Voyage to a Lost World
Records show the presence of Jews in Central Europe under the reign of Emperor Constantine in 321 and in the centuries that followed, Ashkenazic Jewry spread over much of Europe. Jews are often imagined as historically “a people without a land.” Although until very recently Jews had limited political freedoms in the places in which they lived, they called the landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe home for centuries
While Europe was many times a difficult and hostile place for Jews, for a millennium it was more often their beloved home: the birthplace of their language, traditions, and customs and the source of Jewish creativity and culture.
Join us as we will travel to the Heartland of Jewish Culture through the homeland of the Litvaks — the historical Grand Duchy of Lithuania — including Poland, Belarus (White Russia) and Lithuania. The Heartland of Culture Expedition will be traveling to Europe October 2018.
Beautiful Landscapes, Incredible Stories
Our itinerary is partly customized on the individual interests of our tour participants. We will be lodging in each of the cities below.
|Day 1 ➠ Depart US
|Day 7 ➠ Grodno
|Day 2 ➠ Arrive in Warsaw
|Day 8 ➠ Minsk
|Day 3 ➠ Warsaw
|Day 9 ➠ Minsk
|Day 4 ➠ Białystok
|Day 10 ➠ Vilnius
|Day 5 ➠ Białystok
|Day 11 ➠ Vilnius
|Day 6 ➠ Grodno
|Day 12 ➠ Departure
Our expedition is scheduled to depart from the United States the end of the first week of October 2018. US–departing flights arrive in Europe the following day.
12-day Expedition | $6,150
Prices are per person, double occupancy.
For a single room, add $750. International round trip airfare from originating city is not included in the expedition pricing. Economy airfare from Los Angeles to Warsaw and return from Vilnius is from $1,180 (as of January 2018 and subject to change).
Optional, personally-guided excursions to requested towns, cities, and villages can be arranged, in advance, at extra cost.
Also, if you live the U.S., a portion of this price is tax-deductible — a contribution to Yiddishkayt, a 501(3)C nonprofit!
Expedition: Yiddishkayt is led by Rob Adler Peckerar. The executive director of Yiddishkayt, he is a pioneer of Jewish cultural travel throughout Europe. With a doctorate in cultural history from the University of California at Berkeley, Rob is the author of several articles about Yiddish literature and cultural memory and began leading tours to the sites of vibrant Jewish life 15 years ago. As professor of Jewish literature and culture at the University of Colorado, he lectured on Jewish cultural history and world Jewish literature and created a residential study program on Jewish arts and literature in Venice, Italy. At Yiddishkayt, he created the acclaimed Helix residential fellowship that travels every year to the historic birthplaces of Jewish culture in Europe.
The Expedition is fully customizable! If you wish to visit a town in historical Lithuania not on the itinerary, a personalized, guided tour can be arranged.
MORE BALTICS? Add on a two-day, post-trip extension to Riga, Lativia. Extension includes a full-day tour of this beautiful Baltic city plus an additional free day to explore the city.
As we travel through the towns and villages that once held thriving Jewish populations, the traces of Yiddishkayt are palpable, just waiting to be explored. Along the expedition, you will hear the echoes of cities and shtetlekh once full of Jewish life, and take in the sights and sounds of the alter heym (our “old country”), a land of often surprising natural beauty, with winding rivers, golden plains, and lush woodland pathways. You can always opt to hop off the tour for a personally-guided exploration of the shtetl, city, or village your ancestors lived in for centuries, customized and arranged through our tour operation staff.
Our trip is carefully crafted and works with award-winning travel providers, specializing exclusively in the region. We have years of experience running these intimate, cultural history tours focused on Jewish life, joy, and creativity.
Our trip is operated by the award-winning Mir Corporation, which specializes exclusively in the region. Mir has repeatedly been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure and was the winner of this year’s National Geographic “Tour of a Lifetime” award.
We cannot appreciate a thousand years of Jewish life with our eyes fixed only on its end. In the places we explore along our way, a vibrant history of Jewish presence is always tangible.
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These towns and villages bear witness to a simple fact: Jews lived here for centuries, creating the rich culture we know today as Jewish Culture, and they worked, sang, produced, and performed side by side with their neighbors.
We look forward to seeing you this spring in der alter heym.
If you are interested in joining us, please fill out the form below. For even more details on our 2018 Expedition, you call us at (213) 389-8880, email us, or indicate your question in the interest form.