In December, over one hundred Isaac M. Wise Temple congregants took a trip to Barcelona Spain without ever leaving home. On January 24, over a hundred fifty experienced the Russian cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow, and a week later over a hundred sixty armchair tourists jetted off to Italy to wander Venice, Pitigliano and Rome. With the assistance of Wise Temple’s Adult Learning program and very knowledgeable and well-traveled tour educators, participants satisfied their wanderlust and thirst for historical knowledge of Jewish people halfway across the world. Berlin is next on the itinerary and due to the popularity of the program, Wise Temple has added a return trip to Spain to explore the ancient city of Sevilla in March. 


Sunday, February 28 | Destination: Jewish Berlin | Tour Guide: Mike Hollander

Hollander was born in Canada and made Aliyah in 1988. Jewish education is his passion. He began to guide in 1994. Hollander’s expertise includes history, politics, Middle Eastern and interfaith studies. He lives in Israel with his family.

“Berlin - The Rise and Fall of German Jewry - From Success to Shoah to Rebirth” is Hollander’s second Wise Travels tour. From the arrival of Moses Mendelssohn in 1743, to Max Lieberman becoming the President of the Prussian Academy of Arts, the Jewish community in Berlin grew in size and significance in less than 200 years. The success of Berlin Jewry was almost unprecedented for a Diaspora community, and its achievements collapsed quickly after the rise of Nazism in the early 1930s. Berlin became the epicenter of the Nazi regime, where it developed and implemented the Final Solution. This journey will examine the growth and success of Berlin Jewry, its downfall and the Final Solution conference at Wannsee. The complex challenges of Germany’s post WWII legacy will be discussed. Additional subjects include issues of memory and teshuva, German-Israeli relations and the rebirth of a significant Jewish presence in Berlin.


Sunday, March 7 | Destination: Jewish Sevilla | Tour Guide: Moises Hassan-Amselem 

Hassan-Amselem was born and raised in Sevilla, Spain, of Moroccan and Algerian heritage. After law school and stints in the international telecom and the scrap metal industries, he now dedicates himself to the Jewish history of Spain, Holocaust Studies and as a faculty member at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide of Sevilla. He lives with his family in Sevilla, Spain.

Join Hassan-Amselem for a tour of the ancient Spanish city of Sevilla. The purpose of this “Jewish Heritage tour” is not just to highlight key sites related to the Jewish past of the city, but also to focus on all aspects of Judaism in Sevilla, and to connect the dots between past and present. Hassan-Amselem will take participants on an emotional journey where they will be able to understand and enjoy the uniqueness of Jewish past and present-day life in Sevilla. 

In his exploration of the former Jewish quarter of Sevilla, Hassan-Amselem will paint a picture of how Jewish ancestors lived in Sevilla until the edict of expulsion was issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. The tour also includes special emphasis on the Inquisition, which was initiated in Sevilla, and Christopher Columbus, who is buried there.

Itineraries for all “trips” follow the same format: “Boarding” at 2:45 PM; “Flight” leaves at 3:00 PM; “Landing” at 4:00 PM; and “Post-flight Lounge” open from 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM.

Visit the Adult Learning section of Wise Temple’s website to learn more and register for the sessions.

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