Temple Beth-El of Great Neck

Israel Adventure Tour

December 20, 2017—January 1, 2018

Itinerary subject to changes

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Night Departure from the U.S. to Israel


Thursday, December 21, 2017

 Arrival ברוכים הבאים


  • 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 Rabbis Meir and Tara Feldman.

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


Overnight: The Inbal, Jerusalem


Friday, December 22, 2017 (Shabbat begins at 4pm)

                                           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 Rabbis Tara and Meir Feldman.

  • Return to the hotel for rest and preparation for Shabbat.

  • Stand in awe at the Kotel (Western Wall) as young Jews sing and dance their welcome to the Shabbat. Or—take in Shabbat at local synagogues such as Kehilat Tzion and Kol Haneshama in Baka.

  • Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.        


Overnight:  The Inbal, Jerusalem


Saturday (Shabbat), December 23, 2017

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,” or enjoy the spa at the Inbal. 

  • 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 Christian Quarter of the Old City, including the Via Delarosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

  • Optional Home Hospitality in the home of Rabbi Bill and Batya Berk for Seudat Shlisheet (light refreshments), discussion, and Havdalah ceremony celebrating the transition from Shabbat to the new week.

  • Free evening and dinner on your own in Jerusalem.  Options include: Western Wall Tunnel Tour (prior reservations required), Cruising Ben Yehudah St., dinner on Emek Rephaim or the Tachana (Old Train Station), partaking in a cultural offering at the Jerusalem Theatre. 


Overnight: The Inbal, Jerusalem

Sunday, December 24, 2017

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.

  • Dinner on your own at Mamilla next to the Jaffa Gate.

  • Jerusalem Night Spectacular—sound and light show on the walls of the Old City, located at the David Citadel Museum, narrating 3,000+ years of Jerusalem’s history.


Overnight: The Inbal, Jerusalem

Monday, December 25, 2017

Celebrations at the Kotel

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Celebrate our B’nai Mitzvah and a Conversion, life cycle moments of a life-time, at the place where it all began—the Kotel (Western Wall), in the pluralistic Azarat Yisrael Plaza section of the Kotel, near Robinson’s Arch, close to where the southern and western walls come together.

  • 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 Luncheon at Café Itamar on Moshav Orah.

  • See the Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital, a short drive from Moshav Orah.

  • Return to the hotel for a meeting with Kids4Peace, a chance to meet Jewish, Christian, and Muslim kids who are part of one of the most inspirational and hopeful peace projects in Israel, as well as the founder of Kids4Peace, Dr. Yakir Englander.

  • Dinner on your own and free evening in Jerusalem.


Overnight: The Inbal, Jerusalem


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Learning from the Past, Heading Towards the Future

  •  Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Rabbi Bill Berk, “Preparing for Yad Vashem.”

  • 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 the famous Biblical Zoo instead.

  • Short Tour and lunch on your own at Macheneh Yehudah, one of the most famous markets in the Middle East.

  • Drive north through the Jordan Valley.

  • Stop at Qasr el Yahud on the Jordan River, where according to some Jewish traditions Joshua crossed the Jordan river into the land of Israel and according to some Christian traditions, Jesus was baptized.

  • Drive to Kibbutz Hagoshrim in the Upper Galilee.

  • Check into kibbutz hotel guest rooms.

  • Dinner at the kibbutz.


Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee


 Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Northern Heights

  •  Breakfast at the hotel.

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

  • Jeep ride on the slopes of 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 at the kibbutz.

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


Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee


Thursday, December 28, 2017

From Lebanon to Tel Aviv


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Spend the morning in the vicinity of Kibbutz Manara, home of Rachel Rabin, sister to slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  Begin by taking the Cable Car from the southern foothills of Kiryat  Shemona to the top of the Naftali range/Kibbutz Manara.  This is the longest cable car ride in Israel. 

    • Tour the kibbutz which is right on the border with Lebanon and meet Rachel Rabin who shares stories of her youth with her brother and what it took to build this kibbutz.

    • This is followed by going down the Mountain Slides—more than 1200 meters of panoramic view track.  Kids may opt to try the longest Zip Line in Israel.  Lunch on your own en route..

  • Drive toward Southern Israel.

  • Choose One:

    • Guided tour through Caesarea, including the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, the Promenade and the Palace and concluding with the remains of the Crusader City, exploring along the way the relationship between Romans and Jews, with a Historo-Drama performed by the youth.

    • Or—visit Atlit, site of the British detention camp for illegal Jewish immigrants between 1945 and 1948 for a guided visit through the re-constructed camp and a glimpse into the challenging years leading up to the establishment of the state.

  • Continue to Tel Aviv.

  • Check into Tel Aviv hotel.

  • Free time and dinner on your own in Tel Aviv.


Overnight: Carlton Hotel on the Beach, Tel Aviv


Friday, December 29, 2017 (Shabbat begins at 4:23pm)

The First Hebrew City in 2,000 Years


  • 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 followed by a Desert Tasting Tour at the famous markets Shuk HaCarmel and the Levinsky Market, and stroll through the Nachalot Binyamin Arts and Crafts Fair where the artists present their latest creations.

  • Return to the hotel for rest, free time, and a chance to prepare for Shabbat.

  • Shabbat services at Beit Tefilah Yisraeli.

  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Carlton Hotel on the Beach, Tel Aviv


Saturday (Shabbat), December 30, 2017

A Tel Aviv Shabbat


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Free morning.  Options include: group Shabbat service on the roof-top of the hotel, services in local synagogues, strolling on the Beach Promenade or the deck of the refurbished port (Namal) of Tel Aviv, walking the Boardwalk to Jaffa and exploring Jaffa, walking neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, enjoy the beach, walk Ben Yehudah Street to Rabin Square and take in this famous place where political demonstrations are held and where Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated.  See the graffiti and the tributes to Yitzhak Rabin, the first prime minister born in Israel.

  • Shabbat Lunch at the Hotel.

  • 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 Jonaht 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.

  • Free evening and dinner on your own in Tel Aviv—there are many musical, dance, theater options to choose…


Overnight: Carlton Hotel on the Beach, Tel Aviv


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Exploring the Neighborhood


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

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

  • Take part in a family Svcavenger Challenge through the famous Jaffa Flea Market, Shuk HaPishpishim. Including lunch onyour own in Jaffa.

  • Lunch on your own in Jaffa.

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

  • Free time to  prepare for the return trip to the United States.

  • Summary Discussion led by Rabbis Tara and Meir Feldman followed by Festive Closing Dinner at the Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.

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


Monday, January 1, 2018


Arrive back in the United States