Jewish Heritage in Brazil

Jewish Heritage in Brazil

Purpose: Jewish Heritage, Culture, History
No. of days: 7 days - 6 nights
First & Last Cities: Sao Paulo - Recife
Other cities: Rio de Janeiro, Olinda
Starting cost: $1,835
Jewish history in Brazil dates back to the time of the discovery. Gaspar da Gama, a Jew by birth, but later kidnaped and forcibly baptized, accompanied Portuguese admiral Pedro Alvares Cabral when, in the 1500, he landed in what is now Brazil beginning a more than 500-year presence in the New World. During the time of the inquisition, most Jews arrived in Brazil primarily as New Christians but secretly practiced Judaism.
Day 1: São Paulo
Upon arrival in São Paulo you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.
São Paulo is the richest and most populous state in Brazil and its capital city, bearing the same name, is the largest city in all of South America. São Paulo is a city of superlatives. It has the largest economy by GDP in Latin America, producing more than 10% of the Brazilian wealth and more than 11 million people call São Paulo home. Considered a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot, among its population you will find the largest Japanese colony outside Japan, more than 2.5 million Italian decedents, Portuguese, Spaniards, Arabs, Brazilians from different areas, as well as the largest Jewish community in Brazil. It won’t be hard to find here the best restaurants in the country, innovative and modern museums, beautiful parks and outstanding shopping districts.
This afternoon, depart on a panoramic tour of São Paulo. Get to know the history of this fascinating city and see the highlights of the largest metropolis in South America. Your tour starts at the Ibirapuera Park, where you will see the State Congress and the Obelisk, the tallest monument of São Paulo. The park is the most important green area in the city and is often compared to Central Park in New York. The tour continues through the chic streets of Jardins area, reaching the famous Avenida Paulista, the most important street in town. At Avenida Paulista you will find some of the symbolic and significant edifices in the city such as the Copan and Italia buildings, the Municipal Theater, the City Hall, the Pátio do Colégio (where the city was founded), the Saint Benedict Monastery and the gorgeous Sé Cathedral. Your next stop is at São Paulo's highest viewing spot, located at the top of the Altino Arantes Building, also known as the Banespa's Tower. Your tour will end at Liberdade neighborhood (the Asian quarter), finalizing at the Luz Railroad Station, where the Pinacoteca Museum, the Holly Art Museum and the amazing Municipal Market are located. Return to hotel and overnight.
Day 2: São Paulo *
Your full day Jewish heritage tour will take you to the Jewish Center, an organization that promotes ties between the Jewish community Brazilian societies; Higienopolis, a neighborhood with a strong Jewish presence; and the Kehilat Israel synagogue, the oldest in São Paulo. Kehilat Israel is located in the historic Jewish quarter of Bom Retiro where you can find some traditional kosher stores and restaurants. You will also visit Hebraica, one of the largest and most complete country clubs in South America, with more than 22 thousand members; the Shalom Community, a traditional synagogue and center (Masorti movement) maintained by Jews who came from America, that runs a day care center for handicapped adults; and the Congregacão Israelita Paulista (CIP). Founded by German Jews, the CIP holds Conservative and Reform services, being the largest synagogue in Latin America.  The tour finishes at the Lasar Segall Museum, a Museum dedicated to the famous painter, engraver and sculptor born in Lithuania who lived in São Paulo for many years [B] 
Day 3: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro
At the agreed time transfer to the airport to board your 40-minute flight to Rio de Janeiro where upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Afternoon is at leisure to take an optional tour or explore Rio on your own. Later this afternoon enjoy a panoramic ride of Copacabana beach on the way to the neighborhood of Urca, where the Sugar Loaf is located. Two cable cars will bring you to the top of the mountain. Admire the beautiful view of the Guanabara Bay, Flamengo Park, Copacabana beach, the downtown area and Niteroi, and the unforgettable sunset from this landmark. [B]
Day 4; Rio de Janeiro *
Rio de Janeiro is home to close to 40 thousand Jews.  Your day will be dedicated to seeing the most important landmarks and interacting with some members of the community. Start at Associacão Religiosa Israelita (ARI) Synagogue, a reformist synagogue located in the Botafogo area. Stop at Yitzhak Rabin Park, a small belvedere that holds a monument in honor of the former Israeli Prime Minister. Take pictures at Chaim Weitzmam Square, across the street from Anne Frank public school. Then visit the Paço Imperial Museum followed by the Great Temple: the first synagogue in Rio. Nowadays the temple is considered a landmark of Rio de Janeiro and is used mainly for special events and parties. Your next stop is at the Jewish Museum, which houses permanent exhibitions about the history of the Jewry of Rio de Janeiro as well as different aspects of Jewish traditions. You have time for lunch (not included) at the kosher restaurant located inside CIB (Club Israelita Brasileiro). [B] 
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro, Recife
At the agreed time, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Recife where upon you’ll be transferred to your hotel.
Recife and Olinda stand within sight of each other on Brazil's Northeast coast—one city on a hilltop, the other at the mouth of a river—and are less than 15 minutes apart. The first settlements in the region of Recife date back to 1534, when The Captaincy of Pernambuco was assigned to Duarte Coelho Pereira who founded the villages of Igaraçu and Olinda. The captaincy prospered, exporting first pau-brazil (brazil-wood) then sugarcane. Olinda was the capital and Recife was just a small village with a port from which commodities were exported. Nowadays Recife and Olinda are considered two jewels of Brazil. Walking through the hills of Olinda and the valley of Recife, one is amazed by the contrasts between the two cities; modern streets and baroque churches, urban beaches and colonial buildings, cosmopolitan attractions and craft markets. Recife and Olinda forge an alliance between past and present—one a modern multicultural city, the other a city seeped in history—both rich in their intertwined cultures and combined histories.
The afternoon is at leisure to relax on the beach or explore Recife on your own. Depart in the early evening for a leisurely catamaran ride along the Capiberibe River. See the historic areas of Recife and the bridges built during the Dutch occupation, which have granted Recife the nickname “Venice of Brazil”. [B]
Day 6: Recife and Olinda *
Enjoy your full day tour including the highlights of both cities and learn how the Jewish people helped to construct and left its mark in this area and overall in the Brazilian society. Pass by Pina neighborhood and head to Rio Branco Square where Recife was founded at the shores of Capiberibe river.  Visit Kahal Zur synagogue, the first synagogue ever opened in the Americas, dated from 1636, located at Bom Jesus Street. In 2001 after almost 4 centuries of being buried under regular houses, the original building was identified and restored. Nowadays, the synagogue is at the center of a broader cultural renaissance. Then cross the Mauricio de Nassau Bridge and head to Republica Square surrounded by the Governor’s Palace, Santa Isabel Theatre and the City Court. Stop at Casa da Cultura, a fomer prision dating back to the 19th century turned into a cultural center with  many craft stores and local food. Then cross the bridge towards Olinda. The city was declared a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Monument by UNESCO. See the Branca Dias house and Clandestina Synagogue. After, stop for pictures at Alto da Sé, where the churches of Sé and Misericórdia offer a breathtaking view of the twin cities. Next just relax and stroll through the cobblestone streets of Olnda before heading back to your hotel. [B]
Day 7: Recife, USA
The day is at leisure. At agreed time transfer to the airport to board your flight back home or to your next destination. [B]
[B] = Breakfast
* Important Notes: The order of the visits of the Jewish sites will only be confirmed once the package is booked and upon the availability of each individual institution. If an organization included in this program, for any reason cannot confirm the visit, we will replace it by a different one.






Tour includes
  • Private transfers between airports and hotels
  • Accommodation for 6 nights in standard rooms at hotel of preference:
    • São Paulo - 2 nights
    • Rio de Janeiro - 2 nights
    • Recife - 2 nights
  • Daily breakfast
  • Sightseeing and specialized Jewish tours in:
    • São Paulo
    • Rio de Janeiro
    • Recife
    • Olinda 
  • Local English Speaking guides
  • Tickets to attractions mentioned
  • All hotel taxes
Not included in tour
  • International or domestic air tickets
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels
  • Services and food not listed in the itinerary
  • Beverages during the meals
  • Hotel extras, and personal expenses.
  • Daily tax charged by the Local Convention Bureau at hotels (optional)
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and in restaurants

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Tripadvisor
Tourist Class
São Paulo Estamplaza Paulista 4
Rio de Janeiro Arena Leme 4
Recife/Olinda Pousada Quatro Cantos 4
First Class
São Paulo Blue Tree Premium Paulista 4
Rio de Janeiro Widsor Leme 4
Recife Grand Mercure Recife Boa Viagen 4
São Paulo Tivoli Mofarrej 4.5
Rio de Janeiro Miramar by Windsor 4.5
Recife Mercure Atlante Plaza 4

All hotels are subject to confirmation at the time of booking

Tour Pricing

Category Double
2020 Departures
First Class $1,835
Rates are minimum per person sharing a room and may change without notice.
Rates may change depending on the date of travel.
Prices for tourist and Deluxe hotels, single room or 3 passengers sharing a room are available on request. 
Valid through December 20th 2020. Not valid for Holidays and big Conventions.
Other blackout dates may apply.
Tour Code: BR02SAO20DB