Price range
From $8000 per person
Upcoming Date
30-09 November 2022
Tour Time
11 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

Highlights

5* Deluxe Hotels
Immersive, Tailored program in the UAE
Grand opening Dinner
Unique Speakers, Text Studies and Brilliant Storytellers
Off the Beaten Path Program
Trip deposit - $750 per person
Price per person in a double room- $8000
Single supplement - $2000
Israel portion only- reduce by $2000 per person sharing a double room, $2250 per person in a single room
Check out the Premium Bundle for $4000 (per room) to include all hotel upgrades and many exclusive perks!

Itinerary

1 - Sunday (October 30) : Welcome Back to Israel

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Activities:

  • VIP Arrival- according to arrival plan - Arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Your VIP agent will be waiting to greet you at the sleeve of the plane. After assisting with arrival procedures, collecting your baggage, and relevant Covid testing, you will be taken to meet your driver.

  • Transfer to Tel Aviv - Check into the hotel

  • Opening Chef dinner at Anglo V'Nina hosted by Adeena Sussman - Anglo v'Nina is a stunning space in a historic building from the Ottoman period in the heart of Yafo and was the site of Israel's first bank- Bank Anglo-Palestina. Adeena Sussman is an author, food writer, recipe and product developer and consultant based in Tel Aviv who has been on the forefront of bringing Israeli Cuisine into the culinary repertoire.

  • Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: dinner

2 - Monday (October 31) : Tel Aviv Texture

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Untold Jaffa-Ajami Neighborhood, Jaffa - 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.

  • Continue to the American Colony - In 1866, a group of 150 Christian Americans from Maine and the New England region, led by the eccentric (some say charlatan) preacher George Adams, left the United States, where the Civil War had just ended. They carried with them their faith, and the materials to rebuild their houses in the Holy Land, sailing 42 days to the disease-ridden Middle East. Visit the Maine Friendship House and Immanuel Church, walk through the surprising streets, and learn the stories of the place.

  • Lunch of Israeli Street Food

  • What's Trending? Electives focused on trends in a variety of realms of Israeli society:

  • Fashion and Identity - This session addresses the relationship Israeli fashion has with the various aspects of living in Israel including identity questions, sub-groups in Israel, immigration to Israel, wars and cultural life and social entrepreneurship. Meet old and new fashion brands, designers who use ancient crafts and other professionals who use the best technology. We will walk, talk and shop.

  • Art-What is the story the Arts Establishment tells about Israeli Art? - Using drawing, sculpting, video and sound, Tel Aviv based artist Shirel Horovitz, creates performances and installations exploring cities, communities and the relations between people and space. She earned her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and her MA (with distinction) from The Interdisciplinary Art program in Tel Aviv University.
    Shirel exhibited in major galleries and art festivals in Israel and across the US and is currently exhibiting a new sculptural installation in Bat Yam Museum of Art.
    Alongside her art practice, Shirel lectures, leads art tours, teaches art and is an art consultant to a variety of private groups and institutions among them Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Alma Hebrew college, Classrooms Without Borders, Ashdod Museum of Art, Azrieli LTD, Hartman institute and more.
    Drawing from multiple fields of knowledge, Shirel weaves into each experience aspects of social issues, politics, economy, religion and more to create a vivid and nuanced image of the Israeli reality. Her knowledge, passion and love of all that is Art, Tel Aviv and Israeli history are nothing less than contagious.

  • Gaga Workshop - Gaga is the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director of the Bat Sheva Dance Company. Explore new ways to move through this intense experience.

  • Dinner with Foodish at ANU Museum of the Jewish People - ANU represents all parts of the Jewish people and highlights the creative works and cultural riches of a variety of communities in different periods of history. This story is about all of us and each and every one of us is part of it. Meet Foodish, the new culinary arm of ANU, which brings the story of Jewish food to the forefront.

  • Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

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

3 - Tuesday (November 1) : Innovation Nation

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Begin the day at Start-Up Nation Central - Start-Up Nation Central is an independent non-profit that builds bridges to Israeli innovation. They connect business, government, and NGO leaders from around the world with Israeli innovation, offering Israeli innovators access to high-potential and previously inaccessible markets, through highly customized business engagements, and through Start-Up Nation Finder – an easy to use, up-to-date, free online platform for discovering and connecting with the thousands of relevant innovators.

  • Curated visits to Starts-Ups and Businesses according to the interests of the participants - You'll have time for lunch during each visit

  • At Neve Schechter, conversation with Rakefet Ginsberg and MK Gilad Kariv- Religious Pluralism - Discuss the complexity of Religious Pluralism in 2022 with Rakefet Ginsberg, Executive Director of the Masorti movement, and Member of Knesset Gilad Kariv, former Director of the Reform Movement in Israel.

  • Israeli Cocktail Workshop - Drink down a story of Israel! 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 on your own in Tel Aviv

  • Optional- Concert or Performance - We will keep an eye out for options for performances and concerts for the group's members to attend.

  • Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

Overnight: Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

4 - Wednesday (November 2) : L'Ovda U'lShomra- Working and Protecting the Land

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Check out

  • Meeting with MK Tamar Zandberg, Environmental Protection Minister - Discuss Israel's Environmental challenges, successes, and approach to facing the challenges of Global Warming

  • Hike a portion of the Israel National Trail - The Israel trail traverses the length of Israel and was established as a National Trail in 1995.

  • Tour, light lunch, and wine-tasting at Bat Shlomo Winery - Taste wine and hear the incredible story of the Bat Shlomo Winery and settlement, founded by Baron Edmund de Rothschild.

  • Visit the KIC Kinneret Innovation Center and meeting with founder and CEO Elad Shamir - Strategically located in the heart of the Jordan Valley, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, this living lab presents an ecosystem of possibility. By bridging the gap between academia, industrial and agricultural communities, KIC enables startups and key corporate players to build advanced technology solutions. The Kinneret Innovation Center is a world-class technology hub designed to encourage global impact.

  • Drive to the hotel and check in - Time to relax and enjoy the facilities- option to book spa treatments and tour of the hotel's organic garden

  • Dinner at the hotel

  • Mitzpe Hayamim Hotel

Overnight: Mitzpe Hayamim Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

5 - Thursday (November 3) : Borders, Faults, and Seam lines

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Check out

  • Depart the hotel and drive to the Golan Heights

  • Um el Kanatir, also known as Ein Keshatot, is home to a Jewish village from the Period of the Mishna and Talmud, with a magnificent synagogue in its center. Enter a synagogue that features the original Ark Complex – the most preserved and magnificent ever to be discovered in Israel. The synagogue was excavated and reconstructed with advanced technological methods, and today it stands at a height of one story. The Ein Keshatot site also offers a visit to the village spring, which flows into ancient pools, surrounded by shaded areas. Study with guest teacher or with synagogue rabbi. - Visit the site of Um el Kanatir also known as Ein Keshatot, home to a Jewish village from the Period of the Mishna and Talmud, with a magnificent synagogue in its center. The ancient village is located above the Samekh Riverbed, looking towards the Sea of Galilee and the hills of the Galilee. Enter a synagogue that features the original Ark Complex – the most preserved and magnificent ever to be discovered in Israel. The synagogue was excavated and reconstructed with advanced technological methods, and today it stands at a height of one story. The Ein Keshatot site also offers a visit to the village spring, which flows into ancient pools, surrounded by shaded areas.

  • Update on the security challenges on Israel's northern borders with Guy Malal - A security briefing at the Tel Saki Observatory on the Syrian border which also serves as a heritage site commemorating the difficult battle that took place during the Yom Kippur War. The security situation of Israel on this border and the new situation in Syria today will be discussed. Lt. Colonel Guy Malal is a knowledgeable speaker with over two decades of experience as a Commander in the IDF and is fluent in Arabic. Guy Malal conveys an in-depth appreciation of Israel's society, diverse cultures, history and geo-political challenges. Guy gained his B.A. degree in Middle East studies and Geography and is now studying for his M.A. in Geography at Haifa University.

  • At Moshav Nov, eat lunch at Gillis, a family run meat house

  • Drive to Jerusalem - Check into your hotel

  • Welcome to Jerusalem cocktail on the roof of 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 of Jerusalem, in the meeting point of the three religions. The Museum, in its unique way, presents art as a language with no boundaries in order to raise diverse social issues for public discussion and bridge the gaps.

  • The Politics of Jerusalem Panel Discussion

  • Optional night tour through Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox neighborhoods

  • Isrotel Orient Jerusalem

Overnight: Isrotel Orient Jerusalem
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, finger food and wine

6 - Friday (November 4) : Jerusalem Up Close

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Jerusalem Encounters - In smaller groups, explore Jerusalem through encounters with locals:

  • -With Apo Shagian in the Armenian Quarter Jerusalem - Apo Sahagian was born in the Armenian Quarter and is the lead singer of a band her formed called Apo and the Apostles. A gifted speaker and political commentator, Apo will talk about growing up in the Old City and the issues his community faces today.

  • -With Father David Neuhaus in the Christian Quarter - A native of South Africa, Father Dr. Neuhaus made Aliyah to Israel in 1977. Having converted to Catholicism in 1988, he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1992 and was ordained as a priest in 2000. In 2001, he joined the faculty of Bethlehem University, where he teaches Judaic and Old Testament Studies. Father Dr. Neuhaus is the Patriarchal Vicar for Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew-Speaking Catholics in Israel and Coordinator of the Coordination of the Pastoral among Migrants in Israel, and teaches Scripture at the Seminary of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

  • - With Mahmoud Muna in Sheikh Jarah - Mahmoud Muna, owner of the bookstore in the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem. Muna was born in Jerusalem and attended school in its refugee camp where his dad taught three consecutive generations. Before finishing his studies at Al-Quds University, he was forced to re-located to the UK where he finished his first and second degree in London. He is a computer science graduate, trained communicator, and currently known to many as the bookseller of Jerusalem. He runs his family’s two bookshops, The famous Educational Bookshop, and the prestigious Bookshop at the American Colony Hotel.

  • -With Adina Bar Shalom- in the Jewish Quarter - Adina Bar-Shalom is an Israeli educator, columnist, and social activist. She is the founder of the first college for Haredi students in Jerusalem, and has spent years working to overcome gender discrimination in the Orthodox Jewish community. She is the daughter of the late spiritual leader, HaRav Ovadia Yosef.

  • Ease into Shabbat at Feel Beit - Feel Beit is a cultural home for creating art, expanding perspectives, and imagining new ways forward for Jerusalem. "We are a group of Israelis and Palestinians who create art and music to bridge divides in Jerusalem. Everything we present is rooted in love for the diverse people of this place. We are drive by a conviction that when all else breaks down, art and music must break through." Conversation with leaders Karen Brunwasser and Riman Barakat.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat with the group at the Cinematheque Terrace - Bring in Shabbat with a spectacular view of the Old City

  • Shabbat Dinner at the hotel

  • Isrotel Orient Jerusalem

Overnight: Isrotel Orient Jerusalem
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

7 - Saturday (November 5) : Shabbat Lech Lecha- Abraham's first Journey

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Optional-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 session to guide you into Shabbat.

  • Tefilot in local synagogues

  • Lech L'cha-The Abraham Accords- study sessions

  • Shabbat lunch at the hotel or Via Sabra Shabbat Brunch - Lunch of traditional Shabbat foods.

  • Shabbat menucha

  • Conversation with Yossi Klein-HaLevi - Israel's Real Existential Threat (continuing the May 2021 NYT opinion piece.) Klein-HaLevi is a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author, most recently, of “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.”

  • Or Dan Fefferman depending on flight to UAE

  • Havdalah at the Montefiore Windmill plaza at mishkenot sha'ananim - Was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, on a hill directly across from Mount Zion. Built in 1859–1860, it was the first area of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem outside the Old City walls

  • Dinner at a restaurant TBD

  • Isrotel Orient Jerusalem

Overnight: Isrotel Orient Jerusalem
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

8 - Sunday (November 6) : According to Abraham- Welcome to the UAE

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Conversation with Dan Feferman, Director of Communications and Global Affairs at Sharaka - Sharaka (Partnership in Arabic) is an Israeli Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) established in 2020 by leaders from Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE after the signing of The Abraham Accords. Shakara's mission is to build bonds between young Israeli and Gulf leaders, in order to strengthen peace, trust, and cooperation between our societies.

  • Transfer to the airport for flight to UAE

  • Welcome to Dubai - Dubai is a city that provides a new setting at every turn, richly mixing the old and the new. Visit Al Seef, an area rich in historical sites rooted in Dubai’s culture and heritage, adjacent to the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood. Continue the journey by Abra, a traditional boat, crossing Dubai Creek to visit the spice market and world-famous gold souk. Learn about Emirati culture, customs, and religion at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, located in the Al Bastakiya trading village. Visit the Dubai Frame, an iconic structure that ‘frames’ impressive views of old and new Dubai, while serving as a metaphorical bridge connecting the emirate’s rich past with its magnificent present. Offering spectacular panoramic views across the city, Dubai Frame celebrates the story of Dubai from its early establishment to its ambitious plans for future development.

  • Dinner and Speaker: Mohammed Baharoon - Director General of B’huth, the Dubai Public Policy Research Center- An Emirati Perspective on the Abraham Accords and Peace with Israel

  • Hilton Al Habtoor or similar

Overnight: Hilton Al Habtoor or similar
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

9 - Monday (November 7) : Abu Dhabi-Capital of the UAE

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Tour Abu Dhabi - As the world's richest city, Abu Dhabi breaks all the records. We embark on an exciting journey through Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE and the hub for some of the most spectacular and iconic landmark attractions that the region has to offer We start our day with a panoramic Abu Dhabi City Tour and a picture stop at the world-famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque with minarets over 100 meters tall, 82 domes of white marble, it is awe-inspiring to say the least. We continue with a visit to the Presidential Palace. Lunch on the Corniche Beach promenade. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District with 8,000 square meters of galleries, making it the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. In June 2022 Israel opened its Embassy in Abu Dhabi, a historic moment in the relationship between the two countries. Meet Israeli official in Abu Dhabi, pending availability.

  • Meet with the President of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) and a leader of the growing Expat community, to discuss the place of Jews in the UAE model of tolerance. - President of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) and a leader of the growing Expat community, to discuss the place of Jews in the UAE model of tolerance.

  • Dinner on your own

  • Hilton Al Habtoor or similar

Overnight: Hilton Al Habtoor or similar
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

10 - Tuesday (November 8) : Modern Dubai - Envisioning the Future

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Meet Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie at the Jewish Community Center - UAE’s Senior Rabbi, Beirut-born, a prominent scholar of Sephardic Judaism, Israel, the Jews, and the Muslim World. Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D. joined the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) in 2020 as its senior and resident rabbi. As the Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates experiences dramatic growth from an influx of Jewish tourists from Israel and the West following the historic signing of the Abraham Accords, Rabbi Dr. Abadie provides spiritual leadership to the local community helping to build and grow Jewish life in the Gulf.

  • Tour Modern Dubai - Start your tour of futuristic Dubai at the marina, carved along a two-mile stretch of Arabian Gulf shoreline, with a variety of luxury condominium towers and villas perched atop a dynamic waterfront retail promenade. Continue to the Palm Jumeriah, the world-famous human-made islands shaped like a palm, which form an 11-km.- long breakwater. Proceed on the monorail to downtown Dubai, the new part of the city. Visit the Burj Khalifa Tower, the tallest building in the world, for panoramic vistas of the city from the 124th floor. Free time shopping at the Souk Al Bahar and Dubai Mall. Watch the 150M high Dubai Water Fountain, a choreographed fountain system located on the man- made Burj.

  • Dinner and debrief of UAE Experience - Though we still have another day here, we will take this opportunity to unpack some of what we have experienced thus far.

  • Hilton Al Habtoor or similar

Overnight: Hilton Al Habtoor or similar

11 - Wednesday (November 9) : Farewell - Shalom and Lehitraot

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Conversations and Coffee - On this last day in Dubai, and before we head back home, take time to meet and converse with influential Emeritais.
    Some options:
    - Mohamad Alabbar, founder of Emaar Properties, who donated a Torah to the JCE
    - Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, member of the Federal National Council, founder of Hedayah (organization countering violent extremism)
    - Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and founder of TwoFour54 (the UAE’s media support organization – facilitated Star Wars being filmed in the desert)
    - Any of the leaders from Mubadala, the investment arm of the sovereign wealth fund

  • Late Lunch before making our way to the airport

  • Transfer to Dubai Airport

  • Depart back to the US

Overnight: Depart back to the US

FAQ

What clothes should I bring?

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Israel is a very informal country and the most formal you'll have to be is "business casual". Religious sites require long pants for the men and clothing that covers the knees and shoulders for the women. Men and women may be requested to cover their heads at Jewish and Muslim religious sites, while at Christian sites men are usually required to remove their hats. It's important to have comfortable walking shoes for the touring days. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended as well. For warmer days, natural fibered clothes are best. We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered, as the night and day temperatures can vary greatly, regardless of season. Bring long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, a warm jacket/raincoat, as well as T-shirts. TALK TO US TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OTHERS BY DONATING YOUR COAT AT THE END OF YOUR TRIP.

What are check-in /check-out times?

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Sunday through Friday, check-in time is generally 3PM. On Saturday, check-out is usually one hour after sunset (the end of Shabbat). These times may change depending on the season. It is important to note however, that check-in on Saturday will be at night (usually 2 hours after Shabbat ends - sunset). Check-out is generally before noon, no matter the day of the week (except Shabbat). Please take into consideration the check-in / check-out times when scheduling your flights. In most instances, we are able to arrange for early check-in / late check-out when needed.

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 the Spring seasons can be unexpectedly warm or cold. From late March through 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.
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 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
Full program in the UAE - including flight from BGA to Dubai v
A private, licensed, English speaking tour guide v
Bottles of water, as needed, and snacks v
Transportation throughout the trip to all programmed activities v
VIP services upon arrival & departure v
Fees for sites and activities listed v
Group transfers to & from the airport v
Hotels throughout the trip v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
COVID-19 health insurance coverage (required) v
PCR testing (when required) v
Airfare v
Tips for tour guides and drivers v
Travel Insurance (recommended) v
Testimonials
“Not only was the experience reflective of top-notch quality and superb attention to detail, you were treated like family. ”
Elizabeth
2019
“This was our third trip with via sabra and it was outstanding. We went with Aliza Green who is a cook and cookbook writer who provided us with lots of insights. Orit Levi our tour guide (third time) was excellent. Via Sabra makes every trip different so we did not feel as if we were repeating anything. We took our seven year old grandson who was well received and loved the trip. Via Sabra is caring and strives to accommodate any requests. We cannot recommend Via Sabra enough and we are looking forward to our next trip.”
Naomi S
2016, 2018, 2020

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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