Travel Dates: 
August 6, 2015 to August 16, 2015
Destination: 
Central Europe
Leaders & Speakers: 
Dr. Marc Shapiro

Join Torah in Motion for a unique and intellectually inspiring trip to Central Europe designed especially by Dr. Marc Shapiro.

Visit Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava (Pressburg), Eisenstadt, Sopron and many other sites off the beaten track. A central feature of the tour will be Dr. Shapiro's expert discussions of the many places we will visit, making the trip nothing less than a travelling classroom. In addition, we will be joined by expert local guides who will provide their own angle. Members of the Jewish communities we visit will also speak to us about life in their countries. Before departure, Dr. Shapiro will send participants an educational packet that will be used on the trip.

In addition to the special Torah in Motion educational and spiritual nourishment, the Journey Through Jewish History in Central Europe will feature:

  • luxury hotels in prime locations;
  • strictly kosher food; and
  • expert local tour guides for sites of general interest.

 

To see a flyer, click here.

Click on these other Torah in Motion 2015 trips for more information:

 

Please do not make independent travel arrangements until all details of this trip are finalized. The current itineraries are subject to change.

 

Here's what previous participants had to say about their trip:

"The trip was outstanding – very, very powerful in so many ways. Marc’s leadership, pedagogy, commitment, organization and sensitivity to the needs of different types of people was extraordinary."  --Michael Sone

"What better advertisement can there be than that we went on the Italy trip, followed up with the Central Europe trip, and are looking forward to going to Spain next year?"  --Beryl Niewood

"Marc's depth of knowledge is awesome and his enthusiasm is incomparable. He brought Jewish history alive and introduced us to so many great Jewish scholars!"  --Eudice Greenfield

"It was great to meet Marc and he was a fantastic guide. The trip was like a living Seforim blog post (I follow his posts religiously)."  --Marc Glickman

"It is truly a  fantastic experience. Marc's attitude, knowledge, and mentschlichkeit...makes the trip something special and unusual."  --Esther and Joseph Schubin

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Torah in Motion trip to Central Europe with Marc Shapiro. The trip exceeded my expectations - and my expectations were very high."  --Mel Barenholtz

"It was a pleasure traveling with such a pleasant, interesting and impressive group of people. The number was small enough to know each other's names and to form a cohesive group. The trip was truly memorable--very meaningful. We are so glad that we went." --Sam and Susan Joffe

 

Tentative Itinerary, Subject to Change:

Thursday, August 6: Depart for Budapest

Friday, August 7: Arrival in Budapest

Transfer from the airport to the hotel. At 1:00 PM, proceed from the hotel on a brief tour of Budapest. We begin with a visit to the Buda Hill. Sit back and enjoy the panoramic vistas of the city as we travel by coach to the Castle area. Stops offer panoramic views of the city and the Danube River below. In Buda, we will also see the synagogue that was used during Turkish rule and stand over the historic synagogue that remains underground. By scenic roads, we will return to the Pest part of the city, returning to the hotel with time to unwind before Mincha/Maariv and Shabbat dinner. Hotel Continental Zara.

Saturday, August 8: Shabbat - Budapest

Breakfast. In the morning, we will attend services at the historic Kazinczy synagogue. Lunch. Following our meal, we will meet with one of the rabbis of Budapest, who will speak to us about Jewish life in the city. Later in the day, we will have a light walking tour in the city. Seudah Shlishit will serve as dinner this day. Hotel Continental Zara.

Sunday, August 9: Budapest

Breakfast. In the morning we will visit the Kazinczy, Rumbach, and Dohany synagogues, and learn about the types of Judaism practiced in Budapest: Orthodox, Status Quo, and Neolog. Afterwards, we will visit the Hungarian Jewish Museum, the actual birthplace site of Theodore Herzl. After lunch, we journey to the Kosma cemetery, one of the most incredible Jewish sights in Budapest. Here we will see the “houses” of the wealthy Budapest families, and visit the graves of some important rabbis, including that of R. Shimon Oppenheimer, famous for proclaiming that the prayers of visitors to his grave will be heard in heaven. Following the cemetery tour, we will visit the moving Holocaust memorial on the Danube and Budapest’s Freedom Statue. Following dinner, there will be an optional boat trip down the Danube River. Hotel Continental Zara.

<h4><u><strong>Tentative&nbsp;Itinerary, continued:</strong></u></h4>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;"><strong>Monday, August 10: Budapest - Eisenstadt - Sopron - Bratislava</strong></p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;"><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Breakfast. Check out of the hotel. Next, travel to Eisenstadt, home to many great Torah scholars. We will visit the Jewish cemetery (where R. Meir Eisenstadt&rsquo;s grave is a pilgrimage spot) and learn about R. Esriel Hildesheimer, who established the first yeshiva to include both Torah and secular studies in its curriculum. Today there is a museum in Eisenstadt&nbsp;</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;">established by the Austrian government to teach young Austrians about Jewish history.&nbsp;</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;">Lunch boxes will be provided. From there, we head to Sopron, known to Jewish history as Oedenburg, and one of earliest recorded places of Jewish life in Hungary. We will wander through the streets of the old Jewish ghetto until arriving at the medieval synagogue and recently erected Holocaust memorial. Later, drive though serene countyside to Bratislava. Upon arrival, visit the local Holocaust memorial and the grave of Hatam Sofer.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12.222222328186px; letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;">During dinner, R. Baruch Myers, the rabbi of Bratislava, will speak to us about Jewish life in Slovakia.&nbsp;</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;">Radisson Blue Hotel.</span></p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;"><strong>Tuesday, August 11: Bratislava - Vienna&nbsp;</strong></p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;">Breakfast. Depart for Vienna. Upon arrival, tour the majestic city, including the famous Ring Road and magnificent Schonbrunn Palace. After some free time, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant followed by a tour with a focus on the Jewish aspects of the city, including the Stadttempel, and the ruins of the medieval synagogue on Judenplatz. Stefanie Hotel.</span></p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;"><strong>Wednesday, August 12: Vienna - Mikulov - Boskovice - Prague</strong></p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.119999997317791px;">Breakfast. Check out of the hotel. Depart for the Czech Republic and its colorful town of Mikulov, which is known in Jewish history as Nikolsburg. This was the site of the Moravian Chief Rabbi, and many great scholars, including the Maharal and R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, lived here. The cemetery has 4,000 tombstones, and we will learn about some of the important figures buried there, including R. Mordechai Benet. Lunch boxes are provided this day. We will see the old mikvah (recently discovered), and lunch in what used to be a synagogue on the old Jewish street, whose houses are architecturally significant. Continue to Boskovice to visit the magnificent synagogue, and then journey to Prague. Check in at the hotel, followed by dinner and Mincha/Maariv at the Altneuschul, the world&rsquo;s oldest functioning synagogue. Hotel Intercontinental.</p>

<p><strong>Thursday, August 13: Prague</strong></p>

<p>Breakfast. The entire day is devoted to seeing the Jewish sights of Prague. We begin in Josefov, the old Jewish Quarter, where we will visit the Maiselova, Klaus, Pinchas and Spanish synagogues. These synagogues (combined) house the Jewish Museum, which has many wonderful exhibits. We will tour the old Jewish cemetery and learn about the many great figures buried there, including the Maharal. The highlight of our visit to the Jewish quarter is the Altneuschul, where, according to legend, the Golem is to be found in the attic. After lunch, continue to the Prague castle area to enjoy the stunning view of the city and its many spires below. We will then stroll along the Charles Bridge. Here we will see the famous crucifix with Hebrew writing, and hear the amazing story of its origin. We will also visit the striking statue of the Maharal, proudly standing outside Town Hall. Hotel Intercontinental.</p>

<p><strong>Friday, August 14: Prague</strong></p>

<p>Breakfast. Visit the cemetery of the Noda bi-Yehudah, the famed R. Yechezkel Landau. After hearing about this great figure, and the others buried in the cemetery, and seeing what became of the cemetery under Communist rule, we depart for Terezin (Theriesenstadt) for an insight to the horrors of the Holocaust. Lunch boxes are provided this day. Return to Prague in the late afternoon and visit the Jubilee Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Prague. In the evening, we will attend services at the Altneuschul, followed by Shabbat Dinner. Hotel Intercontinental.</p>

<p><strong>Saturday, August 15: Shabbat - Prague</strong></p>

<p>Breakfast. In the morning, we will attend services at the Altneuschul. After lunch, there will be a light walking tour of Prague. Following this, we will walk to the Community Center, where Dr. Shapiro will lead a class on one of R. Ezekiel Landau&rsquo;s responsa. Seudah Shlishit is served at the Community Center (serving as dinner). Hotel Intercontinental.</p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.11999999731779099px; orphans: 2; text-align: -webkit-auto; widows: 2;"><strong>Sunday, August 16: Prague -- Home Flights</strong></p>

<p style="letter-spacing: 0.11999999731779099px; orphans: 2; text-align: -webkit-auto; widows: 2;">Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for the return flights to Canada or the USA.&nbsp;</p>

Testimonials

"Thank you for a wonderful trip."

- Eudice Greenfield, Skokie, Illinois

"It was a pleasure traveling with such a pleasant, interesting and impressive group of people. The number was small enough to know each other's names and to form a cohesive group. The trip was truly memorable--very meaningful. We are so glad that we went."

- Sam and Susan Joffe

"Thanks--it was a fantastic trip!"

- Neal Shanblatt, Santa Monica, California