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                             JEWISH INDIA

                            January 30 – February 13, 2025

                        Led by Professor Shalom Sabar



The Jewish community of India is one of the oldest in the Diaspora. Over the many centuries of its existence, a unique culture emerged, reflecting the particular interaction the Jews experienced with the multicultural and diverse population of India. The origins of Jewish settlement in India are, however, obscure. Local traditions and legends point at the Biblical period, associating the first Jews on Indian soil with the seamen of King Solomon, the Book of Esther, or the Lost Ten Tribes. Indian Jewry has always been divided into separate groups, each with its own story and characteristics. The oldest group is that of the Cochini Jews, who identify their location in South India, the State of Kerala, with the mythical Biblical region of Ophir, famous in ancient times for its fine gold and silver.  The second and largest community to this day is that of the Bene Israel, who lived primarily in Konkan, Bombay, Pune, Karachi (now in Pakistan), New Delhi, and Ahmadabad. The Bene Israel likewise believes their presence in India is more than 2000 years old, and they have their own dialect, known as Judeo-Marathi, in which they also printed their liturgical and other books. The third major group in the last centuries was that of the Baghdadi Jews, who settled in Bombay, Calcutta, and Pune, arriving in India during the late 1700s.  They arrived not only from Baghdad but also from other towns in Iraq, as well as Syria, Afghanistan, Aden, Iran, and Turkey. Mention should be made of two groups that emerged publicly recently, the Bene Menashe and Bene Ephraim, who associate themselves with the tribes of ancient Israel and revive Jewish practices. While interacting peacefully and nearly with no anti-Semitic phenomena, each group developed its own flavor of Jewish life, which we will explore in this tour.  

Fri             Early arrival in Delhi, a city where ancient and modern blend together
Jan 31      Breakfast followed by orientation.
                 City sightseeing which includes the World Heritage site Qutab Minar, the tallest 
                 masonry tower in India. Drive by the Parliament and President house.  
                 Vegetarian lunch.
                 Shabbat services in the Judah Hyam Synagogue followed by Shabbat dinner      DELHI  


Sat           Shabbat services
Feb 1        Shabbat lunch.
                 Walk to visit Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. 
                 Vegetarian dinner.
                 Visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (the Sikh House of Worship).                                  DELHI                                                                                        

Sun          Lecture: Between Myth and Facts: Origins and Early History of the Jews of India –
Feb 2        Part 1: The Bene Israel Community, S. Sabar
                 Drive to Agra 
                 Visit the Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beautiful wife in the 17th century.
                 Vegetarian dinner                                                                                                           AGRA


Mon         Lecture: Origins and Early History of the Jews of India - Part 2: The Cochini 
Feb 3       Community, S. Sabar 
                 Visit Agra Fort.   Packed vegetarian lunch.  Drive to Jaipur. 
                 Vegetarian dinner                                                                                                           JAIPUR


Tue          Morning visit Amber Fort 
Feb 4       On the way back from Amber, stop at the Water Palace. 
                 View Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds)
                 Vegetarian lunch.  
                 Explore Jantar Mantar.    
                 Vegetarian dinner                                                                                                          JAIPUR   


Wed         Lecture: Ceremonial Art for the Synagogue and Home, S. Sabar 
Feb 5       Fly to Mumbai. Vegetarian lunch.
                City sightseeing by bus, which includes the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus 
                (Unesco World Heritage site), Dobi Gat (laundry) and the Tipherth Israel Synagogue.
                Vegetarian dinner.                                                                                                         MUMBAI


Thu         Take an early boat from Gateway of India Jetty to Mandwa in Konkan Region.  
Feb.6      Travel by bus to Alibag to visit the Magen Aboth Synagogue and the Jewish Cemetery.  
                Vegetarian lunch.
                Continue to Revdanda to visit the Beth El Synagogue.  
                Return to Mandwa Jetty to board a boat back to Mumbai.                           
                Vegetarian dinner restaurant                                                                                         MUMBAI  


Fri            Lecture: The Art of the Ketubbah in India and Other Traditions and Objects in the
Feb 7       Life Cycle, S. Sabar
                Visit the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue. 
                Vegetarian lunch 
                Visit the Magen Hassidim Synagogue of the Bene Yisrael Community
                Travel to the Magen David Synagogue and the Sassoon Schools in the Jewish Compound. 
                Shabbat services followed by a kosher dinner at Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue.    MUMBAI


Sat          Shabbat services followed by Shabbat lunch.
Feb 8       Visit the David Sassoon Library.  
                Vegetarian dinner                                                                                                            MUMBAI


Sun         Drive to Pune.
Feb 9      Vegetarian lunch. 
                Visit Ohel David Synagogue and the Succath Shelomo Synagogue.
                Vegetarian dinner
                Late flight to Kochi                                                                                                             KOCHI


Mon        Drive to Fort Kochi. Visit Mattancherry.
Feb 10    Tour Jew Town with the Paradesi Synagogue, which has a Hebrew Clock tower 
                and a gold Torah crown. 
                Vegetarian lunch.
                Visit the Jewish cemetery.  
                Vegetarian dinner.
                Continue to the Cochin Cultural Centre to enjoy a Kathakali Performance.               KOCHI


Tue          Lecture: From India to Israel: Indian-Jewish Culture in Transformation, S. Sabar
Feb 11      Travel to see the synagogues in Parur and Chennamangalam.
                 Vegetarian lunch.
                 Take a boat on the backwaters to Kodungallur.
                 Continue to Mala.  
                 Vegetarian dinner.                                                                                                           KOCHI                

Wed.         Visit the Kadavumbhagam Synagogue and the Thekkum Synagogue.
Feb 12       Vegetarian lunch.
                  Afternoon flight to Delhi  
                  Vegetarian dinner.                                                                                                          DELHI          


Thu           Late morning transfer to the airport for departure.

Feb 13                                              
                                                      PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE    

Lecturer:  Prof. Shalom Sabar (Emeritus), Dept. of Art History/Dept of Folklore and 
                 Folk Culture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Price for land arrangements only:  USD 5855 per person in a double room
      ***EARLY REGISTRATION UNTIL July 28, 2024: USD 5795 per person in a double room***     
Single supplement (Double room for Single Occupancy): USD 1890
              Price is based on minimum participants

Price for airfare from Israel (Tel Aviv-Delhi-Tel Aviv): USD 1110
              (Based on airfares and airport taxes in effect at time of publication and subject to change)
                          People joining us from abroad should meet us in the hotel in Delhi or at the 
                          Delhi airport at the arrival of the El Al flight of the group coming from Israel.

Deposit:  USD 1000 with registration, of which USD 500 is non-refundable.

Remainder of payment is to be paid by October 27, 2024.   Please register promptly as our trips fill quickly.                                                         
Cancellation fees:                                                  
                   Nov 1-30, 2024…...…..……............................30%
                   Dec 1-31, 2024……..…….…...…….....……….50%
                   Jan 1, 2025-Departure..…….…….......…..…100%                 
Trip includes:                                                                                                                                                                                               
•      Lectures by Prof. Shalom Sabar 
•      JHS Tour escort      
•      Local English speaking tour guides                         
•      13 nights accommodation in 5-star hotels with daily buffet breakfasts, vegetarian lunches and        dinners including Shabbat in Delhi and kosher Shabbat meals in Mumbai.
•      Local transport by tourist bus
•      3 Domestic flights (Jaipur-Mumbai; Pune-Kochi; Kochi-Delhi)
•      Entrance fees according to itinerary      
Not included in the price:                                      
•    Obligatory health and cancellation travel insurance 
•    Visa fees 
•    Tips USD 140
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:   Tel: 972.2.534.5191, Cell: +972.54.2212503  Fax: 972.2.5700005
                              The trip is run in conjunction with Ayala Travel and Tours, Jerusalem 


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