OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAItalian Jews can be traced back as far as the 2nd century BCE. At that time they mostly lived in the far South of Italy, with a branch community in Rome, and were generally Greek-speaking. It is thought that some families are descendants of Jews deported from Judaea by the emperor Titus in after the destruction of the 2nd Temple. In early medieval times there were major Jewish communities in southern Italian cities, but in the mid 16th century the center of gravity shifted to Rome and northern Italy.

On the Year Course Olami trip to Italy we will explore the beautiful art and breathtaking landscapes of Tuscany alongside the fascinating history and classical architecture of Rome. We will visit famous tourist attractions as well as historical Jewish landmarks on this trip, combining the beautiful sights and culture of Italy with its rich Jewish heritage.

Highlights will include:

  • Take a tour of classical Rome: The Coliseum, the Arch of Titus, Vatican and the Sistine Chapel

  • Learn about the Jewish history of Rome: Visit the Jewish Museum, the Synagogue and the Ghetto

  • Visit the leaning tower of Pisa

  • Meet with Jewish Students

  • Explore the beautiful artifacts of Florence


Olami Greece acropolisThe Greek Jewish community reaches back two thousand years and is primarily of Sephardic origin. Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece following their expulsion from Spain by Christian rulers in 1492. During World War II, the German Nazis occupied Greece and started deporting Jews to concentration and labor camps, which resulted in the near-extermination of the rich magnificent community.

On the Year Course Olami trip to Greece we will follow the remarkable story of Greek Jewry while traveling Greece’s dramatic mountains, sandy beaches and Hellenistic culture museums. We will take in the tranquil atmosphere of this unique country and taste its Mediterranean flavored culture while travelling its beautiful landscapes.

Highlights will include:

  • Hike up Mt. Olympus

  • Take a tour of the famous Acropolis and the Theater of Dionysius

  • Visit Athens Stadium and Hadrian’s Arch

  • Climb the Thessaloniki White tower

  • Meet with Jewish students


morocco2When the Jews began to disperse throughout the Roman empire after the dissolution of the Jewish state in 70 CE, many settled in Mauretania, which corresponded to the Mediterranean coast- part of which is modern day Morocco. The Jewish community of Morocco has developed a rich heritage which resonates throughout Jewish history and that of Israel today. Throughout history, the Moroccan Jews have always desired to one day return to Israel. Despite their rich history in Morocco as well as the wealth and security that they enjoyed there, in the 1950s and 1960s the majority of the Moroccan Jewish community left Morocco, many of them arriving to the young State of Israel.

On the Year Course Olami trip to Morocco we will focus on the experience of the Moroccan Jews who lived under Muslim rule since the 7th century and created a unique and rich heritage. We will visit Casablanca, Morocco's largest metropolis and one of Africa's major economic centers, stroll around the colorful markets of Marrakesh, take in the breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains and gain an insight to the exotic Moroccan-Jewish culture.

Highlights will include:

  • Take a tour of Casablanca

  • Shop for souvenirs around the Marrakesh markets

  • Tour the Jewish Quarters of Meknes and Fez

  • The Atlas Mountains

  • Visit the Royal Palace and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V

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