The Jews of
Ireland
Lord Mayors & Traders
October 19–28, 2022

Overview

Ireland, blessed with a magnificent landscape, is a country rich in spirit and history. It encompasses legends, Celtic myth and music, and layer upon layer of different cultures. Jewish settlers in Ireland are known to date back to the 12th century, though it was not until 1660 that the first synagogue was founded—a small prayer room opposite Dublin Castle. Bolstered by immigration from Eastern Europe (especially Lithuania) since the end of the 19th century, Jews have played important roles in Irish society, from Lord Mayors in Belfast, Dublin, and Cor, to members of Parliament, the diplomatic service, and the world of commerce and trade.

The 2022 Museum of Jewish Heritage tour of Ireland will bring to life the culture and tradition of the Jews of Ireland and explore the origins and nature of their unique experience. In our travels, we will meet Ireland’s warm and friendly people and enjoy discussions with leading Jewish figures in the local Jewish communities. Along the way, we will experience Ireland’s breathtaking landscape, with its verdant countryside, abundant with wildflowers and magnificent vistas, as well as a day trip, by train, to Belfast, where we will meet members of the Jewish community and tour the extraordinary Titanic Museum.

We invite you to join us on this unique and fascinating experience!

Highlights

  • 9 nights with deluxe accommodations in Dublin and Killarney
  • Visit Mansion House Dublin, the Irish Jewish Museum, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the National Gallery, and the Titanic Museum
  • Walking tours including central Dublin, plus a jaunting cart tour to Muckross House in the Killarney National Park
  • Shabbat service at Dublin’s Main Synagogue and dinner with congregation members
  • Day trips to Belfast, Limerick, Adare,and the Dingle Peninsula

Itinerary

Wednesday, October 19 | Dublin
Arrive in Dublin, check in to our hotel, the Davenport, centrally located just steps from Trinity College (housing the legendary 9th-century illuminated manuscript Book of Kells) and a short walk to Merrion Square, the National Gallery of Ireland (containing a superb collection of Irish and European art) and Grafton Street, Dublin’s premier shopping area. Rest and relax before orientation and opening dinner.

Evening: Dinner (included).

Thursday, October 20 | Dublin
Morning: Visit to Mansion House Dublin and meeting with Lord Mayor of Dublin, and/or Ben Briscoe, former Lord Mayor of Dublin, one of Ireland’s most famous Jewish politicians. Following lunch on our own, visit the Dublin Jewish Museum, dating back to 1917, once a synagogue, where we will learn about the Jewish community of Ireland. The museum was opened in 1985 by Irish-born Chaim Herzog, who was then president of Israel.

Evening: Free; dinner on our own.

Friday, October 21 | Dublin
Today we will enjoy a walking tour of central Dublin and its Georgian architecture. Along the way, we will visit Trinity College to view the old library and the Book of Kells, a historic illuminated manuscript dating to 800 ce. Lunch on our own and afternoon free to explore Dublin, and/or shop on Grafton Street.

Evening: Attend services at Dublin’s main synagogue, followed by dinner (included) at the synagogue with the rabbi and members of the Jewish community.

Saturday, October 22 | Dublin
Morning: Free to attend services or explore places of personal interest in Dublin on our own.

Afternoon: Walking tour, including a guided tour of the National Gallery, home to a renowned collection of Irish paintings, including works by Jack B. Yeats, and where every major European school of painting is represented.

Evening: Presentation by Steven Jaffe on Jewish Belfast. Steven, who was born and raised in Belfast, works with the two main representative bodies of Jewish people in the U.K.: the Board of Deputies of British Jews; and the Jewish Leadership Council, where he also represents the small Jewish community of Northern Ireland.

Dinner on our own.

Sunday, October 23 | Belfast | Dublin
Day trip to Belfast, via a picturesque train ride. Our day there will begin with a visit to the Belfast synagogue, where we will meet with members of this dwindling Jewish community and partake in light refreshments and lunch (included) before an afternoon visit to the Titanic Museum. Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience and explores the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. Shedding light on the maritime heritage of the Harland & Wolff shipyard, where the RMS Titanic was built, the displays provide a unique insight into the Belfast and Ireland of the period. Following our visit to the museum, return to Dublin in time for late dinner.

Evening: Free; dinner on our own.

Monday, October 24 | Limerick | Adare | Killarney
Depart Dublin for Killarney, stopping en route in Limerick for a meeting with representatives of the Limerick Civic Trust, where we will hear a presentation about the Limerick Boycott, a sad chapter in Irish Jewish history. Before leaving Limerick, we will visit the Jewish cemetery for a tree-planting ceremony in honor of the late Denis Leonard, who was responsible for the restoration of the Jewish cemetery following a century of neglect. Thanks to him, one of the earliest projects of the Civic Trust included restoration of the Jewish cemetery as an act of reconciliation to help heal the wounds of the Boycott of 1904, which compelled Jewish business owners to leave the city.

Following our visit in Limerick, lunch on our own in Adare, with time to walk about this charming village before reaching Killarney. A favorite destination of Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria, Killarney is surrounded by a beautiful, unspoiled verdant landscape of lakes, forests, and mountains, including Killarney National Park, with its 25,000 acres of forest and trails. In Killarney, we will check in to the Park Hotel in time for dinner.

Evening: Dinner in Killarney (included).

Tuesday, October 25 | Killarney
This morning, we will enjoy traveling by jaunting cart to Muckross House and Gardens, which sit on one of the famous lakes of Killarney. The Muckross estate dates back to the 17th century, when the first member of the Herbert family, who were originally from Wales, settled in Killarney. Built in a Tudor style, with 65 rooms, the house was completely renovated for Queen Victoria and her scheduled visit to Killarney in 1861.The estate, comprising about 13,000 acres, was presented to the Irish Free State in 1932 and became the Bourn-Vincent Memorial Park.

Following lunch on our own at Muckross House, we will visit Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower house on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park.

Evening: Free; dinner on our own.

Wednesday, October 26 | Dingle Peninsula | Killarney
Depart our hotel for a day on the Dingle Peninsula. From Killarney, we will travel along the north side of Dingle Bay via Inch Beach, with its three-mile stretch of golden sand made famous in the film Ryan’s Daughter; visit Dingle Town, a lovely quaint fishing town, where today many craftspeople (including those who work with crystal and gold as well as weavers and potters) have established businesses. Along the way, we will enjoy Slea Head Drive, the most western part of Ireland and Europe, with its spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline (including views of the Skelligs), along with several of the area’s famous landmarks: Ventry Beach, prehistoric Dun Beg Fort, Beehive Huts, and the Dingle Famine Cottages.

During the course of our full day on the Peninsula, we will also visit the Blasket Islands Visitor Centre, where we will learn about the people of the Blasket Islands, which were inhabited until 1953. We return to Killarney in time for dinner.

Evening: Free; dinner on our own.

Thursday, October 27 | Killarney
Morning walking tour to Killarney House to hear a lecture about Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who was known as the “Vatican Pimpernel” and the Oscar Schindler of Ireland. Made famous through a film starring Gregory Peck, The Scarlet and the Black, Monsignor O’Flaherty, based in the Vatican during WWII, is credited with saving thousands of Allied soldiers and hundreds of Jews from the death camps. The site’s flora and fauna, heritage, architecture, and a collection enable the story of the landscape and its people to be told.

Afternoon: Free to meander about Killarney on our own, and an opportunity for last-minute shopping.

Evening: Closing dinner (included).

Friday, October 28
Return home.

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

Traveling with you…

Deborah Starr is Professor of Modern Arabic and Hebrew Literature and Film in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Cornell University. She received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. She writes and teaches about identity and intercommunal exchange in the modern Middle East, with a focus on the Jews of Egypt. She is the author of Togo Mizrahi and the Making of Egyptian Cinema (University of California Press, 2020) and Remembering Cosmopolitan Egypt: Literature, Culture, and Empire (Routledge, 2009). She is also the co-editor, with Sasson Somekh, of Mongrels or Marvels: The Levantine Writings of Jacqueline Shohet Kahano (Stanford University Press, 2011). Her research and teaching interests include cosmopolitanism, postcolonial studies, minorities of the Middle East, film, and urban studies. 

Accommodations

Dublin: Davenport Hotel

Located right in the heart of Georgian Dublin, The Davenport is within walking distance of all of Dublin’s top landmarks, cultural attractions and business districts. The Davenport seamlessly blends history with the needs of today’s hotel guest, offering every modern amenity needed during your stay.

Killarney: The Park Hotel

The Killarney Park is a family-owned, 5-star deluxe hotel. With each spacious room overlooking the hotel gardens, the historic town of Killarney, or the mountains beyond, it is superbly located at the edge of town and within easy walking distance of the town center, as well as Killarney National Park. Amenities at the Killarney Park Hotel include outstanding cuisine, complimentary Internet access, an indoor swimming pool, and a luxurious spa. It is considered one of the finest hotels in County Kerry.

Details

Program Cost: $5,950* including
  • 9 nights’ accommodations at deluxe hotels*
  • Full breakfast daily; one lunch; four dinners
  • Entrance fees to all museums and sites on itinerary
  • All group transportation via deluxe air-conditioned coach
  • Round-trip transportation by train from Dublin to Belfast
* Per person, double occupancy; single supplement: $1,500. Fees not included: gratuities: $165. Museum of Jewish Heritage membership for nonmembers: $54.   

Secure your place

Book Now: use the link below to reach our easy online booking form.

By phone: 845-256-0197 Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm EST.

Payment Reserve your space with a nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 per person. Final balance is due 120 days prior to departure.

Membership Tours offered by the Museum of Jewish Heritage are available to active members. The individual annual membership is $54 and will be collected at the time of final payment for any nonmembers. To see the list of benefits, visit the museum’s website.

Participation Tour sizes are limited to 26 participants unless otherwise noted. Trips entail considerable walking including over uneven terrain. Participants need to be in good health, be able to keep up with the group, be able to experience group and cultural differences with grace, and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Please let us know if you have any physical conditions that may require special attention while on tour.

Cancellations All cancellations must be received by Jewish Heritage Travel in writing. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure: full refund less nonrefundable deposits, per person; 119–90 days prior to departure: 50% refund per person after nonrefundable deposits. 89–0 days before departure: no refund.

Trip Cancellation Insurance Jewish Heritage Travel strongly urges all participants to purchase travel insurance for coverage of losses necessitated by having to cancel due to illness or accident. For your convenience, we are providing a link to Allianz Global Assistance, which many past participants have used. Please use code ACCAM/Agency ID# F026815 or feel free to use your own insurance agent. When purchasing insurance, please consider the plans carefully to familiarize yourself with what is covered. In this context, do take note that most insurance companies generally will waive exclusion for preexisting conditions only if your application is received by them within 14 days from the date of your program registration. If you have a preexisting medical condition and are interested in taking trip insurance, you should do so either with Allianz or through your own insurance agent within 14 days of registration.

Changes All rights are reserved by Jewish Heritage Travel to make scholar substitutions and/or to modify the itinerary (including hotels) as needed. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the program as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and conditions require the itinerary to be altered, Jewish Heritage Travel reserves the right to do so for the safety and best interest of the group. Any extra expenses incurred in this situation are the responsibility of the participant.

Disclaimer of Responsibility By registering for this program, participant specifically waives any and all claims of action against the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Jewish Heritage Travel office and their respective staffs for damages, loss, injury, accident, or death incurred by any person in connection with this tour. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Jewish Heritage Travel office and their respective staffs assume no responsibility or liability in connection with the service of any train, vessel, carriage, aircraft, or other conveyance that may be used wholly or in part in the performance of their duty to the passengers. Neither will the Museum of Jewish Heritage or the Jewish Heritage Travel office or their staffs be responsible for any injury, death, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity through neglect or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out the purposes for which tickets, vouchers, or coupons are issued. No responsibility is accepted for losses or expenses due to sickness, viruses, weather, strikes, wars, and other causes. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for any reason whatsoever to alter the itinerary or arrangements, including hotels or scholars, such alterations may be made without penalty. All rights reserved to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at his/her own expense when such an action is determined by the tour staff to be in the best interest of the participant’s health and safety and that of the group in general. Prices subject to change. Cost in effect at time of registration will be honored.

Registration