Temple Emunah

Trip to Israel

Led By Rabbi David Lerner

February 14-26, 2017



Day 1: Tuesday February 14, 2017


  • Depart U.S.A on flight El-Al 006 from Boston in the evening direct to Israel - pending confirmation.


Overnight: Flight


Day 2: Wednesday February 15, 2017


  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance from Makor Educational Journeys representative.

  • Welcome Ceremony, Trip Orientation, and Tree Planting at Neot Kedumim Nature Reserve.

  • Drive in to Tel Aviv.

  • Check in to hotel.

  • Festive Welcome Dinner at a Tel Aviv Restaurant.


Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv


Day 3: Thursday February 16, 2017

To the First Hebrew City in 2000 Years

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Adults: Meet scholar Rachel Korazim for a discussion: Tel Aviv as a Jewish City, Tel Aviv as an Israeli City, Tel Aviv as a City of the World.

  • Youth: The Faces of Tel Aviv – The Israel Lens I Photography Project on the streets of Tel Aviv.

  • Independence Hall where the state of Israel was established in 1948.

  • Family Scavenger Hunt along Rothschild Boulevard, connecting the origins of Tel Aviv and Tel Aviv’s UNESCO White City Bauhaus  architecture with the modern 24/7 Tel Aviv of today

  • Lunch on your own on Rothschild Blvd.

  • Creativity and Innovation: parallel visits for Youth and Adults, exploring Israel’s hi tech boom.

  • Drive to Rehovot to the Ayalon Institute, a clandestine munitions factory from the War of Independence, hidden under a bakery and a laundry – and the beginnings of Israel’s Hi Tech Industry.

  • Visit Jaffa for free time to wander through the rejuvenated Flea Market and Old city, with dinner on your own.


Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv


Day 4: Friday February 17, 2017

Ben Gurion’s Dream: In Tel Aviv and the Negev

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Visit the Palmach Museum for a glimpse at the trials and tribulations of Israel’s pre state fighting force, which was made up of young and idealistic soon to be Israelis.

  • Visit the Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center, which traces the history of the State of Israel through the life and ultimate death of slain Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.

OR for the Youth

  • Visit the Land of Israel Museum (Ha’aretz Museum), for an interactive experience exploring some of the lesser known stories of the Land and State of Israel.

  • Visit the Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Market and outdoor Carmel Fruit and Vegetable Market, with lunch on your own.

  • In Sde Boker visit founding father David Ben Gurion’s home, and grave, for a glimpse into the life and dreams of Israel’s first Prime Minister whose powerful message about the Negev is pulling more people southward than ever before.

  • Check into the Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon and prepare for Shabbat.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat in the desert.

  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon


 Day 5: Shabbat (Saturday) February 18, 2017

Shabbat in the Desert

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Morning Spiritual Desert Hike in the Ramon Crater  - with Pesukei D’Ziomrah and Shaharit overlooking the Makhtesh, returning to the hotel for the Torah Reading.

  • Festive Shabbat Lunch at the hotel.

  • Free Time—Enjoy the world class spa, pool, and hotel surroundings.

  • Late afternoon meeting with Young Pioneers building Mitzpe Ramon and new institutions building up Israel’s periphery.

  • Seudah Shlishit, Discussion, learning, singing and Havdalah with Rabbi Lerner.

  • Night Hike with Flashlights and Star Gazing


Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon


Day 6: Sunday February 19, 2017,

A Mosaic of Israeli Society

  • Early morning Bike Ride, Run or Walk along the edge of the Ramon Crater.

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive into the Ramon Crater for a short visit to the Carpentry Shop.

  • Drive to Yerucham for a meeting with the young social action oriented Mayor Michael Biton, Mechina -- Beer and Lunch with Sephardic women whose cooking is part of an empowerment program for women in the periphery.

  • Drive across the Negev Desert to the Cana’aim Valley.

  • Camel Ride and Bedouin Hospitality, followed by a Hafla Dinner and Drummers Circle.

    • Those sleeping at the Dead Sea: Bus ride to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ein Bokek


Overnight: Crowe Plaza Hotel, Ein Bokek//Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Encampment

Those staying at Nokdim will all ascend Masada via the Roman Ramp

Those staying at the Dead Sea will ascend Masada via the Snake Path on foot or via       the Cable Car.


Day 7: Monday February 20, 2017

Strategies for Jewish Survival

  • Early Morning Breakfast at the hotel

  • Ride the Cable Car or Hike the Snake Trail (if staying at the Dead Sea)//Walk up the Roman Ramp (if staying at Kfar Hanokdim) to the top of Masada.  Guided visit (in two adult and a youth group) and exploration of some of the tough questions the Masada story raises, with help from the Youth’ Historo Drama. 

  • Float in the Dead Sea and enjoy the spa at the Crown Plaza Hotel

  • Continue to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and walk through the Nahal David Desert Oasis to the Ein Gedi Waterfall, catching a little of the desert poetry of King David who spent a fair amount of time here.

  • Drive toward the Upper Galilee.

  • Stop at Qasr el Yahud, where some Jewish traditions claim Joshua crossed over the Jordan into the Land of Israel and where some Christian traditions claim that Jesus was baptized.

  • Stop at the Kinneret Cemetery for a short visit to the graves of Rachel the Poet and Naomi Shemer the songwriter, for a glimpse into the pioneering spirit that built the State of Israel. (Time Permitting)

  • Drive to Kibbutz HaGoshrim.

  • Check in to Kibbutz Guesthouse, HaGoshrim.

  • Dinner at the guesthouse.


Overnight: Hagoshrim Hotel, Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee


Day 8: Tuesday February 21, 2017

Nature, Security, Spirituality

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Nature walk along the Banyas River.

  • Ascend the Golan Heights to Mt. Bental—

    • Adults:  Overlook Syria, for an up-to-date briefing on the situation and the delicate between Syria and Israel.

    • Youth: Orienteering Program in the Bental Bunkers.

    • Possible meeting at IDF base 

  • Drive across the Galil to Safed.

  • Take part in a Mystical Experience between the Birya Forrest and Safed, including stories, exploration, meditation and personal creativity.

  • Guided visit through Safed—the alleyways, ancient synagogues, market, and artist colony, using the stories of the mystics as a guide, followed by

    •      Adults: Visit the grave of the great mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria (The Ari)

    •      Youth: The Israel Lens 1—an exploration of Safed with camera/smartphone in hand as the kick-off of the Jewish Lens Photographic Program

  • Conclude the day with a performance by the Makom BaGalil Jewish-Arab Galilee Circus, followed by a circus workshop with circus participants (Jewish and Arab high school students from the Galilee).

  • Dinner at the Charolait Restaurant with soldiers from front border outposts.

  • Lantern Tour at Kalat Namrud.


Overnight: Hagoshrim Hotel, Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee


 Day 9: Wednesday February 22, 2017

Jewish Responsibility, Yesterday and Today

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart for Central Israel.

  • Visit Kibbutz Hanaton, where a Conservative/Masorti community has been created, including a special program at the Hanaton Mikva with Haviva Ner David and Rabbi Yoav Endi.

  • Adults:

    • My Palestine, Depart for Rawabi, the new Palestinian city north of Ramallah for glimpse at this unique project, a synthesis between private enterprise, and public resources, to create one of the anchors of the future Palestinian State, including a meeting and dialogue with developer, Bashar el Masri.

  • Youth:

    • Visit Kfar Kedem in Hoshaya for an Jewish living experience from the days of the Mishna, including donkeys, pita baking, shepherding and homing pigeons.

    • Stop at Moshav Nahalal for Field Gleaning with Leket Israel, which collects produce that would go to waste and delivers it to those in need.

  • Travel south along the Trans-Israel Highway, with a security seminar along the Seam Zone between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

  • Ascend to Jerusalem.

  • Shehechianu atop The Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, with an overview of Jerusalem and a welcome ceremony.

  • Check into the Mount Zion Hotel.

  • Dinner on your own, followed by a free evening.


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 10: Thursday February 23, 2017

Bnai Mitzvah on the Layers of Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Tfilat Shacharit and Bnai Mitzvah Service at the Egalitarian Kotel - Robinson’s Arch, followed by a guided visit through the Davidson Archaeological Garden, led by the Bnai Mitzvah.

  • Stop at the Kotel (Western Wall) for a reflection by Rabbi Lerner followed by time for meditation and prayer.

  • Descend to the City of David in order to go back another thousand years for a guided visit through some of the newest excavations in Jerusalem, with Bible in hand, in separate groups, adults and Youth.

  • Visit the Yad Be Yad – Hand in Hand, Bi Lingual School in Southern Jerusalem for a special program with teachers and students on creating a new narrative in a multi-narrative environment.

  • Return to the hotel for free time for rest and relaxation.

  • Dinner on your own at the Mamilla Mall.

  • Jerusalem Night Spectacular (sound and light show) at the David Citadel Museum, followed by a walk along the Old City Rooftops by night to the Kotel and an optional guided visit through the Western Wall Tunnel, concluding with a late night visit to a Jerusalem Challah Bakery.


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 11: Friday February 24, 2017

Memories for the Future

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Adults: The Memory of the Holocaust in Contemporary State of Israel.

  •  Youth: The Israeli Lens Photography Project, in the vicinity of the hotel

  • Visit Yad Vashem, the National Memorial to the Six Million Jews Killed in the Holocaust, including the Avenue of the Righteous, with parallel programming for adults and Youth, as well as an opportunity for return visitors to visit the Art Museum. 

    o    Returnees:  Special programming at the Yad Vashem Art Museum or visit the newest exhibits at the Israel Museum.

    o    Children: Special program at the Israel Museum Youth Wing.

  • Continue to the Macheneh Yehudah Open Air Market for as Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat, with Israel Lens IIII, followed by a walk through Israel’s most pluralistic neighborhood, Nachlaot, with lunch on your own.

  • Kabbalat Shabbat overlooking the Kotel.

  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 12: Shabbat, February 25, 2017

Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Shabbat Morning Services.

  • Lunch at the hotel.

  • Depart for the Old City of Jerusalem for a guided walk from Jaffa Gate along the Rooftops of the Old Cityfor a bird’s eye view of the Temple Mount and continue into the Jewish Quarter for a Scavenger Hunt through the Hurva Square, exploring Jewish life 2000 years ago and today.

  • Christian Quarter tour.

  • Free time for rest and relaxation.

  • Concluding Program and Sharing: What This Experience Has Meant to Me.

  • Festive Farewell Dinner

  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport.


Overnight: Flight


Day 13: Sunday February 26, 2017


  • Departure flight to Boston, arriving the same day.