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A Winter Family Israel Tour

Availability: all year round

12 days / 11 nights


Private Tours Available

A Winter Family Israel Tour


Wednesday – Depart USA

Thursday– Entering the Land

  • Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time).
  • Guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – An underground bullet factory in Rehovot used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel.
  • Tour Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as Zion Gate from which Jonah tried to flee and where Solomon brought the Cedars of Lebanon on the way to Jerusalem. Today paintings and sculptures have been installed in its picturesque alleys.
  • Shehekhiyanu/Welcome ceremony on top of ancient Tel Jaffa. Then Hear about the vision for founding the new city of Tel Aviv.
  • Lunch on own
  • Visit the Palmach Museum in Ramat Aviv to learn about the elite underground organization which played a critical role in the founding of the State of Israel.
  • Check-in at the Dan Panorama Hotel on Tel Aviv‘s Mediterranean Coast.
  • Welcome dinner at Maganda Restaurant in Tel Aviv’s old Yemenite Quarter.
  • OvernightDan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday  – Digging Up the Past:  An Underground Adventure

  • Travel to Beit Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands, crossing enroute the biblical Elah Valley, where David and Goliath fought.
  • Dig up Israel’s past by participating in a hands on archaeological excavation with Dig for a Day in Beit Guvrin National Park.
  • Lunch on your own and free time to explore the Nachalat Binyamin crafts fair. While there checkout the nearby Carmel Market and bohemian Sheinkin Street All three of these Tel Aviv icons meet at the “Magen David Junction”.
  • Free time to get ready for Shabbat.
  • Optional Shabbat evening services
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Saturday And on the Seventh Day…in Tel Aviv

  • Shabbat service with Rabbi Steve Bernstein at Birkat Shalom Synagogue on Kibbutz Gezer
  • Discussion with Rabbi Bernstein about Kibbutz life and Reform Judaism in Israel.
  • Traditional Shabbat Lunch at Hotel.
  • Walking tour of historic “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint Neve Tzedek neighborhood, once home to Zionist cultural pioneers, such as Eliezer Ben Yehuda and S.Y. Agnon.
  • Free time to walk along the beach side Promenade and see the people of Tel Aviv enjoying Shabbat afternoon, including Israeli folkdancing.
  • Havdallah
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight:  Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Sunday Encountering the Roman World and Mystical Tzfat

  • Depart for northern Israel.
  • Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace.
  • ITC Touch:  Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games.
  • Lunch on own
  • Tour mystical Tzfat’s old synagogues and picturesque alleyways. Tzfat was the cradle of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in the 16th century.  Judaism’s Friday night service, Kabbalat Shabbat, and the hymn Lecha Dodi originated in Tzfat a that time.
  • Check–in to the Nof Ginosar Hotel on Kibbutz Ginosar by the Sea of Galilee.
  • Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Ginosar

Monday Ancient and Modern Geopolitics and Israel’s Finest

  • Walk in the lush Tel Dan Nature Reserve, one of the sources of the Jordan River, where you’ll discover biblical intrigue and one of the oldest arches in the world.
  • Lunch on own
  • Jeep tour in the Golan Heights for a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics as we visit bunkers where the Syrian army use to “look down” at Israel. Then look out at the border region from strategic Bental.

Please choose one of the following two “touring and tasting” options.  Both located on nearby Kibbutz Ein Zivan (Possibility of splitting the group):

  • Chocolate making workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory.
  • OR:  Guided tour of the boutique Bahat Winery including wine tasting.
  • Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Ginosar

Tuesday – Across Israel: Many Faces of the Jewish People

  • Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Germachin Center in Beit Shean. Learn about this community’s modern day Exodus story and the challenges facing the Ethiopian Israeli community today.
  • Lunch on Kibbutz Sde Eliahu
  • Visit Bio-Bee on Kibbutz Sde Eliahu, world leaders in organic agriculture to hear how they are using very effectively biological pest control, rather than toxic pesticides  to protect their crops.
  • Travel south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem
  • Check in to the Mt. Zion Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Recommendation for the evening: Check out the Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Jerusalem.
  • Overnight: Zion Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday  – The Old City of Jerusalem: An Ancient Jewish Legacy

  • Briefing by a representative of IRAC on Relgious Pluralism in Israel and the Women of the Wall movement.
  • Explore the City of David, including its ancient water systems (without getting wet!), using the Bible and archaeology to decipher Jerusalem’s ruins and discover chapters in the city’s past.
  • OR:  Discover the archaeological story of the Western Wall and episodes from rabbinic texts while standing where Jewish pilgrims walked 2,000 years ago at Robinson’s Arch and the Southern Wall Excavations.
  • Visit the traditional prayer area of the Western Wall.
  • Walk through the the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem.
  • Lunch on own in Jewish Quarter.
  • Guided tour of Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Recommendation for the evening: Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman railway station turned restaurant – cafe area.
  • Overnight: Zion Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel , Jerusalem

Thursday Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

  • Set out across the Judean Desert and ascend Masada by cable car.
  • Moving Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony on top of Masada.
  • Tour the ruins of Masada – King Herod’s palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence. Discussion: Which Jewish Legacy – Masada or Yavne? Who were our ancesters?  What did decision did they make?
  • Swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at a local resort.  The resort also has a fresh water pool and spa facilities.
  • Lunch at Dead Sea resort.
  • Time permitting:  Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bathe in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul.
  • Stop off at “Abraham’s Tent” for a Camel ride and biblical dinner.
  • Overnight: Zion Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday – Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity…Shabbat

  • Tour of Yad Vashem – Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Holocaust History Museum and Children’s Memorial. (Children under age 10 are not permitted in Yad Vashem’s historical museum).
  • Alternate program for younger children: Visit Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, where you’ll see animals which lived in Israel during biblical times. (Children must be accompanied by an adult).
  • Meaningful visit to the Mt. Herzl Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel while visiting the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Theodore Herzl, Hannah Senesch and Mike Levin.
  • Lunch on own
  • Explore the bustling Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat.  On the way, see the nearby picturesque Nachalaot neighborhoods.

Friday/Shabbat evening options:

  • Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall and pray together as a congregation at the egalitarian “Masorati Kotel“, where men and women can stand together.
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Mt. Zion Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel , Jerusalem

Saturday – And on the Seventh Day…in Jerusalem

  • Check out by 11:00 am. Bags to be stored in hotel luggage room.
  • Optional Shabbat morning services at Hebrew Union College synagogue.
  • Learning session with HUC Dean Rabbi Naama Kelman – Subject to be determined.
  • Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel.
  • Visit the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Recommendation:  Stay at the Israel Museum to explore additional exhibitions, such as Modern Israeli Art, Synagogue Interiors in the Judaica Section or the Archaeology Wing.
  • Remainder of afternoon free to explore on own and get in last minute shopping.
  • Havdallah with Rabbi Tornberg and Cantor Zarkh
  • Farewell dinner at Olive and Fish Restaurant.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

Sunday Arrive in U.S.A.

  • Begin planning next Israel trip with ITC!

Book your Winter Family Israel Tour

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Why Book With Us

  • +30 Years Experience

  • Private, Flexible & Personalized Trips

  • Authentic and Local Experiences

  •  24/7 Ground Support From Locals

Tour Overview

Day 1: Depart USA
Day 2: Old Jaffa, Tel Jaffa, Tel Aviv
Day 3: Judean Lowlands, Elah Valley
Day 4: Shabbat Service, Little Tel Aviv
Day 5: Caesarea Ruins, Tzfat
Day 6: Jeep Tour at Golan Heights, Bahat Winery
Day 7: Jordan Valley, Jerusalem
Day 8: City of David, Western Wall, Jewish Quarter
Day 9: Masada & Dead Sea, Camel Ride
Day 10: Yad Vashem, Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Day 11: Israel Museum, Farewell dinner at Olive & Fish Restaurant
Day 12: Arrive USA

Contact ITC

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