Makom Solel Lakeside
Journey to Central Europe

Led by Rabbi Ike Serotta and Vanessa Ehrlich

Apr 7, 2024 - Apr 17, 2024

  • DESTINATION Central Europe
  • Who’s Going Members + Friends & Family of Members
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 11 DAYS
  • Group Size 10+
  • Price From $5,999
Program is tentative and subject to change. Connect with our Customer Care Team by calling: (888) 230-6008 Mon.-Thur. from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

YOUR journey

J² crafts journeys of inspiration, education, and Jewish connections to Israel and worldwide. We are guided by a simple but powerful concept: No two trips are the same; each experience should be personal, meaningful, and backed by superb service. Travel is not just about the places you visit, but the connections you make along the way.

  •   Art & Culture
  •   Heritage
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Social Justice
  •   Street Food
  •   Current Affairs
  •   UNESCO Heritage Sites
  •   Food Tasting Tour

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
DEPARTURE
Sun. Apr 7, 2024
  • Depart the USA.
Overnight: Flight
DAY 2
ARRIVAL IN WARSAW
Mon. Apr 8, 2024
  • Arrive at Warsaw International Airport.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Walk through Warsaw’s Old Town. Established in the 13th century and destroyed by the German army during WWII, it was meticulously rebuilt using the original stones.
  • Walk through the Old Town Market Place, once the center of European cultural life, and now a vibrant and colorful center. Explore the fashionable restaurants and shops, the beautiful, medieval architectural city walls, and a lookout of the Warsaw Barbican and St. John’s Cathedral.
  • Welcome dinner and orientation with your tour educator.
Overnight: Warsaw Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
THE WORLD THAT WAS & THE WORLD THAT IS
Tue. Apr 9, 2024
  • Visit the Nozyk Synagogue, the last remaining pre-Holocaust synagogue in Warsaw.
  • The Jewish Community in Poland – Past, Present, & Future: Talk with former AJC Senior Policy and Program Officer Dr. Sebastian Rejak about how modern-day Poland deals with the Holocaust and whether there is a future for the small Jewish community in the country.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Guided visit through the Warsaw Ghetto, including the Remnants of the Ghetto Wall, the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial, Mila 18, and Umschlagplatz, site of the deportation of the Warsaw Jewish community to Treblinka.
  • Tour the underground archive of the Warsaw Ghetto at the Jewish Historical Institute, the so-called Ringelblum Archive. The archive consists of a unique collection of documents that are one of the world’s most significant testimonies about the extermination of Polish Jewry.
  • Tzedakah: Participate in a relief program with JCC Warsaw to support Ukrainian refugees - program subject to change.
  • Evening on your own in Warsaw.
Overnight: Warsaw Meals: Breakfast
DAY 4
JEWISH HISTORY IN WARSAW
Wed. Apr 10, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The World That Was: Guided visit through the Okapova Cemetery, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world and a testimony to hundreds of years of Jewish life in Poland.
  • Visit the newly-opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews located in the center of what once was the Jewish Ghetto. Explore the 1,000 years of rich history of the Polish Jews; beginning from their arrival as merchants, through the medieval ages until today. This 43,000 sq. ft. museum includes rare and valuable art, photos, documentation and footage of what was once the largest Jewish community in the world.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Visit the Villa at the Warsaw Zoo, which was once the home of the zoo director, Jan Żabiński, and his wife Antonina Żabińska. Learn the story of how they saved the lives of many Jews during the Holocaust.
  • Dinner at JCC Warsaw with leadership from JCC and young Hillel students.
Overnight: Warsaw Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 5
FROM WARSAW TO KRAKOW
Thu. Apr 11, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Load luggage onto the luggage truck.
  • Depart Warsaw on a train to Krakow.
  • Arrive in Krakow. Lunch on own, en route.
  • Connect to the story of Jewish life in Krakow with an interactive program in the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, including:
    • The Altshul, the oldest synagogue in Poland, transformed into the local Jewish life cycle museum.
    • The Rema Synagogue, the synagogue of Rabbi Moses Isserles (the “Rema"), the great codifier of Jewish law.
    • The Rema Cemetery, where many great rabbinical leaders of Polish Jewry are buried.
    • The Temple, once the first “Modern” orthodox synagogue.
  • Check into the hotel.
Overnight: Krakow Meals: Breakfast
DAY 6
THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPEAN JEWRY
Fri. Apr 12, 2024
  • In This Place - Guided visit through the Auschwitz–Birkenau Complex, reflecting on personal stories and texts. Walk through the Auschwitz Museum exhibits, built in the original blocks of the camp, see the original artifacts and footage, and witness the life and death of the prisoners of this work camp. A short drive will take you to the Auschwitz II death camp, better known as Birkenau. This camp was barely touched or renovated, allowing you a first-hand experience to understand the last moments of the prisoners of this camp.
  • Group reflection and conversation at the Oswiecim Synagogue, on the site of one of Oswiecim’s many pre-Holocaust synagogues – a silent witness to what was once an ordinary Polish town known as Oswiecim with a Jewish majority, later to become the ultimate symbol of the Holocaust.
  • Lunch at Cafe Bergson.
  • Return to Krakow for Kabbalat Shabbat service.
  • At the Krakow Jewish Community Center, we’ll talk with JCC COO Sebastian Rudol over Shabbat dinner with members of the local community.
Overnight: Krakow Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 7
SHABBAT IN KRAKOW
Sat. Apr 13, 2024
  • Guided walk to Krakow’s Historical Market Square, with its medieval architecture, basilicas and sculptures. This UNESCO World Heritage site, once the capital of Poland, was not destroyed during WWII and bears witness to the rich history of the country.
  • View the poignant empty chairs at Ghetto Heroes Square in Krakow, each representing the absence of those lost to the Holocaust, before stopping outside Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory to discuss the profound impact of his humanitarian efforts during World War II. Stop outside of the Pharmacy Under the Eagle, a site of resistance during the war, to gain insight into the resilience and courage of those who fought against oppression.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Visit one of Kraków’s most famous landmarks, the Wawel Royal Castle. This Gothic style Castle, built by Prince Casimir the 3rd, holds beautiful grounds, a cathedral, the Crown treasury and armory.
  • Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Explore magnificent chambers chiseled out of rock salt, underground saline lakes and unique statues sculpted in salt.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Enjoy dinner on your own and an evening at leisure in the vibrant university city. Your tour educator will be available for a night tour of the city.
Overnight: Krakow Meals: Breakfast
DAY 8
FROM KRAKOW TO PRAGUE
Sun. Apr 14, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Depart Krakow and drive west to the Czech Republic.
  • Make a stop at Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic, we’ll learn about the long history of Jews in this city. At the Agudas Achim Synagogue we'll meet leaders of the Brno Jewish community.
  • Visit the Brno Synagogue.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Continue the drive to Prague.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Prague Meals: Breakfast
DAY 9
THE GLORY OF PRAGUE
Mon. Apr 15, 2024
  • Visit the Strahov monastery for glorious views of Prague. Here, we'll also stop for a visit at the Strahov Library, a gorgeous Baroque library from the 17th century.
  • We'll make our way to the Prague Castle, enjoy an overview of the City of 100 Spires, and walk along the Golden Lane.
  • Depart to Terezin (Theresienstadt), the ghetto-camp established here during World War Two where over 100,000 thousand Jews were worked to death or sent to extermination camps in the East.
  • Packed lunch en route.
  • Our visit to Terezin will include:
    • The Historical Exhibition which explains the history of the camp and its role in Hitler’s Final Solution.
    • Chilling propaganda movies made by the Nazis which were designed to convince the world that Terezin was a spa town and retirement center for elderly Jews rather than a death-ridden way station to the extermination camps.
    • A reconstruction of the overcrowded dormitory and other parts of the camp complex.
    • The Hidden Synagogue that an inmate, Artur Berlanger, created out of a tiny storage space.
    • A memorial service, where we’ll remember those who died here as well as the more than 80,000 Jews who were sent to be killed in Auschwitz and elsewhere in the East.
  • Return to Prague.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Prague Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 10
JEWISH PRAGUE
Tue. Apr 16, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Discover the sometimes glorious, sometimes tragic, past of Prague’s Jews with a walking tour to the Jewish Ghetto. Our visit will include:
    • The Maisel Synagogue.
    • The Pinkas Synagogue.
    • The Old Jewish Cemetery.
    • The Spanish Synagogue.
    • The Altneushul.
  • Walk through the Lesser Town, also known as Malostranska. Oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Prague, dating back to the 13th century. The neighborhood is home to several hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions.
  • Free time for lunch on own. The Czechs brew better beer than virtually anywhere on the globe. Join the locals for a drop in the many beer gardens and restaurants in the area. Cheers!
  • Our walking tour will take us through the famous Charles Bridge, the Old and New Town, its architecture, history, and charm. A famous historic bridge crossing the Vltava River that was once the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas. Stroll across the bridge, decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them Baroque-style, originally erected around 1700.
  • Continue walking through Prague. Explore the Old Town Square, Prague’s main marketplace since the 10th century. See its Astronomical Clock, a symbol of the city, and explore Prague’s Art Nouveau architecture.
  • We'll head over to Jubilee Synagogue. This stunning Jugendstil masterpiece boasts vibrant stained glass windows and intricate mosaics. Located in the heart of Prague, the Jubilee Synagogue offers a glimpse into the city's rich cultural and religious history.
  • Return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.
  • Festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Prague Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 11
ON OUR WAY BACK
Wed. Apr 17, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Return flight to the USA.
Overnight: Flight Meals: Breakfast

RATES & LODGING

participants
10+
Cost p/p in double room
$5,999
Cost p/p in single room
$7,164

Warsaw: Indigo Nowy Swiat

Krakow: Indigo Old Town

Prague: Art Deco Imperial Hotel

What to expect

  • 9 nights' accommodations.
  • 9 days of touring with a tour educator (guide), 8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • Daily breakfast, 2 boxed lunch & 4 dinners.
  • Water on the bus.
  • The J² adventures App available on the App Store & on Google Play (active 7 days before your departure and throughout your trip).
  • Porterage at hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Credit card fees.
  • Transatlantic flights.
  • COVID related expenses, including tests.
  • Evening transportation when dinner is not included.
  • 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.
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Gratuities: Recommend guidelines for tipping are provided in the terms section.
  • Please review our terms & conditions (T&C’s) or request that we send you our full T&C’s. Until you do that, here is the small print, and other stuff you may want to know:
  • Validity | All prices quoted are based on exchange rates as of the proposal date and are subject to change without notice. Rates are per person and are based on shared twin room occupancy.
  • How to Make a Reservation | The quickest way to make a reservation is to register online or contact us by email. We accept VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required in order to complete the registration process.
  • For any assistance with this registration process or other trip-related queries, please email Customer Care: customercare@j2adventures.com.
  • Payments | The balance of your payment is due on Feb 8, 2024. Various payment options are available as follows:
  • Credit card | We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Please check with your credit card provider regarding international processing fees. We are unable to process payments of over $1,000 over the phone. Please submit payment online via a credit card or by wiring funds via your bank.
  • Domestic bank wire transfer | Payment should be wired in the same currency that is listed on your invoice. Please add the name of your group or invoice number as a reference and forward a copy of the transfer receipt by email. The bank transfer should clearly state the beneficiary’s name on the wire transfer.
  • J² Adventures reserves the right to automatically cancel your reservation on that date and it may be subject to reconfirmation should the final payment not be received.
  • 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. J² Adventures reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits.

DISCOVER NEW WORLDS.

JEWISH JOURNEYS.

A family vacation to Israel. An adventure of a lifetime traveling with friends to Morocco. A  trip to Poland or Portugal with your community. What do these trips have in common? No matter where you go, you will come back with a fresh perspective and appreciation of the place you visited as well as a heightened awareness of your identity as part of the global Jewish community. 

J2 STUFF.

We have everything you need to know before you go. Check out our Instagram my_j2adventures for cool updates and interesting tidbits.

 
 

Just like you we're concerned for the future. And like you, J2 stands for equality, tolerance, pluralism, and true democracy.