JEWISH HERITAGE TRIP TO LITHUANIA
(Side trips to Belarus, Latvia, and NE Poland can be included)
JUNE 30 – JULY 10, 2009
I will be visiting our Great Great Great Grandmother’s grave in Jonava, Lithuania this summer, would you like to come with me?
Trip background - Howard Margol has been taking groups of people interested in their Jewish Lithuanian heritage to Vilnius and Kaunas for 16 years. This will be Peggy Freedman’s fourth trip. In addition to visiting the major cities, we will have two days for individual roots tours. Prior to the trip we will inform you of the do’s and don’ts, what to wear, what to take with, what to leave home, and many other little tips that help make the trip an enjoyable one. While this is a group trip, we try as much as possible to make it a personal trip. Peggy and I will go out of our way to take care of everyone’s personal needs.
We do not organize group trips to Lithuania for profit. Our main purpose is to offer Jews an opportunity to go back to their roots, to encourage them to research their ancestors, and to enable them to see the rebirth of Judaism taking place in Lithuania. Since profit is not the main motive, all arrangements are made in a first class manner intended to make the trip enjoyable and meaningful for all. We hope you will be able to join us.
Please respond to - LitvakTrip@gmail.com
4430 Mt. Paran Pkwy NW, Atlanta, GA 30327-3747 USA
Phone (404) 261-8662, Fax (404) 228-7125 (press *)
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
245 Dalrymple Road, Atlanta, GA 30328 USA
Phone (770) 396-1645
Email - email@example.com
JEWISH LIFE AND HERITAGE TOUR - LITHUANIA
•Round Trip Airfare (cost not included).
•11 Day - 10 nights Trip.
•Twin bed accommodations with private bath in deluxe hotels
•All meals except one dinner and two lunches included
•Individual “ROOTS” tours to the shtetl(s) of your choice (extra charge)
•Visits to various Archives
•Sight-seeing with guide/interpreters to synagogues, cemeteries, museums, ghettos and holocaust sites
•Meetings with Jewish Community leaders
•Transportation in Lithuania via modern air-conditioned buses with on-board toilet.
•Group organized by Howard Margol and Peggy Freedman who have years of experience in traveling & researching in Lithuania.
DATES AND RATES
Depart – Tuesday – June 30, 2009Return – Friday – July 10, 2009
COST - Land portion - $1,995.00 - Per person, double occupancy - Singles supplement $500.00. This price is based on a minimum of 15 individuals in the group in order to obtain group rates. There is an additional charge for individual “ROOTS” shtetl tour. The cost of a car, driver, and guide/interpreter could be $300-$375 per day depending on distance traveled. The one night hotel cost (during your roots tour) could be $65 to $95 for each of your driver and guide. THAT IS PER CAR, NOT PER PERSON.
AIR FARE – Approximately $1,300-$1,600 round trip per person from New York or Atlanta. Departure taxes and Visa fees are extra. The travel agent I use in Atlanta can arrange flights from your city to Vilnius, Lithuania for you or you can use your local travel agent or your flyer points if you prefer.
Travel Agent – For those who may need help in arranging their airline tickets, Joanie is handling the travel arrangements for our “Litvak Trip”. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org/ Pace Travel, 3715 Northside Parkway, Building 200, Suite 440, Atlanta, GA 30339. Tel: 770-431-1400, Fax: 770-431-1410. Toll free: 1-800-423-9522. Website: www.pacetravel.com. ($50.00 per ticket charge).
Every group member leaves from their home city and we all meet in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 1st.
Reserve your space - send a $300.00 per person deposit to American Fund For Lithuanian-Latvian Jews, Inc., 4430 Mt Paran Parkway NW, Atlanta, GA 30327-3747. (Attention: Litvak Trip 2009). Personal checks only as the Fund is not set up to accept credit cards. The trip is sponsored by the American Fund and $300 of your land cost is tax deductible for US citizens. A letter to that effect will be sent to you prior to the end of 2009 but it would be best for you to check with your tax preparer. The group will be limited to 25 people so it is advisable to send your deposit in as soon as possible. In past years we have not had a problem in filling up the trip.
Deposit fully refundable if canceled prior to April 1, 2009. If cancelled prior to May 1, 2009, 50% of your deposit will be refunded and the balance considered as a donation to the American Fund. The balance of your payment, minus the $300 deposit, must be received no later than May 15, 2009.
With a U.S.A., Canadian, or Israeli passport a visa for Lithuania, Latvia, or Poland is not required. A visa is required for Belarus.
The cost of the trip is based on $1.42 USD to equal one Euro. If the dollar is weaker than that in May, 2009 we may have to charge an additional 5%. Since no profit motive is involved, there is no built in profit to overcome currency fluctuations. Every effort will be made to avoid an extra charge.
Tuesday, June 30 - Departure City/ Europe
Depart from your city with overnight flight to Europe.
Wednesday, July 1 - European City/ VILNIUS
Arrive in Europe and change planes for flight to Vilnius. Afternoon of rest and relaxation. Welcome dinner, with invited dignitaries.
Thursday, July 2 - VILNIUS
Morning visit to the State Historical Archive where you will see original records going back to the 15th century. With advance preparation, you will see, and obtain copies of, original records of your ancestors. After leaving the Archive we will tour the Jewish Community Center where we will meet with the main leaders of the Jewish community, visit the Ezra Medical Centre, the Room of the Righteous Christians, as well as other exhibits.
Friday, July 3 - VILNIUS
Morning visit to the Jewish Holocaust Museum and also the new Jewish Tolerance Center. After lunch, we will go to the pits at Ponar (Paneriai) where 70,000 Jews were murdered. We will also stop at the Jewish cemetery where the famous Gaon of Vilna is buried.
Saturday, July 4 – VILNIUS
Attend morning services at the only remaining Synagogue in Vilnius. After lunch, we will take a guided walking tour of the former ghetto area.
Sunday, July 5 – Morning visit to Trakai including the castle there dating from the 14th century. This was the original capital of Lithuania. Afternoon free to relax or sightsee.
Monday, July 6 - ROOTS TOUR
This is the first of two days reserved for “roots” tours. You will spend the day in the shtetl(s) of your choice retracing the steps walked by your ancestors. A car, driver and guide/interpreter will be pre-arranged for you. You will spend the night in the nearest city offering hotel accommodations. (Additional charge for car, driver, interpreter, and hotel rooms for them. That is per car, not per person).
Tuesday, July 7 – ROOTS TOUR
This is the second day of your “roots” exploration. At the end of the day, everyone meets back together in time for dinner at our hotel in Kaunas.
Wednesday, July 8 - KAUNAS
The morning will be spent at the Kaunas Archive. After lunch, we will tour the Slobodka ghetto and the IX Fort. We will also stop at the famous Slobodka Yeshiva. Those who are interested will be able to attend evening minyan at the "Blue" Synagogue, built in 1890, and the only Synagogue in Kaunas not destroyed during the Holocaust.
Thursday, July 9 – KAUNAS
In the morning we will tour Kaunas, including the house where Chiune Sugihara lived and issued transit visas that saved 2,300 Jews. After lunch, we will leave Kaunas and travel to Vilnius. On the way, we will stop in the village of Ziezmaria and see one of the few remaining wooden synagogues in Lithuania. Farewell dinner in Vilnius where we will spend the night.
Friday, July 10 - VILNIUS/HOME CITY/or ELSEWHERE
Morning departure for the flight back to your home city, or elsewhere. (NOTE - If you would like to extend the trip and visit other cities in Europe, arrangements can be made.)