Jewish Heritage in Eastern Europe
Jewish Heritage Tour in Galicia. Between Krakow and Lviv.
The area of Old Galicia, a piece of land between Krakow and Lwow, was inhabited by a variety of nationalities and cultures: Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Germans, Armenians, and Gypsies. For the Jews, it was the most important settlement area in Europe. Their culture and religiosity manifested itself in two forms; orthodox and Chassidim. The famous rabbis such as Mosses Isserles Rhemu, Cwi Elimelech and Menachem Mendel, to name but a few were rivals. The Cracow and Lviv communities were the largest in the former Polish zones and cultural and political life flourished there.
The Jewish population lived in a very distinct, and not always friendly, environment. We need to be aware of this environment in order to understand how Jewish life was conditioned. In this area, we find not only synagogues, cemeteries, rabbis’ tombs, and traditional shtetls but also residential houses that belonged to lords, Polish and Ukrainian villages, orthodox churches with Byzantine icons but first and foremost, two beautiful cities: Krakow and Lviv. The end of the good relations which existed between different nations living side by side in these towns was ended by the First and Second World Wars. The first separated them, the second wiped out the Jewish presence in Galicia. All that remains of the extermination are memorials, which are an integral part of our journey.
Journey: Krakow, Auschwitz, Tarnow, Bobowa, Nowy Sacz, Sanok, Rzeszow, Lancut, Lezajsk, Przemysl, Krasiczyn, Drohobycz, Lwow.