Monday, June 25, 2018

Departure from the U.S. to Israel


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Arrival in Israel


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

  • Ascend to Jerusalem.

  • Welcome Ceremony at the Tayelet—enjoy the view of the Dome of the Rock, the Old City, the Peace Forest, Arab villages, and the mountains of Jordan where Moses is buried. 

  • Check into Jerusalem Hotel.

  • Festive Welcome Dinner at Pompidou Restaurant in the German Colony and introduction to Jerusalem and Israel by Rabbi Mari Chernow.

  • Optional Evening Guided Walk to the Old City, the Kotel (Western Wall), the German Colony, Ben Yehudah Street.


Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Down into the Layers of Jerusalem’s Story


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

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

  • Lunch on your own in the Old City followed by a “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.

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

  • 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.  Kids have the option of a Jewish Quarter Scavenger Hunt.

  • 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:  Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Remembering the Past, Honoring the Present, Celebrating the Future


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Celebrating our B’nai Mitzvah with a ceremony at the Kotel’s Azarat Yisrael Plaza Area near Robinson’s Arch, the pluralistic area set aside for egalitarian b’nai mitzvah services.

  • Mitzvah Gorreret Mitzvah –one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah--putting the lessons of b’nai mitzvah into practice—drive to the Jerusalem Hills Therapeutic Center near the village of Abu Gosh, and meet kids, some of them orphans, some kids at risk with various emotional issues, and after a tour with the staff, join the kids in painting some of the rooms they live in and study in.  This painting project saves the Center tens of thousands of dollars each year.

  • Celebration Lunch at a Jerusalem Restaurant.

  • Experience Yad Vashem—Israel’s official national memorial to the six million, with a twinning opportunity for our b’nai mitzvah to make the visit even more special.  Option for young children to go to Jerusalem’s famous Biblical Zoo.

  • Return to the hotel for rest, a swim, to use their spa facilities, or free time to explore Jerusalem.

  • Dinner on your own at the Shuk: Macheneh Yehudah, one of the most famous outdoor markets in the Middle East.


Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Friday, June 29, 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, including a dramatized debate between Elazar Ben Yair, the leader of the Masada zealots, and Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakai, who created a new Judaism in Yavneh.

  • 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.

  • Free time to prepare for Shabbat.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat at a local synagogue or at the Kotel.

  • Home Hospitality: Shabbat of a Life-time at a couple of Jerusalem homes, including the home of Rabbi Bill and Batya Berk.


Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel,  Jerusalem


Shabbat (Saturday), June 30, 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, or enjoy the spa at the hotel.

  • Late morning learning opportunity: study with Dr. Melila Helner, one of Jerusalem’s greatest teachers, an expert in the Jewish mystical tradition, and one of Rabbi Mari’s favorites.

  • 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.


Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Going to the Galilee


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive north through the Jordan Valley.

  • Travel 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 kibbutzniks 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.

  • Picnic lunch at the Kineret (Sea of Galilee).

  • Guided tour of Tiberias, one of the four ancient Jewish cities in the land of Israel, including the burial place of Maimonides.

  • Boat ride from Tiberias to Capernaum, followed by a tour of Capernaum,  a fishing village established at the time of the Maccabees and an important location for Jesus who spent a great deal of time there.

  • Drive to Kibbutz Hagoshrim and check in to the Kibbutz Guesthouse.

  • Dinner at the kibbutz.

  • Optional Home Hospitality: visit a kibbutz family and learn about life on a post-modern kibbutz.


Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim Guesthouse, Upper Galilee


Monday, July 2, 2018

Northern Heights


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Visit 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.

  • Dinner on your own in Safed. 

  • Free evening on the kibbutz.


Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim Guesthouse, Upper Galilee


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

From the Galilee to Tel Aviv


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive to Rosh Hanikra—take the cable care to the grottos and walk through the extraordinary beauty of these white formations lining the Mediterranean. 

  • Drive toward Tel Aviv.

  • Drive to Kafr Kara in the Wadi Ara area for a visit to the home of Amna Kamaana, a Moslem Israeli woman who established a Moslem Women’s Empowerment organization in her home.

  • Continue to Tel Aviv. Lunch on your own en route.

  • 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: Carlton Hotel on the Beach, Tel Aviv


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The First Hebrew City in 2,000 Years


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Bike the length of Tel Aviv, along the Beach Boardwalk Bike Path, with the Mediterranean on your right and the city of Tel Aviv on your left. 

  • Adults and older kids: learn with one of Israel’s finest teachers, Rachel Korazim, at her home in Jaffa, “The Walls of My House as Text: A Tale of Two Cities.”

  • Kids: Scavenger Challenge through the famous Jaffa Flea Market, Shuk HaPishpishim.

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

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

  • “From Ahuzat Bayit to Global Hi Tech Powerhouse—the Story of Israel on Rothschild Boulevard.”

  • Free time to enjoy the beach, the hotel, or to have your own adventures in Tel Aviv, with dinner on your own.


Overnight: Carlton Hotel on the Beach, Tel Aviv


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Exploring the Neighborhood before Flying Home


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive south to the Underground Bullet Factory at the Ayalon Institute.  Discover how the Jews who had no weapons and no ammunition found a way to make bullets under the nose of the British who severely punished those caught making weapons.  Hear the story how this helped the Israeli Army (IDF) develop a tradition of creativity, technological innovation, and thinking out of the box.

  • Return to Tel Aviv—lunch on your own.

  • Afternoon Options--Choose One:

    • Walking Tour of Jaffa, one of the oldest cities in the world, hearing the story of Jaffa from the time of Jonah the Prophet to the great return of Jewish pioneers to the land of Israel in 1881.

    • Or—Visit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and see the cutting edge work of Israeli artists that are making waves in the world of art.

  • Drive to Ramat Gan for a special program at the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled and meet with one of Israel’s  Paralympic Medal Winners.

  • Free time to prepare for the return home.

  • Summary Discussion and Festive Closing Dinner at the Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.

  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport for the return home.


Overnight: Flight to the United States


Friday, July 6, 2018


Arrive back in the United States

** Program is tentative and subject to changes