Moldova Odessa Kiev

Moldova Odessa Kiev

Jewish tours to Moldova and Ukraine – Off the beaten path in Eastern Europe

Filled with Jewish Heritage, this tour is original and inspirational. If you have ever envisioned traveling in  authentic Jewish homelands, this is the tour for you. Visit places frequented by the beloved Sholem Aleichem and Israel’s great founder-poet, Chaim Nachman Bialik, blessed by the spirits of Reb Nachman and Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev.

Jewish history runs deep in Moldova, Kiev, and Odessa, off the beaten path yet directly connected to our people’s soul.  Journey from the “Shtetele Belz” to the birthplace of Golda Meir, meet with local Jewish communities, and inhale the atmosphere of this exotic, yet familiar, part of our Jewish story.

Tour Information
Jewish tour to Moldova and Ukraine
Odessa – Bendery – Tiraspol – Chisinau – Belz – Soroca – Orhei – Rascov – Rybnitsa – Dubossary – Uman – Kiev
Duration: 10 days
2020 Dates:
May 4 – May 14
August 31 – September 9
Price Per Person:
$3,490 Land only
$990 Single supplement
Odessa, 2 nights
Bristol Hotel
Crisinau, 4 nights
Radisson Blu Hotel
Kiev, 3 nights
Premier Palace Hotel
9 breakfasts
8 lunches
5 dinners
Included Highlights:
Transfers, sightseeing & touring in deluxe air-conditioned coaches.
Luggage handling at all hotels.
Deluxe hotels.
Buffet Breakfast daily at the hotels.
Complete program throughout.
Meeting with local communities.
Professional tour director.
Tips, except to tour director, guides, and drivers.
Pre/Post Tours:
We can accommodate pre/post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.
Passport & Visa:
No visa is required for travel to Moldova and Ukraine. Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
Not Included:
Optional pre, post or other private tour arrangements.
Services not mentioned.
Meals not mentioned.
Expenses of personal nature.
Travel insurance.


Day 1 Monday Arrival to Odessa

Welcome to Odessa! After arrival at the airport, meet your guide and transfer to your luxurious hotel. Later, enjoy a welcome Dinner. Bristol Hotel.

Day 2 Tuesday Odessa

Odessa has always had a cosmopolitan mentality. Can be compared to Warsaw and Prague. In fact, Jewish traditions are very strong here. Among Odessa’s rich families were the Ephrussi, Brodsky and Ashkenazi families. Odessa is especially rich in cultural currents, having embraced the Haskalah (Enlightenment) movement, and later both Zionism and Hassidism. Sights connected with names like Isaac Babel, Meir Dizengoff, Sholem Aleichem, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Zabotinsky, and Chaim Nachman Bialik, to name a few, are present here. Next, visit the Jewish museum, the Brodsky Synagogue, the Hassidic Synagogue, the Jewish Cemetery, as well as the Memorial to the victims of fascism. Lunch. Later, see masterpieces of architecture like the Theater of Opera and Ballet. Walk along Primorsky Boulevard, which provides a remarkable panorama of this major seaport. Here you will encounter the famous Potemkin Stairs. Dinner. Bristol Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 3 Wednesday Odessa – Tiraspol – Bendery – Chisinau

Depart Odessa and drive to Bendery and Tiraspol in Transnistria. In Bendery Jewish life dates back to the 17th century, and by 1930, the city counted 8,000 Jews. In 2001, a small Jewish Community Center was founded as well as the Jewish Agency “Sochnut” and Synagogue. Pay respects at the Tighina Fortress, where 600 Jews were murdered. Next, visit the Community Center, the Holocaust Monument, sites of former synagogues, and Bendery’s Old Jewish Cemetery. Continue to Tiraspol, capital of Transnistria, where Lunch is served. Since the 19th century, Tiraspol had a thriving Jewish presence, equaling about a quarter of the population. During the Holocaust, the community perished, but it began to grow again. Today, Tiraspol’s Jewish community numbers more than 1,700 people. In 1997 the synagogue in Tiraspol opened and is still actively attended. Later this afternoon, enter Moldova and drive to its capital, Chisinau. Dinner.  Radisson Blu Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 4 Thursday Chisinau – Belz – Soroca – Chisinau

In the morning, visit the legendary town of Belz (also known as Beltsy or Balti), made legendary by the Yiddish song, “Mein Shtetele Belz.” Upon arrival, visit the small but active Jewish community and pay respects at the Jewish cemetery. According to some historical sources, the first Jews settled in this part of the world in the beginning of the 10th century. By the 1900s, the community was vibrant with trade, culture, Zionism and Yiddish. Belz had the second largest number of Jewish inhabitant in Moldova after Chisinau, and was the economic center of region. During the Holocaust Jews were killed or expelled. Today, Belz’s Jewish Community, still ranks second in the Jewish populations of Moldova. Next, continue to Soroca and meet members of the community at Synagogue. At the end of the day, return to Chisinau. Dinner. Radisson Blu Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 5 Friday Chisinau – Orhei – Chateau Vartely – Chisinau

Embark on a Jewish tour of Chisinau (Kishinev), capital of Moldova. Once a flourishing Jewish center in the 18th century. Visit the Jewish Cemetery, including the Memorial to the Victims of the pogroms in Kishinev in 1903 and 1905.  Continue to the Synagogue of the Glaziers, and the Museum of Jewish History. This museum, boasts a collection of Jewish documents, books, and personal objects. Next, visit the site of the former Choral Synagogue, the Monument to the victims of the Kishinev Ghetto, as well as the Monument to Nazi victims. Lunch. Continue to Orhei. Meet the local representative,  visit the Jewish cemetery (one the oldest in the country – over 400 years old), and the synagogue, built in the 20th century. At the end of the day, visit the Chateau Vartely en route to Chisinau. Dinner. Radisson Blu Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 6 Saturday Chisinau – Dubossary – Rybnitsa – Rascov – Chisinau

Today, choose to enjoy a day at leisure or join an excursion to the self-proclaimed nation of Transnistria on the Eastern Moldova-Ukraine border. First, stop in Dubossary, where almost half of the population was Jewish, but World War II brought mass destruction to that community. In 1960, only 150 Jews remained; with their help, a memorial was erected here. In 1995, a small Jewish community was reestablished in Dubossary, providing social and financial assistance to the disabled, the sick and the elderly, veterans and survivors. Next, drive to Rybnitsa where Lunch will be served. Before WWII, Jews numbered at around 30% of Rybnitsa. Visit the Holocaust Memorial in Rybnitsa, established in 2006. Lunch. Continue to the village of Rashcovo, See the remnants of the 18th century Hassidic Synagogue and the Jewish cemetery before driving back to Chisinau.  Radisson Blu Hotel. (B/L)

Day 7 Sunday Chisinau – Uman – Kiev

In the morning, depart Chisinau and say farewell to Moldova. After entering Ukraine, drive towards the city of Uman. a pilgrimage site for Breslover Hasidic Jews. A large Jewish community lived here in the 18th and 19th centuries, and since the 1990s, a small, but growing, Jewish population has flourished there, dedicated to the legendary Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (also known as Bratslav). Local Jews are mostly involved in the pilgrimage of Jewish tourists (from all denominations and levels of religiosity) who visit the Rebbe’s grave to pay respects and gain a blessing. Today, you will be part of this tradition when you visit the resting place of Rebbe Nachman. This sage believed in a joyful Judaism, and famously said, “The world is a narrow bridge. And the important thing is – never to be afraid.”  Lunch is served during the visit. In the afternoon, continue to Kiev. Dinner. Premier Palace Hotel.

Day 8 Monday Kiev

In the morning, embark on a tour of Kiev, including the Opera House, Golden Gate and Monument to Yaroslav the Wise, Independence Square, House of Parliament and Government, as well as the view of the Dnieper River from Vladimir’s Hill. See the Monastery of the Caves, founded almost a thousand years ago. Lunch. Next, begin to absorb the rich history of the Jewish community of this area with a visit to Congregation Hatikvah, the Podol Synagogue, and the Great Kiev Community Center. Pay respects at the Babi Yar Memorial, site of the Nazi massacre, and movingly commemorated by world-renowned Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who identified with the sufferings of the Jewish people.  Pass the Golda Meir House before approaching the hotel, see the monument to the great Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem – author of “Fiddler on the Roof” as well as many other tales of Ukrainian shtetl life. Premier Palace Hotel. (B/L)

Day 9 Tuesday Kiev – Zhytomir – Berdichev – Kiev

Today, depart Kiev and drive to Zhytomyr, a city with a rich, well-preserved history. Tour the Old Jewish Quarter, including the Jewish cemetery and synagogue. Jews once comprised one half of the population, and the city still publishes a significant number of Jewish texts. Lunch. Continue to Berdichev, another place with a rich Jewish heritage. Historians date its birth to the 15th century, but the peak of Berdichev came in the early 17th century; for more than 150 years, it was the cultural and commercial capital of Ukraine. The Monastery of the Carmelites is the main attraction for general tourists here, but for Jews, the heart of this city is a Jewish shrine:  the tomb of the Hassidic tzaddik, Rebbe Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev. Presently, thousands come to visit and venerate his resting place.Visit Berdichev’s synagogue. Next, return to Kiev. Dinner. Fairmont Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 10 Wednesday Kiev – Home flights

First an early breakfast. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for the home flights.

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