Archive for the ‘Jewish heritage travel’ Category

New Vienna Walking ‘Seminar’ Explores Sigmund Freud’s ‘City of Dreams’

May 8, 2014
Judenplatz, the old Jewish Quarter in Vienna, where the Misrachi-Haus museum today houses the excavation of the medieval synagogue, destroyed in 1420, and where there is a Holocaust Memorial. A new walking "seminar" examines Sigmund Freud's Vienna © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Judenplatz, the old Jewish Quarter in Vienna, where the Misrachi-Haus museum today houses the excavation of the medieval synagogue, destroyed in 1420, and where there is a Holocaust Memorial. A new walking “seminar” examines Sigmund Freud’s Vienna © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A new walking seminar explores the life and work of Sigmund Freud, through his complex and fascinating relationship with the city of Vienna.

Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its program in Vienna, with City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna, a new walking tour that traces the life and work of Sigmund Freud and his relationship to Vienna.

The founding father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud spent most of his life in Vienna. His work in the field of psychotherapy remains highly influential, and today carries weight across a range of philosophies and disciplines. Such is the gravity of Freud’s legacy that Vienna has become known as the City of Dreams.

City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna explores the places Freud lived and worked, to discover how the Austrian capital inspired his work, and how, in turn, his presence influenced the city. Though a successful doctor with a loyal local following, Freud’s story took a dark turn in the 1930s as the Nazis came to power. As a Jew, he and his family faced increasing persecution and were finally forced to flee following the German occupation of Austria.

As well as uncovering the charismatic psychoanalyst’s life, the tour takes an in-depth look at the wider socio-political upheaval that took place during Freud’s 47 years in Vienna. Led by a local scholar, City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna, pays particular attention to the fate of Vienna’s Jewish community during World War II, and, in its aftermath, collective attempts at coming to terms with this difficult period of history.

“Freud spent the majority of his life in Vienna, and the interrelationship between him and the city is a fascinating story that we’re excited to tell,” says Natalie Holmes, who co-created the walk. “The tour not only covers the history of psychoanalysis and its inventor, but is also a journey into the collective conscience of the city itself.”

City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna lasts three hours and is available daily. Group walks cost €70 per person. Private tours cost €305 per party. As with all Context walking seminars, groups are led by a credentialed expert and limited to six people maximum.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in twenty-three (23) world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Tokyo, and Kyoto. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit its website at:www.contexttravel.com.

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‘Southern Italy Through Jewish Eyes’ Tour to be Led by Italy’s First Female Rabbi in October

May 3, 2013

Rabbi Barbara Aiello, a first-generation Italian-American who became Italy’s first female rabbi and the founder of the first active synagogue in Calabria in over 500 years, is organizing a Jewish Heritage Tour focusing on Italy’s deep south.

The tour, ‘Southern Italy Through Jewish Eyes,’ is scheduled for October. Participants can choose either Part I — Calabria (Oct. 1-6), or Part II — Sicily (Oct. 5-10), or the full tour of both regions – 9 nights – Oct. 1 – 10.

One true ‘first’ promised on this tour: a Ferramonti Symposium where survivors of that WW II Italian concentration camp will share their emotional stories of conditions and events of the period under Mussolini’s rule. Participants will learn first-hand the incredible story of how nearly 4,000 Jewish inmates were saved by Italian soldiers and villagers.

A second ‘first’ will be the tour of the renovated and expanded synagogue, Ner Tamid del Sud, the first active synagogue in Calabria since Inquisition times, renovated by locals including Rabbi Barbara’s family.

Rabbi Barbara, as she likes to be known, describes herself as ‘a rabbi in two worlds.’ She divides her time between her congregation and a senior adult community in Sarasota, Florida, and officiating at Jewish life cycle events in Calabria. She has also worked in Milan and travels across Italy as a spokesperson for modern, pluralistic Judaism. She has officiated at more than 50 Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies for families from the US, Great Britain, Australia and Asia at Calabria’s newly restored synagogue. Rabbi Barbara’s father grew up in Calabria, her mother’s family hails from Sicily and the former Yugoslavia. She traces her roots to when her ancestors were expelled from Sicily during the 16th century Inquisition.

Asked who might want to take part in this historic tour, Rabbi Barbara says, “Jewish participants will learn about lost and isolated Jewish communities, which can strengthen Jewish identity. It’s eye-opening to learn about the tenacity and perseverance of southern Italian Jews who, even though forced into Christian conversion, kept their traditions alive by practicing in secret for centuries.”

Others who will be attracted to the trip are Italian-Americans, many of whom have ancestors who emigrated from Sicily and Calabria, regions that once boasted a 50% Jewish population.

“Few Italian-Americans know that even though Mussolini aligned with Hitler, Italian soldiers and villagers risked their lives to save Jewish neighbors,” The rabbi adds. “The Ferramonti story is a source of pride for Italians who are often embarrassed by the Italian government’s participation as a WW II Axis ally. We need to tell that story, that despite the political climate of the time, local Italians thumbed their noses at the government and refused to allow Jews to be sent to their death. Ours will be the first international group to tour the camp.”

The journey focuses on some of the oldest places of Jewish presence in Italy and the rebirth of modern Jewish life in Calabria – the’ toe’ of the Italian ’boot,’

While the Jewish community of Italy dates back at least to Roman times over 2,100 years ago, their fate changed based on the whims of emperors, popes, kings and dictators.

Highlights of the trip include:
Part 1 (Oct. 1-6)
• Walking tour of ‘Il Timpone’ – medieval Jewish Quarter in Nicastro; Tiriolo villages
• Symposium at Mussolini’s Ferramonti Concentration Camp with optional ‘March to Survival,’ museum tour, meeting with camp survivors
• Visit to Synagogue of Serrastretta; Traditional Calabrese Jewish dishes
• Excursion to Reggio Calabria and Bova Marina archaeological sites; view Jewish artifacts and statues from the ancient Greek period; Reggio’s Old Jewish Quarter

Part 2 (Oct. 6-10)
• Siracusa and Ortigia; walking tour of Jewish Quarter, 6th century mikveh, Greco-Roman Archaeological Zone; harbor cruise
• Mt. Etna by cable car; winery visit; Catania Jewish Quarter; Taormina and amphitheatre tour

Rabbi Aiello says, “Whatever your background, here’s a rare opportunity to see parts of Italy that few tourists visit, and to meet local residents and guest scholars who will share little-known stories and secrets of southern Italy. It truly is a chance of a lifetime – ancient venues that makes for wonderful memories.”

Guest scholars will include Professor Enrico Tromba, first archaeologist for the Bova Marina excavation project, and Professor Vincenzo Villella, historian who wrote the account of the Jews of Calabria. The trip is recommended for people who can keep up with a busy schedule and a good deal of walking. It is open to anyone of college age and older.

The tour is being coordinated by Ellen Paderson of Smiles and Miles Travel, who has worked with the rabbi on many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in Italy and Laurie Weiss Howell of AmalfiLife tours who has organized several southern Italian tours with Rabbi Barbara. For more information, costs and or reservations, contact: Ellen Paderson, Travel Consultant, at ellen@smilesandmiles.comcastbiz.net / 508-238-4088 www.smilesandmilestravel.com or Laurie Weiss Howell, 347-240-1244 / www.AmalfiLife.com.

Rabbi Aiello’s ‘The Radio Rabbi’ can be heard on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on WLSS 930 AM in Sarasota. Click on Rabbi Barbara’s website, www.rabbibarbara.com to listen to a podcast of the radio program and to find out more about the tour.

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AmaWaterways Celebrates Jewish Heritage on the Danube with 2012 Themed Cruises

April 25, 2012

Vienna's Judenplatz, the historic Jewish Quarter from the middle ages, where there is the Jewish Museum, and the Holocaust Memorial. AMAWaterways has introduced a 2012 series of Danube River cruises oriented around Jewish Heritage © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

From visiting the oldest synagogue in the world to touring Europe’s charming cities, AmaWaterways celebrates Jewish history with two of its most popular cruises: The Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage and Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage. The themed cruises will journey across four countries on the Danube River on the AmaDolce, AmaLegro and AmaWaterways’ newest ship, the AmaCerto.

“This itinerary provides a glimpse into the rich history of the Jewish community in Europe,” said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-owner. “AmaWaterways is thrilled to offer our guests this unique opportunity to explore Jewish ancestry while enjoying a relaxing and luxurious experience onboard our ships.”

AmaWaterways’ Jewish Heritage itineraries highlight the beautiful sights and sounds of the Danube River with visits to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and extensions in Prague and Budapest. The itineraries include shore excursions to well-known World War II sites, historic Jewish synagogues and sightseeing tours in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. AmaWaterways’ 2012 Jewish Heritage cruise itineraries are as follows:

The Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage– The 11-night itinerary starts with two nights in Prague, Czech Republic with a tour of Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto which is now the second largest Jewish museum in the world. Passengers will next enjoy a stop in Karlovy Vary, famous for its Bohemian Spas. Passengers travel to Nuremberg, Germany to embark on the Danube River onboard AmaWaterways’ newest ship: AmaCerto. In Nuremberg, passengers visit Zeppelin Field and view Hitler’s Party Rally grounds and Justice Palace where the war crimes tribunal sat in 1946. Passengers then cross the Continental Divide on their way to Regensburg to explore Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. The itinerary includes excursions to the oldest Jewish Ghetto in Germany; the Regensburg Synagogue; Jewish Cemetery “Judenau” and Oscar Shindler’s House.

Passengers also visit Austria’s beautiful cities such as Passau, Linz, Melk and Vienna. The itinerary includes excursions to Salzburg, the setting for “The Sound of Music,” and a Benedictine Abbey tour in Melk. In Vienna, travelers enjoy excursions to the Jewish Museum, Judenplatz; Sigmund Freud’s House; Jewish Cemetery and the Jewish Quarter in Vienna’s 2nd District. Also available is a Vienna city tour and an optional Mozart and Strauss concert.

Ending in Budapest, Hungary, passengers explore old Buda and modern Pest which includes sightseeing stops at the Sankt Stephen Park where travelers visit the statues of Raoul Wellenberg and Gabor Sztehlo, both credited with saving thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Other excursions include visits to the Jewish District, 1956 Hungarian Revolution Tour, and a visit to the Parliament building still bearing bullet holes from the Soviet intervention. Travelers will also visit the “House of Terror,” a feared location of the Hungarian secret police. North American travelers can book this special itinerary now with a U.S. departure date of July 22, 2012.

Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage – The 13-night itinerary starts with two nights in the beautiful and historical city of Budapest. Passengers explore Sankt Stephan Park and the Jewish District for a walking tour featuring stops at the Dohany St. Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Tree of Life. Passengers also visit the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the famous Heroes’ Square before embarking onboard the AmaDolce or AmaLegro.

Cruising along the Danube River, passengers stop in Bratislava, Slovakia to visit the tomb of Chatam Sofer, Bratislava’s most famous Rabbi. Passengers can take a walking tour of Bratislava to visit landmarks such as the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. Other shore excursions include the Bratislava Communist Tour to discover bizarre architecture of the “Slovensky Rozhlas” (Slovak Radio;) a visit to Liberty Square; visit to the memorial and cemetery for fallen soldiers of the Russian Army that helped liberate the city during World War II.

Traveling form Slovakia to Austria, passengers stop in Vienna, the country’s capital. Excursions include visits to the Jewish Museum, Judenplatz, Sigmund Freud’s House, the Jewish Cemetery and Jewish Quarter in Vienna’s second district. Additional stops in the itinerary include Melk, Linz and Salzburg, the setting for the “Sound of Music;” Regensburg, home to Oscar Schindler’s House; Nuremberg, where passengers visit Zeppelin Field to view Hitler’s Party Rally grounds and Justice Palace where the war crimes tribunal sat in 1946. The itinerary ends with two nights in Prague, Czech Republic with a tour of Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto. North American travelers can book this special itinerary now with U.S. departure dates of August 2, October 14 and October 25, 2012.

AmaWaterways’ AmaCerto, AmaDolce and AmaLegro ships carry a maximum of 148-164 passengers that incorporates the most advanced river cruise ship design including Twin or French Balconies in the majority of its spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 350 sq. feet. Passengers will enjoy gourmet dining with free-flowing local wine at the multiple fine dining venues available onboard. The ships also feature a sun deck; fitness center and spa; complimentary Internet and Infotainment system in all staterooms plus ship wide Wi-Fi. For passengers wanting to explore the serene paths along the rivers, the ships offer a fleet of bicycles onboard (capacity controlled).

Other themed cruises available: Romantic Danube Wine Themed, The Legendary Danube Wine Themed, The Enchanting Rhine Wine Themed, Provence and Spain Wine Themed, Christmas Time Cruise and Christmas on the Rhine.

For more information on AmaWaterways, visit www.amawaterways.com. To book, contact a local travel agent or visit www.amawaterways.com, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

See also: Jewish Heritage Preserved in Vienna, Austria and slideshow

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www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

Crystal Cruises Expands Jewish Heritage Tours in Europe 2012

April 14, 2012

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony travelers have the opportunity to intimately experience Jewish culture and history in European cities including Rome, with its expanded series of Jewish Heritage Tours © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Crystal Cruises is offering almost 30% more Crystal Adventures exploring Europe’s extensive Jewish heritage in 2012. A predecessor to the ultra-luxe line’s new Christian heritage tours, the popular program gives Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony travelers the opportunity to intimately experience Jewish culture and history. The boutique outings visit neighborhoods, museums, monuments, synagogues, and more somber sites in/near Palamós, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Rome, Odessa, St. Petersburg, and Israel.

Highlights include:

  • · Haifa: A kibbutz, the ancient holy city of Safed, Golan Heights, and a second-century Jewish burial ground.
  • · Girona: El Call, one of Europe’s best-preserved Jewish Quarters, by Segway or foot.
  • · Dublin: The homes of Dublin’s Jewish Lord Mayors and ex-Israeli President Herzog, the first dedicated day school, and Jewish cemetery.
  • · Stockholm: The Jewish Museum and three local synagogues, from Stockholm’s first (1790) to one whose interior is originally from another synagogue in Hamburg.
  • · Berlin: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the Grosse Hamburger Strasse deportation area, Otto Weidt’s broom-making factory, and the 205,000-square-foot Holocaust Memorial (two different excursions).
  • · Athens: Athens’ Jewish Museum, containing 8,000+ domestic and religious artifacts from 2,300 years of Greek Judaism.
  • · Odessa: Kosher refreshments, Ukraine’s only Jewish history museum, Shomrei Shabbos synagogue, and Beit Grand Jewish Cultural Center.
  • · Hamburg: Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, home of 100,000+ WWII prisoners.
  • · Ashdod: Jerusalem’s Western Wall, Old City, and Holocaust artifact-filled Yad Vashem memorial.

“Due to their enormous popularity, we’re continuing to develop niche excursions that connect travelers to their special interests,” says Vice President, Land and Port Operations John Stoll. “Our Jewish guests welcome the opportunity to experience their heritage around the world. However, even non-practitioners of the faith relish gaining first-hand insight into different cultures, and Jewish culture is particularly fascinating for its long and storied impact upon so many areas of the world.”

Half-day and full-day adventures start at $75 per person, with two-person Private Options also available in Rome, Haifa, Berlin, and Odessa. Crystal Serenity’s October visit to Israel further offers trips to Galilee, Tel Aviv, and other Jewish-related areas, by coach or helicopter.

Thirty-five, 7- to 14-day all-inclusive, luxury European cruises offer limited-time Book Now, Cruise-Only fares if booked by April 30. Optional air add-ons are available, with additional savings for groups of six or more, combining cruises, and Crystal Society member-sponsored, new-to-Crystal guests. Kosher options and Jewish services are also available on select Crystal cruises.

Crystal’s passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, earning the line top ratings for two decades.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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