CSUN’s Jewish studies program will spend two weeks exploring historic sites

Jeff Ishuninov

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CSUN’s Jewish studies program is organizing a two-week trip this summer to explore the history and culture of Poland.

Students will have the opportunity to visit major cities including Warsaw, Lodz, Auschwitz and Krakow from June 26 to July 10. Guided tours and excursions will introduce historic buildings, museums, castles and other sites.

The trip will be led by history professor Donal O’Sullivan and two sociology professors, Helen Dosik and Terry Hatkoff. O’Sullivan is no stranger to study trips abroad.  He has taken students to Europe to visit cities like Berlin and Prague.

“These trips enable a lot of students to go abroad and get a different feel of history and culture,” O’Sullivan said.  “They will be able to visit sites they only read about in history books, which is an extremely exciting opportunity.”

Students will live in dormitories while in Poland.  These low-cost accommodations will provide a chance to meet and interact with Polish students and professors, allowing greater immersion into Polish culture.

Poland is located in central Europe and played a major role in World War II. Students will have the opportunity to visit Warsaw’s ghetto, the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Additionally, they will get to see hundreds of years old architecture as well as new developments by American architect Frank Gehry.

Jon Eckel, a CSUN graduate student, went to Europe with O’Sullivan in 2008. Eckel said that he enjoyed his time there and he would recommend it to anyone who has never been to Europe or outside the United States.

“I got a chance to learn a lot through tours and excursions that were set up in the program,” Eckel said. “In our spare time each of us could concentrate on things they are interested in the most, be it history or art for example.”

The program costs $2,000 and includes round trip airfare from Los Angeles to Warsaw on British Airways with a connection in London. Lodging, food, guided-tours, excursions and all land travel are included.

Students who are interested in this program might be eligible for partial scholarships, which are available through Associated Students office and Jewish Studies Department.