Yulik Gurvitch dared to make a switch
It all started in 1988, along with the winds of freedom and the premonition of independence in Lithuania. There also started a revival of the Jewish life in yet Soviet Lithuania. I decided to learn Hebrew and then later on my wife and me visited Israel for the first time. That was a very strong impact to study more and to deepen in Jewish history, culture, religion, and traditions.
In 1993-94 I was honored to take part in the international one year “Senior Educators” program. It was in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where I continued my Judaic studies. This year in Israel made a real switch in my life. I left my previous occupation as a software engineer for tourist business and guidance.
Yulik Gurvitch – tour guide
I have designed my first project called “Discover Lithuanian Jerusalem”. It works till now and contains journeys back into the highs and lows of the Jewish history of Eastern Europe combined with general sightseeing and acquaintance with the present-day vibrant Jewish Communities.
On this basis, I started to run one person travel company “JeruLita”. Later on my son, Daniel joined me and this was already a power. We have expanded our “geography” and today we do tours in all the countries around the Baltic Sea and even more.
We have improved the contents of our tours and we seek to portray the history, culture, architecture, folklore, arts of each particular country or city, including, of course, their Jewish components.
Music and Art Tours
I like very much art and music, especially classical music. Therefore I have designed one more project – “Music and Art Tours”. We visit famous art museums and galleries, such as Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, Mauritshuis in the Hague, Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, Hermitage and Russian Museum in St.Petersburg, National Museum in Stockholm, Royal Castle in Warsaw and others.
We enjoy music in world-known opera houses and concert halls and take part in musical festivals, such as “Mariinsky” in St.Petersburg, “Concertgebouw” in Amsterdam, “Sibelius Hall” in Helsinki, Frederik Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, Riga Opera Festival in Latvia. These tours include lectures on art history and music and afterward we like to share impressions, notions, and ideas.
Jewish Heritage tours
I appreciate highly when younger people are coming to our tours and I can acquaint them with the Jewish and general history of the country. Broaden their horizons and share with them my knowledge, my experience, and my conceptions. I believe in qualified and emotional guidance as a means of informal education. It has not less impact than the formal one.
It happens sometimes to guide Jewish tour for non-Jewish people. After the first experience of this kind, I understood how significant this task is. We seek not only to disperse the two thousand years superstitions but also we show who were the neighbors of their grandparents and what happened to them. And when once during the visit to Ponar forest I saw the eyes of my tourists full of tears I realized that the job I and our team are doing is, among other things, also some kind of a mission.
I invite you to join our tours in this part of the world. It can be in English, Hebrew, Lithuanian and Russian.