About the Trip

Immerse yourself in the diverse and colorful tastes, sounds and sights of the land and its people. Learn from the dreamers and shapers driving Israel’s most compelling arts organizations, partner with world class music ensembles pushing the boundaries of their craft, engage with the rich cultural landscape that expresses and reflects the political and social realities, and sample from the mouth watering cutting-edge culinary scene. This uniquely curated music, art, food and culture journey will inspire and energize your soul…and it will surely SPARK YOUR SENSES.

Day 1 Monday, July 1 - The Journey Begins 

Buses will depart Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the airport for the north.

Drive to Kfar Blum and check into the hotel

Evening program at Kfar Blum

We will come together  as a community with IMPJ partners for Maariv and an outdoor dinner.  After dinner we will Frame the Journey with Robbie Gringras.  Gringras is a British-born Israeli living in the Galilee, working in education, performance, and writing.  Since emigrating to Israel with a Literature degree from Oxford University, a teaching qualification, and his own theater company, he has trained hundreds of educators in generating honest complex connections to Israel.  He is also a successful international theater artist, whose original plays have been performed globally.

Overnight: North-Kfar Blum               

Day 2 Tuesday, July 2 - A Sense of the Past

Early morning options- hike/yoga/meditation

Um el Kanatir

Begin the day with a musical tour and shacharit in the ancient synagogue at Um El Kanatir. Um el Kanatir is one of about 30 Jewish villages in the Golan during the Talmudic Period with a synagogue constructed in the 6th century. Local musicians playing ancient instruments will accompany your walk through the site and you will join together with the musicians in the synagogue for a musical shacharit service.

Lunch and wine-tasting at local wineries

“Spark your Senses” Dinner with Chef Gadi Elias & Polyphony Performance at Dubrovin Farm

Chef Gadi Elias is an explorer and a chef who has spent decades cultivating strong relationships with local farmers and creates a fresh feast with ingredients sourced from local growers in the Golan Heights. Enjoy the fruits of the area including the area’s best wines. Set in the historic preserved Dubrovin Farm, the first farm in the Hula Valley, delve into an evening of music, food, community, and history.

Polyphony: Embrace the power of music as a path to peace with the Polyphony Foundation, an organization that educates musicians and seeks to break down barriers between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel. Founded in 2006 by violinist Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar, Polyphony aims to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel through music and to serve as a worldwide model for cooperation based on cultural exchange, dialogue and partnership. 

Overnight: North-Kfar Blum

Day 3 Wednesday July 3 - How Location Influences Arts – The Cultural Evolution of Haifa

Checkout and depart for Haifa 

Shacharit in Haifa with an IMPJ partner congregation

Haifa as an Arts Hub-Haifa’s art and culture scene is exploding. Haifa is no longer just the ‘one hit wonder’ known for the Bahai Gardens- it is a rich and colorful arts and culinary scene that is unique and reflective of the city itself. Spend the day experiencing the diversity and vibrance of the city. You will each visit several of these sites and neighborhoods and will eat lunch in one of the city’s markets.

  • Haifa Museum of Art– The Haifa Museum of Art, established in 1951, is in a historic building built in the 1930s in Wadi Nisnas. The museum is Israel’s third largest art museum and focuses on Israeli and international contemporary art.
  • Beit HaGefen is an Arab-Jewish Community Center which strives to establish a broad platform between and beyond the walls of the gallery. With an exhibition space, The Third Space – a place for education and art, and The Museum Without Walls – a platform for research and production of artworks in the public space.  The museum sits on the intersection of three neighborhoods – the German Colony, Hadar, and Wadi Nisnas.
  • Pyramida Center is a contemporary art center located in Wadi Saleeb and serves as a meeting ground for Israeli artists and their international peers. The center combines studios with a gallery and has as one of its goals to serve as a bridge between the art community and the general public. 
  • Graffiti Tour – Graffiti has been part of the rejuvenation of Haifa’s Downtown and many other parts of the city. During the Walls Festival, graffiti artists from Israel and around the world painted full buildings and their influence spread throughout the city. What makes Haifa’s street art scene different? Find out!
  • Rova Hamadregot – Walk (down) the stairs pathway that creates the illusion of a secret passageway through the city and connects the Carmel Heights to the lower city. Pass by Haifa’s main landmarks and see the neighborhoods change and you descend.
  • Wadi Nisnas Market– Wadi Nisnas is a mixed neighborhood that captures the nature and atmosphere of the city of Haifa, full of narrow streets, picturesque stone houses.  The market is the place to go for some of the local flavors: taste pastries, spiced tea, the best falafel in Israel, and strong Turkish coffee, along with aromas that will have your mouth watering.
  • Shuk Talpiyot is a public market in the Wadi Saleeb area, housed in a historic building. The market offers farm-to-table produce, spices, fresh baked goods and also street-food stalls and restaurants.

Drive towards Tel Aviv with a stop at the Bird Mosaic in Caesarea for a moment of meeting, meaning, and reflection. The Bird Mosaic, the floor of a villa found in the Caesarea site, is the most beautiful Byzantine mosaic in the country and is ornamented with 120 round medallions, each displaying a bird. 

Continue to Tel Aviv and check into your hotel 

Dinner on your own 

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 4 Thursday, July 4 - Culture, Diversity and Innovation

Culture, Diversity and Innovation or “Cultural Capital”

Morning at the Rimon School of Music 

The Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music was founded by musicians in 1985 and is dedicated to the nurturing of future generations of musicians. Rimon challenges their students with a rigorous curriculum that inspires a unique and vibrant environment to develop personal growth, passion, and collaboration. 

Meet students and faculty, enjoy a performance, participate in workshops, and join together for a culminating shared experience. Finish with lunch.

Afternoon Electives – Explore Culture in Tel Aviv:

  •  Asif Culinary Institute and Levinsky Market

Asif is a non-profit organization and culinary center in Tel Aviv dedicated to cultivating and nurturing Israel’s diverse and creative food culture, a joint venture of the New York City-based Jewish Food Society and Tel Aviv’s Start-Up Nation Central.  The Levinsky Market specializes in spices and Mediterranean delicacies. It is, in many ways, the best market in Tel Aviv, known for its variety, freshness, and special atmosphere. Tour the market and have “tastings” throughout.

  • Fashion and Tikkun Olam

Can art, fashion, and design make a change in the world? How can we use creativity as a tool to empower subgroups in Israel and can these groups change and inspire “Israeli mainstream”? In this tour we will meet Israeli artists and designers who are dedicated to do things different; they are sustainable & eco- friendly brands that upcycle or use unique materials with zero waste/they support the local industry/they help minorities in Israel and in general strengthen Israeli society as a whole with their art and heart. We will talk about the Jewish values, Tikkun Olam and “Love your neighbor as yourself” and about inclusivity, diversity and activism.

  • Hands-on Graffiti with Dan Groover and Park Hamesila 

Dan Groover’s artistic journey began when he was a child in France and eventually brought him to Israel, where he was born after traveling the world and developing himself as an artist. Groover applies a universal dimension to contemporary techniques of his art that are meant to be accessible to all, using graphical language, visual Pop Art, and Street Art. Continue to the new Park Hamesila, built on an 1800 railway, which is a new gathering point in Tel Aviv.

  • Shirel Horovitz – The History of Israeli Art at the Tel Aviv Art Museum and Kiryat Hamelacha art galleries 

In this dynamic tour we’ll figure out what makes Israeli art into what it is, exploring its relationship with the Zionist narrative as well as the international art world. This tour through the extensive Israeli collection at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is an amazing way to visually explore the Israeli narrative from the early 20th century until today. What is the story the Arts Establishment tells about Israeli Art? Continue to Kiryat HaMelacha, an artist community set in a former warehouse area.  

  • Gesher Theater and Jaffa Theater

Hear the unique visions of these two theaters and meet their artistic directors & performers. Gesher Theater is the Jewish Theater of Israel founded in 1991 by Russian immigrants. Over the years Gesher has become a bridge between Russian and Israeli cultures. The Jaffa Theater is a meeting point between Arab and Hebrew cultures. Plays are often about issues between the communities and are followed by a discussion.

  • Off The Beaten Path Arts and Culture tour of Jaffa with Anat Groysman

Anat Groysman, a fascinating tour guide, foodie and explorer, will take you on a unique and historical tour through Jaffa, introducing you to the hidden gems of arts and culture in the city, such as: the Ilana Goor Museum, pomegranate wine tasting, and Yemenite art workshop at Ben Zion David.

  • Peres Center for Peace and Innovation followed by a meeting with Tech2Peace

The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation is a leading non-profit and non-governmental organization focused on developing and implementing unique and cutting-edge programs. The center presents the incredible story of Israel, the “innovation nation”, and showcases the diverse fields and people behind Israeli innovation.

Following the visit meet the staff and founder of Tech2Peace which provides high-tech and entrepreneurial training alongside conflict dialogue to young Palestinians and Israelis. They partner with leading organizations like Google for Startups, Microsoft, and MIT to provide the best professional opportunities. At the same time, they use conflict dialogue and team-building activities to create a safe space for young people of all backgrounds and beliefs to meet, express their beliefs, and work with the “other side.”

Cocktail Party

Jessica Steinberg: “Tel Aviv as the Beating Heart of Israeli Culture”

Jessical Steinberg is the culture and Lifestyle editor of the Times of Israel and decodes Israeli cultural phenomena for the public. Her analysis of Israeli cultural trends enables a keen understanding of the dynamics that are at play in Israeli cultural expression. 

Tishrey Bar and Demo – Drink down a story of Israel with the innovative creators of Tishrey Bar! Travel the different regions of the country through the drinks.  Through local spirits, quality Israeli produce, cultural design, and Israeli innovation, meet the staff of an Israeli cocktail ‘start-up’ and see how they translate this into amazing cocktails. Cocktails are mixed with Israeli alcohol, fruit in season, and wrapped into the Israeli story.  You’ll have a chance to learn to mix the drinks as well.

Dinner and evening your own

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 5 Friday, July 5 - Empowering Change: From Chol to Kodesh

Early Morning options:

  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Early morning Shuk tour- watch the shuk wake up on a Friday morning

Morning Electives– Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Tel Aviv

In addition to some repeated options from Thursday, the following will be offered:

  • Empowering Women at Kite Pride, Achoti, and Kuchinate

Achoti Fair Trade shop is part of an initiative that was the first of its kind in Israel which combines economic empowerment for women from the geographical and social periphery in Israel, and education for alternative consumerism, according to the values of fair trade.

KitePride is an Israeli, Tel Aviv based fashion social enterprise. They create functional, one-of-a-kind bags from upcycled kitesurfing kites, sails, parachutes, and wetsuits in order to provide jobs to survivors of human trafficking and prostitution. Through each bag sold, continuous jobs are created and fabric is saved from landfill.

  • Kitchen Talks

Kitchen Talks is a social enterprise that creates and promotes cultural culinary experiences led by cooks and guides from Marginalized communities in Israel: asylum seekers, Migrants, minorities, etc. Their events and activities create a unique, fun, cultural safe space to learn about the cultural depth and to share stories and memories through collaborative and active cooking and dining experience.

  • HaGal Sheli 

Surfing lesson with Hagal Sheli (My Wave), an NGO that uses surfing as a vehicle for personal development and advancement. In 2012 Omer and Yaron, educational entrepreneurs and avid surfers, developed a unique surfing program for transforming the lives of youth-at-risk. Their mission: Empower youth to never give up, to continue to pursue their dreams and to ultimately succeed: ‘In the ocean, as in life’.

 Lunch and afternoon- Free time

On your own-Be a Local– Grab lunch and spend the afternoon in the city, among the people in the cafes, bars, art events, Nahalat Binyamin, Park Hamesila, eating ice cream, hanging out at the beach, being Tel Avivi.

 Musical Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port with Beit Tefilah Yisraeli 

Shabbat Dinner on own 

OR add-on group dinner option (cost TBD)

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 6 Saturday, July 6 - Shabbat Tel Avivit

Shabbat Shacharit with Beit Daniel

Gather for a shabbat morning service with our IMPJ partners at Beit Daniel, followed by a light kiddush and hear how they’ve grown in the last ten years, how they have expanded their reach, and how they are responding to what is happening in Israel today.

The Religious Turn – Contemporary Israeli Art and the Return to Judaism: A Conversation with Shirel Horovitz and Assi Meshulam 

The Israeli art scene has pushed away religiosity in general and Judaism in particular for many decades. The last years have brought a change in this relationship leading to a revival of interest in tradition, spirituality, and religion. How much of this is a trend and what fuels this shift? How is it related to identity politics and the breaking of hegemonic narratives?

The session will take us through the last five years in the Israeli art world examining a variety of case studies bringing to the forefront this return to Judaism and placing it within the larger context of our era. Both artist-scholar Shirel Horovitz and artist-scholar Assi Meshulam have deep ties to these issues within their artwork and research which will allow for a unique combination of academic and personal as in the second part of the session they will share their personal artistic journey in relation to these issues before opening to Q&A.

Enjoy some free time on Shabbat afternoon. Here are some options

  •  Tel Aviv Museums (buses provided and entrance fees included)
    • ANU
    • Eretz Yisrael
    • Tel Aviv Museum of Art
  • The Women who Built Tel Aviv walking tour

From the early days of the establishment of Tel Aviv as the first Hebrew city, women have played a key role in building the foundation. Learn about Golda Meir, Rachel the Poet, Tzina Dizingoff, Ahuva Ozeri and others who were the movers and shakers that were part of making this city so great.

  •     Stroll the Tayelet or head to the beach

Come back together as a group for a special late afternoon experience 

Jaffa Hip Hop History Tour with System Ali 

Join a historical-artistic performance journey that travels through 5,000 years, five neighborhoods, five languages and countless sources of inspiration. The tour combines a study of the history of Jaffa with a discussion of the contemporary issues facing the city in the past few decades, all through the performance of live hip-hop numbers. The historical anecdotes are interwoven with the personal life stories of the city’s residents and offer a refreshing, moving and multifaceted perspective. Jaffa’s many faces shine through, full of both pain and inspiration.  System Ali was founded in 2007 as a musical response to housing demolitions in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, and has become a cultural force of change and education mainly in bringing together Jewish and Arab artists to energize change. The program concludes with Havdallah.

Dinner on your own

Take advantage of Tel Aviv as a center for Music, Dance and Theater – information on available performances to be provided at a later time.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 7 Sunday, July 7 - A Path to Pluralism

Super early bus to Jerusalem for Women of the Wall – Rosh Chodesh Tamuz at the Kotel 

Celebrate Rosh Chodesh with prayer and Torah reading at the monthly gathering of Women of the Wall at the Kotel. Sing with the newly formed WOW Choir! Women of the Wall, (Neshot Hakotel  הכותל נשות in Hebrew) is a group of Jewish women from Israel and around the world who strive to achieve the right to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem, Israel.

Day of Learning at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

We join together for a Day of Learning on the beautiful new Taube Family Campus on King David Street in Jerusalem, where we will:

  • Meet with Reform Movement leaders
  • Learn with HUC-JIR faculty
  • Celebrate Cantor Eliyahu Schleifer, Ph.D. with lunch, featuring selections from his upcoming songbook collection from Transcontinental Music Publications.

Check into your hotel

Dinner on your own 

Overnight:  Jerusalem

Day 8 Monday, July 8  - A Sense of Diversity

Modeh Ani – Early Morning Options 

  • Yoga Synagogue-Ah- Yoga Synagogue Ah followers find themselves all over Jerusalem practicing yoga in inspirational settings.  Join the group’s founder, Laura Gilinski, for a meaningful morning practice.
  • Run with Runners Without Borders which harnesses the positive power of sport to bring together Jews and Arabs, rebuilding the lost trust between these communities, and providing a platform for renewed dialogue. The organization encourages tolerance and dialogue between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel, using sports as a medium and uses professional running to empower participants’ self confidence and to develop their leadership skills.

 Morning Electives

  • Old City off the beaten path Arts Tour

Explore the hidden corners of the Old City with a focus on the arts. Meet an artistic scribe, visit a tattoo artist at one of the world’s oldest tattoo parlors, immerse yourself in the creative spirit of centuries past.

  • Encounter with the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School 

The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School was founded in 1989 by the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture and the Jerusalem Foundation as Israel’s first independent nation school for film and television. Meet their staff, view film clips, and learn about the Netflix series lab and film and the Jerusalem International Film Lab.

  •  Dissolving Boundaries Tour

The Dissolving Boundaries Tour invites you to join real people from Jerusalem on an adventure across perspectives, passions, and divides. Dissolving Boundaries celebrates the courage, ingenuity and stirring humanity of regular people in an extraordinary place and asks you to discover the boundary dissolver within yourself.

  • Art & Identity Tour with Shirel Horovitz

How do art, politics and social justice meet in Jerusalem? Visit places such as Museum on the seam, The Jerusalem Print house, Barbur Gallery, and more as we weave the divided narratives and identities of the modern Israeli, the Jew and the Jerusalemite.

  • “Shtisl” Tour-A taste of the Ultra-Orthodox world

Walk the streets of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, get to know the people, the food, and feel the vibrations of this life. Gain a more complex appreciation for the people by listening to their music, visiting synagogues, various institutions, seeing unique leisure, fashion, and art this world encompasses.

  • Culture and Social Justice Encounter. Visit social ventures such as:
    • Muslala, a non-profit that wishes to produce a new model that combines artistic activity with a social orientation.
    • Metzilot Mazon, the Jerusalem Food Rescuers, aims to create a more Just and sustainable urban food system with less waste. Working with the wholesale market, they divert surplus produce that would have otherwise gone to waste and support communities that don’t have equitable access to food.
  • “Holy Fashion” Tour

Jerusalem fashion: Does it Exist? Fashion tour of unique, iconic Jerusalem designers which tells the story of Israeli fashion. Explore the connection between Israeli fashion and Jerusalem, learn about the role the city plays in the creative process of Israeli designers and the various ways they ‘use’ Jerusalem’s symbols to convey different messages through the years and talk about the connection between spirituality and fashion.

Evening Experience with Mekudeshet at Feel Beit

Mekudeshet is an award-winning, cultural organization that creates original art and music to reimagine Jerusalem from a center of conflict into a laboratory for connection between people of all kinds. At Feel Beit, their cultural home for creating art and expanding perspectives, Karen Brunwasser (founder), will shed light on the accomplishments of this incredible organization. Together, we will enjoy dinner and a music performance “Feel Beit style.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 9 Tuesday, July 9 - Culture in the Periphery – group to be divided among 3 tracks

AradLiving on the Desert’s Edge

  • Yonat Hamidbar- Using desert herbs to make natural soap, healing herbs, and natural cosmetics
  • Arad Artists Quarter- meet painters, metalsmiths, sculptors, and glass artist Gideon Friedman
  • Meet Yaakov Uria of Pinto Winery and learn the magic of wine made from grapes grown in the desert
  • Lunch at Muza with Alon Segal, owner, who is dedicated to encouraging music and creativity in the periphery

Judean Hills – Cultural and Natural Abundance

  • Participate in a dance workshop at Vertigo Dance Company
  • Kurdish cooking workshop and lunch with Lili Aziz in Zahariya
  • Wine tasting at Sphera Winery with a focus on what’s unique to Judean Hills Wines
  • Visit Artists studios

Bethlehem Arts Tour

  • Visit the Cremisan Winery which was the first winery to nurture native vines
  • Walk through the Old Market of Bethlehem
  • Meet with a local theater group
  • Have lunch with local families
  • Visit the new Wonder Cabinet Cultural Center
  • See the Banksy Walled Off Hotel

Come Back together for our Evening Program:

An Orchestra of Cultures, a Choir of Tastes in the Jerusalem Hills  

  • Maariv
  • Shuk of local artisans
  • Eclectic Culinary Creations
  • Performance by Diwan HaLev project, an ensemble that performs traditional music in a free contemporary Israeli style, using original instruments from the Jewish Diaspora

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 10 Wednesday, July 10  - Bringing it Home

Morning Program- Israel Story- Ancient Land, Modern Stories

Meet the creators of the radio show that took Israel and the diaspora by storm. Through curating and broadcasting stories, Israel Story uses the power of storytelling to expand the circle of those engaged with Israel. They have as their goals to promote greater awareness of and interest in the complexities of modern Israeli society. They strive to combat stereotypes by showcasing the country’s rich human tapestry and telling the story of a diverse, more nuanced, Israel.

Hotel Check Out/Free Time

Siyum Circle (late afternoon)
Conclude the week in song, reflection, and celebration with a participatory piyut music ensemble featuring some of Jerusalem’s greatest musicians. (Light bites and drinks)


Buses depart at 7pm for the airport
(Book your departing flight after 11pm)

PRE-Journey Add-on OPTIONS (additional cost)

Arriving early to Israel? Take advantage of these incredible pre-trip experiences

Sunday June 30

Hedai Offaim home dinner and musical experience

Join Hedai Offaim, a chef, writer and food entrepreneur at his incredible home outside of Jerusalem for an elaborate dinner and one of a kind musical experience.

Monday July 1

Depart early for unique experiences en route to Kfar Blum

  • Foraging tour and cooking workshop in the Judean Hills with Nurit Hertz. What was in King David’s lunch box?
  • Showcasing Modern Cultural History– visit the Agam Museum and the Holon Design Museum and meet with their curators. Lunch included
  • Nazareth Culinary and Cultural Experience – explore Nazareth’s hidden treasures

Draft itinerary as of 06/27/2023 - subject to change

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