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June 9 – 20, 2025


Brad Pomerance and JLTVFrom the Golden Age of Spanish and Portuguese Jewry to the present, the Sephardic community has played a vital role in contributing to Jewish and Western culture. Forming an integral part of medieval Iberia, the Jews of Portugal experienced periods of great creativity, as well as tragedy, until their fateful forced conversion and expulsion in 1497.

This trip to Portugal will bring to life the culture, heritage, and tradition of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula as we immerse ourselves in the rich culture, vibrancy, and creativity of Sephardic Jewry. Along the way, we will see Portugal’s stunning scenery, historic sites, and Jewish landmarks and synagogues.

Beginning in cosmopolitan, thriving Lisbon, with its recently re-established Jewish community, our travels will include the town of Belmonte—a crypto-Jewish enclave, hidden from world Jewry for centuries until rediscovered in the 20th century—and the cities of Coimbra and Porto, as well as many small villages and coastal towns.

During this extraordinary journey into Jewish heritage, culture, and tradition of this important country on the Iberian Peninsula, we stay at exceptionally situated luxury hotels and experience the expertise of accompanying scholar Raquel Oresztajn through presentations and ongoing conversations throughout.


  • 11 nights of deluxe accommodations in: Lisbon, Belmonte, Coimbra, Porto
  • Viewing of original Inquisition documents at the National Archives of Lisbon
  • Day trip to the coast, including lunch by the beach in Guincho and a stop at the Chabad Portugal community center in Cascais
  • Visit of the charming and picturesque town of Obidos, with its whitewashed houses, cobblestoned streets, and little-known Jewish history
  • Tour the Portuguese-Hebrew Museum, housed in a synagogue originally built in 1430, and former Jewish quarter of Tomar
  • Private guided museum tours, synagogue visits, and a wine-tasting
  • Visit Belmonte where Jews survived in secrecy for hundreds of years
  • A 2-night stay in Porto, Portugal’s second city, located on the River Douro, and home to the famous port wine industry


Monday June 9 | LISBON
Check in at the 5-star deluxe Portobay Liberdade Hotel, a stone’s throw from Avenida da Liberdade, the most elegant avenue in the heart of Lisbon’s city center. Rest and relax from your journey.

Gather for an opening presentation by our scholar, Raquel Orensztajn, followed by an orientation, introductions, and a welcome dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Accommodations: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
Meals: dinner

Tuesday June 10 | LISBON
Our day begins with a panoramic city tour, including a visit to the Shaaré Tikvah Synagogue synagogue, designed to be indistinguishable from the street as it was built when it was forbidden for any faith or religion other than the Catholic Church to be openly visible. 

In the afternoon, we take a guided tour of the National Tile Museum, dedicated to five centuries of Portuguese decorative ceramic tiles (azulejos). The highlight of the museum is a 75-foot long, blue-and-white composition of Lisbon’s cityscape created in 1738.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodations: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
Meals: breakfast

Wednesday June 11 | LISBON
Depart by bus for the National Archives of Lisbon, where we will view original Inquisition documents, followed by an exclusive visit to the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal) where we have been granted special permission to see several of their rare manuscripts and documents.

This afternoon, we take a guided tour of the Gulbenkian Museum, a fascinating, eclectic, and unique collection assembled by Calouste Gulbenkian. Its wide-ranging contents include Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Islamic, and Oriental art, as well as European paintings.

Enjoy an early evening presentation by our scholar.

Accommodations: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
Meals: breakfast

Thursday June 12 | Lisbon – Sintra – Cascais – Lisbon
Today we begin with an excursion to the magnificent village of Sintra, with time to visit the Town Palace and explore its historical village center. From Sintra, we drive to the coast, where we have lunch in one of the famous fish restaurants by the beach of Guincho. After lunch, we make a visit to the Chabad Portugal community center located in Cascais. Then return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

This evening features a Fado show with dinner. Deemed a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, Fado songs are accompanied by moody acoustic music, with soulful lyrics recounting stories of loss, longing, sadness, and sometimes hints of better things to come.

Accommodations: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Friday June 13 | Lisbon – Obidos – Lisbon
This morning we visit the area of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. A prominent example of the Portuguese late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon, the Monastery and nearby tower of Belém are both classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We continue to the charming and picturesque town of Obidos, with its whitewashed houses, cobblestoned streets, and little-known Jewish history. After some free time, we take a walking tour with our specialist local guide before returning to Lisbon.

This evening we have the opportunity, for those who sign up in advance, to walk to the Shaaré Tikvá Synagogue for Friday night services followed by Shabbat dinner with Lisbon’s Jewish community. Or for those who prefer, dinner in our hotel.

Accommodations: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
Meals: breakfast, dinner

Saturday June 14 | Lisbon
This morning is free to attend services on your own, enjoy the hotel amenities, and/or visit sites of personal interest in Lisbon.

In the afternoon, an optional tour of the Medeiros e Almeida Museum is offered, an important private decorative arts museum, located a few minutes’ walk from our hotel.

Enjoy an early evening presentation by our scholar.

Accommodations: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
Meals: breakfast

Sunday June 15 | Lisbon – Tomar – Belmonte
Depart the hotel for Tomar, where we visit the Museu Luso-Hebraico Abraão Zacuto and Portuguese-Hebrew Museum, housed in a synagogue originally built in 1430, followed by a walking tour of the former Jewish quarter. 

After leaving Tomar and a stop for lunch, we continue on to Belmonte, a small town in the Beira district of Portugal, where the community of Belmonte Jews, or “Marranos,” survived in secrecy for hundreds of years by hiding all external signs of their faith. Here we will visit the Belmonte synagogue and tour the Jewish Museum with our expert local guide. Founded in 2015, it is the first museum that portrays the history of the Jewish people of Portugal and the decisive role they played in Portuguese culture, art, literature, and trade.

This evening, we have dinner and spend the night at the Pousada Convento Belmonte, housed in an old Franciscan convent from the 13th century.

Accommodations: Pousada Convento Belmonte
Meals: breakfast, dinner

Monday June 16 | Belmonte – Vilar – Formoso – Trancoso – Belmonte
Today we head to Vilar Formoso, whose border position provided a strategic gateway to refugees fleeing the Nazi regime. Its recently-opened small museum commemorates both them and Aristides Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux responsible for issuing visas enabling many families to escape from France to neutral Portugal.

After lunch, we visit the medieval town of Trancoso, one of the most important towns in Portugal during the Middle Ages because of its strategic location, which was essential to retain Portugal’s independence as well as its borders. The town was strongly influenced by its ancient Jewish presence. We will tour the town and visit the Isaac Cardoso Jewish Interpretation Center, a place for culture and debate that teaches the ancient legacy that Beira Jewish communities left behind.

Dinner at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations: Pousada Convento Belmonte
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Tuesday June 17 | Belmonte – Coimbra
We depart Belmonte this morning for Coimbra, once the capital of the Portuguese nation, where kings were born and later entombed. Upon arrival, we take part in a short walking tour. 

This afternoon, we visit Coimbra’s small Jewish heritage museum located on Inquisition Square, and the world-renowned Coimbra University. Established in 1290, it is Portugal’s oldest university.

Check in to the Quinta das Lágrimas hotel, famed for its gardens. Our evening includes a presentation by our scholar, followed by dinner at the hotel.

Accommodations: Quinta das Lágrimas 
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Wednesday June 18   | Coimbra – Douro Valley – Porto
This morning we head north towards the valley of the River Douro, enjoying spectacular scenery along the way. We break for lunch and wine-tasting before continuing to Porto to check in to the 5-star Maison Albar Le Monumental, centrally located and within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants.

Accommodations: Maison Albar Le Monumental
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Thursday June 19 | Porto
Today’s full-day tour of Porto includes a visit to the old Jewish quarter and the original 12th-century city of Porto, with its narrow winding streets. We also plan to visit the Kadoorie Synagogue and the adjacent small Jewish museum, as well as the elaborately-decorated Palacio da Bolsa, home to the Porto Chamber of Commerce. 

We end the day with a farewell dinner.

Accommodations: Maison Albar Le Monumental
Meals: breakfast, dinner

Friday June 20 | Porto 
Individual departures

Meals: breakfast

Traveling with you…

Brad Pomerance currently serves as host and series producer of the award-winning television program Air Land & Sea, broadcasting weekly on the national basic cable network Jewish Life Television/JLTV. To produce this historically driven global travel series, Brad and his intrepid crew have journeyed to Barbados, Czech, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and more.

Brad and the Air Land & Sea team have been honored with multiple awards for their work, including from the Religion Communicators Council, the Religion News Association, the Telly’s, and the World Media Festivals.  In connection with Brad’s recent journey to Portugal, the Air Land & Sea team garnered four awards, including 1st Place, Outstanding Religion Documentary from the Religion News Association for their episode on the Center of Portugal (featuring Trancoso, Belmonte, Tomar, Trancoso, and Viseu).

Brad also hosts Uncovered in the Archives, a historically driven television series he developed for PBS-affiliate KVCR in Southern California. This award-winning program is currently in production for its second season.

Brad recently concluded a long run as host of Charter Local Edition, broadcast daily on the California Channel. He interviewed elected officials at all levels of government, from mayors to supervisors, from state legislators to members of the U.S. Congress, from governors to senators.

In addition to the honors received for his work on Air Land & Sea, Brad has received several awards for his work — both at JLTV and KVCR — from the American Psychological Association’s Society of Media Psychology, the Los Angeles Press Club, and the Society of American Archivists. Previously, Brad was honored with three Los Angeles-area Emmy nominations for his work on Local Edition and LA City View Channel 35. He is married to Tina Fuller Pomerance. They have two daughters. Ivy recently graduated from Emory University and Paige is attending the University of Michigan. You can follow Brad on Twitter @bradpomerance.

Raquel Orensztajn was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She studied Modern History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and dedicated her professional life to teaching the Holocaust and its significance in Jewish memory and identity. Raquel is the co-initiator and founder of ‘When Memory Meets Art’, a project that specializes in creating artistic content based on primary sources of the Holocaust. She is a scholar and educator of Jewish Journeys programs and has participated as a trip scholar throughout Jewish Europe. Raquel developed the study curriculum in Prague and Theresienstadt for the Jewish Agency and led the March of the Living in Poland. She also teaches Hebrew as a second language to participants of the Masa Israel Journey program. Raquel works in the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, as a developer and writer of online teaching courses and content coordinator of seminars for educators from Israel, Europe, and Latin America. Raquel is fluent in English, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish. She lives in Tel Aviv.

Lucy Rapoport, trip leader, 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 over twenty years. Specializing in Europe, she 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.

Our scholars are outstanding experts in their fields and play an active role in helping us design our journeys as well as accompanying us as we travel. 


Lisbon: Portobay Liberdade Hotel
This boutique hotel has all the features of an urban resort: an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium with natural lighting, spa with treatment rooms for two, sauna, Turkish steam bath, esplanade, patio, and terrace balconies in most rooms. All rooms feature thoughtful touches like espresso makers, free Wi-Fi, and LCD TVs with cable channels, 24-hour room service, and minibars.

Belmonte: Pousada Convento Belmonte
The former convent of Nossa Senhora da Esperança (Our Lady of Hope) is now the luxurious Hotel Convento de Belmonte. The ecclesiastical origins of the convent have been maintained in this new, elegantly designed hotel, which features panoramic views over the plains across to the peaks of the Serra da Estrela mountain range.

Coimbra: Quinta das Lágrimas
Quinta das Lágrimas is a member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” and a retreat of peace and tranquillity set within an 18th-century palace surrounded by 10 acres of lush gardens in Coimbra. Located a short walk from Coimbra’s medieval center. The hotel offers two restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, a heated indoor swimming pool, and a spa with a fitness center, Turkish bath, and steam room.

Maison Albar Le Monumental | Porto

This historic luxury hotel in the heart of Porto features elegant, beautifully decorated rooms with 1930s-inspired decor for a refined yet cozy ambiance. Guests are invited to enjoy exceptional gourmet meals at the hotel’s restaurants, indulge in treatments at the luxurious Grand Bleu spa, and take time to relax in the library, filled with old books and a sense of elegance.


Program Cost: $6,990* includes:

  • 11 nights’ accommodations at deluxe hotels
  • Full breakfast daily; 3 lunches; 7 dinners
  • All group transportation via deluxe air-conditioned coach
  • All lectures, guided tours, museums and site entrance fees

*Per person, double occupancy; single supplement:$2,495. Fees not included: gratuities: $195.

Travel note: Arrive on Monday June 9 in Lisbon (LIS) and depart on Friday June 20 from Porto (OPO)

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.

Participation Tour sizes are limited to 28 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. 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.

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