With riveting presentations by bestselling author Rabbi Nachman Seltzer and fascinating insights by master mechanech Rabbi Yehudah Bulman, this journey promises to be truly incredible.
This year, we begin our journey in the heart of ancient Ashkenaz. From these magnificent quarters come some of our darkest hours but also the most majestic. The names Mainz, Worms and Speyer in English do not evoke the same feelings as Magentza, Vermiza and Ashpira (if your name is Shapiro, you have an extra connection to this town). These towns filled with Old-world mystique are just some of places we will be visiting on this incredible journey. Walk the same streets as Rashi, Maharam M’Rottenberg, the Maharil and so many others.
Strasbourg, the city of contrasts, lies further south on the Rhine. From there we head west to Metz, hometown of Rabbeinu Gershom Me’ohr Hagola and several ba’alei Tosfos.
Luxembourg beckons and so does Antwerp, but the real jewel of our trip is Amsterdam.
Picturesque windmills, waterways and tulips are what make Holland famous. From a Jewish perspective there is so much more to see. Echos of the Anusim of Spain and Portugal who escaped to Amsterdam still haunt when we visit in the Portuguese Synagogue, completed in 1675, which is still in use today. Though his name is now not widely known, Rabbi Yaakov Sasportas, the most forceful opponent of Shabtai Tzvi, is buried in the Beth Haim of Ouderkerk, which is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands. And no visit to Amsterdam would be complete with exploring Anna Franks’s house and other homes in the Jewish quarter that silently tell the incredible story of the Jewish People.