Sunday, July 14, 2019

Depart USA


Day 1: Monday, July 15, 2019  

Note: The first day’s program may change based on the time of arrival

Bruchim HaBaim-Welcome

  • Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve, is a living museum of Israel's "green archeology” for an interactive introduction to ecological awareness as expressed in Jewish tradition and heritage tied to the Land and the People of Israel.  

  • Walk through the waters Mei Kedem, a restored stretch of that was part of an ancient water system that operated during the Roman and Byzantine periods.

  • Lunch en route

  • Ride down the cable car to visit the dramatic white cliffs and grottos at beautiful Rosh Hanikra on the Mediterranean coast along the border with Lebanon.

  • Check-in hotel

  • Opening dinner and orientation at the hotel


Overnight:  Nof Ginossar Kibbutz Guesthouse


Day 2: Tuesday, July 16, 2019   

Spirituality & Security in the North

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Drive to Tzfat to explore the alleyways and synagogues of the mystics and participate in an interactive family game “The Mystics and I.

  • Short nature walk along the Banias River and the Hanging Bridge over the Banias Canyon.

  • Ascend to Mount Bental, overlooking Syria, to gain a better understanding of the events of Israel’s wars of 1967 and 1973, and the issues confronting Israel today in her quest for peace with a fragmented Syria.

    • Adults: Overlook Syria, for an up-to-date Security Briefing on the delicate relationship between Israel and Syria.

    • Youth: Orienteering program on Mount Bental.

  • Overlook on to the Kinneret from Mitzpeh L’Shalom.

  • Visit the Hamat Gader mineral springs, famous for their curative powers since ancient times.   The exposed Roman bath complex has recently been restored and opened to visitors.

  • Dinner at the hotel


Overnight: Nof Ginossar Kibbutz Guesthouse



Day 3: Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Galilean Tapestry

  • Breakfast at the hotel. 

  • Check-out of the hotel

  • Visit the very well- preserved ancient synagogue at Capernaum, or Kfar Nahum which is also a site of pilgrimage for Christians as it was one of the places where Jesus and Peter, and the Apostles, lived and preached.

  • Panoramic overview of Haifa and tour through the Bahai Gardens.

  • You are warmly welcomed into the home of a local Druze host who exemplifies the Middle Eastern custom of hospitality.  Lunch in the home of your host

  • Travel along the Trans-Israel Highway with stops at various observation points to discuss the Jewish-Arab conflict.

  • Proceed to Jerusalem

  • Entering Jerusalem, we say the Shehecheyanu, the traditional prayer recited on a joyous occasion.  “I rejoiced when they said to me: let us go up to the House of the Lord.  Now we stand with your gates, O Jerusalem.”

  • Check in hotel

  • Dinner on own.

Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem



Day 4: Thursday, July 18, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel. 

  • The magnificent panorama of Jerusalem unfurls before you from the vantage point at the Haas Promenade.  After a brief introduction to Jerusalem, proceed to the Old City.

  • Enter the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and walk along the rooftops of the Old City for a glimpse into the Christian, Jewish and Armenian Quarter. Continue with a guided walk through the quarters of Jerusalem exploring the multi-ethnic weave of the city, including a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter and concluding in the Jewish Quarter with sample tastings of Jerusalem delicacies during the tour that will serve as lunch

  • Guided visit to the City of David, including the newly discovered Herodian Street which goes from the Shiloach Pool, under the walls of the Old City to the Davidson Archaeological Park, followed by a guided visit through the Park.

  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure

  • Dinner on own.

Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem



Day 5: Friday, July 19, 2019

Preparing for Shabbat

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Adults: Briefing: Haviv Rettig-Gur: Israel Today: Israel-Diaspora Perceptions

       Youth: The Israel Lens - Photography of Jerusalem

  • Kabbalat Shabbat at a local nursery -school

  • Small-group self- guided tour of the Nachlaot neighborhoods including lunch on own in the Machane Yehuda market

  • Rest of the afternoon on own.

  • Musical Kabbalat Shabbat at the Jerusalem First Station

  •  Shabbat dinner at hotel


Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 6: Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Jerusalem Shabbat

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Shabbat morning in Jerusalem is filled with the sounds of Jews praying together in the distinct styles of different communities.  They reflect centuries old ethnic traditions, as well as modern ways of expressing spirituality. 

  • Picnic lunch in Gan Bloomfield/ Yemin Moshe

  • Optional tours possibilities: (choose one)

                  - Visit the Israel Museum, the largest museum in Israel with its new permanent exhibitions, the Art of Jewish                           Life or Archeology together with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

                  - Walk through the old Templar Colony – German Colony (established in 1873) of Jerusalem and learn the                                history of the Templars of Jerusalem – near and around Emek Refaim Street.

                  - Walk to Mount Zion, the Hill of Three Religions, with poetry and Midrash.                 

                  - Guided walk through Yemin Moshe using the poetry of Yehudah Amichai as a guide.

  • Havdalah

  • Dinner on own

  • Optional: “Night Spectacular”: Sound and Light show screened on the walls of the Tower of David Museum.


Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem



Day 7: Sunday, July 21, 2019

From Destruction to Redemption

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Prepare for the visit to Yad Vashem with Dr. Rachel Korazim, Holocaust educator, to facilitate a deeper experience at Yad Vashem.

  • Guided visit through the Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center including:

    • The Avenue of the Righteous

    • The New Historical Museum

    • The Children's Memorial

    • The Valley of the Communities with a special concluding ceremony

  • At the Mt. Herzl National and Military Cemetery visitors can witness the sacrifices that thousands of soldiers made to create and support the State of Israel.

  • Lunch and afternoon on own

  • Adults:  Dinner at Tmol Shilshom bookstore-café.  Meeting with Tmol Shilshom owner & LGBT activist, David Ehrlich and Rabbi Susan Silverman.  Topic: Israel and Liberal Progressive Jews. 


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 8: Monday, July 22, 2019

Questions of Continuity

  • Early breakfast at the hotel

  • Proceed to the Dead Sea Region

  • Ascend Masada via cable car for a guided visit through the site and an exploration of the symbolism and questions that arise from the Masada story and their implications for Jewish life today.

    • People who don’t want to go to Masada will be taken to the Dead Sea resort for relaxation and spa treatments OR a tour of the Dead Sea Works.

  • Float in the Dead Sea at a Dead Sea resort.  Lunch at the resort.

  • Walk through the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve to the David Spring.  With Bible in hand hike the paths once traversed by King David and read the psalms attributed to him, likely written in this place.


  • The Song of Songs in the Minds and Hearts of the Jewish People, at the ancient Ein Gedi synagogue.

  • At Eretz Beresheet, “Genesis Land,” mount camels and travel a short distance to the “Tent of Avraham Avinu.” to receive and explanation and demonstration of ancient hospitality customs such as those illustrated in the Bible story of Abraham and the angels, many of which are preserved today in traditional Bedouin life.   Dinner “hafla” (festive meal)


Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem



Day 9: Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Under the Surface

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out

  • Soreq Cave, also known as Avshalom Cave, has magnificent stalactites and stalagmites, a small window into a magical world that had been buried deep underground, hidden from human beings and all other living creatures.

  • To really dig deep into the past, head out of Jerusalem and toward Beit Guvrin, where hundreds of underground caves date back to the time of the Phoenicians. Become an archaeologist for a day and take part in the ongoing digs at the caves, which served as storerooms, burial crypts and safe havens.

    • Note:  There are above-ground activities for those who decline to dig underground.

  • Proceed to Ramla

  • The Pool of the Arches, built 1200 years ago as a roofed water reservoir for the residents of Ramla by Abbasid caliphs.  Today, you can take row boats and enter a unique historical space.

  • Proceed to Tel Aviv

  • Check-in hotel

  • Early evening walk to Jaffa along the seaside Tel Aviv Promenade, with the Mediterranean on your right and the city of Tel Aviv on your left. 

  • Dinner on own in Jaffa


Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv



Day 10: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Innovation & Ingenuity

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • The Taglit-Birthright Innovation Center encapsulates the reasons why Israel is known as the “start-up nation” - Taglit-Birthright Israel built the “State of Mind” Innovation Center that allows you to learn about the new advancements Israeli Start-Ups are making in different fields.

  • Tel Aviv as “Start-Up City”:  Begin exploration of “the Big Orange” in the historic center of little Tel Aviv at the Shalom Tower, with a unique exhibit to uncover the story of the city’s development over 100 years.

  • Israel as “Start-Up Country” Tour Independence Hall, where the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed and a new country was born after 2000 years.

  • Lunch on own “Tel Aviv style”  at open air cafes.

  • Travel to Rehovot

  • 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 Mandate British forces. 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

  • Dinner on own


Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv



Day 11: Thursday, July 25, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Hands-on Hesed projects TBA

  • Lunch and afternoon at leisure

  • Farewell dinner in a Tel Aviv restaurant.

  • Proceed to Ben Gurion International Airport for the return flight to the USA

Overnight: Flight