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.
For 1000 years, Poland was the heartland of European Jewish life and culture. Rabbinic Judaism, Yiddish and Hebrew literature, secular Jewish political parties, and other forms of a vital, diverse Jewish culture flourished in Poland until the Holocaust, when it became a central part of one of the most devastating moments of our history.
With experienced educator guides we will explore Poland’s rich Jewish legacy, Holocaust sites, and Jewish cultural resurgence. There will be time to reflect on our experiences, meet locals, and enjoy food and music.
- Art & Culture
- Expert Scholar
- Local Specialists
- UNESCO Heritage Sites
- Depart the USA.
- Arrival at Chopin International Airport.
- Check into the hotel.
- Dinner and overview of the group journey, including reviewing the itinerary, the group themes, the different narratives. Share group and personal goals.
- Visit the Gensha Cemetery, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world. Revive the names on the unique tombstones of famous Jewish leaders, artists, rabbis, and intellectuals.
- Visit the Nozyk Synagogue, the last remaining pre-WWII synagogue in Warsaw.
- Explore the 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, en route.
- 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.
- Meet with Hanna Gospodarczyk from Forum for Dialogue, the oldest Polish non-profit dedicated to fostering Polish/Jewish dialogue.
- Enjoy a free evening in Warsaw. Before World War Two and subsequent Communist rule, Warsaw was considered Europe’s “city of lights.” It is now regaining that reputation. Check out Warsaw’s nightlife and take your choice from its many restaurants, bar, and cafés.
- Optional: Cultural event in Warsaw (TBA, cost not included).
- Depart the hotel and drive to Tykocin.
- The town of Tykocin will provide us with insights into the Jewish world of the shtetl. We’ll walk its streets and visit its baroque synagogue with historic wall paintings that were reconstructed in the 1970s. The former beit midrash (study hall) is the setting for a museum about the town and its Jewish past.
- Just outside Tykocin, we’ll trace the footsteps of the town’s 2,000 Jews who in August 1941 were marched into the Lopuchowo Forest and executed. We’ll pay tribute to them and try to comprehend, in this quiet woodland with its mass graves and monuments, the last moments of Jewish community of Tykocin.
- Packed lunch, en route.
- For many years, the world knew little about Treblinka. This extermination camp was leveled completely by the Nazis and very few inmates survived to give witness. However, it is now understood that this was one of largest killing centers of the Holocaust. Our focus will be on Treblinka as a place of Jewish heroism and not just of death. The educator Janusz Korczak was killed here because he refused to abandon the children from the orphanage he ran. We will also recall the prisoner revolt and escape attempt of May 2, 1943.
- Return to Warsaw.
- Festive dinner at JCC Warsaw. Talk with staff from the Warsaw JCC about the joys and challenges of rebuilding Jewish communal life in Poland after the shattering ruptures of previous years. We’ll see how the JCC provides an open, pluralistic environment that allows Jews, people of Jewish descent and their non-Jewish spouses and friends, to experience modern Jewish culture and community.
- Check out of the hotel.
- Load luggage onto the luggage truck.
- Take a guided journey through the Warsaw Ghetto, including the Remnants of the Ghetto Wall and the Nathan Rapoport Warsaw Ghetto Memorial. Follow the footsteps of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes along the Path of Remembrance, commemorating the heroic Warsaw Ghetto uprising at Mila 18, and reflecting on the last moments of the Warsaw Jewish Community at the Umschlagplatz - the gathering area of the Jews before they were sent to the death camp of Treblinka.
- Explore the Ringelblum Archives, an eye-witness record of life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto.
- Many of us know that our families and descendants once lived in Poland but understand little else about their lives and experiences. Meet the people who can help change that. The Jewish Genealogy & Family Center assists people from around the world in discovering their roots in Poland. We’ll hear about how they search for clues, information, and insights that help rebuild family stories.
- Depart Warsaw and travel to Krakow by train.
- Check in to the hotel and evening at leisure.
- Explore the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter. Once the heart of Jewish life in Krakow for 500 years, the quarter is now one of the city’s most attractive and Bohemian areas. Our tour will include:
- The Altshul. Built in the 15th century, this is the oldest synagogue still standing in Poland.
- The Rema Synagogue, named after Rabbi Moses Isserles (the “Rema"), a great Talmudic scholar and codifier of Jewish law. It is one of the few synagogues in Krakow that is still active today.
- The Rema Cemetery, where many renowned rabbis, including the Rema himself, are buried.
- The Tempel Synagogue. No longer used as a synagogue, it instead hosts artistic events and is a key venue in the revival of Jewish culture in the city.
- Take a guided journey following the Jewish community on their descent from Kazimierz, crossing over the bridge into the Jewish Ghetto of Podgorze, including:
- The Krakow Umschlagplatz memorial, now called Ghetto Heroes Square, which was the center of the Podgorze Ghetto. Its “lonely chairs” are a monument to those who have vanished.
- The Oscar Schindler Factory Museum tells the story of Krakow and its residents under Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945.
- Kabbalat Shabbat service at a local synagogue.
- Meet with the current generations of Jews who are rebuilding Jewish life in Poland to create a profound collect to our people’s past, present, and future: Shabbat dinner at the Krakow Jewish Community Center. We’ll talk with JCC director Jonathan Ornstein over dinner along with members of the local community, Holocaust survivors, young Hillel students, and Ukrainian refugees.
- Visit the Wawel Royal Castle. This palace was the magnificent home of Poland’s kings and rulers from 1038-1536 and is a key symbol of the nation’s culture and independence. Highlights of the visit will include the stunning grounds and cathedral.
- Explore the Main Market Square, Krakow’s city center and one of the best public spaces in Europe today. It combines modern street life with medieval architecture. One of the largest medieval squares still in existence, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Visit the Galicia Jewish Museum.
- Afternoon at leisure.
- Optional: Cultural event in Krakow (TBA, cost not included).
- Head to the Auschwitz–Birkenau complex, the largest of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Like March of the Living, as we will move from Auschwitz I to the Birkenau death camp (also known as Auschwitz II), we become witnesses to the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis and the Polish collaborators. We’ll reflect here on the personal stories of some of the Jews held and killed here and read accounts from survivors.
- Packed lunch, en route.
- Visit the Oswiecim Synagogue which stood as a silent witness to the Holocaust.
- Return to the hotel.
- Farewell dinner with Klezmer live music at the quaint Klezmer-Hois restaurant in the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter.
- Check out of the hotel.
RATES & LODGING
What to expect
- 7 nights' accommodations.
- 7 days of touring with a Jewish educator and local guides, in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
- 1 group train ticket from Warsaw to Krakow.
- Luggage truck from Warsaw to Krakow.
- Daily breakfast, 2 lunches & 4 dinners.
- The J² adventures App available on the App Store & on Google Play (active 7 days before your departure and throughout your trip).
- Water on the bus.
- Porterage at the hotels.
- All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
- Credit card fees.
- Flights to & from Poland
- Gratuities are excluded. For groups of 20 and more participants traveling to Central Europe: We recommend the following guidelines for tipping (amounts are in US dollars): Jewish Tour Educator: $12 | Local Guide: $10 | Driver: $5. Amounts are per day per person.
- 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.
- Peace of Mind Travel Protection Program (POM).
- 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 $500 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: [email protected].
- Payments | The balance of your payment is due 90 days before your trip begins, or as specified in your invoice. You will receive an email reminder 2 weeks before this date. 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.
- Protect your investment for $495 p/p: Should you cancel your trip up to 5 days before your departure for any reason, our POM program offers you a trip refund. Call 888-230-6008 or e-mail: [email protected].
- Please click here to view our full terms (T&C’s). These T&C’s apply to all reservations created within J2 Adventures.
DISCOVER NEW WORLDS.
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.
We have everything you need to know before you go. Check out our Instagram my_j2adventures for cool updates and interesting tidbits.