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!

 

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

Ukraine

with Prof. Natan Meir

June 23 – July 1, 2020

Odessa, Kiev & Lviv

+ More Details & Book Online

Cycle the Capitals of European Jewry

In Partnership with the JCC Krakow Ride for the Living

June 27 – July 5, 2020

Berlin & Krakow

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MOLDOVA & ROMANIA

A Musical Jewish Heritage Tour

Led by Prof. Yale Strom

October 18-29, 2020

Chisinau, Iasi, Piatra Neamt, Bucharest, Bran, Sibiu, Brasov

+ More Details & Book Online

CUBA

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

March 14-21, 2021

*Booked in partnership with Cuba Travel Services

Havana, Cienfuegos

+ More Details & Book Online

CUBA

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

December 15 – 22, 2019

*Booked in partnership with Cuba Travel Services

Havana, Cienfuegos

SOLD OUT

 

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

From his groundbreaking research on the Jews of Russia and Ukraine to his work as a consultant for Moscow’s Jewish Museum, Professor Natan Meir, Lorry I. Lokey Professor of Judaic Studies at Portland State University in Oregon, has earned an international reputation as a scholar of Jewish social, cultural, and religious history. His latest book, Stepchildren of the Shtetl, recovers the histories of Jewish Eastern Europe’s social outcasts: the disabled, the mentally ill, orphans, and beggars. His previous book, Kiev, Jewish Metropolis, explored Jewish life and culture in a Ukrainian city under Russian imperial rule. Students praise his classroom as an inspiring intellectual space. An avid trailrunner, he speaks eight languages and is now working on his ninth.

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!

Leigh

Prof. Yale Strom

Professor Yale Strom (acclaimed violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, playwright) is a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Roma communities. Initially, his work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music among these two groups. Gradually, his focus increased to examining all aspects of their culture, from post-World War II to the present. For more than 3 decades and 75 such research expeditions, Strom has become the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history. Strom has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe and taught at NYU for 4 years, where he created the course “Artist-Ethnographer Expeditions”. At present he is Artist-in-Residence and professor in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University.


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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