October 16 – 28, 2024

From the awe-inspiring Forbidden City to the warmth of Kehillat Beijing.

From the Terracotta Army to the canals of China’s Venice.

From the futuristic skyline of Shanghai to its old Jewish Ghetto.

Our unique 13-day journey will lead you along China’s buzzing avenues, alleyways and rivers . . . and into its iconic temples and palaces. We’ll delve into ancient cultures, experience the dynamism that is modern China, be awed by its traditional and cutting-edge architecture and meet tai chi masters, artists, chefs, university students and the Jews rebuilding a once-thriving community. Join old and new friends to discover today’s China and Sino-Jewish history, sample a sumptuous variety of the country’s food, relax in its most elegant hotels — and meet with Shanghai officials to thank them and their city for saving 20,000 Jews from the Holocaust.

Chinese Jewish history began as yet another tale of Jewish merchants and adventurers, scholars, craftsmen, refugees and entrepreneurs spreading to every corner of the earth. By the 12th century, traders from Persia and India had found their way to China over the Silk Road and across the sea, establishing tiny communities along back streets like Torah Learning Lane, building a town entered through Jews’ Gate and praying in a pagoda-style synagogue.
Over the centuries, they survived floods, wars and Genghis Khan’s prohibition against circumcision and kashrut. However, they gradually intermarried and, without the energy of newcomers, largely died out as communities.

But Jewish life in China resurfaced again as new waves of immigrants flowed in: Sephardic Jews from India built major trading houses in Shanghai. Russian Jews sought safety when their lives were upended by pogroms, wars and revolution and forged a vibrant community in Harbin. And Central European Jews found refuge from the Nazis when country after country closed their doors — and Shanghai opened its.  Today, a new generation of Jews from America, Australia, Israel and the far corners of the planet are rebuilding Jewish China in Beijing and Shanghai, continuing our ancient traditions.  You are invited to join us on an adventure through this unique part of Chinese — and Jewish — history.

Dates & Pricing

March 17 – March 26, 2024

$13,500 per person (double occupancy)

$3,600 Single occupancy Supplement

$1,000 per person non-Temple Emanu-El member fee

Minimum age for participation is 21.

A nonrefundable $750 per person deposit is due
upon registration with balance due by May 1, 2024.

By May 1, 2024: All fees minus deposit will be refunded
By July 1, 2024: 50% of all fees will be refunded
No refunds after July 1, 2024
This is an ALL-INCLUSIVE trip, covering:
  • Chinese tourist visa
  • Private pickup at Beijing Capital Airport
  • All accommodations (5-star deluxe hotels)
  • All meals
  • Internal flights
  • Luxurious, WiFi-equipped buses
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners, alcohol included
  • Private, licensed tour guides
  • Special activities, sights, admission fees and programs as per itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • An exclusive Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center trip photo book
Not included:
  • Airfare to/from China (arrangements can be made through our recommended travel agent)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
Some of the activities rely on local hosts, suppliers or sites and are subject to change.

Highlights Include:

Riding a gondola to the top of the Great Wall

Savoring an authentic Peking duck dinner

Exploring the alleyways of Beijing by rickshaw

Visiting the must-see Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an

Trying your hand at Chinese calligraphy

Sampling China’s most intricate (and delicious) dumplings

Cruising the ancient canals of the Venice of the East, Wuzhen

Relaxing at the Amanfayun, Chinese style

Sipping exotic green tea in a special ceremony

Song Dynasty Performance and Banquet

Meeting officials of Shanghai, which sheltered 20,000 European Jewish refugees during World War II

Spending Shabbat with the Jews of Beijing and Shanghai




2 Nights


The Peninsula Hotel

4 Nights


Wednesday, October 16, 2024

  • Private transfers from Beijing Capital Airport to hotel
  • Group welcome gathering on the hotel terrace, overlooking the rooftops of the Forbidden City at 5:30PM
  • An overview of Chinese Jewish history with a leading local scholar during a special dinner of Peking duck cooked in a stone oven and sliced table side in imperial style
  • Overnight: Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing

Thursday, October 17, 2024

  • Tiananmen Square: Visit the symbolic center of China, both old and new, built to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Chinese republic – and hold a million people.
  • The Forbidden City: Explore the massive imperial complex inside 10-meter high walls and a 50-meter wide moat, home to 24 Ming and Qing Emperors, closed to all but the royal household for 600 years.
  • Jingshan Park: Climb to the top of the hill that serves as a feng shui defense against evil spirits for a stunning panoramic view of the Imperial Palace and Beijing.
  • Lunch of traditional Beijing food on the banks of Houhai Lake.
  • Hutongs: Travel on foot and by rickshaw through the courtyards and alleyways of Beijing’s traditional neighborhoods.
  • Mongolian Hot Pot Dinner: Legend credits the creation of huoguo (fire pots) to Genghis Khan’s soldiers, who used their metal helmets to cook mutton during their invasion of China
  • Overnight: Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing

Friday, October 18, 2024

  • Travel from Beijing through the rugged mountains to Jinshanling, a restored and wild stretch of The Great Wall that is free of crowds.
  • Ride a gondola up and hike along the top of the longest wall in the world, built over the course of more than a millennium, and admire the ancient watchtowers strung along distant mountain silhouettes.
  • Champagne picnic lunch on the wall itself!
  • Return to Beijing
  • Kehillat Beijing: Join the Jews of Beijing for Shabbat services and dinner.
  • Overnight: Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing

Saturday, October 19, 2024

  • The Temple of Heaven: Begin the day by practicing tai chi with a master of the meditative art in the gardens of the most important imperial temple, then wander the Confucian-inspired altars and shrine halls and listen to your own whispers at the Echo Wall in the Hall of the Vault of Heaven.
  • Panjiayuan Flea Market: Sort through the endless array of woodcarvings, Mao kitsch, coins, jewelry, paintings, Cultural Revolution posters and Tibetan art at the 30,000 stalls and shops of the largest antique market in China.
  • Lunch at one of the most celebrated Sichuan restaurants in the city
  • Summer Palace: Discover the royal splendor of 20 courtyards, 2,000 ancient structures and Kunming Lake, dug by 10,000 laborers at the behest of the Empress Dowager Cixi, a concubine who became the most powerful woman in China.
  • Explore modern and hip Beijing in Sanlitun
  • Cocktail Party and Banquet in a private room at Beijinger’s favorite spot, the trendy China Lounge
  • Overnight: Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing

Sunday, October 20, 2024

  • Flight to Xi’an, the old Chinese capital at the eastern end of the Silk Road that first brought Jews to China in the 8th century
  • Muslim Quarter: Roam the streets where the first Arab, Persian and Jewish traders in China traveled — now a riot of neon, exotic spices and kebabs.
  • Lunch of local specialties at a 100-year-old restaurant
  • Experience a private performance of a shadow puppet show, where Xi’an puppeteers tell traditional stories of love and adventure using intricately crafted jointed puppets made of thin donkey- or cowhide.
  • Visit the Great Mosque, with its undulating roofs and colonnaded halls in the Chinese style, a replica of China’s oldest synagogue, built in Kaifeng in the 12th century.
  • Admire the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a World Heritage Site Buddhist monument.
  • Dinner at Xi’an Restaurant in the heart of the Old Town.
  • Special speaker on the Jewish community of Kaifeng
  • Overnight: Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel, Xi’an

Monday, October 21, 2024

  • Terracotta Warriors: Come face-to-face with the platoons of 8,000 life-size warriors entombed to guard China’s fearsome first emperor for eternity.
  • Noodle lunch, in shapes and flavors you never imagined!
  • Ancient Walls: Stroll along the walls built to protect the city from barbarian invaders, exploring ancient towers, the intricately decorated city gates and the relaxation moat.
  • Stele Forest: Explore this unique museum’s collection of inscribed standing-stone tablets that demonstrate the evolution of Chinese writing — and try your hand at calligraphy with a master of the art.
  • All You Can Eat Dumplings Dinner: Xi’an’s chefs have raised dumpling-making to a high art, so treat yourself to parcels of all sizes and shapes, from walnuts to roses, filled with ground meat and vegetables.
  • Overnight: Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel, Xi’an

Tuesday, October 22, 2024


  • Flight to Hangzhou, the ancient capital at the southern end of the Grand Canal, renowned for its unique Longjing green tea
  • Surrounded by impossibly green hills in a valley dominated by a World Heritage lake sits Amanfayun, a luxurious resort built around an ancient village surrounded by seven Buddhist temples, bamboo forests and swathes of tea fields.
  • For lunch, sample the local flavors and fresh ingredients of classic Hangzhou cuisine.
  • Enjoy a private sunset cruise across West Lake, under Hangzhou’s gently arched bridges and past sloping temple gardens.
  • Dinner at Liuyingli Restaurant on the banks of West Lake Enduring Memories of Hangzhou: Marvel at an otherworldly dance, music and opera show that seems to float on West Lake — from a director whose films have won awards at the Venice, Cannes and Berlin film festivals and the Grammy-winning composer Kitaro.
  • Overnight: Amanfayun, Hangzhou

Wednesday, October 23, 2024
  • Spend the morning relaxing at the teahouse, strolling over to adjacent temples or at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Spa.
  • Lunch at Zhiweiguan, where tradition meets innovation
  • Dragon Well Tea Planation: Go field-to-cup with Longjing, the most sought-after variety of green tea, culminating in an exclusive Chinese tea ceremony.
  • Song Dynasty garden party and banquet at Song-style mansion in a nearby tea village.
  • Overnight: Amanfayun, Hangzhou
Thursday, October 24, 2024
  • En route to Shanghai, tour the Lingyin Buddhist Temple, the Temple of the Soul’s Retreat, a popular pilgrimage destination rebuilt 16 times in the centuries since its construction in 326 CE and once home to 3,000 monks.
  • Wuzhen Water Town: Stop at the Venice of the East and float along ancient canals past elegant residences and beneath ornate traditional bridges.
  • Lunch by the river canals
  • Marvel at the architecture of the 1300-year-old water town and watch craftsmen revitalizing ancient crafts.
  • Drive to Shanghai
  • Dinner at the Jade Garden for classic Shanghai and Jiangnan dishes
  • Survival In Shanghai: Watch the story of how Shanghai sheltered almost 20,000 European Jewish refugees from the Holocaust in this compelling documentary film — and hear about their lives from one of those who remains.
  • Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai

Friday, October 25, 2024


  • Receive a special welcome at an official ceremony in the office of the mayor.
  • The Jews who built Shanghai: Discover how Sir Victor Sassoon and other Jews from Baghdad and India changed the face of the city as we pass the Peace Hotel, Grosvenor House and the Embankment Building on our drive across town.
  • Jewish Refugee Museum/Ohel Moshe Synagogue: Travel back to the world of the 20,000 Jewish refugees of the Restricted Sector during the Japanese occupation with the museum director.
  • Lunch at the White Horse Cafe, founded by a Jewish refugee family during WW2
  • Hongkou District: Wander the old Shanghai Jewish Ghetto into the heart of what was called Little Vienna, where hundreds of families were crammed, often 30 to a room, until the liberation of Shanghai from the Japanese in 1945.
  • Center for Jewish Studies: Meet students and faculty at this academic institute at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, one of numerous Judaic studies departments at Chinese universities.
  • Kehillat Shanghai: Welcome Shabbat at the progressive synagogue for expatriates only, by Chinese law.
  • Shabbat Dinner
  • Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai

DAY 11:

Saturday, October 26, 2024


  • Yuyuan Garden: Meander through the pavilions, rockeries, teahouses and green ponds in this oasis smack in the middle of downtown.
  • Yuyuan Bazaar: Wander the maze of ancient alleys bustling with stalls and shops selling antique silk fans, shell carvings, paper cuttings and paintings.
  • Lunch at Old Jesse, the benchmark of local cuisine for an exquisite array of Shanghainese delicacies
  • Shanghai Museum: Private tour of the world-class collections of paintings, furniture and calligraphy, including 3,000-year-old bronze wine vessels and ancient history recorded in cooking pots
  • Shanghai Tower: Ride the world’s fastest elevator to the world’s highest observation deck atop China’s tallest building for a spectacular view.
  • Culinary Workshop: Bargain for the best produce and freshest herbs with our personal chef, then help in the kitchen and dine on Shanghai’s best dishes . . . of your own creation. 
  • Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai

DAY 12:

Sunday, October 27, 2024


  • The Bund: Admire the neoclassical and Beaux Arts buildings that once housed international banks and trading houses and walk along the promenade by the Huangpu River, turning your head from the city’s past to the ultra-modern future rising on the other side.
  • The French Concession: See how the rich and powerful lived — whether French, Japanese, Nationalist or Communist — in this elegant and charming neighborhood.
  • Lunch on the city’s best dim sum and soup dumplings at Ding Tai Fung.
  • Xintiandi: Do some last-minute shopping or people watching on a fashionable pedestrian street where old-style residences have been turned into the city’s hippest boutiques, bars and cafes.
  • M50 Art District: Catch a glimpse of the contemporary art scene in Shanghai’s version of old SoHo, where 100 artists’ studios are open to the public.
  • Sunset Cruise: Savor your final glimpses of Shanghai’s glittering skyline from our private boat along the Huangpu River.
  • Heaven on the Bund: Enjoy a farewell dinner at the luxurious Lost Heaven restaurant, offering inventive decor and cuisine from the minority tribes of Yunan province. 
  • Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai


Sunday, October 29, 2024

  • Celebratory sendoff breakfast
  • Private departure transfers to Shanghai Pudong International Airport

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