top of page
in front of Vilna.jpeg

Explore 270 years of history with 
Philadelphia Jewish History Tours

AJ 7th Columbia 1886.JPG

All About Philadelphia Jewish History Tours

Dr. Michael Schatz, native of Philadelphia whose family has lived in the region since the turn of the 20th century, shares his passion for history, Jewish life, synagogue architecture, as well as local stories and customs in a variety of tour itineraries.  Dr. Schatz holds bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in education and Jewish studies from Vassar College, Arcadia University, and Gratz College.  As past president of the Jewish Educators Assembly, Schatz has been a formal and informal Jewish educator for over two decades.  He was awarded the degree Doctor of Pedagogy, honoris causa, from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  

In Dr. Schatz's words...

I have been fascinated with Philadelphia's Jewish history all my life.  I loved my grandparents' stories about the old neighborhoods, and I learn something new with each group that I speak to or take on tour.  There was the woman who pointed out her father's butcher shop, and the man who sang his haftorah on the bimah in the former synagogue where his bar mitzvah took place decades prior.  Many have shared recollections of personalities both quirky and renowned.  I am happy to speak to your group, or take individuals or classes on tours.  We can customize to your interest!

Redfin 16 Winter Things to do in Philly

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent article February, 2019

Jerusalem Post Travel Edition Podcast September, 2022

Video of Zoom presentation

Tours and Programs

Bring your family on a stroll through Philadelphia's historic Jewish Quarter, or take your adult learners on a trolley tour of other neighborhoods to explore the former Jewish enclaves in north, west and south Philly.  Or bring me out to give a single presentation or series on Philly Jewish History for your school or community group!  I can present on Zoom to any audience, anywhere. 

Golda Och group in BA.JPG

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

2 hour tour

$320 - Up to 9 Participants (no increase in 2023!)

$385 - 10-20 participants  

 Come see where the turn of the 20th century Jewish immigrants lived, worked, prayed and played. Includes synagogues, banks, bakeries, schools.

Add ons: visit either Mikveh Israel: The Synagogue of the American Revolution or The Little Shul: Congregation Shivte Yeshuron, the last remaining rowhouse synagogue in South Philadelphia (not walkable)

adds 1/2 hour


Rodeph Shalom 1870 Furness.png
brith israel ark.jpg

The City Grows North

2 hour tour

$320- up to 9 participants (no increase in 2023!)


Walking or by bus/vehicle, we traverse the once elegant Broad Street of the Gilded Age. Rodeph Shalom, the former Mikveh Israel, and the Frank Synagogue at Einstein (only by driving) are featured.

Jewish Neighborhoods of the 20th Century

$385 FOR 2-2.5 HOURS  

Customized bus tours can include Strawberry Mansion, Wynnefield, Logan, West Oak Lane, and more. Remember the streets, houses, delis, and shuls of the past as we drive through and go inside some!

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 8.41.59 PM.png

A great add-on to a Northern neighborhoods tour is a visit to Elkins Park, home of several architecturally and historically significant synagogues as well as a thriving Jewish community.  Your group may want to tour the national historic landmark Beth Sholom Synagogue designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Beth Sholom.jpg

Speaking Engagements


Dr. Schatz can offer hour long special programs, or can teach a 4, 6 or 8 week course in an adult education setting on Philadelphia Jewish History for your synagogue, JCC or adult program, live  or virtual.

Tour Testimonials and Partial Client List

5 Stars all the way. The tour with Dr. Michael Schatz was so wonderful. I brought 21 students from the Conservative synagogue I work with to Philly and Dr. Michael helped me plan our whole trip in Philly. He walked us through every step and the Jewish historical tour with him was outstanding. Our high school students learned so much and had a great time! Thank you Dr. Schatz for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with our group.

Herzl-Ner Tamid Congregation, Mercer Island, WA

I have gone on two tours through the Klein Center and could not be more pleased. Michael, our tour guide, was so knowledgeable on every level and never wasted an opportunity for emparting that knowledge. Everyone was expecting us and tours were very professionally organized. I would highly recommend for any organization whether it be Jewish, Philadelphia or Historical in nature. 5 Stars!




Golden Slipper Gems*

Heritage Creek Community

Beth El Ner Tamid, Broomall

Melrose B'nai Israel Emanu-El, Elkins Park*

Beth Sholom Congregation, Elkins Park

Temple Beth Hillel Beth El, Wynnewood

Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley*

Congregation Beth El, Voorhees NJ*

Herzl Ner Tamid, Mercer Island WA

Pine Brook Jewish Center, Montville NJ

Beth El, Bethesda MD*

Adat Shalom, Detroit MI

Cheltenham Township Adult School*

Ohev Shalom, Richboro*

Temple Beth Sholom, Roslyn NY

Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell

Diller Teen Fellows

JEVS Summer Interns

Beth Chaim, Malvern

B'nai Keshet, Montclair, NJ

Cantor Stephen Freedman

Marks Jewish Community House, Brooklyn NY

Birnbaum JCC, Bridgewater, NJ

Association of Jewish Librarians

Congregation Beth Tikvah, Marlton, NJ*

Beth Tikvah-B'nai Jeshurun, Erdenheim


Golda Och Academy

Cherry Hill Lodge, Brith Sholom

Ann's Choice Jewish Residents' Council*

The Haverford School*

Shir Ami, Newtown*

Germantown Jewish Centre 

B'nai Tikvah, North Brunswick, NJ

Temple Sinai, Dresher

Tifereth Israel, Bensalem

Temple Beth-El, Providence, RI

Congregation Ohev Shalom, Wallingford

Borough Park Y, Brooklyn, NY

Temple Rodef Shalom, Falls Church, VA

Congregation B'nai Brith, Santa Barbara, CA

The Leffell School, Hartsdale, NY

Temple Beth Shalom, Needham, MA

Private family groups

*returning guest

Thank you Michael! You did an excellent job tailoring the tour to our international group, and our teens had a great time throughout our walk. It was so special to see them feel connected to Philly’s history through the global lense of each site. You had great insight and knowledge along every step of the way, and it really brought the city to life for our group. Thank you for an excellent experience!


Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation on Wednesday.  EVERYONE really enjoyed it and many were brought back to their younger days!  I hope you will be able to return to Ann's Choice in the spring for another lecture. You were so well received, that we could possibly set up a series of lectures over a period of time. Some people also mentioned being interested in a tour.




You are such a wealth of knowledge for them, and we are certain that the boys learned a lot from your expertise. Yesterday the teachers debriefed with the students about the entire week-long "Minimester" experience (of which the Jewish Quarter Tour was just one part), and we were astounded at how many little details they remembered from the tour.   It really was a highlight of their week.





If you would like to find out more information or to schedule a tour or program please call or email me, or use the GET A QUOTE link at the top of the page. Also check out my Facebook page linked here for lots of pictures, updates, and more reviews.


  • Facebook
Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 11.17.09 AM.png
bottom of page