June 19-28, 2016
Poland Seminar, an optional ten-day program prior to Ramah Israel Seminar, offers enrichment opportunities for Ramahniks who wish to spend additional time exploring their Jewish heritage in a Ramah framework.
Enhance your summer seminar experience and dig deeply into your Jewish roots.
Poland Seminar traces the history of some of the most outstanding and historically relevant Jewish communities. This is an opportunity to learn about the calculated annihilation of the European communities prior to and during the Holocaust. The ten-day program includes an exploration of the remnants — and, in some cases, the revival — of the Jewish communities in Warsaw, Krakow and Lublin, broadening an appreciation for Klal Yisrael, the global Jewish community. This journey through communities, concentration camps and an entirely different culture will add a unique perspective to each participant’s understanding of the importance and purpose of the State of Israel, and enhance the sense of Jewish meaning and identity in the flourishing Diaspora of North America.
Poland Seminar is a meaningful journey through history that will profoundly enrich your personal and collective Jewish identity.
Poland Seminar is open to applicants from “classic” Israel Seminar, Seminar Shvilim, or Seminar Yedidim who are highly recommended by their local Ramah camp director, and who meet other qualifications, as listed below.
Your application will not be acted upon until the deposit is paid, the entire Poland application is completed, and the first assignment is received. More teens are interested in Poland Seminar than we can accept and there is always a waiting list. We recommend applying before December 15, 2015.
All six-week Israel Seminar applicants are eligible to apply for the Poland Seminar option. Applicants must receive strong recommendations from their Ramah camp directors, indicating that they were positive, contributing members of their edah at camp. In some cases, a personal interview may be required.
Notifications of acceptance will be mailed out beginning in the first week of February. After being accepted, you will receive further details regarding the flights, itinerary and other pre-trip details.
Anyone applying to the Poland Seminar must complete two brief preparatory assignments, a combination of reading and written reflection. Prior to the trip, each participant will be asked to complete an optional third assignment, a personal presentation that will be shared with the group during the trip to Poland.
Initial acceptance to Poland Seminar will be contingent upon fully completing the online application, including a short personal statement, and submitting the first assignment on time.
Poland Seminar Program
The following list includes program highlights:
- Lublin: Yeshivat Chochmei Lublin (where the tradition of Daf Yomi, studying one page of Talmud each day, was started)
- Majdanek camp
- Krakow and the surrounding area: Jewish ghetto, ghetto wall, Rema synagogue, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Pleszow Camp, Schindler’s factory
- Warsaw and the surrounding area: Jewish ghetto, Martyrs Memorial, Noszyc Synagogue, Mila 18, Jewish Historical Museum, Jewish cemetery; Umschlagplatz, Treblinka camp.
Most sites listed are of Jewish interest; if time permits, we will also take in other sites of general interest. A complete itinerary will be presented to participants in a future mailing.
Transition to Ramah Israel Seminar
When the Poland Seminar participants arrive in Israel, they have a day of relaxation, special programming and summing up the Poland Seminar experience. They then join their assigned bus group for the six-week Israel Seminar experience, although there will be opportunities to re-unite with friends made during the Poland trip.
Day 1: Arrival in New York Area airport; orientation; fly to Warsaw
Day 2: Arrival in Warsaw, continue orientation, travel to Lublin
Day 3: Sobibor, Kranzik
Day 4: Kazimirz-Dolny, Maidanek
Day 5: Shtetl life: Lishansk, Tranov
Day 6: Krakow sites
Day 8: Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau
Day 9: Warsaw Sites, departure for Israel
Day 10: Arrival in Israel, special programs for Poland Seminar
Begin six-week Ramah Israel Seminar experience, joining assigned bus groups.
* NOTE: The dates and other particulars of the itinerary are subject to change. A more detailed itinerary will be provided following the initial registration procedure.
The cost of the Poland Seminar is $2,890, and does not include the cost of the six-week Israel Seminar.
- The complete 10-day program, including travel days and sessions for Poland participants in Israel.
- Housing in comfortable hotels.
- All airfares and taxes with departures from the New York area to Warsaw.
- Security guard throughout Poland.
- All meals, for which kashrut is observed according to Ramah’s high standards.
- Deluxe, air-conditioned bus throughout Poland.
- All entrance fees.
- Medical insurance.
- Tour guides and counseling staff.
Please note that Poland Seminar participants may not enroll in Seminar on a ‘land only’ basis.
Tuition is subject to change in case of any increase in airfare, travel taxes, radical changes in hotel prices in Europe or in the number of registrants. Cost does not cover fees for visas, which are NOT required at this time for US and Canadian citizens.
The staff for Poland Seminar includes experienced and knowledgeable mechanchim (tour educators) as well as madrichim (counselors) who are trained for the physical and emotional aspects of this trip, and are with the group from their arrival in Poland through their arrival in Israel and division into Seminar bus groups in Israel. Representatives of the Ramah educational and counseling staff will accompany the group on the overseas flights. A Polish guide, experienced in working with Jewish clientele, will accompany each bus group throughout Poland.
With thanks to: