Women’s Philanthropy Mission to Prague & Budapest

If you are interested in being added to the wait list, please contact Ashley Appelman at ashley.appelman@shalomdc.org or 301-348-7320.

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November 4 – 11, 2018

An immersive journey through two of Europe’s most beautiful and fascinating cities.

Tour dazzling landmarks, explore Jewish history and celebrate modern-day Jewish renewal while building community with the dynamic and generous women of Greater Washington who share a commitment towards building a better world.

Participation in this mission requires an $1,800 minimum gift to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s 2018 Annual Campaign. Those already giving at this level are encouraged to make a meaningful increase to their gift.

For question, please contact Ashley Appelman at ashley.appelman@shalomdc.org or call 301-348-7320.

Mission Co-Chairs

Janis Schiff and Courtenay Wallach

*Tentative itinerary – subject to change

Day One: Sunday, November 4, 2018

  • Depart the U.S.A.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Monday, November 5, 2018

  • Arrive at Prague International Airport.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • 1:00 p.m. Gather in the hotel lobby to meet your tour educator and fellow travelers and begin the tour.
  • Walk to Old Town Square. View the famous 14th century Astronomical Clock and Prague’s Art Nouveau architecture around you.
  • LaDa’at Focus The Jewish Community of Prague – A Millennium of Complex Coexistence with your tour educator.
  • Guided visit through Jewish Prague, including the Old Ghetto and the Precious Legacy Exhibit at the Jewish Museum, which encompasses the Altneu Shul, the Maisel Synagogue, the Pincus Synagogue, the Old Cemetery and the Spanish Synagogue.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • LaDa’at Focus Looking at the Ever-Changing Map of Europe: Welcome dinner and 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.

Overnight: Prague

Day Three: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 8:30 a.m. Czech-Israel Relations: Dialogue with Ambassador Daniel Meron, Israel’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic.
  • Pay a visit to Terezin, the town that was turned into the “model” ghetto and concentration camp, hiding from the world the true nature of its purpose. Walk through the Historical Museum and the Art Exhibits, created by the artists who were prisoners of the camp, stop by the so-called Hidden Synagogue and end at the Crematorium.Continue to Old Town Square. View the famous 14th century Astronomical Clock and Prague’s Art Nouveau architecture around you.
  • Boxed lunch.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dine-Around dinner in Karlin: Take a short ride by tram to Karlin, a hip re-gentrifying neighborhood famous for its avant-garde cafés, pubs and restaurants. Meet a local resident who will lead you to a few local eateries where tables have been reserved for you. Hear the stories, meet the people, soak in the atmosphere, relish Czech cuisine – and more.

Overnight: Prague


Day Four: Wednesday, November 7, 2018

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Visit to the Lauder School. Meeting and introduction with the director of the school Peter Karas in one of the school´s class rooms. Meet local student who will give you a tour around the school. Visit classes and chat shortly with the students.
  • Transfer to Prague Castle for a guided tour of the Castle, an overview of the City of 100 Spires and a walk along the Golden Lane.
  • lunch on your own, en route.
  • Walk through the Lesser Town and over the Charles Bridge, a famous historic bridge crossing the VltavaRiver that was once the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. Stroll across the bridge, decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas.
  • Transfer to Prague International Airport.
  • 6:10 p.m. Depart Prague on Czech Airlines flight #798.
  • 7:20 p.m. Arrive to Budapest.
  • Transfer to the city and check into the hotel.
  • Cocktail at the hotel.

Overnight: Budapest


Day Five: Thursday, November 8, 2018

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • LaDa’at Focus Contemporary Jewish life in Hungary – How Did We Get Here? Dialogue with Professor Michael Miller, Associate Professor of the Nationalism Studies Program at the Central European University.
  • From Pest to Buda, drive through the city, cross the river and ascend Castle Hill – where among other historical sites, stands the first royal castle of the cityEnjoy the panoramic views of Budapest from the top of the Fisherman’s Bastion, which commemorates the Fishermen who were guarding the city.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Explore the story of Jewish Budapest over the past 150 years, including visits to:
    • The largest synagogue in Europe, the Dohany Street Synagogue. Built in 1859, the synagogue holds 3,000 seats and is home to one of the Neolog communities of Budapest.
    • The Jewish Museum, which is housed on the site of Theodor Herzl’s family home. This museum holds a unique collection of Jewish artifacts, art and memorabilia, which shed a new light on the rich Jewish life and predominant Jewish community of Hungary, its influence on Hungarian society and its long-lasting memory.
    • The complex courtyard, where the Community Holocaust Memorial This impressive monument commemorates over 500,000 Hungarian Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
  • Visit the Joint Distribution Committee’s Balint House, the JCC of Budapest, and experience the vital Jewish life of Budapest, through its activities, culture and educational programs.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Enjoy dinner and Budapest’s vibrant nightlife on your own:
    • Stroll along the fashionable Vaci Utca (Vaci Street), enjoy people watching and feel the vibe with its many local boutiques, shops, cafes and many local and international cuisine options.
    • See the Jewish Quarter come to life, with an international and current vibe. Enjoy Kazincy Street’s restored and renovated warehouses, better known as the Ruin Pubs, transformed into fashionable bars and bistros. Explore Gozsdu Udvar, through its passages and courtyards, featuring a wide range of restaurants and bars. Good food, live music and dance club options are spread throughout the neighborhood.

Overnight: Budapest


Day Six: Friday, November 9, 2018

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Political Trends and Shifts in Modern Day Hungary: Dialogue with political analyst Gabor Gyori, a Senior Analyst at the Hungarian think tank Policy Solutions.
  • Visit the Israeli Cultural Center (ICI), which provides an inspiring Jewish framework for learning and leisure. Its programs serve all of Central and Eastern Europe. Join the Jewish Agency Educational Emissary for an overview of the Jewish Agency’s work in the region and the unique role the institute plays in the renewal of Jewish life in Budapest. Participate in a mifgash with Jewish Agency beneficiaries and learn what it means for these young adults to be Jewish leaders in their community.
  • Take a panoramic bus tour along Andrassy Avenue and visit Heroes’ Square, one of Budapest’s landmarks. Relive the 1,000 years of Hungarian history through the square’s impressive statues of kings and leaders.
  • Time permitting: Tour of the Hungarian State Opera House, dating from the 19th century, and one of Budapest’s most well-known landmarks. Lunch on your own and free time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue.
  • Shabbat dinner with guests from the local Jewish community.

Overnight: Budapest


Day Seven: Saturday, November 10, 2018
SHABBAT IN BUDAPEST | walking tour

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat services at a local synagogue.


  • Free morning to explore the sites and scenes of Budapest on your own, with the opportunity to:
    • Stroll along the fashionable Vaci Utca (Vaci Street), enjoy people watching and feel the vibe with its many local boutiques, shops and cafes.
    • Enjoy a romantic walk in Margaret Island, an island in the middle of the Danube, overlooking the center of the city. Stroll along the medieval ruins, through a small zoo, a magical musical fountain, a water tower, pools and a water park, with the local residents. During the summer days, you can enjoy a show in the open air theater and cinema.
    • Visit Budapest’s urban City Park (Varosliget). Walk on the grounds of the Vajdahunyad Castle, the 120-year-old castle showcasing the architectural evolution through centuries and styles in Stroll through the City Park Lake, which is great for rowing in summer and ice skating in winter, and spend some entertaining time in the Budapest Circus or the 100-year-old Municipal Zoo.
    • Visit the Széchenyi Bathhouse or Gellert Bathhouse, known for their healing waters. Inside and on the grounds of these beautiful palace compounds, you can enjoy various styles of indoor and outdoor medicinal and natural pools.
    • Shop with the locals at the Great Market Hall. This 3-level indoor complex includes vendors of local seasonal produce, spices and handcrafted gifts. Enjoy a traditional meal in one of the streets food oriented restaurants, with Hungarian music in the background.
  • Shabbat lunch at a restaurant.
  • Take a guided walk through downtown Budapest, including Liberty Square, with its controversial WWII monument, Hungary’s tribute to the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and a view of the Hungarian Parliament building.
  • Stop at the Shoes on the Danube promenade, a memorial created by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay on the Pest side of the Danube, honoring the Jews killed by the fascist Arrow Cross militants during World War II; the memorial represents the shoes left behind on the river bank as they fell into the river after being shot.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Ben Kodesh LecholHavdallah: Note Havdallah on a cruise on the Danube River, seeing Budapest’s major landmarks in a different light.
  • Farewell dinner and group reflection at a restaurant.

Overnight: Budapest


Day Eight: Sunday, November 11, 2018

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Transfer to Budapest International Airport.
  • Departure flight to the U.S.A., arriving the same day.


This luxury Prague hotel is ideally placed just steps from the most famous shopping boulevard, Parizska Street, overlooking the Vltava River and Prague Castle and lined with art nouveau houses and close to the historic old town.


The InterContinental Budapest enjoys an excellent location on the banks of the Danube next to the Chain Bridge. All important sights are within easy walking distance. The Váci shopping street, the Central Market Hall and the Gellért Baths are nearby, as well. Tram stops can be found right outside the hotel.