Getting to Philadelphia     (Scroll Down for Tour Information)

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) (http://www.phl.org/) is the only major airport serving the 5th largest metropolitan area in the United States. In 2007, PHL accommodated a record 32.2 million passengers, including 4 million international passengers, and handled 499,653 aircraft takoffs and landings.

PHL serves twenty-nine airlines which offer departures and arrivals to and from more than 120 cities, including 38 international destinations. The Airport consists of seven (7) terminals including the international Terminal A-West, a magnificent 800,000 square foot, 4-level complex with 13 international boarding gates, modern, spacious federal inspection and ticketing areas and a uniquely designed International Arrivals Hall.

AMTRAK(http://www.amtrak.com) offers the following discount for conference attendees.Getting to Philadelphia is now even easier. Save 40% off a companion ticket with a paid regular fare to Philadelphia through 12/13/09 by requesting discount code V553. Restrictions may apply. Visit http://www.amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL. Visit www.gophila.com/amtrak for more details. The code will only work for travel along the northeast corridor. 
 
Philadelphia is also available by bus.  In addition to regular Greyhound (http://www.greyhound.com) service, there are now several luxury express buses that provide low fare service to Philadelphia. Boltbus (https://www.boltbus.com/) operates between Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.  Megabus (http://www.megabus.com/us/index.php) has service from many cities to Philadelphia.

From/To the Airport
Taking a shuttle
Lady Liberty Transportation is a Philadelphia-based company that provides airport shuttle service to and from the Philadelphia International Airport. .
1242 South 47th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
1-215-724-8888
1-215-724-7777 (fax)
e-mail:  ladylibertytransportation@verizon.net   ***please note that reservations cannot be made via email
See the Website for more information: www.ladylibertyshuttle.com    
Fare To/From The Philadelphia International Airport to the Sheraton Philadelphia Center City hotel  (a center city hotel) is $10 per passenger.

Taking a taxi
The cab fare to/from the airport to the Sheraton hotel is $28.50 flat rate

Taking the train
Located seven (7) miles from downtown Philadelphia, the Airport is easily accessible by rail service to and from the Airport on SEPTA (http://www.septa.com)  High Speed Rail Line (R1) The fare is $7.00 peak and $6.00 off peak. The R1 train  operates from 5:25 AM until 11:25 PM daily, every 30 minutes, with easy connections to AMTRAK(http://www.amtrak.com) at 30th Street Station and regional rail lines at 30th Street, Suburban and Market East stations.  The Suburban Station stop is 3 blocks from the Sheraton Center City Hotel.


Philadelphia Tours and Cemetery Visits for Research

We are pleased to provide you with the list of walking tours, bus tours and cemetery visits that we are offering during the conference. Please bear in mind that all trips are subject to cancellation if the requisite minimum number required for each trip is not met. 

Date, time and price for each tour are included below. Length of all trip times is approximate.

Please read the Important Notes below:

We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block and water for all the trips. A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. If you want to go on one of the cemetery visits for research, please be aware that the weather may be very hot, that toilet facilities may not be easily accessible, and you should have a cell phone with you for emergency purposes.

The deadline for purchasing tickets for trips is Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 11:59 pm US central time. Should you purchase a ticket and then wish to cancel your reservation, you must do so before Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 11:59 pm US central time for a full refund. Cancellations after that date will not receive a refund.

However, we urge you to make your reservation before June 30 because we must inform the bus company in early July as to the number of registrants. Low registration numbers at that point will likely lead to cancellations

You may purchase trip tickets for guests who are not registered for the conference. Once you are at the conference, you can check at the registration desk to see if tickets are still available for purchase.

Walking Tours

$ Tour- Colonial Jewish Philadelphia, a Walking Tour   Tuesday, August 4 from 9 AM to 12 noon   Fee: $15.00
      Experience colonial Jewish life in Philadelphia first hand and imagine yourself a contemporary of Haym Solomon's, living in Elfreth's Alley, one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential streets in the US.  You'll meander to Congregation Mikveh Israel, founded in 1740, to check that everything's set for your son's Bar Mitzvah, stop at Christ Church to personally invite your non-Jewish friends who've been very helpful to the synagogue, and afterwards stop at Franklin Court.   Proceedings and decisions reached at Congress and Independence Halls reflected Jewish political involvement in the newly created United States, as did the Liberty Bell.  Conclude your morning errands by visiting the graves of notable Jews of the colonial period at Mikveh Israel Cemetery.  
     This walking tour will start at Congregation Mikveh Israel, 44 N. 4th St., (between Market & Arch Sts.), in downtown Philadelphia.  No transportation provided; participants are responsible for getting to Congregation Mikveh Israel, 44 N. 4th St., (between Market & Arch Sts.) on their own by 9 AM.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this tour.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note that this tour is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met.   Length of tour time is approximate. This tour is limited to 25 participants.

$ TOUR- Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia, a Walking Tour  Thursday, August 6 from 9 AM to 12 noon   Fee: $15.00 
      We associate New York City's Lower East Side with the teeming masses of immigrants that flooded the US between 1880-1920.  South Philadelphia was the local counterpart and eventually became home to 125,000 Jews for two generations.  Recreate immigrant Jewish life with its scores of businesses, synagogues, educational, health, charitable, and social organizations, and thriving Yiddish theater and newspaper publishing industry.
     Still operating in this area are four synagogues that were established by Eastern European Jews:  Society Hill Synagogue (formerly the "Romanian Shul"), the Vilna Congregation, Congregation B'nai Abraham, and Congregation Kesher Israel.  Get a taste of cultural and commercial life as it existed decades ago, and imagine how the milieu that was South Philly gave rise to an indigenous, famous basketball team (the SPHAS) and notable entertainers including Joey Bishop, Eddie Fisher, David Brenner, and Jack Klugman.
     This walking tour will begin at 9 AM at Society Hill Synagogue, 418 Spruce St.  No transportation provided; participants are responsible for getting to Society Hill Synagogue, 418 Spruce St., on their own by 9 AM.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this tour.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note that this tour is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met.   Length of tour time is approximate. This tour is limited to 25 participants.  

$ TOUR- Eastern State Penitentiary, a Walking Tour Wednesday, August 5 from 4 to 6:30 PM   Fee: $15.00
     Would you like to be part of a committed, confined population (albeit temporarily)?  Then join us at Eastern State Penitentiary, "the world's first true penitentiary, a prison designed to inspire penitence -- or true regret-- in the hearts of criminals".   ". . .Opened on October 25, 1829, it was the world's most expensive and high-tech prison. . . . Its design unified the world's most advanced building technology with a radical new system of prisoner isolation."  [ESP] "caused a worldwide phenomenon and became the most influential prison ever built."
      Following a guided tour we'll meet with a private docent to learn about the recently completed restoration of the Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue at ESP, hear some stories about the Jewish prisoners there, and view the William Portner Memorial Exhibit on Jewish Life at Eastern State.
     Please wear comfortable walking shoes (not sandals or open-toed shoes) because the floors are stone and occasionally uneven. In addition, the original penitentiary has no climate controls so dress "cool."  The synagogue, however, is air-conditioned.  Eastern State Penitentiary is located at 2124 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, 5 blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.    
     No transportation provided; participants are responsible for getting to the Eastern State Penitentiary at 2124 Fairmount Ave. on their own by 4 PM. You can share a short cab ride with other participants or take the #48 SEPTA bus from 17th & Arch ($2 exact fare each way) in order to join the group at ESP.  Bus ride is 5 minutes.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for all tours. A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues.  Please note that this tour is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met. Length of tour time is approximate. This tour is limited to 50 people.  

Bus Tours

$ Tour- Back To The Future: A Historical Journey Through Some Of Philadelphia's Historic Synagogues, a Bus Tour   Monday, August 3 from 1 PM to 5:30 PM
Fee: $40.00 
     Some of Philadelphia's largest and most distinctive synagogues were located at one time on North Broad Street.  As happened in many urban areas, some of them relocated to other sites, reflecting changing demographics and residential movements.
     We have a unique opportunity to explore various styles of synagogue architecture, local migration patterns and Philadelphia Jewish history by visiting the developing neighborhoods of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and then viewing subsequent, more recent, locations by driving along North Broad Street in Philadelphia to Old York Road in Elkins Park (Montgomery County, PA).  Starting with Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the first Ashkenazic synagogue in the Western Hemisphere (founded in 1795), we'll travel to Congregation Adath Jeshurun (which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008), Beth Sholom Congregation, popularly known as the Frank Lloyd Wright synagogue (founded in 1919), and finally to Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel (KI) (founded in 1847) which houses an impressive archival collection for the purpose of collecting and preserving synagogue records as they pertain to K.I. and to its relationship to the larger community.
     We'll conclude our tour with a brief stop at the Frank Memorial Synagogue, located on the campus of Albert Einstein Medical Center, that has the distinction of being the only freestanding synagogue in the US situated on hospital grounds.  This small, historically certified synagogue (originally dedicated in 1901) was modeled after first- and second-century synagogues (Graeco-Roman style) discovered in the Galilee region of north central Israel.
     Bus will leave from the Sheraton. Meet in the hotel lobby.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this trip.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note that this research trip is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met.  Length of time is approximate.   

$ Tour-Drive Through South Philly, a Bus Tour  Tuesday, August 4 from 1:30 to 5 PM  Fee: $30.00
     South Philly was the focus of Jewish life for the Eastern European immigrants who arrived between 1880-1920.  Located only blocks from the Philadelphia Immigrant Station which was the second largest processing venue in the US, this colorful bastion of religious, cultural, and commercial activity paved the transition of 125,000 immigrant Jews into mainstream America
     Our expert docent will be Joseph Van Blunk, a native of South Philly, who served as the Shabbes goy for neighborhood shuls.  Joe has carved two careers for himself: longshoreman and filmmaker.  His poignant and illuminating video, "Echoes from A Ghost Minyan:  The Jews of South Philadelphia" has received national recognition and was shown on PBS.  Through the use of interviews, archival photographs, home movies, and recent footage of this once vibrant, bustling community, he has documented the lives of its inhabitants.  We'll drive by various former and existing synagogues.
     We'll also meet and schmooze with folks at the Stiffel Senior Center, located in the heart of South Philadelphia.  Learning directly from primary sources is always the best way to become knowledgeable with specific subject matter, and the Stiffel participants will serve as our personal laboratory.
     Bus will leave from the Sheraton. Meet in the hotel lobby.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this tour.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note that this trip is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met.  Length of time is approximate. 

$ Tour South Jersey Agricultural Colonies, a Bus Tour  Wednesday, August 5, 8:30 AM to 4 PM  Fee: $40.00
     Convinced that living in congested urban areas along the East Coast was detrimental for East European immigrant Jews, some Jewish leaders endorsed the concept that agriculture was a preferable way of life.  A number of Jewish agricultural societies or colonies were established, beginning in 1882 at Alliance, NJ, which was founded by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) of New York and Philadelphia.  The communal lifestyle that was followed was a prototype for the kibbutzim of Israel. 
     Some experiments in Jewish agriculture faltered, others achieved varying degrees of success.  Philadelphia's proximity to a number of former colonies in South Jersey affords us a unique opportunity to visit the associated sites and meet descendants of the pioneers. 
     We'll begin with a visit to the Alliance cemetery and Jewish chapel which houses a small museum.  After lunch at Beth Israel Congregation in Vineland, we'll travel to Rosenhayn, the site of a little, wooden, one room synagogue affectionately known as the Garton Road Shul, one of the few still standing in the US.  Our docent will be Helen Ostroff who lives in the property adjacent to the shul and who will regale us with anecdotes about her grandparents who were among the first settlers at the Carmel colony.  Our final stop will be the Sam Azeez Museum in Woodbine.  Named after the local boy who made good by revolutionizing the stock market reporting system, the museum includes exhibits illustrating the multiple elements which accounted for Woodbine's stature as the most successful and enduring of the agricultural colonies.
     Bus will leave from the Sheraton. Meet in the hotel lobby.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this tour.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note that this tour is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met. Length of time is approximate.   

$ Tour- Historically Significant Jewish Cemeteries in Philadelphia, A Bus tour   Thursday, August 6 from 8:30 AM to 1 PM  Fee: $30.00
     The older Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia provide a tapestry through which to learn about local Jewish history.  We will explore two of the three Mikveh Israel burial grounds (founded in 1841 and 1895  respectively), Mt. Sinai (1853), Adath Jeshurun (1861), Chevra Bikur Cholim (1873), Mt. Carmel (1896), and Gladwyne Jewish a/k/a Har HaZeitim, opened in (1860).   Each cemetery reflects the particular segment of the Jewish community that established it and influenced its location.
     Our docent will be Joseph Levine, fourth generation owner of Joseph Levine & Sons Memorial Chapel which has served the Philadelphia area since 1883.  Using these cemeteries as a backdrop, he will share his insights about the Philadelphia Jewish community.
     Bus will leave from the Sheraton. Meet in the hotel lobby.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this tour.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues.  Please note that this tour is subject to cancellation if the minimum number of registrations is not met.  Length of time is approximate.

Cemetery Visits for Research

$Tour- Research in Cemeteries In NE Philadelphia   Sunday, August 2 from 9 AM to 3 PM  Fee: $40.00
     We're offering this trip in view of the fact that these cemeteries are hard to get to without a car and cab fare would be prohibitive.
     We'll travel to Har Nebo, Montefiore, and Roosevelt cemeteries in order to visit tombstones and do on-site research.  We plan on a shuttle-like service between the individual cemeteries and to return to the hotel. 
     Participants can board the bus at the Sheraton (meet in the lobby) at 9 AM or at 12 PM., and leave the cemeteries at approximately 11:30 AM or 2:30 PM, depending on how much time they need for research.
     Please follow these instructions with regard to communicating with the various cemetery offices to get grave locations.  We strongly urge that you communicate during June so that the respective office staffs have time to process your requests.  Indicate that you are part of a group from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia.  They are expecting inquiries from conference attendees.
For Har Nebo:  Please send requests to harnebo@aol.com
For Montefiore:  Please send requests to Montefiore Cemetery, 600 Church Rd., Jenkintown, PA 19046.
For Roosevelt:  Please send requests to Marsha Bolden @ marwyne@comcast.net.  She'll in turn forward a composite list to the Roosevelt office.
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this visit.  Please be advised of the possibility of very hot weather and the possibility that toilet facilities may not be easily available. We also recommend that you take a cell phone to use in case of emergency.  A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note this trip is subject to cancellation if we the minimum number of registrations is not met.  Length of time is approximate. 

 $Tour- Research in Cemeteries in Delaware County, PA Monday, August 3 from 9 AM to 3 PM  Fee: $40.00
      We're offering this trip in view of the fact that these cemeteries are hard to get to without a car and cab fare would be prohibitive.
      We'll travel to Mt. Jacob, Mt. Lebanon, Mt. Sharon, Har Jehuda, Ohev Shalom, and Har Zion cemeteries in order to visit tombstones and do on-site research. We plan on a shuttle-like service between the individual cemeteries and to return to the hotel.  Participants can board the bus at the Sheraton (meet in the lobby) at 9 AM or at 12 PM., and leave the cemeteries at approximately 11:30 AM or 2:30 PM, depending on how much time they need for research.
     Please follow these instructions with regard to communicating with the various cemetery offices to get grave locations.  We strongly urge that you communicate during June so that the respective office staffs have time to process your requests. Indicate that you are part of a group from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia.  They are expecting inquiries from conference attendees.
For Mt. Jacob: Please send requests to Mt. Jacob Cemetery, 141 Bartram Ave., Glenolden, PA 19135,   Attn: Lenore or Donna.
For Mt. Lebanon:  Please send requests to Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, 1200 Bartram Ave., Collingdale, PA 19023, Attn:  PAM.  You could also call 610-583-3151 between 9 AM - 3 PM ET.
For Mt. Sharon:  Please send requests to Mt. Sharon Cemetery, P.O. Box 441, Springfield, PA 19064.  Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
For Har Jehuda:  Please send requests to Kathy.harjehuda@yahoo.com.
For Ohev Shalom:  Please send requests to Mark Sykes @ exec@ohev.net.
For Har Zion:  Please send requests to Har Zion Cemetery, 1201 Mac Dade Blvd., Collingdale, PA 19023.  
     We recommend comfortable walking shoes, hat, sun block, and water for this trip.  Please be advised of the possibility of very hot weather and the possibility that toilet facilities may not be easily available. A jacket or sweater is suggested if you get cold in air-conditioned venues. Please note that this research trip is subject to cancellation if we don't reach minimum registration requirements.  Length of time is approximate.