Temple Shalom
Berlin Now & Then

Led by Rabbi Laura Abrasley

Oct 30, 2024 - Nov 6, 2024

  • Who’s Going Adults Only
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 8 DAYS
  • Group Size 20+
  • Price From $4,880
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
  •   Current Affairs
  •   Expert Scholar
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Social Justice
  •   UNESCO Heritage Sites
  •   Special Access

Program Itinerary

Wed. Oct 30, 2024
  • Depart the US.
Overnight: Flight
Thu. Oct 31, 2024
  • Arrive at Berlin International Airport.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Introductory tour of Berlin including stops at:
    • The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin's best-known landmark, now stands as a symbol of the city's reunification.
    • The Bundestag: Explore Germany’s traumatic political past and prosperous present as we stop in front of the German Federal Parliament.
    • The Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman, this undulating field of reflection with thousands of concrete dark gray slabs forms a gentle wave, ankle-high in some places, designed to give visitors a sense of groundlessness and loss of orientation.
  • Dinner and overview of the group journey with your J² Expert Educator, including reviewing the itinerary, group themes, and the different narratives. Share group and personal goals.
Overnight: Berlin Meals: Dinner
Fri. Nov 1, 2024
  • Explore the social, political, and cultural history of Germany’s Jews – from their 4th-century arrival until today – at the Jewish Museum Berlin, Europe’s largest Jewish museum. The tragedy of the Holocaust is integrated into its exhibitions and its extraordinary architecture. We’ll see how Daniel Libeskind’s design – with its zigzagging lines and concrete “voids” – evokes a sense of unease and absence that, along with their many achievements, is part of the German-Jewish story.
  • Tour the Jewish Quarter and see the following sites:
    • Hackescher Market.
    • View of the New Synagogue and Centrum Judaicum.
    • The Jewish Cemetery.
    • We’ll stop outside the home of Rabbi Regina Jonas, the first woman to be ordained as a rabbi.
    • We’ll also visit two important reminders of German resistance to the Holocaust. The Museum of Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind honors the man who risked his life during World War Two to hide and protect Jewish workers in his broom and brush workshop. The Rosenstrasse Sculpture commemorates the successful 1943 protests against Nazi plans to deport the last remaining Jews from Berlin. The protest was led by non-Jewish women seeking to protect their Jewish spouses from persecution.
  • Return to the hotel to refresh before Shabbat.
  • Shabbat services at the Reform Pestalozistrasse Synagogue, followed by Shabbat dinner with the community. Over dinner, we'll talk with Rabbi Jonah Sievers, a Reform rabbi in Berlin and a board member of the Rabbinical Conference of Germany, about Jewish life in Germany today and the challenges and opportunities facing progressive Judaism in its historic homeland.
Overnight: Berlin Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sat. Nov 2, 2024
  • Walk along Unter der Linden and pass by the famous Humboldt University and the Book Burning Memorial at Bebel Square.
  • Visit the Boros Collection and experience Berlin’s transformation and willingness to embrace the avant-garde. Much of this collection of contemporary international art is literally and figuratively off-the-wall. The location is also out of the ordinary. Before becoming an unlikely art gallery, this “awesomely ugly” bunker was successively an air raid shelter during World War Two, a Red Army prison, an East German warehouse for fruit from Cuba, and a techno and fetish club.
  • Painting Freedom on the Wall: The years 1989-1990 were miraculous as the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended, and West and East German reunified. See how artists reacted to those remarkable days at the East Side Gallery, and how today, this also mirrors the strong ties between Germany and Israel.
  • Lunch on own, en route.
  • Walk the grounds and sculpture gardens of Berlin's Museum Island. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Museum Island Campus is a central backdrop to Berlin’s becoming an international cultural hub. Whether you are an archeology buff or a lover of 19th-century European art, you will find your inspiration on Museum Island.
  • Free time to explore Museum Island on own.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdalah.
Overnight: Berlin Meals: Breakfast
Sun. Nov 3, 2024
  • Exploring German-Jewish Identity: A conversation with Dr. Sandra Anusiewicz-Baer.
  • See the Places of Remembrance, perhaps the most controversial of Holocaust memorials. Hung, seemingly randomly, on street lampposts in the Bavarian Quarter are 80 signs that highlight anti-Jewish laws and regulations established by the Nazis. These signs push passersby to contemplate the almost-forgotten history of this neighborhood, which was once home to prominent Jewish intellectuals, including Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt.
  • Bridge of Spies: We’ll stop at Glienicke Bridge where, during the Cold War, spy and political prisoner swaps took place. This border and checkpoint between East and West Germany has been featured in many books and movies, including Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. In 1986, the Soviet Jewish dissident Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky walked over this bridge to freedom.
  • Lunch at a restaurant.
  • Visit the Villa in Wannsee, site of the infamous "Final Solution" conference, including a private introduction to the house with staff of the Wannsee Conference Educational and Memorial Site.
  • Continue to Gleis 17 (Track 17), the main deportation center for Berlin Jews during the Holocaust, located in the neighborhood of Grunewald.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Berlin Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Mon. Nov 4, 2024
  • Meet with Deidre Berger, former Director of the AJC Berlin Office/Lawrence and Lee Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations. We'll discuss anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism today in Berlin and Germany.
  • Depart Berlin by bus.
  • Visit the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum. The Sachsenhausen concentration camp was built in the summer of 1936 and was designed and planned by SS architects to be the ideal camp. It was to express the worldview of the SS in its architecture and at the same time symbolically subdue the prisoners to the absolute power of the SS. Between 1936 and 1945, more than 200,000 people were imprisoned in Sachsenhausen. Initially the prisoners were political opponents of the national socialist regime, then came the people declared by the national socialists to be racially or biologically inferior, and from 1939 onwards, increasing numbers of citizens from occupied European countries were transported to the camp.
  • Packaged lunch, en route.
  • Discussion with a scholar at the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum.
  • Return to Berlin.
  • Being Young, Jewish, and German: Dialogue with Rebecca Blady, the Executive Director, and Jeremy Borovitz, the Senior Jewish Educator, of Base Berlin – Hillel Germany.
  • Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Berlin Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Tue. Nov 5, 2024
  • Special morning program with ELNET, and meet with German parliament members. ELNET-Germany fosters ties between European and Israeli decision-makers and builds a network with its dialogue programs and delegations.
  • Lunch at Kanaan, a vegan-vegetarian restaurant co-owned by an Israeli and a Palestinian. Kanaan employs refugees from the Middle East and Africa and is a safe space for all, illustrating the modern face of Berlin today.
  • Conversation with a staff member from "A Wider Circle.".
  • Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Private farewell dinner and group reflection at a restaurant.
Overnight: Berlin Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wed. Nov 6, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Check in for your return flight to the US.
Meals: Breakfast


Cost p/p in double room
Cost p/p in single room

Berlin: The Westin Grand

What to expect

  • 6 nights' accommodations.
  • 6 days of touring with a J² Expert Educator and a local guide, in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • Daily breakfast, 3 lunches & 3 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 Berlin.
  • Individual airport transfers.
  • Gratuities are excluded. For groups of 20 and more participants traveling to Europe: We recommend the following guidelines for tipping (amounts are in US dollars): J² Expert 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 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 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.



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.


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