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Price range
From $0 per person
Upcoming Date
09 Jul 2024 - 19 Jul 2024
Tour Time
11 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)
Israel: A Country of Contradictions A small country with a massive impact. Ancient walls and wells of innovation. A multiethnic democracy with difficult security challenges. Explore these contrasts with Minnesota legislators and community leaders. JCRC's Israel Study Tour explores the complexities and beauty of modern Israel, diverse religious histories of the Holy Land, and Minnesota's many connections with this remarkable country and its resilient people.

Itinerary

1 - Tuesday ( July 9 ) : Welcome to Israel

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Activities:

  • Arrive by 5:35 p.m. at Ben Gurion Airport

  • Transfer to Jerusalem

  • Orientation and Ice Breakers - Meeting room at the hotel

  • Dinner on your own

  • Jerusalem Bat Sheva Hotel

2 - Wednesday ( July 10 ) : Government in Motion

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Begin the day at the Knesset - The Knesset, Israel's parliament, was named after “Haknesset Hagedolah,” the Great Assembly of the Second Temple period. Today it stands as a symbol of both Jewish sovereignty and dedication to democracy. In lively, often heated, debates, its 120 elected members reflect the divergence of Israeli public opinion, legislate and oversee the workings of the government.

  • Meet Knesset Members

  • Continue to the Israel Museum- time for lunch on your own - 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.

  • Dinner at Cafe Shalva - Shalva is a Jerusalem based organization that provides services to children with special needs and their families. Graduates of Shalva work at the café, and the café’s profits go back to the center to support its programs.

  • Jerusalem Bat Sheva Hotel

3 - Thursday ( July 11 ) : Jerusalem- Holy to All

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Activities:

  • The Temple Mount - Also known to Muslims as al Haram el-Sharif and the Al Aqsa Compound, where you can see the impressive 7th-century oldest extant Islamic monument, the Dome of the Rock. Learn about its religious significance for Jews, Muslims and also Christians, its history, and the sensitive political weight it has today.

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • The Mount of Olives - The Mount of Olives offers a panoramic lookout over the city. There are countless Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions about Mt. Olives, including that from here the Messiah will come, and from here the dead will be resurrected in the vision of the End of Days. Enjoy a beautiful lookout of the Holy Basin, the old and new city of Jerusalem.

  • Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations - At the foot of the Mount of Olives, the Church of All Nations, or Basilica of the Agony, is built over the rock where Jesus is believed to have prayed in agony the night before his crucifixion. Inside, the atmospheric church is kept in semi-darkness, to reflect the somber and sobering location.

  • Tour the Old City - Tour Jerusalem’s Old City and meet the people and places that make this place so unique. In the Jewish Quarter, uncover the layers of Jewish history from the time of the First Temple until the present day. In the Christian Quarter, visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and, if conditions permit, visit the one of the holiest Muslim sites, the Temple Mount. Throughout the tour explore the complexity of a city that is holy to these three major religions.

  • Lunch on your own in the Old City

  • Machane Yehuda Market Tasting tour - In the heart of Jerusalem sits this bustling, multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor. The Machane 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. On Thursday nights the market's nightlife is at its peak!

  • Jerusalem Bat Sheva Hotel

4 - Friday ( July 12 ) : History, Memory, and Shabbat Hospitality

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Masada National Park - Ascend the mountain from the east 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.

  • Dead Sea Lunch & Swim - Israel’s Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, a stunning, other-worldly landscape of shimmering blue water ringed by bare, orange and yellow hills. The waters of the Dead Sea hold a potent solution of minerals and salts that have strong healing properties. Together with its ethereal beauty, these health-giving minerals make the Dead Sea’s beaches and spas popular vacation spots for Israelis and tourists alike. At one of the local hotels, have lunch and 'float' in the Dead Sea.

  • Optional- Walk to the Western Wall to welcome Shabbat

  • Shabbat of a Lifetime - The Shabbat of a Lifetime program offers an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to experience an authentic Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) at the home of a host family in the heart of Jerusalem. Shabbat of a Lifetime participants receive an informative introduction to Shabbat while dining on a five-course meal with their hosts.

  • Jerusalem Bat Sheva Hotel

5 - Saturday ( July 13 ) : The West Bank

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Depart for Bethlehem - After crossing through the check point at Kever Rachel, continue to Bethlehem. Visit the traditional birthplace of Jesus, the site where the The Church of the Nativity now stands. This is also one of the oldest Christian churches in existence. During the Crusades, it was a primary place of pilgrimage. See artwork by the iconic Banksy on the security barrier (separation wall) and spend some time discussing his increased presence in the West Bank since 2003.

  • Meet the Mayor of Bethlehem or a Palestinian Authority Official

  • See the Al Bawadi olive tree - The Al Badawi olive tree in Bethlehem, which researchers peg to somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, is likely the oldest living olive tree in the world

  • Local lunch with focus on olives

  • Return to Jerusalem - Evening on your own

  • Meeting with Parents Circle Family Forum - The Parents Circle-Families Forum is a grassroots organization of Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost immediate family members due to the conflict. The PCFF operates under the principle that a process of reconciliation is a prerequisite for achieving a sustained peace.

  • Jerusalem Bat Sheva Hotel

6 - Sunday ( July 14 ) : The Lowest Place on Earth

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Check out of the hotel

  • Yad Vashem - Visit the museum at Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Memorial to the Holocaust. Tour this memorial to the darkest moment in the 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.

  • Continue to Mount Herzl - As Israel’s national cemetery, Mount Herzl is the final resting place of leaders of Zionism and Israel, including Yitzhak Rabin and Herzl himself, and of thousands of soldiers killed defending the State of Israel. At Mount Herzl you will find a moving monument to the 28,000-odd soldiers and civilians killed in combat or by terrorism since the founding of the state.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv - Check into your hotel

  • Walking tour of Tel Aviv's Zionist history - Inspired by the Freedom Trail in Boston, the new Independence Trail leads to 10 of Tel Aviv’s heritage sites teaching visitors 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.

  • Dinner on your own in Tel Aviv

  • Tel Aviv Port Hotel

7 - Monday ( July 15 ) : Tel Aviv-Old-New City

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Tech2Peace - Tech2Peace 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."

  • Tour Jaffa - Jaffa is one of the most ancient port cities in Israel and the Mediterranean basin. Today Jaffa is a mixed city, where Jews and Arabs live alongside each other. Tel Aviv, Jaffa's younger sister, was established centuries later, in the year 1909, but the two were united into one municipality in 1949, yet each part kept its unique feel and atmosphere.

  • Continue touring Jaffa in the Ajami Neighborhood - Tour the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jaffa, you’ll hear a challenging narrative about the city and its history. Continue your tour through Jaffa, enjoying the beauty of the winding streets and the beautiful port with its biblical reference.

  • Lunch on your own 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.

  • Dinner at BlackOut Restaurant - BlackOut is the only dark restaurant in Israel and, one of 14 that operate worldwide. At BlackOut you say goodbye to the sense of sight and immediately feel how the other senses are awakened and sharpened in complete darkness. The waitstaff lead you inside and serve you a selection of dishes full of inspiration from a varied menu, which also includes a rich selection of wines. The unique culinary experience along with the encounter with the waiters who are all blind or visually impaired makes the visit to the restaurant an extraordinary and unforgettable experience.

  • Tel Aviv Port Hotel

8 - Tuesday ( July 16 ) : Living on the Edge

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Tour the Gaza border area with Grisha Yakubovich - Stop at key lookout points for an in-depth discussion of the complexity of the Gaza Border situation. Grisha Yakubovich served in the Israel Defence Forces for 30 years, ending his career as Head of the Civil Coordination Department of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). He now consults and guides educational tour of the Gaza Border and the West Bank.

  • Hummus lunch in Sderot

  • Stop at Netiv HaAsara - Striving for Peace at Netiv HaAsara, a moshav on the western border of Israel with the Gaza Strip. Visit the Peace Wall on the border. Meet Tsameret Zamir, an artist and the creator of the project who will talk about life in the moshav in the shadow of the ongoing security situation – and about the hope of a good and peaceful future. Choose a colorful optimistic tile on which to write a personal wish and later glue to the border wall.

  • Continue to Rehovot - Rehovot is Minneapolis' Jewish Community Partnership City. Meet the partnership members and get to know the community.

  • Dinner in Rehovot- Home Hospitality

  • Return to Tel Aviv

  • Tel Aviv Port Hotel

9 - Wednesday ( July 17 ) : Physical and Spiritual Heights

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Check out of the hotel

  • Drive north

  • Lunch Visit with St. Paul's Partnership Region - Sovev Kinneret is St. Paul's Jewish Community Partnership Region and includes Tiberias, the Jordan Valley, and the Lower Galilee.

  • Continue to Capernaum - Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was a fishing village in the days of Jesus. As the place in which Jesus, Peter, and the Apostles lived and preached, Capernaum is a main site of pilgrimage for Christians.

  • Drive to the Golan Heights - Learn about the recent history of the region and explore the issues that have confronted Israel during the civil war in Syria. Stop at Har Bental, an extinct volcano and historic military site.

  • Druze Home Hospitality - Visit and dinner in one of the Druze villages of the Galilee or the Golan. The Druze are known for their hospitality and warm welcome of visitors. Learn about their fascinating history, unique religion, an ancient tradition.

  • Drive to the hotel and check in - Dinner at the hotel

  • North Hagoshrim Hotel

10 - Thursday ( July 18 ) : What This Land Has Seen

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Tour Israel's northern border with Lebanon - Lookout over the Israel-Lebanese border from Metula and hear about the geopolitics of the area with Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, CEO and founder of Alma, a non-profit independent research and education center specializing in Israel’s security challenges on its northern border.

  • Rosh Hanikra - Travel to Rosh Hanikra ("Head of the Grottos"), with the stunning chalk-white cliffs at Israel’s northernmost coastal border. Enjoy the view of the Mediterranean coastline stretched out before you, then take the cable car down beneath the cliffs to the grottos below and tour the system of underground marine caves eroded by pounding waves over thousands of years.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv - Check in

  • Dinner on your own

  • Tel Aviv Port Hotel

11 - Friday ( July 19 ) : Bringing it Home

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Optional bike tour of Tel Aviv - Details will be given on the detailed information form you will receive after registering.

  • Optional ANU Museum of the Jewish People - You’re invited to join a fascinating journey that portrays the story of the Jewish people through the generations and up to the present time. In June 2021, after ten years of planning and construction, this museum, the largest Jewish museum in the world, opened its doors. It represents all parts of the Jewish people and highlights the creative works and cultural riches of a variety of communities throughout different periods of history. This story is about all of us and each and every one of us is part of it.

  • Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Market - Visit Nachalat Binyamin, an open-air market in the heart of Tel-Aviv that has become synonymous with quality Israeli crafts and folk art. The market is comprised of over 100 stands representing specialty crafts and folk art in virtually every medium imaginable: wood, stone, sand, glass, ceramics, and various metals with most if not all containing materials or themes found only in Israel.

  • Final dinner

  • Transfer to the airport - Group transfer from the final dinner to the airport will arrive at the airport by 8:00 p.m. for flights departing from 10:55 p.m. and later.

Terms of Payment

Deposit is due immediately to secure the booking.

Balance for the trip is due no later than 60 days prior to the first day of trip. An invoice will be sent 90 days before the trip.

Please refer to our full Terms and Conditions here.

Please note: 

  • The itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen changes from suppliers, weather, etc.
  • This proposal is valid for 1 week for private clients, and 10 days for groups. 

 

Cancellation Policy

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

For cancellations made:

·         Up to 60 days prior to departure, any payments above the deposit towards the trip will be refunded. The deposit is non-refundable.

·         60-30 days prior to departure, 50% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded.

·         29-0 days prior to departure, the client will incur 100% of the cost of the tour.

All cancellation requests must be made in writing.

 

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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!

Would you like to stay in touch?