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 Read More

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!

 

Tour to GREECE

May 20-31, 2024

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EASTERN EUROPE

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

June 18-28, 2024

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Presidential HEARTLAND HERITAGE

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

July 23-30, 2024

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SPAIN

Led by Prof. Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz

November 4-15, 2024

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Unforgettable Tour to CUBA

Led by Prof. Stephen Berk

December 8-15, 2024

*Booked in partnership with Cuba Travel Services

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A Musical Jewish Heritage Journey to ARGENTINA

Led by the Cantors of the ACC

February 15-24, 2025

Early Bird: Register with deposit by May 1st, 2024 and SAVE $150 per person!

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Jewish Journey in LITHUANIA & LATVIA

Led by Prof. Yale Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz

May 12 – 23, 2025

Early Bird: Register with deposit by July 1st, 2024 and SAVE $100 per person!

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Adventures in ICELAND

Led by Dani Rotstein

July 9 – 16, 2025

Early Bird: Register with deposit by June 1st, 2024 and SAVE $150 per person!

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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

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.

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, Hs 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 aspiring 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 Morocco. 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!
Beliak

Rabbi Haim Beliak

Rabbi Haim Beliak is the Executive Director of Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland, affiliated with Friends of Jewish Renewal, WUPJ & European Union for Progressive Judaism.
Hecht

Prof. Richard Hecht

Prof. Richard Hecht is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He offers courses in modern Jewish thought, and religion and culture. He is the author and editor of several books. His research interest include religion and politics in the city of Jerusalem and the religious dimensions of contemporary art. He has visited and given several presentations in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Dominika

Dr. Dominika Zakrzewska

Dr. Dominika Zakrzewska is an Assistant Professor at the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw. She offers courses in the history, culture and social situation of minorities in Poland, intercultural aspects of education and migration. For the last four years, Dominika has served as a program coordinator for the Union of Jewish Progressive Communities in Poland, Beit Polska, where she also leads courses on Jewish heritage in Poland and introduction to Judaism. Within cooperation with Israeli universities, Dominika coordinates projects for Israeli educators focused on Polish-Jewish relations and building intercultural dialogue.

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Lazin

Prof. Fred Lazin

Prof. Fred Lazin graduated from UMASS where he served as president of Hillel. He received his M.A. & Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. He is Prof (Emeritus) at Ben Gurion University. He has also taught at the Hebrew University, NYU, UCLA, GWU, Cornell, Tufts & CUNY. He has served as a Visiting Scholar at universities in Australia, Sweden, France, China, Czech Republic & Canada. Fred has authored over sixty scholarly articles & chapters in books. He has a long association with China which began in 1999 when he lectured at six Chinese universities. He then developed a close working relationship with the Diane & Guilford Glazer Jewish Studies Program at Nanjing University. More recently he has been a Visiting Scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai. He also lectures annually at the Southwest University of Law & Political Science in Chongqing.

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Rabbi Samuel Kieffer

Rabbi Samuel S. Kieffer served for 40 years as a pulpit Rabbi in the communities of Montclair, NJ, Schenectady, NY, Weston, Fl, and Philadelphia, Pa. Rabbi Kieffer received his B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and his M.A., Rabbinic Ordination, and D.D. from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He has a special love of history which serves him well as a Scholar-In-Residence for Jewish Heritage Tours with Ayelet Tours. He is known for his unusual ability to present the drama of historical events in a style that combines humor and emotion. He challenges his audiences to enter the life and times of the events under consideration. Among the hallmarks of his career have been activism on behalf of Soviet Jewry, Jewish Identity, Hospice Care and Israel Advocacy. His other interests include music (guitar and piano and composing over 50 songs in Hebrew and English) and sports (as a fan and participant). Numerous sermons of his have been published in professional Rabbinic journals and he is the author of Life Cycle Of The Jew (United Synagogue Of Conservative Judaism). In August of 2013 he made Aliyah to Israel and currently resides in Jerusalem, where he is a sought-after lecturer.

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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