Although I ended up taking this trip to Poland by myself, my original intention was to travel with a cousin who, unfortunately, had to change her plans. But before
Our Roots not only provides tour guides, they provide a full range of travel-planning services, including travel arrangements, reservations, and consistently helpful advice. I corresponded with them largely by fax (although there was one voice phone call mixed in); they always replied promptly and thoroughly. And they speak excellent English, which came in handy, as I speak not a word of Polish.
In the end, I decided to make many of my own arrangements and I undertook a lot of independent travel but I did decide to hire one of their guides to take me on a three-day excursion into northeastern Poland to visit some of the areas where my ancestors once lived. For this service, Our Roots charged me $150/day which turned out to be perhaps the best $450 I've ever spent. The guide they provided, Jerzy "George" Malenczyk, was incredibly knowledgeable, extraordinarily helpful, and an excellent travel companion. And because he served as driver (in his comfortable Mercedes) and translator as well as guide, his services were actually quite reasonably priced, as the other organizations I had contacted wanted me to hire different people to perform those functions. (In some instances, they even wanted me to pay to rent a car for the trip). So not only did George perform the work of several people, I have a hard time imagining that anybody could have performed any of those services better than he did.
If you want to contact them, here's the information you'll need:
6 Twarda Street
00-105 Warsaw, Poland
Our Roots also publishes a series of books that are excellent guides to areas of Poland that are of Jewish interest. I made extensive use of two of these books:
Not only did Our Roots publish these invaluable guides, they even gave me their permission to quote from them in this website, an act of generosity for which I am enormously grateful.
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