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The Melton Learning Experience: Text-Based, Pluralistic and Interactive

 

Prague & Berlin: "A Tale of Two Cities"
Dates: June 3-12, 2020
Cost $4,895 USD (land only). Single supplement: $910 USD.
Join us as we follow the trajectories of these great and beautiful cities, each in its time playing a unique role in Jewish life, and both succumbing to the great madness that almost led to the destruction of European Jewry. The seminar explores the ways that each city has dealt with its past, dealing also with political change and reintegrating into the surrounding societies: Berlin has become the symbolic phoenix of European Jewish life, while Prague allows us access to the precious legacy of central European Jewish life, ironically due to the Nazis' intention to create a Museum of the Extinct Jewish Race.
Jewish Museum, Berlin (credit Nathaniel Samson)

Jewish Museum, Berlin (credit Nathaniel Samson)

 

  • A Tale of Two Cities Seminar, June 3-12, 2020, in Prague and Berlin. Cost $4,895 USD (land only). Single supplement: $910 USD.

    The "A Tale of Two Cities" seminar in Prague and Berlin will be led by Haim Aronovitz, Director of the Melton Travel Seminars. The seminar is open to adults who enjoy in-depth Jewish educational travel, including all Melton students and graduates.   

    For more information about this seminar, please click the tab headings in this section or the icon on mobile devices. Or, download a PDF of the June 2020 itinerary here.

    Register Now

  • Tour Includes

    • 8 nights' accommodation at select hotels
    • Meals: breakfast daily & 6 additional meals
    • All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton program
  • June 2nd possible group flights from U.S. (not included).


    Day One: Wednesday, June 3rd
    PRAGUE: A WALKING INTRODUCTION

    • 2:30 p.m. Meet with your Melton educator and fellow group members to begin the program.
    • Orientation to the program.
    • Walking tour of the Old Town Square and its vicinity, a kaleidoscope of periods and styles: (how) were the Jews a part of this culture? 
    • Welcoming dinner.
    • Return to the hotel.

    Overnight: Prague


    Day Two: Thursday, June 4th
    THE GLORY OF PRAGUE, GENERAL AND JEWISH

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Introduction to the day: The Crown, the Cross and the Jews.
    • Transfer to the Strakhov Monastery for a special tour of their library, followed by a visit to the environs of the Hrad (Prague Castle).
    • Overview of the City of 100 Spires and walk along the Golden Lane, with a study session on the way: Politics and Leadership: Between Nobles, Burghers and Jews.
    • Walk through the Lesser Town and over the Charles Bridge crossing the Vltava River, once the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas
    • Lunch on your own en route.
    • Afternoon devoted to the Old Jewish Town (Yosefov):
    • Introduction: The Fabric of Jewish Life Until the 19th century
      • Guided visit through the Altneu Shul
      • Explore the rest of the Old Ghetto and the Precious Legacy Exhibit at the Jewish Museum, encompassing the Old Cemetery, the Maisel, the Klausen and the Pinkas Synagogues.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.
    • (Optional): A Jew in K.'s Prague (walking exploration of Kafka’s World in Central Prague).

    Overnight: Prague


    Day Three: Friday, June 5th
    MEMORY & CONTINUITY

    • Breakfast at the hotel and introduction to the day: Twentieth Century Breakdown.
    • Depart Prague and drive to Terezin.
    • Visit Terezin, the town that was turned into the “model” ghetto and concentration camp. Visit the Historical Museum and the Art Exhibits, created by the artists who were prisoners of the camp, stop by the so-called Hidden Synagogue and the Crematorium. Conclude the visit with a special study session: What Makes For Heroism?
    • Boxed lunch en route back to Prague.
    • Meeting with a young leader of the Czech Jewish community.
    • Shabbat Dinner, possibly with members of the community.

    Overnight: Prague


    Day Four: Saturday, June 6th
    A PRAGUE SHABBAT

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Optional Shabbat morning services at a local synagogue.

    OR

    • Morning at leisure to explore Prague on own.
    • Lunch on own. 
    • Afternoon walking tour.
    • Bein Kodesh Lechol: light Shabbat Snack, study session and Havdalah.

    Overnight: Prague


    Day Five: Sunday, June 7th
    FROM PRAGUE TO BERLIN

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    • Drive to Dresden, symbol of Germany in her defeat and of the price of war.
    • Site visit and discussion: Victor Klemperer - A Jew, Not by Choice. 
    • Boxed lunch together, in a park near Dresden's cathedral.
    • Continue the drive to Berlin; upon arrival:
      • Visit Nikolaikirsche Platz for an overview of the story of the city and its Jewish community.
      • See Ephraim-Palais, home of the court Jew of Frederick the Great
      • Presentation alongside Lessing's home: Lessing and "Nathan the Wise" (Moses Mendelssohn).
    • Check into the hotel.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Berlin


    Day Six: Monday, June 8th
    JEWISH LIFE IN BERLIN

    • Breakfast at the hotel and introduction: German Jews and Their Judaisms.
    • Visit the Weissensee Jewish Cemetery, the second largest Jewish cemetery in Europe.
    • Walk along Grosse Hamburger Strasse, once the center of Berlin Jewry.  
    • Tour to Jewish sites in the neighborhood, including:
      • The Hackescher Markt
      • The Jewish Cemetery, including Moses Mendelsson's grave
    • Break for lunch on own.
    • Guided visit to the Jewish Museum of Berlin, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. One of the most conspicuous architectural landmarks in the city, it embodies remembrance, melancholy, and departure.
    • Return to the hotel or remain in museum.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Berlin


    Day Seven: Tuesday, June 9th
    FROM IMPERIAL TO NAZI BERLIN

    • Breakfast at the hotel and introduction to the day: From Bismarck to Hitler; Models of Authoritarianism.
    • The Fate of Books and People: Visit the Book Burning Memorial at Bebel Square, alongside Humboldt University.
    • Stop at the Victory Column in the Tiergarten: Bismarck, Architect of Modern Germany, and his Jew, Bleichroder (brief discussion).
    • Visit the 1936 Olympic Games stadium: Putting Symbols to Use.
    • Break for lunch on own.
    • Visit the "Places of Remembrance" Art in Public Space Memorial in the Bavarian Quarter, addressing the almost-forgotten history of this neighborhood, where Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt once lived.
    • Visit the exhibition devoted to the residents of Schoneberg at the Municipal Hall: “We Are All Berliners!”
    • Free to explore or return to the hotel.

    Overnight: Berlin


    Day Eight: Wednesday, June 10th
    THE BEAST LET LOOSE: NAZI BERLIN

    • Breakfast at the hotel and introduction to the morning: The Thousand Year Reich
    • Drive to the Reich Ministry of Aviation and other Nazi-era buildings along Wilhelmstrasse.
    • Visit the Topography of Terror Museum.
    • Study Session: What to Remember? How to Remember?
    • Visit the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the commemorative spots devoted to the Roma and Sinti, and to the Homosexuals.
    • Break for lunch on own.

    BERLIN DIVIDED AND REUNITED

    • Visit Brandenburg Gate
    • Walls That Divided: Visit the Berlin Wall Museum and Memorial.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Berlin


    Day Nine: Thursday, June 11th
    TAKING STOCK

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Introduction to the day:Looking Back
    • How Do We Educate? A special session with the educational staff of the Wannsee Conference Educational and Memorial Site.
    • The Ongoing Construction of Memory: a visit to Gleis 17 (Track 17), the main deportation site for Berlin Jews during the Holocaust, located in Grunewald.
    • Boxed lunch en route.
    • Heart of the New Germany: The Reichstag and new Government Center.
    • What Lessons do Germans Take from their Past? Meet with an organization involved in refugee assistance or co-existence dialogue or a scholar of contemporary Germany society.
    • Group Session: What Lessons do WE Take from our Encounters?
    • Farewell dinner.

    Overnight: Berlin


    Day Ten: Friday, June 12th
    RETURN HOME or remain in Berlin for AJC Global Forum,  starting Sunday, June 14th.

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out as per individual schedules.
    • Transfer on own to Berlin International Airport or continue with private travel plans or with the AJC pre-conference plans.

     


    Note: Itinerary subject to change. Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays locally observed in the destinations being visited.

     

  • Day 1-3: Grand Majestic Plaza

    Prague
    The Grand Majestic Plaza is located in the heart of historical and business centre of Prague, within walking distance from famous Municipal House, Gothic Powder Gate, significant Republic Square and most attractive shopping centre Palladium.

    Day 4-9: Titanic Gerdarmenmarket Berlin

    Berlin
    Just like Berlin is very much a mix of heritage and modern influences, we have created an inspiring blend of classic elements and inspiringly playful and modern décor. Located on Französische Straße, in the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt area with its monumental 18th-century architecture our building was once used as a warehouse by the Staatsoper.
  • Melton Seminars Flight Arrangements

    By always advertising land-only prices for all of our trips, Melton Seminars offer you the flexibility of choosing those flights best for you. We believe that each of our program participants has individual needs and has the right to select the flights that best meet his/her requirements.
  • Need to Know

    • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 full paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
    • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
    • Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Two-bed rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are two-bed rooms with a rollaway cot where available and are not recommended when considering the comfort of those in the room. King-size beds are not available in most hotels; what is considered king-size usually consists of two single beds pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard. Some two-bed rooms may have two twin - not full- or queen-size - beds.
    • Meals are included as specified in the itinerary. In travel beyond Israel, all group meals are kosher. Participants can order additional kosher meals at prices set by our local agents.
    • All trips are conducted by a Melton educator who remains with the group throughout the tour.
    • Gratuities Included: All gratuities for restaurant staff are included.
    • Baggage: The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator, shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach, please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.

    Not Included

    • Airfare to the tour departure point and from the tour ending point is not included.
    • Transfers from / to the airport.
    • Personal Expenses: All personal expenses such as: laundry, valet service, cables, telephone calls and postage are not included.
    • Guide and Driver Gratuities.

    Additional Information

    • Airline Security Measures: In the U.S., you must provide identification in the form of a passport at the time of airport check-in for travel to international destinations. Your passport name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket or you may be denied boarding.
    • If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S, you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that particular airport.
    • Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
    • Holidays and Museum Closures - Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays locally observed in the destinations being visited.
    • Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer that your photo not be used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.
  • For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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