Congregation Etz Chayim

Multiple Voices in Israeli Society

Led by Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky

June 5-15, 2019


Day 1: Thursday, June 6, 2019

Welcome- Bruchim HaBaim!

Note:  The first day’s itinerary is subject to change depending on the arrival time.

  • Arrival on flight. Assistance through landing procedures and meet your Makor guide.

  • Proceed to Tel Aviv

  • And Equality for All: Founding Tel Aviv: Founders Monument and Fountain is located opposite the home of the first mayor of Tel Aviv, Meir Dizengoff, on 16 Rothschild Boulevard. The historic lottery for the distribution of plots was held on April 11, 1909, on the site.

  • Check-in hotel

  • Text study session with Noam Zion, Hartman Institute, based on his trilogy:  Tzedakah & Social Justice

  • Dinner at Meshek Barzilai, a veteran gourmet vegan restaurant:  The Consumer Narrative and Social Justice.

Overnight: Tel Aviv


Day 2: Friday, June 7, 2019

Dual Narratives

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Dual narrative tour of Jaffa:  Two perspectives – Jewish and Arab- on modern life in an ancient city.

  • Dual narrative tour of south Tel Aviv: African asylum seekers and local residents

  • Lunch on own.

  • Musical Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port with Beit Tefilah Yisraeli, a creative, innovative and inclusive Jewish-Israeli community that uses Jewish rituals, texts, customs, music and traditions for inspiration to create, develop and sustain an indigenous Judaism relevant to modern Israeli life.

  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel

Overnight: Tel Aviv


Day 3: Saturday, June 8, 2019

Unity in Diversity

  • Breakfast at the hotel 

  • Morning: Time for services

  • Exploring Jewish Communities: Social historian, Paul Liptz, will provide background on the general fluidity and characteristics of religious divisions in Israel.  The participants will then visit different “communities” and explore the parameters of Jewish expression.

  • Possible visits

    • Secular Judaism: Bina/ALMA/Kolot

    • Judaism and the LGBTQ community (Gan Meir)

    • Yemenite Jews (ethnic lunch in Yemenite Quarter)

    • Kabbalah Center

  • Afternoon at leisure

Erev Shavuot

  • The Lasova organization ensures basic human needs to any needy person by establishing and operating 3 soup kitchens supplying 2500 hot tasty nutritious meals per day at various venues.   In the spirit of Ruth who went out to the fields to glean wheat for her elderly mother-in-law, the tour participants will volunteer serving food and help in the Lasova restaurant and kitchen.

  • Return to the hotel

  • Hop between a number of Tikkunei Leil Shavuout , the traditional all night study session for Shavout – with a large selection of pluralistic study options, a new phenomenon in Tel Aviv.

Overnight: Tel Aviv


Day 4: Sunday, June 9, 2019


  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Morning at leisure

  • Lunch TBA

  • “Your People Shall Be My People”: Meet with former soldiers from the IDF NATIV program that offers a conversion program while serving in the IDF and/or people who have undergone conversion in Israel outside the rabbinic establishment.

  • Havdalah

  • Dinner on own

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 5: Monday, June 10, 2019

Arabs in Israel

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Check-out hotel and proceed to Tira

  • Meet with Prof. Dalia Fadila, an educator who seeks to change Israeli Arab world from within as the first female dean of an Islamic college in Israel and has now opened her own set of schools

  • Lunch on own en route

  • Continue to Tzippori

  • Visit Tzippori, the most important city in the Galilee in the first four centuries CE, a spiritual center, seat of the Hebrew academies, and home of Talmudic scholars.

  • Proceed to Safed

  • Safed, pronounced Tzfat in Hebrew, has been known since the 16th century as a major center of Kabbala, Jewish mysticism. Safed’s mystical aura adds to its special status as one of Israel’s four holy cities. The old synagogues, narrow alleyways and artists’ studios add to the hilltop city’s unmistakable charm.

  • Check-in hotel

  • Dinner at the hotel

    • Speaker Israel’s Strategic Position in the Middle East

Overnight: North


Day 6: Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Northern Exposure

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive across the Golan Plateau to Mt. Bental to overlook Syria, for an up-to-date brieifing on the delicate relationship between Israel and Syria.

  • Visit to the Druze village of Bukhata on the Golan and meet with residents for a discussion about some of the challenges of living as a Druze on the Golan.

  • Lunch on own

  • Visit to the Kinneret Cemetery, for a glimpse into the trials and triumphs of the early Zionist pioneers, through the lives and poetry of Rachel the poet and Naomi Shemer, who wrote Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, with Muki Tzur, former Secretary- General of the United Kibbutz Movement and considered one of Israel’s preeminent Kibbutz thinkers.

  • Proceed to Jerusalem

  • According to Jewish tradition the Children of Israel under Joshua crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land and Elijah handed over the prophecy to Elisha and rose to heaven on a fiery chariot in the area of Qasr al Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River.  In Christian tradition associates the site with Jesus’ baptism by Matthew. 

  • Check-in hotel

  • Dinner on own

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day 7: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Walls You see and Walls You Don’t See

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Enter the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and walk along the rooftops of the marketplace for a glimpse at the weave of people and places that make up the Old City, concluding with a tour of the Western Wall tunnel.

  • Halachic Flexibility: Divine Law in Human Hands: Meeting in the Western Wall vicinity with Dr. Susan Weiss, founder and executive director of the Center for Women’s Justice which is systemically attempting to end injustices perpetrated against women in the name of religion. 

  • Israel's legal system is a combination of Jewish, Turkish, and British law adapted and molded to suit modern Israeli realities. Built by the Rothschild Foundation, the Supreme Court building with its striking design is a fitting home for the judicial branch of government which oversees Israel's democracy.

  • Lunch at Beit Alliance, the headquarters of Ruach Hadasha (New Spirit), an initiative to strengthen the young adult population in Jerusalem through the arts and community building, including a special program with the various artistic cooperatives (dance, video, drawing, writing, painting, drama)

  • Stopping at relevant sites along the route, travel by light rail along what was once the wall dividing Jerusalem.  Listen to stories from Jews and Arabs living on both sides of the now invisible division about past, present and future in Jerusalem.

  • With urban planner, Dr. Hersch Katz, tour the Neve Ya’akov neighborhood of Jerusalem which encompasses a microcosm of the Jerusalem macrocosm.

  • Dinner on own

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day 8: Thursday, June 13, 2019

My Home is.....

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Israelis and Palestinians: Two Narratives, One Land, a discussion at the  Harry S. Truman Research Institute for The Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University.

  • Depart Jerusalem for the Northern West Bank/The Land of Benjamin.

  • My Home in Judea and SamariaI am Here to Stay, visit Psagot, a flagship Gush Emunim settlement, for an understanding of the origins of Jewish settlements in the West Bank/Judea & Samaria while overlooking the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and El Birah, .

  • Lunch at the Psagot Winery.

  • My Home in Palestine – I am Here to Stay, visit Rawabi, the first fully planned Palestinian city, for a glimpse at a synthesis of private investment and national aspirations and a basis for possible agreement scenarios for the future

  • Return to Jerusalem

  • Dinner on own

  • Optional: Visit the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center including the Avenue of the Righteous, the Historical Museum and the Children’s Memorial,

Overnight: Jerusalem



Day 9: Friday, June 14, 2019

The Dead Sea Basin

  • Early breakfast at the hotel

  • Proceed to the Dead Sea Basin

  • 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.

  • Proceed to a Dead Sea Hotel for lunch and float in the Dead Sea. 

    • Optional: The Dying Dead Sea: Ecological tour of the Dead Sea sinkholes and beach

  • The landscape, climatic conditions and water sources at the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve have created a unique ecosystem of water surrounded by lush greenery in a desolate desert setting. Hike up to and cool off in the refreshing pools of Nahal David (David’s Stream), where David took refuge from King Saul.

  • Return to Jerusalem

  • Candle lighting

  • Musical Kabbalat Shabbat at the First Station and dinner TBA

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day 10: Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Jerusalem Shabbat

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Morning: Time for services

  • If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem:  Jerusalem through the Poems of Yehuda Amichai. Return to the Old City for a guided visit through some of the less known areas of the Jewish and Christian Quarters, including the Cardo, Hurva Square,  Batei Machase Square with the Memorial to the War of Independence and famous inscription from the book of Zacharia predicting the return to Zion, followed by a walk along the Via Delorosa and a guided visit to the Church of the Holy Seplechre.

  • Lunch at the Sephardi House

  • Optional: Return to the hotel OR Visit the unique collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum, including renowned international and Israeli art, the world’s most complete Judaica collections and the charming Billy Rose Sculpture Garden. You can also visit the Shrine of the Book, home to the exceptional archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Admire the glory of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago – in miniature – at the Israel Museum's open-air Second Temple Period model that recreates Jerusalem in 66 CE.

  • Havdalah

  • Farewell dinner TBA

  • Proceed to Ben Gurion International Airport for your departure flight.