June 22-July 2, 2020

Led by Prof. Shalom Sabar and Prof. Marcin Wodzinski

Photographs by Shalom Sabar and Mary Kay Stuvland

Jewish life in Poland began in the tenth century with sporadic merchants passing territories of the emerging Polish state. It was only with the privileges granted by Polish monarchs to the Jews in the thirteenth and fourteenth century that turned their lives in Poland into permanent and stable settlement. By the end of the fifteenth century it was still a relatively small community of some 15-30 thousand people, but soon afterwards it grew to be the largest Jewish community worldwide and the hegemonic center of Jewish culture. Yeshivot of the greatest rabbinical luminaries attracted students from all Ashkenazi Europe and rabbinical literature flourished. From 1582 Polish Jews enjoyed the unique political institution of Va’ad Arba’ Aratzot (Council of Four Lands), or Jewish parliament. From the seventeenth century as unique forms of material culture emerged, wooden synagogues and richly carved tombstones became emblematic symbols of the culture and folklore of Jewish life in the shtetl. In the eighteenth century, Hasidism – arguably the most important religious movement in modern Judaism - emerged in the south-eastern provinces of Poland-Lithuania. With the fall of the Polish-Lithuanian state, Polish Jews found themselves in three new empires: Russia, Austria, and Prussia. New states brought new legal regulations and state-sponsored modernization, along with new identities. In the interwar period, the third largest Jewish community worldwide resided in the re-emergent Second Polish Republic, becoming the most important center of Jewish culture, including, for example, film and literature. All this was brought to an end by the Holocaust. Despite the trauma of the Shoah, the history of the Jews and Judaism on Polish soil continues to this day, with a small community numbering some 15-30 thousand, and the monumental memory and preservation of Jewish heritage in Polish culture.



Monday          Arrival in Warsaw.

June 22          Late afternoon orientation followed by a city sightseeing by bus to view the

                        Royal Castle and Palaces.

                        Kosher or vegetarian dinner                                                                               WARSAW


Tuesday          Lecture: Jews in Poland: A Thousand Years History, M. Wodziński

June 23          Lecture: Jewish Art of Eastern Europe: An Introductory Overview, S. Sabar

                        Walk in the old city of Warsaw.

                        Visit the Okopowa Jewish Cemetery, one of the largest in the world.

                        Continue to the Jewish Historical Institute – museum and the Ringelblum Archive

                        (Oneg Shabes).  Visit the Nożyk synagogue.                                                   WARSAW                                                                


Wednesday     Walking tour of the Ghetto sites including the Ghetto Monument and Umschlagplatz

 June 24          Visit the POLIN Museum.

                         Drive to LODZ to visit the Poznanski Palace and his factory.

                         Walk at Piotrkowska street to understand the town, visit the site of Julian Tuwim.

                         View the monument for the Lodz enterpreneurs .                                           LODZ                                                                 


Thursday         Lecture on the bus: What was a Shtetl? Myth, Reality, Heritage, M. Wodziński

 June 25          Travel to Przysucha to see its monumental synagogue in an interesting small town

                         with three market squares: Polish, Jewish, and German

                         Continue to Chęciny, a shtetl with mezuza signs on doors.

                         Packed kosher or vegetarian lunch.

                         Visit Chmielnik to see the Shtetl museum in a former synagogue.

                         Travel to Pińczów to see its fortress synagogue with early 17th-c murals and the

                         women’s section with unique murals in Yiddish.

                         Continue to Krakow.                                                                                             KRAKOW


Friday               Lecture: Childbirth and Amulets in Jewish Culture of Poland and Eastern  

June 26            Europe, S. Sabar

                         Travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

                          Packed kosher or vegetarian lunch.

                          Shabbat service followed by kosher Shabbat dinner                                        KRAKOW


Saturday          Shabbat services in the Remu synagogue

June 27            Shabbat kosher lunch.

                          Afternoon walking tour of the Old Town

                          Evening Festival activities.                                                                                    KRACOW                                                                   


Sunday             Lecture: Moshe Isserless and the Rabbinical Culture in Old Poland, M. Wodziński

June 28            Lecture: Jewish Life and Rituals in Poland as Reflected in Illustrated Postcards

                          of   the Late 19th to Early 20th Century, S. Sabar

                          Kazimierz: Remu synagogue, Remu cemetery, Old Synagogue, Tempel,

                          Visit the Galicia Museum. Continue to the Wawel Castle, Market Square,

                          Barbakan, Marine Church and the Jagiellonian University.                               KRAKOW                                                          


Monday             Lecture: Blood Libel, M. Wodziński

June 29             Lecture: Maurycy Gottlieb and other Polish-Jewish Modern Painters: Between                

                           Judaism and Christianity, S. Sabar

                           Travel to Sandomierz  to see the synagogue with the murals inside.

                           Visit the cathedral with the blood libel painting and St. Paul Church with blood libel

                           paintings.  Packed kosher or vegetarian lunch.

                           Continue to Lancut to visit the synagogue and castle.                                         

                           Travel to Rzeszow                                                                                                    RZESZOW                      


Tuesday             Lecture: Hasidism: Key Questions, M. Wodziński

June 30             Lecture: From the Shtetl to Jerusalem – Hassidic Art Makes Aliya in the Old                  

                           Yishuv of Eretz Israel, S. Sabar

                           Visit Łańcut to see its beautiful 18th-c. synagogue with perfectly preserved murals and      

                           a castle nearby, magnificent expression of Jews-nobility relations in early modern  Poland.

                           Kosher or vegetarian packed lunch.

                           Leżajsk: the Jewish cemetery with the oyhel of Reb Meylekh and Bernadine monastery.

                           Travel to Zamość:  Old Town, the synagogue, Rosa Luxemburg site, Y.L. Peretz site

                           Continue to Lublin                                                                                                   LUBLIN                                                                                                                                                                       


Wednesday       Visit sites in Lublin if we weren’t able to on Tue, June 30 upon arrival.

July 1                 Continue to Kazimierz Dolny to visit the old town and the synagogue.

                           Packed kosher or vegetarian lunch.

                           Travel to Góra Kalwaria: the court of the Gerer Rebbe, Jewish cemetery with the

                           ohel of the rebbe.   Continue to Warsaw.

                           Farewell dinner                                                                                                         WARSAW                                                                             


Thursday           Travel to airport for departure

July 2


                                              PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE


Prof. Shalom Sabar, Depts of Jewish and Comparative Folklore and Art, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Prof. Marcin Wodziński, Taube Department of Jewish Studies, University of  Wrocław, Poland

Price for land arrangements only USD 2845 per person in a double room

                 ***EARLY REGISTRATION BY September 27, 2019:  USD 2795 per person in a double room***

Single supplement:  USD 595

                 Price is based on minimum participants

Price for airfare from Israel:  USD 375

                 (Based on airfares in effect at time of publication and subject to change)

                  People joining us from abroad should meet us at the Warsaw airport or in the hotel in Warsaw

Deposit:  USD 650 with registration, of which USD 350 is non-refundable.


Remainder of payment is to be paid by March 15, 2020   Please register promptly as our trips fill quickly.






Al. Jerozolimske 45        www.poloniapalace.com

Tel: +48.22.318.2800

4 stars, A/C, wifi, minibar, safe, fitness club



Ogrodowa 17        www.viennahouse.com

Tel: +

4 Stars, A/C, wifi, minibar, hairdryer, spa/fitness, pool



Ogordowa 10, Old Town   www.purohotel.pl/en/

Tel: +

4 stars, A/C, wifi, safe, fridge



Juliusza Slowackiego 16   www.hotel-metropolitan.pl/en/

Tel: +48.17.777.1414

4 stars, A/C, wifi, minibar, hairdryer, kettle



Lubartowsky 85      www.hotelilan.pl

Tel: +48.81.745.0347

4 stars, A/C, wifi, minibar, safe, hairdryer    





Cancellation fees:                                                  

                   Jan 1-Mar 14, 2020.…..………….............15%

                   Mar 15-Apt 9, 2020….... ……..........….....30%

                   Apr 10-May 9, 2020…..……...............…..50%

                   May 10, 2020-Departure.……..…........…100%                


Trip includes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  •   Lectures by Prof. Shalom Sabar and

                            Prof. Marcin Wodińkski

  •   JHS tour escort                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  •   Local English speaking tour guides                          

  •   10 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels

        with daily buffet breakfasts.

  •   Meals according to the itinerary                               

  •   Local transport by bus                                         

  •   Entrance fees according to itinerary


Not included in the price:                                     

  • Obligatory health and cancellation travel insurance                   


  • Tips (Euro 90)

  • Visa fees (if needed)                                      


Program subject to change:  All rights are reserved by Jewish Historical Seminars to make

staff substitutions if necessary and/or make changes to the program and conditions as

required by force majeure, including cancellation of the trip at any time due to drastic

changes in the situation. Participants are reminded that weather conditions cannot be

predicted and cancellations or changes to visits may be unavoidable.


Further information:     Contact Debbie Zuberi:  Tel: 972-54.2212503,  Fax: 972-2-5700005

                                        Email: JHSeminars@gmail.com.   www.JewishHistoricalSeminars.com

                                        The trip is run in conjunction with Diesenhaus Jerusalem,                                      

                                        14 Rabbi Akiva St., P.O.Box 2726, Jerusalem, 9102602, Israel.