THE JEWS OF PROVENCE
August 3-11, 2020
Led by Professor Shalom Sabar and Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller
The beginnings of Provençal Jewry go back to antiquity when Jews settled in the first province conquered by Rome outside Italy. Unlike other Jews of Europe, the Jews of Provence maintained an original Jewish culture between the two major centers of Jewish life in the Middle Ages: Sepharad and Ashkenaz. While Provence was the birth place of Kabbalah, it also developed into an importance center of the Sephardi type of Jewish culture, combining Jewish studies, Hebrew language and Jewish philosophy with sciences and medicine. In Provence, different philosophies met and clashed, and caused a series of controversies which, on occasions, tore the Jewish communities apart. The Jews of Medieval Provence also excelled in the field of manuscript illumination, and influenced the prestigious schools in the large centers in northern Spain. In later periods, following the French Expulsion edict of 1394, four communities of Provence continued to survive to the modern era, preserving old customs and traditions, and erecting some of the most attractive synagogues in France. The seminar will also examine the Provençal Jewry’s unique and complex relationship with the Papacy.
Monday Arrival in the Provençal town of Avignon, the capital of the Vaucluse and
Aug 3 the Côtes du Rhône. It was once the seat of the popes and today a city of art
and culture with its rampart-ringed old town and medieval bridge.
Late afternoon orientation in the hotel
Kosher dinner AVIGNON
Tuesday Lecture: The Defining Characteristics of Provençal Jewry, K.Aron-Beller
Aug 4 Lecture: The Image of the Jews and Judaism in French and German Art of the
Middle Ages, S.Sabar
Tour the Palais des Papes, built during the 14th century and today listed as a World heritage
site by UNESCO.
Visit the Archives for a special exhibition of old manuscripts, books and documents.
Continue to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a compact medieval town built on the islands of five branches
of the Sorgue River to visit the Jewish Quarter. AVIGNON
Wednesday Lecture: Jewish Life in Medieval Provence, K. Aron-Beller
Aug 5 Lecture: Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Provence: Between Tradition
and Innovation, S. Sabar
Travel to the charming town of Carpentras to visit the oldest synagogue in
France that is still in use.
Travel to Cavaillon where we visit its beautiful old synagogue and the Jewish Museum. AVIGNON
Thursday Lecture: The Beginning of Printing and Hebrew Printed Books of Provence
Aug 6 and France, S.Sabar
Travel to Arles, made famous by painters Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Visit the Roman amphitheater, Les Arènes.
View the concrete easels of the “Van Gogh Trail”.
Continue to Aix-en-Provence, one of France’s most charming cities
to visit the 19th century synagogue which is now a Protestant church. AVIGNON
Friday Lecture: Sephardi Culture in Provence, K.Aron-Beller
Aug 7 Travel to Nîmes which has the greatest wealth of ancient buildings in France and
is known for its important textile industry. Visit the synagogue.
Continue to Montpellier with its medieval streets and a mix of modern and
Shabbat services followed by kosher dinner MONTPELLIER
Saturday Shabbat services in the synagogue
Aug 8 Lecture: Mystics, Philosophers and Halakhists in Controversies, K.Aron-Beller
Kosher Shabbat lunch. MONTPELLIER
Sunday Lecture: The End of Provençal Jewry or the Survival of the Popes’ Jews, K.Aron-Beller
Aug 9 Lecture: Unique Jewish Ritual Objects of Provence: The Hanukkah Lamp and the Chair of Elijah,
Tour Montpellier with its historic center and beautiful stone arches.
Visit the Jewish Quarter, medieval mikve and the Faculty of Medicine.
Afternoon visit of St. Guilhem Le Desert, one of the most picturesque villages in Languedoc. MONTPELLIER
Monday Lecture:The Last Phase of Jewish Art in Provence: Liturgical Manuscripts and Ketubbot,
Aug 10 S.Sabar
Travel to Narbonne to visit the Jewish Quarter. Continue to Béziers,
the wine capital of Lanquedoc, to tour the Jewish Quarter.
Travel to Pézenas, situated on the River Peyne and well-known for its artisans.
Visit the Jewish Quarter.
Kosher farewell dinner MONTPELLIER
Tuesday Transfer to the airport for departure.
PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Prof. Shalom Sabar, Depts of Jewish and Comparative Folklore and Art, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller, Lecturer in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and
Tel Aviv University
Price for land arrangements only: Euro 2745 per person in a double room
***EARLY REGISTRATION BY Sep 27, 2019: Euro 2695 per person in a double room***
Single supplement: Euro 465
Price is based on minimum participants
Price for airfare from Israel: USD 529
(Based on airfares in effect at time of publication and subject to change)
People joining us from abroad should meet us at the Marseille airport or in the hotel in Avignon.
Deposit: Euro 650 with registration, of which Euro 350 is non-refundable.
Remainder of payment is to be paid by May 1, 2020 Please register promptly as our trips fill quickly.
Jan 15-Feb 29, 2020.…..…………............15%
Mar 1-Apr 30, 2020…... ……..........…......30%
May 1-June 30, 2020…..……..............…..60%
July 1, 2020-Departure.……..………...…100%
HOTEL MERCURE PONT D AVIGNON, Avignon
2 rue Ferruce
Tel: +22.214.171.1249393 Fax: +126.96.36.1999393
4 stars, A/C, wifi, refrigerator in room
HOTEL OCEANIA LE METROPOLE, Montpellier
3 rue Clos Rene
4 stars, A/C, wifi, safe, hairdryer, outdoor
Swimming pool, fitness room, hammam
HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE Trip includes:
Lectures by Prof. Shalom Sabar and Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller
JHS tour escort
Local English speaking tour guides
8 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
Tips (Euro 80)
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
The trip is run in conjunction with Diesenhaus Jerusalem,
14 Rabbi Akiva St., P.O.Box 2726, Jerusalem, 9102602, Israel.