Thematic tours ::: Jewish Heritage Tour

Kiev - Odessa - Simferopol - Jalta - Bakhchisaray - Sevastopol

Day 1st

Jewish Kiev

Jewish Kiev – sight-seeing tour. Centuries-old history of Kiev is inseparable from the history of Jewish community, which origin dates back to the pre-Christian Rus times. The Jewish community of Kiev left bright tracks on every single sphere of the City life. Kiev used to have many synagogues, Jewish schools and academies. Prominent Jewish manufacturers and merchants, engineers and lawyers, penman and artists worked here. Future political leaders of Israel – Golda Meir and Yefraim Katsir – were born in Kiev. The famous writer Shalom Aleichem lived and worked in Kiev, just like Isaak Babel’ and Joseph Mandelstam, Ilia Erenburg was born in Kiev, too. During our tour you will have a chance to visit two synagogues.


The Jewish addresses of Kiev – Podol!

Podol – district of handicraftsmen and dealers, was a place of compact residing of Jews in Kiev. There was a special "Podol language", as a mix of the Jewish language Yiddish, an Ukrainian language and Russian. Podol - a source of set Kiev’s stories, jokes, tall stories in which nobody can already separate the truth from fiction. The Jewish Podol was the centre of an active religious, cultural and economic life of Kiev.
The Jewish addresses of Podol: function synagogue on Schekavitskaya street, meetinghouses on Nizhniy val, Yaroslavskaya and Mezhigorskaya streets, Zaitsevs’ charities, the first Talmud Torah on Konstantinovskaya street and lots of other buildings.

Day 2nd

Museum of Shalom Aleichem

2009 year marked the 150th anniversary of Shalom Aleichem's birth (in the small town of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky), and in December Ukraine had kicked off national celebrations marking the occasion with an exhibition in Kiev on the author, w ho evoked the Shtetl in his writings and created characters such as the iconic Tevye the Milkman. As part of the celebrations, a Sholom Aleichem museum was opened in Kiev, dedicated to his life and work and to Yiddish culture, architecture and folklore in general. Sholom Aleichem lived in Kiev from 1897 to 1905. A monument to him - the statue of the author tipping his hat - stands in central Kiev near the Brody synagogue.

Jewish mansions of Lipki district.

Lipki is “aristocratic” district where rich merchants lived who invited known architects to design their houses. The architecture of private residences gave soil for a gossip. The great interest caused by a sliding ceiling in the office of the owner of sugar mill Simha Liberman on Bankovaya street, who slept for some days outdoor together with a family by Judaic tradition on a holiday of Sukkot. The owner of the house on Grushevskogo street 22 – Nuvorish Polyakov was so rich and ambitious that wished to live only near the Mariinsky palace and in a private residence similar to it.


Day 3rd

The Memorial "Babiy Yar"

 "Babiy Yar" must be the most sorrowful place in Kiev. To perpetuate the memory of killed, mainly Jews, in 1941, 29-30 September, 2 monuments were erected: one of them is soviet, the another, erected in 1991, commemorates the memory of 33770 executed Jews. Nowadays a construction of a big Peace Centre began in Babiy Yar, which will have no analogues in the World.

Departure to Odessa.

Day 4th

Jewish Odessa

 When Odessa was founded it became the first city of the Russian Empire, where Jews were allowed to settle. By the time of the WW II Odessa Jewish community became the third largest in the world, after New York and Warsaw, having reached almost 47% of the city population. It is hard to overestimate the contribution of Odessa Jews to the world Jewish history. Walking through the streets of any Israeli city you will find that many of them are named after famous Zionists, Jewish writers, historians or political activists, who come from Odessa.

"Jewish Odessa" tour will introduce you the Jewish community of Odessa before the Revolution of 1917, during the WW II, the life of Jews during the Soviet Union period and the Jewish life in Odessa today.

Catacombs - Odessa was built on the coquina stones that had been mined out of the ground. That is why the long labyrinths spread under the city. They keep the secrets of the past. Before W.W.II they were the criminal center of Odessa and during the war-sheltered defenders of the country guerrillas warriors.

Day 5th

The Museum of History of Odessa Jews “Migdal Shorashim”

 The Museum of History of Odessa Jews “Migdal Shorashim” was opened in November of 2002 by the Jewish community centre “Migdal”. Previously, the history of Odessa’s Jewry was not exhibited or displayed in any other museum around the city. This exact absence served as the primary reason for the unveiling of this historical treasure.

Despite the small parameters of the museum (total area of exhibition space is 160 sq meters) “Migdal Shorashim” serves as the only Jewish museum in Ukraine where it has gathered a rich collection of 7000 materials over a period of five years (including documents, photographs, books, newspapers, postcards, religious garment, household goods, music instruments and other pieces of art). One thousand exhibits from the entire collection of the museum represent its permanent collection.

Every year the museum accepts thousands of guests, leads a great number of excursions and tours, welcomes numerous researchers and students from the USA, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Easter Europe and other countries around the world. Along with other programs led by “Migdal”, an annual conference titles, “Odessa and Jewish civilization” serves to bring researchers working on Jewish topics in Odessa even closer to one another. Following the conference “Migdal” publishes collections of the presented papers, brochures and other insightful materials dealing with Jewish history of Odessa.

Museum of Holocaust.

Departure to Crimea.


Day 6th

Sight seeing tour in Simferopol. Former synagogue "Ner tamid"

Synagogue "Ner tamid" was one of the largest synagogues in Crimea. Square shape building with two floors made from stone was built in 1893. This synagogue could accommodate up to 342 persons.

Karaite kenassa. Simferopol kenassa — it was karaite building for public worship in Simferopol. The building is a landmark of the end of XIXth century. On the 5th of March 1930 local power made a decision to close the kenassa. During 1934-35 the building was reconstruct and in part it lost religious décor. At the time of fascist occupation there was a stable.
Now the building is in accident condition.

Mass grave of the victims of fascist terror.


Day 7th

Visit to Yalta: Livadia and Alupka Palaces.


Day 8th

Chufut-Kale fortress (Jews' fortress) Late 6th to late 19th century

Chufut-Kale (Tatar for "Jew's fortress") is located not far from Bakhchisaray, on the plateau that towers 200 m above neighboring valleys and is limited with precipices up to 50 m high from three sides. This fortress was established in the late 6th or 7th century as a Byzantine stronghold and populated with local tribes of the Alans, who were the allies of the Empire.

This town territory is traditionally divided into three well-visible parts: Burunchak, that is western section of the plateau where was no buildings, covering the area about 36 hectares; the Old town, covering the area of about 7 hectares, which was separated from the wasteland by a low wall; and the New town, covering more than 3 hectares and located between the Middle and the Eastern defensive walls.

Today, the site of Chufut-Kale presents the fortification system with defensive walls, southern and eastern gates, and towers; streets with narrow sidewalks, dwelling houses, praying houses of the Karaites, or "kenassas"; the mausoleum of Djanike-Khanym, the daughter of the khan Tokhtamysh; and cave constructions, which were carved for various purposes.

Jehoshaphat Valley near Bakhchisaray

Peoples named the valley by analogy with Jehoshaphat valley in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. Similarity of both valleys is noted for a long time and the tower over southern breaking-down even more proves it. This is Karaite cemetery which is located not far from Bakhchisaray. It is possible to get there along the cliff of Chufut-Kale. From here you will be able to see the arch of cemetery gates and the ruins of courtyard house. Outside the arch is a real city of deadman – there are lots of gravestones with epitaphs in Hebrew. A hundreds of graves were overgrown with forest. Only oaks grew here in the past.


Day 9th

Excursion "Jewish Diasporas in Crimea III-IV centuries AD. The Chersonese"

Monument for Jewish soldiers. Crimean war became the biggest campaign for Russian Empire during the XIXth of century after The Patriotic war 1812. It is still unknown what quantity of Jews took part in this war. The monument, where lies the bodies of 500 Jewish soldiers, who died at the time of military defence of Sevastopol 1854-1855, indicate that death toll were much bigger.

Departure to house.


For more information about this tour, please call +380 44 495 56 70 or mailto:

back to tour list>>>