Explore 270 years of history with
Philadelphia Jewish History Tours
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!
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.
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 on: visit Mikveh Israel: The Synagogue of the American Revolution
adds 1/2 hour
The City Grows North
2 hour tour
$320- up to 9 participants (no increase in 2023!)
$385 groups 10- 20 MAX FOR WALKING, AS MANY AS YOUR BUS HOLDS FOR TROLLEY TOURS
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!
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.
CUSTOM- CALL TO SCHEDULE
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.
DR. ELIYAHU KRIGEL
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!
MARLA ROSENTHOL, Margate, NJ
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
Private family groups
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!
NIKKI JENNER, BBYO
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.
PHYLLIS HALPERN, PRESIDENT
JEWISH RESIDENTS' COUNCIL
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.
HAVERFORD SCHOOL TEACHER
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.