Kesher Tours: Your connection to kosher travel

There are many other opportunities in the Premium Cruise-Tour category: New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia – a surprisingly different way to see the lands down under.

Kesher tours (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kesher tours
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kesher Tours, located on New York’s glitzy Fifth Avenue, and which specializes in organized tours for kosher, shomrei shabbat travelers, offers the largest collection of kosher tours and vacations under one roof. This one-stop-shop has grown to become the No. 1 powerhouse of Jewish Travel worldwide. Drawing on its 30-plus years of experience in international kosher travel, Kesher Tours is a veritable supermarket of global kosher land tours, premium cruises, traveling seminars and luxury bespoke journeys.
For the observant Jewish traveller seeking to discover exotic locations there have been very few offerings until now that take into account the entire spectrum of religious Jewish requirements when planning and executing a tour, providing first class accommodations and all at a reasonable price. Want to sail on the Amazon, visit the Galapagos Islands or climb Machu Picchu? Desire to delve into Japanese culture, or be mystified by ancient and modern China? What about the magnificence of St Petersburg and Moscow? Kesher will take you there, and to many more exciting locations as well. A brief glance at Kesher’s beautifully designed website reveals exotic destinations such as India, Nepal, Thailand and Uzbekistan; Iceland, Portugal and Croatia; Morocco, Tanzania and Southern Africa; Chile, Ecuador and Peru. And so very many more. Kesher today offers observant Jewish travellers more options than any other religious travel company anywhere.
Building upon this foundation, Kesher has even one-upped the kosher cruise industry with its Premium Cruise-Tour combination offerings. These desirable packages take the best of many destinations and combine the plushness of luxury cruising with the ability to enjoy in-depth understanding of numerous locations. It’s more than a shore excursion (those are of course included too). With pre-cruise and post-cruise tours, the Premium Cruise-Tours bundle together fully escorted land tours with kosher cruises to some unusually fascinating destinations. For example, Kesher has re-invented kosher tours to South America, with a pre-cruise tour to Peru, a top-tier bucket list destination. Then there’s the cruise from Santiago in Chile, round the tip of South America, to Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland Islands and then continuing up the continent’s east coast. Finally, the tour continues to Brazil and the exciting city of Rio de Janeiro.
Kosher travel to Japan, once considered impossible unless you carried your own tuna and crackers, has become more and more popular. Who doesn’t want to experience the ornate beauty of the Land of the Rising Sun? But whoever thought of cruising Japan while benefitting from all the distinctiveness that Japan offers the land traveller? Kesher did. They are the only ones offering not one, but two cruise-tour options, which include built-in side tours to the Russian Far East and South Korea.
There are many other opportunities in the Premium Cruise-Tour category: New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia – a surprisingly different way to see the lands down under. Or, why simply fly to London to visit the UK, when you can do it all inclusive of kosher meals on a premium British Isles cruise and tour. And if you’ve ever wanted to see the far east but not limit yourself to one or a maximum of two countries per trip, here’s a novel idea: Kesher’s premium Far East cruise-tour takes you to Shanghai, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong in nineteen fabulous, luxurious and enthralling days, kosher meals included.
What about Shabbat, you may ask? This is where Kesher’s specialists in tour design come into the picture. Kesher’s team of travel experts, tour designers and rabbinical staff start every tour plan with one question: where do we spend Shabbat? Only after that has been decided and the operational details completed, does the team begin to devise the remainder of the tour plan. Jewish communities all over the world are very welcoming to Kesher groups. Spending Shabbat in a far-flung location always becomes in and of itself an unforgettable travel experience. In many cases, a visit from a Kesher group turns into a Jewish Geography encounter that runs into hours of family-type conversations. Many a Shabbat afternoon has been spent in informal, friendly and warm conversation with local Jewish communities. Sometimes the arrival of a Kesher group actually guarantees a minyan in small communities that struggle weekly, or the provision of kosher food in places where it’s not always readily available.
The Jewish world is a small one and Kesher tours always makes a point of visiting points of Jewish interest wherever they are to be found, even if it means getting far off the beaten path. Here are two examples. Japan is not a country known for its Jewish sites. In fact, it has almost none. With 2000 resident Jews in a country of over 128 million, Jewish life is less than miniscule. But over and above the few synagogues and Chabad houses which exist in Japan, there are also Jewish cemeteries located in sections of various international burial grounds (in Japan cremation is the norm). In the off-road village of Yaotsu there stands a hall dedicated to the memory of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Kaunas, Lithuania, who was responsible for enabling the escape of some 6000 Jews from Europe to Japan during the years of the Holocaust. In India, Kesher tours include not only the famous Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin, but also the abandoned synagogues of Paravur and Alibag.
Kesher Tours enables you to get up in the morning without having to worry about where to find kosher food because it’s waiting for you in the dining room. You don’t have to plan your day because the experts have selected the most interesting site to visit. They also have figured out the best order and best routes, so you spend more time at the sites and less time on transportation; and offer you detailed explanations providing context for what you are seeing - history ,local culture and Jewish heritage, as well as folklore programs and meetings with local people. At the end of a full day of activities, there’s a freshly prepared kosher dinner. Anywhere.
Rabbi Menahem Fogel is an international tour designer and tour guide, specializing in Far Eastern countries, Africa, South America and Alaska.