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India: Tour explores country's Jewish history, culture

Burkat Global tour explores India's Jewish history and culture
Three thousand years of Jewish history is focus of Burkat Global's tour of southern India

A pastel pink synagogue, a Jewish Indian Shabbat dinner and visits to ancient Jewish cemeteries are among the highlights of Burkat Global’s 3,000 Years of Jewish India tour in early 2015.

The 14-day excursion begins in Mumbai, where participants will visit synagogues and other historic sites and take a private boat to tour more age-old synagogues on the Konkan Coast. It was here 2,000 years ago that Jews who had fled Israel were shipwrecked and began 200 centuries of Jewish life.

From Mumbai, a short flight will take participants to Kochi, a.k.a. Cochin, where they will tour ancient Jewish spice markets, a Jewish cemetery and India’s oldest synagogue, dating to 1568, as well as attend a Shabbat service.

An excursion to centuries-old Muziris, a trading center visited by Jewish spice merchants for 3,000 years, will provide an opportunity to work with archaeologists excavating Judaica and other artifacts.

Accommodations include the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, the Coconut Lagoon Resort in Kerala and the Brunton Boatyard, re-created from the remains of a Victorian shipyard, in Cochin.

Dr. Shalva Weil of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, an expert on Jewish India, will travel with and instruct the group.  

Date: Jan. 26

Price: $7,995 per person, double occupancy. Includes accommodations, in-country transportation and transfers, daily breakfast, 21 lunches and dinners (tour meals are not kosher), sightseeing and entrance fees, Indian Jewish guides, and taxes and gratuities. International airfare is not included. Tour size is limited to 20.

Info: Burkat Global, (914) 231-9023

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