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ShoreTrips logo Shore Excursions - City Tours - Day Activities

JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR

Per Person (Traveling Alone) $468 USD
Per Person (Based on 2 in your party) $243 USD
Per Person (Based on 3-4 in your party) $220 USD
Per Person (Based on 5-7 in your party) $166 USD
Per Person (Based on 8-9 in your party) $122 USD
Per Person (Based on 10-14 in your party) $120 USD
Per Person (Based on 15-19 in your party) $98 USD
*Selections and optional choices will be made during checkout

JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR

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ShoreTrips says...

South America was chosen by many of the persecuted Jews for settlement since the 1600s. Though much has disappeared, there are still strong, though small, communities to see and the history is always fascinating.

During your half-day excursion in Montevideo, you’ll enjoy an insightful tour into the history of Jewish immigration and life in Uruguay throughout the last century.

At the beginning of your experience, you will travel to Montevideo's Old City, where Jewish immigrants seeking a better world with less religious persecution began to settle at the end of the 19th century. You will pass by Golda Meir Square and the Hebraica Maccabi Sports Center. You will arrive at the Great Sephardic Synagogue and Museum of Montevideo for an inside visit. Here you will learn that the flow of the Jewish people began in the early 1900s and the immigrants came from Turkey although the real exodus to Uruguay began in the 1600s. Many of the old synagogues around the world have developed museums inside the temples full of artifacts and stories of the past and they have done so here. The history is fascinating and ultimately, as the Jewish people grew in population and integrated into the population, a community was formed.

The foundation stone for this synagogue was laid on July 4, 1954, and the congregation obtained a tax exemption allowing the members to bring the woods from Yugoslavia and the marbles from Italy which were used in the construction and imported without surcharges. The temple was the object of multiple praise since it was and is to this day, one of the most beautiful in South America.

You will continue to Independence Square where, in the center, stands a monument dedicated to national hero, José Gervasio Artigas, who was regarded as the leader of independence in Uruguay. His mausoleum is also nearby.

Included in this tour is also a visit the main Community Center to see the different working areas of the community. The philosophy at the Community Center is
"to approach, strengthen, experience and enrich our identity through cultural and artistic activities; we bring our ancient culture, traditions and origins closer to our times and your interests". No doubt this is why the Center is still a successful functioning gathering place.

Located here as well is the Holocaust Remembrance Center, a Civil Association founded in 1953 by survivors of the Shoah who arrived in Uruguay. Since 1987 it has been based in its current location, and until 2000 it was the only museum in South America dedicated to remembering and investigating the Holocaust.

It is important to see how people live in this city and a good example is the area called Pocitos, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Montevideo. Translating as “small holes in the ground,” the name Pocitos is from the colonial period, when women would go to the river to wash clothes in small holes made in the ground. In this neighborhood, old renovated houses perfectly coexist with the tallest towers of the city. With its promenade and its beachfront, it is a natural gathering point for friends and family. Passing the Jewish schools in this seaside resort area, you will stop at the Holocaust Memorial, a national monument and the only one of its kind in South America. Inspired by Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, the memorial has a noticeable blemish—a deliberate and symbolic crack, representing the devastating rupture in the lives of Europe’s Jews as a result of the Holocaust. It is an outdoor memorial and sits on the shores of the River Plate.

Ready to return to your starting point may mean the cruise pier. Just 600 feet from the pier is the Mercado del Puerto, which was at one time a train station. Inaugurated in 1868 as the Mercado del Puerto, it was originally a market that was supposed to supply ships. Nowadays, the gastronomy of the market represents the most deeply rooted traditions of Urugua housing an array of restaurants that specialize in meat and seafood dishes. You are welcome to stay and enjoy the scene of a busy marketplace and enjoy a traditional lunch.

Your choice will be to end at the cruise pier, or walk the marketplace independently. This is true also for hotel guests if you wish to include this last experience in your day.

  • This tour includes:
  • Roundtrip private transportation
  • A knowledgeable local guide
  • Drive by the Golda Meir Square and the Hebraica Maccabi Sports Center
  • Inside visit of the Great Sephardic Synagogue of Montevideo and Museum
  • Photo stop at Independence Square to see the José Gervasio Artigas monument and Mausoleum
  • Visit the Community Center (Ashkenazi) and the Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Drive through the Pocitos neighborhood
  • See the only Holocaust Memorial in South America
  • Optional completion at the Mercado del Puerto or back to the pier/hotel

Days of Operation

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
Mon - yes
Tue - yes
Wed - yes
Thu - yes
Fri - yes
Sat - yes
Sun - yes

Departures (local time)

  • 9:00 AM (3.5 hrs)

Transfer / Meeting Instructions

No Taxi Required Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.

Special Instructions

• This tour does not include any food or beverages.
• Please dress comfortably and wear good shoes.
• This tour can be lengthened to include more of the local highlights but please be advised that there are no kosher restaurants currently in Montevideo.
You are required to present your passport for this tour. No exceptions.

Restrictions

You are required to present your passport for this tour. No exceptions.
• Please note: The synagogue is closed to inside visits on weekends and Jewish holidays.
• This tour is scheduled in the morning as many of the Jewish sites are closed to tourism in the afternoon.
• Alternative optional visits: Synagogues may be replaced by a similar alternative in the event of closing due to strike, repair or traffic problems in the day of the visit.