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JEWISH HERITAGE TOURS
Jewish Heritage Tours

KRAKOW - JUNE 2021

We offer a choice of two 3 night trips – featuring opening weekend with Chazonos concert and closing week with 7 hour outdoor Shalom concert combining  Klezmer and mixed world Jewish music.  

The Krakow Culture Festival is a combination of a cross between Andree Rea in Maastricht and the atmosphere at Limmud with its nightly concert choices.

‘I recommend everyone attends this wonderful musical treat that is the Shalom 7 hour Jewish musical extravaganza  - it was the best night of my life’

It is Edinburgh Fringe atmosphere, with a totally Jewish, Limmud like  programme, but concentrating on the world’s best Jewish Music with nightly concerts.. Next year’s 30th Jewish Culture festival commences with a Cantorial week-end with the Chazonim themselves creating a brilliant Shabbos atmosphere at the Isaac shul, through davening, a Maleva Malka and than a concert after Havdalla. The opening week-end climaxes with a Gala Cantorial Concert at the stunning Temple Synagogue, with the ruach oozing out of Kazimierz’s cobbled streets amongst the beautiful city of Krakow, where the prewar population was once a third Jewish and where the city is currently rediscovering its Jewishness.

Whilst the programme is for 3 nights, there is the option of staying on and revelling in the atmosphere and nightly choice of cultural activities..

The Klezmer bands jam every night at the Alchemia Cafe and from Monday they perform various concerts with a mix of Israeli and World bands providing a constant fusion of Jewish Music. The culmination is the 2nd Shabbat SHALOM in Szeroka Square concert on 3rd July which starts at 18.00 and ends finally at 1am on Sunday morning featuring some of the world’s best Jewish bands and with Havdalla being performed on stage in the presence of the Chief Rabbi of Poland. 

Each Sunday we run trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau and following the climax week-end we arrange drop off afterwards at the airport for late flight home on 4th July.

This trip will be led by Marcel Manson a 2nd generation survivor, whose mother was a survivor of Krakow’s Jewish Kazimierz district, ghetto, Plashov and Auschwitz – Birkenau and whose father was hidden on a farm East of Krakow. The experience of paying tribute to the tragedy of a world that was and the joy of Jewish music and culture will stay with you forever and should not be missed…

We usually recommend the RYANAIR flights first out of Stansted and last back, but if preferable other options are available on British Airways, Wizz and Easyjet, but this may mean travelling out the day before or staying in Poland an extra night.   We would advise to wait to book your flights once we confirm we have the minimum number of 10 people required to operate the trip.

 

The exact itinerary of the trip will be confirmed around 2 months before as can be subject to change.  To get a feel of the festival please visit the festival’s website:  https://www.jewishfestival.pl/en/

For the moment the provisional itinerary is as follows:  (Exact itinerary can be subject to change)

Weekend  1    25-28 June.   Chazanut weekend featuring famous chazanim and choir Shabbat services and  Melave Malka plus Concert Sunday evening.

Friday 25th June – Fly out early Friday morning for the opening weekend of 30th Jewish Cultural Festival. . We aim to start our walking tour from our Dada Boutique Hotel reception at approx.3pm visiting 7 synagogues and the Jewish Cemetery. The tour incorporates the newly rebuilt Kupa, Remuh, Temple, High, Old, Popper and Isaac Synagogues plus a visit to the contemperary Galicia museum sited in the area of Europe once most populated by Jews pre-war . Kabbalat Services at 7.30pm in the Isaac Shul followed by kosher Friday night dinner at Kosher Delight upstairs 

Shabbat 26th June – Shabbat Services either at Isaac Remuh or Temple Synagogues followed by lunch at Kosher Delight . We aim to do a walk in the afternoon after lunch to Wawel Castle Hill and then to the main town Square before returning for Minchah and Seudah Shalishit at the Eden Hotel before Maleva Malka approx. 10.30pm. 

Sunday 27th June – We aim to depart at 8.00am by coach for Auschwitz-Birkenau arriving approximately 9.30am and will spend approximately 5 hours there with our guide with the aim to return to Krakow by 5pm to prepare for the opening Gala cantorial concert at 7 PM.. We will end the tour at 14.30 pm with Mincha, and a Kinnah [religious service] for the victims of the Shoah & a memorial prayer for the Martyrs concluding with the shofar at the end of the railway track in Birkenau. Following Auschwitz-Birkenau we will visit the museum and Holocaust Centre in the nearby town of Oswiecim [see their interesting website] which hosts a reconstructed Synagogue. At the museum we will watch a shoah holocaust related film with drinks provided.  Evening Gala concert commences at 7pm in the Temple Synagogue – we need to get their early to command good seats as our tickets do not come with pre-reservation.

Monday 28th June – 9.30am We will continue visiting the 7 synagogues and cemetary on a guided tour  plus museums not seen on Friday’s tour including the Shindler Factory Museum.. Afternoon offers an option of a visit to the Wielishka Salt Mine before being taken back to the airport for the flight home

OPTION TO EXTEND for additional nights to participate in a full range of programmes including lectures, films and concerts as part of the Jewish Culture Festival – See below, for those wishing to arrive on 29th June there is an option to join our Zakapani mountain trip on Wednesday 30th June

Thursday 1st July – Sunday 04 July   2nd week-end 

Thursday  –We aim to start our walking tour from our Dada Boutique Hotel reception approx.2.30 visiting 7 synagogues and the Jewish Cemetery. The tour incorporates the newly rebuilt Kupa, Remuh, Temple, High, Old, Popper and Isaac Synagogues plus a visit to the contemperary Galicia museum sited in the area of Europe once most populated by Jews pre-war .  We will hopefully have time for a short coffee break before we continue across the Wisla river to the wartime ghetto in time for 4.30 pm for the very moving annual musical ceremony in the Heroes of the Ghetto Square anda  visit to Chemist under Eagle Ghetto Museum if it will still be open.

We will let you know in advance about tickets for the evening concerts as they usually sell out and we will recommend what to prebook for.

Friday – Visit to the Shindlers Factory Museum and walk back through the former ghetto across Wisla river over the pedestrian bridge and stopping off at the Mlynek vegetarian restaurant for lunch.

Afternoon is free to visit the  main town square, participate in festival events and lectures or even visit the Salt Mine.

Candle lighting & Kabbalat Shabbat prayers 7.30 at Isaak Shul followed by Shabbat dinner for all next door at Kosher Delight.

Saturday - Shabbos service at the Remuh Shule or Issak Synagogue followed by kosher lunch and from Midday you will hear sound checks and preparation within the square for finale SHALOM Concert climax Starting at 18.00pm in pletzl Szeroka Square.  The concert features  7 hours of mainly Klezmer music, a treat to behold ending at 1.00am in morning consisting of the world’s best KLEZMER bands and a mix of Jewish / Yiddish / Chazanuth & Israeli.  The main attraction is Havdala on stage by the chief Rabbi of Poland approx 10pm when Shabbat exits.

We suggest a  pm afternoon walk from outside Alef bar/restaurant in Szeroka Kazimierz square to Main Town Centre Square via Wawel Castle walk returning to Szeroka Square for 6pm. . A table will be booked at a restaurant pre-paid for and reserved at Ester Hotel reserved exclusively for our group opposite the stage on the square during the entire 7 hour Jewish music extravaganza. 

Sunday –Check out with luggage from Hotel Dada at 10.30 am and Coach to Auschwitz-Birkenau arriving approx 12.00 PM and we will spend approximately 5 hours there with guide.  We will end the tour at 16.30 with Mincha, and a Kinnah [religious service] for the victims of the Shoah & a memorial prayer for the Martyrs concluding with the shofar at the end of the railway track in Birkenau. Following Auschwitz-Birkenau we will visit the museum and Holocaust Centre in the nearby town of Oswiecim [see their interesting website] which houses a reconstructed Synagogue.  In the museum we will watch a shoah holocaust related film with drinks provided. We will be taken to direct to Krakow airport for our 21.55 flight home following which anyone staying on will be taken back to their hotel.

 

COST:-

Total cost for either weekend is £695 pp sharing a double/twin room at DADA Boutique hotel in Kazimierz Jewish quarter.   Single supplement £175     [not including flights] .   Rate includes  3 night’s accommodation on BB,  Friday night and Shabbos meals,  transportation,  guided tour’s (1’st weekend  Friday, Sunday , Monday, and   2nd weekend Thursday, Friday & Sunday) ,    Saturday afternoon walk plus Sunday’s Auschwitz trip.   Also included are all guides and museum fees plus Cantorial Concert seat for the 1st weekend and for the 2nd weekend Saturday nights reserved seat in restaurant for the klezmer concert.  

 

Extra nights available at Dada Boutique Hotel at £135 per room per night  for a double/twin/single including breakfast.  We recommend if possible to stay a few extra days after the 1stst  week-end or arrive a few days earlier for the climax week-end and stay to participate in more of the festival’s activities, lectures and concerts.

Those coming out on Tuesday 29th June can join our mountain day trip to the  Zakapani Mountain range leaving early on the Wednesday 30th June with riverboat trip raft ride between the mountains and the Slovakia border at £85pp for the day trip.   Extra concert tickets can be booked in advance as they tend to sell out at additional charge of approx. £25 per person per concert.  (Exact rate TBC)

 

These costs exclude flights and travel insurance

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