Jewish Heritage in Ukraine

Jewish Heritage in Ukraine

Purpose: Heritage, History, Culture, Discovery
No. of days: 13 days - 12 nights
First & Last Cities: Kiev, Odessa
Other cities: Lviv, Chortkiv, Buchach, Chernivtsi, Khotyn, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Medzhibizh, Vinnytsia, Sharhorod, Tulchyn, Bratslav, Berdychiv, Zhytomyr
Starting cost: From: $2,745 including airfare


Day 1: Kiev
Arrival to Kiev airport. Meet and greet by our representative and private transfer to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. [D]
Day 2: Kiev
After breakfast at the hotel start your sightseeing of the city following the footsteps of the Jewish community. The program includes the Podol Synagogue, Jewish Community Center, International Solomon University, the houses where Sholom Aleikhem, Golda Meir and other personalities of Jewish culture lived. Trip to the Babi Yar Memorial, the place where the Nazis shot 100,000 people: Jews, Gypsies, and Soviet Prisoners of War. In the evening the program is concluded with a meeting with a representative of a Jewish community or employees of the Judaist Institute concerning the current situation of Jews in Ukraine. [B/L/D]
Day 3: Kiev, Lviv
Kiev, referred to as "The Rome of the North", is famous for its temples and churches with golden domes. Enjoy breakfast and leave for this morning sightseeing of the most celebrated temple complex, the Cave Monastery with the Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine and the collection of the Judaic ritual silver objects. A stroll along Khreschatik Street, Kiev's, "High street", and time at leisure. Lunch and transfer to the railroad station to board your train to Lviv. On arrival you’ll be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check-in, dinner and overnight. [B/L/D]
Day 4: Lviv
Lviv is a city where over 80,000 Jews lived and is with gifted with over 30 synagogues. After the beginning of WWII the population increased to over 200,000. There were Orthodox, Hassidim, Liberal and Zionist Jews speaking Polish, German and Yiddish. Our tour follows the traces of the Lviv Jews visiting the old Golden Rose Synagogue, the Old Town and the Jewish Quarter. After lunch we stop at the Jewish Center and synagogue, the premises of the former ghetto and the area of the Janowski Concentration Camp where 120,000 Jews from the Lviv ghetto died. Visit Klepariv Railway Station where transports destined for the Belzec extermination camp were prepared, and Janowski cemetery with a huge Jewish section. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. [B/L/D]
Day 5: Lviv (Drohobych)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll dedicate the rest of the day to a trip to Drohobych. The city is often associated with the famous Jewish writer Bruno Schulz. If available, meet Alfred Schrayer, one of the few Jews from the local ghetto who survived it. Visit the Jewish monuments and mementos that have remained in Drohobych, including Bruno Schulz's house, and go to the Bronicki Forest where 15,000 Drohobych Jews were murdered by the Nazis and are buried in mass graves. Return to Lviv for dinner and overnight. [B/L/D]
Day 6: Lviv, Chortkiv, Buchach, Chernivtsi
Enjoy breakfast and be packed to start your drive to Chernivtsi, via the town of Zolochiv. Dramatic history of the town’s community was recorded in a book by the Holocaust survivor Shlomo Wolkowicz. Next is Buchach, birthplace of Simon Wisenthal and Samuel Agnon the first literary Noble prizewinner writing in Yiddish. The, continue to Cortkiv, birthplace of a renowned writer of Jewish origins, Karl Emil Franzos. Finally we’ll arrive in Chernivtsi, often referred to as a "Little Vienna" and "The last Western European city in the East of Europe". Chernivtsi was a refuge of religious freedom under Austrian rule, inhabited by multiple nationalities, such as Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, Romanians, and Jews. The 60,000 Jewish community consisted of Orthodox, Hasidim, Folkists (Folkspartei) and supporters of assimilation. The influential, cultural elite of the city was mainly composed of German-speakers usually of Jewish origin. Jews also occupied the top positions in Chernivtsi. Numerous exquisite Jewish authors also came from the city, such as Paul Celan, Rose Auslaender, Gregor von Rezzori and Elisaer Steinberg. The last one to create his works in Yiddish, Josef Burg, still lives there. [B/L/D]
Day 7: Chernivtsi
The visit to Chernivtsi start at the Big Synagogue converted into a movie theater in the Soviet times. Visit the National Jewish House, where in 1908 the first international conference of Yiddish language took place. Continue the tour to the well-preserved Jewish district with one synagogue still in use, the Ghetto site, the birthplace of Rose Auslaender and Paul Celan. Enter the Jewish cemetery with thousands of tombs of big historical value. In the outskirts of Chernivtsi, in the town of Sadagora visit an ohel and the ruins of Hasidic Rabbi Israel Friedman's manor. The Rabbi was the first of the Rhuzin dynasty continued by his sons. Lunch and free afternoon to continue discovering the city on your own. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. [B/L/D]
Day 8: Chernivtsi, Khotyn, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Medzhibizh, Vinnytsia
On or way to Vinnytsiawe’ll visit Khotyn that used to serve as a significant Jewish center and nowadays is small town, yet with a unique Turkish fortress beautifully situated on the shore of the river Dniestr that marked the boundaries of the Turkish and Polish, or Muslim and Christian influences. The next point of the journey is Kamianets-Podilskyi, a city positioned on the other side of the Dniestr River, only 12,5 miles away from Khotyn, a splendid combination of city and fortress built on top of a high rock, and one of Ukraine’s most spectacular monuments. Continue to Medzhibizh - once a major Jewish center in the Podolia region. Medzhybizh is popular with Hasidic Jews from all over the world, since the founder of Hasidism, Israel ben Elieser Ba`al Schem Tow, is buried in the local Jewish cemetery. We’ll reach Vinnytsia in the evening. Check-in, dinner and overnight in Vinnytsya. [B/L/D]
Day 9: Vinnytsia (Sharhorod, Tulchyn, Bratslav)
Today we’ll travel through the picturesque eastern Podolia, arriving in Sharhorod - one of the few preserved Shtetls (small towns with a large Jewish population) in Ukraine. See the town and visit a small, private Judaic museum. Continue to Tulchyn, a town that belonged to the Potocki Polish aristocratic family, which left an impressive palace. Also, visit a Jewish cemetery and mass graves of Jews, who were shot by the Nazis in the nearby forest, have survived in Tulchyn. The final stop today is Bratslav, formerly one of the grandest Hasidic centers. Numerous renowned rabbis are buried in the attractively situated cemetery - Rabbi Nathan Stern Herz, the son of another famous rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, is one of them. In the evening return to Vinnytsia for dinner and overnight. [B/L/D]
Day 10: Vinnytsia, Berdychiv, Zhytomyr, Kiev, Odessa
On the way back to Kiev stop in two towns which played crucial roles in the history of the Jewish people in Ukraine. The first one is Berdychiv, - "The Jerusalem of Wolhyniens" considered to be the capital of all Shtetls in Tzar' Russia. Visit the synagogue there, the notable Rabbi Levi Isaac's grave, the Carmelite monastery, and St. Barbara's Church with cellars used by the Nazis to murder many local Jews. Our second stop today is Zhytomyr, once an important center of Jewish life in Ukraine. The Great Maggid of Zhytomyr, a central figure in Hasidic mysticism, is buried in the local cemetery. Nowadays all Jewish communities in the western Ukraine subject to the Zhytomyr rabbi. We’ll arrive in Kiev in the evening where you’ll board either the night train of your flight to Odessa. Upon arrival you’ll be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight. [B/L/D]
Day 11: Odessa
The multicultural Odessa used to be a commercial metropolis where over 20 different languages were spoken. The city was the actual window on the world for the Russia’s Tzar and the USSR. While visiting Odessa learn about its history, see the famous Potemkin Stairs, the buildings of the Odessa Opera Theatre, the Stock Exchange and the apartment houses and palaces, which belonged to the local bourgeoisie. After lunch visit to the Odessa Synagogue and enjoy some free time to discover the city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. [B/L/D]
Day 12: Odessa
The Odessa Jewish community was the second largest, after Warsaw, in the Russian empire. 180,000 Jews lived there before WWII, and Odessa was a lively center of modern Jewish literature and political thought and the most prominent center of Zionism. Zhabotynski, Pinsker, Dizengoff, Bialik, Alejchem, and Babel performed their creative activities there. After lunch continue exploring Odessa. A lot of Jewish people lived in Moldavanka, "The district of poor people" which was fabulously portrayed by Isaac Babel in his short stories. Visit Zhabotynski's and Bialik's houses, Moldavanka, and other spots related to the Jewish history in Odessa. In the evening attend a show at the legendary Odessa Opera Theatre. Overnight in Odessa. [B/L/D]
Day 13: Odessa, USA
Breakfast at the hotel and checkout. Private transfer from the hotel to Odessa airport to board your return flight with a change in Kiev. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [D] = Dinner | [B/L/D] = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner






Tour includes
  • Airfare USA-Kiev//Odessa-USA
  • All airport and railroad transfers
  • 12 nights accommodation:
    • Kiev - 2 nights
    • Lviv – 3 nights
    • Chernivtsi – 2 nights
    • Vinnytsya – 2 nights
    • Odessa – 3 nights
  • Meals (Jewish or Kosher):
    • Breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Lunch daily
  • Private transportation for transfers & tours
  • 2nd Class train ticket Kiev-Lviv
  • Sightseeing of Lviv
  • Excursion to Drohobych
  • Sightseeing of Kiev
  • Shared sightseeing of Odessa
  • Visits as indicated in the tour
  • English speaking guide
  • All local taxes
Not included in tour
  • International or Domestic airfares
  • Any taxes and surcharges relating to airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Wi-Fi at hotels
  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Other meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Extras and gratuities
  • Early check-in, late check-out (Most hotels begin check-in around 2:00pm).
  • Expenses of personal nature
  • Porterage at airport and hotels
  • Optional tours and activities
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Tripadvisor
First Class
Kiev Alfavito 4
Lviv Dnister 4
Chernivtsi Georg Park 5
Vinnytsya Optima 4
Odessa Gagarin 4
Kiev Radisson 4.5
Lviv Taurus 4.5
Chernivtsi Bukovyna 4
Vinnytsya Harvest 5
Odessa Black Sea 4
Hotels will be confirmed at time of booking

Tour Pricing
From: $2,745 including airfare
Add-ons available from all US gateways.
Prices are per person and may change without notice
This program can be customized for individuals and groups.
Changes to this program may be requested by phone (1855-55-TOURS) or using the web FIT Quote Request
  • Airfare
We also be glad to adjust the airfare from your gateway so you take advantage of our special discounted leisure fares
  • Program
You may add or remove;
    • Trip days
    • Hotel nights
    • Cities and sites
    • Meals
  • Other options
    • The program was designed with private services, however, we may substitute shared sightseeing where available
    • If you prefer deluxe services we may operate this program including private driver, private guide and concierge service.
  • Quotation
Once we have designed the program the way you want we'll give you a quote within 2 business days.
Tour Code: UA02IEV21VT

  • Lunches and dinners can be arranged for individuals, families and groups at top restaurants or any restaurant requested by you.
  • We can revise the itinerary to spend more time and provide more depth in those areas that you are interested on.
  • Any other changes to the itinerary will be accommodated depending on the facilities available in the area.
  • Private arrival and/or departure transfer

Group Quotations
  • The options suggested in the itinerary will be quoted at time of booking
  • If you wish to use these programs for your group or as the basis for a customized journey please either call us (1-855-55-TOURS or use the web Group Quote Request.
  • In either case our specialists will work with to refine all the details and they will get you a quote with 2 business days. Quotes may be obtained for the air and land portions of just for the lad journey.
  • Booking both air and land with us will represent savings for you because of our buying power and longtime relationship with the airlines.
  • We will also may have the choice between regular fares and special leisure fares not available to the public.