Ayelet Tours | Worldwide Traveling University

Our trip was, in part, a pilgrimage to let our fellow Jews – living and dead – know that we have not forgotten. Our trip was a deeply profound reminder for us of God’s desire for our survival and God’s power that enables us to continue being who we are. – Rabbi Arnold S. Task It was more than a tour; it was a journey – an extraordinarily interesting, memorable, and at times emotional journey through cities and towns with Jewish heritage…but it wasn’t a holocaust tour, thanks to lectures and discussions from Professor Meir, who offered us his deep knowledge about the locales of Jewish sites and history in Poland. We learned about the richness and diversity of Jewish life before the dreadful events during WWII, and saw the signs of revival of Jewish life in a few places (Krakow in particular and Warsaw also) and the growing interest by non-Jews in Jewish history. During the trip, Prof. Meir was inspiring, frequently providing insights given the breadth and depth of his knowledge of the religious and political history and the sociology of the Jewish life in the area, and his language skills (Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Russian…). We were fortunate to hear the awesome lectures he delivered, always with great patience and clarity – this gave us a background for what we were about to see that day or the next. – Art L.
We have traveled extensively, but there has never been anything like this experience. It compares to nothing else in our lives. It was a trip that stands alone as the most meaningful of our existence on this planet. As for Dr. Berk, there is no one like him. He is magnificent. – Paul L. Cohen
The trip was outstanding, exceeding our expectations. We learned a great deal about past Jewish presence and current activity in Poland, as well as experiencing the Holocaust sites. Professor Natan Meir is a gem – he is interesting, knowledgeable, flexible, a great teacher, and a nice person. – Carol H.
Steve is such a brilliant lecturer. His detailed, emotion-laden stories made the experience a once-in-a-lifetime one. In addition, our tour escort was outstanding, and attended to every detail. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Thanks for your help with everything. Now, where to next?! – Jerry G
Our scholar Natan Meir was terrific- clear, interesting and knowledgeable. – Joe Gilbert
…Professor Natan Meir was wonderful – I hope you will have other tours featuring him as the lecturer, we would love to travel with him again (perhaps Ukraine and the Baltics?). Thanks for arranging this trip, it was inspiring and educational. – Sandy Glatter
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Worldwide Traveling University

Ayelet’s Worldwide Traveling University is the premier Jewish Scholar travel program. Featuring tours to Jewish Heritage destinations worldwide, our Traveling University offers participants the chance to not just explore, but also enrich – through insightful scholarly presentations, as well as interactions with the local Jewish communities. For decades, we have connected discerning travelers with outstanding scholars, resulting in travel experiences that simply cannot be matched. “Enroll” in your Journey below!

 

CUBA

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

December 15 – 22, 2019

*Booked in partnership with Cuba Travel Services

Havana, Cienfuegos

+ More Details & Book Online

CUBA

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

March 15 – 22, 2020

*Booked in partnership with Cuba Travel Services

Havana, Cienfuegos

+ More Details & Book Online

Prague & Poland

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

June 14-24, 2020

Prague, Krakow, Warsaw

+ More Details & Book Online

CA Italy – Jewish Musical Journey

Accompanied by Prof. Stephen Berk

June 22 – July 2, 2020

Italy

+ More Details & Book Online

 

About our Scholars-in-Residence…

Berk

Dr. Stephen Berk

Dr. Stephen M. Berk is a Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York, Chair of the Department of History, Director of the Program in Comparative Communist Studies and Faculty Advisor to the Jewish Student Organization. He is author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882 (Greenwood Press, 1985). At the present time Professor Berk is writing a book entitled, Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1854-1965. The book provides an interesting discussion of an extremely important chapter in the history of the civil rights movement and attempts to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that surround the Black-Jewish relationship. Professor Berk is also the author of many articles on Russian History, Russian Jewish History, anti-Semitism and American Policy in the Middle East. Professor Berk is frequently consulted by newspaper reporters and by television and radio stations including the BBC. He has lectured in numerous universities in countless cities and towns in the United States and Israel and is a primary speaker for the UJA, Israel Bonds and B’nai B’rith. Professor Berk is considered an absolutely superb lecturer and teacher. Touring with him has been compared to attending a “traveling university…his lectures are outstanding.” He is always informative, interesting and entertaining. He has lectured as scholar-in-residence for us on many trips to Russia, Spain, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Europe and Israel. It is a privilege to have him with us!

WATCH: Dr. Stephen Berk’s Lectures

Prof. Natan Meir

Natan M. Meir is the Lorry I. Lokey Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and Academic Director of the Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University. His research interest is modern Jewish history, focusing on the social and cultural history of East European Jewry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of Kiev, Jewish Metropolis: A History, 1859-1914 (Indiana University Press, 2010) and co-editor of Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History (Indiana, 2010). Meir is currently working on a study of vulnerable and marginalized groups among East European Jews in the nineteenth century, as well as an anthology of translated nineteenth-century kvitlekh (handwritten petitions) from collections in New York and Jerusalem. He served as a consultant for the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center of Moscow, which opened in November 2012. Meir received his Ph.D. in Jewish history from Columbia University in 2003.

WATCH: Prof. Natan Meir on Pogroms (Video) – Source: Documentary “My Dear Children”

Leigh

Prof. Jeremy Leigh

Jeremy Leigh is the Director of the Hebrew Union College’s Israel Studies Program for rabbis and cantors and also teaches modern Jewish history at the College in Jerusalem. In addition to academic work, he has helped pioneer the field of Jewish educational travel, and has worked extensively in developing and leading numerous programs in Europe as well as in Canada and Mo-rocco. He is the author of many publications, including ‘Jewish Jour-neys’ (Haus, London 2006), a cultural and personal reflection on the idea of the Jewish travel. He is currently writing a book ‘Jews Must Go: The Jewish Grand Tour’. He has lectured at numerous programs and academic institutions, primarily in the UK where he is from and Jerusalem where has lived since 1992. He is eminently qualified to bring the Ashkenazi Story to life!

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Our trip was, in part, a pilgrimage to let our fellow Jews – living and dead – know that we have not forgotten. Our trip was a deeply profound reminder for us of God’s desire for our survival and God’s power that enables us to continue being who we are. – Rabbi Arnold S. Task

It was more than a tour; it was a journey – an extraordinarily interesting, memorable, and at times emotional journey through cities and towns with Jewish heritage…but it wasn’t a holocaust tour, thanks to lectures and discussions from Professor Meir, who offered us his deep knowledge about the locales of Jewish sites and history in Poland. We learned about the richness and diversity of Jewish life before the dreadful events during WWII, and saw the signs of revival of Jewish life in a few places (Krakow in particular and Warsaw also) and the growing interest by non-Jews in Jewish history. During the trip, Prof. Meir was inspiring, frequently providing insights given the breadth and depth of his knowledge of the religious and political history and the sociology of the Jewish life in the area, and his language skills (Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Russian…). We were fortunate to hear the awesome lectures he delivered, always with great patience and clarity – this gave us a background for what we were about to see that day or the next. – Art L.
We have traveled extensively, but there has never been anything like this experience. It compares to nothing else in our lives. It was a trip that stands alone as the most meaningful of our existence on this planet. As for Dr. Berk, there is no one like him. He is magnificent. – Paul L. Cohen
The trip was outstanding, exceeding our expectations. We learned a great deal about past Jewish presence and current activity in Poland, as well as experiencing the Holocaust sites. Professor Natan Meir is a gem – he is interesting, knowledgeable, flexible, a great teacher, and a nice person. – Carol H.
Steve is such a brilliant lecturer. His detailed, emotion-laden stories made the experience a once-in-a-lifetime one. In addition, our tour escort was outstanding, and attended to every detail. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Thanks for your help with everything. Now, where to next?! – Jerry G
Our scholar Natan Meir was terrific- clear, interesting and knowledgeable. – Joe Gilbert
…Professor Natan Meir was wonderful – I hope you will have other tours featuring him as the lecturer, we would love to travel with him again (perhaps Ukraine and the Baltics?). Thanks for arranging this trip, it was inspiring and educational. – Sandy Glatter Read More