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Price range
From $0 per person
Upcoming Date
14 Mar 2024 - 24 Mar 2024
Tour Time
11 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

Join Rabbi Gelfand for a fresh look at Israel. Explore the abundance, beauty, and complexity of the country and the people while being introduced to how Israel has continued to evolve since its founding. In Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the south, encounter innovators and dreamers who are making their mark and use all of your senses to study the cultural and political nuances that shape the current reality.

Itinerary

1 - Thursday ( March 14 ) : Welcome to Israel

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Activities:

  • VIP 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 and collecting your baggage, you will be taken to meet your driver.

  • Drive to Jerusalem and check into your hotel

  • Gather with your guide to meet and join in Shehechiyanu to bless the beginning of your journey together in Israel!

  • Opening Dinner at Mona Restaurant - Mona is a fine dining establishment in the heart of Jerusalem, housed in the 1900's building that once housed the Bezalel Academy of Arts and is now known as the Artist House. Mona boasts a cool yet intimate ambiance that feels both elegant and friendly. Blending the old and the modern, enjoy a vibrant restaurant with a creative and surprising menu.

  • Jerusalem Theatron Hotel - The brand new Theatron Hotel offers its guests a meaningful and memorable experience with an authentic Israeli theme, inspired by nature and infused with genuine Jerusalemite hospitality. Theatron caters to sophisticated guests who appreciate authentic and uniquely crafted artistry.

Overnight: Jerusalem Theatron Hotel
Meal Plan: dinner

2 - Friday ( March 15 ) : We Were Like Dreamers

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Begin the day at the newly renovated and excavated Tower of David - Start with a 360° panoramic view from atop an ancient guard tower at Tower of David grounds. This is the only place in Jerusalem where the entire Old City, new Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Judean Desert and the Moab Mountains of Jordan, will be at your feet. Continue with a guided tour of the Tower of David Museum- renewed and spectacular.

  • Continue to the exciting cultural center of 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 driven by the conviction that when all else breaks down, art and music must break through."

  • Meet the Dreamers of Feel Beit- Karen Brunwasser and staff - Brunwasser will discuss “Conflict, Collaboration, and Jerusalem’s Civic Renaissance” and demonstrate how Feel Beit address this topic. Karen Brunwasser is a civic activist in Jerusalem and co-founder and chief strategy officer of Mekudeshet, a culture NGO that creates original art and music to bridge divides in the city.

  • Time for lunch on your own

  • Time to prepare for Shabbat

  • Kabbalat Shabbat as a group or at a local synagogue

  • Shabbat Dinner at the hotel

  • Jerusalem Theatron Hotel

  • Tower of David

Overnight: Jerusalem Theatron Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

3 - Saturday ( March 16 ) : Shabbat in the Old-New Land

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Shabbat Shacharit hike in Sataf - Explore the Jerusalem Hills at the beautiful Sataf forest for a hike through the area. The Sataf is on the site of ancient agricultural terraces which date to the time of the ancient Israelites. Along the way, stop for moments of prayer and Shabbat liturgy that reflect the beautiful spring lushness and natural beauty of Sataf.

  • Jewish Brunch at Hamatpera - Enjoy the variety of classic ethnic foods that are part of the Shabbat day meal. What Shabbat foods did Jews bring with them to Israel? Why were those foods eaten on Shabbat? How have they evolved in the Israeli kitchen. Lunch will be at Hamatpera, a magical place where a textile seamstress once stood, in the picturesque village of "Abu Gush" in the Jerusalem mountains, The "seamstress" space is designed in an industrial, eclectic style with warm retro touches of furniture and objects with character in the space created.

  • Wines from the Judean Hills will be served by Avihai Tsabari, Sommelier and CEO of Via Sabra.

  • Return to the hotel - Time to rest and relax

  • Conversation with Matti Friedman- An Old-New Land: Theodor Herzl: The Man and the Vision - Matti Friedman is a journalist and author. His work as a reporter has taken him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Washington, DC. A former Associated Press correspondent and essayist for the New York Times opinion section, he currently writes a monthly feature for Tablet Magazine. His writing has appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, the Atlantic, and elsewhere.

  • Join together to usher out Shabbat with Havdalah

  • Dinner on your own

  • Jerusalem Theatron Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem Theatron Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

4 - Sunday ( March 17 ) : Perspectives of Jerusalem

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Spend the morning in the Old City of Jerusalem - 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 one of the holiest Muslim sites, the Temple Mount. Throughout the tour explore the complexity of a city that is holy to the three major religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

  • Old City Touring options:

  • Photography workshop- 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.

  • Explore the Christian Quarter through visits with Christian personalities and institutions with Hana Bendcowsky - Bendcowsky is 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.

  • Meet artisans of the Old City - Meet artisans such as Kalman Gavriel Delmoor a traditional Scribe with a modern lens, Razzouk Tattoo, a family-owned tattoo shop in the heart of Old Jerusalem that’s been gracing religious pilgrims with their beautiful and powerful designs for 28 generations, and the Sandrouni Armenian Ceramic Center, a fixture in the Old City, among others.

  • Old City Tasting Tour - Walk through the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City seeing the historical and religious sites. See some off-the-beaten track sites in the winding alleyways and enjoy some Jerusalem delicacies. We will have a “taste of history” that interweaves stories and anecdotes, historical information, and, of course, combines the senses of smell, taste, and sound.

  • Meet together at the Western Wall - Proceed to the Kotel (The Western Wall), sacred because it is one of the last remnants of the Second Temple that was destroyed by the Romans. Feel the stones that have witnessed so much in the history of the Jews. Place your special and personal prayer in the cracks of the stones.

  • Return to the hotel to freshen up

  • Late afternoon- Celebrate 100 Years of the Machane Yehuda Market - Machane Yehuda Market was registered with the British Mandate Authority in 2022 and, because of Covid delays, the anniversary is being celebrated in 2023. The market originally began during the Ottoman Empire, with Arab farmers and villagers bringing their produce to the area, but only during the Mandate were a city planner named Charles Robert Ashby and an architect hired to draft a plan for the market. Learn the history of the market with food expert David Kichka, who will tell you the stories and introduce you to the people of the market.

  • Dinner at Hatzot - Hatzot is a part of Jerusalem’s history. Two brothers, Abraham and Michael Ajami founded this landmark family restaurant in 1970. Legend has it that Meurav Yerushalmi - the favorite Israeli mixed grill dish - was born at Hatzot Restaurant.

  • Jerusalem Theatron Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem Theatron Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, Old City Tasting Tour

5 - Monday ( March 18 ) : Channeling Visions

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Meet the founders of Our Crowd or Jerusalem Venture Partners - OurCrowd is an online global venture investing platform that empowers institutions and individual accredited investors to invest and engage in emerging technology companies at an early stage while still privately held.

    Jerusalem Venture Partners VP was founded in 1993 under the famed Yozma program by Dr. Erel Margalit, and has created and invested in over 160 companies in Israel, the US and Europe. JVP’s investment strategy is spearheaded by adeep expertise in identifying opportunities from inception and growing them into global industry leaders.

  • Continue to the Roots Tent- A local initiative for understanding, non-violence, and transformation - Roots envisions a social and political reality that is founded on dignity, trust, and a mutual recognition and respect for both peoples' historic belonging to the entire Land. Founded by Rabbi Menachem Froman and members of the politically-prominent Abu Awwad Family, Roots believes that human interaction is the first agent of transformation and creates the spaces and activities for such personal engagement.

  • Time for a quick lunch on your own

  • Mitzvah Heroes with Arnie Draiman - In the various neighborhoods of Jerusalem meet the heroes who are devoting their lives to doing mitzvah work. In small groups you will visit individuals who have used their human resources and networking to bring Tikun Olam, to take part in fixing the world.

  • Tour, volunteer, and cook dinner at The Workshop by Muslala - Muslala is a nonprofit organization established in 2009 by artists, residents, and community activists. The organization runs art exhibitions, urban “art-tracks”, guided tours, and art workshops. Muslala wishes to produce a new model that combines artistic activity with a social orientation. Tour the center, learn about the activities, and choose a workshop.

  • Jerusalem Theatron Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem Theatron Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

6 - Tuesday ( March 19 ) : Navigating Our Future

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel - Check out of the hotel

  • Meet the Israel Religious Action Center, the Israeli Reform Movement's political address - The mission of the IRAC is to secure civil rights for a just and egalitarian Israel based on Israeli law and Jewish tradition. Meet with IRAC's Director, Orly Erez-Likhovski, for an update on the issues being addressed by the center and the particular challenges that have arisen in the past year. Orly holds a bachelor's degree in law from Tel Aviv University. After interning in the Supreme Court, she got a master's degree in law with a focus on human rights law at Columbia University in New York. Orly is a member of the Bar Association in Israel and New York. Orly has served as an attorney at IRAC since 2004, as Director of the Legal Department from 2014-2021, and Director of IRAC since 2021.

  • Depart Jerusalem and drive to Beer Sheva

  • Meet Ethiopian activist Naftali Aklum and have an Ethiopian lunch - Naftali Aklum 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

  • Stop at the Ashalim Power Station - Ashalim is the tallest solar power station in the world, standing 260 meters (853 feet) tall. Ashalim Power Station uses an array of 56,000 solar panels known as heliostats arranged around the tower to reflect sunlight onto the pinnacle. The heliostats are computer-controlled and follow the sun as it moves from east to west through the day.

  • Meet Bedouin Trackers and learn how to read the desert - Meet soldiers or former soldiers from the Gashashim (Trackers) Unit. The IDF’s Trackers Unit is comprised of a few hundred combat soldiers, most of whom come from Israel’s Bedouin community and draft into the IDF as volunteers. These soldiers go through a special course that prepares them to become trackers in the most thorough way.

  • Drive to the hotel and check in

  • Dinner at the hotel

  • Beresheet

Overnight: Beresheet
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

7 - Wednesday ( March 20 ) : Desert Dreams

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Maktesh Ramon Hike

  • Jeep ride in Makhtesh Ramon - Ride through the stunning Negev Desert and get to know the endless variations of the landscape. Explore the area of Makhtesh Ramon and immerse yourself in the details of the land around you.

  • Hamotzi Lehem min Haaretz- Bread baking workshop - When it’s time for lunch meet Hadas Meir of the Lasha Desert Bakery who will guide you in a bread baking workshop. “For Meir, baking is a spiritual thing. ‘I think bread is a blessed food. It is the most moving interpretation of combining matter and spirit. Even physically, bread is spiritual in essence. You’ll have a lunch of salads and bread.

  • OR Ramon Visitors Center - Through interactive exhibits, the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center, set on the northern cliffs of the Ramon Crater, tells the geological story behind this unique and amazing work of nature and contrasts it with the life of Astronaut Ilan Ramon.

  • Free time at the hotel to enjoy the facilities

  • Dinner will feature wines from desert wineries and a guided tasting

  • Desert Dinner- it’s not a mirage! - Your evening awaits under the stars with a taboon for bread making, smoked meats, spirits, desert music, star-gazing, and the most magical dinner you’ve ever had.

  • Beresheet

Overnight: Beresheet
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

8 - Thursday ( March 21 ) : Living on the Edge

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel - 10:00 Check out of the hotel and depart

  • 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.

  • Falafel lunch in Sderot

  • Visit the Peace Wall 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.

  • The State of the State with Haviv Gur - Haviv Rettig Gur is a veteran Israeli-American journalist and analyst and serves as The Times of Israel’s senior analyst. He has reported from over 20 countries and lectures on Israeli politics, the US-Israel relationship, the peace process, modern Jewish history and identity, and Israel-diaspora relations. Gur is one of the most thought-provoking and detailed analysts of our time.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv and check into your hotel

  • Dinner on your own

  • Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

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

9 - Friday ( March 22 ) : The "Art-Up" Nation

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • The History of Israeli Art at 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?

  • Lunch at HaKosem - The best Falafel in Tel Aviv! Enjoy HaKosem falafel, which in recent years has developed a serious cult following in Israel. Jerry Seinfeld even made a point to stop here on his last trip. The chef and owner, Arik Rosenthal, left fine dining to make good classic dishes more accessible.

  • Continue to Kiryat Ham'lacha for a gallery and graffiti tour - Kiryat Ham'lacha is a former industrial zone. Since the factories closed or moved out, many artists, designers, musicians, dancers, street artists and small business are now the heart of the neighborhood.

  • Oznei Haman (Hamantashen) tour

  • Nachalat Binyamin - Nachalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts fair takes place every Tuesday and Friday in Tel Aviv. Each day artists display and sell their crafts surrounded by a beautiful, historical buildings, many in the process of being preserved.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat at Beit Daniel

  • Shabbat dinner with a Private Chef

  • Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

  • Eatwith - This is an opportunity for incoming tourists of all backgrounds to experience an authentic Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) at the home of a host family in the heart of Jerusalem. You will receive an informative introduction to Shabbat while dining on a home made a delicious meal with your hosts.

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

10 - Saturday ( March 23 ) : Celebrating Persistence

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Purim Program with lunch at 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.

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

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

  • Erev Purim

  • Megillah Reading at Beit Tefila Yisraeli or Beit Daniel

  • Dinner on your own

  • Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv

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

11 - Sunday ( March 24 ) : Bringing it Home

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Begin the day at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation - 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.

  • Meet the phenomenal project 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."

  • Levinsky Market Tasting Tour lunch - The Levinsky Market specializes in spices and Mediterranean delicacies. It is, in many ways, the best market in Tel Aviv, known for its variety, freshness, and special atmosphere. 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.

  • Tasting tour will include a stop at Shamshiri Persian restaurant

  • Two options or free time:

  • -Fashion Tour - The tour 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.

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

  • Final dinner at Claro - Chef Ran Shmueli is one of Israel’s most respected veteran chefs who has led innovative culinary ventures for the last 25 years. Claro (“clear” in Spanish) is chef Shmueli’s first restaurant. Claro is not just a restaurant; it’s a place of entertainment, providing an experience that embodies all of Shmueli, and his staffs, knowledge in hospitality and event planning. It is a relaxed venue for social gathering and offers a warm atmosphere, good music, and a superb dining experience.

  • Transfer to the airport

Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

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 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 both health and travel insurance through our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry through this link.

How much do I tip my driver and tour guide?

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Standard tipping is as follows: For individuals/small groups (less than 10 people), it is recommended to tip your guide $15-$20 per person, per day. For the bus driver, the recommended amount is 60% of what you give your guide. For example, if you tip your guide $10 per person, per day, the driver should receive an additional $6 per person, per day. Tips are not included in the cost of a tour and are always at your discretion.

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.

 

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
Meals as listed in the meal plan at the end of each day v
Hotel accommodation v
Transportation throughout the trip to all programmed activities v
Airfare v
Tips for tour guides and drivers v
Private transfer from the airport on arrival - contact hadas@viasabra.com to arrange v
Travel Insurance (recommended) v
VIP airport service upon arrival v

Would you like to stay in touch?

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?