Monday, June 18, 2018

                                                   Departure from the U.S. to Israel


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

                                                                      Arrival in Israel


  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor representative and light refreshments.

  • Drive through the Ayalon Valley to Tel Aviv/Jaffa.

  • Welcome Ceremony at the Jaffa Peak, for a view and an over-view of Jaffa and Tel Aviv and to hear the story of the 9,000 year history of Jaffa, especially from the time of Jonah the Prophet until the arrival on these shores of Jews returning home in large numbers beginning in 1881. 

  • Check into the hotel.

  • Festive Welcome Dinner at an ethnic restaurant in Tel Aviv.

  • Optional Evening Guided Walk along the beach, along the Tel Aviv Promenade, on the deck of the newly refurbished Port of Tel Aviv.


Overnight: Prima City Hotel, Tel Aviv


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

                                                  Get Your Bearings and Head North


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Experience Independence Hall where Jewish sovereignty was proclaimed after 2,000 years of exile.

  • Drive north to Caesarea and enjoy a guided visit, including the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, the Promenade and Palace, and concluding with the remains of the Crusader City, exploring the relationship between Romans and Jews 2,000 years ago.

  • Lunch in Zichron Yaakov, with a chance to stroll in the pedestrian outdoor mall area of this most charming of small Israeli towns.  Check out the small chocolate shop called Xocoatl (48 Hameyasadim Street).

  • Continue north to Yemin Orde, the jewel among Israel’s famous youth villages, taking care of orphans and kids at risk since the first wave of Holocaust orphans arrived in the early 1950’s.  Find out why these youth villages work.

  • Drive into Haifa to take in the Behai Gardens and hear about the Behai religion.

  • Drive to Kibbutz Ginosar on the Kineret (Sea of Galilee).

  • Dinner at the kibbutz.


Overnight:  Kibbutz Ginosar, Galilee


Thursday, June 21, 2018

                                                               Northern Heights


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive north to the Tel Dan Nature Reserve for a nature walk along the Dan River, concluding at the site of the Biblical town of Dan.

  • Drive up the Golan Heights, through the natural beauty and in the footsteps of IDF soldiers who fought in the 1967 Six Day War.

  • Ascend to Mount Bental, overlooking Syria, for a Security Briefing and the latest update from the events in Syria.  Possible meeting with IDF soldiers.

  • Picnic Lunch.

  • Guided tour through the mystical city of Safed—walk the alleyways, stroll through ancient synagogues, check out the artist colony, and meet a Kabbalistic Artist.  Enjoy Safed’s famous market with its Judaica and unique art.

  • Meet Kabbalistic Artist Avraham Lowenthal.

  • Dinner on your own in Safed. 

  • Free evening on the kibbutz.


Overnight: Kibbutz Ginosar, Galilee


Friday, June 22, 2018

From the Kineret to Jerusalem


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Head south to visit the sixth century synagogue at Kibbutz Beit Alpha with its stunning mosaic floor which includes a Zodiac, Jewish ritual objects and the ark, inscriptions in Greek and Aramaic, animals, plants, and a scene from the Bible, all of which tells a story that challenges standard notions of Jewish culture in the Byzantine period.

  • Continue south to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu and visit this jewel of the religious kibbutzim.  Tour the organic farm—Israel’s first that was started 50 years ago.  Meet Kibbutznikim and hear how they understand the connection between their Orthodox world view and their commitment to bring environmentally responsible agriculture to Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian farmers.

  • To Jerusalem!

  • Stop at Mt. Scopus for a Welcome to Jerusalem Ceremony and an overview of the city and an opportunity to recite the traditional Shehechianu Prayer, with bread and wine.

  • Check into the Prima Royale Hotel.

  • Free time to prepare for Shabbat.

  • Choice: Kabbalat Shabbat at a local synagogue or at the Kotel where Jews from all over the world welcome the Shabbat with song, prayer, and dancing.

  • Home Hospitality: Shabbat of a Life-time at the home of a Jerusalem family.


Overnight: Prima Royale, Jerusalem


Shabbat (Saturday), June 23, 2018

                                                                  A Jerusalem Shabbat


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Free Morning—a chance to catch your breath.  Other options: explore the quiet neighborhoods of Jerusalem, have your own adventure in the Old City, go “synagogue hopping,” attend services at a local synagogue.

  • Optional late morning study session with Rabbi Bill Berk, “Turning 70—Our Challenges, Our Prayers, and Our Hope.”

  • Shabbat lunch at the hotel.

  • Optional visit to the Israel Museum, Israel’s premier museum, and take in 4,000 years of Jewish culture.

  • Optional afternoon guided tour of the Yemin Moshe neighborhood.

  • Havdalah ceremony overlooking the walls of the Old City.

  • Free evening and dinner on your own in Jerusalem.  Options include: cruising Ben Yehudah St., dinner on Emek Rephaim or the Tachana (Old Turkish Train Station), partaking in a cultural offering at the Jerusalem Theater.

  • Optional Late night treat—walk through Shuk Macheneh Yehudah and check out the graffiti and art work on the doors of the ancient stalls, and experience Jerusalem’s young people coming out to celebrate life.


Overnight: Prima Royale, Jerusalem


Sunday, June 24, 2018

                                                 Down into the Layers of Jerusalem’s Story


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Enter the Old City through Jaffa Gate for an introductory “Rooftop Walk” to take in a bird’s eye view of the Temple Mount, the intricate alleyways of Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter, and the skyline of the Jewish Quarter.

  • Guided walk through the Jewish and Christian Quarters of the Old City, including the Broad Wall from the First Temple, the Batei Machase Square with the Memorial to the War of Independence, the ancient and rebuilt Hurva Synagogue, the Via Delarosa, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 

  • Lunch on your own in the Old City.

  • Visit the Kotel (Western Wall) for a moment of prayer and reflection, with some sharing of thoughts by Rabbi Ostrich.

  • Descend to the City of David and follow the footsteps of the architects and builders of the city some 3,000 years ago.

  • Return to the hotel.

  • Dinner on your own at the Mamilla Mall, followed by the Jerusalem Night Spectacular, a sound and light show on the walls of the Old City at the David Citadel Museum, narrating 3,000+ years of Jerusalem’s history.


Overnight:  Prima Royale, Jerusalem


Monday, June 25, 2018

                                                          It’s All Happening in the Desert


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive south to the lowest point on earth, the area around the Dead Sea.

  • Hike the snake path or take the Cable Car up to the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, the place where the last free Jews held out against the Romans after the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.  Explore some of the crucial issues the Masada story raises for contemporary Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora. 

  • Descend Masada via Cable Car.

  • Visit the Dead Sea—lunch on your own and an opportunity to float in the famous water of the world’s saltiest sea, with optional spa amenities.

  • Hike in the Ein Gedi and Arugot Waterfalls and listen to the desert poetry of King David who likely composed these poems in this place.

  •  Return to Jerusalem.

  • Dinner on your own and free night in Jerusalem.


Overnight: Prima Royale, Jerusalem


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

                                                         Memories for a Lifetime


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Home Hospitality: Experience “Niflaot Ein-Kerem”—in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Israel an intimate group of women from Middle Eastern countries (Morocco, Kurdistan, Yemen) invite you into their homes for a tour through time and space to the Middle East of old.  Hear their stories and their music, see their ethnic costumes and treasures, and tour their remarkable houses.  Enjoy their ethnic culinary treasures and amazing coffee. 

  • Drive to Gush Etzion and Betar and meet relatives of Rabbi Ostrich who share an insider’s view of what it means to live as a “settler.”

  • Lunch on your own  in Gush Etzion.

  • Meet the Israelis and Palestinians of Shorashim—Judhur (Roots), a grassroots project which brings together Palestinians and Jewish settlers in a realistic and unique coexistence dialogue/living project, with Ali Abu Awad, Shaul Yudelman, and Hanan Slesinger.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv.

  • Check into Tel Aviv hotel.

  • Free time to explore and enjoy Tel Aviv.

  • Dinner on your own.  Options include the deck of the refurbished Port of Tel Aviv (the “Namal”), cafes on the beach, and the Tachana, the refurbished old Turkish Railroad Station.


Overnight: Prima City Hotel, Tel Aviv


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

                                            The First Hebrew City in 2,000 Years


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Home Hospitality:  learn with one of Israel’s finest teachers, Rachel Korazim, at her home in Jaffa, “Tel Aviv as a Jewish City, Tel Aviv as an Israeli City, Tel Aviv as a City of the World.”

  • Walking Tour of the Old City in Jaffa.

  • Lunch on your own at a chumus joint in Jaffa.

  • Options:

  • Tel Aviv Museum of Art

  • Eretz Yisrael Museum

  • Free time to shop, relax and explore Tel Aviv on your own

  • Summary Session and Festive Farewell Dinner at a Tel Aviv restaurant.

  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport for the return to the U.S.


Overnight: Flight to the United States.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

                                                      Arrive back in the United States