Central Europe – TEST

Germany | Poland | Slovakia | Hungary

June 24 – July 7, 2022

Watch a special message from our trip co-chairs Zuzana & Gosia.

A different kind of journey:

  • Discover vibrant & beautiful cities, historic architecture, hidden corners, town squares, and open space by plane, train, bus, bike, & foot
  • Bear witness to the tragedies, trials, & transformations of Jewish, democratic, & not-so democratic societies
  • Encounter Jewish experiences and perspectives at once foreign and familiar
  • Create new relationships with community builders and civic activists whose challenges are not so different from ours
  • Ride in the 2022 Ride for the Living and across bike-friendly cities
  • Revel in the sights and sounds of the Jewish Culture Festival and enjoy contemporary art & music throughout the trip
  • Weave new connections between past, present, and future

Click into each of the tabs below to learn about this exciting opportunity.

  • Reserve Your Spot!
  • Reserve2
  • FAQs
  • Preliminary Pricing Information
  • Trip Itinerary
  • Interest Form

Click here to calculate your 25% deposit. Deposits are not required to register below, we will contact you separately with payment options.

*Final total trip fees and program details are subject to change. The calculator does not include exchange rate fluctuation, travel to/from the trip, travel insurance, transaction fees, or other meals or activities not included in the trip description. We will be in touch about any remaining balances or credits.

Registration form: December 15, 2021
25% Depositpaper check payment: December 17, 2021
25% Depositwire or credit card payment received by: December 24, 2021

Traveling Separately: If you are traveling solo, but intend to share a room with another traveler, please fill out the below form separately from that person. We will collect your roommate’s name so we know you are staying together.
Traveling Together: For families or others planning to travel and stay together as one group, please select the number of people and fill out the form one time answering questions for each participant in your party. The first participant should be whose name will be on the room booking.
Payment & Travel Documents: After you have submitted your registration form, we will confirm availability and send you payment instructions for your deposit. Please keep in mind filling out the registration form below does not guarantee a spot, as we have limited capacity for this trip; but we will do our best to accommodate everyone.

1. CALCULATOR: Use the calculator below to select payment options and calculate your 25% deposit
2. PAYMENT FORM: Enter the “Amount to Pay” from the calculator and include all totals from the calculator. Submit Payment.
3. REGISTER PARTICIPANTS: Answer questions per person you are registering for the trip in the registration form below the payment form.
4. UPLOAD DOCUMENTS: After you submit registration you will be automatically directed to a new page where you can upload required documents. Go here to upload, if this form does not appear when you finish registration.

*Final total trip fees & program details are subject to change, including for reasons beyond our control such as exchange rate fluctuation; our contracts are priced in Euros, Polish Złoty, and Hungarian Forints. This payment does not cover travel to/from the trip, travel insurance, transaction fees, or any other meals or activities not included in the trip description. We will be in touch about any remaining balances or credits.

What does my payment cover and who are our partners?
We are proud to be working with experienced local providers with strong ties to Jewish communities in each city. Your payment includes 13 nights’ lodging, all group transportation (including air travel from Berlin to Warsaw, train travel from Warsaw to Krakow, and travel by luxury coach everywhere else – as indicated in the itinerary), and trip materials. It also includes all breakfasts; we expect it to cover four-five lunches and six dinners, including Shabbat meals. All group programming, group entry fees, tour guides, bike rentals, and luggage transfers are included. Your payment also includes a contribution to support the communities we’ll be visiting.

Your payment does not include early arrival, late departure, room upgrades, meals not specified, or programming not specified (including any individual programs you may choose to arrange on your own). It also does not include travel insurance (required) or any COVID testing as may be necessary at the time.

Where does the trip begin? How do I get there?
Our trip starts with hotel check-in and Kabbalat Shabbat in Berlin on June 24 and ends with our morning program and hotel check-out in Budapest on July 7. There may be an optional program on the morning of June 24 – details pending.

All participants will need to make their own independent travel arrangements to arrive to Berlin and depart from Budapest. Our travel provider may offer a shuttle service option from/to the airports and/or train & bus stations but details & pricing are TBD. Proof of travel insurance (arranged independently) will be required for all travelers.

What will we eat? Will food be kosher?
All IKAR-organized group meals will be vegetarian/dairy (some may include a fish option), which is to say kashrut-compatible but not hechschered. Shabbat meals in Berlin will be vegetarian; Shabbat meals in Krakow may have (kosher) meat options but we will ensure vegetarian choices. Hotel breakfasts will vary but will always include vegetarian items.

For meals on your own, we will provide restaurant lists including kosher and vegetarian/vegan options in each city. Plant-based cuisine is rapidly gaining popularity across Central Europe and there are some exciting culinary innovations out there. We also know that private dietary practices at IKAR vary widely, and there will be plenty of opportunities to eat local (whatever that may mean to you). Please be sure to indicate your dietary preferences in the reservation application.

What about COVID testing and quarantines?
As of late 2021, entry to Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary is quarantine-free for vaccinated travelers from the United States. (Slovakia currently requires free pre-registration prior to entry.) Vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents can return to the U.S. with a 72-hour COVID test (PCR or antigen). Of course these restrictions and permissions are subject to change at any time. Proof of vaccination and testing are the responsibility of every individual traveler. If these requirements still are in place next summer, we will look into arranging a mobile testing option at our hotel in Budapest for travelers departing overseas.

Is it safe where we’re going?
Yes! While the political landscape there is changing and instances of antisemitism are on the rise in Europe generally, it is still considered safe to travel to Central Europe. We’ll also be traveling while the days are longest, so most of our group activities will be during daylight hours. We recommend taking the same precautions as any tourist ought to take in an unfamiliar city: stay with a buddy, protect your valuables, and don’t pull out a map in the middle of a busy sidewalk while asking loudly, “Where’s the McDonalds?”

Is the trip open to IKAR from Afar members?
Absolutely yes! We can’t wait to meet you in real life. This journey offers an ideal in-person opportunity to spend quality time with our LA-based community, staff, and clergy.

Is this trip open to people who aren’t (yet) members of IKAR?
Maybe! We will be prioritizing IKAR members and their fellow travelers. The trip is subject to capacity limitations, but there may be space available. Please fill out the interest form and add a note in the “Questions” box that you’re interested. Or just join already – what are you waiting for?

Will there be enough free time to explore on my own, in addition to spending time with my beloved community?
Yes! We are making sure to build enough time into the program for you to be able to explore on your own or with your family. With a few exceptions, our all-group programs will take up only part of the day; the remainder will include a choice of activities, or you can duck out on your own. There will be free time in every city.

Will we have an opportunity to explore our ancestry while there?
We recommend starting preliminary research now. You can hire someone to do some of it for you and depending on what you’ll find, we can talk about the possibility of visiting the site where your ancestors lived or helping you find someone local with whose help you can visit the place before or after our program. Please email [email protected] and we can send you some recommendations.

What happens if there is a surge in COVID cases there and we have to cancel or postpone the trip?
That’s (in part) why we require everyone to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. We also encourage you to insure your travel to and from Europe. In the unlikely event of a cancellation, all uncommitted funds will be returned to the extent possible; please note that certain fees and administrative costs are non-refundable, pursuant to the payment schedule (see IKAR 2022 Central Europe Trip Pricing Information tab). IKAR reserves the right to postpone the trip to 2023.

Can we support the communities we will be visiting?
Yes – before, during, and after the trip! The Ride for the Living is the JCC Krakow’s major fundraiser and we’ll be helping to support their efforts. IKAR will set up a Central Europe Fund so contributions can go directly to the communities we visit. Following the trip, IKAR hopes to stay connected with the activists we meet and we hope you’ll maintain individual ties, too.

How can our family, friends, and fellow IKARites support and participate in this journey, even if they can’t travel with us?
We know not everyone will be able to join us in person. This spring we’ll be creating an opportunity for IKARites to share their memories of family history from the region and to offer blessings for us to carry with us. We’ll also be raising funds as part of the Ride for the Living and we hope you’ll invite everyone you know to support the Ride (whether or not you yourself get on a bike) as well as IKAR’s special fund for the other communities we visit.

Can I add hotel nights in Berlin and/or Budapest for an additional fee?
Yes (on a space-available basis).

Can I upgrade my hotel room for an additional fee?
Yes (on a space-available basis).

What if I have to arrive late or leave early? Can I prorate my fee?
We are unable to prorate fees. In order for the trip to happen, we need a minimum number of people to participate in the entire experience. On an extremely limited space-available basis, we may be able to accommodate late arrivals or early departures on a segment by segment basis (e.g., joining from Warsaw or leaving before Budapest).

How can I best prepare for the trip?
We are so glad you asked! Your experience will be so much richer when you take some time to read and learn before the trip. We will offer pre-trip programs for participants and will have a list of articles, books, and films for you to review.

All prices are based on 40 participants at current exchange rates as well as hotel and transportation estimates, and are subject to change and capacity limitations; IKAR reserves the right to require a minimum number of participants and/or to cap the headcount.

– $5,400 per person double occupancy

– $860 per person single supplement

– $4,500 for 1st child 7-12 in same room with 2 adults

– $4,400 for 2nd child 7-12 in same room with 2 adults & 1st child

14 days, 13 nights, all breakfasts, and approximately 11 lunches & dinners. Price includes hotel nights, ground transportation, air travel Berlin-Warsaw, train travel Warsaw-Krakow, and all group entry fees, tour guides, and bike rentals. Proof of travel insurance and full vaccination will be required; additional COVID testing, at the traveler’s expense, may be required per national entry requirements. A portion of the payment may be tax deductible; please review your final payment receipt for details.

Additional room nights (preliminary estimates):

– Early arrival in Berlin June 22 or 23: estimated €165 dbl / €150 sgl per room per night

– Late departure in Budapest July 8 or 9: estimated €151 dbl €119 sgl per room per night

Minimum child age is 7. Child rate is applicable to kids 12 or younger as of July 7, 2022. Participating children will be required to be as vaccinated as the FDA permits them to be and to meet all vaccination requirements necessary to avoid quarantine upon entry to Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Child rates substitute all-day children’s programming in Warsaw in lieu of tours and in Krakow in lieu of Auschwitz trip and Ride for the Living bike ride. Auschwitz trip and/or bike ride may be added back for additional reduced-rate fees.

Registration and a 25% deposit are due by December 31, 2021. Another 25% payment is due by February 28, 2022. The balance will be due by April 1, 2022. Proof of travel insurance and full vaccination for all travelers is required by April 1, 2022. NB: we strongly recommend purchasing your travel insurance as soon as you make the first deposit payment in December.

Cancellation/refund schedule (all refunds subject to a $100 per person nonrefundable fee):

– Through December 31, 2022: 100% of deposit

– January 1 – February 28, 2022: 90% of deposit

– March 1 – March 31, 2022: payments are non-refundable unless a replacement traveler is found (reissuing/transfer/name change fees may apply)

– For cancellations after March 31, full payment is due and payable and the trip is non-refundable unless a replacement traveler is found (reissuing/transfer/name change fees may apply)

We expect to start accepting trip applications and deposits in mid-November. In the meantime, please indicate your interest by clicking here or filling in the information below.