Jews in the American South

Courtesy Hyman's Seafood

March 19-26, 2016


Jews have been vitally involved in the American experience from colonial times, through revolution and civil war, right down to the present. Local experts and community leaders will help us explore the history, legacy and current impact of Jews on the South, and the South on its Jews.

We design our trips to be intimate and interactive, as well as comfortable, enlightening and memorable. You’ll experience first-rate accommodations and dining, and you’ll be guided by experts who know the local culture and its global context.
Contact us for more information.

Click here to reserve a spot or request more info.

Planned Itinerary*

Saturday, March 19

Arrive in Charleston, S.C.

Welcome reception; overnight at the Spectator Hotel, Charleston Early arrivals may wish to explore the annual Charleston Antiques Show, celebrated for its extraordinary range of English, European and American period furnishings, decorative arts and fine art, architectural elements, garden furniture, vintage jewelry and silver from the late 17th to 20th centuries. (Antiques Show admission not included in trip cost.)

Included: Welcome reception; overnight at the Spectator Hotel, Charleston.

Sunday, March 20

Charleston, S.C.

On an introductory walking tour of Old Charleston, local expert Rhetta Mendelsohn will provide an overview of the city’s history and politics, with special emphasis on significant architecture, garden culture and sites of Jewish interest. Later in the day, browse through private historic homes and gardens along Meeting Street — open to visitors only once a year for the Historic Charleston Foundation — at your own pace. Dinner at Charleston landmark Hyman’s Seafood with co-owner Eli Hyman — great-grandson of W.M. Karesh, a Jewish immigrant from eastern Europe who started a wholesale dry-goods business in the same location in 1890.

Included: B,D; overnight at the Spectator Hotel, Charleston.

Monday, March 21

Charleston, S.C.

Visit Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, the country’s fourth oldest congregation (founded 1749) and the birthplace of Reform Judaism in the United States, at its 1840 Greek revival temple and wander the historic Ansonborough neighborhood with Rhetta Mendelsohn; meet Dr. Dale Rosengarten, curator of the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston for more of the story of 300 years of Charleston Jewish life. After lunch from Butcher & Bee, the brainchild of Israeli Charlestonian Michael Shemtov, our motorcoach will take us to the Coming Street Cemetery, resting place of the largest and wealthiest Jewish community in colonial America and other Charleston landmarks: the Citadel, the Medical University of South Carolina, Brith Shalom Beth Israel, the neighborhood of Harleston Village and the residential waterfront.

Included: B,L; overnight at the Spectator Hotel, Charleston.

Tuesday, March 22

Georgetown and Sullivan’s Island, S.C.
A day trip by coach to Hobcaw Barony, once the hunting retreat of Wall Street financier and presidential adviser Bernard M. Baruch, now a 16,000-acre preserve encompassing every common ecosystem of the South Carolina coast and more than 70 cultural sites including cemeteries, slave cabins and the Baruch family’s homes. Spend the afternoon in quaint Georgetown, on the Waccamaw River, and tour the home of its former mayor, Harold Kaminsky. See Revolutionary War Ft. Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, with a view of Ft. Sumter in the mouth of Charleston Harbor. Dinner [tentative] at Aaron “Fiery Ron” Siegel’s Home Team BBQ.

Included: B,D; overnight at the Spectator Hotel, Charleston.

Wednesday, March 23

Beaufort, S.C.

Founded in 1711, Beaufort is South Carolina’s second oldest city. Experience its rich history and unique charm on horse-drawn carriage tour, meandering under moss-draped live oaks, past breathtaking antebellum homes and historic buildings, and more. Visit Beth Israel Congregation – formerly Orthodox, now “all-inclusive” – to talk with community members about maintaining religious traditions and Jewish identity in a small town.

Included: B,L; overnight at the Beaufort Inn.

Thursday, March 24

Beaufort, S.C., and Savannah, Georgia

Breakfast with longtime Mayor Billy Keyserling to hear about the political involvement of Jews, including his own forebears, in the region. Time for independent wandering and lunch, then a short ride to Savannah. Enjoy a special dinner, with a menu created for the Forward, with chef Daniel Berman at A.lure, renowned for its contemporary approach to classic southern recipes. Get funky with the Savannah Music Festival’s concert of “Bayou Blues and Southern Soul,” in the garden of William Scarbrough House, built in 1819 for a principal owner of the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean and now home to the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

Included: B,D; overnight at Andaz Savannah Hotel.

Friday, March 25

Savannah, Georgia

City tour by trolley, guided by local expert Harriet Meyerhoff; visit Congregation Mickve Israel and its museum. Visit the Telfair Museums, with a curator’s tour of an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of its Jepson Center for the Arts, designed by Moshe Safdie and housing Telfair’s contemporary collection and traveling exhibitions.

Included: B,L; overnight at Andaz Savannah Hotel.

Saturday, March 26

Savannah, Georgia
Rejoin Harriet for a walking tour of beautiful gates and gardens, and a private home (not open to the public) in the historic district, then visit significant sites from the Revolutionary and Civil War eras before a late lunch to conclude our group experience.

Included: B,L.

* Program, meals, speakers and hotels are subject to change

Important Information

  • Trip price is $3,549 per person, based on double occupancy, of which $500 qualifies as a tax deductible charitable donation.
  • Single supplement, subject to extremely limited availability, is $1,699.
  • Transportation to Charleston and from Savannah is not included; the program begins in Charleston and ends in Savannah.
  • A $500 deposit is required to hold your place on the trip; the balance is payable in equal installments, due no later than Jan. 29 and Feb. 29, 2016.
  • Cancellation after Jan. 15, 2016, will result in forfeiture of your deposit, after Jan. 29, 2016, will result in forfeiture of 1/2 of the trip price, and after Feb. 29, 2016, will result in forfeiture of the full trip price.
  • Consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance within 14 days of placing your deposit. You may use the carrier of your choice, or Allianz Global Assistance, whose “basic” policy is adequate; call (800) 284-8300 and mention ACCAM number F027117.
  • Included meals (7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners) offer a choice of main courses, beverages, dessert and coffee; the meals are not kosher, but fish or pasta options prepared without pork or shellfish will be available. With prior notice, we can accommodate most dietary requests.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply.

Click here to reserve a spot or request more info.

Recommend this page

Jews in the American South

Thank you!

This page has been sent!

Close