Price range
From $7400 per person
Upcoming Date
13-23 March 2023
Tour Time
11 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

This seminar will satisfy your craving for memorable food and wine experiences with a hands-on cultural tour as unique as the people and flavors that make up Israel. We will encounter the arts and amazing foods as we explore sites off the beaten path—whether along the seaside or in mountain regions. Discover the unparalleled scene that puts Tel Aviv on the map as one of the most dynamic cities in the world, engage with works by local artists from diverse backgrounds, and welcome Shabbat in Jerusalem with a unique challah baking experience, as we savor foods from around the Jewish world. From farms and foraging to architecture, design, and social entrepreneurship, you will discover an Israel you’ve never experienced before.

Highlights

Outstanding Accommodations
Great wining and dining experiences
Encounters with cutting edge social entrepreneurs
Exploring the arts with acknowledged experts
Visits to out-of-the way & unfamiliar locations
Single Supplement $2200

Itinerary

1 - Monday (March 13) : Welcome to Israel

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Activities:

  • Gather together at meeting place (TBD) - Start your journey by travelling north

  • Rooting-At the Bird Mosaic in Caesarea - Begin your seminar with a Seven Species "Seder"
    Place yourselves in the elements that are native to the land. Through tasting, learning and experiencing the Seven Species with the mosaic as a backdrop, consider the role of the natural landscape on influencing the cultural complexities of the country today. The mosaic was originally part of a large 6th century mansion. In 1955, archaeologists excavated this hilltop 500 meters outside of the Byzantine city walls of Caesarea.

  • Toast the trip at Kishor Winery - Kishor Winery is located in Kishorit, a village for adults with special needs. The members of the community enjoy a full life, including meaningful employment. In conjunction with the professional staff, the members take an active part in the grape cultivation, bottling, and marketing of the wines. The Visitors’ Center also employs Kishorit members who host guests, interact with members of the general community, and give guided tours.

  • Check into the hotel

  • Dinner at the beautiful home of Chef Gadi Elias

  • North - Kfar Blum Pastoral Hotel

Overnight: North - Kfar Blum Pastoral Hotel
Meal Plan: dinner

2 - Tuesday (March 14) : The Cultural Mosaic of the Galilee

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Drive to Akko - Akko is an ancient port city built and influenced by the Crusaders, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and the British. The Acre Crusader City was built during the 12th century and destroyed in 1291 when the Mamluks conquered Acre and built their own city on the Crusader ruins.

  • Start with the city's Tunisian Synagogue - The Ohr Torah Tunisan synagogue in Akko is unique even in a land of synagogues. Built by a community of Tunisian Jews from Djerba, it offers four stories of glorious mosaics and stained-glass windows both inside and out, showing a varied range of stories, flora, and fauna.

  • Tour Akko - Walk through 4,000 years of history in this ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site. The Old City of Akko, or Acre, has been lived in continuously for 4 millennia

  • Tour the market with the women of Beit Elfarasha - At Beit Elfarasha meet the true gems of the city, the local women. This program empowers women of Akko through cooking workshops, and gives visitors an intimate take on the Old City of Akko.

  • Continue with a cooking workshop and lunch at Beit Elfarasha

  • Stop at the Open Museum at Tefen - The Open Museum is located in the Tefen Industrial Park, at the heart of the Western Galilee. The park was founded in 1985 by the industrialist Stef Wertheimer; its success led to the foundation of four additional parks: at Tel-Hai in the Galilee panhandle; at Omer in the Negev; at Lavon in the vicinity of Tefen; and at Dalton in the Galilee. Together, the museums represent Wertheimer's approach – which supports creative endeavors in industry and in culture, art and education.

  • Buza Ice Cream - Buza, the Arabic word for ice cream, is owned and operated by Alaa Sweetat, a local Muslim and Adam Ziv, a Jew from Kibbutz Sasa. A delicious Co-Existence venture. Taste their unique flavors.

  • Dinner at the hotel

  • North - Kfar Blum Pastoral Hotel

Overnight: North - Kfar Blum Pastoral Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

3 - Wednesday (March 15) : Where it All Began

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Agamon HaHula on Bikes & Golfcarts - The Hula valley sits in part of the northern Syrian African Rift Valley which stretches as far south as Mozambique in Africa. During every migration season over 500 million birds travel through the Hula Lake. This wetland paradise is the perfect stopover for small waterfalls, cormorants, heron, pelicans, raptors, storks, and cranes. Early morning ride through the park.

  • Foraging and learning about Sustainable Eating with Uri Mayer-Chissick - Get to know local, wild food from nature– and dishes prepared today from food that has been grown here throughout history with Dr. Uri Mayer-Chissick, an expert on the history of local food and nutrition in the Middle-East. Uri is the author of the Israeli guide to foraging for wild edible plants. Hike and cook outdoors.

  • On the way to Jerusalem, stop at the Mosaic Museum at the Inn of The Good Samaritan-National Park - The museum showcases a large and fascinating collection of ancient mosaics unparalleled in Israel. The spectacular mosaics, dating from the Byzantine period (fourth–seventh centuries) were collected from churches and Jewish and Samaritan synagogues throughout Judea and Samaria and from a synagogue in Gaza. The mosaics illustrate the cultural, artistic and religious expressions of Jews, Samaritans and Christians who lived side by side in the Land of Israel during the period of the Mishnah and the Talmud.

  • Drive to Jerusalem and check into the hotel

  • Dinner on your own

  • Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

4 - Thursday (March 16) : Zoom In

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • To see Jerusalem in depth and close up, tour Jerusalem's Old City with photographer and guide Simon Beni - The tour combines visits to historical sites with a workshop in photography. Walk down the alleys and explore hidden corners while learning to create good compositions with the ambient light.

  • Continue to the Museum On The Seam - Continue to the Museum On The Seam - The Museum On the Seam is a socio- political contemporary art museum, located on the geographic seam line between East and West Jerusalem, at the meeting point of the three religions. In its unique way, the museum presents art as a language with no boundaries in order to raise diverse social issues for public discussion and to bridge gaps.

  • Meet the Jerusalem Food Rescuers - 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, engage in food literacy focused activities such as lectures and workshops with kids and adults, and run a sustainable catering business.

  • Short tour of Machane Yehuda Market - In the heart of Jerusalem, a bustling multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor, a tasting tour through 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. After dinner you'll have more time to experience the Thursday nightlife at the 'shuk'.

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

  • Optional evening Bakery Tour of the 'Shtisel' Neighborhoods - On a busy Thursday night, when people are preparing for Shabbat, have a taste of the Ultra-Orthodox world and walk the streets of these neighborhoods.

  • Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner, Tastings throughout the day

5 - Friday (March 17) : Melting Pot or Tossed Salad?

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Explore the Jerusalem Hills at the beautiful Sataf forest for an easy hike - Sataf is on the site of ancient agricultural terraces that date to the time of the ancient Israelites. If it’s warm enough, there’s even an option to take a dip in some of the natural springs. Along the way - forage for edible plants.

  • Stop in Abu Ghosh at Al Yasmeen Halva and Tahini heaven to taste some of Israel’s best!

  • Ein Kerem with time for lunch on your own - Tucked into the hills of Jerusalem is the biblical Ein Kerem, whose name means "the spring in the vineyard." Step into another world while you visit this quaint neighborhood.

  • Free time and prepare for Shabbat - Lunch on your own

  • Lekha Dodi Likrat Kallah- Welcoming remarks towards our Melton Shabbat Celebration

  • Candle-lighting and Evening Services

  • Traditional Shabbat dinner - Se'udat Shabbat with participants of the "Exploring Israel" program - Group discussion and reflections

  • Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

6 - Saturday (March 18) : Shabbat Shalom

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Morning Services at Synagogue(s) of choice

  • A Look at the Weekly Torah Portion, closing the Book of Leviticus

  • Indulge in a Jewish Shabbat Brunch - Enjoy the variety of classic ethnic foods that are part of the Shabbat day meal. These dishes are brought directly from the homes in which the food was cooked by families that share their heritage and flavors.

  • OPTIONAL WALKING TOUR - 1. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai OR
    2. Along King David Street: Three Buildings, Three Faiths, Three Agendas

  • Se'udah Shlisheet - late afternoon snack and schmooze

  • Havdalah

  • Dinner and evening on your own

  • Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem - Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

7 - Sunday (March 19) : Hazan et Hakol

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Kaima Organic Farm - Through volunteering, understand some of the challenges Israel faces and take a small role in addressing these challenges. At Kaima Farm pick vegetables and help prepare lunch using the farm’s produce to serve to the youth who are changing their lives through their work at the farm.

  • The Lives and Recipes of Beit Shemesh-Mate Yehuda Women - Eat lunch in the home of one of the women who is part of the area’s Women’s Empowerment program designed to harness the strength of women’s skills, backgrounds, and interests to help them achieve their dreams. These women have entered the world of business entrepreneurship through sharing and cooking their ethnic meals.

  • Wine-tasting at Tzora Vineyards - Visit Tzora Vineyards, a small boutique winery located on Kibbutz Tzora near Beit Shemesh. The winemaker, Eran Pick, holds the title “Master of Wine.” He is an experienced agronomist and vintner, and is involved in the entire process, from growing and tending the vines, to the harvesting and winemaking, to produce fine wines.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv and check into your hotel

  • Assif: Culinary Institute of Israel - Assif is a cultural center in Tel Aviv with a library, farm, gallery & cafe that encourages open discourse around local foodways and identity. Tour the center, meet with one of the founders, food critic Ronit Vered, and eat dinner.

  • Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel

Overnight: Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

8 - Monday (March 20) : The Tel Aviv Art Scene

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

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

  • Hatikva Market Tasting tour lunch - Hatikvah Market is a lesser-known gem. Since the market's renovation it has become a joyful, colorful place. Many say this is Tel Aviv's best market for variety, price, people-watching, and authenticity. The Hatikva Market was built in the mid-1930s as a response to the Arab Revolt, when residents of the village of Salama stopped coming to the neighborhood to sell their goods. What began with a few produce stalls put up by local residents of Iraqi, Yemenite, Syrian and Iranian background grew into a sprawling market spread out along the triangle of Ha’Etzel, Hahagana and Hatikva Streets.

  • Bauhaus tour - Tel Aviv has more Bauhaus buildings that any other city in the world, so many that it is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The buildings were designed by Bauhaus architects who immigrated to Israel from Europe in the 1930s and were influenced by the work of Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Some 4000 Bauhaus buildings were built in the 1930s – a development which turned the city center into a quasi "open air Bauhaus museum" and earned Tel Aviv the nickname “White City.”

  • Dinner on your own - Reservations will be made at several restaurants for you to choose from.

  • Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel

Overnight: Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, Tasting tour lunch

9 - Tuesday (March 21) : Culture as Social Change

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • YouMake ReMake with Renana Raz - Meet Renana Raz, a leading voice in the young generation of Israeli choreographers pursuing various artistic genres. Renana’s ongoing project and brainchild is YouMake ReMake which challenges us to think about how we view the world. Renana emphasizes how her experience living in Israel has informed and guided her creativity throughout her career.

  • Meet the amazing people of KitePride - KitePride creates functional bags from used high quality upcycled fabrics in order to provide jobs to women and men exiting human trafficking and prostitution. In addition to learning about KitePride’s amazing work.

  • Visit Kuchinate together with Julie Fisher - Your visit to Kuchinate African Refugee Women’s Cooperative will include a coffee ceremony and tour of this incredible social start-up. Meet founders Diddy Mymin Kahn and Sister Aziza, who have turned the lives of refugee women around by empowering them to find their voices and regain their dignity after very difficult life circumstances.

  • Free time

  • Option-Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Market - Visit Nahalat 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, various metals with most if not all containing materials or themes found only in Israel.

  • Dinner at Gueta - On Jaffa's Jerusalem Boulevard, across from the Gesher Theater, Gueta restaurant keeps to its traditional Tripoli style of cooking, using old recipes that have been passed through generations.

  • Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel

Overnight: Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

10 - Wednesday (March 22) : Taking it to the Streets

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Untold Jaffa Tour of the Ajami Neighborhood with Avihai Tsabari - Tour Ajami, a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jaffa, and 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.

  • The Evolution of Israeli Street Food with Amit Aharonson - Explore the seven species of Israeli street food “hopping” between street food restaurants.

  • Visit the Design Museum Holon - Design Museum Holon is the first museum in Israel dedicated to Design. The building of the museum was planned and designed by Israeli architect and industrial designer Ron Arad in cooperation with Bruno Asa.

  • Tour and Tasting at the Milk and Honey Distillery - Visit Israel's first Whiskey Distillery and enjoy this unique 'Start-Up'

  • Dinner on your own

  • Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel

Overnight: Tel Aviv - Carlton Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

11 - Thursday (March 23) : Taking it Home

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Graffiti Tour - Explore Florentine through an urban graffiti tour. Who are the people going out at night and changing the face of the neighborhood? What kind of story do these images and words tell us about the people living there? What is unique about graffiti in Israel and in Tel Aviv? We will walk through Florentine, the neighborhood of Tel Aviv best-known for graffiti art to answer these questions and many more in a dynamic and inquisitive tour.

  • Levinsky Market tasting tour - The Levinsky Market specializes in spices and Mediterranean delicacies. It is, in many ways, the best market in Tel Aviv, for its variety, freshness and special atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a rare Indian spice or some good quality saffron - this is the place. Shops offer a cornucopia of excellent cheeses, smoked fish, wines and other delicacies. Tour the market and have "tastings" throughout.

  • Creative Workshop with Kol HaOt - Now is your opportunity to reflect on the time you’ve spent in Israel and to share the experiences, sites, and people you’ll want to remember most after you’ve returned home. With the "Kol HaOt" team, we will explore the personal meaning of Israel, using colors and symbols to give ourselves and our fellow participants a visual picture of what this journey has meant to us

  • Trip Reflections

  • Final Dinner with "Exploring Israel" Seminar group

  • TRANSPORTATION WILL BE PROVIDED TO BEN GURION AIRPORT FOR ALL THOSE FLYING ON THURSDAY NIGHT ON FLIGHTS FROM 11 P.M. ON.

Overnight: TRANSPORTATION WILL BE PROVIDED TO BEN GURION AIRPORT FOR ALL THOSE FLYING ON THURSDAY NIGHT ON FLIGHTS FROM 11 P.M. ON.
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner, Tasting Tour Levinsky Market

FAQ

Are medical and travel insurance necessary? Where can I purchase it?

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Health Insurance

It is a condition of your booking through Via Sabra / Israel4All, as well as the State of Israel, that you obtain travel health insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19.

Travel Insurance

In addition, we strongly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance which includes coverage for ‘cancellation under any circumstances and for any reason’. It is recommended to purchase insurance as soon as the booking is made, as this cover is often dependent on purchasing as close to the time of booking.

You can purchase travel insurance with our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry, through this link.

Is it safe to travel in Israel?

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Yes! It is safe for you and your family to travel in Israel. The Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have a vested interest in encouraging tourism. As a registered tour operator we receive security updates from the Home Front office and on rare occasions adjust our itineraries on their recommendations

What's the weather like in Israel?

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It is always best to check the weather forecast beforehand as the weather during Spring and Fall seasons can be unexpectedly warm or cold.

Spring (late March – May): Daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant - around 65-70°F, though it can still be hot in some areas (such as the Dead Sea and Eilat). There is a slight chance of rain, but it doesn't happen often. It can be cooler in the evenings in the North and Jerusalem - approximately 45°F.

Summer (late May - late September): Temperatures are usually in the high 80s-90s. At this time of year, humidity will be highest in Tel Aviv and Tiberias. Other areas such as Jerusalem are drier and cooler, particularly at night. The desert, Masada and Eilat are extremely hot, but dry. It will almost never rain in the summer in Israel!

Fall (late September – November): Same as Spring, but the rain can begin towards the end of the season.

Winter (December - early March): Winter can be mild and sunny, or severe and overcast. There's often heavy rain and, in January and February, even snow at times! Temperatures will be in the 50s-60s most places, but in the 40s in Jerusalem and the Galilee hills, and cold at night. Pack layers and be prepared for anything!

Weekly weather forecast

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 the Melton travel 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
A private, licensed, English speaking tour guide v
Bottles of water, as needed, and snacks v
Fees for sites and activities listed v
Group transfer to the airport on departure v
Hotels throughout the trip v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
Tips for tour guides and drivers v
Transportation throughout the trip to all programmed activities v
Travel insurance- STRONGLY recommended v
Airfare v
COVID-19 health insurance coverage (required) v
COVID-19 testing (when required) v
Transfer from the airport on arrival - contact us to arrange info@visabra.com 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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