Kosher Travel & Cruises 2015
 
More trips to be announced. Keep visiting this site for updates
 
April 27 - May 4
 
May 10 - 21
 
 
AACI Kosher Poland
April 27-May 4, 2015
 
A critical journey that has the power to change one forever.  Seven powerful days that allow us to ‘revisit’ the thousand year-old religious and cultural cradle of European Jewish history and reflect upon that which has evolved into a post-Holocaust historical consciousness.  
 
This beautifully constructed tour will focus upon the brief six-year period that resulted in the utter destruction of Polish Jewish life; at the same time, we will explore the unexpected burgeoning Jewish Renaissance movement that has been evolving over the past two decades! 
 
Highlights of the week include:
  • Encountering the dramatic story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
  • Touring the beautiful old city of Warsaw
  • Witnessing the resurgence of Jewish life at the Lauder Morasha School
  • An exclusive visit to the newly opened Museum of Jewish History in Warsaw
  • Meeting leading Jewish personalities in Poland: Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich; dissident and Jewish leader Konstanty Geber.
  • Visiting the shtetl of Ticocyn: exploring the beautiful synagogue and village and then retracing the last path of the Jewish community
  • Meeting Jewish and Catholic students with an opportunity to discuss issues
  • Undertaking a pilgrimage to the death camps of Treblinka Maidanek Belzec and Chelmno
  • Encountering Hassidism at the grave of Rabbi Elimelech of Lejansk
  • Studying Torah in the Yeshivat Chochmei Lublin
  • Visiting a range of different synagogues in Lancut, Tarnow and Lodz
  • Spending a full day exploring the “Kingdom” of Auschwitz, a morning tour with a Polish educator at Auschwitz, and an afternoon spiritual pilgrimage to Birkenau.
  • Meeting a righteous gentile and hearing her story.
  • Spending an unforgettable Shabbat in the centre of Jewish Krakow
  • Touring the Wawel: The Royal Castle in Krakow and meeting the dragon
  • Visiting Lodz and confronting the complex story of the Lodz ghetto and its leader
Monday April 27: We take a direct early morning (5:45) flight from Ben Gurion to Frederick Chopin Airport in Warsaw.  On arrival we will encounter the rich and varied mosaic of Polish history through a tour of the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery.  We will then confront the future of Polish Jewry at the Lauder Morasha Jewish Day School where we will have the opportunity to talk with the principal and some students.  After a brief rest for lunch and an exclusive visit to the brand new Museum of Jewish History, we will explore the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto experiencing moments of triumph and defeat; sadness and inspired courage.  We will take a brief tour of the magnificent old city of Warsaw which was almost completely rebuilt after the Second World War. Our first day in Poland ends with dinner at the kosher Galil Restaurant where we will meet some leaders of the contemporary Warsaw Jewish community and chat to them about contemporary Jewish life in Poland and their perceptions of the future.  After dinner we check into the Novotel Centrum Hotel.
 
Tuesday, April 28: (optional Tefillot throughout trip) After breakfast we will complete the story of the Warsaw Ghetto by undertaking a pilgrimage to the Death Camp of Treblinka to which some 280,000 Jews from the ghetto were deported in only two months.  We then take a journey of about ninety minutes to the east to visit the shtetl of Tikocyn.  We will spend time in the stately synagogue, explore the shtetl and eventually head for the forest of Lupochowo where we will encounter the last chapter of a four hundred year saga.  After visiting the controversial village of Jedwabne, where the local Poles massacred their neighbors without any German assistance, we take a two and a half hour drive back to Warsaw. At dinner in the same restaurant we will have the opportunity to meet local Jewish students and will then head back to the hotel for our last night in Warsaw.
 
Wednesday, April 29: After breakfast we head south-east for a two and a half hour drive to the city of Lublin.  Once there we will visit the Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin, the greatest Yeshiva in pre-war Poland, and walk through the center of the city and the old city, uncovering a series of hidden and seldom told stories.  After a break for lunch at a picturesque promenade, we will take a frighteningly short bus ride to the Death Camp of Maidanek.  We will spend a number of hours on a thorough encounter with Maidanek, discovering the stories that haunt the camp as we spiral through seven levels of hell.  If there is time, we will make a quick visit to the more remote camp of Belzec.  This is a death camp where over half a million Galicianer Jews were killed, and is very seldom visited.  Then we leave the holocaust behind for the day and travel to the town of Lejansk, arguably the birthplace of Hassidut in Poland.  We will visit the grave of Rabbi Elimelech of Lejansk who brought Hassidut to Poland and have a Tisch.  We then take a short ride to our hotel in the city of Rzeszow, for dinner and a well-earned rest!
 
Thursday, April 30:  There were some Poles who at risk of death hid and saved Jews.  We begin our fourth day in Poland by visiting a farmstead in the small village of Markowa where a local Polish family made the supreme sacrifice for hiding Jews.  We then head to the city of Tarnow where we tour the city square and former Jewish area.  We then follow the trail of many of the leading citizens of Tarnow, Catholic and Jewish who were taken out into the forest and killed near the town of Zbylitovska Gora.  Our bus then takes us north to explore the magnificent recently renovated synagogue in Dombrowa Tarnowska after which we head for Krakow.  Krakow is arguably the city with the strongest presence of Jewish heritage sites in Poland, and we will fully explore the charm of the Jewish quarter and other areas. We will eat Dinner at a local kosher restaurant and then check in to our hotel.
 
Friday, May 1:  Sadly, the most visited location in Poland is the infamous Auschwitz Death and Concentration camp.  After a journey of about an hour we will spend a few hours in Auschwitz One, which is today a museum, with one of the leading Polish Auschwitz specialists.  After a brief break we will drive to the Judenrampe, the place where Jews initially sent to the camp disembarked, and take a brief silent march into Auschwitz Two -Birkenau.  Here our visit is more of a pilgrimage as we visit the locations we heard about in the morning, once again encountering moments of pain and of supreme heroism.  We leave the Kingdom of Auschwitz to return to Krakow in enough time to wash off the dust of the Holocaust and prepare for a magical Shabbat in the former center of Jewish life. We will attend a lively Kabbalat Shabbat service with the local community and then enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner at our kosher restaurant.
 
Shabbat, May 2: The day begins with an optional Shabbat Tefilla or some free time to recover from a hectic week or do some private exploring.  We meet up as a group at about eleven for a brief tour of the Jewish area which will bring us to the kosher restaurant for lunch.    We will first be privileged to meet a righteous gentile who will tell us her story and give ample opportunity to ask questions.  We are then joined by a small group of Polish students.  We will get to meet them casually over a delicious Shabbat meal and then have an opportunity to chat to them about the issues in Jewish-Polish relations we have been grappling with over the week.  We then return to the hotel for some downtime after which we briefly explore the Krakow Jewish Ghetto.  After Shabbat ends we will have some free time in the stunning city square.
 
Sunday, May 3: We depart from Krakow after breakfast for the city of Lodz – the second biggest city in Poland.  We begin our tour there at the Jewish Cemetery and discover how a town with 11 Jews in 1790 grew to a city with 250,000 Jews before the war.  We then head to the area of the former ghetto to encounter the different story of the Lodz ghetto and its Jewish dictator.  After tracing the path of the Lodz Jews to the railway station of Radegasz, we will enjoy some down time at Manafaktura: the huge shopping centre on the site of one of the factories of Poznanski – the Jewish textile tycoon who built Lodz.  We then end our week in Poland discovering a hidden synagogue in Lodz, and then making a brief visit to the Death Camp of Chelmno.  After a special ceremony at Chelmno we will head back to Warsaw for our last dinner in Poland and a final night at a hotel near the airport.
 
Monday, May 4:  After enjoying our last breakfast in Poland we transfer to the airport to return home after a week of a lifetime in Poland.The program in Poland has been designed and will be led by Rabbi Yitzchak Rubenstein. Rabbi Rubenstein made Aliya in 2002 after a long career in both formal and informal education in South Africa.  He is currently an Instructor at the Shem Olam Institute for Holocaust Studies, and is also a senior educator in the Nativ program which facilitates the conversion of non Jewish soldiers within the IDF.
Rabbi Rubenstein is a student of Polish-Jewish relations and how they are taught in the Jewish world.  He began educational work in Poland in 2007 and has guided over three dozen different groups for a number of schools and organizations. He strives towards a balance between learning about the rich and diverse Jewish community that existed in Poland for centuries before the war and discovering what happened during the period of the Shoah.  There is also a focus on contemporary Poland  both in terms of the re-emerging  Jewish community as well as past and present Polish-Jewish relations always stressing the complexity of the issues.
 
Price: AACI Members $2482 per person in a double room
Price: Non Members $2557 per person in a double room
Single Supplement: $380
 
The trip includes:
  • Round trip flights with EL AL Airlines
  • Good 4 star Hotels
  • Kosher meals: half board plus provisions for making sandwiches for lunch
  • Transportation by deluxe coach as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees: as per the itinerary
  • Tour Leader & Guide from Israel; Rabbi Rubenstein
  • AACI escort
  • Porterage at hotels and tips for driver, local guides, waiters & Israeli tour guide
Not included:
  • Any items of personal nature
  • Items not mentioned above
  • Medical insurance
**Itinerary and Airline are subject to change without notice
**Minimum number of participants required
 
PAYMENT:
Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by January 15, 2015
 
CANCELLATION:
Cancellation from time of registration until January 15- $100 per person
January 16-April 1- $600 per person
April 2 until departure- 100%
 
INSURANCE:
WE STRONGLY SUGGEST EVERYONE TAKES MEDICAL INSURANCE
 
 
TOUR ORIENTATION:
There will be an orientation on Tuesday, April 21st at 4:00pm at the AACI office in Jerusalem
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
 
AACI - The Best of Japan
May 11-21, 2015
 
More than any other country, the Japanese have managed to integrate ancient traditions and leading-edge technology harmoniously into their daily lives, with a perfect mix of new and old.  In this excellent introduction to Japan, you won’t miss anything a first-time visitor to Japan should see.
 
Japan consists of four main Islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. There are another thousand smaller islands all lying to the east of the Asian mainland in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean. This archipelago curves across 3000 km, linking Russian’s Sakhalin Island in the north to Taiwan in the south.  Like most organized tours, we will visit the biggest Island: Honshu.
 
In the best that Japan has to offer you’ll enjoy a colorful mix of large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, quaint and traditional Takayama, the historically significant ancient shrines and temples of Kyoto and Nara, the testament to peace of Hiroshima, the natural beauty of Hakone, the thermally-heated valley of Owakudani and much, much more.
 
May 11-Day 1 Monday: Arrive Tokyo
You will be met at Tokyo’s Narita airport by our guide, who will escort us on a first orientation tour of Tokyo, capital of Japan since 1868, with over 12 million inhabitants.
 
The world’s largest megalopolis, this conglomerate of 34 million residents boasts of tradition and modernity in one: skyscrapers and temples; highways and shrines; the bustle and hubbub of the city and the quiet solitude of the gardens. We will visit Meiji shrine, Harajuku & Omoteando. Meiji Shrine is a Shinto complex dedicated to the memory of Emperor Meiji who brought the corrupt Shogunate to an end in 1867.
 
May 12-Day 2 Tuesday: Tokyo
Tsukiji Fish Market, Edo/Tokyo Museum, Ueno Park, Asakusa Temple, Ginza.   
 
After breakfast, we will start the day with a welcome/orientation meeting. Next, our licensed, English-speaking guide will escort us to the Tsukiji Fish Market which is the largest in the world. We will continue to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, a massive, futuristic building which may be by far the best city-history museum you have ever encountered. The exhibits show the histories of Edo and Tokyo respectively. Afterwards, we continue to the Ueno Park; established by the first Tokugawa shogun Ieyasu in the 17th century.
 
Our next destination: the Asakusa Kannon/the Senso-ji Buddhist Temple. This is Tokyo’s most sacred Temple complex. Here you will learn about Buddhist and Shinto Japanese religious practices. On the way we pass through the Nakamise-dori, a covered market street known for its traditional Japanese handicrafts shops. Then on to the famous Ginza district, the most expensive real estate in the world... Explore the Sony Building where you will find many of Sony’s products on display, some of which aren’t on the market yet.
 
May 13-Day 3 Wednesday: Tokyo-Hakone                                                                     
Sumo Stable, or Meji Temple, Hakone open air Museum, Owakudani valley, Lake Ashi.
 
After breakfast we will visit the Sumo Stable to see the sumo wrestlers training and the Open Air Museum which houses works of some of the world’s finest sculptors and artists, as well as the world’s largest private collection of the works of Pablo Picasso.
 
In the afternoon we head for the vacation village of Hakone, a resort town on the banks of Lake Ashi, on the lower slopes on Mount Fuji. If it’s a clear day we’ll have a good view on Mount Fuji.  There are different ships on the lake, like replicas of historical western style boats as well as a pirate ship.
 
May 14-Day 4 Thursday: Hakone-Matsumoto-Takayama                                        
Matsumoto Castle, Takayama Sannomachi Quarter, Festival Floats exhibition.
 
From Hakone we’ll make our way to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps and visit Matsumoto Castle (Matsumotojo) which is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan’s original castles. It is also a good example of a so called “hirajiro”, a castle built on the plain rather than on a hill or mountain. We’ll continue the alpine climb to Takayama, a traditional hamlet high in the Japanese Alps. We’ll stroll the quaint streets and the ancient shops, visit a sake brewery to taste some of Japan’s finest rice wine (yes, it is kosher), and we‘ll also visit Yatai Kaikan museum where we‘ll see a display of great chariots, dating back hundreds of years, that were used to transport the gods in the Takayama festival that is held twice a year, spring and fall. This is one of the most spectacular festivals in Japan, and draws large crowds who join the parade.
 
May 15-Day 5 Friday: Takayama-Shirakawago-Bullet train-Kobe                                                
Shirakawa-go, Nagoya station, Kobe.
 
From Takayama we’ll make our way further into the Alps to the village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where ancient “Praying Hands” homes still stand. After our visit we’ll head for yet another highlight of this tour, a visit to the museum dedicated to Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Kovno during World War II, who was responsible for the rescue of over 6500 Jews, for which he was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of Righteous among the Nations.  After the visit we’ll take the Shinkansen, Japan’s famous bullet train to the port city of Kobe, where Japan’s Jewish past comes to life. Kobe was the first city to open its gates to trade with the outside world in 1868, and it is to Kobe that the Jews rescued by Sugihara arrived and stayed a few months, before dispersing to Shanghai and other destinations.
 
We transfer to our hotel in the city of Kobe and prepare ourselves for Shabbat.
 
May 16-Day 6 Saturday: Kobe
We’ll spend a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing Shabbat with the Jewish community in Kobe, the only fully functional Orthodox community in Japan. After Shacharit and a Kiddush/breakfast, we’ll take a stroll through the neighborhood near our hotel.
 
May 17-Day 7 Sunday: Kobe-Miyajima-Itsukushima-Hiroshima
Miyajima Island, Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima war memorial.
 
We’ll make our way across the water by ferry to Miyajima Island, a sacred island that houses what is arguably Japan’s most beautiful shrine – Itsukushima. The whole island is an historical site and is considered one of the three most beautiful sites in Japan. The birth of the city is dated back to 593 AC when empress Seiko was crowned and a shrine was built in honor of this event.
 
We end the day in Hiroshima, located on the Oceanside. We will learn the history of the city that was A-Bombed at the end of World War II. Hiroshima, which in 1945 was the 6th largest city in Japan, was of strategic military importance. The headquarters of the Second Army, which was charged with protecting all of southern Japan, was located here. However, Allied bombing during World War II was not focused there. The city was built mainly of wood, which made it very vulnerable to fire. We will visit the A-Bomb Dome, the Peace Park, Museum and memorial which are both sobering testaments to the dropping of the A-bomb on August 6, 1945.
 
May 18-Day 8 Monday: Hiroshima-Kurashiki-Okayama station-Bullet train-Kyoto.
Kurashiki Bikan historical area, Okayama Koraku-en Garden, Shinkansen to Kyoto.
 
After breakfast we drive back along the coastal road to the Edo period mercantile town of Kurashiki, some 2 hours’ drive. We visit the heart of this historical city, the Bikan historical area. There are many galleries, restaurants, Japanese inns, shops and boutiques. The coach will then take us to Okayama. This city of 630,000 inhabitants was once the center of the region ruled by the feudal Ikeda Lords. One of the main attractions is the Okayama Castle, this 16th century castle was rebuilt in 1966 after its destruction during WWII. We will visit another highlight: the Koraku-en Garden, Commissioned by Lord Ikeda in 1700. The garden is divided in three sections, its features bamboo, pine, plum and cherry trees. From Okayama station we take another Shinkansen to Kyoto.
 
May 19-Day 9 Tuesday: Kyoto-Nara.                                                                          
Nara Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Temple, Ninen-zaka, Sannen-zaka, Beit Shalom.
 
We will start this morning by driving to Nara, the original capital of Japan in the 8th century before it was moved to Kyoto. Here you will see Todai-ji Buddhist Temple, which is the largest wooden building in the world. We then will be the guests at Beit Shalom, a Christian sect, Friends of Israel that has about 10,000 members. Its headquarters is located in Kyoto. The group's focus is on supporting Israel and includes prayers for the coming of the Messiah.
 
May 20-Day 10 Wednesday: Kyoto-Osaka.                                                                    
Kyoto Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Gion Street, Osaka.
 
Today we will visit the Kiyomizu Dera complex and the Ninenzaka and Sanenzaka lanes as we stroll through the fascinating side alleyways of this inspiring sacred city. We’ll continue to Fushimi Inari Shrine and drive to Nara. Japan’s first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara. As the influence and political ambitions of the city’s powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. Our visit will include Todaiji Temple – a large temple with a big Buddha statue, the Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine – Nara’s most celebrated Shinto shrine.
 
May 21-Day 11 Thursday: Osaka-Home. 
If flight time allows, we will take our coach for a city sightseeing tour and will pass by Osaka Castle. Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous castles, and played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century. It was the home of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the son of a farmer who unified Japan after a 100-year civil war.  It’s time to say “sayonara” (goodbye). You will be escorted to the Osaka Kansai International Airport to take off for home.
 
Price: $6290 per person in a double for AACI members
$6365 per person in a double for Non AACI members
Single supplement: $690

Included in the price for this tour:
  • Flights from Israel with  Lufthansa
  • Bullet train journeys
  • 10 nights in a good tourist and first class hotels
  • Kosher full board including provisions to make sandwiches for lunch
  • Sightseeing, activities and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • English speaking escort from Israel
  • AACI escort
 Flight Schedule:
  • May 10 departure 08:00 from Tel Aviv to Tokyo via Frankfurt, Lufthansa
  • May 11 arrival at 07:35 Tokyo
  • May 21 departure 10:15 from Osaka to Tel Aviv via Frankfurt
  • May 22 arrival at 02:40 Tel Aviv
 
      Total 10 Hotel nights:
  • Tokyo- 2 nights
  • Lake Ashi area- 1 night
  • Takayama- 1 nights
  • Kobe- 2 nights (Shabbat)
  • Hiroshima- 1 night
  • Kyoto-2 nights
  • Osaka-1 night
Not included in the price:
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not mentioned in above itinerary
Cancellation Policy:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until January 20 2015 – $1500 per person
  • January 21 - March 11 2015 – 50%
  • Less than 21 days prior to departure  – 100%  
Passports must be valid until at least December 2015
Please send a photo copy of your passport with application form
 
  Minimum number of participants required. Itinerary is subject to change without notice
  Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
 
TOUR ORIENTATION: There will be an orientation session for all participants on Sunday, May 3rd at 5:30pm at the AACI offices, Talpiiot Jerusalem.
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
 
AACI Kosher & Friendly Budapest in Style
May 11-15, 2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A visit to the Pearl of the Danube was never so inspiring.  Explore the majestic synagogue designed by Austrian architect Otto Wagner; ample time has been slotted for critical landmarks of Jewish culture and history including archaeologically-rich neighborhoods that will transport us back in time  and visits to museums that record the Jewish Hungarian presence both pre-and-post Holocaust. Traverse the Castle District and tour Budapest’s most exclusive residential districts.  And, indeed, no tour would be complete without a romantic cruise upon the Danube River!
 
Day-long excursions will take us to the fascinating towns and hamlets that surround Budapest and the Danube Bend, especially as they relate to Jewish history.  See the Basilica and Synagogue in Esztergom. Take in a spectacular view of the winding Danube as seen from the hills of the village of Visegrad.  A tour of Szentendre’s Memorial House and visit to the Margit Kovacs home-museum will offer an insider’s view of the well-known, intriguing ceramic artist who converted from Judaism.  Brush shoulders with Hungarian royalty during an eye-opening visit to the breathtaking Baroque Palace in Gödöllő
 
Tour highlights:
  1. Tour the Jewish quarter in Budapest
  2. Danube River Cruise
  3. Hungarian State Folk Ensemble  performance
  4. Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'
  5. Full day tour of the Danube Bend
  6. Visit to the Baroque Palace in Gödöllő
  7. Stay at the deluxe Hotel Sofitel
  8. EL AL UP flights
Day 1 Monday May 11 Arrive Budapest: panoramic city tour -the city known as Budapest actually consists of three cities: Obuda, the oldest section, with Roman ruins on the Buda side of the Danube; Buda in the gently rolling hills on the western bank, famous for its historic Castle Hill and beautiful residential area; and vibrant Pest with its shopping, government and commercial districts on the flat plain of the eastern bank. United in 1873, Budapest is renowned as the location of one of the most beautiful World Heritage sites. Despite spectacular development, Budapest has preserved its old charm and magic. The visitor will find side by side the remains of fortresses and buildings from Roman times, still operating Turkish baths, Gothic and Baroque buildings, and the incredibly rich Art Nouveau architectural heritage. It is a city where the pleasing harmony of different architectural styles and superb structures, the cafés, baths, the food and culture, combined with legendary hospitality blend into an unforgettable experience for visitors.
 
Our tour covers the major highlights of the city, showing the grandeur and Old World charm of Budapest.  Visit both sides of the city: the colorful hills of Buda and the bustling businesslike boulevards of Pest. Explore the gorgeous House of Parliament, the elegant Andrassy Avenue, the impressive Heroes Square, the fascinating Market Hall, the medieval Castle District, the picturesque Fishermen’s Bastion and the Liberty Statue on Gellert Hill with its magnificent panoramic view of the city.  Check in to the hotel and late afternoon Danube cruise.  Dinner at a local kosher restaurant.
 
Day 2 Tuesday May 12 Jewish Budapest
Jewish Budapest tour starts in the Castle District where the first Jews of Buda settled in the 13th century. We visit the small, medieval synagogue in the former Jewish street; discover the facts about life during the Turkish occupation in the 15th -17th centuries. Still on the Buda side we can visit the statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews in the 2nd World War, and a memorial plaque of Gabor Sztehlo, a Hungarian Evangelical pastor who saved the lives of Jewish children and adults.
 
On the Pest side of the river we walk through the former ghetto area visiting the lovely oriental building of the famous Dohany street synagogue, the third largest in the world. There is a guided tour in the Jewish Museum, a small but rich collection of objects associated with religious holidays and rituals of everyday life. A sign on the wall indicates the site of the building where Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism was born. Behind the synagogue is the Holocaust Memorial, a metallic weeping willow with names engraved on the leaves to remind us of the people who perished in the war. Passing through the court of the synagogue, this was part of the ghetto and turned into a cemetery for those who were killed here. Next to the synagogue we look at the Temple of Heroes, a simple modern building erected in the 1930s for the memory of the Jews fallen in the 1st World War. We visit the late art nouveau building of the orthodox synagogue in Kazinczy Street, which is one of the main places of worship for the orthodox community.
 
Leisure time in the afternoon.
Dinner in a local kosher restaurant.  Evening performance of Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio' at the Budapest Opera House
 
Day 3 Wednesday May 13 Budapest, Gödöllő morning visit
Visit the second largest Baroque Palace of the world in Gödöllő! After only a 30-minute drive from Budapest we arrive to the former summer residence of Queen Elisabeth (Sisi) and Francis Joseph (Habsburg Emperor & Hungarian King 1867-1916). This interior visit of the Museum and the tour through the garden of the Chateau, gives you a glimpse of times under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. You will become acquainted with the secrets of the private life, the hidden doors, rooms and lovers of the royal couple.
Afternoon free to enjoy the beautiful spa at the hotel or perhaps a leisurely stroll through the old town
 
Dinner tonight in a local kosher restaurant.  This evening we will enjoy a performance of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble.
 
Day 4 Thursday May 14 Danube Bend
This morning we will check out of the hotel and start our tour of the Danube Bend.
The Danube Bend – an excursion into Hungary’s history. This is an unforgettable tour along the "Blue Danube" with stops in Visegrad, Esztergom and Szentendre.
 
Visegrad: we walk on the 750 year-old stones of the formal Royal Residence, learn about life in the middle ages and enjoy the fascinating panorama on the Danube valley.
 
Esztergom: we visit the so-called Technology & Science House built in 1888, once serving as a synagogue for Esztergom’ s Jewish community, the oldest in Hungary, and now contains a regional government office. It was designed in Moorish Romantic style by Lipót Baumhorn, the master architect who was also responsible for the synagogues in Szeged, Szolnok and Gyöngyös.
 
Szentendre: On the way back we stop in the artist's village of Szentendre. It is a small baroque city at the gate of the Danube Bend, at the meeting place of the river Danube and the Pilis Mountains, in a beautiful natural environment. We walk around the baroque settlement, built on medieval ruins and go up the narrow streets to the panorama point to see the Danube. We then simply enjoy the special atmosphere of this village. You can also take the opportunity to visit the museums (for example the world-famous Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum, the Confectionery Museum-with buildings and people made of marzipan), or you can choose to visit the shops of the village.
 
 
Dinner in a local kosher restaurant then we depart to the airport for our evening flight hotel
 
Price per person for AACI members in a double Euro 1417
Price per person for non AACI members in a double Euro 1477
Single Supplement Euro 270
Danube view supplement: Euro 150 per room for full stay
  • May 11 departure 06:45 from Tel Aviv arrival at 09:15 to Budapest
  • May 14 departure 23:55 from Budapest arrival at 04:05 to Tel Aviv
Price Includes:
  • Round trip air on EL AL UP  from Israel
  • 3 nights 5 star Sofitel Hotel
  • 3 BREAKFAST at the hotel plus lunch sandwich preparations
  • 4 Dinners in a Kosher Restaurant
  • Tour the Jewish quarter in Budapest
  • Danube River Cruise
  • Hungarian State Folk Ensemble performance
  • Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'
  • Full day tour of the Danube Bend
  • Visit to the Baroque Palace in Gödöllő
  • All sightseeing as indicated including entrances
  • Tips for the local guide & driver
  • Fully escorted by AACI
 
Price Does Not Included
  • Any items of personal nature
  • Insurance
  • Minimum number of participants required
  • Itinerary is subject to change without notice
  • Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
PAYMENT: Deposit of euro 225 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by April 12, 2015
CANCELLATION:
Cancellation from time of registration until April 12, 2015- euro75 per person
April 12- May 1, 2015 – euro 375 per person
May 2 until day of departure- 100%
All reservations and cancellations must be sent in writing.
 
TOUR ORIENTATION: There will be an orientation session for all participants on Sunday, May 3rd at 6:30pm at the AACI offices, Talpiiot Jerusalem.
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
 
AACI Kosher Moscow & St. Petersburg
May 31-June 11, 2015
 

Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg the two cities that define Russia’s past, present and future

Moscow is the economic mega-center for one sixth of the planet in a country that encompasses more than 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. This passionate and vibrant metropolis boasts an eccentric mélange of traditional Russian architecture and post-Soviet quirkiness.   Discordantly-youthful while steeped in history, Moscow is a study in culture-clash and tradition.
 
One of the world’s most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg has it all including art, striking architecture and exciting nightlife; this is in addition to the robust history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired much of world’s greatest literature, music, and visual art. Romance abounds in this magical city of White Nights, opera, ballet and cutting-edge adventure.   St. Petersburg charms and entices everybody.
 
 
Tour Highlights:
  •  In Moscow: Choral Synagogue, Red Square, Manege Square, St Basil Cathedral, Kremlin & Armory Chamber, Tretyakov Gallery & The Metro
  • Entrance to the Diamond Fund in the Kremlin to see the Crown Jewels
  • High-speed Sapsan train, from Moscow to St. Petersburg
  •  In St Petersburg: Choral Synagogue, Peter & Paul Fortress, Peterhof by Hydrofoil, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Summer Gardens & Yusupov Palace
  • Two visits to the Hermitage
  • Cruise along the canals of St. Petersburg
  • St. Petersburg by night with the Bridge Opening
  • Folklore show at the Nikolaevsky Palace in St. Petersburg
DAY 1, Sunday, May 31: Israel / Moscow
Early departure from Ben Gurion by Aeroflot at 01:05am arrival in Moscow 05:00am
 
Welcome to Moscow
On arrival we will be met by our local guide and start our tour. We begin with Victory Park which was only completed in the mid-nineties, and is something of a last gasp for the Soviet tradition of monumental triumphal art. Located on and around the Poklonnaya Gora, the hill where Napoleon waited in vain to be given the keys to the city when his troops surrounded Moscow in 1812, the park is set in an area steeped in Russian military history. We then proceed to the Old Choral Synagogue. This synagogue recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. It is a very impressive building, constructed by renowned Moscow architect Roman Klein. This synagogue was the only one that continued to operate throughout the Soviet period. 
 
One of the most interesting sites in Moscow is located deep beneath the surface. On Stalin’s order, the Moscow Subway was built to display the advantages of socialism. Today the Soviet Union is gone, but the beautiful underground city is still active and carries millions of passengers each day.
 
The Moscow Subway was constructed not only to streamline the city's transportation, but also to celebrate the accomplishments of the Soviets. The entire subway comprises works of socialist realism, making passengers feel as though they are entering various underground palaces, not merely riding the subway to work. Apart from its immense cultural value, Moscow's subway is a highly efficient transportation system that carries three million passengers daily and spans the entire city in a star-like fashion. Interestingly, the subway can also serve as a nuclear shelter in case of war.
 
Afternoon check-in to our hotel followed by a short rest and dinner.  After dinner we will go on a night tour of Moscow.
 
DAY 2, Monday, June1: Moscow Today we will go on one of the most interesting tours in the world as we explore Moscow's amazing sites. We will visit the famous Red Square and go inside St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was built by Ivan the Terrible in the 15th century.
Our next stop is beside the Kremlin Walls. After an extensive tour of Moscow’s highlights and  spending time in the middle of the world-famous Red Square, we will proceed to the St. Basil's Cathedral (the colorful church that stands along the Red Square) and then on to the Kremlin.
 
A visitor unsteeped in Russia's history would not guess that the beautiful basilicas and edifices comprising the Kremlin were once part of a royal fortress shielding Moscow from centuries of fierce Mongol invasions.  The Kremlin is so beautiful that Stalin himself did not dare to disturb this crowning treasure, which astounds with an eclectic mixture of playful colors and architectural bravado and eerier sternness of structure and function in the form of Lenin's Mausoleum.
 
The Kremlin of Moscow is one of the most recognizable symbols of Russia and, as you will experience yourself, its interior is stupendous. Half of its area is reserved for the government and the other half is open to the public. We will explore the Kremlin with our Moscow guide who will tell you many interesting tales about events that took place inside the walls of the Kremlin since 1147. 
 
After strolling inside the Kremlin walls we will proceed to the highlight of the Kremlin grounds - the Armory Chamber museum exhibiting the most unique and precious artifacts from different times in Russian history. This is where you have a chance to look at the famous Faberge Eggs and Catherine the Great’s Imperial dresses, giving you the feeling of traveling back in time.
 
 
DAY 3, Tuesday, June 2: Moscow
Moscow's most famous collection of art and one of the world's top galleries is the Tretyakov Picture Gallery. It began as the private collection of a wealthy Muscovite merchant, Tretyakov, who lived in the 19th century and donated his collection to the city. The State Tretyakov Gallery possesses a unique collection of Russian art which includes masterpieces which span a period of a thousand years. 
 
In the afternoon, we will visit the Museum of Russian Jewish History, the first Jewish museum in Moscow, which, after a long interval, was reopened on May 18, 2011. On display are rare documents, photographs and pictures dating back to the 18th century. You will learn about traditional Jewish professions and crafts, and about their relationship with the government before and after the Revolution. Several rooms are devoted to the life of the Jewish community in Soviet times. The museum was founded by Sergey Ustinov, vice-president of the Russian Jewish Congress. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have enough of room to accommodate all its exhibits (only 1000 items are on display; more than 3000 exhibits are kept in storage).
 
Day 4, Wednesday, June 3: Moscow to St. Petersburg
After free time in the morning for some shopping, we will depart from Moscow by high-speed Sapsan train and travel to St. Petersburg.
  
Welcome to St. Petersburg, Russia’s most beautiful city! St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia until the Revolution of 1917, but remains Russia's most dynamic and amazing city. With the canals of Venice, the palaces of Paris, and the churches of Rome, you will not be disappointed by its beauty and culture.  Our driver will be waiting for us at the train station and will take us to the Grand Choral Synagogue. Consecrated in 1893 by the gracious patronage of Lily and Edmond Safra, this Moorish-style masterpiece of architecture has recently been restored to its former glory, and now contains a thriving Jewish day school. We will then enjoy a peek into the world of Jewish St. Petersburg
Boat Ride on Rivers and Canals of St Petersburg: To visit St. Petersburg without sailing along its rivers and canals means not having seen "the Venice of the North"! Starting our trip from the very heart of the city - Admiralteyskaya Embankment – we will enter the Neva water area viewing one of the historical city sights, Strelka of Vasilievsky Island, famous for its Rastrelli Columns. We will admire the panorama of the majestic Hermitage and Peter and Paul Fortress, continue along the Moyka River under the widest bridge of St. Petersburg,  the Blue Bridge, enjoy the magnificent sight of St. Isaac's Cathedral, turn to the Fontanka River and the Kryukov Canal, catch a glimpse of the Mariinsky Theater,  and return back to the moorage. Having seen the main historical sights of the Russian Northern Capital you will at the same time have the most romantic trip you could imagine!
 
DAY 5, Thursday, June 4: St. Petersburg
The culmination of the world’s best capitals, St. Petersburg is the crown jewel of travel destinations.  Our guide will take us to the Peter and Paul Fortress and St Isaac's Cathedral. In the afternoon, you will have the chance to explore the city on your own.
 
Peter and Paul Fortress was designed to defend the city from naval attacks, but was used as a political prison for dissidents of the Tsarist regime and as a museum during the Soviet era. The fortress now stands as the tomb for the Russian Imperial family.
 
St Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Because of its rich decorations, gigantic golden cupolas, and sprawling observation deck, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in St. Petersburg.
 
During this city tour we will also visit St. Isaac's Square where we will see the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage, the Winter Palace, the Palace Square, the Spit of Vasilievskiy Island, the Bronze Horseman Statue, Peter's Log Cabin, Cruiser Aurora, Smolny Palace, the Nevsky Prospect, the Square of Arts
 
DAY 6, Friday, June 5: St. Petersburg
The Hermitage
Today we have our first of two visits to the Hermitage Museum, which is to St. Petersburg what Kremlin is to Moscow. St Petersburg has dozens of beautiful palaces, but the Winter Palace stands above them all. First of all, it has one of the best collections of art in the world. Secondly, this collection is located in the very building where the Russian emperors lived. It is here that they rose to power and it is as if from these walls that they ruled 1/5 of the world's territories. It was also here that the Bolsheviks overthrew their reign. The Bolsheviks were tempted to destroy the palace, the symbol of tsars, but its artistic value was so immense that they transformed it into a museum.  They say that if you were to spend just three minutes by each of the exhibits in the Hermitage, it would take three years to see everything.
 
 
DAY 7, Shabbat, June 6: St. Petersburg
On Shabbat if you wish you can attend services at the lovely Choral Synagogue. After Shabbat lunch, we will go on a walking tour of the area.
 
DAY 8, Sunday, June 7: St. Petersburg
Our second guided excursion to the Hermitage. The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artifacts of world culture. Among them are paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.
 
The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage situated in the center of St Petersburg consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old (Great) and New Hermitages, the Hermitage Theater and the Auxiliary House. The museum complex also includes the Menshikov Palace and the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building, the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Center and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
 
DAY 9, Monday, June 8: St. Petersburg-Pushkin-Pavlovsk-St. Petersburg
Catherine's Palace was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, whom he loved very much, ironically he build the palace on the other side of the city. Catherine's Palace is located in the town of Pushkin (also known as Tsarskoe Selo). We will experience the wonder of the Summer Palace, where gold and marble statutes adorn the beaming sea entrance from the cold stormy waters of the Baltic to this sun-drenched gold-dripped masterpiece. Enter the Amber Room, a beautiful room built of pure amber that disappeared during the German occupation in World War II but is now restored to its original magnificence.
 
The park and palace of Pavlovsk deserve as much attention as Catherine’s Palace. The park is designed as a classic English landscape garden, an idealized landscape filled with picturesque pieces of classical architecture. It features elements of different European parks of the 18th century that Paul I and his wife had seen when traveling incognito through Europe. Like the English landscape garden, it took much of its inspiration from the romanticized landscape paintings of Hubert Robert and twelve of his paintings are now displayed in the gallery of Pavlovsk.
 
DAY 10, Tuesday, June 9: Peterhof
Today we will venture to the outskirts of St. Petersburg via hydrofoil to visit Peterhof Palace, the summer residence of Russia’s royalty. Stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 glorious fountains of various forms and styles, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, including the famous Samson Fountain. Visit magnificent, beige and white Grand Summer Palace, lavishly decorated with the two white pavilions with gilded cupolas. While walking through its lavish parks and elegant rooms, you can easily imagine that you have been transported to Versailles.
 
DAY 11, Wednesday, June 10: The Yusupov Palace / St. Petersburg -Israel
 
The Yusupov Palace located on Moika Embankment is one of the most beautiful examples of classicism style constructions in Saint Petersburg. Decorated with six-column portico, the Palace delights with a harmony of proportions and silhouette elegancy. It is best known as the Palace on the Moika River where Grigory Rasputin was murdered in 1916. Grigory Rasputin was one of the most controversial figures in Russian history. After the demise of the royal family to which he himself had greatly contributed, he was on the run. Prince Felix Yusupov lured Rasputin to the Palace and killed him. Nowadays, the cellar where the dramatic events took place houses the exhibition “Grigory Rasputin: Pages of Life and Death”. The visitors can see the wax figures of Rasputin and plotters as well as other interesting exhibits.
 
DAY 12, Thursday, June 11: St. Petersburg -Israel
In the morning we bid Russia a farewell and transfer to the airport for our return flight home with Aeroflot at 08:10 on the morning of June 11 Thursday, arriving home in Israel at 12:35.
The high-speed Sapsan train Modern and fast, the Sapsan train departs and arrives to the city center and is, perhaps, the most convenient way to travel between Russia's two capitals. Named after the mythical Russian firebird, the Sapsan trains travel at a top speed of 200km/hr. German engineers from Siemens unveiled this traveling marvel in 2009, offering to the world the smoothness of an airport tram with the speed of a commercial jet in the neat package of a stable train. It is fast without being too fast, never being uncomfortable in its pace. It takes 4 hours to travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
 
Price: AACI members $4141 per person in a double room
Non- AACI members $4216 per person in a double room
Single supplement $1170   
                                          
Price Includes:
  • Flights on Aeroflot airlines  from Israel
  • 3 night’s deluxe hotel in Moscow- Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya
  • 7 nights deluxe hotel in St. Petersburg- Domina Prestige
  • Meals: Full board, breakfast and dinner daily with provisions for making sandwiches for lunch.   
  • Transportation in air-conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Tour leader from Israel
  • Porterage of one bag per person at hotels and train
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Visa fee for Russia
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in ‘Price Includes’
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary. Minimum number of participants needed for this tour to operate.
 
Payment:
  • Deposit of $500 per person at time of reservation.
  • Final payment due by March 10, 2015
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until March 10, 2015 : $100 per person
  • Cancellation between March 10 – May 3 : 50% of total package
  • Less then 28 days prior to departure: 100%
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
AACI’s Kosher Greek Islands Extravaganza Cruise  (7 nights)
June 7-14, 2015
4 Amazing Ports of Call
 
Athens, Volos, Mykonos, & Santorini
Will be sailing on the wonderful “Golden Iris" a hotel at sea, enjoying delicious, freshly prepared, Kosher meals (3+) daily, entertainment offered throughout the day, Jacuzzi, gym, a casino, Duty Free shopping, and more.  You will enjoy the company of a warm and diverse English-speaking group from Israel and around and the world with days at sea where you can relax with new and old friends. Our scenic land tours with rich Jewish history are enjoyable to all.
Land tours include the following:
We
Historical Athens, the capital and largest city of Greece where we will visit the Acropolis museum and Jewish Museum of Greece. Volos, from where we will travel the town of Kalambaka, where we find the stunning Meteora cliffs and their “suspended” monasteries. Captivating Mykonos with her alluring blue sea and hypnotic white buildings. And last but not least, Idyllic Santorini with picturesque villages and beautiful beaches. 
 
Scholar-in-residence, Dr. Ari Greenspan
Dr. Greenspan is a mohel, shochet and sofer, and has worked for more than 30 years collecting unusual Jewish traditions from far-fung Jewish communities. e is a contriubtor to Mishpacha magazine, writes extensively for other jornals, and has lectured all around the world. Dr. Greenspan has been producing commercial Jdaic aret for 25 years and is a US trained dentist, with a practice in Jerusalem. He is co-founder of the Ptil Tekhelet Association and is an expert on exotic kosher animals.
 
Price Includes:
  • 7 Nights, Full board + Midnight Snacks (Kosher Cuisine Freshly Prepared) and more!
  • Lectures and Land Tours in English with a Jewish flavor. 
  • Supervised Kashrut and Religious Services
  • Fully Escorted by AACI Staff.
  • Scholar-in-residence: Dr. Ari Greenspan
  • All Tips; land tours (Bus Drivers, Guides, Staff), Dining Room and Cabin Staff.
  • All Port Charges, Taxes and Security Fees.
  • Round Trip Bus Transport from Central points in Israel to Haifa.
  • Pre-cruise Orientation.
*ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE PRICE LIST
 
CABIN CATEGORY 
DECK

EURO PRICE PER PERSON IN A DOUBLE CABIN

EURO
SINGLE CABIN

A
INSIDE DECK 2
1268
1682
B
INSIDE DECK 3
1312
1770
C
OUTSIDE DECK 2
1312
1770
D
INSIDE DECK 4
1393
1932
E
OUTSIDE DECK 3
1393
1932
F
INSIDE DECK 5 & 6
1442
2030
G
OUTSIDE DECK 4
1517
2180
H
OUTSIDE DECK 5
1643
2432
I
SUITE DECK 5 , 6 & 7
1705
2556
J
DELUXE SUITE DECK 5
1765
2676

(Add Euro 50 per person for Non-AACI Members)
 
*The program and itinerary is subject to change without notice and minimum participation required.  Please note that some land tours may include strenuous walking.  Price does not include Insurance or Personal Expenses.
Prices are subject to change due to fuel increases or brochure price fluctuation.
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
 
Pric
*For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 

Kosher Verona Opera Festival & Shabbat in Trieste & full day visit of Venice
August 10-18, 2015

Verona, besides setting the scene for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is also home to the "Arena di Verona" where you will enjoy three world famous operas:  Aida, Don Giovanni, and Nabucco, performed in the magnificent ancient Roman Amphitheatre. The ambience of the arena and the sheer joy of experiencing these great performances will make your heart soar and take you to new heights in the world of opera.  During the day we will also tour in and around Verona visiting the Ghetto, Lake Garda as well as other beautiful and interesting Italian sites. We then head for Trieste where we will tour this beautiful city and spend a restful Shabbat. As an added bonus we will tour the city of Gorizia and learn about its rich Jewish past. We end our magical visit at the The Postojna caves in Slovenia and have a grand finale in Venice with its magnificent Jewish Ghetto with all its Jewish History.
 
Day 1: Monday Aug 10 Flight from Tel Aviv to Milan 7:45am-11:00.  Relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. View charming lakeside towns from the boat and acquaint ourselves with the relaxed northern Italian atmosphere. Afternoon check in at our hotel in Verona and dinner at the hotel.
 
Day 2: Tuesday Aug 11 – Spend the day touring the beautiful Verona. As the theme of the trip is opera, pay a visit to the Arena Muse Opera (Opera Museum), dedicated to Italian opera. Later in the afternoon visit Juliet’s balcony and Piazza delle Erbe and leave some time for shopping and strolling. Evening at the Arena Opera- Aida
 
Day 3: Wednesday Aug 12- After a late morning wake up, drive to Modena for a guided visit to the city, including  the artisans ‘shops, the ghetto, the synagogue, and the renowned Estense Library which features a collection of illuminated Jewish manuscripts. In Modena you will have the opportunity to visit the shops of ceramists and silversmiths who use traditional techniques.  Visit to a kosher balsamic vinegar factory.  Return to Verona.  Evening at the Arena Opera- Don Giovanni
 
Day 4: Thursday Aug 13- Drive to Padua for a guided tour of the Jewish district with its narrow streets, which once was surrounded by 4 doors, and visit the only synagogue preserved, the Italian rite one. During the visit you will also admire the art beauties of the city, such as Piazza delle Erbe and the incomparable Scrovegni Chapel. Return to Verona.   Evening at the Arena Opera- Nabucco
 
Day 5: Friday Aug 14- Bid farewell to Verona and drive to Trieste. Orientation tour of Trieste including the Piazza del Unita d’Italia, one of the largest public squarest in Europe, the Roman ruins of Trieste, and the Grand Canal. Return to hotel to get ready for Shabbat. Shabbat dinner at the Trieste Jewish Community Social Hall
 
Day 6: Saturday  Aug 15- Relaxing Shabbat in Trieste. After optional services in the nearby Trieste synagogue (15 min walk) Shabbat lunch with the community. Optional afternoon walking tour of Jewish sites of Trieste.
 
Day 7: Sunday Aug 16- Cross the border today to Slovenia for an exotic cave adventure. Tour the Postojna Cave, a 20-kilometre long underworld system. The cave is accessible without special equipment, and has a constant temperature of 8° C. Visitors are taken for a tour by a special cave train, and then are accompanied on foot by experienced guides. After the visit to the Caves visit of the beautiful Predjama Castle, built on the cliff of a mountain. Return to Trieste for dinner at the hotel and a free evening.
 
Day 9: Monday Aug 17- In the morning venture out of Trieste towards Gorizia, a town lying on the border with Slovenia. As a result of its border location, Gorizia has been on the frontlines of many historical changes. There we will have a brief tour of the town as well as visit the synagogue, which as a result of the almost nonexistent community is only open for visits. Drive back towards Trieste, and stop to experience a very dark side of Italian history, the WWII and the Holocaust. Visit and tour Risiera De San Sabba, the only concentration camp in Italy. A former rice husking facility, this camp held many Jews on their final journey to concentration camps in Poland and Germany.  Return to Trieste for dinner at the hotel and a free evening.
 
Day 9: Tuesday Aug 18- Bid farewell to Trieste and take a short ride to Venice. While buses cannot enter Venice, take a boat ride to the famous Jewish ghetto area. Begin the day with a tour of the four synagogues of Venice, the German, Italian, Spanish and Levantine synagogues. Continue from the ghetto via boat to Lido to visit the Jewish cemetery. The Venice community was given land in 1386 near San in Lido, turning it into a graveyard because of its easy access from the lagoon and gondolas that transported the deceased. The cemetery is lush with vegetation and has been subject to destruction over the years, but still serves as a historical symbol of the ancient Jewish families that came from many lands. After the visit, transfer by boat to San Marco to view the world famous square and its pigeons. End the day with a visit to the Doge palace, the magnificent structure that was home to Venice’s ruling class.  After dinner transfer to Venice airport for return flight to Israel at 22:00 landing at 02:40
 
Price: AACI members: 3,290 Euro per person in a double
Non- AACI members’3340 Euro per person in a double
Single supplement 515 Euro
 
This trip includes:
  • Flights on El AL from Israel
  • 4 nights Verona area first class hotel & 4 nights Trieste first Deluxe Hotel
  • Aida, Don Giovanni, and Nabucco (3 operas) in good center numbered seats
  • Cruise on Lake Garda
  • Special Tours to Modena, Padua, Trieste, Venice
  • Full day tour Slovenia Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle or Lubjana
  • Venice with visit to the Jewish ghetto
  • Full board (sandwiches for lunch)
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits
  • Tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and tips for drivers and guides
  • AACI staff escort 
Itinerary and Operas are subject to change without notice 
Minimum number of 30 participants required
 
Payment:
  • Deposit of Euro 500 per person at time of reservation
  • Final payment due by June 02, 2014
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until April 25, 2015:Euro 200 per person
  • Cancellation between April 26 – June 02: Euro 500 per person
  • Cancellation between June 03- July  25: 50%
  • Less than 14 days prior to departure: 100%                                                                             
Insurance:
We strongly suggest everyone takes medical insurance
 
Tour Orientation:
  • There will be an orientation session for all participants on Tuesday, August 4th at 17:30 at the AACI-Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem
Opera at the Verona Arena:
 
Tickets included in the price: Central Numbered Seats on the Steps: These are on the lower half of the Arena steps in the center of the Arena. They have a fairly direct view of the stage, with a view of the whole arena, good acoustics and a seat which is a specific reserved place and plastic seat. Cushions are available at the door are highly recommended for additional comfort.
 
Poltrona: Second sector stalls  supplement price: euro 89  for all three operas, on the floor of the arena, with normal Theatre style seats.
 
Poltronissima: First sector stalls supplement price: euro 198 for all three operas, on the floor of the arena, with normal Theatre style seats.
 
Poltronissima Gold: First few rows of the first sector stalls supplement price: euro 293 for all three operas – we do not recommend these as you do not have enough distance to appreciate the scale of the production and the conductor so close can be a distraction.
 
Important information about the Arena performances:
Cancellation/suspension in case of bad weather
In the event of bad weather the performance is never cancelled before its scheduled starting time. Should weather conditions prevent the normal running of the performance, FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA may postpone its beginning for up to 150 (one hundred fifty) minutes, before announcing the cancellation of the performance, if it is necessary. In case of permanent suspension of the performance after its beginning, there is no right to refund of the ticket.
 
 
*Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary & Operas may vary. 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.IL
FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511
EMAIL: FRUMIE_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
 
Jewish Heritage tour of Central Europe/Slovakia (7 days of touring)
August 31 – September 06 2015
 
General cultural touring will be woven into the Jewish touring, bringing the rich culture of this beautiful region to life. In Bratislava, visit the synagogue, as well as museums and other Jewish cultural sites including the grave of the great Chatam Sofer and the holocaust memorial site. Explore the Bratislava Castle perched on a scenic hilltop with views of the Danube and the old city.
 
Sail to Vienna, and visit the Jewish quarter, the Schonbrunn palace and then sail back through the beautiful Danube to Bratislava. Take a break from urban life to travel to the Low Tatra mountains, and visit Banská Štiavnica, a UNESCO world heritage site, known for its mining and view its synagogue and meet with a community leader. Continue to Banska Bystrica to visit the mass grave where famous Israeli parachutists Haviva Reik and Raphael Riess are buried. Relax before Shabbat at the spa town of Piestany and enjoy spa treatments and hot springs.
 
Day 1 Monday Aug 31 - Bratislava
After arrival at 10:35 to Bratislava, we will meet our bus at the airport and immediately begin our explorations. We will tour the Old Center of the city including the Bratislava castle- The castle, on a hill above the old town, dominates the city of Bratislava. It features in the first written reference to the city, and the area was populated as early as the late Stone Age. In the 16th century, King Ferdinand ordered the rebuilding of the castle in the Renaissance style, while in the 17th century, when the castle became the seat of the provincial chief, it was rebuilt in the baroque style. Since independence, the castle has served as a representative venue for the Slovak Parliament and houses collections of the Slovak National Museum.   
 
From there we will continue to the Jewish quarter and visit the small moving Jewish museum housed in The Heydukova Street Synagogue. The museum exhibition is installed in the synagogue's disused women's gallery and includes key items from the Judaica collection of the Bratislava Jewish community as well as other objects – some of them associated with the Holocaust – donated by individual community members.
We will then continue to explore the rest of the city including the main square, promenade and Holocaust Memorial.
Check in to the hotel.  Dinner at the Hotel.
 
Day 2 Tuesday Sept 01 - Vienna
We will start the morning with an hour ride to the stately city of Vienna, the capital of Austria. Once there we will learn about the Jewish life and heritage in Vienna through the years. We will visit the Jewish Museum of Vienna at Palais Eskeles. Besides its extensive collection of Viennese Judaica, the Museum tells the story of Viennese Jewry and its impact on the development of Vienna. You will then walk through the narrow streets to visit the Judenplatz which was the town square of the Jewish Community of Vienna in the Middle Ages.  Jews began settling Vienna in 1150, and medieval Jewish traditions and presence thrived here until the pogrom of 1421, when most of the community were either murdered or imprisoned. Today, the square is dominated by the new Holocaust Memorial; and several Jewish organizations have returned to the surrounding buildings including a branch of the Jewish Museum.
 
We will then continue onto the The Hundertwasserhaus, an expressionist landmark in Austria which is an apartment house  built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and architect Joseph Krawina.
After dinner at a kosher restaurant we will cruise the Danube back to Bratislava and see the river sites at night.
Dinner in a local kosher restaurant in Vienna.  Return by Danube Cruise to Bratislava.
 
 
Day 3 Wednesday Sept 02 - Low Tatras,  Banska Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica
After breakfast we will drive east to the Low Tatras. The Tatras are a mountain range of the Inner Western Carpathians in central Slovakia. There we will visit Banská Štiavnica, an old mining town whose old city is a UNESCO declared historical site. Over the centuries, the old medieval mining center grew into a town with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares and castles. As Banská Štiavnica was an important silver mining town, Jews were barred from living here until the ban on Jewish residence in mining towns was lifted in 1859. The Jews of Banská Štiavnica, who belonged to the Neolog movement, were prosperous and managed to integrate well into the town's German-speaking middleclass society. We will visit the synagogue, built in 1893, which has recently been restored. We will also visit the Jewish cemetery, which has recently undergone restoration, and occupies a beautiful location on a hillside above town.
We will then drive to Banska Bystrica where we will visit a mass grave from WWII where Haviva Reik and Raphael Weiss, Israeli parachutists are buried. There we will hear about their stories and their heroism.
After some free time in the center of town, we will drive back to Bratislava for dinner.
Dinner tonight at the hotel
 
Day 4 Thursday Sept 03 - Vienna
In the morning we will take a morning scenic cruise to Vienna for another day of exploring. Today’s tour will include major historical sites that were not seen during our first visit. We will start with a tour of the Old City and see the Hofburg Palace which is the former imperial palace of Vienna. Part of this stately palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Built in the 13th century, the palace has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including monarchs of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was the principal imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was their summer residence. From there we continue to Maria Theresa Platz, which is flanked by magnicificent buildings. We will see city hall, the Parliament building, and stop by the grandiose Opera House. The highlight of our day will be the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace. This Baroque summer residence of the Hapsburgs, known as the “Versailles of Austria,” greets us with an opulent and impressive interior, including the magnificent ceremonial rooms in the central part of the palace.
Dinner in a local kosher restaurant then we return by bus to Bratislava
 
Day 5 Friday Sept 04 - Piestany
Today will be a relaxing spa day. We will leave after breakfast to the spa town of Piestany. There we will arrive at “Spa Island” located between the two branches of the Vah River. There we will visit thermal springs and relax by their waters. We will also enjoy two short spa treatments at the world famous Piestany Spa Hotel.
 
After our spa morning and afternoon, we will travel back to Bratislava to prepare for Shabbat.
We will then bring in Shabbat together at the Hydukova Street synagogue, the only remaining active synagogue in the city.
Shabbat Dinner at the hotel
 
Day 6 Shabbat Sept 05 - Bratislava
Celebrate Shabbat together at the Hydukova Street Synagogue, then return to the hotel for a festive Shabbat lunch.
Spend the afternoon relaxing and strolling in the neighborhoods of Bratislava.
After Shabbat and dinner, we will have an optional night tour of the city.
 
Day 7 Sunday Sept 06-Bratislava
We will spend Sunday like the locals and stroll along the Danube promenade for our last vista of the city.
Towards mid morning we arrive at the grave of the Chatam Sofer. The Chatam Sofer Memorial in Bratislava is a unique Jewish heritage site, it is the sole remaining part of the centuries-old Jewish cemetery that was destroyed in 1943 when the nearby tunnel was constructed. Only the most important section, with 23 graves surrounding the Chatam Sofer’s tomb, was preserved as an underground compound. In 2000-2002, the whole site was redeveloped and the gravestones were restored. The architect Martin Kvasnica designed a striking new complex that adheres to the strict requirements of halakhah as well as to the highest standards of contemporary architecture.
 
After some free time to shop and stroll-we will have a farewell dinner then make our back to the airport for a late night flight.
 
Price: AACI members
Euro1949 per person in a double room
 Non member’s euro 1999 per person in a dbl. room  
Single room supplement: Euro 405
Minimum travelers required  
Included in the price for this tour:
  • Chartered Flights
  • 6 nights at the 4star Superior Crowne Plaza Hotel
  • Full board
  • All airport transfers in Bratislava
  • Tour the Jewish quarter in Bratislava and Vienna
  • Cruise to and from Bratislava to/from Vienna on the Danube
  • Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
  • Spanish Riding School show
  • Schonbrunn Palace
  • Full day tour of Tatra mountain range
  • Visit to Piesteny including 2 spa treatments
  • Tips for local guides & drivers and Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
Flight Schedule:
  • Aug 31 departure 08:00 from Tel Aviv arrival at 10:35 to Bratislava
  • Sep 06 departure 23:59 from Bratislava arrival at 04:30 to Tel Aviv
Not included in the price:
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not mentioned in above itinerary
Cancellation Policy:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until July 29, 2015- euro75 per person
  • July 30- Aug 10, 2015 – euro 375 per person
  • Aug 11 until day of departure- 100%
  Passports must be valid until at least February 2016
  Please send a photo copy of your passport with application form
 
  Minimum number of participants required. Itinerary is subject to change without notice
  Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals.
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.IL
FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511
 
China Experience
Beijing, Xian & Shanghai
Oct 19-29, 2015
This itinerary includes the country’s two major cities of Beijing and Shanghai and a detour to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors. In Beijing, try to absorb the enormity of Tiananmen Square, the largest in the world, before exploring the Forbidden City on foot. Ride a rickshaw through the neighborhood maze of old Hutongs, watch a Golden Mask Performance and visit the fabulous pearl market. Climb the Great Wall of China and see the Olympic sites. Fly to Xian where ancient history comes alive with its army of warriors, often regarded as the greatest archaeological discovery of our time. We then fly on to Shanghai where there’s time to discover the old town, stroll along the grand colonial waterfront promenade, the Bund, the Jewish Quarte and see a vibrant acrobatic performance.
 
Day 1 Monday, Oct 19:  
Depart for Beijing – we leave Israel on our EL AL evening flight to Beijing at 22:55
 
Day 2: Tuesday, Oct 20:  Arrival in Beijing at 13:30. Meet our local guide at the airport and embark on a scenic tour of Beijing. En route to hotel drive to the Olympic Site for a breathtaking view of Bird Nest Stadium and the inspiring Water Cubic Stadium from outside. Get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our welcome dinner.  Evening: Introduction to China.  Dinner at Chabad House.
 
Day 3: Wednesday: Oct 21: Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by deluxe coach to the Great Wall initially built in 221 BC by the first emperor of China as a defense against nomadic tribes and has been renowned as one of the 7 wonders of the world. It extends over 10000 kilometers in the northern part of China from the eastern Pacific Ocean to the western Gobi Desert. Visit the Jade Friendship Store while enjoying the magnificent work done by elite Chinese jade experts on the spot.  Later in the day, visit the Ming Tombs and learn about Chinese Feng Shui as mostly reflected by the layout of the Ming Dynasty Tombs. Return to the city for our Chinese Banquet dinner at the Chabad House. 
This evening enjoy the daring Kung Fu Show
 
Day 4: Thursday, Oct 22: Breakfast in the hotel.  Visit the Summer Palace, an imperial garden which is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value. Explore the Pearl Market and learn to how to find the best quality pearls and various pearl products which has been part of the Chinese culture.  Visit the Tibetan style Lamasery housing the world largest single white sandal tree Buddhist carving.  Then take an exciting tour of Beijing’s Htongs (old neighborhoods) on a private and exciting Rickshaw ride.  . Dinner at the Chabad House followed by the amazing Golden Mask performance.
 
Day 5: Friday, Oct 23:  Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to the Temple of Heaven and traditional Chinese Park. The Temple is the sacred praying site for Chinese emperors (1420-1911) to pray for a good harvest. Visit the largest city square in the world-Tiananmen Square, which can hold as many as 3 million people. We proceed through the Tiananmen Rostrum to the imperial enclosure - the famed Forbidden City, also named the Palace Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. It houses more than 9999 rooms.  Five of the rooms had 24 emperors living successively inside them from 1420 until 1911 both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Climb up the Scenery Hill and have a bird’s eye view of the modern Beijing City as well as the glistening Forbidden City spread out in front of you.  Stop for traditional Chinese foot massage and lecture on Chinese medicine and treatment.  Hotel rest before Shabbat with the Beijing Jewish Community at Chabad.  Evening: Shabbat with Chabad of Beijing.
 
Day 6: Saturday, Oct 24: Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch at the Chabad House.  After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the unique Flower Market featuring beautiful Asian plants and flowers. Walk back to hotel for Shabbat rest.  Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishit and Maariv.
Evening: visit to the exotic Food Market and Wangfujing street.
 
Day 7: Sunday, Oct 25: Breakfast box on our early morning flight to Xian. Upon arrival Excursion to the world famous Terra Cotta Warrior Museum, including special visit to panorama movie, Pit1, Pit2, Pit3 and the Bronze Chariot. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. Given time, we will take a glimpse of the warrior duplication site where molds are created to show the original way of creating them.  In the afternoon we will visit Muslim Street and museum which is a fantastic place to wander around. All shops and restaurants in the street are operated by Muslims. The stalls line the narrow alleys selling almost everything. If you are good at bargaining, you can get some amazing buys.  Dinner will be in the hotel with a delicious kosher fish dinner.  After dinner we will attend our evening show the Tang Dynasty Costume Show.
 
Day 8: Monday, Oct 26: Breakfast in the hotel. Morning visit to The Shaanxi History Museum, regarded as “the pearl of ancient dynasties and house of Chinese treasures”, gives a miniature overview of the thousands of years of Chinese history and the splendid ancient cultures of olden times. Stop at a Ming Furniture Center. Representing the zenith of Chinese furniture, Ming furniture is treasured for its precious wood, comfortable design, simple decoration and superb craftsmanship..  Early afternoon flight to Shanghai. Dinner at Chabad house in Shanghai.  Night cruise in the harbor over the neon lit Huangpu River, with a spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline.
 
Day 9: Tuesday, Oct 27: Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to Jewish Shanghai: the former home of Shanghai's Jewish community, the Hongkou Ghetto and nearby, the former Ohel-Moishe Synagogue. See the Memorial to Stateless Refugees within the ghetto and visit Ohel Rachel Synagogue, also built by the Sassoon family. Drive through the French Concession, where many of Shanghai's fine Jewish estates were once located. Within the French Concession, visit the Arts and Crafts Institute, a historic home and former estate of one of Shanghai's officials. See some of the local crafts designed and created here. Then visit the Sir Elie Kadoorie Mansion (the Marble Mansion), today a Children's Palace, to watch gifted children dance, sing, and play traditional Chinese instruments.  Return to your hotel.  Dinner at the Chabad restaurant Shanghai. Evening: Spectacular Acrobatic Show.
 
Day 10: Wednesday, Oct  28: Breakfast in the hotel.   Our guide will meet us this morning for a 1 1/2 hours' drive to the ancient water town – Zhouzhuang which is known as the Venice of China.  Famed as China's No.1 water town, Zhouzhuang reveals its beauty with various Ming and Qing Dynasty residences and dozens of classic bridges while the two most famous residences are Shen House and Zhang House. A cruise along the canal will give you a view of a unique waterside lifestyle. Return to Shanghai in late afternoon.  Dinner at the Chabad restaurant Shanghai.  This evening enjoy free shopping time on Nanjing Road.
 
Day 11: Thursday, Oct 29:  Breakfast in the hotel. Tour of Shanghai Museum. Also known as the Museum of Ancient Chinese Art, the Shanghai Museum was established in 1952 and relocated twice before finding a permanent home at its present location, south of the centrally located People's Plaza, in 1996. More than 120,000 precious and rare works of art in 21 categories make the Shanghai Museum the most remarkable cultural institution in the city. Stroll around the People's Square outside the museum overlooking the stylistic buildings including the City Hall, the City Planning Museum and the Shanghai Opera House.  Visit an Embroidery Gallery at the city center given time. Afternoon departure from Shanghai at 16:20 on Dragon Air to Hong Kong arriving at 19:05 and connect with EL AL at 20:55 back to Israel arriving at 03:15am.
 
Price: AACI members $3998 per person in a double room
Non members $4048 per person in a dbl. room
Single room supplement: $670
             
This trip includes:
  • Round trip air from Israel with EL AL
  • Domestic flights in China
  • Full board kosher meals
  • Great Wall of China excursion
  • Rickshaw ride in Beijing
  • Golden Mask Performance
  • Visit in Xian to the Terra Cotta Soldiers
  • Tang Dynasty Costume Show
  • Tour of Jewish Shanghai
  • Full day tour to Zhouzhuang, famed Watertown
  • Acrobatic Show
  • All Tips: driver, local guide & Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.IL
FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511
EMAIL: FRUMIE_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
 
AACI’s 14 Night  Cruise - Wonders of the Mediterranean
October 06-20, 2015
Our Amazing Ports of Call
Florence, Tuscany, Rome,
Naples, Sicily, Malta, Agios Nikolaos & Chania
 
Florence: Uffizi, Michelangelo's David, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Gates of Paradise. Tuscany: Breathtaking rolling hills, quaint villas to charm. Rome: The Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, the Forum-all dripping in rich history. Pompeii: full of mysteries. Sicily’s mesmerizing charm.  Malta: sail into one of the most stunning port in Europe and Greece: stunning breathtaking islands, one after the other*.
 
Scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Dr. Aaron Adler
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Adler, AACI’s scholar in residence is a protégé of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt"l. In addition to being a graduate of Yeshiva University, he holds a Ph.D from Bar Ilan University.             Rabbi Adler is also a devout follower and performer (amateur) of R' Shlomo Carlebach's music and he has led many Jewish historical trips to Poland.
 
Trip Includes:
  • 14 Nights, Full board
  • Lectures and Land Tours in English with a Jewish flavor.
  • Supervised Kashrut and Religious Services
  • Fully Escorted by AACI Staff.
  • Scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Dr. Aharon Adler
  • Port Charges, Taxes and Security Fees.
  • Round Trip Bus Transport from Central points in Israel to Haifa
  • All Tiprs and land tours (bus drivers, guides, staff), dining room and cabins taff
  • Wine/beer or soft drink at dinner
  • Cruise Booklet and Jacket
  • Pre-cruise Orientation.
*ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE PRICE LIST
 
Cabin Category Deck Euro Price Per Person in a Double Cabin Euro Single Cabin
A
INSIDE DECK 2
2071
2678
B
INSIDE DECK 3
2139
2814
C
OUTSIDE DECK 2
2139
2814
D
INSIDE DECK 4
2265
3066
E
OUTSIDE DECK 3
2265
3066
F
INSIDE DECK 5 & 6
2342
3220
G
OUTSIDE DECK 4
2458
3452
H
OUTSIDE DECK 5
2715
3966
I
SUITE DECK 5 , 6 & 7
2907
4250
J / SOLD OUT
DELUXE SUITE DECK 5
2999
4434
 
 
Add Euro 50 per person for Non-AACI Members
 
*The program and itinerary is subject to change without notice and minimum participation required. Please note that land tours are not final and some tours may include strenuous walking.
*Price does not inlcude insruance or personal expenses.
*Prices are subject to change due to fuel increases or brochure price fluctuation.
 
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910 ckremer@aaci.org.il
For reservations, please call Frumie Horowitz at Ophir Tours: 03-5269511 frumie_h@ophirtours.co.il
 
China In-depth
Hong Kong, Guilin, Shanghai, Xian, Beijing
Oct 25 - Nov 08, 2015
14 Days of touring!
China’s textured and ancient history seamlessly melds into a fascinating, modern country, brimming with breathtaking sights.  This in depth tour will open up this vast and wondrous country to the traveler-and will leave no stone unturned.
 
We will explore the major cities of Hong Kong, Guilin, Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.  In Hong Kong we will visit the Aberdeen Fishing Market and its floating stalls. In Beijing we'll stand in the midst of Tiananmen Square and have a walking tour through the Forbidden City and of course climb the Great Wall of China. In Xian we will view the Terra Cotta Warriors.  We will fly to Shanghai where we discover old quarters, stroll along the Grand Colonial Waterfront Promenade, the Bund and the Jewish Quarter and see a breathtaking acrobatic performance. The highlight of our extensive trip is Guilin and its environs. Guilin’s natural beauty will leave us breathless and its history will astound us. In Guilin we will explore the Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill, in Yangshuo we will view the spectacular Impression Show, enjoy a cruise on the Li River and so much more
 
Day 1 Sunday, Oct 25: 
Depart for Hong Kong – we leave Israel on our EL AL evening flight to Hong Kong at 20:50
 
Day 2: Monday, Oct 26: 
Arrival in Hong Kong at 13:55. Meet our local guide at the airport and embark on a scenic tour of Hong Kong. En route to hotel we will view The Man Mo Temple, which is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), Nathan Road-formerly known as Golden Road, and the great many impressive and sleek skyscrapers that make up this world financial center.
After arrival at the hotel, get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our welcome dinner. Dinner at local kosher restaurant.
 
Day 3: Tuesday: Oct 27:
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend a full day exploring this wondrous city. We will start our day visiting Victoria Peak, the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island. Because of its height, it offers spectacular view of the city and surrounding islands. In order to reach the mountain, we will take the Peak Tram-enjoyed by both locals and tourists. From there we continue to Ohel Leah synagogue. The Hong Kong Jewish Community was formally established in the 1850s in premises leased by the Sassoon family. The Ohel Leah Synagogue has been in continuous use since its completion with the exception of a short period during World War II when Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. The synagogue is built in a colonial style and incorporates elements from the Edwardian free classical-style. The polished Aberdeen granite columns, central elevated bimah enclosed by carved wood balustrades on three sides, and heavy, rich wood benches are reflective of Baghdadi and Sephardic heritage. After a tour of the synagogue and an opportunity to learn about the Jewish community, we will continue to Aberdeen. Aberdeen is famous to not only tourists but also Hong Kong locals for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants located in the Aberdeen Harbour.
After our sightseeing filled day we will drive to a local Kosher restaurant for dinner and a night tour of the city.
 
Day 4: Wednesday, Oct 28:
Breakfast in the hotel and morning flight to Guilin. Located in south China, Guilin and its environs is considered to be the pearl of China's thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. The stunning landscape in which the city is situated has a kind of magic that is all its own. The strangely shaped hills, with the verdant vegetation ranging from bamboos to conifers together with crystal clear waters and wonderful caves make the city an appealing destination. It is also an important cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years. However, adventures in Guilin City will have to wait, as upon arrival, we will drive to Yangshuo, which is a gateway to the beautiful scenery of the region, specifically the karst mountains, formed by a unique geological process. We will enjoy a cruise on the peaceful Li River, a perfect place to view the unique karst rock structures. After our cruise and lunch, we will drive to Fuli Town, one of the few preserved ancient towns in Guilin. Locals still keep their traditional way of living in old stone houses, boat fishing and making rice wine.
At night we will view the amazing Yangshuo Impression Show, which is the world largest natural theater which utilizes the waters of the Li River as its stage, with twelve mist shrouded hills and the heavens as its backdrop.
Overnight in Guilin with dinner at hotel.
 
Day 5: Thursday, Oct 29: 
Breakfast in the hotel. Today we explore the county of Longsheng in Guilin County. Famous for its rice terraces and hot springs, it is also home to widely diverse cultural minorities, all with their own flavor and flair. Once we arrive, we will visit various charming villages which preserve and display age old traditions including Yingshui Dong Village, where the Dong people prospered, Jinzhu Zhuang Village, the home of the Zhuang people, which also boasts the best views of the rice terraces. We will also visit two villages of the Yao people, Baimian Yao Village and Huangluo Yao Village, and experience their culture.
Drive back to Guilin for dinner at the hotel.
 
Day 6: Friday, Oct 30:
Today is a day to explore the city of Guilin. We start with the Reed Flute Cave, a natural phenomena of limestone rock lit up by multicolored lights. We then continue on to Elephant Trunk Hill, a hill nicknamed such because of its appearance of an elephant drinking water. Lastly-before we end off the day, we stop at a Pearl factory to shop and learn about this elegant stone.
We will then return to the hotel prepare for Shabbat, and enjoy a delicious Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
 
Day 7: Saturday, Oct 31:
Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch.  After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the city.
Evening: evening tour including a cruise on the four lakes of Guilin and a view of the two illuminated pagodas-one named the Sun and the other appropriately named the Moon.
 
Day 8: Sunday, Nov 01:
Early afternoon flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival we will have an introductory tour of Shanghai, including the Yu Garden, a prime example of a Chinese Garden and the Chenghuang Miao Bazaar, whose center is a world famous temple.
After check-in at the hotel, we transfer for dinner at Chabad house in Shanghai and finish the night with a cruise in the harbor over the neon lit Huangpu River, with a spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline.
 
Day 9: Monday, Nov 02:
Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to Jewish Shanghai: the former home of Shanghai's Jewish community, the Hongkou Ghetto and nearby, the former Ohel-Moishe Synagogue. See the Memorial to Stateless Refugees within the ghetto and visit Ohel Rachel Synagogue, also built by the Sassoon family. Drive through the French Concession, where many of Shanghai's fine Jewish estates were once located. Within the French Concession, visit the Arts and Crafts Institute, a historic home and former estate of one of Shanghai's officials. See some of the local crafts designed and created here. Then visit the Sir Elie Kadoorie Mansion (the Marble Mansion), today a Children's Palace, to watch gifted children dance, sing, and play traditional Chinese instruments.  Return to your hotel.  Dinner at the Chabad restaurant Shanghai. Evening: Spectacular Acrobatic Show
 
Day 10: Tuesday, Nov 03:
Breakfast box on our early morning flight to Xian. Upon arrival Excursion to the world famous Terra Cotta Warrior Museum, including special visit to panorama movie, Pit1, Pit2, Pit3 and the Bronze Chariot. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. Given time, we will take a glimpse of the warrior duplication site where molds are created to show the original way of creating them.  In the afternoon we will visit Muslim Street and museum which is a fantastic place to wander around. All shops and restaurants in the street are operated by Muslims. The stalls line the narrow alleys selling almost everything. If you are good at bargaining, you can get some amazing buys.  Dinner will be in the hotel with a delicious kosher fish dinner.  After dinner we will attend our evening show the Tang Dynasty Costume Show.
 
Day 11: Wednesday, Nov 04: Breakfast in the hotel.   Morning visit to The Shaanxi History Museum, regarded as “the pearl of ancient dynasties and house of Chinese treasures”, gives a miniature overview of the thousands of years of Chinese history and the splendid ancient cultures of olden times. Stop at a Ming Furniture Center. Representing the zenith of Chinese furniture, Ming furniture is treasured for its precious wood, comfortable design, simple decoration and superb craftsmanship.. 
Afternoon flight to Beijing. En route to hotel drive to the Olympic Site for a breathtaking view of Bird Nest Stadium and the inspiring Water Cubic Stadium from outside. Get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our dinner. 
Dinner at Chabad House.
 
Day 12: Thursday, Nov 05:  Breakfast in the hotel. Departure by deluxe coach to the Great Wall initially built in 221 BC by the first emperor of China as a defense against nomadic tribes and has been renowned as one of the 7 wonders of the world. It extends over 10000 kilometers in the northern part of China from the eastern Pacific Ocean to the western Gobi Desert. Visit the Jade Friendship Store while enjoying the magnificent work done by elite Chinese jade experts on the spot.  Later in the day, visit the Ming Tombs and learn about Chinese Feng Shui as mostly reflected by the layout of the Ming Dynasty Tombs.
Dinner at the Chabad House followed by the amazing Golden Mask performance.
 
Day 13: Friday, Nov 06: Morning tour to the Temple of Heaven and traditional Chinese Park. The Temple is the sacred praying site for Chinese emperors (1420-1911) to pray for a good harvest. Visit the largest city square in the world-Tiananmen Square, which can hold as many as 3 million people. We proceed through the Tiananmen Rostrum to the imperial enclosure - the famed Forbidden City, also named the Palace Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. It houses more than 9999 rooms.  Five of the rooms had 24 emperors living successively inside them from 1420 until 1911 both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Climb up the Scenery Hill and have a bird’s eye view of the modern Beijing City as well as the glistening Forbidden City spread out in front of you.  Stop for traditional Chinese foot massage and lecture on Chinese medicine and treatment.  Hotel rest before Shabbat with the Beijing Jewish Community at Chabad.  Evening: Shabbat with Chabad of Beijing.
 
Day 14: Shabbat, Nov 07:  
Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch at the Chabad House.  After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the unique Flower Market featuring beautiful Asian plants and flowers. Walk back to hotel for Shabbat rest.  Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishit and Maariv.
Evening: visit to the exotic Food Market and Wangfujing Street.
This evening enjoy the daring Kung Fu Show
Day 15: Sunday, Nov 08:  
Visit the Summer Palace, an imperial garden which is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value. Explore the Pearl Market and learn to how to find the best quality pearls and various pearl products which has been part of the Chinese culture.  Visit the Tibetan style Lamasery housing the world largest single white sandal tree Buddhist carving.  Then take an exciting tour of Beijing’s Htongs (old neighborhoods) on a private and exciting Rickshaw ride. 
After dinner evening departure from Beijing at with EL AL at 22:00 back to Israel arriving at 03:10am.
 

Price: AACI members $5185 per person in a double room
Non members $5235 per person in a dbl. room
Single room supplement: $865

 
This trip includes:
  • Round trip air from Israel with EL AL
  • Domestic flights in China
  • Full board kosher meals
  • Aberdeen Cruise
  • Yangshuo Impression Show
  • Golden Mask Performance
  • Visit in Xian to the Terra Cotta Soldiers
  • Tang Dynasty Costume Show
  • Tour of Jewish Shanghai
  • Full day tour to Zhouzhuang, famed Watertown
  • Acrobatic Show
  • All Tips: driver, local guide & Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
Flight Schedule:
  • Oct 25 departure 20:50 from Tel Aviv arrival at 13:55 Hong Kong
  • Nov 08 departure 22:00 from Beijing arrival at 03:10 Tel Aviv
Price Includes:
  • Flights on EL AL  from Israel
  • 4 domestic flights Hong Kong/Guilin; Guilin/Shanghai; Shanghai/Xian; Xian/Beijing
  • 13 night’s good 4 star  hotel accommodation- as mentioned or similar     
  • Hong Kong 2 nights Regal Oriental Hotel
    Guilin 4 nights Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    Shanghai 2 nights Grand Mercure Baolong Hotel
    Beijing 5 nights Metro Park Lido
    Xian 1 nights Titan Times Hotel
                       
  • Kosher Meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + lunch boxes.  Dinners in Beijing and Shanghai at kosher restaurants. Freshly prepared  vegetarian / fish dinner at hotel in Xian and Guilin and specially prepared Chinese banquet dinner
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Israeli English speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and all tips
  • 5 varied evening Chinese shows
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Chinese Visa
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
 
Payment:
Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by September 10, 2015
 
Cancellation:
Cancellation from time of registration until September 09, 2015: $250 per person
Cancellation between September 10-September 30, 2015: 50% of total package
Cancellation from October 01 to day of departure: 100%
 
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.IL
FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511
 
AACI Delux Kosher Prague - 4 days of touring
November 16-19  2015
 
The City of a Thousand Spires has seen it all.
 
 
Day 1, Monday Nov 16 arrive in Prague
We will meet at Ben Gurion airport for our flight to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.  After landing, we will meet our bus and tour guide for a tour of the city. We will enjoy a walking tour of Vaclav Square, founded by Charles IV in 1348.  Then, continue towards the old city surrounded by walls and fortifications. This lovely area has been declared a world heritage site. We will view the Powder Gate, the old town square, the "clock square", the famous astronomical clock and the Church of Tyne. We will continue towards the Vltava River, the longest river in the Czech Republic, followed by a leisurely cruise on the river. Dinner at a local kosher restaurant. All nights at the 5* Deluxe Jalta Hotel.
 
Day 2, Tuesday Nov 17, after a Kosher breakfast at the hotel, we will visit Prague Castle which has been the seat of Czech princes, kings, and also presidents in the modern history of the state, since the end of the 9th century. The tour comprises all courtyards, leads around the St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedrals and the Old Royal Palace to Jiřské Square, from where it continues to the Golden Lane and to Opyš. We will walk across the Charles Bridge which represents the interesting history of this oldest preserved connecting line between both Prague embankments. Special attention will be given not only to its beautiful sculptural decoration, but also to the Old Town and Lesser Quarter bridge towers.  Dinner at a local kosher restaurant followed by a performance at the Black Theater (a theatrical performance style characterized by the use of black box theatre augmented by black light illusion)
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Day 3, Wednesday Nov 18, after a kosher breakfast, we will tour The Jewish Quarter which is part of Prague's Old Town and forms a self-contained area that can be easily covered on foot. The district was named Josefov after emperor Josef II and was added to Prague's historical center in 1850. Prague's Jewish population has lived in this area for centuries and was nearly wiped out during the war. We will visit the Jewish Cemetery and a number of synagogues, Maisel, the Pinkas Synagogue that serves as a memorial to the victims of the holocaust with almost 80,000 names inscribed on its walls and the astonishing Spanish Synagogue. All of the synagogues have been beautifully restored and house priceless exhibits collected throughout the past. Visit to Kafka’s House. Your walk will end on Old Town Square. Dinner at a local kosher restaurant.
 
Day 4, Thursday Nov 19, after a kosher breakfast, Depart Prague for Lidice, the Czech town destroyed by Hitler, and visit the extraordinary new multi-media museum and children's monument. Travel to Terezin to visit what the Nazis called the "Model Concentration Camp" Tour the fortress and the recently discovered Holocaust era secret synagogue of the Danish Jews. Dinner at a local kosher restaurant. Then we depart for our return flight.
 
Price: AACI members
Euro 1415 per person in a double room
 Non members Euro 1465 per person in a double room  
 Single room supplement: Euro160 
                                         
This deluxe trip includes:
  • Direct flights from Israel
  • 3 nights @ the deluxe Jalta hotel 5 stars
  • 3 kosher breakfast plus lunch  sandwich preparations 
  • 4 dinners in a local kosher restaurant
  • All airport transfers in Prague
  • Tickets for the famous Black Theater
  • Afternoon River Cruise on the Vltava River
  • All sightseeing as indicated including entrances
  • Accent on Jewish History
  • Tips for local guides & drivers and Israeli tour leader
  • Israeli Tour Leader
  • AACI escort
Price does not include
  • Any items of personal nature
  • Insurance
Minimum number of participants required
Itinerary is subject to change without notice
Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
 
PAYMENT:
Deposit of 200 Euro per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by October 16, 2015
 
CANCELATION:
Cancellation from time of registration until October 15, 2015: 100 Euro per person
Cancellation between October 16 - November 01, 2015: 50% of total package
Cancellation from November 02 to day of departure: 100%
 
TOUR ORIENTATION: There will be an orientation session for all participants on Monday, November 9th at the AACI-Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem at 17:30
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEB SITE-WWW.AACI.ORG.ILFOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL FRUMIE HOROWITZ AT OPHIR TOURS: 03-526-9511EMAIL: FRUMIE_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
AACI goals are to support the successful klitah (absorption) of new olim while providing a variety of social and professional programs that enhance the lives of Israel's English speaking community.  The AACI Travel Experience generates much needed income for our programs. We hope you feel pride in knowing a small portion of your travel fare goes to be used for a wonderful purpose.
 
    
5th Annual Childrens & Teens Art Exhibition 2015
 
AACI Travel Program 2015    
 
 
 
 
 
 
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