Jewish Heritage tour to Lithuania and Poland

Jewish history and heritage tour in Lithuania and Poland with Hugh Raichlin

12.09.2024 - 19.09.2024

Jewish history and heritage tour in short

Discover the beauty and wonder of Lithuania and Poland on our full-guided tour program. Let us guide you through the rich history and heritage of these special countries. This engagement concentrated on a Jewishh history and heritage as well as a holocaust stories in these countries. It is a mixture of city walks with a lot of historical content and visiting nature sights and local highlighs.This tour will be finalized and sold when we have 24 participants or by July 1st, 2024. At the moment we ask you to join a waiting list.

Hugh was born and raised in Johannesburg South Africa, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in English Literature and Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, followed by a Bachelor of Laws. Hugh served for two years in the South African Air Force as a Law Officer and was awarded the Gold Certificate of Merit by the Officer Commanding Air Force Headquarters  for outstanding services rendered as a National Serviceman. He attained the rank of Full Lieutenant. 

Hugh has been a practicing attorney since 1986. He has a general practice with particular expertise in commercial litigation and family law. Hugh is a former Gauteng Chairman of the IUA-UCF, former Chairman of Keter Torah Congregation Sydenham Johannesburg, and a current Trustee of the Rambam Charitable Trust which has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Hugh has conducted services on the High Holy Days at the Pine Street Synagogue, Sunny Road Synagogue, and Northcliff Synagogue for almost 30 years, and presently teaches Jewish Law, philosophy, and ethics every week. 

Hugh has become well known for his published articles, series on South African television (YouTube), radio, and very popular audio-visual presentations on Jewish communities across the globe. For the past 26 years, Hugh has lectured across South Africa and internationally, on the Jews of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Rhodes, India, Italy, Argentina, China, Japan, and Morocco. Hugh is a Scholar in Residence for Jewish Heritage Tours and has led tours to Poland, India, Morocco, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna. 

Vilnius old city

Walk and talk in the old city of Vilnius, covering city highlights and Vilnius jewish quarter.

Visit Kaunas

Learn about Slobodka Yeshiva and the 9th fort atrocities.

Warsaw city tour

Visit the most cosmopolitan city in Poland. Dive into the local and general history and heritage.

Krakow and Auscwitz

Krakow is the pearl of Poland, captivating with its atmosthere , and rich in Jewish history.

Trip Itinerary

Arrival in Vilnius. Meet at airport, assistance, and transfer to the hotel. 

Walking along the main street of Vilnius – Gediminas Avenue. A walk through Vilnius Old City and enjoy a fascinating panoramic view of the city. Stroll through the Vilnius University campus and visit the library built in the 16th Century. Visit the Jewish State Museum and view the exhibitions. Visit the Ponar Memorial in the Ponar forest near Vilnius where the Nazis and their collaborators murdered over 100.000 people, most of whom were Jews. 

Welcome dinner in Vilnius. 


Kaunas (Kovna), the interim capital of pre-war Lithuania, including a visit to charming Old city Town Hall square; Tour of Slobodka – a former Jewish suburb of Kaunas and the site of the Kovno Ghetto during WWII. A visit to the Old Jewish cemetery.

See the building of the famous Slobodka Yeshiva founded by Rabbi Natan Zvi Finkel. We will discuss the Lithuanian Musar movement (emphasis on character refinement) founded by of Rav Israel Salanter: The influence of the Slobodka Yeshiva, and the famous Rav Itzhak Elchanan Spector.

A visit to the Kovno Synagogue and the Childrens Memorial in its courtyard. A visit to the Consulate of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Kovna in 1940, who issued six thousand life-saving visas for the Jewish refugees from Poland. Drive to Vilnius.

En route, a stop at Zezmariai (Zhezhmer), where a remarkable Jewish community settled before the war. A large wooden Synagogue has been restored there.

A tour of Trakai, the ancient Lithuanian capital, famous for the lakes and sights of the area. See a 14th-century insular castle with a museum of Lithuanian history and the mode of life of different estates and ethnic groups. Karaite museum and the story of this small ethnic group, who came from the Crimea about 600 years ago. 

Visit the only functioning Vilna Synagogue. Visit the location of the Ramailes Yeshiva in Vilna. Walking in the old Jewish quarter: narrow streets and courtyards of the middle-age Ghetto; the Great Vilna Synagogue and the shulhoyf; Vilna – the city made famous by the Vilna Gaon – the genius Jewish scholar.

Vilna – the center of the struggle between Mitnagdim and Hasidim; the famous Jewish sculptor Mordekhai Antokolski; the territory of the Large Ghetto; the courtyard of the Judenrat; the battle of the Ghetto prisoners against the Nazis. 

Morning flight to Warsaw. 

Drive to Lublin – one of the most important Polish cities and was the capital of Jewish Poland for 200 years, and a Hassidic center in the 19th century.

Visit the illustrious Yeshiva where great Jewish scholars studied.

A visit to the site of one of the harshest concentration camps in the Holocaust – Majdanek.  

Morning drive to Krakow with a stop in Tarnow. 

Tour of Old Krakow along the route used by Polish Kings to cross the city on special events. A visit to the “Rynek Glowny” – the Central Market with its famous 14th Century Polish Gothic architecture. Along one of the side narrow streets to see the Jagiellonian University founded in 1364 by King Casimir III the Great, one of the oldest universities in Europe. A visit to the famous Ramo Synagogue as well as the old Jewish cemetery which has graves from 15th Century. 

A visit to the Old Synagogue, built just next to the old Kazimierz city walls. The High Synagogue and the study house next to it. The new market square and Esther Street. The Tempele Synagogue and Jewish Community Centre of Krakow. 

Morning drive to Auschwitz (Oswiecim). Visit the Auschwitz concentration camp museum, which became a symbol of the Holocaust and Genocide due to its geographical location and the scale of the tragedy which took place there. Continue to Birkenau extermination camp, which was built as extension of the Auschwitz camp. The tour ends at the memorial built next to the ruins of crematoria. 

Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki) located in the very new centre of Warsaw. Janucz Korczak Monument, Nożyk Synagogue – the only active Synagogue in Warsaw, the Jewish Shalom theatre, a visit to the few original dwelling houses on Prozna street – remnants of lost Warsaw. 

Next is a visit to the remnant of the original Warsaw Ghetto Wall, followed by the new Jewish Cemetery – an open book of Polish Jewish history.

Mordechai Anielewicz Street (he led the uprising), the Umschlagplatz Memorial- the former train station from which 300 000 Jews were deportated to Treblinka and othet Nazi death camps. Walk on the Ghetto Heroes Road – two streets marked by stones with names of Jewish resistance leaders, Mila 18 Street, and Ghetto Heroes Square with a modern museum of Jewish history. 

If time permits visit Lazenki park and Belvedere Palace with the Chopin Monument and Presidential residence. 

Drive along the Royal Route; restored after destruction during WWII. A visit to the “Stare Miasto” (Old Town) including the Royal Castle, Statue of Sigismund Vasa the Third, Old Town Market Square with a statue of “Sirenka” a symbol of Warsaw, panoramic view of Vistula river and the new city, and the Little Insurgent Monument next to Warsaw Barbican and the memorial of Warsaw Uprising.  

There is no guided program planned for the last day. Individual departures.

Tour Dates & Pricing

8 days /7 overnights 12.09.2024 - 19.09.2024 03.07.2025 - 10.07.2025

  • Hugh Raichlin as the tour inspirer and scholar
  • Accommodation in 4* star hotels
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 Dinners
  • First class tavel coach
  • Local guides for the whole tour
  • Entrance fees tomuseums and visiting places
  • Travel insurance
Tour with Hugh

PAYMENT DETAILS: The cost of the tour is €3200 per person in a shared room (DBL or TWIN). Accommodation at the single room is for a supplement rate of €400.

This excludes airfare to, and from Europe.

A refundable deposit of 10% is required when booking the tour.

Full payment is due no later than August 24th,  2024, the payment links will be sent accordingly.


This tour will be finalized and sold when we have 24 participants or by July 1st, 2024. At the moment we ask you to join a waiting list.

A minimum number of 14 participants is required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached before July 1st and the tour is canceled, you will receive a FULL deposit refund.

If a client cancels at any time outside the referenced date, a €150 administrative fee per person will be charged.

Within 60-30 days before departure date: Cancellation fee is the size of the deposit – 10%.

Within 30 days before departure date: Cancellation fee 100% of Invoice: No Refund.

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