Jewish Heritage Expeditions


Join the upcoming tour, May 14 - 20, 2018 

'Mokum & the Medinah' Amsterdam and the Netherlands

Mokum is the Dutch-Yiddish word for “safe haven,” derived from the Hebrew word makom מקום (place). Jews all over the world dubbed Amsterdam Mokum because Jews were relatively safe and free in the Netherlands, unlike in other places in Europe. This name dates back to the 16th century when the first Sephardic Marranos (Crypto Jews) began to arrive in Amsterdam. They fled the Iberian Peninsula due to the unceasing persecutions that they faced during the Inquisition. In the refuge of the more tolerant environment in the Netherlands, they eventually returned to Judaism and became an influential community. Today, Dutch Jews still call Amsterdam Mokum.

Many European Jews escaping persecution in other parts of Europe were also attracted to the newly independent Dutch provinces, especially near the end of the 17th century. Most of these Jews were poor and their arrival threatened the economic status of Amsterdam. As a result, most of them were turned away and settled in rural areas in the Netherlands; the so called 'Medinah'. Thus, a large number of small Jewish communities existed throughout the Dutch provinces. Later, these European Jews also settled in Amsterdam.

You know Anne Frank and Rembrandt but do you know that Spinoza was expelled from the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam? Have you tasted real (kosher) Dutch cheese or herring? And have you ever seen the oldest largest dike in the world? The Afsluitdijk is 32 kilometers long! In addition to learning about Amsterdam, one of the most important centers of Judaism in history, we visit small villages and hear stories about the vanished ‘medinah’ kehillot, enjoy gourmet meals and experience the fascinating Dutch culture from great Dutch painters to the continuous fight against the water! The Jewish Heritage Expedition organizes unforgettable and unique expeditions to explore the rich Jewish history of the Netherlands! Are you joining us?

Itinerary 'Mokum & the Medinah' - highlights


  • Walking tour, includes meeting the historical figure of Rabbi Menashe Ben Israel (actor).
  • Visit to the Spanish-Portuguese Esnoga Synagogue
  • Visit to the Etz Haim Library
  • Visit to the Van Loon Museum
  • Beer tasting
  • Dinner cruise through the canals of Amsterdam


  • Visit to the Anne Frank House
  • Visit to the Holocaust deportation center with a local Holocasut survivor
  • Visit to the Jewish Historical Museum
  • Tour in Waterland including Marken and Volendam
  • Group photo in traditional costume
  • Optional visit to the Museum of Bags, Ships or Cats
  • Dinner at a restaurant
  • Optional recreational evening activity


  • Visit to the city of Hoorn
  • Steam train trip from Hoorn to Medemblik
  • Lunch aboard the steam train
  • Drive on the Afsluitdijk
  • Walking tour of the harbor city of Harlingen
  • Ferry across the Wadden Sea nature reserve to the island of Vlieland
  • Biking tour on the island 
  • Dinner at the Vlieland hotel


  • Sailing on a hundred-year-old traditional sailing ship
  • Helping the crew with the sailing
  • Cheese and wine tasting onboard
  • Learning about the Mabul, Noah's flood
  • Different activities on board
  • “Beaching:” the ship comes to rest on the bottom of the sea
  • Unique walking tour on the bottom of the sea
  • View the seals
  • Dinner on board


  • Optional visit to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction
  • Visit to the Rijksmuseum with its masterpieces by famous Dutch Masters
  • Visit to the Muiderslot, the Castle of Amsterdam
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Spanish-Portuguese Congregation
  • Shabbat dinner at the DeBurcht, the Trade Unions Museum


  • Services at the Esnoga Spanish-Portuguese synagogue
  • Lunch at the De Burcht
  • Walking tour of Amsterdam
  • Optional Shiur "study sesion"
  • Optional visit to museums
  • Se’uda shlishit (third meal of Shabbat) at the De Burcht

The program on Shabbat is appropriate for participants with any level of Shabbat observance. Please contact us with any questions.


  • Classical music concert
  • Visit to The Hague
  • Sightseeing by horse-drawn coaches
  • Visit to the Mauritshuis Museum with its world famous collection of art from the Dutch Golden Age

The above itinerary is a sample program. If you are interested in a custom made Jewish heritage tour to Slovakia for your community, family or other group we can design a special itinerary for you. Contact us for more information.

Price includes:

  • Six nights Deluxe room at four/ five-star hotel . Free  WiFi.
  • Entrance fees for all activities listed in the itinerary (including most optional activities)
  • Comfortable air-conditioned touring coach
  • Kosher full board. Lunch consist of sandwiches on some of the travel days or buffet style lunch.
  • Professional, experienced English-speaking guide and expert local guides
  • Pre-trip study program

Please send me the brochure 'Mokum & the Medinah' with the full itinerary of the tour to Amsterdam and the Netherlands

Join the upcoming tour,  May 14 - 20, 2018!