Explore China’s Jewish past with Lehrhaus Judaica. This 14-day tour will take you to China’s historic Jewish centres. Visit Tianjin, south of Beijing; Harbin, in the far northeast; Kaifeng and Xi’An in central China; Nanjing, near the Yangtze River; and Shanghai, on the east coast of China.
Speak to our travel experts. They have spent a lot of time exploring our destinations. Their first-hand knowledge is the basis for organizing your perfect trip.
Day 1 | June 3-4 • Canada – Beijing
Depart Canada for your flight to Beijing. Cross the international dateline and arrive in China the following day. Transfer to your hotel with the rest of the group. Check-in and enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)
- Accommodations at the Hotel Nuo Beijing (4 nights)
Day 2 | June 5 • Beijing
Tour the Forbidden City, the abiding symbol of imperial China. Truly one of the great achievements of civilization, its construction employed hundreds of thousands of workers between 1406 and 1420. Marvel at its expansive architecture, magnificent imperial gardens, and many museums of Chinese antiquities and treasures. Stop by Tiananmen Square after exiting the city.
Wander Beijing’s picturesque Houhai district, where well-preserved courtyard homes and narrow hutong alleys border tree-lined lakes. Tour the district by “pedicab” for a closer and more engaging experience of traditional Chinese life. Divide into small groups and enjoy lunch at a local family’s traditional home.
In the afternoon, tour the Temple of Heaven, one of the finest expressions of the Ming
Dynasty. Built in the 15th century, the stunning
architecture of the Temple of Heaven represents the most advanced principals of
mechanics and geometry available at the time. This evening, savor the imperial
city’s most famous delicacy, Peking duck,
at the Duck de Chine. (B, L, D)
Day 3 | June 6 • Tianjing
This morning, transfer to Tianjing by private coach. Learn about Tianjin’s colonial past at the historic Five Avenues. With over 230 buildings with architectural influence ranging from Renaissance, Greek, Gothic, and Roman, the Five Avenues were home to British, French, German, Italian, and Spanish colonists who each brought their unique style of architecture. Look for previous Jewish residences hidden throughout the area.
Next, visit the Synagogue of Tianjin. In 1900, the first group of Russian-Jewish families arrived in Tianjin. During the Russian revolution, the community expanded to 500-600 families of fleeing refugees and in 1920 the synagogue was built. Learn about the synagogues various uses as a school, hospital, and base of operations for American forces during WWII. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.
Visit the Ancient Culture Street lined with unique architecture where you can purchase folk crafts and sample local. See the Century Clock representing the beginning of China’s modern industry by the Tianjin train station. Return to Beijing in the early evening. Dinner is on your own. (B, L)
Day 4 | June 7 • Beijing
In the morning,
head northeast to the Great
Wall of China. Hike the Great Wall at
Mutianyu. Take the chairlift
up to the summit. Enjoy the astounding views of the Wall as it winds over the
surrounding hills. The Great Wall of China presents a visual experience that consistently
exceeds visitors’ expectations. An optional Alpine slide can be taken on your
way down the wall!
Enjoy lunch at Xiaolongpu Restaurant at the foothills of the wall, famous for farm fresh produce and unique local cuisine. Stop by the Olympic Village to marvel at the architecture made famous by the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Herzog & deMeuron designed the famous “Bird’s Nest” stadium while PTW design firm created the glowing “Water Cube” swim center.
This evening celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat at Kehilat Beijing followed by Shabbat dinner with members of Beijing’s Jewish Community. (B, L, D)
Day 5 | June 8 • Beijing – Harbin
This morning, take part in a lecture on the Jewish presence in China during the 19th and 20th centuries with scholar Fred Rosenbaum.
Transfer to the Beijing airport for your flight to Harbin. Lunch is on your own at one of the airport restaurants.
Explore Harbin’s Old Quarter. Built in the 19th century by Russians, the area is dominated by aging baroque and byzantine styles. (B, D)
- Accommodations at the Hotel Shangri-La Harbin (2 nights)
Day 6 | June 9 • Harbin
This morning visit the Harbin New Synagogue, the largest synagogue in East Asia. The synagogue not only provides services for the Jewish religion but is also home to a vast collection of Jewish cultural artifacts. Meet with local Jewish citizens and talk about their lives in Harbin.
Stop by the Old Synagogue. Converted into a café and hostel, the synagogue sits next to a Jewish school and hospital. Visit Central Street. Traces of European heritage can be seen throughout the area with Jewish architecture and design such as the old Jewish Bank. (B, L)
Day 7 | June 10 • Harbin – Xian
In the morning, visit the beautiful St. Sophia Orthodox Church. Built in 1907 after the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the church was expanded in 1923 and stands as the largest Orthodox church in the Far East.
Then, take a trip outside of the city to visit the Unit 731 Museum. During World War II, under the guise of a “Water Purification Department,” the Japanese run concentration camp used Chinese prisoners in biological and chemical warfare research and was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Imperial Japan.
This evening, fly to Xian. Meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel. (B, L)
- Accommodations at the Grand Mercure Xian on Renmin Square (2 nights)
Day 8 | June 11 • Xian
In the morning, visit the extraordinary 2,300-year-old terracotta warriors in the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qinshihuang. The warriors still stand on the original site where farmers discovered them in 1974.
The terracotta figures were manufactured in workshops by government laborers and local craftsmen. Remaining intact for over two millennia, the army includes 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Full construction involved 700,000 workers; an effort that is almost beyond comprehension. In the afternoon, visit the Muslim Quarter of Xian where you will find traditional Chinese Islamic cuisine, shops, and merchants. Visit the Xian Great Mosque. Though currently serving the majority Muslim population in Xian, the mosque was originally built as an almost exact replica of the Kaifeng Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in China. The Xian Mosque combines traditional synagogue structures with the style and elements of Chinese Feng Shui.
This evening enjoy authentic Xian cuisine with a variety of dumplings. (B, D)
Day 9 | June 12 • Xian – Nanjing
Fly from Xian to Nanjing. Visit the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre. This museum is built to remember the killing of approximately 300,000 people during the first six week to eight-week occupation of Nanjing by Imperial Japanese soldiers. The museum features a memorial wall with the names of the deceased as well as an open-air excavation site where skeleton remains of some of the victims numbering in tens of thousands were buried. Lunch in a local restaurant.
Next visit the Yu Hua Tai Memorial Park of Revolutionary Martyrs. During the Chiang Kai- shek dictatorship, opponents of the regime and were executed for being revolutionaries. The park consists of numerous flower beds, an obelisk dedicated to the revolution and a large monument carved out of stone depicting politicians, workers, peasants, and the intelligentsia to represent all social layers of China who fought and died during the revolution.
Check in at the hotel and enjoy dinner (B, L, D)
- Accommodations at the Holiday Inn Nanjing Aqua City Hotel (2 nights)
Day 10 | June 13 • Nanjing
This morning, visit the Mausoleum for Sun Yatsen. Then, explore the Old City Walls of Nanjing. Visit the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the tomb of the founder of the Ming dynasty. Stop by the Nanjing Confucian Temple.
The rest of this day is at leisure. (B, L)
Day 11 | June 14 • Nanjing – Shanghai
In the morning, take a high-speed train to Shanghai (about 1.5 hours). After lunch tour Yuyuan Gardens, designed in six unique parts, making the garden seem much larger than it really is. You will find one of the best Ming rockeries here and wending the zigzag bridge to Huxingting Teahouse is a delight. Stop at the Shanghai Art Museum to see the exquisite collections of Chinese antiquities.
Cross the Huangpu River and visit the Pudong economic district. Ride the elevator to the top of the tallest building in Asia, the new Shanghai City Center, for a bird’s-eye view of the old and new Shanghai by the Bund. Return to your hotel to refresh. This evening celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat at Chabad Center followed by Shabbat dinner with members of Shanghai’s Jewish Community. (B, L, D)
- Accommodations at the Radisson Blu Shanghai Hotel (3 nights)
Day 12 | June 15 • Shanghai
In the morning, do a Jewish Historical Tour with local expert, Dvir Bar-Gal. Visit the former Shanghai Jewish Ghetto in Hong Kou District and the Ohel Moshe Synagogue. Dvir will enlighten you on the reclamation of old Jewish tombstones. Tour the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, commemorating Jewish refugees who fled Europe and lived in Shanghai during World War II.
This evening, enjoy a special performance of the Shanghai Acrobats. (B, L)
Day 13 | June 16 • Shanghai
In the morning, tour the French Concession in historic district and stop by Taikanglu Road.
Then, learn about Silk Manufacturing to see the silk worms and the traditional production. Watch the ladies spin silk from the coveted silk worms of China. Ride the MagLev, the fastest commercial high-speed electric train in the world. The train can reach 217 mph in 2 minutes, with the maximum normal operation speed of 268 mph. Enjoy a free afternoon.
This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant featuring excellent Shanghai cuisine with fashionable 1920’s decor. (B, D)
Day 14 | June 17 • Shanghai – Canada
Transfer to the Shanghai airport for your flight home. Arrive in Canada on the same day. (B)
Price for the program:
June 4-17, 2019 is US$7,285 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement US$1,995
The price includes:
- 13 nights’ hotel accommodations
- Daily breakfast, nine lunches, seven dinners
- Domestic flight
- High speed train ride
- Transportation by bus
- All entrance fees, tips
- Local guides
- Transfer from/to Beijing and Shanghai airports on suggested flights
- Lehrhaus Judaica and Tiyul tour leaders
Costs not included:
- International Airfare to and from China
- Travel & Health Insurance
- Personal expenses
Your Tour Leaders:
Fred Rosenbaum, Jeremy Morrison and Ariel Goldstein
Founding Director Emeritus of Lehrhaus Judaica, is an award-winning educator, teacher, and author. He has written eight books on modern European and American Jewish history, including Cosmopolitans: A Social and Cultural History of the Jews of the Bay Area, published by the University of California Press in 2009, also a Holocaust scholar, he spent a year in Germany as a Fulbright Fellow at Goettingen University. He has led a walking tour through the former Shanghai Jewish ghetto and more than twenty trips all over the world
Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
Executive Director at Lehrhaus Judaica since August 2017. He recently earned a doctorate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. His dissertation focused on the use of metaphors in the Bible and in other ancient Near Eastern texts. Following his ordination in 2001 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, Jeremy served as Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston for 15 years.
CEO at Tiyul Jewish Journeys, was born in Uruguay, studied Latin American history in Montevideo and then studied tourism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he graduated as Tour Guide in 1998. He has led more than fifty tours throughout China, Israel, Europe, Persian Gulf, Latin America, Africa, India and United States. Ariel speaks Spanish, English, Hebrew and Portuguese.
Note: Itinerary subject to change