Workmen’s Circle Trip to Poland

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Ann HeadshotA Message From Our Executive Director, Ann Toback
Since our founding, the Workmen’s Circle has been committed to preserving, commemorating, and growing our many connections to our rich Yiddishkayt heritage and traditions.  Today, our cultural and activist yerushe (inheritance) couldn’t be more important to us, as we face so many challenges in our world, and so many opportunities to learn from our past.

The Workmen’s Circle community has also been committed to preserving the legacy and memory of the millions who were lost to us in the holocaust, and we were one of the first organizations to commemorate the holocaust, and from the 1940’s we have annually gathered to commemorate the heroism and sacrifice of the Warsaw Ghetto Partisans. 

In 2018 the Workmen’s Circle is sponsoring a very special trip to Poland to experience our Jewish legacy of Resistance, Resilience, Commemoration and Culture as we connect to over a thousand years of history and Yiddishkayt.

As part of our trip, the Workmen’s Circle group will bear witness to history and the extraordinary resistance of the Warsaw Ghetto Partisans as we participate in the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at historic sites of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Designed to take participants on a deep dive into the thousand-year history of Jewish community in Poland, our curated journey will include connections to our high cultural tradition of art, literature, music, and theater, and will bring us to the heart of the vibrant Jewish life in pre-twentieth century Poland, as well as commemorating together the terrible losses of the Holocaust.  It will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for participants, and I hope you will consider joining us in April!

Dr. Michael C. Steinlauf will join the Workmen’s Circle’s Jewish Journey to Poland as Scholar-in-Residence!

Ready to reserve your spot? Make your deposit today!
Pricing Information is available on the registration page

Itinerary Highlights

We have developed a rich and ambitious itinerary for this trip to Poland.   In order for us to cover so much history and cultural heritage in ten days, this will be a strenuous trip for the participants, requiring extensive walking (much of what we are doing is walking tours) at an energetic pace, including on uneven, unpaved, and rugged terrain.   Participants should be active and prepared to keep pace with, and positively engage within our traveling community.

Day 1, April 16
Welcome to Jewish Poland!
Arrival in Warsaw
After a program orientation, we will start with a walking tour of Warsaw’s Old Town, with its 15th century Jewish routes, a stroll down the Royal Route, to the University and Pilsudski Square
Estimated 5 km of moderate walking

Day 2, April 17
Warsaw: The Lost and Found Worlds of Jewish Varshe/Warsaw, Part I

Exploring Jewish Warsaw, past and present, including visits to:
Warsaw’s Jewish Cemetery, The Jewish Cemetery on Okopowa Street, the Nozyk Synagogue, Grzybowski Square, Peretz and Krochmalna Streets, the Umschlagplatz and Route of Struggle and Martyrdom, Mila 18, the Zygielbojm Monument, the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes Monument and the Museum Plaza, and Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute.
Estimated 4 km of light walking

Day 3, April 18
Warsaw: The Lost and Found Worlds of Jewish Varshe/Warsaw, Part II

Tour through the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews as guests of Program Director of the Core Exhibition, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.  Following the Musuem, we will explore the intersection of traditional Polish and Jewish cuisines through a hands-on cooking workshop. 
Estimated 3 km of light walking

Day 4, April 19
Warsaw: 75th Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Anniversary
We will be guests at memorial events commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 
Dinner as a group in the city’s historic Praga district
Estimated 3 km of light walking, standing during the ceremonies

Day 5, April 20
Lodz: A City of Four Cultures
Introductory session at the Marek Edelman Center for Dialogue
Tour through the Lodz Jewish Cemetery, the former Ghetto and the Radegast Memorial
Return to Warsaw
Estimated 4 km of light walking

Day 6, April 21
Warsaw-Kuzmir / Kazimierz Dolny:  The Hidden Gem of the Vistula Valley / Lublin
Coach to Lublin with lunch en route in Kazimierz Dolny, once a thriving Jewish town and now an artist colony
Guided visit in Majdanek, a former concentration camp
Guided visit in Lublin’s Old Town and a visit to Brama Grodzka, an NGO tasked with researching and preserving Jewish life in Lublin prior to the Holocaust.
Estimated 5 km of strenuous walking

Day 7, April 22
Lublin – The Gate to the East / Peretz and Singer / Town and Shtetl / Kroke – Krakow
Drive from Lublin to Krakow traversing multi-faceted Jewish landscapes: 
Zamosc – The city known as the “Pearl of Polish Renaissance”, also the birthplace of I. L. Peretz, the most famous Yiddish language author, poet and playwright.
Bilgoraj – This town prior to World War II was the home to a lively Jewish community that constituted half of Bilograj’s population. This was also the home shtetl of I.B. Singer.
Belzec – This remote village was the site of one of the six extermination camps in occupied Poland. In 2004, a memorial monument was dedicated.
Estimated 6 km of moderate walking

Day 8, April 23
Auschwitz-Birkenau: Into the Heart of Darkness

Guided walk through Birkenau with professional guides followed by Memorial Service
Guided visit through the Museum at Auschwitz I
Reflections in the Yad VaShem Pavillion
Estimated 7 km of strenuous walking

Day 9, April 24
Krakow: The Royal City

Guided tour of Krakow’s Old Town, Main Market Square, Collegium Maius and Royal Castle Grounds
Optional free afternoon or Afternoon tour through the Wieliczka Salt Mines or visit to the Museum of Modern Art
Estimated 5 km (optional 7 km) of strenuous walking

Day 10, April 25
Krakow: Jewish Past and Present

Guided tour of Krakow’s Jewish district, Kazimierz, with a special visit to the Galicia Jewish Museum and a meeting with representatives of the Department of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University.
Afternoon tour of the former Krakow ghetto and the Schindler’s Factory Museum or the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Estimated 5 km of moderate walking

Day 11, April 26

Questions before registering? Check out our FAQ here
Pricing Information is available on the registration page
Ready to reserve your spot? Make your deposit today!