Overlapping with our Family/B’nai Mitzvah trip to Eastern Europe, this unique opportunity to experience our history and the vital presence of European Jewish life will be filled with special briefings, cultural experiences and 5-star amenities. The two trips will meet in Kolin- in the synagogue from which our precious artifacts and Holocaust Torah scroll originated. As a united community, we will celebrate with our B’nai Mitzvah students and their families as they are called to the Torah in Kolin- thereby solidifying the bonds that link our two communities.
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
- Current Affairs
- Food & Wine
- Local Specialists
- Special Access
- Depart the USA.
- Arrive at Budapest International Airport.
- Check into the hotel.
- Meet your tour educator and your local guide in the hotel lobby.
- Depart the hotel and drive to the top of Castle Hill, an ideal and spectacular spot to get your Budapest bearings. We’ll look down on the beauty of the city and see how the Danube river separates the hilly Buda area from the flat lands of Pest. Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is named after Buda Castle, which was built in the 13th century and now hosts the Hungarian National Gallery and other major cultural institutions. We’ll wander Castle Hill’s cobblestoned streets and appreciate the remarkable rebuilding of this area, which was reduced to rubble after World War Two.
- Enjoy the panoramic views of Budapest from the top of the Fisherman’s Bastion.
- Festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
- Explore the story of Jewish Budapest over the past 160 years:
- The Dohany Street Synagogue.
- The Jewish Museum.
- The Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park.
- Visit the newly renovated Rumbach Synagogue.
- Budapest, one of Europe’s biggest Jewish cities, has seen an outpouring of new energy and ideas since the fall of Communism. We’ll visit the JCC Budapest, Balint House to experience its activities and programs that have helped revitalize and rebuild Jewish communal life in the city.
- Meet young Budapest Jewish leaders and activists to talk about the issues that most concern them and hear what factors they believe will shape the future of Hungarian Jewry.
- Who are the Neologs and How Do they Fit Into the Jewish World? We'll talk with Rabbi Tamas Vero and his wife Linda Vero-Ban at the Frankel Synagogue. Find out whether Hungary’s main Jewish stream is closer to Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox Judaism and discuss what led Hungarian Jews to embrace this movement. We’ll also explore why Frankel Synagogue is enjoying a new surge in popularity.
- Is Hungary turning its back on democracy and returning to authoritarianism? Find out during this presentation by Gabor Gyori, senior political analyst at the Hungarian thinktank Policy Solutions. We’ll also hear how the rise of Christian nationalist politicians, such as Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister and a proponent of “illiberal democracy,” affects Hungary’s Jews, the country and, indeed, Europe.
- Walking tour of Budapest:
- Enjoy the lawns, walkways, and architecture of Liberty Square. We’ll also see that the square provides important insights into the transformations and turmoil of recent Hungarian history and politics.
- Walk by the Hungarian Parliament.
- See The Shoes on the Danube, a moving, sparse memorial to honor the Jews who were massacred by Fascist Hungarian militia belonging to the Arrow Cross Party in Budapest during the Second World War.
- Meet with András Heisler, WJC Vice-President (Hungary) and President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary.
- Meet with the U.S or Israeli Ambassador.
- Hungarian dining experience at a local restaurant with live gypsy music.
- Check out of the hotel and drive to Vienna.
- Arrive in Vienna and meet your local guide.
- Take a panoramic orientation tour along the Ringstrasse, the main avenue circling the city center, for a view of the city's main landmarks, including: The Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral, St. Peter's Church.
- Tour Nachsmarket, the city’s biggest food market. Enjoy a light lunch on own at the market.
- See The Kiss and other groundbreaking paintings by Gustav Klimt at the Belvedere Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque buildings.
- Check into the hotel.
- Take a look behind the scenes of the world's largest repertory operation and discover much that otherwise remains hidden from the evening opera-goer during a private guided tour of the Vienna State Opera.
- Visit the Stadttemple Synagogue, the only synagogue in Vienna to survive Kristallnacht and World War Two. Hear about the synagogue’s role in Vienna’s Jewish life today.
- Explore the Judenplatz, a center of Vienna’s Jewish life.
- Visit the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, also known as the Nameless Library because it resembles a library where the books are unreadable.
- Continue to the Jewish Museum of Vienna with its innovative exhibitions about modern Jewish life in the city.
- Look for signs of the large Jewish community that once lived in Leopoldstadt, an island in central Vienna.
- Stop by the Carmelite Market, which includes kosher shops among its many stores and stalls, to see how Jewish communal life in Leopoldstadt is beginning to make a comeback after its destruction during World War Two.
- Return to the hotel.
- Enjoy a short private concert followed by an open discussion with Jewish singer, musician, and composer Benjy Fox-Rosen, the conductor of the Vienna Stadttempel Choir and a Yiddish singer.
- Check out of the hotel and drive to the Czech Republic.
- In 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.
- Continue to Prague.
- Arrive in Prague and check into the hotel.
- Gather together for a Shabbat service at the hotel, followed by a festive Shabbat dinner.
- Tour the Old Town Square, Prague’s main marketplace since the 10th century. See its Astronomical Clock, a symbol of the city.
- Visit the Prague Castle, enjoy an overview of the City of 100 Spires, and walk along the Golden Lane.
- Walk through the Lesser Town and over the Charles Bridge.
- Dine around one of Prague’s hippest neighborhoods: A short ride will take us to Karlin for a tasting tour. Once considered a rougher part of the city, Karlin now boasts a great range of restaurants, cafes, and pubs and a superb atmosphere. We’ve reserved tables at some of the finest local eateries, and a local foodie will guide us through the best of Czech cuisine while sharing stories of the neighborhood and its transformation.
- 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.
- Share a coffee (or try a local Czech beer!) with residents from Moishe House, an international non-profit organization made up of a collection of homes throughout the world that serve as hubs for the young adult Jewish community.
- Meet with Dr. Azriel Bermant from the Institute of International Relations Prague, a specialist in Europe-Israel relations.
- Drive to the small town of Kolin, once home to one of the largest and most important Jewish communities in Bohemia.
- Celebrate B'nai Mitzvah as a community at the Baroque Synagogue of Kolin, the origin of our Czech Torah.
- Celebratory lunch.
- Return to Prague with remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
- Farewell dinner with a chance to share reflections at a local restaurant.
- Check out of the hotel.
- Transfer to Prague Airport and check in for your return flight to the USA.
RATES & LODGING
What to expect
- 9 nights' accommodations.
- 8 days of touring with a tour educator and local guides in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
- Arrival transfer at the Budapest airport.
- Departure transfer at the Prague airport.
- Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 5 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 Europe.
- 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.
- 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 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 120 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 before January 29th 2024 incur the loss of the deposit. Cancelations made from January 30th 2024 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.
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.
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