Stately Homes and Synagogues

Oxford & London, England

April 29—May 8, 2019

Windsor Castle |

Traveling with You...

Trip Leader

Dr. Aryeh Maidenbaum is Founder and Director of the New York Center for Jungian Studies. He has a strong background in the fields of history, psychology, and Jewish Studies, and over 25 years of experience in organizing and leading educational travel programs — both for mental health professionals and trips focusing on Jewish heritage, history and culture

Accompanying Tour Guide and Lecturer

Engaging, knowledgeable, and a respected researcher, Rachel Kolsky is a prize-winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Before embarking on her career as guide and lecturer Rachel, a qualified librarian, worked for many years as an information professional in the financial services industry and was awarded the “Membership Achievement Award” in 2008.

 When not working or guiding she supports her local independent cinema, The Phoenix, East Finchley, where she was a Trustee for over 20 years. Rachel, often a guest lecturer on cruises, has also published widely, including four books: Jewish London (2012), Whitechapel in 50 Buildings (2016), Secret Whitechapel (2017) and Women’s London (2018).

Program Overview

Jewish settlement in Britain can be traced back to the time of William the Conqueror. Despite suffering persecution, pogroms, and eventual expulsion in 1290, over the centuries Jews have had an extraordinary impact on the economic, scientific, and cultural life of England- starting with the time when Oliver Cromwell readmitted the Jews to Britain in 1656. Today, England contains the fifth-largest Jewish community worldwide.

Beginning with the establishment of a synagogue in London in 1657, Jewish communities were established throughout the country: in York, Lincoln, Windsor, Cambridge, and Oxford, among other locations. Jewish communities have flourished. Beautiful synagogues, stately mansions, and thriving businesses were established, and by 1858 the law of the land was changed to allow Jews to sit as members of Parliament. Individual Jews began settling in Oxford from the mid-eighteenth century, with an organized Jewish congregation firmly established by 1841. Hebrew books were printed in Oxford, and several extraordinary libraries of Judaica were gathered—among them the renowned Bodleian Library.

Join us in London and Oxford as we visit sites of Jewish interest and stately homes and mansions, including the ancestral homes of Churchill, Disraeli, and Rothschild. Enjoy deluxe accommodations and experience a unique glimpse into Jewish life, past and present, through the eyes of extraordinary guides and scholars.

Tentative Daily Itinerary*

Monday, April 29

Check in to the Goring hotel, one of London’s finest deluxe hotels.

Evening: Introduction lecture by Rachel Kolsky “Who were the Jews of London?” followed by Orientation, an opportunity to get to know one another and Opening Dinner at our hotel (included).


Tuesday, April 30

Today will begin with an East End history walking tour and a visit to the picturesque, historic Bevis Marks Synagogue – founded in 1701 and reminiscent of the Great Synagogue of Amsterdam. Break for lunch on our own before visiting the Wiener Library for a discussion with scholars and staff on the important research being done at the Library. The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is the world’s oldest institution devoted to the study of the Holocaust, its causes and legacies.

Evening: Free, dinner on our own.

Interior, Bevis Marks Synagogue, London

Interior, Bevis Marks Synagogue, London

Wednesday, May 1

This morning, we will visit the British Museum for a private guided tour with a focus on Jewish artists and content. First opened to the public in 1759, the Museum contains over eight million works and is among the largest and most extensive museums in the world. Following lunch on our own, we will enjoy a tour of the Jewish Museum of London. The Museum, whose aim is rescuing and preserving the disappearing heritage of London’s East End and the heartland of Jewish settlement in Britain, reflects the diverse roots and social history of Jewish people in England.

Evening: Free, dinner on our own.


Thursday, May 2

Visit Spencer House, a private palace- built in 1756-66 for the first Earl Spencer and familial home of Princess Diana. Enjoy a short walking tour around Piccadilly and Burlington Arcade with free time for lunch on our own before an afternoon private guided tour of the National Portrait Gallery – with a special focus on Jewish portraits. Founded in 1856, the Gallery is the world’s first exclusively portrait gallery and houses portraits and photographs of some of the most important figures in British history.

Evening: Presentation by Aryeh Maidenbaum, “Churchill, Zionism and the Jews: Light and Shadow.”

Dinner on our own.


Hampton Court Palace |

Roof of the Tudor Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace

Friday, May 3

Depart London for Oxford, stopping at Hampton Court Palace on the way. The palace is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII and there we will enjoy viewing the well known “Abraham Tapestries.” En route to Oxford, we will make a stop at Henley-on Thames for a break for lunch on our own. Henley on Thames’s river-side location makes it one of the most beautiful towns in England. Continue on to Oxford and check in to the five star MacDonald Randolph Hotel.

Evening: Shabbat dinner (included) at our hotel or with members of the local Jewish community.


Saturday, May 4

Morning: Free to rest and relax, attend services and/ or explore sites of interest in Oxford on our own.

Afternoon: (optional) walking tour of Oxford University and Jewish sites of interest.

Evening free, dinner on our own.


Blenheim Palace |

Blenheim Palace and the Grand Bridge, viewed from the beautiful Park Gardens.

Sunday, May 5

Visit Blenheim Palace for a private guided tour of the house – with free time to enjoy its beautiful gardens, shop at its lovely gift store and have lunch on your own. Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and birth place of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site which boasts a long and diverse history and special place in British history.

Evening free, dinner on our own.


Monday, May 6

Depart Oxford for Windsor Castle for a guided tour. Free time for lunch on our own before a one hour cruise on the Thames which will take us to our hotel – the deluxe Oakley Court. Check in to our hotel, with time to rest and relax, or use the hotel’s facilities.

Evening lecture by Rachel Kolsky: “Disraeli and Rothschild,” followed by dinner on our own.


Tuesday, May 7

Today we will travel to Hughenden Manor – country house of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli – for a guided tour. From here, we will continue on to Waddesdon Manor for a guided tour with time for lunch on our own, and/or exploring its lovely gardens. Waddesdon Manor was built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 1870s to display some of his unique art collection and entertain the “fashionable world” of England.

Evening: Closing meeting and dinner at our hotel (included).


Wednesday, May 8

Depart for home.

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


The Goring Hotel, located within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, is one of London’s finest hotels and one of the city’s last family-owned luxury hotels. With over a hundred years of experience and expertise, it is renowned for its hospitality and commitment to service, and its Michelin-star restaurant.


The Macdonald Randolph Hotel is the leading 5-star hotel in Oxford and offers luxurious accommodations, delicious food and a sensuous spa haven in the heart of this world-famous University City.  This landmark hotel has played host to prime ministers and presidents, and its renowned Morse Bar is instantly recognizable as the watering hole of Colin Dexter’s world-famous detective, Inspector Morse.


The luxurious Oakley Court Hotel is an imposing Victorian Mansion overlooking the River Thames, just a few miles away from Windsor Castle, and conveniently located a short distance from Heathrow. Guests at the Oakley Court enjoy complimentary use of its outstanding leisure facilities including Swimming Pool, Steam Room, Sauna, Gym and Tennis Courts.

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

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Program Details

“Program Cost: $7,500* (plus $54 Museum of Jewish Heritage fee for nonmembers)
Program fee includes:

  • Nine nights’ accommodations at deluxe hotels
  • Full breakfast daily; one lunch; three dinners
  • Entrance fees to all museums and sites on the itinerary
  • All group transportation via deluxe, air-conditioned coach

*Per person, double occupancy for registration by July 1, 2018. Cost after July 1, 2018 is $7,650. Single supplement available for $1,450. Gratuities ($165) additional. A nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 due upon registration; second deposit of $1,000 per person due November 15. Balance due 120 days prior to trip departure.”


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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.


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.