Ukraine 12 days

12 days Jewish Tours to Ukraine

Ukraine in Depth

Jewish tours to UkraineEmbark on a journey in Ukraine, exploring the heights and depths distilled from centuries of Jewish history. Travel from modest shtetls to metropolitan seaports, experiencing the cultural environment that nourished some of leading Jewish lights in history – from the founders of Israel to Hassidic Masters and world-famous poets and novelists. Your tour will include Kiev, Uman and Odessa, as well as less-travelled gems like Berdichev, Zhytomir, Lvov (home to Isaac Babel) Buchach, Czernowitz, Medzhibizh (where the founder of Hassidism, the Ba’al Shem Tov, lived for decades). The Jewish spirit in Ukraine is strong and enduring. Give us 12 days, and we’ll give you a lasting sense of Jewish soul.

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Tour Information
12 days Jewish tours to Ukraine
Kiev – Zhytomir – Berdichev – Brody – Busk – Lvov – Drohobych – Buchach – Czernowitz – Vizhnitz – Medzhybizh – Vinnitsa – Uman – Odessa
Duration: 12 days
2022 Departures:
July 25 – August 4
October 24 – November 3
Price Per Person:
$4,690 Land Only
$790 Single Supplement
Kiev, 2 nights, Premier Palace Hotel
Zhytomir, 1 night, Reikartz Hotel
Lvov, 2 nights Leopolis Hotel
Czernowitz, 2 nights, Allure Inn
Vinnitsa, 1 night, France Hotel
Odessa, 3 nights, Bristol Hotel
11 breakfasts (B)
Included Highlights:
Private arrival / departure transfers
Private touring and sightseeing
Luxury 5 Star Hotels in Kiev, Lvov and Odessa
First Class Hotels in Zhytomir, Czernowitz and Vinnitsa
Breakfast daily at the hotels
Complete program with insights
to the Jewish history and other highlights
All taxes and fees
Pre/Post Tours:
We can accommodate pre/post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.
Passport & Visa:
No visa is required for travel to Ukraine for USA/Canada passport holders. Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
Not Included:
R/T flights from the USA
Meals not mentioned
Services not mentioned
Tips to Guides and Drivers
All expenses of personal nature
Travel insurance (we strongly recommend the purchase of an insurance)
Ukraine Map


Day 1 Monday Arrival in Kiev

Welcome to Kiev, heart of the Ukraine, and home to writers such as Isaac Babel and our beloved Sholem Aleichem! Upon arrival at the airport, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel to rest and refresh. Premier Palace Hotel.

Day 2 Tuesday Kiev

The day begins with a brief walking tour from the hotel and around the Bessarbia Market. Visit the Brodsky Synagogue, the monument to Sholem Aleichem, renowned author of “Fiddler on the Roof” (as well as many other tales of the Ukrainian shtetl). Visit his former home of Sholem Aleichem and see the plaque marking the Golda Meir House. Later, drive to the 11th century Golden Gate fortification. This neighborhood in Kiev was a favorite for many writers, and even Janusc Korczak, the beloved Jewish teacher who died with his students, lived here for a while. While here, see one of Kiev’s most impressive underground Metro stations. Continue to the Independence Square area, epicenter of the Ukrainian Revolution, which ended in 2014. In the afternoon, visit the Podol Jewish area, the Jewish Center, a Matzoh factory and the beautifully colorful Great Choral  Synagogue. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Premier Palace Hotel.

Day 3 Tuesday Kiev – Berdichev – Zhytomir

Today, pay respects at Babi Yar, site of the Nazi massacre, and commemorated by Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, whose heart resonated with the Jewish people. His powerful poem is thought to have forced the Ukrainan Government to raise a monument to the 34,000 Jews souls who were murdered here (in only two days) in 1941. The journey will continue and this is a time to reflect  upon the inhumanity that was shown in 1941. Arrive to to Berdichev, which is rich in Jewish heritage. Historians date its birth to the 15th century, but the peak of Berdichev came in the 17th century; for over 150 years, it was Ukraine’s cultural and commercial capital. The Monastery of the Carmelites is a main attraction, but for Jews, the heart of this city is a Jewish shrine: the tomb of the Hasidic Tzaddik, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak, remembered as the Tzaddik of Berdichev. Every year, thousands come to visit, pray, and venerate his resting place. Continue to Zhytomyr, a city with a rich, well-preserved history. Continue to Zhytomir, a place where Jews once made up half of the population, and which was also a major center for Jewish publishing. Visit the newly restored Synagogue and Jewish Center before arriving at the Hotel. Reikartz Hotel.

Day 4 Wednesday Zhytomir – Brody – Busk – Lvov

Today, travel to Lvov, whose rich multicultural flavor and history are reflected in the multiplicity of names the city has held, from Leopolis (Latin), to Lemberg (Yiddish), Lwow (Polish) and today’s commonly used Lviv. En route, visit the Jewish district of Brody, including the remains of the Great Synagogue as well as the largest Jewish cemetery in Eastern Europe, and Busk, whose cemetery – with gravestones dating back to the 1500s — is considered the oldest in Ukraine, but only few gravestones remains. Arrive in Lvov in the late afternoon. Leopolis Hotel.

Day 5 Thursday Lvov – Drohobycz – Lvov

After breakfast, embark on a walking tour of Lvov. Author Isaac Babel, often misconceived as merely Russian, is associated with this city. His book of stories, Red Cavalry, deals with the Polish-Soviet war (1920), and relates the anti-Semitism which both the Red and White armies exhibited. Visit the Jewish Quarter, and see the site of the newly commemorated Golden Rose synagogue and former Jewish hospital, gymnasium (school), and yeshiva, where precious Jewish murals have been uncovered beneath coats of paint. Next, visit the Holocaust monument and the Beis Aharon Synagogue. In the afternoon, enjoy free time in Lvov or join a visit to Drohobycz, formerly home to a vibrant Jewish community (comprising about 40% of the population) and birthplace of Jewish author Bruno Schulz, killed by the Nazis in 1942. See the Bruno Schulz House and Museum, and visit Drohobysz’ caringly restored Choral Synagogue. Return to Lvov in the late afternoon. Remainder of the day at leisure. Leopolis Hotel.

Day 6 Friday Lvov – Buchach – Czernowitz

Today, we drive to Czernowitz. En route, stop in Buchach, birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning Hebrew-language novelist Shmuel Yosef (Shai) Agnon, and visit the Agnon House. Agnon wrote with equal facility about both his European past and Israeli present; one of his most famous quotes is “Through a historical catastrophe – the destruction of Jerusalem by the emperor of Rome – I was born in one of the cities in the diaspora. But I always deemed myself a child of Jerusalem….” The author’s stories are so elementally human that today, mentally troubled people in Israel may be offered “agnotherapy” – counseling based on the author’s characters and themes. In the afternoon, continue to Czernowitz, visiting the Jewish cemetery before arriving at the hotel. Allure Inn Hotel.

Day 7 Saturday Czernowitz – Vizhnitz – Czernowitz

Czernowitz was the place for the 1908 Yiddish Language conference (attended by Sholom Asch), which declared Yiddish to be the “national language of the Jewish people.” Many Jewish writers have since been associated with this city. These include poets Paul Celan and Rose Auslander, as well as the Selma Meerbaum Eisinger – who began writing in childhood and died in a labor camp at the age of eighteen. Enjoy a full day at leisure, or join an excursion to the small town of Vizhnitz, which was once almost entirely Jewish in population. Today, this small town remains a vivid monument of Jewish architecture.  Next, visit an illustrious cemetery: the Vishnitzer Rebbe, another legendary tzaddik, is buried there. Jewish pilgrims and Ukrainian peasants alike visit, bringing written notes for help; local tradition is that the “mystical” Tzaddik can grant any wish. In the afternoon, return to Czernowitz. Remainder of the day at leisure. Allure Inn Hotel.

Day 8 Sunday Czernowitz – Sataniv – Medzhybizh – Vinnitsa

This morning, travel to Vinnitsa, stopping en route in Sataniv and Medzhybizh. The 16th century synagogue in Sataniv is considered as the oldest in Ukraine. It has been carefully restored from the earlier ruined building. Next, continue to Medzhybizh where the The Ba’al Shem Tov lived for two decades in the 18th century, and is buried here. The visit to his Ohel and the replica of a traditional wooded synagogue is a true highlight of a visit to Ukraine. Continue to Vinnitsa, notorious for its massacre of Jews, captured in a haunting photo, “The Last Jew of Vinnytsia.” Even in this sorrowful context, feel supported by the enduring Jewish souls of not only the Ba’al Shem Tov, but of Reb Nachman of Bratslav, whose tomb we will visit tomorrow. Reb Nachman championed the maintenance of a happy, grateful spirit; one of his most famous maxims is: “The world is a narrow bridge. And the important thing is – not to be afraid.”  France Hotel.

Day 9 Monday Vinnitsa – Uman – Odessa

On this special day, we embark eastward on a pilgrimage to Uman, Every year, around Rosh Hashanah, thousands of Jews – from the ultra-Orthodox to Sephardim and young hippies – travel here. They come from all over the world, praying for a blessing at the grave of Reb Nachman of Breslov, who spent the last five months of his life in Uman – and requested that he be buried there. The Germans demolished the Jewish Cemetery, and only one grave survived: that of Rabbi Nachman. It is fortunate that the site is preserved; after the war, when the Soviets were busily turning the area into a large housing project, a Breslover Hassid located the grave and assured its permanent care. Uman is one of the rarest sites to visit, and the experience of blessedness will linger long after. In the afternoon, transfer to the fabled city of Odessa. Check-in at the hotel. Bristol Hotel.

Day 10 Tuesday Odessa

Odessa is poetically called “The Pearl of the Black Sea.” At the start of the 20th century, this city was third in the world in Jewish population (after Warsaw and Prague) and the Jewish spirit endures here today. During the day, you will visit places connected to Israeli heroes with names like Dizengoff (Tel Aviv’s first mayor), Zabotinsky (founder, with Trumpeldor, of Odessa’s Jewish Defense Organization), Israel’s National Poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, and other vital lights of Zionism. See the Jewish Quarter, the Jewish Museum, the Brodsky Synagogue, the Holocaust monument, and the Jewish Cemetery. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Bristol Hotel.

Day 11 Wednesday Odessa

This morning, enjoy a tour of architecturally beautiful Odessa including the must-see, majestic Theater of Opera and Ballet, as well as the city’s many richly endowed museums. Stroll along Primorsky Boulevard to see the famous Potemkin Stairs, designed by Italian architect Francesco Boffo, and featured in the film, “The Battleship Potemkin.” You will also see Shevchanko Park, the French Boulevard, the Alley of Fame, and Prohorovsky Square – with its monument to rescuers of Jews, built in 1996. In the afternoon, visit one sector of the Odessa catacombs (which totals more than 2,500 miles of tunnels) and the Museum of the Partisans. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Bristol Hotel.

Day 12 Thursday Ukraine – USA

Transfer to the airport for your home flights.

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