Temple Emeth Trip to Israel and Prague

July 1, 2017—July 11, 2017

Led by Rabbi Steven Sirbu

Saturday, July 1, 2017


  • 11:30 pm departure from Newark Airport on flight El Al 026.    


Sunday, July 2, 2017



  • 5:00 pm arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by Makor and light refreshments upon arrival.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv.

  • Meet the group arriving from the optional pre trip to Prague.

  • From the Four Corners of the Earth…short welcome ceremony at the Jaffa Overlook.

  • Check in to Tel Aviv hotel.

  • Free time

  • Welcome to Israel Dinner for the Whole Group at Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.


Overnight: Tel Aviv


Monday, July 3, 2017

Tel Aviv: City of Life

  • Optional early morning Bike Ride along the Tel Aviv Promenade.

  • Breakfast at hotel.

  • Israel and the Jewish People—opening program at Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed

  • Graffiti Tour of Tel Aviv while walking through the streets of Florentine with Guy Sharet.

  • Adults: Visit the Natal Center, the Israel Trauma Center for the Victims of Terror and War.

  • Youth: Scavenger Hunt along Rothschild Blvd, exploring the origins of Tel Aviv, from the first neighborhood of Ahuzat Bayit, to the global entrepreneurial hub it has become.

  • Lunch on your own.

  • Afternoon Options: Choose ONE of the following:

    • Guided walk through Tel Aviv’s Markets, including the famous Jaffa Flea Market, food tasting at the Levinsky Market, and the Carmel Market.

    • Tel Aviv: The First Hebrew City—guided walk through the re-gentrified neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, with its stories, galleries, and cafes and continue to

    • Visit the Palmach Museum, and follow the trials and triumphs of the pre state fighting organization which in many ways formed the standards of the current day IDF.

    • Visit the Israeli Mueum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center which tells the story of the State of Israel through the life of assasinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, with a special program for youth.

  • Return to the hotel for free evening and dinner on your own.


Overnight: Tel Aviv


Tuesday, July 4, 2016

A Mosaic of Israel

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Visit Rabin Square, where Israel’s Prime Minister was assassinated in 1995 and which has become a memorial to him and the hope for brotherhood between all Jews.

  • Stop at the Nachalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall to visit the famous Arts and Crafts Fair.

  • Depart for Northern Israel.

  • Visit Caesarea, a large city built by the Romans 2000 years ago, including visits to the remains of the Theater, Hippodrome and Palace, continuing to the renovated Crusader city with its galleries and restaurants.

  • Continue to Umm el Fahem Art Gallery, for a guided visit through the gallery and a dialogue with founder and director, artist Said Abu Shakra.

  • Drive to the Jezreal Valley for a guided visit through Zippori to explore this once thriving city where Jews and non-Jews lived side by side and where the Mishna was codified some 1700 years ago, with parallel programming for adults and youth.

  • Drive to the Upper Galilee and check in to Kibbutz Guesthouse.

  • Dinner at the guesthouse.


Overnight: Kibbutz Guesthouse, Upper Galilee


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nature, Security, and Spirituality in Israel’s North

  • Breakfast at hotel.

  • Nature walk in the Banias Nature Reserve along the new Hanging Bridge over the Banias Canyon.

  • Ascend to Mount Bental for a view into Syria and an understanding of the delicate geo-political situation on the Israeli-Syrian border, followed by a view of the Hula Valley followed by a discussion on various options for an agreement with Syria. (Choice – see comment below)

  • Drive to Safed for a special program Kabbalistic art with a local artist, followed by an opportunity to explore the many voices of Safed, while walking through alleyways, visiting synagogues, watching and talking to people.

  • Free time to wander through the Safed Artists’ Colony, with an opportunity to shop and explore as well as an opportunity to visit the famous Safed cemetery.

  • Conclude the day with a performance by the Makom BaGalil Jewish – Arab Galilee Circus, followed by a circus workshop with circus participants (Jewish and Arab high school students from the Galilee.)

  • Dinner at the guesthouse.

  • Home Hospitality with Kibbutz Members to explore the changing nature of Kibbutz in Israeli society.


Overnight: Kibbutz Guesthouse, Upper Galilee



Thursday, July 6, 2017

On the Way to Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive to the Birya Forrest for a Jeep Ride through the forrest to the Nevoriah Synagogue, retelling stories of great rabbis from 1,700 years ago.

  • Emma Eig’s Bat Mitzvah in the 1,700 year old Nevoriah Synagogue, in the Birya Forest.

    • Navoriya was a Jewish village in the Galilee during the First and Second Temple periods. Nevoraya is believed to be identical with Nabratain, a location north of Safed where Eleazar of Modi'im and Jacob of Kfar Nevoraya, a compiler of the Haggadah, are buried.[2] The excavated remains of the Navoriya synagogue indicate that it is one of the oldest in the Galilee. The original synagogue was enlarged during the third century and destroyed in the Galilee earthquake of 363.

  • Festive Bat Mitzvah Celebration at the Bat Yaar Dude Ranch.

  • Drive through the Jordan Valley toward Jerusalem.

  • Stop at Mt. Scopus for an introductory view of Jerusalem, a welcome ceremony, and a chance to recite the traditional shehechianu prayer upon arriving in Jerusalem.

  • Enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate for an introduction to the city and a glimpse at the multi-ethnic weave of the city, walking along the market rooftops for a bird’s eye view of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Quarters to the Kotel (Western Wall).

  • Check into Jerusalem hotel.

  • Dinner on your own and free evening.


Overnight: Jerusalem


Friday, July 7, 2017

Memories for the Future

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • The Memory of the Holocaust in Israeli Society, with scholar Rachel Korazim.

  • Visit Yad Vashem, the National Jewish Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

First Timers

  • Guided visit through the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations, the Historical Museum, concluding with the Children’s Memorial.


  • Special program with Amcha, an organization dedicated to support for Holocaust Survivors and the Second Generation, followed by a guided exploration through the alleyways and couryards of Nachloat, for a glimpse at a mosaic of Israeli society.

  • Entire Group

  • Memorial Service followed by time for personal reflection.

  • Visit the Machane Yehudah Open Air Market as residents prepare for Shabbat, with lunch on your own.

  • Geopolitical Tour around the borders of Jerusalem for a look at some of the issues involved in the Palestinian Israeli relationship in the Jerusalem area.

  • Free time to rest, swim, and prepare for Shabbat.

  • Participate in the Jerusalem Community Musical Kabbalat Shabbat at the First Station,

  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Jerusalem


Shabbat (Saturday) July 8, 2017

A Jerusalem Shabbat

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Shabbat Services at the Murstein Synagogue at the Hebrew Union College.


  • Optional late morning teaching by Rabbi Sirbu.

  • Shabbat Lunch at the hotel.

  • Shabbat afternoon Walking Tour – choose two short or one long of the following

Possible Options

  • Option 1: The Poet and the Windmill - Guided walk through Yemin Moshe using the Poetry of Yehudah Amichai as a guide.

  • Option 2: Bike Ride through the Streets of Jerusalem or in the Judean Hills.

  • Option On Your Own: The New Israel Museum – Visit the newly renovated Israel Museum, its model of Jerusalem during the days of the Second Temple and the Dead Sea Scrolls, followed by an opportunity to visit the Jewish Life and Living, Archaeology, Israeli Art and Design  exhibits and much more.

  • Dinner on your own.

  • Optional: Meshoah Litkuma, From Holocaust to Renewal - My story and Israel with Avigdor Ravid.  Avigdor will share the journey of his survival in WWII Poland, his immigration to Israel, and his life and tribute to his country as a jurist in Israel.

  • Havdallah overlooking the Old City.

  • Free time and dinner on your own on the Mamilla Mall.


Overnight: Jerusalem

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Exploring Jewish Strategies for Survival

Option I – Masada – 2000 years ago


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

       7:00 a.m.           Depart for the Dead Sea Basin, and ride the Cable Car or hike the snake path to the top of Masada.

  • Guided visit through Masada to explore some of the questions the Masada story raises vis a vis Jewish life today in Israel and the Diaspora. 

  • Float in the Dead Sea with, with lunch at a Dead Sea hotel.

  • Continue to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and walk through the Nahal David desert oasis to the Ein Gedi waterfall, pausing to hear some of the poetry attributed to King David and written in this place.

  • Stop at Genesis Land for Biblical Hospitality, a Camel Ride and a Biblical Dinner.

  • Return to the hotel for an evening of free time for rest and relaxation.

Option II -  Jewish Creativity Today

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart for Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh in the Elah Valley.

  • Participate in a full morning arts and creativity workshop combining Jewish Spirituality, Mind and Soul Eco Immersion, through art, dance and study.

  • Lunch and Wine Tasting at the Elah Winery, Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh.

  • Conclude the day with a visit to Tel Aziekah (or Tel Kaifah) and with Bible in hand, re-visit the story of David and Goliath which took place in the heart of the Elah Valley.

  • Return to Jerusalem.

Entire Group

  • Free time in Jerusalem and dinner on your own.


Overnight: Jerusalem


Monday, July 10, 2017

The Layers of Jerusalem and Celebration

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart for a guided visit through some of the most exciting excavations in Jerusalem at the City of David with project architect, Beni Levi.

  • Continue in the tunnel connecting the City of David to the Davidson Center for a short guided visit of the Southern Wall Excavations and a visit to the Azarat Yisrael pluralistic Kotel.

  • Stop at the Kotel and continue the Western Wall Tunnels, led in part by the Bnai Mitzvah.

  • Lunch on your own in the Old City.

  • Afternoon Zedek Project in Jerusalem.

  • Free time for personal exploration and last minute shopping.

  • Wrap Up Session – a chance to celebrate the trip and process the experience.

  • Concluding Dinner with Professor Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University.

  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017


  • Depart on return flight to the United States.

Please Note

This Itinerary is Subject to Change

Options listed are suggestions (unless otherwise noted as First Timers and Returnees)

The final program will reflect the option chosen for the group