Rabbis, Writers & Dreamers on the Danube

Vienna, Budapest & Prague

October 10–22, 2018

Traveling with You...

Scholar in Residence

Raymond P. Scheindlin, Ph.D. is Professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary and a former Guggenheim Fellow. Dr. Scheindlin’s main field of research is the encounter of Hebrew and Arabic cultures in Spain, especially as embodied in the poetry of the two traditions. His books on medieval Hebrew poetry — Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life, dealing with secular poetry; and The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul, reflect both the academic and the literary aspects of his career. He is the author of a widely-used textbook, A Short History of the Jewish People and co-editor of The Literature of Al-Andalus. His most recent book is The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage.

Trip Leader

Aryeh Maidenbaum, Ph.D., has a strong background in the fields of History, Psychology and Jewish Studies. Dr. Maidenbaum has led many trips to Cuba and has more than 25 years experience in organizing and leading educational tours – Psychology and Jewish travel oriented programs. Director of the New York Center for Jungian Studies, Dr. Maidenbaum received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is a former faculty member at N.Y.U., and a contributing author to Current Theories of Psychoanalysis. He has edited several books and articles, including Lingering Shadows: Jungians, Freudians and Anti-Semitism, and Jung and the Shadow of Anti-Semitism.

Tour Manager

Lucy Rapoport has guided and accompanied many previous Jewish heritage tours — all to great acclaim. Born and schooled in England before moving to Italy as a young adult, Lucy is fluent in Italian, German, French, and Spanish and has been a tour manager for more than twenty years. Specializing in Europe, Lucy has accompanied previous Jewish groups to such places as Lithuania, Krakow, Prague, Berlin, Croatia, Spain, Romania, Serbia, France, Northern and Southern Italy, and Sicily. With Lucy’s attention to detail, knowledge of history, and considerable expertise in guiding groups, participants will be well served on this trip.

Accompanying Artist

Janice Meyerson (M.M., New England Conservatory; B.A., Washington University), has sung as a soloist with the New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Deutsche Oper, Berlin, and the Spoleto Festival, among numerous others. A gifted mezzo-soprano and interpreter of song, Ms. Meyerson will perform Ladino and Hebrew examples of Sephardic music.

Program Overview

Budapest, Vienna, and Prague were the richest and most glamorous cities of the Hapsburg Empire and its successor, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They were also home to important Jewish communities whose rabbis wrote works that guided Jews everywhere and which produced writers in modern times whose works have touched every person of culture. In all three cities, nineteenth-century modernization brought about fascinating changes in Jewish thought and the Jewish way of life.

Combining luxury travel and content all along the way, we will explore the medieval heritage of these cities; observe the ways in which the Jewish communities and individuals responded to the challenges of modernization; and lament the destruction of those communities during the Nazi era. Additionally, in order to understand the culture to which Jewish life adapted, we will be visiting the major historical and cultural monuments of Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

We invite you to join us on this unique trip and experience the beauty and grandeur of these historic cities — accompanied throughout by superb scholars and experienced trip leaders.

Tentative Daily Itinerary*

Wednesday, October 10

Late afternoon: 2 hour orientation walk in the downtown area and on the Danube Corso – and enjoy viewing the famous Budapest Panorama – a World Heritage site.

Evening: Orientation; Overview and brief outline of our trip by accompanying scholar, Dr. Ray Scheindlin, followed by opening dinner (included).


Thursday, October 11

Morning: an exploration of the Buda side of Budapest, including Citadel with Statue of Liberty, Castle District , Royal Palace. Other places we will visit today include the Jewish Quarter of today’s Budapest, the Medieval Synagogue, Raoul Wallenberg Statue and Old Buda Synagogue as well as Fishermen’ Bastion and Hospital in the Rock. During the course of our day, a light lunch on our own.

Evening talk: Dr. Scheindlin, The Hapsburg Empire and its Jews, followed by dinner on our own.


Friday, October 12

This morning, we will visit Pest’s Jewish Quarter; The Glass House, Liberty Square with its New controversial Memorial of WWII and the moving  Shoes Memorial. Lunch break in the New York Café (included).

Evening: festive Shabbat dinner (included).


Saturday, October 13

Morning: free to attend Services or rest and relax.
Afternoon: (optional) National Gallery guided tour with a focus on “Modern Times – Hungarian Art Between 1896 and World War,” where most of the art displayed is by Jewish Hungarian artists.

Evening talk by Dr. Scheindlin, Jewish Religious Movements, Leaders, and Buildings of Budapest and Vienna.
Dinner on our own.


Sunday, October 14

Depart for Vienna. En-route, visit Brataslava for a tour and lunch (included) before continuing on to Vienna. The Jewish community of Bratislava, whose origins can be traced back to medieval times, has played a major role throughout history. Documenting the community’s history, Bratislava’s Jewish Museum, known as The Museum of Jewish Culture was established to raise awareness of the rich Jewish-Slovak legacy. Nearby we also find The Jewish Community Museum, which is part of the only remaining, and still functioning, Heydukova Street Synagogue, built in 1920. Bratislava even has its own small memorial to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jewish lives, amongst them many from Bratislava.

From Bratislava, continue to Vienna in time for check in and dinner at our hotel (included).


Monday, October 15

Morning: An orientation drive along the Ringstrasse and scenic Danube before we continue to Upper Belvedere Palace for a private, guided tour with a focus on Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. From there continue on to Schönbrunn castle (summer residence) where we will enjoy lunch (included) and a tour of the palace and gardens. Following the tour, a brief private Strudel making demonstration in the former imperial bakery.

Evening talk by Ray Scheindlin, Stefan Zweig and The Jewish Writers of Vienna, followed by dinner on our own.


Tuesday, October 16

Today will begin with a walking tour through the Hofburg courtyards, followed by a private, guided tour of the Fine Arts museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) with a focus on the “Picture Gallery.”

After a break for lunch in the museum café, we will finish our day with a guided tour of the Applied Arts Museum.


Wednesday, October 17

A walking tour, including the Albertina monument, Dorotheum, Dorotheergasse, a walk past St.Stephans, and a private tour of the Synagogue Stadttempel. Since only Catholic buildings were places of worship permitted to stand adjacent to major streets, the Synagogue was designed as an apartment complex – the reason why it was the only Jewish heritage building (of 94 Jewish synagogues and temples) to survive. Other places we will visit today include the Judenplatz to see the Holocaust memorial and tour the Museum Judenplatz, and the Café Central for lunch (included).


Thursday, October 18

Depart Vienna for Prague with a stop en route to visit Třebíč with its two synagogues, ancient cemetery, unique, fragile, fascinating atmosphere of narrow lanes, and the Třebíč Ghetto. The Jewish Quarter here is one of the best preserved and the largest in Europe. Thanks to its cultural and historical importance, the collection of houses in the former ghetto, together with the Jewish Cemetery and Basilica of St. Procopius, have been included in the UNESCO world and natural heritage list, the first independent Jewish monument to be honored in this manner outside of the state of Israel.

Lunch in Třebíč (included) before continuing on to Prague.

Arrive Prague, check in to the deluxe Grand Mark hotel, located in the heart of the city, in time for a lovely buffet Dinner at our hotel (included).


Friday, October 19

Morning visit to the former fortress, so-called “model ghetto” and one of the first Concentration camps, Theresienstadt, for guided tour. Return to Prague in time for lunch on our own and afternoon free for exploring Prague’s many museums.

Evening: festive Shabbat Dinner (included).


Saturday, October 20

Morning: Free to rest, relax or attend Services.
Afternoon: (optional) walking tour, including Jewish Prague, the famous Charles Bridge (c.1357) that connects Old Town and Lesser Town, and the astronomical clock (first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world).

Evening: talk by Dr. Scheindlin, Kafka and the Golem, followed by dinner on our own.


Sunday, October 21

Private, guided tour of Prague Castle, considered the largest ancient castle in the world. Dating from the 9th century, it is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia.
Afternoon free for last minute shopping and/or explore Prague on our own.

Evening: performance by Janice Meyerson, followed by a closing, festive dinner (included).


Monday, October 22

Depart for home.

*Please Note: Daily schedule may be modified subject to weather or unanticipated changes.


Budapest: Ritz Carlton Budapest

Culture and heritage meets modern elegance at The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest. Located in the beating heart of the city, the hotel offers exceptional service, spacious rooms and suites, authentic culinary moments and a soothing spa; the perfect combination for an unforgettable experience.



Vienna: Hotel Bristol Vienna

Perfectly located, directly across from the State Opera House, the 5 star Hotel Bristol Vienna still serves as a living example of Viennese charm and its famed personalised service. Antiques combine harmoniously with modern comforts to turn these luxurious hotel rooms in Vienna into urban retreats right in the middle of the city’s business hub.

Prague: Grand Mark Hotel

Nestled in a former baroque palace, The 5 star Grand Mark Prague creates an aura of luxury, artfully blending classical design with modern art, technology and features throughout. The location is ideal for leisure and entertainment and is within walking distance of all the key attractions in Prague, as well as high-end designer shopping. Design elements incorporate rich textures, fine furnishings and specially commissioned artwork to enhance the traveler’s comfort and experience.

Book Your Trip

Share This Trip

Request Information

Deluxe Accommodations







Travel in comfort. We stay at deluxe hotels with fine amenities. Accommodations for this trip listed below the itinerary.

Book Your Trip

Program Details

Program Cost: $7260* (plus $54 Museum of Jewish Heritage fee for nonmembers)

Program Cost Includes:

  • Twelve nights’ accommodations*
  • full breakfast daily; six lunches; five dinners
  • entrance fees to all museums and sites on itinerary and group transportation via deluxe, air-conditioned coach

*Per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement available at $1500. Gratuities ($160) additional.

Some upgraded Suites available in Prague at an additional $75 per night. Call our office for more details.

To reserve your place, please complete the reservation form and return with a non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person. A second nonrefundable deposit of $1000 per person due on March 1, 2018. Balance is due in full by June 1, 2018 (Subject to availability of space, participants may still register after this date, at an additional cost of $200).

Registration Information


Limited to 30 participants, the program will entail considerable walking, including uneven terrain. Participants need to be in active, good health, able to keep up with the group, ready to travel and experience group and cultural differences with grace. If you have any questions, or need help with your travel plans, please call the Jewish Heritage Travel Office at 845.256.0197.


Participants are urged to purchase travel insurance for losses necessitated by having to cancel participation due to health issues. For your convenience, insurance forms will be sent upon registration, or consult your own insurance agent. Please contact The Jewish Heritage Travel office at 845.256.0197 for more information.


Refunds and Insurance: All cancellations must be received by The Jewish Heritage Travel Program in writing. Cancellations received up to 120 days prior to departure: full refund less non-refundable deposits, per person; 119-90 days prior to departure: 50% refund per person after non-refundable deposits. No refunds after this date.


All rights are reserved by the Program Directors to make faculty substitutions and/or to modify the itinerary (including hotels) as needed.