Central Europe VIP Heritage Tour 2023
Prague, Kraków, Warsaw, Leżajsk (Lezansk) and more!
March 8 - 16, 2023
The VIP Heritage Trip is a rare chance to travel with Rabbi Shlomo Besser, renowned scholar and storyteller who has been leading groups for three decades and Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, an inspiring leader and guide who lived for many years in Poland. Our unique Itinerary is historical, spiritual, and cultural exploring Jewish life before the war in four countries; participate in the pilgrimage to Reb Elimelch of Lezank’s; visiting Majdanek and learning about the holocaust on location. It’s a trip filled with inspiration, meaning and history.
Learn more about the 2023 VIP Heritage Tour! Information Sessions are hosted by the trip leaders. There will be an opportunity to ask specific questions too.
Session #1: January 15th @ 5pm PT / 8pm ET
Session #2: Details TBA
Both Sessions are hosted Live on Zoom.
Day 1: Arrive in Prague
Day 2-3: Explore Prague, including the Jewish quarter and a full Shabbos program
Day 4: Visit Bratislava and Kerestir, the hometown of Reb Shaya'leh
Day 5: Tour Košice, Krakow's Jewish quarter, and Old Town
Day 6: Visit Leżajsk on the yahrzeit of Reb Elimelech and Łańcut
Day 7: Explore the Lublin Yeshiva, ancient Jewish cemetery, and Majdanek
Day 8: Visit the Warsaw Ghetto and the Polin Museum
Day 9: Warsaw Jewish Cemetary, depart for home
Our Tour Leaders
More than 60 years of combined experience in inspiring Jewish Heritage Travel
Rabbi Shlomo Besser
Rabbi Shlomo Besser is the Rav of Kehilas Bnei Yisroel Chaim on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He is a master storyteller, teacher, and mentor to the many people who have benefited from his advice and experienced the warmth of his shabbos table. Rabbi Besser, who is a musmach of Yeshivas Tiferes Yerushalayim, combines an analytic learning approach with legendary chassidic warmth, delighting audiences with his command of the histories and personalities with which our tradition abounds. He travels widely, and is able to share many anecdotes of his experiences in Eastern Europe and the rebuilding of Jewish life there. His father, HaRav Cheskel Besser ZZ”L, was a leading figure in rescuing Jewish souls and cemeteries in Poland, and a leader in Agudas Yisroel.
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, is a unique 21st century spiritual leader, community builder and activist, who inspires passion for Jewish life and making the world a more Godly place. He is co-founder and Deanna and Allen Alevy Senior Rabbi at LA’s Pico Shul, directs Shabbat Tent and other projects building spiritual community for Jews in their 20s and 30. Rabbi Yonah was instrumental in the rebirth of the Polish Jewish community after the end of communism. He and his wife Rachel lived and worked in Poland with the Jewish community for many years. He is also fluent in Polish. Rabbi Yonah was a Fulbright Fellow at Jagillonian University in Krakow, and completed a Masters in Jewish Studies at Oxford University. His received smicha from Ohr Somayach Monsey, under the tutelage of HaRav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman.
Important Trip Notes
Please note due to local regulations you may need proof of Covid-19 vaccination.
Passport must be valid for at least 6 months from arrival date.
Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory.
$1,500 is deposit and full payment is due Jan 15.
The Poland trip was a life-changing experience, which combined fun, Jewish historical education, and inspiration all conducted with comfortable and kosher lodging and logistics.
You can book your own flights or join our group flight from New York. We have a group fare on the designated flights we have chosen, but there may be cheaper options available that are more restrictive and do not allow for seat selection or checked luggage. If you plan to arrive in Europe earlier or stay longer, or if you wish to continue on to Israel, please let us know so that we can assist with your travel arrangements.
How much does the trip cost?
We have an early bird rate of $3,300 based on double occupancy rooms. This covers the LAND portion of the trip starting at the airport in Prague and ending at the airport in Warsaw. There is an additional charge for a single occupancy room of $375.00.
Do you have any payment plans available?
Yes there are some different payment options
Payment Methods: Zelle, Check, or Credit Card.
Payment Options: Payments can be made in Full (no processing fees) or Split into Two Payments ($30 processing fee).
What hotels will be be staying in?
We book only 4 or 5-star modern hotels.
What is included?
Price includes three kosher meals a day, tour guides, entrance fees, coach travel, and hotels.
How many cities and countries will we visit?
We will visit four countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. Cities include: Prague, Bratislava, Kosice, Kerestir, Kraków, Łańcut, Leżajsk, Lublin, and Warsaw. Depending on travel conditions and timing we hope to visit additional places as well.
What is the age range?
Our groups usually include singles and couples in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Is this trip for singles?
We will be visiting places where Jews have prayed for centuries for healing, a soulmate, or salvation. There are many stories of people who have experienced personal miracles and breakthroughs at these encounters.
How many people on the trip?
We plan on keeping the tour between 25-40 people.
What is a daily schedule like?
We usually start with a 7:30 am breakfast and return to the hotel about 8:00 pm in the evening. In some cities there will be late night touring including spirit tasting. We tour or travel 12- 15 hours a day. We will not be traveling extensively on Friday. We take walking tours on Shabbat. There are no overnight bus trips.
Is this for men and women?
Yes! This is a mixed trip.
Can I do part of the trip?
Potentially yes, you can join the tour for part of the itinerary if you are unable to participate for the entire duration. However, please note that the daily itinerary is carefully planned and may not be flexible, so it is important to discuss your specific needs with us in advance to determine if partial participation is possible. If you are interested in partial participation, please contact us to discuss your specific needs and availability.
Is this a Holocaust tour?
This is a Jewish heritage tour which includes visiting places of martyrdom and learning about the Holocaust.
Can I visit towns where my family is from?
Please be in touch with us and let us know which town you are interested in visiting. Some prior year’s participants have taken “day trips” to supplement the tour in order to visit towns where their family is from. Sometimes we are able to adjust the route to stop in a town.
Are there scholarships?
The VIP Heritage Trip is a spiritual, cultural, and historical journey. We do not offer any scholarships at this time. While you may see tours to the region promoted for less, those are heavily subsidized by Kiruv organizations and require attending months of their classes. Additionally, there is no compulsion to participate in religious activities during our trips.
How does the registration process work?
Our application process is designed to help ensure a great group of trip participants, in order to create a great atmosphere so that all participants have the best experience possible!
You'll Choose Your: Hotel Occupancy (Single or Double) & Payment Method. It will be helpful to have your Passport on hand.
Your application will be reviewed and you will be notified upon trip acceptance. Following acceptance, your payment information will be processed.
Please note that submitting an application is not a guarantee of trip acceptance and participation.
Please send us an email if you have any questions.