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

Join us in exploring these great communities at their peak. Learn about the tragic events that wiped out the bulk of these two worlds... and encounter their contemporary challenges.

 

Prague & Berlin:
"A Tale of Two Cities"
Sunday, April 28-Tuesday, May 7, 2019 (from $4,795 land only)
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)

 

  • Prague & Berlin: "A Tale of Two Cities", Melton Travel Seminar, Sunday, April 28-Tuesday, May 7, 2019 (from $4,795 land only)

    The "A Tale of Two Cities" seminar, taking place from April 28 (in Prague) to May 7 (in 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.
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  • Tour Includes

    • 8 nights' accommodation at select hotels
    • Meals: breakfast daily & 6 additional meals
    • All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton program
  • Day One: Sunday
    PRAGUE: A walking introduction

    • 2:30 p.m. Meet with your Melton educators and fellow group members to begin the program.
    • Orientation to the program.
    • Walking tour to the heart of the Old Town, a kaleidoscope of periods and styles: (how) were the Jews a part of this culture? 
    • Stroll along the Vltava River: Prague at its Finest
    • Welcome dinner at Shelanu, a kosher restaurant.
    • Return to the hotel.

    Overnight: Prague

    Day Two: Monday
    THE GLORY OF PRAGUE, GENERAL AND JEWISH | walking tour 

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Introduction to the day: The Crown, the Cross and the Jews.
    • Drive to Strakhov Monastery Library for a guided tour of its holdings.
    • Visit St. Vitus Cathedral and the grounds of 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.
    • Cross the Charles Bridge, once the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas
    • Lunch on your own en route.
    • Afternoon: 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 Spanish Synagogues.
      • Summary Discussion
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.
    • (Optional):A.J. in K's Prague (walking exploration of Central Prague).

    Overnight: Prague

    Day Three: Tuesday
    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 served as 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.
    • Leadership Under Extremis: Study Session in the Magdeburg Barracks.
    • Boxed lunch.
    • Visit the Jubilee (Jerusalem) Synagogue back in Prague.
    • Group debriefing and discussion with community activist Eva Wichsova, Regional Manager, Moishe House Project: Contemporary Challenges Faced by Jews in the Czech Republic.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Prague

    Day Four: Wednesday
    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: Lessons from Victor Klemperer and Kurt Vonnegut. 
    • Boxed lunch in a park near Dresden's cathedral.
    • Continue the drive to Berlin.
    • Upon arrival:
      • Visit Nikolaikirsche Platz: Berlin and its early Jewish community.
      • Who Is a Court Jew? Ephraim-Palais, home of the court Jew of Frederick the Great
      • "Nathan the Wise": Lessing and Moses Mendelssohn.
      • Enlightenment and Assimilation: Rachel Varnhagen and her salon

    Check into the hotel.
    Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Berlin

    Day Five: Thursday
    JEWISH LIFE IN BERLIN

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Introduction to the day: Imperial Germany, 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 of Jewish sites in the neighborhood, including:
      • The Hackescher Markt
      • The Jewish Cemetery, location of Moses Mendelssohn's grave
    • Break for lunch on own.
    • Trajectories: Guided visit to the Jewish Museum of Berlin, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.
    • Return to the hotel or remain in museum.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Berlin

    Day Six: Friday
    NAZI BERLIN

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • "Where Books Are Burned…"Visit the Memorial at Bebel Square, alongside Humboldt University.
    • "…And Principles Betrayed" -Visit the 1936 Olympic Games stadium.
    • Stop at Potsdamer Platz, central intersection as Berlin grew beyond its walls and today a major commercial center.
    • Drive to the Reich Ministry of Aviation and other Nazi-era Government buildings along Wilhelmstrasse.
    • Visit the Centrum Judaicum, both a memorial to Berlin Jewry's communal life and a center today.
    • Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.
    • Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue, followed by Shabbat dinner with members of the local community and other visitors.

    Overnight: Berlin

    Day Seven: Shabbat
    SHABBAT IN BERLIN

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

    OR

    • Morning at leisure to explore Berlin on own, with the opportunity to visit Berlin's excellent museums, such as the museums on Museum Island. Museum Island features the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum.
    • Consider also the Topography of Terror Museum
    • Convene for an afternoon walking tour, including:
      • The Brandenburg Gate, originally commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II to represent peace. The gate was ironically incorporated into the Berlin Wall during the years of the Communist regime.  Perhaps Berlin's best known landmark, it now stands as a symbol of the city's reunification.
      • The Holocaust Memorial, the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe, designed to give visitors a sense of groundlessness and of a loss of orientation.
      • Monument for the murdered Roma and Sinti
    • Bein Kodesh Lechol: light Seuda Shlishit, study session and Havdallah.

    Overnight: Berlin

    Day Eight: Sunday
    MEMORIES OF THAT WAR

    • Breakfast at the hotel and introduction to the day: Berlin, Divided and Reunited.
    • Visit the Topography of Terror Museum.
    • Visit the "Places of Remembrance" Art in Public Space Memorial in the Bavarian Quarter, addressing the almost-forgotten history of this neighborhood, where the likes of Einstein and Hannah Arendt had lived.
    • Break for lunch at the market alongside the Schoneberg Municipal Hall, where JFK declared himself a Berliner
    • Walls That Divided: Visit the Berlin Wall Museum and Memorial.
    • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Berlin
    Day Nine: Monday
    TAKING STOCK

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Introduction to the day: Looking Back and Ahead
    • How Do We Educate? A special visit to the Wannsee Conference Educational and Memorial Site and session with the educational staff.
    • 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, uncovering the iterations of memorialization at one site.
    • Boxed lunch en route.
    • Heart of New Germany: The Reichstag and new Government Center.
    • What Lessons do Germans Take from their Past? Meeting with Johannes Gockeler, teacher and former director of the Israel program of Aktion Suhnezeichen Friedensdienste, an organization devoted to enabling young Germans to take responsibility for the past through social action.
    • Group Session: What Lessons do WE Take From our Encounters?
    • Farewell dinner.

    Overnight: Berlin

    Day Ten: Tuesday
    RETURN HOME

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