities for Tour Educator (Guide) and Driver. We recommend the following guidelines for tips (amounts indicated in US dollars): Group of 10-19 participants: Da’at Tour Educator: $10 | Local Guide: $6 | Driver: $3 – per participant per day
  • REGISTRATION DEADLINE: July 7, 2020
  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 full paying participants. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program. 
  • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
  • PAYMENT POLICY: Da’at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Notification of any changes will be made explicitly to the participants where relevant.
  • Initial deposit of $500 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due at the time of reservation unless another amount is indicated for the particular trip.
  • Final payment is due 90 days before the scheduled trip begins, or as specified in your invoice.
  • CANCELATION POLICY:All cancelations need to be made in writing. The cancelation fee depends on the date when we receive written notification of your request to cancel your booking. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Cancelation fees:
    • Cancelations made 90 or more days prior to departure incur the loss of the deposit.
    • Cancelations made 89 to 46 days prior to departure incur the loss of 50% of the full trip cost.
    • Cancelations made 45 days or less prior to the departure incur the loss of 100% of the full trip cost.
  • Cancelation fees may also include:
    • Hotel or supplier cancelation fees.
    • Group airfare penalty fee.
  • Da’at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Please refer to the small print tab on your trip’s webpage or in your proposal for your cancelation policy and fees.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date. 
  • HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: The trip price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Standard-size rooms are generally smaller outside of North America. They usually accommodate two people and include either one queen-size bed or two single beds (pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard). While some hotels provide an extra bed in a standard-size room for use by a child under the age of 12, we recommend that families of four or more should book adjoining or connecting rooms.
  • MEALS: Are included as specified in the itinerary.
  • TOUR EDUCATOR OR GUIDE: All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.
  • GRATUITIES INCLUDED:: All gratuities for restaurant staff at group meals are included.