Women’s Philanthropy Mission to Poland & Israel

Program begins October 26 and concludes November 2

Join The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington for an immersive and transformative journey through three of the world’s most fascinating cities. Tour dazzling landmarks and explore Jewish history in Krakow and Warsaw, Poland. Then, fly across the Mediterranean to celebrate modern-day Jewish renewal in Tel Aviv, Israel – all while creating memories and new friendships with other women in our community.

Optional Shabbat in Poland Pre-Trip
Program begins Friday, October 25

Registration deadline is June 25.


Main Trip (Krakow, Warsaw & Tel Aviv)
Double Occupancy Cost: $4,995
Single Occupancy Supplement: $1,105

Pre-Trip (Optional Shabbat in Poland)
October 24-26, 2019 (includes travel day)
Double Occupancy Cost: $500
Single Occupancy Supplement: $110

Deposit: $500 non-refundable deposit.

Full payment: Due July 12, or as specified in your invoice.

Participation requires a minimum contribution of $2,500 for three consecutive years (2019, 2020, and 2021) to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Annual Campaign. For those new to the Pomegranate Circle, the minimum contribution is $1,800 for three consecutive years (2019, 2020, and 2021).

Travel Day: Friday, October 25, 2019

Depart the USA (if not attending pre-tip option).

Overnight: Flight

Day One: Saturday, October 26, 2019

  • 4:00 p.m. Gather in the hotel lobby to meet your tour educator and fellow travelers.
  • Orientation dialogue with your tour educator. Overview of the group journey; including reviewing the itinerary, the group themes, the different narratives. Share group and personal goals.
  • Guided evening walk to Krakow’s Historical Market Square. This UNESCO World Heritage site, once the capital of Poland, was not destroyed during WWII and bears witness to the rich history of the country.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah and welcome dinner at a restaurant.
  • Overnight: Krakow

Day Two: Sunday, October 27, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Meet with leaders of The Forum for Dialogue, a non-profit Polish organization whose mission is to foster Polish-Jewish dialogue, eradicate anti-Semitism and teach tolerance through education.
  • Dialogue with Edyta Gawron about the diverse and dynamic history of Jewish life in Krakow and Galicia and the complex relations between Jews and their Polish and Ukrainian neighbors. Dr. Gawron heads the Centre for the Study of the History and Culture of Krakow Jews at Jagiellonian University.
  • Engage with the multifaceted and vibrant story of Jewish life in Krakow with a walk through the old Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz, including: The Altschul, The Rema Synagogue, The Rema Cemetery, and The Temple.
  • Visit the Jewish Community Center and participate in Mitzvah projects with the local volunteers and JCC members. Discussion with Jonathan Ornstein, the JCC Director, and local members of the community.
  • Lunch on own, en route.
  • Take a guided journey following the Jewish community on their descent from Kazimierz, crossing over the bridge into the Jewish Ghetto of Podgorze. See The Krakow Umchlagplatz memorial, now called Ghetto Heroes Square, a view of the Pharmacy gateway to the Ghetto and The Oscar Schindler Factory Museum.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and evening at leisure.
  • Overnight: Krakow


Day Three: Monday, October 28, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit through the Auschwitz–Birkenau Complex, reflecting on personal stories and texts. A short drive will take you to the Auschwitz II death camp, better known as Birkenau.
  • Boxed lunch en route.
  • How We Remember with your tour educator.
  • Visit the Oswiecim Jewish Center and Museum, capturing the rich life of the Jewish community which was the majority of the city.
  • Return to Krakow.
  • Evening program at the Krakow Jewish Community Center with Jonathan Ornstein, the JCC Director, and leading members of the community.
  • Enjoy dinner with members of the local Jewish community, and learn more about the cultural and religious revival happening at the JCC.
  • Overnight: Krakow

Day Four: Tuesday, October 29, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Load luggage onto the luggage truck. (Luggage will be transferred to Warsaw separately.)
  • Transfer to Krakow train station.
  • Depart Krakow and travel to Warsaw by train. (Train journey is approximately 2.5 hours.)
  • Guided visit to the Jewish Cemetery of Warsaw on Okopowa Street (also known as the Ganesha Cemetery), one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world.
  • Lunch (on own account), en route.
  • Take a guided journey through the Warsaw Ghetto. We will see the Remnants of the Ghetto Wall and the Nathan Rapoport Warsaw Ghetto Memorial and follow the steps taken by the heroic ghetto fighters at the Path of Remembrance. At Mila 18, we will commemorate the doomed uprising of 1943 and at Umschlagplatz, the holding area before transportation to the Treblinka death camp, reflect on the fate of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • Visit the Warsaw JCC, located in a 3,000 square feet multi-level building, the community center has become a vibrant center of Jewish life in Warsaw.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Dinner with women leaders of the local Jewish community, such as Monika Elliot, Program Director of JDC, and Magda Dorosz, Director of Hillel Warsaw.
  • Overnight: Warsaw

Day Five: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Visit the Nozyk Synagogue, the last remaining pre-Holocaust synagogue in Warsaw. Possible meeting with Rabbi Michael Schudrich, the Chief Rabbi of Poland.
  • Visit the newly-opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews located in the center of what once was the Jewish Ghetto.
  • Boxed lunch, en route.
  • Transfer to Warsaw International Airport.
  • 3:25 p.m. Depart Warsaw on a Lot Airlines flight to Tel Aviv.
  • 8:10 p.m. Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
  • Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Six: Thursday, October 31, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Talk with technology journalist, Viva Sarah Press, about how tiny Israel is playing a giant role in hi-tech.
  • Delve into the world of renowned Israeli inventions and creations at the State of Mind Innovation Center and meet with an up-and-coming start-up entrepreneur.
  • Walk through Tel Aviv’s famous Levinsky Market, where you’ll find a combination of foods and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and hear the unique stories of the individuals who sell them. Lunch is included.
  • See “Youth Futures,” a flagship program of the Jewish Agency for Israel that provides community-based mentoring for at-risk pre-teens and adolescents in Israel.
  • Visit a center for independent living (CIL) and learn about the JDC’s efforts for inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Take part in a Vintner’s Journey along the Ella Valley and the Judean Hills wine route, exploring some of the new and very successful wineries that have sprouted in recent years, among them Elah, Tzora, Flam, Kastel, Tzuba, and Conversation with wine-makers and connoisseurs, as well as wine tasting, is included.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Explore Tel Aviv’s vibrant culinary scene with reservations and recommendations made by our team (Dinner is on own account: Da’at will make the reservations).
  • Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Seven: Friday, November 1, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • A morning run or Krav Maga work -out.
  • Option 1: A special window into the world of Israeli fashion – visit design houses and meet with designers in Tel Aviv’s leading fashion district.
  • Option 2: Guided by a leading art critic, explore some of the fascinating art galleries in the city and meet with artists and gallery owners.
  • Tour to the Templer town of Sarona, a hip and vibrant fashion and culinary center, including free time to stroll through the indoor food and spice market.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue.
  • Gather together for Shabbat dinner at the hotel, accompanied by A Capella singer and Lone Soldiers (including some from DC). Meet young men and women who volunteered to leave their loved ones behind to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
  • Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Eight: Saturday, November 2, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional: Shul hopping between various and unique synagogues around Tel Aviv, each one with a different background and denomination.
  • Optional: Morning yoga session on the beach.
  • Meet with Hamutal Gouri, former Executive Director of the Dafna Fund, Israel’s only women’s foundation.
  • Walk along the beach to the upscale and trendy Tel Aviv Port.
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner and spoil your taste buds with an excellent dinner at Lumina, a modern Israeli bistro which features the best of Israel’s meat and poultry, all carefully supervised by the world-renowned Chef Meir Adoni.
  • If departing Saturday night, transfer to the Ben Gurion International Airport to check in for the departure flight to the USA, arriving the next day.
  • If departing Sunday or extending your trip, enjoy an evening in Tel Aviv.

Travel Day: Sunday, November 3, 2019

Travel Day: Thursday, October 24, 2019

Depart the USA.

Overnight: Flight

Day One: Friday, October 25, 2019

  • Gather in the hotel lobby in the late afternoon to meet your guide and fellow travelers.
  • Join a communal Shabbat dinner at the Krakow Jewish Community Center with members of the local Jewish community, and learn more about the cultural and religious revival happening at the JCC.
  • Overnight: Krakow

Day Two: Saturday, October 26, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Meet your guide in the hotel lobby and depart the hotel on foot.
  • Guided visit to one of Kraków’s most famous landmarks, the Wawel Royal Castle. This Gothic style Castle, built by Prince Casimir the 3rd, holds beautiful grounds, a cathedral, the Crown treasury, and armory.
  • Lunch on your own and free time until the beginning of the group program this afternoon.

Do you have questions or need assistance with registration? Contact Ashley Appelman at ashley.appelman@shalomdc.org or call 301-348-7320.

Andee Forster and Victoria Kimerling
Mission Co-Chairs

Robin Hettleman Weinberg
Vice President, Women’s Philanthropy

Malki Karkowsky
Director, Women’s Philanthropy