Price range
From $6500 per person
Upcoming Date
07-18 November 2022
Tour Time
12 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

If you dig beneath the surface of Israeli life you will find a new spirit alive in the country.  It is the spirit of young and old, drawing on ancient roots and a very Israeli willingness to improvise, daring to re-invent what it means to be Jewish in the land of Israel.  Join us as we set off on a Fall 2022 adventure of all five senses that will take us back to the time of Abraham and catapult us forward into the 21st Century. We will meet poets and politicians, artists and musicians, archeologists and writers, kabbalists and theologians, thought leaders and community activists, who are creating a new reality in our ancient homeland.  Co-Sponsored by Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program, Congregation B’nai Israel & Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County.

Itinerary

1 - Monday (November 7) : Shalom and Welcome!

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Activities:

  • Welcome to Israel - Your group will be met by a representative at the airport and lead you to meet your guide and driver. Drive to Tel Aviv.

  • 'Shehecheyanu' ceremony at the lookout from the Old City of Yaffo - Overlooking the Old and New city situated side by side, and the beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea - say Shehecheyanu - as a gratitude for this moment.
    Continue with a short walk through Jaffa, discover the ancient and modern situated side-by-side. Stroll through the alleyways of the Old City filled with artist studios as well as archaeological discoveries. Discover which Jewish and Christian stories took place in the city.

  • 3:00 PM Check-in

  • 4:30 PM Meet and greet at the hotel

  • Check-out the street food around the hotel area - Recommendations: Shlomo & Doron Hummus at Yishkon st 29, Panda Pita Malan St. 40, Balinjera (Ethiopian food) Malan st 4, Nordinyo Nahalat Binyamin St 27.

  • Welcome dinner with a special guest Prof. Paul Liptz - Liptz, a social historian who served as CSP’s 19th Annual One-Month Scholar this past January, was on the Tel Aviv University faculty for 40 years, teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Middle East and African History and the International School, where he dealt with a wide range of topics. His main interests are History of the Yishuv [Pre-State], the Modern State of Israel and Arab Women and Nationalism in the Middle East.

  • Tel Aviv: Royal Beach Hotel

Overnight: Tel Aviv: Royal Beach Hotel
Meal Plan: dinner

2 - Tuesday (November 8) : Seeking Peace

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Activities:

  • Breakfast & check-out from hotel - Every morning you will enjoy a delicious Israeli buffet breakfast.

  • Track 1: Living on the edge - visit to Netiv HaAsara - Striving for Peace at Netiv Haasarah, a moshav on the western border of Israel with the Gaza Envelope. Visit the Peace Wall on the border. Talk about life in the moshav in the shadow of the ongoing security situation – and about the hope of a good and peaceful future.

  • Track 2: Jews from Arab Lands - visit to Netivot - Tour Netivot with stop at the community center to meet locals and learn about the Sephardic community, the reality of a development town - possibly Dafna Shalom, Mizrachi activist and photography and video artist. Time permitting, visit tomb of the Baba Sali, a Moroccan-born kabbalist. Netivot was originally founded as city of North African immigrants. These residents then welcomed Russian-speaking and Ethiopian immigrants, wanting to help the next waves of Aliyah make a smooth transition to life in Israel.

  • Lunch on own

  • Continue to Sde Boker and visit Pula and David Ben Gurion grave - Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, whose vision for settling the desert is continuing to bloom. Throughout your visit to the Negev desert, you’ll see his vision come to life.3

  • Drive to Mitzpe Ramon & check-in to the hotel

  • Dinner at hotel

  • Evening program with Udi Goren - Presentation about the Israel Trail (שביל ישראל‎, Shvil Yisrael), a hiking trail that crosses Israel from Kibbutz Dan, near the Israel-Lebanon border, to Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba. It was named by National Geographic as one of the 20 best "epic hiking trails" in the world.

  • South: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Overnight: South: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

3 - Wednesday (November 9) : Desert Spledor

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Activities:

  • A - Early morning bike ride - Along the rim of the Ramon Crater with Udi Goren. Udi is a travel photographer, speaker, teacher and an artist. He's always been fascinated by the secrets this world holds, and after several years of traveling, documenting and collecting stories from around the world, professional photography became the next natural step. He is an honored graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography in California, has had his work displayed in exhibitions worldwide and has published in various media outlets internationally, including the National Geographic Channel. Now back in Israel, Udi documents the Country’s varied cultures, people and natural beauty.

  • B - Begin your morning with a Yoga lesson - Inspired by the scenic stunning view of the Ramon Crater, begin your morning with a Yoga class with a local teacher.

  • C - Early morning sunrise air-balloon trip over the Ramon Crater - Extra cost

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Explore the desert your way:

  • A - go on a jeep ride at the Ramon Crater - Explore the geological wonders and the history of this region.

  • B - Day hike in Makhtesh Ramon with Udi Goren - Makhtesh Ramon is a type of geological formation found only in Israel and northern Sinai. The steep rock cliffs surrounding a closed valley drained by a single wadi are the product of erosion. Ramon Crater is the largest of three in Israel. Hike together with Udi Goren, a travel photographer, speaker, teacher and an artist.

  • C - Rappelling in the Ramon Crater - For those who like a thrill, slide down from the rim of the Ramon Crater.

  • D - Desert in Bloom - agriculture in the desert - Visit the Ramat Negev Agricultural R&D Center,it's main purpose is to encourage the development of agriculture in the peripheral areas, taking advantage of natural resources. Ramat Negev R&D focuses on developing advanced agriculture in arid conditions, irrigating with brackish water. After a short explanation visit a greenhouse of unique vegetable varieties.
    You will also tour Eshkolot Farm. Eshkolot Orchard established in 2009 by the Marom family is planted with olives, a vineyard and the Seven Species. Tour the orchard with a focus on the Seven Species and Jewish Halachic traditions in agriculture.

  • E - Flavors of the desert - cheese and wine of the region - Visit Naot Desert Farm, one of the many havot bodedim (lone farms) built by Lea and Gadi Nahimov, modern-day pioneers who are making David Ben-Gurion’s vision of the desert blooming come to life. Visit the goats taste some delicious cheese. Continue with a tour and tasting at Nana Farm Winery. In the heart of desert, between ancient stone terraces and barren golden sand hills, wine vineyards appear. The powerful site is hard to describe in words. Experienced vintner Eran Raz, nicknamed "Nana", has created a quality leading wine in what some may be surprised to call ideal conditions for quality vine growth.

  • F - Day at leisure - Enjoy the hotel facilities, a day at pool and spa. Spa treatments are available for extra cost.

  • Desert blowout dinner - Enjoy a night experience in the desert, with delicious food, music and star gazing.

  • South: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Overnight: South: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon
Meal Plan: breakfast, Desert blowout dinner

4 - Thursday (November 10) : Making the Desert Bloom

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Activities:

  • Breakfast & check-out from hotel

  • Track 1: The Culinary Queen of Yerucham - The women host in their homes while telling guests about their culture and background and educating through recipes. Many of Yerucham's settlers come from Morocco and Yemen and tasting their traditional dishes combined with their stories is quite a treat!

  • Track 2: The Exodus and After - the story of the Ethiopian community - Drive to Be’er Sheva to meet Naftali Aklum, an Ethiopian activist who was born in Ethiopia in 1979, the youngest of 12 siblings. His brother Ferede Aklum z”l was determined to reach Jerusalem and set out from Ethiopia in 1978 on a long, dangerous trek through the desert, ultimately reaching Sudan. Naftali reached Israel with his family in 1980, at age one, thus fulfilling a dream that had been kept alive for 2,500 years. Hear his story and that of the Ethiopian Aliyah.

  • Lunch on own at Beer Sheva

  • Visit Turner Soccer stadium - Hear about how the owner, Alona Barkat, helped turn the city of Be’er Sheva around. Barkat is the owner of the Hapoel Beer Sheva soccer team. When she bought the team, they were in playing in Israel’s second division. She transformed Hapoel into one of the top teams in Israel, winning three consecutive championships and beating the likes of Inter Milan in Europe.

  • Travel to Jerusalem and stop at Mount Scopus for a magnificent lookout and Shehecheyanu - Mount Scopus, or “tzofim” in Hebrew, is one of the tallest hills surrounding Jerusalem. The name “scopus” means a vantage point, and the lookout post on the edge of this hill is the place to go for the finest views across the Old City, the Dome of the Rock, and the sprawl of New Jerusalem.

  • Check-in to your hotel

  • Group dinner at a restaurant

  • Optional: Late evening at Mea shearim - Visit to challa bakeries in Mea Shearim Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. Mea She'arim Street is a picture frozen in time, a street from a Jewish shtetl in Poland. On the other hand, on Malkhei Yisrael Street, there are falafel, pizza and juice stands and delicatessens that sell herring and pickled vegetables. A large crowd rushes along, jostling passersby with the many baby carriages. It's worthwhile to wander on both streets, to explore the small alleys and streets of the Geula and Beit Yisrael neighborhoods on foot, preferably on Thursday evening, when the challah bakeries are working all night.

  • Orient Jerusalem

Overnight: Orient Jerusalem
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

5 - Friday (November 11) : Jerusalem - Holy to All

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Morning options:

  • A - Explore the Jerusalem Archeological Park - Walk through the Southern Wall Archaeological Gardens. Get a glimpse of the glory of the Second Temple, the heart of the ancient Jewish kingdom, and the devastation that followed. Visit the Davidson Visitors' Center and enjoy a modern, interactive virtual presentation. The museum presents a taste of the archaeology of Jerusalem from different eras - covering the First Temple, Second Temple, Byzantine, Islamic, and the Crusades periods.

  • B - City of David - Where it All Began - A trip back in time through the layers of Jerusalem’s past. This hill, on which Jerusalem began 4 millenniums ago as a Jebusite village, has been continuously excavated for the last 120 years, and still, most of its mysteries are yet to be discovered. The tour of the site leads you through the biblical palace of King David, past ritual purification pools from the First and Second Temple eras, beside Roman, medieval, and Byzantine ruins. Walk through water in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, part of the ancient City of David built around the Gihon spring, which is on the side of the cliff overlooking the Kidron Valley. It was built to protect the water supply, in about 701 BC!
    You will continue your tour by walking the streets of Second Temple Jerusalem on recently revealed sites. Be amazed by the excavation in the Central (Tyropoeon) Valley where you will walk through a section of the Second Temple period drainage channel to the highlight of the tour--the monumental foundations' stones of the Western Wall at the foot of the Temple Mount. From there we will climb and exit onto the magnificent road where the Jewish pilgrims walked, two thousand years ago.

  • C - Christian Jerusalem guided by an expert - Explore the Christian Quarter through visits with Christian personalities and institutions with Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish Christian Relations. Hana holds an M.A. degree in Comparative Religions from Hebrew University and has 20 years of practical experience in interfaith activities in Israel and abroad. Her expertise is in the Christian Communities in Israel and Jewish-Christian Relations in the Israeli context.

  • D - Machane Yehuda Market Tasting Tour - In the heart of Jerusalem, a bustling multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor, a tasting tour through Mahane Yehuda market is an adventure for your taste buds. Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors, and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers.

  • E - 'Shtisel' 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. On a busy Friday morning, when people are preparing for Shabbat, 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, and, of course by eating freshly baked challah.

  • Lunch on own and free time at the Machne Yehuda Market

  • Return to the hotel, free time and prepare for Shabbat

  • Shabbat service with a local community - At Shirah Hadasha, a congregation in Jerusalem, founded 20 years ago with the purpose of creating a religious community that embraces a commitment to halakha, prayer, and feminism in response to the growing need of many religious women and men to readdress the role of women in the synagogue. The congregation combines a traditional liturgy with certain prayer leadership opportunities for women.
    TBC: Meet with one of the communities leader for a short Q&A.

  • Shabbat group dinner with a Joe Schonwald - Schonwald involved in Israel’s amazing NGO scene as well as “Lone Soldiers”. Joe Schonwlad, a former Conservative Rabbi educated in Israel at the Diaspora Yeshiva, has headed a family foundation in Jerusalem for 25 years. He is the unofficial “mayor of Baka” in that he knows everyone and is a leader in the NGO sphere. He has focused on hunger and the Jewish community around the world. In the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a lone soldier (Hebrew: חַיָּל בּוֹדֵד‎, Ḥayal Boded) is defined as a serviceman or woman without immediate family in Israel. Lone soldiers serve in regular units and receive various forms of support from the IDF, Israeli government ministries and other organizations. Their exact number fluctuates over time but is consistently in the thousands; the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported in April 2012, that there were an "estimated 5,000". About 40% of them serve in combat units. They are generally either non-Israelis of Jewish background volunteering under the Mahal or Tzofim Garin Tzabar programmes, or immigrants under the Law of Return, although other possibilities exist (e.g. orphaned natives). According to an IDF spokeswoman, 8,217 personnel born outside Israel enlisted between 2009 and August 2012. The most represented countries of origin were Russia and the United States, with 1,685 and 1,661 recruits respectively.

  • Orient Jerusalem

Overnight: Orient Jerusalem
Meal Plan: breakfast, Shabbat dinner

6 - Saturday (November 12) : Shabbat Flavor

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Morning choices:

  • A - Oneg Shabbat - morning at leisure to spend with friends and family, enjoy the hotel facilities

  • B - Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Explore the Christian Quarter through visits with Christian personalities and institutions with Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish Christian Relations. Hana holds an M.A. degree in Comparative Religions from Hebrew University and has 20 years of practical experience in interfaith activities in Israel and abroad. Her expertise is in the Christian Communities in Israel and Jewish-Christian Relations in the Israeli context.

  • C - on own: visit the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book - Visit the unique collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum, the country’s national museum. Linger over the renowned international and Israeli art, the world’s most complete Judaica collections and the charming Billy Rose Sculpture Garden. You can also visit the Shrine of the Book, home to the exceptional archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts.

  • Shabbat lunch at the hotel with Bob Rosenschein - An American-Israeli internet entrepreneur and other special guests in “Start-Up Nation”. He was founder, Chairman and CEO of Answers.com, formerly GuruNet, until May 2011, when it was bought by Summit Partner's AFCV Holdings for $127 million. His latest startup was Curiyo. (not included in price)

  • Afternoon options:

  • A - Rest and enjoy the hotel amenities

  • B - Walking tour of Katamon neighborhood led by Rachel Korazim - Israeli literature and history - It was established just before World War I by Arab Christians, who had built large mansions here. During the 1948 war of independence, it was the site of some of the fiercest battles in Israel's military history. We will uncover the meaning of the streets' names, and the story of the 1948 war will start unfolding. Winding our way to the San Simon Park… The garden, the secluded monastery and the stories they harbor, will be the backdrop for our literature session of excerpts from A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev and 1948 by Yoram Kanyuk. These readings will open a window to the layers of lingering memories of the Battle of San Simon. We will conclude our tour by walking just a few steps to the alley between the Monastery and the Patriarch's home to remember one of Israel's greatest poets, Shaul Tchernichovsky, who lived and died in this house. His poem "Creed" will offer hope and consolation as we get ready for the end of Shabbat.

  • C - Knocking down the walls: walking tour of the first neighborhoods outside of the Old City Walls - Mishkenot Sha'ananim and Yemin Moshe was established with the financial support of British Jewish banker Moses Montefiore in the late 19th century outside Jerusalem's Old City as a solution to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions inside the walls. The original houses were built with a wall around them and a gate that was locked at night. Montefiore left an indelible mark on the Jerusalem landscape by building the landmark Montefiore Windmill in Yemin Moshe. Walk through this special neighborhood and explore various fascinating sites in the hotel's area such as the Old Train Station and the German Colony.

  • Havdallah ceremony - farewell to the Shabbat

  • Free evening: Machne Yehuda Market / Emek Refaim Street / Hatachana First Station complex

  • Optional: Street Art Graffiti tour in Machne Yehuda Market

  • Orient Jerusalem

Overnight: Orient Jerusalem
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

7 - Sunday (November 13)

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Morning options:

  • A - Yad Vashem private tour - Visit the museum at Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Memorial to the Holocaust. Tour this memorial to the darkest moment in world and Jewish history, its children’s memorial, and exquisite gardens. Yad Vashem is an unforgettable place of tribute and remembrance. You'll be guided by a member of the Yad Vashem staff.

  • B - 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions - A ride on the Jerusalem Light Rail will provide fascinating insights into modern-day Jerusalem. We will periodically depart the train to meet activists and leaders who will discuss key issues confronting the city today, including the relationship between predominantly Arab East Jerusalem and the city’s mostly Jewish western part.

  • C - Arab East Jerusalem - Extending from the Damascus Gate to the Via Dolorosa, the Muslim Quarter is the largest of the Old City’s quarters and has been home to Palestinian Arabs for centuries. Tour the Temple Mount - Haram Al Sharif - and learn about its centrality in Islam, but for Jews and Christians as well. Explore the Muslim quarter and meet people who have lived in the Old City for generations, practicing their crafts and raising their families. Browse the famous Arab shuk (market) in the Muslim quarter.

  • D - The Six Days that Changed Jerusalem - Today, as we move freely around Jerusalem from east to west, few signs remain of the bitter battles waged to achieve the unity of the city in 1967, during the Six Day War. A visit to Ammunition Hill reminds us of the fierce fighting and high death toll exacted in these battles. The site, which serves as a memorial to those who fell in the battle for Jerusalem, is where paratroopers began their successful campaign to reunite the city. Our tour will be led by Alon Wald, whose father Rami died during the battle for Ammunition Hill.

  • Lunch on own

  • Afternoon program options:

  • A - Israel as Portrayed in Israeli Films - At the Ma’aleh Film School meet the staff and students who are shaping the future of the Israeli film and television industry, and beyond. Maaleh’s unique, cutting-edge films build bridges across all sectors of the Jewish world, fostering deeper understanding and dialogue between religious and secular Jews. View clips from Ma’aleh films as a way of understanding the complexity of Israeli Culture.

  • B - Visual Identities - tour of the Israel Museum - The Israel Museum is one of the most fascinating places to explore the meeting points of Jewish-Israeli, religious-secular, and national-international identities. During this tour we’ll explore in-depth both the Jewish Art and Life wing and the permanent Israeli collection to shed new light on these issues and more. It’s an opportunity to encounter one of the most beautiful museums in the world, amazing artwork, and engage in complex questions about identity. Tour will be guided by Shirel Horowitz, a local Israeli artist and art educator.

  • C - The Western Wall Tunnels - Explore what’s under the Kotel through the Kotel Tunnels Tour. The Western Wall is impressive, but its greatness is truly discovered when you descend underground to the Western Wall Tunnels. The tunnels run along approximately 488 meters (1601ft) of the Western Wall, giving visitors a taste for the challenge that stood before Herod the Great during this biggest of all his immense building projects - the expansion of the Temple Mount.

  • D - Opening the Closet Doors of the Holy City - Visit the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, for a presentation and Q&A session with former CEO, Ofer Erez and activist, Nadav Schwartz. Nadav knew he was gay by the time of his bar mitzvah. The problem? He grew up in an Orthodox family and didn’t think it was possible to mix his Judaism with his homosexuality. After many sessions of conversion therapy and trying to “pray the gay away,” Schwartz couldn’t understand why the older men in his support group were so depressed. “I was [thinking]: What’s the problem? You marry a woman and everything disappears.” But as a newlywed, after experiencing the conflict for himself, Schwartz began to realize that his feelings were not going to change, and he divorced his wife just four months after getting married. Now, Schwartz combines his love for Judaism and his identity as an openly gay Orthodox man in an effort to help other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, while working as a community coordinator at the Open House for Pride and Tolerance, Jerusalem’s LGBT organization.

  • Dinner and performance

  • Jerusalem: Orient Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem: Orient Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

8 - Monday (November 14) : Diving deep into the politics of the land and soaking up the past

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Morning tracks:

  • A - The Multicultural Communities - begin with touring Nachlaot - The neighborhood is known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues. In the wake of gentrification projects in the area, the face of the neighborhood has changed while retaining its unique character.

  • When it's lunch time: Go on a food tour at the Machane Yehuda Market - In the heart of Jerusalem, a bustling multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor, a tasting tour through Mahane Yehuda market is an adventure for your taste buds. Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors, and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers.

  • B - Wine Tasting Adventure - Join us for the day as we trace the Israeli grape from biblical times to present trends, while enjoying a day in the “Tuscany” of Israel. We will peek into local boutique wineries, meeting boutique winemakers to learn about the nuances of Israeli wine production and flavors. Israeli cheese, bread, olives and other tasty treats will accompany each wine tasting, and, time permitting, we will enjoy a beer sampling at a microbrewery.

  • C - Masada & the Dead Sea - Ascend the mountain from the west by a cable car or hike up the Snack Path to explore Masada, scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. The new museum at the Visitor Center reveals the secrets of the daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols.
    After lunch take time to swim and attempt floating in the Dead Sea.

  • D - A Tale of Two Cities - Head deeper into the Judean Hills, arriving in Area H2, the Israeli controlled part of Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank. We will tour the city, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and talk with representatives of the Jewish community about why they live in this religiously important and conflict-ridden city. Meet with local residents for an overview of Jewish life in Hebron and the relationship of Israelis with their Palestinian neighbors.
    Lunch on rout.

  • After lunch we will meet Rami Nazzal, a Palestinian journalist - Who writes for international publications including The New York Times. He will provide a powerful account of Palestinian life, politics and aspirations.

  • Is the Two-State Solution Still Viable? - Meet with Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian activist, legislator and scholar and the first woman elected to the Palestinian National Council. We’ll hear about her experiences as the official spokesperson for the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle Eastern Peace Process in the 1990’s and hear what she believes the future holds for Israeli-Palestinian relations.

  • Free evening and dinner on own in Jerusalem

  • Optional: Late night bike-ride in Jerusalem

  • Jerusalem: Orient Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem: Orient Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast

9 - Tuesday (November 15) : Ve'ahavta Lo Kamocha - Minorities in A Jewish State

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Activities:

  • Breakfast & check-out from hotel

  • Option A - Religious pluralism program at the Shalom Hartman Institute - A leading center of Jewish thought and education. The institute aims to strengthen Jewish peoplehood, identity, and pluralism, enhance the Jewish and democratic character of Israel; and to ensure that Judaism is a compelling force for good in the 21st century.
    Our visit will include meeting with Rabbi Noa Sattath and Anat Hoffman from IRAC. Rabbi Noa Sattath is the Director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the social justice arm of the Reform movement in Israel. She is charged with leading the staff of the organization, developing and implementing social change strategies in the fields of separation of religion and state, women's rights, and the struggle against racism.

  • Option B: Ultra-Orthodox Women in the New Economy - Explore the changing role of ultra-Orthodox women in the Israeli economy. Our tour of the fast-growing Haredi city of Modi’in Illit will include CityBook Services which works with the US real-estate industry and has a predominantly ultra-Orthodox, female staff. Meet CEO Eli Kazhdan and talk with women about how they balance their religious. Born in Russia and raised in Boston (where he attended Maimonides Jewish Day School in Brookilne), Eli is the son of an Israel Prize laureate in mathematics, who made aliyah in 1991 with his own degrees from Harvard and Hebrew University Law School.

  • Lunch on rout

  • Bringing on the Beat - Experience the vital role music schools are playing in Israel's thriving jazz and music scene at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. We'll meet musicians from Israel and around the world who are studying at the country's leading school for advanced studies in modern music and sample some of the sweet, exciting sounds they're creating.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv & check-in to the hotel

  • Love, Literature, and the Conflict - Dinner at a restaurant and a talk with Dorit Rabinyan - One of the most successful of Israel’s new generation of writers. We’ll hear how young Israeli authors depict the conflict, and about the political controversy that surrounded her award-winning novel All the Rivers (also published as Borderlife) due to its depiction of a romantic relationship between a Palestinian man and an Israeli-Jewish woman.

  • Late night activity: Tel Aviv Nightlife - Experience the "city that never sleeps" by a fun bar hopping tour. (optional)

  • Meet an Art Collector at his private home - A small group will meet Bill Gross, one of Israel’s most respected Judaica collectors, for a tour of the collector’s private collection. Gross has been collecting Judaica and documents and literature on Jewish art and culture for almost fifty years. He acquired his first piece of Judaica, though - a spice box bought for $10 - in 1964, at age 25, from a Chicago cab driver who spent his spare time scouring thrift and antiques stores for Jewish art for Gross' father-in-law. The spice box was of little interest to Gross' father-in-law, whose collection was donated to the Spertus Museum in Chicago, but it sparked an obsessive interest in Gross, who spent five years just gathering together books on the subject of Judaica. Today, Gross' pursuit could be likened to fitting together thousands of pieces of a huge, intricate puzzle: The puzzle of Jewish life. Objects from his collection can frequently be admired in exhibitions all over the world. (Speaker not included in price)

  • Royal Beach Tel Aviv

Overnight: Royal Beach Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

10 - Wednesday (November 16) : The Responsibility Of The First Hebrew City

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Morning Tracks:

  • A - Independence Trail - Inspired by the Freedom Trail in Boston, the new Independence Trail follows 10 stops of Tel Aviv’s heritage sites learning about the history of this great city along the way. The trail begins at the intersection of tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard and Herzl Street, home to Tel Aviv’s first kiosk. The trail ends across the street at Independence Hall, where on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion read aloud the Declaration of Independence as Israel was declared an independent Jewish state.

  • B - Carmel Market Tasting Tour with celebrity chef, TV personality and food writer Gil Hovav. - Gil will reveal the secrets of the market as we sample the best foods to be found. Gil is a leading culinary journalists and television personality who comes from one of the most respected families in the Jewish world: he is the great-grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language; the grandson of Itamar Ben-Avi who began modern Hebrew journalism; and the son of Moshe & Drora Hovav, "founding members" of Israel's modern-day public radio. (The tasting tour replaces lunch)

  • C - The Tel Aviv Museum of Art - In this dynamic tour we'll figure out what makes Israeli art into what it is, and what’s it 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?

  • Afternoon options:

  • A - Tel Aviv as a Jewish City, Tel Aviv as an Israeli City…Tel Aviv as a City of the World, with scholar Rachel Korazim - At her home in Jaffa. Dr. Rachel Korazim is a powerful speaker and a freelance Jewish education consultant specializing in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education. She is involved with Jewish education worldwide; creating and implementing in-service training programs for educators, writing educational materials, counseling and teaching. As one of the founders and directors of a special program for Israeli soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds, she was responsible for creating the educational framework and training teachers for the implementation of the program. Born in Israel, she served in the I.D.F. as an officer in the central training base for women and was later a member of the I.D.F. delegation to Niger (West Africa). She is a graduate of Haifa University with a Ph.D. in Jewish education.

  • B - Urban Culture Tours of Tel Aviv with Niro Taub - Combining street Art, language & graffiti: Join Niro Taub, a local resident, to explore the urban culture of the city. Niro is an artist and graduate of the Faculty of Visual Communications at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. His special brand of guided tours integrates the fascinating world of design and the arts. With more than 20 years of experience as a tour guide working in both Hebrew and in English, in Israel and around the world, Niro is known for the creative and visionary artistic tour-guiding aids that he has designed. His unique method of tour-guiding places an emphasis on experiential and memorable excursions, which use of the language of art and design in order to cultivate a better understanding of the contexts at play - history, culture, society and current affairs - in the locations where the tours take place. Niro has worked with educational tourism companies and in event production for many years. Each tour is personally tailored to the needs of the customer or group. Niro is a frequent guest on TV programs, as an expert on tourism and creative tour-guiding.

  • C - The Strangers Among Us tour led by Bina - Explore the fascinating neighborhood of Neve Sha’anan in South Tel Aviv as a microcosm of Israel. In recent years, Israel has seen a significant rise in non-Jewish immigrants such as migrant workers, asylum-seekers and refugees, presenting new challenges to the Jewish State. With our own eyes we will see how diverse groups have left their impact on Israel and on the neighborhood.
    BINA means “Wisdom” in Hebrew. BINA is an Israeli-born movement at the intersection of Jewish education and social activism. BINA works to advance democracy, pluralism and justice in Israel and the Jewish world through limud (study), ma’ase (action) and kehilla (community), emphasizing Jewish culture and values of tikkun olam (repairing the world).

  • Dinner on own

  • Royal Beach Tel Aviv

Overnight: Royal Beach Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: breakfast

11 - Thursday (November 17) : Take Israel Back Home

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Morning tracks in Jaffa:

  • A - The Jewish-Arab Tour of Jaffa - On a walk through Jaffa, discover the ancient and modern situated side-by-side. Guided walk through Jaffa with an Arab guide and a Jewish guide, exploring the people and the places they share, the narratives they don’t share, and a chance to take in a strong dialogue, in conjunction with Mishkenot Ruth Daniel. The port city of Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in Israel and one of the oldest seaports in the world. Legend claims it is named for Noah's son Jefet, who is said to have settled there after the flood. Still others cite the similarity between Jaffa or Yaffo in Hebrew and Yaffa, the Hebrew word for beauty. Jaffa is mentioned in the Bible as the port through which Solomon brought cedars of Lebanon to build the Temple. Jonah set sail from Jaffa's port, when he sought to flee the Lord and was swallowed by a whale.

  • B - Hapishpeshim - Jaffa Flea Market - Meet a variety of people, buildings, history and architecture found in Jaffa’s famous market. Few people know of the Jewish history hidden in this market, including: the beginnings of a Jewish settlement in the 19th century and Herzliyya Gymnasium, khans and hotels that welcomed many immigrants during the first and second Aliyah, and more. You will be amazed to learn these secrets, as we admire together this historic market.

  • C - Tastes, Smells and People: Jaffa in a Nutshell - We will follow the scents and tastes of this city as we sample from Bulgarian bourekas, Turkish coffee and Arabic hummus. Through this tour, we will trace Jaffa’s history through food and drink.

  • D - Peace AND Prosperity? - 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.

  • Lunch on own at Jaffa Flea Market - Wind your way through the Flea Market which features everything from antiques to hip new clothing and design stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars.

  • Free time: time to relax, shopping, exploring your way

  • Farewell dinner at Beit Otzarin with author David Grossman - One of Israel's greatest living writers, and a staunch advocate for peace. His books include A Horse Walks Into a Bar (which won the 2017 Man Booker International Prize), To The End of the Land, and The Yellow Wind. He has been wrestling with the trauma of war and the prospects for peace, as well as love, jealousy, and family relationships for more than three decades. In his first novel, See Under: Love, he grappled with the legacy of the Holocaust. In The Yellow Wind, he foresaw the explosive first intifada, and in his bestselling To the End of the Land, he hauntingly portrayed a mother's love for her son in a time of conflict. He is the recipient of many prizes, including the French Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Buxtehuder Bulle in Germany, Rome's Premio per la Pace e l'Azione Umitaria, the Premio Ischia-- International Award for Journalism, Israel's Emet Prize, and the Albatross Prize given by the Günter Grass Foundation.

  • Closing session - Conversation on experiences, feelings and thoughts for the future.

  • Farewell - transfer to BNG Airport and fly back to the USA

Overnight: Farewell - transfer to BNG Airport and fly back to the USA
Meal Plan: breakfast, Farewell dinner

12 - Friday (November 18) : Fly back to the USA

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Activities:

  • Overnight flight back home

Overnight: Overnight flight back home

Terms of Payment

Deposit is due immediately to secure the booking.

Balance for the trip is due no later than 45 days prior to first day of trip.

Please refer to our full Terms and Conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be cancelled within 48 hours, with a full refund.

Should it be necessary to cancel or postpone the tour due to force majeure circumstances, or Israeli government-imposed/air flight restrictions related to COVID-19,  a full refund may be possible, minus a $200 per person service fee.

For cancellations made:

  • Up to 45 days prior to departure, any payments made above the deposit towards the tour will be refunded. The deposit is non-refundable
  • 45 to 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded
  • 29 to 8 days prior to departure, 25% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded
  • 7 to 0 days prior to departure, the client will incur 100% of the cost of the tour

Should members of a group booking cancel their participation, their deposits cannot be applied to the balance payment of other group members.

All cancellation requests must be made in writing.

What’s Included
Hotel accommodation v
Fees for sites and activities listed v
A private, licensed, English speaking tour guide and transportation v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
VIP services upon arrival & departure v
Airfare v
COVID-19 health insurance coverage (required) v
Travel Insurance (recommended) v

Early bird special - $200 off per person.

Available only between October 1-10, 2021!!

Registration for the trip will open on October 1. Fill out this form to be notified when registration for the trip opens, so you can take advantage of early bird special pricing!

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