The Four Corners of Israel

From the Heart of NJ to the Heart of Israel

Celebrating 70 years





Monday, October 15, 2018


  • Arrival and assistance at Ben Gurion International Airport

  • Depart for Northern Israel.

  • From the Four Corners of the World, Stop at the Caesaera Aqueduct for a festive Welcome Ceremony.

  • Understanding Jewish Peoplehood, continue to Atlit, site of a pre state detention camp established by the authorities of the British Mandate for Palestine at the end of the 1930s to prevent Jewish refugees from entering Palestine, with Murray S. Greenfield who was one of the US volunteers on the illegal immigration boats in the Pre-State days.

  • Travel by bus across the Galilee and along the Kineret/Sea of Galilee with select stops and overlooks while traveling.

  • Lunch on own en route.

  • Check in to Kibbutz Hagosherim,Galilee Hotel.

  • Group dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Kibbutz HagosherimGalilee

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Physical and Spiritual Security

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Israel’s Northern Borders @2018, geopolitical update with Maj. Res. Sarit Zahavi.


Option 1: Recommended for First Timers

  • Visit the Tel Dan Nature Reserve for a walk along the Dan River, one of Israel’s major sources of water and the site of the famous Biblical city of Dan.

  • Ascend to the Golan Heights.

  • Drive along the Syrian border on Jeeps, exploring the complex relationship between Israel and Syria, with intelligence expert llan Shulman.

  • Lunch on your own en route in Katzrin, followed by a visit to one of the Golan’s leading Wineries for wine tasting.

Option 2: Recommended for Returnees

  • In depth geo-political seminar and culinary experience atop the Golan Plateau, with overlooks into Syria and the Israeli Hula Valley and winetasting with other treats – a unique experience for Israel insiders.


  • Conclude the day with a visit to Safed, and explore the quaint alleyways, art galleries, and synagogues of the mystical city of Tzfat, including a dialogue with Kabbalistic artist.

  • SPECIAL EVENT: Welcome to Israel @70…The Triumph and the Mystery of Jewish Independence  - Evening Celebration at a Galilean Fortress – replete with interactive bus activities, music and a festive dinner.


Overnight: Kibbutz Hagosherim, Galilee


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Mosaic of Israel

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Heart of New Jersey on the Ground: Individual bus experiences traveling from northern Israel to the heart of the country, including an array of interactive programs with some of our Israeli partners and the people we touch, such as (for example only):

    • Get a unique insight into the realities of Arab women in Israel at the home of Amna Kamaana, who             founded an organization for the empowerment of Muslim women.

    • A visit to a special program for Youth at Risk in Nazareth Illit where kids learn trust and leadership             through par cour – urban gymnastics.

    • Hands on spice picking at a local spice farm made possible through an innovative loan program                   supported by the Jewish Federation

    • Visit one of Israel’s unique Youth Villages through which youth from all over the world have been               integrated into Israeli society.

    • Tech Career, a groundbreaking project to help Ethiopian Israelis train for positions in Israel’s Hi                  Tech Market.

    • Additional HONJ projects.

  • Lunch on own en route.

  • Stop at Neot Kedumim for a special tree planting ceremony.

  • Drive to Jerusalem and stop at the Haas Promenade for Shehechianu ceremony overlooking Jerusalem with the traditional bread and wine.

  • Check in to hotel, followed by time to freshen up.

  • Enjoy a dinner of biblical cuisine at the Eucalyptus Restaurant, including a meeting with chef Moshe Basson, who specializes in preparing foods based on ingredients native to the Land of Israel.

Evening Options:

  • Late night visit to the Machane Yehudah Market, Jerusalem’s after-hours center of great people, food, music and fun.

  • Shopping and dessert on the Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall

  • A private Boutique Shopping Experience with select jewelry and fashions from Israeli designers


Overnight: Herbert Samuel Hotel, Jerusalem


Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Layers of Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Explore the multi-ethnic weave of the Old City, beginning with the Ramparts Walk along the rooftops from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate, through the Jewish Quarter, including the Cardo, the Hurva Square and the Herodian Mansions, concluding at the Davidson Archeological Park.  Special route and visits for Israel returnees.

  • Lunch on your own.

  • Special tzedek project and site visit showing how all Jews are responsible for one another, with Jewish Federation partners and grantees in Jerusalem. 


Customize your boutique Jerusalem experience (advance sign up will be required)

  • Visits to the Museums of Jerusalem, our buses will take you to some of the top museums in Jerusalem, including the following possibilities: The Israel Museum, The Begin Museum, The Museum on the Seam, The Islamic Museum, The Bible Lands Museum, or The Herzl Museum (admission included)

  • A private Boutique Shopping Experience with select jewelry and fashions from Israeli designers

  • A Nature hike at the Sataf, one of Israel’s many parks outside Jerusalem.

  • A hands-on security training experience with Caliber 3. (additional fee required)

  • A visit to the ancient city of Hebron. (additional fee required, pending security clearance)

  • A visit to the heart of the Israeli government, with a special briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Self Drive ATV ride in the Judean Desert (additional fee required)

  • Dinner on your own at the Mamilla Mall or the First Station.

HONJ in the Old City …After Hours

  • View the Jerusalem Night Spectacular music and light show on the walls of the Tower of David, telling the story of Jerusalem in animation and music.

  • Optional night guided visit through the Western Wall Tunnels. (additional cost).

  • Visit a Jerusalem Challah Bakery and see the time old tradition of Challah Making, passed on through Jerusalem’s generations. 


Overnight: Herbert Samuel Hotel, Jerusalem


Friday, October 19, 2018

The Layers of Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Israel and the Memory of the Holocaust with scholar Rachel Korazim.

  • Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Memorial to the Holocaust, with its museum, education center and memorials.

  • Returnees: Option for a guided visit to Mt. Herzl, Israel’s main national cemetery where many of the State’s leaders are buried, with guest Israeli soldiers. 

  • Special Ceremony after these visits marking our visit to Israel.

  • Free time at Machane Yehudah with lunch on your own, followed by free time to explore Jerusalem as it prepares for Shabbat, and your own Shabbat preparations.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat as a community at the Kotel.

  • Festive Shabbat dinner at a special event space with members of Ruach Chadasha and a noted thinker/scholar 

  • Optional evening walk through the streets of Meah Shearim to experience an Ultra Orthodox “Tisch”.


Overnight: Herbert Samuel Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Free morning with and optional Synagogue Hop or services at one of Jerusalem’s Synagogues (map and recommendations provided).

  • Lunch on your own with an optional opportunity for Home Hospitality Lunch at additional expense (sign up in advance required).

  • Free afternoon to explore Jerusalem on your own or afternoon guided walks:

Options Include

  • The winding alleyways of Yemin Moshe, the first neighborhood built outside of the walls of the Old City, using the poetry of Yehudah Amichai as a guide.

  • The German Colony, built by the German Templars in the late 1800s, with their unique buildings and stories that have become part of Jerusalem’s lore.

  • The upscale neighborhood of Rechavia, originally modeled after the “garden cities” of Europe.

  • A guided walk through the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem.

  • The winding alleyways of the eclectic Nachlaot neighborhood.

  • The Valley of Hinnom to the top of Mount Zion and continuing to the Jewish Quarter, using the Bible and ancient archaeological remains as guides.

  • Mount Zion, the Hill of Three Religions, guided with poetry and midrash.

  • Bus Group “chavurah” conversations in different locations.

  • SPECIAL EVENT: A musical farewell to Shabbat and special festive Israeli dinner at David’s Citadel, with VIP guests. 


Overnight: Herbert Samuel Hotel, Jerusalem


Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Lure of the Desert

Option 1:

  • Early morning departure for the Dead Sea Basin.

  • Morning relaxation and float in the Dead Sea.

  • Ascend Herod’s mountain fortress of Masada and a guided visit through the last stronghold of the Zealots against the Romans. Study the texts of “Elazar Ben Yair and the Zealots of Masada” and “Yochanan Ben Zakai and the Rabbis of Yavneh” for an exploration of the questions that arise from the story and their symbolism in modern Israeli society. Descend via the Roman Ramp.

  • Drive to Kfar Hanokdim.

Option 2:

  • Early breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart for the south.

  • Rebuilding the Zionist Dream in the Negev—socio-ethnic challenges facing the northern Negev, tensions with the Bedouin, balancing tradition and modernity.  Meet Hura mayor Dr Mohammad Alnabari and learn about the extraordinary successes of his small city, the unfinished business that still beckons, and the serious challenges he and his community face, with representatives of Desert Stars hear the story of how they are working together to promote a better, more just and equal, Israeli society in the Negev.

  • Visit the Beer Sheva Cyber-Development Hub for a special visit to one of Israel’s newest Cyber-Security companies (Pending Confirmation)

  • Continue to Tel Arad in the Yatir Forrest to visit the exclusive Yatir winery for wine tasting and a discussion with winemaker, Eran Goldwasser.


  • Experience Bedouin hospitality at the Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Encampment in the Judean Desert for a camel ride and traditional “hafla” lunch, followed by an opportunity to learn about the culture of the Negev Bedouin, their relationship to Israel, and the challenges facing their community.

  • A Special Army experience with the IDF: Visit to Palmachim Airforce Base to meet with air force soldiers and “soldiers” from the Special in Uniform project.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv and check into hotel.


  • No-host night out with dinner on own in Tel Aviv.    (Sign up for reservations in advance and our buses will drop people off at locations throughout the city.)  Options include:

    • Dinner and singing waitstaff at Punchline

    • Spatziring and sampling cuisine at Sarona Market, the equivalent of Israel’s Chelsea Market

    • Shopping and dinner at the Tel Aviv Port

    • Wandering through the hip Train Station market

    • An introduction to Tel Aviv Nightlife 

    • Reservations at Select Restaurants Throughout the City


Overnight: Tel Aviv

Monday, October 22, 2018

Tel Aviv, The First Hebrew City

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • A Look at Israel 70 Years Young, with scholar Paul Liptz.

  • Tel Aviv: the First Hebrew City: Begin with a walk through Neve Zedek, one of the first Jewish neighborhoods outside of Jaffa and today a re-gentrified neighborhood replete with galleries, cafes and trendy shops and continue along Rothschild Blvd, exploring the once small community of Ahuzat Bayit where Tel Aviv began, and its development into both the UNESCO World Heritage White City collection of Bauhaus buildings and one of the great global innovation hubs, concluding with a visit to the Taglit Innovation Center, which showcases Israeli innovation.

  • Visit Independence Hall, where the State of Israel was declared.

  • Lunch on your own on Shenkin Street, Nachalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall or the Carmel Market.

  • Continue to the Florentine neighborhood for a Graffiti Tour, unveiling some of Tel Aviv’s urban secrets and trends.

  • Time for shopping and relaxing by the sea before dinner.

  • Wrap up discussion by bus group overlooking the Mediterranean.

  • SPECIAL EVENT: Conclusions and New Beginnings, Festive Farewell Dinner and Party, with music and special guests.

  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport for return flight to the United States.

Overnight: Flight/Tel Aviv

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

  • Arrival in the United States.

** Program is tentative and subject to changes

An optional add-on for the

General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America

Information available upon request