jlink
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tallinn.

Riga’s Vansu Bridge view.

Medieval street in Vilnius.

Looking for a summer travel experience that is both enchanting and educational? Ideal Tours is offering a 10-day Jewish Heritage Tour of the Baltic countries, including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Discover the history of our grandparents in these former jewels of Jewish life, while taking in their current charm and elegance. Participants will enjoy top accomodations in fine hotels and sumptuous glatt kosher meals throughout their journey. Daily and Shabbat davening will be held in local synagogues.

Guiding the tour will be Rabbi Adam Mintz, renowned historian and educator. Rabbi Mintz has taught Jewish history at local institutions including Rutgers University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College and most recently Queens College. His weekly lectures broadcast from the Upper West Side of Manhattan have attracted enthusiastic students from around the world. Ordained at Yeshiva University, Mintz has served as a pulpit rabbi in a number of Modern Orthodox synagogues in the metropolitan area, including Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and Lincoln Square Synagogue, and is the founder of Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim in Manhattan. Also accompanying the trip as a contributing scholar will be Sharon Lieberman Mintz, curator of Jewish art at the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary and senior consultant for Judaica at Sotheby’s.

The upcoming trip is in keeping with the mission of Ideal Tours, whose founder Nachman Elbaum, z”l, was a trailblazer in the tour industry when he designed trips to Eastern and Western Europe, visiting the gravesites of past gedolim and accomodating families in their search for kivrei avot, gravesites of their families. Founded over 50 years ago, Ideal Tours offered historical and roots tours led by illustrious scholars including Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi Dr. Shnayer Leiman.

Currently, Etty Steinberg of Jerusalem, a 14-year veteran of the organization, is creating enriching Jewish Heritage Tours. This past winter, Steinberg arranged a highly successful tour to Morocco. After extensive research of the Jewish history of the area Steinberg put together an exciting itinerary that took the group throughout the country visiting former key Jewish sites in the Mellah, current communities in Casablanca, as well as general historical sites. The tour was guided by Rabbi and Mrs. Mintz, whose insights added greatly to the meaning of the visit.

The upcoming tour of the Baltic countries is scheduled for Tuesday, July 3, through Wednesday, July 11. The trip will include visits to Vilnius and Kaunas, two thriving Jewish religious centers in Lithuania before WWII, followed by Latvia and the historic city of Riga for Shabbat. The next stop will be Estonia and the medieval city of Tallinn. At the conclusion of the tour the group will ferry across the Baltic Sea to Helsinki, Finland. At each stop, the Mintzes will provide the Jewish connections as well as the general history of the areas.

For specifics of the upcoming trip, including land pricing and airfare, contact Ideal Tours at 646-731-3197 or visit Ideal Tours at [email protected]

By Pearl Markovitz