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Becoming American: The Jewish Experience

Becoming American: The Jewish Experience

Like most immigrant groups, Jews came to the United States poor, seeking refuge from terrible situations. As a whole, they have flourished here. And yet, even in their success, a certain flavor of the immigrant experience persists. For a group that has basically “made it,” why do Jews continue to vote as if they have not? For a group that is at home in the highest echelons of society, why do Jews continue to feel as if anti-Semitism remains a factor holding them back? Why do Jews continue to struggle with the question of when, and whether, they belong? Our trip will take us to locations central to Jewish-American identity, and we will meet with cultural and political leaders responsible for both maintaining and re-imagining that identity. By exploring the Jewish journey in American life, we hope to better understand what it means to “become American.”

Tour Pricing

Per person. Does not include airfare.

Double Occupancy $2,299

Single Occupancy $3,219

Trip Inclusions:

  • Lectures/discussions with faculty Marty Shichtman and Jeff Bernstein
  • Six nights' first-class hotel accommodations in New York (3 nights), Philadelphia (1 night) and D.C. (2 nights)
  • Welcome Reception and dinner at Sardi's
  • Alumni Reception in Washington, D.C.
  • Tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.

Download Full Trip Brochure

Becoming American: The Jewish Experience Video


Itinerary (Thursday, May 19, 2016 - Wednesday, May 25, 2016)
  • Before We Travel We will schedule a night in which we get together and watch the movie Hester Street, to be followed by a discussion of the film.
  • Day 1 Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Lecture/Discussion #1 "God Bless America" (Marty)
  • Day 2 Lecture/Discussion #2 "Perspectives on Jewish Immigration, from Alan Dershowitz to Phillip Roth" (Jeff and Marty), Tenement Museum & Eldridge Street Synagogue
  • Day 3 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Lecture/Discussion #3 "9/11: Terrorism Comes Home" (Jeff and Marty)
  • Day 4 National Museum of American Jewish History, Lecture/Discussion #4 "The Jewish Tradition of Praying for the Host Country" (Jeff)
  • Day 5 Memorials in the Tidal Basin, Lecture/Discussion #5 "FDR, MLK, and the 20th Century Jewish-American Experience" (Jeff and Marty)
  • Day 6 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lecture/Discussion #6 "America and the Holocaust" (Marty)
  • Day 7 Tour of memorials (e.g. WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Lincoln), Lecture/Discussion #7 "As the Old Saying Goes: Why Do Jews 'Earn Like Episcopalians and Vote Like Puerto Ricans?'" (Jeff)



Professors Marty Shichtman and Jeff Bernstein—the Frick and Frack of Jewish Studies—have been at Eastern Michigan University for a long time; Shichtman since 1984, Bernstein since 1997. Award-winning faculty members, they have been friends and collaborators for years, creating classes and building programs.

Jeffrey L. Bernstein
Jeffrey L. Bernstein

Jeffrey L. Bernstein is Professor of Political Science, Interim Director of the Master of Public Administration Program, and Affiliated Faculty in Jewish Studies at Eastern Michigan University. His areas of interest include public opinion, campaigns and elections, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Bernstein is editor and contributing author of Citizenship Across the Curriculum (Indiana University Press, 2010), as well as over twenty journal articles and book chapters. He regularly teaches and lectures on Jewish political behavior in the United States. In the last year, Bernstein has won the Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award, the Honors College Faculty of the Year Award, and the William Fennel Faculty Mentor Award.

Dr. Martin B. Shichtman
Dr. Martin B. Shichtman

Dr. Martin B. Shichtman is Director of Jewish Studies and Professor of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University. He has been a fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and at Brandeis University’s Schusterman Institute for Israel Studies. He received of a Mellon Partnership grant with Smith College for Jewish Studies programming, has directed several National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars for School Teachers, and an NEH Focus Grant, teaming teachers from EMU with teachers from Detroit’s Mumford High School. For five years he directed a summer seminar for school teachers at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills. Dr. Shichtman has authored two books, edited two collections, and published thirty-five scholarly articles. He has presented more than 100 papers at international, national, and regional conferences. He is the recipient of EMU’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching and the Eastern Michigan University Alumni Association Award for Teaching Excellence.


For more detailed information about the trip and the itinerary,
contact Sharon Derrig at Conlin Travel at (888) 426-6546 or click here .