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Jewish Heritage Tour in Turkey
With Joy Katzen-Guthrie
Oct. 15 - 28, 2012
Day 1: Oct. 15, 2012 Monday, Depart your home city for Istanbul, Turkey

Day 2. Oct. 16, Tuesday, Arrival in Istanbul  (Welcome Dinner)
Upon arrival meet with tour guide at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.  Group welcome dinner

Day 3: Oct. 17, Wednesday Istanbul  B,D
Today we visit the old Jewish districts of Istanbul, including Neve Salom Synagogue
(meaning "Oasis or Valley of Peace"), still Istanbul's most modern and magnificent
synagogue, witness for some 75 years of the Galata district's observances, festivals,
ceremonies, weddings, b'nei mitzvah and funerals. We'll visit the more than a century
old Ashkenazi Synagogue, so called because it was founded by Jews of Austrian origin. Of three such synagogues in Istanbul, it is
the last remaining and still in service. Our tour also includes one of Istanbul's oldest synagogues, the Ahrida Synagogue built by
Greek Jews migrating from the city of Ohrid in the 15th century. And we'll see the early 19th-century Zulfaris Synagogue, now
restored as the Jewish Museum of Turkey. In the afternoon, we'll explore the 17th century Etz Ahayim (Tree of Life) Synagogue,
also known as the Ortakoy Synagogue (the district in which it is located), which was tragically destroyed by fire in 1941. Today
only the marble Aron Kodesh remains intact (within a lovely garden overlooking the sea) . Overnight in Istanbul. (B, D)

Day 4: Oct. 18, Thursday Istanbul – Bursa  B,D
This morning we take to the road for a guided tour to Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, built in the fourteenth
century. We’ll enjoy seeing the Gerush Synagogue and then the Bursa Grand Mosque, both the largest mosque in Bursa and one
of the most striking examples of Ottoman art. Overnight in Bursa. (B, D)

Day 5: Oct. 19, Friday Bursa – Izmir  B,L
Today we drive southwest to Akhisar ("White Castle"), site of ruins of the ancient Turkish city of Thyatira. In early Christian times,
Thyateira was home to a significant Christian church and may have been visited by the apostles. We'll continue to Sardis, in
ancient times the capital of the kingdom of Lydia and one of the most important cities of the Persian Empire. It was conquered by
Alexander in 334 BCE, growing considerably prosperous during Hellenistic and Roman rule.
We'll visit the Temple of Artemis, Roman Stadium, Roman baths, theatre and one of the world’s
oldest synagogues, Sardis Synagogue, dating from the 3rd century BCE when King Antiochus III
encouraged Jews from Babylonia and other nations to move to Sardis. Excavations of this site
since 1958 have unearthed arguably the most impressive synagogue from antiquity in the
Western Diaspora, with Greek and Hebrew inscriptions as well as mosaic floors. After this
striking site, we'll drive to Izmir, home to an ancient and deeply historic Jewish community
dating to the 2nd century CE when Greeks renamed the city Smyrna. Witness to centuries of
Jewish life, this city will be a highlight of our tour. We will settle into our hotel by late afternoon.
Tonight we have the possibility of Kabbalat Shabbat at the 200 year-old Seniyora Synagogue,
most active of the remaining synagogues on Havra Street, Izmir's "Street of Synagogues.”
The Seniyora is only a 20-minute walk from our hotel. Overnight in Izmir. (B, D)

Day 6: Oct. 20, Saturday Izmir (Shabbat no driving - Walking Day) B,D
This Shabbat morning is free for you to walk along the Street of Synagogues on your own. Home to nine synagogues, three are in
use still today. If you desire, visit the Kadosh Mizrahi Synagogue and Shalom (Aydin) Synagogue (Both are open only on Saturday
mornings.) near the Seniyora Synagogue. This afternoon we'll take a guided walking tour to Karatas, a 25-minute walk, and the
location of Beth Israel Synagogue — the city's largest — as well as Beth Shalom Social Club and Karatas Hospital, owned and
actively operated by the Jewish foundation of this city. We'll visit the Asansor (approximate 30-minute walk), a 19th-century
funicular (incline railway) that was created to lift passengers up the sheer rock cliffs to the residential district above. From the top
of the funicular, one experiences an exquisite bird's-eye view of the city and the bay. Inscriptions above the railway door are in
both French and Hebrew. We have the possibility of meeting with the Asansör, President of the Izmir Jewish Community Center in
the late afternoon, depending on his schedule. Overnight in Izmir. (B, D)

    Day 7: Oct. 21, Sunday Izmir – Ephesus – Pamukkale B,D
    Today's full-day excursion includes Ephesus, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites
    and the largest ancient city ever unearthed, once home to a population of some 300,000.
    One of the main centers of early Christianity and home to apostles, it became an important
    site of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. Ephesus' enormous amphitheater still can
    hold 24,000 spectators. Walking the marble-covered streets, we'll view gymnasiums, baths
    houses, temples, and the breathtaking two-tiered Library of Celsius, erected in 110 CE. The
    reading room was destroyed by fire during the 3rd century, but the monument façade did
    not suffer damage. It has been restored and open to the public since the 1970's. Afterward,
    we continue our drive to Pamukkale, location of astonishingly beautiful sparkling white
    terraced hot springs formations. Overnight in Pamukkale. (B, D)

    Day 8: Oct. 22, Monday Pamukkale – Cappadocia  B,D
    Pamukkale is Turkey's foremost natural mineral-bath spa, thanks to its hot calcium-rich
    springs cascading over a cliff. As they cool, they form dramatic brilliantly white calcium
    limestone formations and magnificent mineral pools. Visitors come here to soak or wade in
    the healing waters that have soothed the ailments of residents and visitors for more than
    2,000 years. This city too was home to a significant Jewish community, mentioned by Paul in
    his Letter to Colossians. Our tour includes a visit to Hierapolis ("Sacred City"), a 2nd century
    BCE UNESCO World Heritage Site believed by its ancient population to have been founded
    by the god Apollo. The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis sat on top of hot springs — its
    great baths, library, and gymnasium constructed with huge stone blocks without cement.
    From here we drive to Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, D)

Day 9: Oct. 23, Tuesday Cappadocia  B,D
Today begins with a visit to the fascinating Cappadocia town of Goreme and the
Goreme Valley. The lunar-like landscape of this region is eerie, yet exquisite. Over
thousands of years, rain has eroded this landscape to give rise to strange rock
formations known as “Fairy Chimneys.” Many homes and churches have been
carved into these formations, some grottos magnificently decorated with colorful
frescoes depicting biblical scenes. The modern city is home to a population of some
2,500. This region is known for its carpet-making shops, and we'll visit a local carpet
cooperation, a carpet "farm" of sorts. This afternoon we'll tour the hidden
"Monk's Valley" of Pasabagi, just outside Goreme, with its many astonishing carved
rock houses, hermit shelters, and chapels in which residents and visitors have lived
and prayed for centuries. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, D)

Day 10: Oct 24, Wednesday Cappadocia  B,D
Following breakfast we'll explore the Underground City of Kaymakli, with its houses constructed underground. In about the 6th
century, the Christian inhabitants of this region began to tunnel into the soft volcanic rock of these large hills. The subterranean
city that they created is some 275 feet deep with eight distinct levels that housed several thousand residents and, astonishingly,
a church, wine or oil press, kitchens, and copper mine. Next stops are the old Greek town of Mustafapasa (Sinasos), with its
spectacular old Greek houses and Castle of Ortahisar. After testing the local wine, we’ll visit a local family to learn about the
region's culture while enjoying Turkish tea and Baklava. Next, we'll visit a historic and typical Turkish village, Avanos, renowned for
its production of earthenware pottery. Here we'll see techniques of ceramic art dating from the 12th to 3rd centuries BCE.
Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, D)

Day 11: Oct. 25, Thursday  Cappadocia – Fly to Istanbul  B, D
This morning we fly back to Istanbul. The afternoon is free to explore Istanbul on your own or for optional activities that can be
arranged for you at the hotel. (costs not included)  Overnight in Istanbul.

    Day 12: Oct. 26 Friday Istanbul B,L
    We'll spend the morning at the magnificent Topkapi Palace, once home to the great
    Sultans of Turkey and filled with treasures and antiquities that include 12,000 pieces
    of fine Chinese porcelain. This is home to the unique Blue Mosque, the interior walls of
    which are covered with 20,000 blue Iznik tiles. We'll see the Hippodrome and the
    spectacular domed Basilica of St. Sophia — first a cathedral constructed in 326 by
    Constantine the Great, then a mosque, now a museum — the beauty of which has
    inspired architects and spiritual seekers for more than 1,500 years. We will return to
    our hotel by 4 pm to observe Shabbat, either attending a nearby synagogue for
    Kabbalat Shabbat, or sharing a Kabbalat service together in our hotel. Overnight in
    Istanbul. (B, L)

Day 13: Oct. 27, Saturday Istanbul  B,D /  Farewell Group Dinner
Observe Shabbat - Free day in Istanbul. (Optional activities can be arranged for you,
costs not included in tour price). Perhaps shopping at the Grand Bazaar, the largest
and oldest covered market in the world or a boat ride on the Bosphorus River.
Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 14: Oct. 28 Sunday  B
After a farewell breakfast transfer to Ataturk Airport for your flight home. (B)

Accommodations in luxury Boutique Hotels
Istanbul         Sultanhan Hotel        ( )
Bursa             Kitapevi Hotel           ( )
Izmir              Met Hotel                 ( )
Pamukkale     Pamuksu Hotel         ( )
Cappadocia    Cave Deluxe             ( )

    Joy Katzen-Guthrie: Composer-lyricist and concert artist as well as writer, keynote speaker
    and educator, Joy Katzen-Guthrie is devoted to uplifting, empowering, and inspiring through the
    arts and cultural studies. A Memphis, Tennessee native who has made her home in the Tampa Bay
    area since 1981, Joy has created and served as scholar-in-residence for six Jewish heritage tours
    throughout China and has developed heritage tours to Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, and
    Alaska. She is a lecturer and instructor for Eckerd College and the University of South Florida Osher
    Institutes in the Tampa Bay Area, Eckerd College Road Scholar Programs and numerous learning
    series. Additionally, she melds a performance repertoire of some 4,000 songs with a vast
    knowledge of musical history in congregation, classroom, concert hall, and in 14 published
    recordings. With her husband Mark, Joy operates a professional recording studio, Tune-of-the-
    Century Music®, as well as sound design services for a roster of broadcast facilities,
    congregations, organizations, and individuals. She is a contributing writer to the Encylopedia
    Judaica, and her photographs of China have been published worldwide. She has also received
    appointments to the Florida Artist Residency Directory, funded by the State Division of Cultural
    Affairs, and has been awarded two arts resource fund performance arts grants from the Pinellas
    County Arts Council. Following studies at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri with BA and BFA
    degrees magna cum laude and cum laude in Broadcast Communications and Music, she served
    Tampa Bay's WPLP/News-Talk Radio as Executive Producer and Operations Manager. Her
    extensive website,, is her own design and creation and she loves sharing her
    knowledge and appreciation of music culture and history, world faith traditions, Judaism, women's
    studies, and creative expression through her performances, recordings, classes, workshops, and
    lectures.   Visit Joy's Website:

Journey Outside Yourself....
Jewish Heritage Tours with Joy!
Allow yourself to be swept away by the wonders of Turkey as you explore
Turkey’s rich Jewish Heritage. Visit Ashkenazi Synagogue - one of the
world's oldest - and Sephardic Jewish settlements in Istanbul and Izmir.
Learn how Jews not only shaped their own history here, but how they
made a mark on the continent through their talents in finance, art,
literature, philosophy, science and politics. Turkey is the only country to
span two continents, and is literally a bridge between East and West.
Geographically, it is the point where Europe and Asia meet. Culturally,
Turkey has evolved through a succession of some of the world’s greatest
civilizations and is a strong blend of the sensibilities of both East and West.
The Jewish synagogues of the Ottoman Empire are incredibly beautiful and
are unlike any synagogues in the USA. The unique and surreal landscape of
Cappadoccia will captivate you with its rock formations called fairy chimneys
and richly-frescoed churches carved from caves. Marvel at Kaymakli, the
underground city which extends eight floors below the surface of the earth.
Turkey is a land of exotic treasures and rich with a deep Jewish history.
Don't miss this Mystical Journey to Turkey!
Tour Itinerary:
                  Neve Salom Synagogue