REFORM SYNAGOGUE MISSION TO BERLIN – 29th July 2016 - 4 days and 3 nights

Following our very successful Mission to Krakow in Poland, Hendon Reform is running its second Mission to places of Jewish heritage and interest abroad next May.
This time, we're going to Berlin - a city which evokes a lot of emotion - it is also a city rich in Jewish heritage going back to the 12th Century, and with many places of interest, far more than just around the war year.

Today, Berlin has around 50,000 Jews. Approximately 80% have come from the former Soviet Union. Due to this, and an influx of Israeli and 'returning' German Jews, Berlin's Jewish population is now growing at a fast rate.

This Mission will be from Friday 29th July 2016 EARLY FLIGHT for three nights and four days, returning on Monday 1st August 2016 Please contact Tel No 0208 9545074 if you wish to book on the Mission. This needs to be done as early as possible by completing attached booking form and returning to us at West End Travel office in Edgware

Booking the flights should be done directly by you. Once booked, these are non-refundable.

Day 1, Friday 29th July 2016 – We expect people to take early morning flights on various choices of airlines to suit themselves – A coach will pick up at airport those travelling from the main flight recommended
We will start our tour at the Brandenburg Gate, right at the centre of Berlin. ESSENTIAL BERLIN TOUR
Starts at 2.00pm from Brandenburg Gate and Parisen Platz, Unter den Linden, State Opera House.
Unter den Linden, Berlin 's magnificent boulevard and the centrepiece of Old Berlin, leads from Pariser Platz at the Brandenburg Gate to the Schlossbrücke Bridge . Unter den Linden was originally a bridle path. From 1573, it led from Berlin Palace to Lietzow, later Charlottenburg, and then on to Spandau . From 1701, the Linden became more and more built up, mirroring the rising splendour of the monarchy and the new architectural style.

The day will continue with a visit to Humboldt University, Bebel Platz, State, (where they burned the books), with the Ulman memorial, “the empty Library” Royal Library, and Museum Island. We will also take in the site of the former and future Prussian-German Royal Palace and the Old National Theatre (Concert Hall). We will visit the Topographie Des Terrors (the Gestapo Museum, now Jewish-run); and the Gendarmenmarkt, known as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, created at the end of the 17th century as a market place.
Berlin Wall: During our walk through the area, we will see the many remnants of the Berlin walls, left and now displayed, as a reminder of the massive structure that once separated East and West Berlin .We continue our tour to Potsdamer Platz: In the 1920s and 30s, the Potsdamer Platz was the busiest and one of the liveliest squares in Europe . It was a major public transport hub, with numerous bars, cafés and cinemas - until 1943 when it was left in ruins by Allied bombing.
After WWII the square, located between the American, British and Russian sectors, became a no-man's land. It was completely flattened with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 when the demolished buildings were pulled down. Today it has been completely rebuilt, with many modern office and leisure buildings including the Sony Center and luxury hotels.
We will visit to the Reichstag seat of the German Parliament and one of Berlin 's most historical landmarks. Before unification it was right next to the Berlin wall. The latest reconstruction started in 1995 and was completed in 1999. The design by Sir Norman Foster added a glass dome over the plenary hall. Since April 1999, the Reichstag has once again been the seat of the Bundestag.

Friday night visit to the famous Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue [famous for its mixed choir and organ following Lewandoski] celebrating its 100th Anniversary in September where the community will be invited to join us locals for conversation and talk about the history of the Synagogue and Berlin see We also aim to have a Shabbat group meal together at this Synagogue

Day 2, Saturday 30th July 2016

Jewish Heritage of Berlin
After Shacharis prayers at one of the local synagogues, and breakfast at the hotel, we depart by bus and start our tour of the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, built by Peter Eisenman, which covers an entire city block. The 2,711 pillars, planted close together in undulating waves, represent the 6 million murdered Jews.
We continue to the “Jewish Quarter” Residential Monument and Mendelssohn’s Grave. We will stop and look at the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue. The (Conservative) Synagogue was burned during Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938 but the blaze was put out before much damage was done. The Nazis occupied the building in 1940 and desecrated the Synagogue by using it for storage.
The Synagogue sustained severe damage by Allied bombs during the war and for years it was left as an empty shell. Restoration began in 1988 and the Synagogue was reopened on May 7, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the German surrender.
We continue to the New Frank Meissler monument, and to Checkpoint Charlie. One of the crossings points near Friedrichstrasse between East and West when Berlin was a divided city, Checkpoint Charlie was the only crossing point that non-Germans could use. The main function of the checkpoint was to register and inform members of the Western Military Forces before entering East Berlin . Foreign tourists were also informed but not checked in the West. Checkpoint Charlie was removed on June 22, 1990
FREE Lunch
After lunch we continue our tour:
The Bayerisches Viertel (Places of Memories), known as the "Street Sign Memorial", is one of the city's most unusual commemoratives. It consists of 80 small signs attached to lampposts throughout the area that list the increasingly severe Nazi laws against Jewish citizens of Berlin . The memorial serves as impressive documentation that makes clear the increasing discrimination against Jews from the earliest persecutions to final destruction.
We then visit the very large and impressive Jewish Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind and opened in 2001. The Jewish Museum is NOT a Holocaust Museum (that is the Wannsee Centre - see below). The permanent exhibitions deal with the fascinating story of the Jewish contribution to life in Germany since the 1st century.
The building (pictured - a Star of David that has become a lightning bolt through the Holocaust) is the most outstanding piece of modern architecture in Germany today. It incorporates a haunting (memorial) ' Holocaust Tower ' and a (slanted) ' Garden of Exile ' to convey the sufferings of German Jews.

Evening free meal of choice - For a special meal book restaurant adjacent to hotel Cassamballis exquisite Mediterranean food – quiet expensive but gets really busy so important to book.

Day 3, Sunday 31st JULY 2016

Breakfast at the hotel – We have a coach for the day.
We start our tour in Wannsee. We will visit the House of Wannsee Conference. This place was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942.
The purpose of the conference was to inform heads of German Government Departments that had responsibility for various policies relating to Jews of Reinhard Heydrich's appointment as the sole executor of the "Final solution to the Jewish question", and to obtain their agreement to subordinate their policies to him.
In the course of the meeting, Heydrich presented a plan, approved by Hitler, for the deportation of the Jewish population of Europe to German-occupied areas of the Soviet Union, and the use of those Jews fit for labour on road-building projects. The plan was never fully implemented, owing to the failure to achieve final victory over the Soviet Union, and most of the Jews of German-occupied Europe were sent to extermination or concentration camps, or killed where they lived
Depending on time, we may visit Potsdam and its beautiful palaces and gardens and dutch quarter. Lunch
On our drive back, we will make a stop at the train tracks at Grunewald S-Bahn Station for a memorial service at "Track 17." Two sculptures here memorialize the deportation of 35,000 Berlin Jews who were loaded like cattle onto trains at this station between 1941 and 1945. The memorial consists of a long series of iron plates laid out on both sides alongside. Just above the track you can read, written on the side of each plate, the date, destination and number of Jews deported with each transport. Evening we will be enjoying a group meal together on the roof of the 25 hour hotel [great views of Tiergarden] where we will be enjoying a fusion of German Jewish and Israeli food.

Day 4, Monday 1st August 2016

Breakfast at the hotel – This is a free day to suit those wishing to shop or visit an abundance of museums including Museum Island or even Saushenhausen concentration camp just outside the city. We will have a meeting in advance of the trip to discuss possibilities for this day including many options and potential group activity

We are trying to cram as much as possible over the 4 days as there is so much to see so there is likely to be changes to the above agenda and we will arrange a coach from the Hotel at relevant time to drop off those going back to airport on flight home late afternoon with their luggage. We will recommend a flight once trip confirmed nearer the time to suit a return to London and this day trip that drops off at airport

The tour price is £495 per person sharing a double/twin room (single supplement £95). Note - this does not include flights or insurance, which you will need to book yourselves (we will advise this once trip confirmed)
A deposit per person of £150 is required as soon as possible to guarantee your place
The tour price includes breakfast 2 group meals, 1 lunch box, luxury coach, guide and museum fees throughout.
We will stay in the 4* nights either side of trip are £125 for standard superior or £155 King size superior – bear in mind this hotel offers 3 nights for the price of 2 so 3 extra nights for a standard double room is £250 only which means you will have to stay 6 nights inc’ organised trip


Trip is now confirmed and recommended flights for you to book are BA Heathrow currently £133.71 return

Heathrow (London) - Tegel (Berlin) - Friday 29 July 2016
Departs - 08:4529 Jul
Carrier - British Airways
Arrives - 11:3529 Jul
Cabin - Euro Traveller
Flight: BA0982

Tegel (Berlin) - Heathrow (London) - Monday 01 August 2016
Departs - 19:1501 Aug
Carrier - British Airways
Arrives - 20:1501 Aug
Cabin - Euro Traveller
Flight: BA0987

Price - £133.71 per passenger

Remember also that you will need to be covered by your own Travel Insurance.
HECKERS HOTEL Fantastic Boutique Hotel in the WEST just off the famous Kurfurstendamm near U-BAHN and over ground stations within easy reach of Jewish quarter 5 stops away situated in the heart of the expensive shopping district in the West – Free time suggest short walk to visit KADEWA German Harrods store roof top restaurant and outside hop on hop off buses enables you to visit all places of interest within the city including many great museums and sites

Send £150 pp deposit with completed booking form to West End Travel at 70 Edgware Way Edgware Middx HA8 8JS as soon as possible to confirm your place on the trip