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Spain
Melton Travel Seminar
Dates: April 20-30, 2020
Location: Spain (11 Days)
Cost: $5,400 (land only); $825 single supplement
Iberia served as the setting for one of the most remarkable chapters in Jewish history: that of Sefarad, embracing tragedy and great creative powers alike. The great poets, thinkers and statesmen of Sefarad help raise critical questions for us: When do Jews flourish? What ties do we have as a minority with the surrounding cultures? Join us for a deep exploration into major Judeo-Spanish communities including Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Barcelona and more.
Alhambra Palace

The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

 

  • Spain Melton Travel Seminar - April 20-30, 2020 - Cost: $5,400 (land only); $825 single supplement

    This seminar – taking place April 20-30, 2020, in Spain – will be led by Haim Aronovitz, Director of Melton Travel Seminars, and accompanied by Rabbi Richard Camras of Shomrei Torah Synagogue and Pamela Rooks, Director of the Florence Melton School of San Fernando and West Valley, CA. The seminar is open to adults who enjoy in-depth Jewish educational travel, including all Melton students and graduates.  
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Tour Includes

    • Accommodations: 10 nights
    • Meals: All breakfasts plus six additional meals. (Please note that not all group meals will be kosher, but all will include vegetarian or fish options.)
    • Educational Programming: All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton itinerary.
  • Day One: Monday, April 20, 2020

    WELCOME TO MADRID, KILOMETER ZERO

    • Arrive at Madrid International Airport.
    • Check into the hotel. (Official hotel check-in is from 3:00 p.m., if your room isn't ready upon arrival you can leave your luggage with the concierge.)
    • 2:00 p.m. Meet Haim, your Melton educator, and other group members in a designated room.
    • Why Spain? Orientation to the seminar with Haim, followed by a walking tour in central Madrid: Kilometer Zero (Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, and Plaza de España)
    • Opening dinner and meeting with a member of the Madrid Jewish community.
    • Return to the hotel.

    Overnight: Madrid


    Day Two: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – Yom HaShoah

    SEGOVIA AND AVILA: UNIQUE AND YET SYMBOLIC COMMUNITIES

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Depart for Segovia, a microcosm of the story of Jews in Iberia from Roman times until the Expulsion.
    • Visit Corpus Christi church and get a glimpse into the lives and dilemmas of Rab Avraham Seneor and Don Yitzhak Abravanel before the Expulsion.
    • See the Jewish cemetery on the slopes opposite Segovia.
    • Lunch on own, at leisure.
    • Visit Avila, center of mysticism for Spanish Christians as well as for Jewish Kabbala, for a glimpse into the world of Moshe de Leon and his circle.
    • Return to Madrid.
    • Free evening (Dinner on own).

    Overnight: Madrid


    Day Three: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

    TOLEDO, THE "JERUSALEM OF SEFARAD" – SYMBOL OF CONQUEST AND CULTURE

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    • Depart for Toledo, the center of which remains much as it was in the 16th century, and begin with a panoramic overview of the city.
    • Explore the city, including the San Roman museum, the Jewish Quarter, the Samuel Halevi Abulafia Synagogue (later a church known as Nuestra Señora del Tránisito), and the Santa Maria La Blanca Church (formerly the Grand Synagogue).
    • Lunch on own.
    • Depart for Córdoba, the capital of the Moorish Kingdom of al-Andalus.
    • Check into our hotel.
    • Dinner at Casa Mazal.

    Overnight: Cordoba


    Day Four: Thursday, April 23, 2020

    CORDOBA – “MY HEART IS IN THE EAST…” - AND WE ARE HERE

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Early morning self-guided visit to Córdoba’s famous Cathedral-Mosque, La Mezquita, with its 1,000 colored columns.
    • Study session on site.
    • Visit the Jewish Quarter, including Plaza Tiberias and the Yehuda Halevi Square. Continue to the small Moorish-styled building known as the Maimonides Synagogue.
    • Visit Casa de Sefarad, dedicated to the history of the Sephardic Jews in Córdoba and Spain prior to the Inquisition and the expulsion of 1492. Meet with the people responsible for the creation of this private historical venture in the Jewish Quarter. Study session in the courtyard.
    • Boxed lunch from Casa Mazal.
    • Depart for Medina Azahara and explore the ruins of the vast, fortified Moorish medieval palace city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III, learning also about Hasdai ibn Shaprut. Study session on site.
    • Return to the hotel and remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
    • Dinner and evening free.

    Overnight: Cordoba


    Day Five: Friday, April 24, 2020

    SEVILLE- POINTS OF DEPARTURE – FOR JEWS AND OTHERS

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    • Depart for Seville, a city shaped by many cultural influences. Some traditions place Jews in Seville from its earliest days.
    • Visit Plaza de España, an impressive plaza built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.
    • Tour the Alcazar, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and a superb example of mudéjar (The palace is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)
    • Lunch on own.
    • Visit the Santa Cruz neighborhood, formerly Seville's Jewish Quarter, once known as La Juderia, with its winding alleyways and remnants of Jewish life found within the contemporary city.
    • Visit the Centro de Interpretacion, Juderia de Seville, a small private initiative created to preserve the memory and the heritage of the Sephardic people of Seville. Study about Hasdai Crescas and the great crisis caused by the pogrom of 1391, that broke out in Seville.
    • Visit the 12th century Great Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and La Giralda, whose bell tower became the city's symbol.

    Check into the hotel.

    • Kabbalat Shabbat services together.
    • Shabbat dinner at a restaurant.

    Overnight: Seville


    Day Six: Saturday, April 25, 2020

    SHABBAT IN SEVILLE | a day of rest

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Free time to relax and explore Seville on own.
    • Late afternoon: study session, Havdallah and seuda shlishit.

    Overnight: Seville


    Day Seven: Sunday, April 26, 2020

    EXPLORING ANDALUSIA

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    • Depart Seville and drive to Lucena, a town that during the period of Muslim rule was known as “The Jewish city.” By the 12th century Lucena ("Eliossana") had become the cultural center of Andalusian Jewry.
    • Visit the Ancient Jewish quarter, the Jewish Cemetery, and the Church of San Mateo, on the site of what was once the ancient synagogue and subsequently a mosque.
    • Visit the Archaeological Museum of Lucena, which features the stories of some of the great rabbis of the Lucena Yeshiva, this "Pearl of Sefarad" in the 11th and 12th
    • Boxed lunch.
    • Depart for Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors before it fell to Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492.
    • Check into the hotel.
    • Optional: Attend a flamenco show to get a feeling for this typical Andalusian art form. (Cost not included.)
    • Evening free.

    Overnight: Granada


    Day Eight: Monday, April 27, 2020

    ‘GRANADA OF THE JEWS’ THROUGH 1492

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    • Tour of the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, truly magnificent World Heritage sites and the best known Islamic complex in Spain. Study session on Shmuel HaNagid and his poetry.
    • Free time to explore the Realejo, the former Jewish Quarter and the site of the original town bearing the name Garnata al-Yahud. (Lunch on your own, en route.)
    • Meet at the Palace of the Forgotten for our closing session.
    • Transfer to Granada airport for flight to Barcelona. Flight departure: 5:50 p.m.
    • 8:40 p.m. Arrive in Barcelona and check into the hotel.

    Overnight: Barcelona


    Day Nine: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – Yom HaZikaron

    BARCELONA, 2000 YEARS BACK... AND REVIVING, AFTER 500 YEARS…

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Panoramic tour of the city, including Montjuic, site of the ancient Jewish cemetery of the city (hence its name, "Mountain of the Jews", and now a recognized heritage site. (Montjuic also is the location of the Olympic Ring, the main stadium of the 1992 Summer Olympics.)
    • Pass through Plaza España and Passeig Maritim with its Columbus monument, the world-famous Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s main avenue and its Modernist houses designed by Antoni Gaudí, and complete the backdrop to our Jewish story at The City History Museum of Barcelona, covering the story of this astounding city from Roman times on.
    • Lunch on own at the Boqueria Market, and continue with:
    • A tour of the Call, the Jewish Quarter, and visit to the Medieval Synagogue.
    • We will then walk through the Gothic Quarter. According to archaeological evidence, there was a sizable Jewish community in Catalonia as early as the beginning of the Common Era. For centuries thereafter, the Jews of Barcelona managed their own local affairs and lived relatively well in their own Quarter.
    • Before our day is over, we will devote a session to Nachmanides, whose 1263 Barcelona Disputation with the Church is a fascinating – and well-documented - episode in the community's history, and to Rashba (Shlomo ben Adret), who led this community for the next fifty years, after his teacher left for the land of Israel.
    • Possible option to join the local Jewish community in celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day (if taking place).
    • Dinner on your own or together and evening at leisure.

    Overnight: Barcelona


    Day Ten: Wednesday, April 29,2020 – Yom HaAtzmaut

    JEWISH LIFE, AGAINST ALL ODDS, IN GIRONA & BESALU

    • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Depart the hotel for Girona, one of the most important Jewish historical sites in Spain.
    • Tour medieval Girona which was famous for its Kabbalists. It was also the home of the great sage Nachmanides, about whom we learned yesterday. Visit the Jewish Quarter, which dates back to the 12th century, and its small museum.
    • Lunch on own.
    • Stop at Besalu, a picturesque medieval town that features one of the best preserved Mikvaot (ritual baths) in all of Europe.
    • Return to Barcelona.
    • Free evening.

    Overnight: Barcelona


    Day Eleven: Thursday, April 30, 2020

    SEFARAD, THEN AND NOW: FINAL THOUGHTS & FEELINGS

    • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
    • Morning touring Barcelona including a visit to Gaudi’s unfinished Church of the Sagrada Familia, monument to the human spirit.
    • Closing study session in Parc Guell
    • Farewell lunch
    • Transfer on own to Barcelona International Airport according to flight schedules.
  • Accommodations

    Madrid: Hotel Catalonia Atocha

    Cordoba: Las Casas de la Juderia

    Seville: Melia Lebreros

    Granada: Abades Recogidas

    Barcelona: Avenida Palace

    Note: We will do our best to assist you with extensions both before and after the seminar.

  • Flight Arrangements

    We will be pleased to assist you in any and all flight arrangements, including additional travel plans, through our partners at Gil Travel. Please contact Neha at +215-568-6655 ext.366 with your flight requests.
  • Need to Know

    • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 fully paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we may 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.
    • A non-refundable sum of $500 is required for registration. This sum will be put towards the overall cost of the seminar. If the seminar is cancelled, the registration fee will be refunded.
    • Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private bathrooms. 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 indicated in the itinerary. Please note that not all group meals will be kosher, but all will include vegetarian or fish options.
    • 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.
    • Porterage at hotels. Please note that room service is not included.

    Not Included

    • Flights and personal insurance are not included.
    • Transfers from / to the airport unless as part of an organized group travelling together.
    • Personal Expenses, including meals not mentioned above or drinks during meals, unless specified above, or room service.
    • Travel and health Insurance.

    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 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.
  • We strongly recommend that comprehensive health coverage and trip cancellation insurance be purchased.

    Gil Travel recommends RoamRight Travel Insurance. Consider travel protection for:

    • Trip Cancellation
    • Trip Interruption
    • Emergency Medical Expenses
    • Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation of Remains
    • Trip Delay
    • Baggage & Personal Effects
    • Baggage Delay and more…

    For more information on the available plans or to enroll, visit RoamRight Travel Insurance or contact RoamRight at 1-866-891-6614 and reference Gil Travel.


    Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 21 days from the time you make your initial trip deposit, the entire non-refundable amount of the trip must be insured, and you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. However, the travel protection plan itself can be purchased any time prior to departure.

  • For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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