“The Magic and Marvels of 70 Years of Modern Israel”


Sunday, July 1, 2018


Depart for Israel


Monday, July 2, 2018

 Arrival ברוכים הבאים


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

  • To the North!

  • Welcome Ceremony on the beach at Caesarea.  Guided visit through Caesarea, including the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, the Promenade and Palace, and concluding with the remains of the Crusader City, exploring the relations between Jews and Romans 2,000 years ago.

  • Festive Welcome Dinner at Decks Restaurant on the Kineret (Sea of Galilee).

  • Drive to Kibbutz Gonen and check into the kibbutz guest houses.

  • (Depending on arrival time in Israel, it might be possible to schedule something in between Caesarea and the welcome dinner.)


Overnight: Kibbutz Gonen, Upper Galilee


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

                                                                    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 in Safed.

  • Free evening back at Kibbutz Gonen.


Overnight:  Kibbutz Gonen, Upper Galilee


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

From Mountain Slides to Kinneret Boat Rides


  • 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 with a Druse family.

  • Drive south to the Galil Mountain Winery for an adventure with grapes and more mountain views.

  • Explore the southern part of the Kinneret with a visit to Kibbutz Degania Aleph, the very first kibbutz.  Enjoy the Galita Chocolate Factory and a family chocolate making workshop.

  • Stop at the Kinneret Cemetery to visit the graves of the Zionist pioneer poet laureate Rachel and modern Israel’s Naomi Shemer (Jerusalem of Gold) for a glimpse at the power of the poem in contemporary Israeli life.

  • Boat Ride and Dinner on the Kinneret.

  • Return to the Kibbutz.


Overnight: Kibbutz Gonen, Upper Galilee

Thursday, July 5, 2018

                                                                          To Jerusalem!

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive south west to Yemin Orde Youth Village, the flagship youth village in a system Israel has created for orphans, kids at risk, vulnerable children.  Yemin Orde began in 1953 taking in Holocaust orphans and every decade since has helped raise Israeli kids.  Hear the story, tour the village, and meet the idealistic staff.

  • Continue south to Zichron Yaakov, one of the most charming small towns in Israel, for lunch and a chance to explore the pedestrian outdoor mall area.

  • Continue to Jerusalem.

  • Ascend to the Tayelet (Haas Promenade) for a Welcome to Jerusalem Ceremony, complete with bread, wine, and the Shehechianu Prayer.  Get oriented to Jerusalem.  Enjoy the extraordinary view—the Dome of the Rock,  the Walls of the Old City, the City of David, the Peace Forest, Arab villages, and on a good day the mountains of Jordan where Moses is buried.

  • Check into the Mt. Zion Hotel with its view of the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion.

  • Enter the Old City through the Jaffa Gate for an introductory “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 Greg Wolfe.

  • 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.

  • Return to the hotel.


Overnight:  Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Friday, July 6, 2018

                                                 Digging Deep into Jerusalem’s History


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • 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.

  • Lunch on your own in the Old City.

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

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

  • Choice: Go to the Kotel (Western Wall) and join thousands of Jews from all over the world welcoming Shabbat with song, prayer, and dance.  Or, attend a local synagogue for Kabbalat Shabbat Services.

  • Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.


Overnight:  Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Shabbat (Saturday), July 7, 2018

                                                            A Jerusalem Shabbat


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Free morning—a chance to catch your breath. Other options:  attend Shabbat services at a local synagogue, explore the quiet neighborhoods of West Jerusalem, have your own adventure in the Old City, go “synagogue hopping,” or enjoy the pool and spa at the hotel.

  • Optional Late Morning Study with Rabbi Bill Berk, “The Secrets of Shabbat.”

  • Shabbat Lunch at the hotel.

  • Optional visit to the Israel Museum, Israel’s premier museum, and take in 4,000 years of Jewish culture, as well as the Shrine of the Book for a chance to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest texts of the Bible in the world.

  • Optional afternoon walk through the nearby neighborhood of Yemin Moshe.

  • 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 (refurbished old Turkish Train Station), partaking in a cultural offering at the Jerusalem Theatre, check out the late night music scene at Shuk Macheneh Yehudah.


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Memories for a Life-time


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

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

  • Experience Yad Vashem, Israel’s official National Memorial for the six million victims of the Holocaust.  Young children go to Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo.

  • Lunch and Tour at Shuk Macheneh Yehudah, one of the most colorful outdoor markets in the Middle East.

  • Jeep Ride on the Burma Road for a look at famous locations of Israel’s War of Independence and also a look at places where prominent scenes from the Bible too place.

  • Enjoy a stop at Tzuba Winery for wine tasting and other refreshments.

  • Return to Jerusalem for a free night and dinner on your own.


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Monday, July 9, 2018

               Understanding the Past, Celebrating the Present, Committing to the Future


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Bat Mitzvah Ceremony at the Azarat Yisrael Egalitarian Plaza next to the Kotel.

  • Chesed/Mitzvah Project—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 Muza Bahar Restaurant in Shoresh.

  • Drive to Beit Guvrin to participate in an actual live archaeological dig.

  • Return to Jerusalem for dinner on your own, followed by a discussion led by Rabbi Aryeh Ben David, founder of Ayeka, “The Healing Power of Striving to Live in the Image of God.”


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Tuesday, July 10, 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, according to tradition, composed these poems in this place.

  • On the return to Jerusalem stop at Eretz Beresheet for a camel ride and a chance to meet our grandfather Abraham in his tent.

  •  Return to Jerusalem.

  • Free evening and dinner on your own.


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

                                                          Getting to Know the Neighbors


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Home Hospitality: Experience “Niflaot Ein-Kerem”—in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Israel an intimate group of women from Middle Eastern countries (Morocco, Kurdistan, Yemen) invite you into their homes for a tour through time and space to the Middle East of old.  Hear their stories and their music, see their ethnic costumes and treasures, and tour their remarkable houses.  Enjoy their ethnic culinary treats and amazing coffee.

  • Drive to Gush Etzion and meet a “settler” for an insider’s view of the lives of the folks who live in the West Bank. 

  • Lunch on your own in Gush Etzion.

  • Meet the Israelis and Palestinians of Shorashim—Judhur (Roots), a grassroots project which brings together Palestinians and Jewish settlers in a realistic and unique coexistence dialogue/living project, with Ali Abu Awad, Shaul Yudelman, and Hanan Slesinger.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv.

  • Check into the Crown Plaza Hotel.

  • Free time to enjoy the beach.

  • Dinner on your own and free evening in Tel Aviv.  Options include: the Tel Aviv Port (“the Namal”), the Jaffa Port, Rothschild Boulevard, The Tachana (refurbished Old Turkish Railroad Station), or perhaps catch some music or dance at the Cameri Theater.


Overnight: Crown Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv


Thursday, July 12, 2018

                                                     The First Hebrew City in 2,000 Years


  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Heichal  Atzmaut—Independence Hall—experience the place where after an exile of 2,000 years the Jewish people proclaimed sovereignty once again—the place where Israel’s  Declaration of Independence was signed.

  • Visit the Palmach Museum for a multi-media action packed experience of a platoon of young people who fought in the War of Independence as part of the Palmach, the “strike force” of what would one day become the IDF, Israel Defense Forces.

  • Lunch and brief tour at Sarona, an innovative, contemporary urban market with an unusual history.

  • Visit the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled in Ramat Gan and a possible meeting with one of Israel’s Paralympic medal winners.

  • For a glimpse at the future of Start-Up Nation, visit the Taglit Innovation Center.

  • Free time to enjoy the beach.

  • Dinner on your own and free evening in Tel Aviv.


Overnight: Crown Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday, July 13, 2018

                                                             Getting to Know the City


  • 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.

  • Home Hospitality: Learn with one of Israel’s finest teachers, Rachel Korazim, at her home in Jaffa, “Tel Aviv as a Jewish City, Tel Aviv as an Israeli City, Tel Aviv as a City of the World.”

  • Lunch on your own at a Jaffa Humus Joint.

  • Take part in a family Scavenger Challenge through the famous Jaffa Flea Market, Shuk HaPishpishim.

  • 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.

  • Free time to prepare for Shabbat.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat at the Namal (Tel Aviv Port) with Beit Tefilah Yisraeli.

  • Shabbat Dinner at the Hotel.


Overnight: Crown Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv


Shabbat (Saturday), July 14, 2018

                                        A Tel Aviv Shabbat and Heading Home to the U.S.


  • 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:

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  • Summary Session, Havdalah, and Festive Farewell Dinner.

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


Overnight: Flight to the U.S.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

                                                         Arrive back in the United States