Jewish Heritage Tour
Arrival in Iasi. After getting accommodated we will start our classical city tour by visiting the Metropolitan Church, Three Hierarchs Church, Palace of Culture and the National Theater (built by Eiffel at the end of 19th century). We will continue by visiting the Jewish Community, where a local Jewish person will tell us about their life in Iasi and will show us the Jewish related places. We will visit the Jewish cemetery, the Great Synagogue, where we will have a moment of remembrance next to the place where the pogrom took place and where the first -ever Yiddish- language theater was opened. In the evening we will have the pleasure to visit a monk monastery, where we will enjoy a blessed wine… and have the opportunity to hear Byzantine church music sung by a students’ choir from the Theological University of Iasi. Accommodation in a 3 or 4* hotel.
Iasi – Podu Iloaiei – Tirgu-Frumos – Roman – Gura Humorului. On the way to Bucovina we will make several stops: visit the Podu Iloaiei Jewish Cemetery which still has tombstones from 1829 and 1830; visit the Mass Grave in Tirgu-Frumos Cemetery, where we can find a huge common grave, created during the pogrom of Iasi. Visit the Tailor’s (Poel Tzedek) Synagogue in Roman, also known as Leipziger Synagogue, because of the commercial ties with the German city of Leipzig. There were 16 synagogues in Roman in 1887 and a total of 15 synagogues and prayer houses in the 1930’s. Arrival in Gura Humorului. Accommodation in La Roata 3* Hotel.
Day dedicated to the famous UNESCO painted monasteries from Bucovina. After breakfast we will depart for Voronet Monastery and after that we will visit a local artist who paints Easter eggs. She will demonstrate us the technique she uses and anyone can try this art. We continue to Moldovita monastery, where we will meet sister Tatiana, who will show us the paintings and together we will have lunch at the monastery. In the afternoon we depart for Sucevita monastery. On the way we will also stop and visit a local artist and his family, who are famous for their black ceramics. We can enjoy a live demonstration, or drive further back to our hotel. Free dinner, so you have time to practice egg painting… Same accommodation.
Gura Humorului – Botosani – Dorohoi – Chernivtsy, once the capital of Bucovina and famous Jewish centre. After breakfast we will leave for Botosani. Jews settled in this historic market town in Northeastern Romania in the 17th century and by the 19th century the community had become one of the largest in the province of Moldova. Botosani’s large Jewish Cemetery is composed of two sections: a newer section with tombstones dating from the 19th century and an original old section, which has wonderfully carved tombstones. After lunch departure to Dorohoi. Only one of the two remaining synagogues is still in use in this little Moldavian town, where Jews from Poland settled in the 17th century. Today, fewer than 50 Jews live in Dorohoi. Visit of the synagogue, the Jewish Community office and the Jewish cemetery. Today we will also cross the border with Ukraine and spend 3 days in Chernivtsy, the Old Bucovinian part, that was taken from Romania and given to Ukraine after the World War II. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
Chernivtsi is a special city in the Jewish history. It is the place where the Jewish literary community was formed. Here lived and worked I. Burg, brothers G. and H. Sigal, I. Schwartz, H. Shraibman, M. Altman, Eliezer Shteynbarg, Paul Celan, Rose Auslander, Itzik Manger. Before the war in Chernivtsi lived more than half of all Jews – about fifty thousand people. During the war a ghetto was created in Chernivtsi. After breakfast we will start our city tour. In the city we will visit: Sahaydachny Street – the territory of the ghetto during World War II, the Turkish Square Station, mikvah, tailor’s club – schneiderferein, the Great Synagogue-Grossshil Synagogue, “Mahsike Shabbat” Synagogue “Hevra tegilim”, B. Khmelnitski, the Boyaner- rabbi House, a club and a synagogue for builders -bauferein, the Jewish History Museum of Bucovina. Dinner and same accommodation.
We will begin this day by visiting the Chernivtsi. Jewish cemetery on Green Street. The Jewish cemetery was established in 1866 by a decision of the municipality of Chernivtsi. The author of the project was an engineer named Reli, who wanted to create from a Jewish cemetery a cultural monument for the city. This modern cemetery occupies about 14 hectares. It is estimated that in this Jewish cemetery are buried more than 100 thousand inhabitants, many of whom have played an important role in the cultural and economic development of the city. After that, we will drive to the Court of Raven Ruzhinski, Tzaddik Israel Friedmann in Sadgor. Subsequently Israel Friedman moved his residence to Sadgor, which was then an Austrian territory. There, in 1845, his disciples built a huge synagogue in Moorish style, where he preached. Free time and traditional dinner.
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Khotyn Fortresses. Transfer to Kamianets-Podilskyi (80 km). Tour of Kamianets-Podilsky castle. The original stone buildings of the castle were built in XII-XIII centuries. In the city there were 2 synagogues and 21 prayer houses, 2 men and 2 private girls’ schools. In the middle of the XIX century in Kamenetz two outstanding representatives of Jewish literature struck up a friendship: Abram Gottlober and Mendel Moycher S forim. In 1857 in Kamenetz – Podolsk Baron David Gienzburg Goratzievich was born, an outstanding scientist-orientalist, head of the Jewish community of St. Petersburg. We will continue by visiting the Old Jewish cemetery and the Synagogue, that is located on a steep slope to the south of the Potters Tower. Further on, we shall depart for the city of Khotyn. Tour of the Khotyn Fortress. One of the most significant monuments of architecture and military fortification art of the past in Western Europe. We will move on with visiting the Jewish cemetery in Khotyn. In the early twentieth century, Khotyn was reputed as one of the major centers of Jewish literature. Return to Chernivtsy. Free dinner and same accommodation.
Chernivtsi – Balti – Chateau Vartely. Today we will drive southeast to Balti city, in the Republic of Moldova, that was founded in 1580. According to some sources, the first Jews appeared in this region of Moldova at the beginning of the 10th century. During the second part of the 19th century, the Jews made up more than 50% of the population in Balti. Starting with 1989, the Balti Jewish community is the second biggest community after Chisinau. Since 2000, the Balti community has had a program with the Jewish Federation of Greensboro, NC that supports the main projects of the local Jewry. We shall visit the synagogue and the Association of the Jewish Organizations of Balti, the “Hesed Yakov” Welfare Center. We will also visit the local synagogue, the cemetery and speak to the local Jewish community. In the evening we will stop at one of the best Moldovan wineries, Chateau Vartely, for a wine tasting and dinner. Accommodation in the hotel of Chateau Vartely 5*.
Cricova winery, city tour of Chisinau. On the way to the capital, we will stop to have a wine tasting in the underground wine city Cricova, which houses one of the biggest Wine Collections in the world. Arrival in Chisinau and accommodation in a 4* Hotel Flowers. Chisinau – Capital of the Republic of Moldova, it became a flourishing Jewish centre in the 18th century, when the growing economy presented new commercial and industrial opportunities. By the turn of the century Jews owned a score of factories employing thousands of Jewish workers; there were 16 Jewish schools with 2,100 students, and 70 synagogues. The name Chisinau, however, was thrust into the consciousness of the world on Easter Day, 1903, when 49 Jews were massacred by frenzied mobs. In 1905 Chisinau was again the scene of unspeakable horror and violent death, when a second pogrom claimed the lives of other 19 Jews. The devastation of the Jewish community of Chisinau was completed by Nazis, who annihilated 53,000 of the 65,000 Jewish inhabitants of the city. We will enjoy a city tour, a visit of the local synagogue and of the memorial dedicated to the victims of the Ghetto. A meeting with the local Jewish Organization “Kedem” will also be organized.
Transnistria. Today we invite you to discover TIRASPOL and BENDERY (the main cities of Transnistria) – the old USSR is still alive and well in Transnistria. It is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. First of all, we will visit the synagogue from Bender, speak with the local rabbi and visit the Jewish cemetery. In Tiraspol we will enjoy a brandy tasting and lunch. Return to Chisinau. Same accommodation.
Departure home. Early departure to Romania – the airport of Iasi (3 hours transfer).
• Accommodation in 3* Hotels
• Meals and specials meals according to the program
• Professional English-speaking guide
• English documentation about the cultural sites
• Transfer by 3* minibus or bus
1. This program can be changed upon request.
2. For further information please contact: Cultural Romtour, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pleases your eyes