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We are joining: Ahavat Achim Synagogue’s Israel Trip Exploring Israel’s Diversity

Led By Rabbi Sam Blustin

July 17–28, 2022

Availability: Still open positions

Sunday, 17 July – Depart USA

Monday, 18 July – Going up into the Land

  • Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time).
  • Tour the alleys of Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as the Gate of ZionShehekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony on top of Tel Jaffa overlooking modern Tel Aviv.
  • Check-in to the Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv‘s Mediterranean Coast.
  • Welcome dinner and orientation at a Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.
  • Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 19 July – The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

  • Walking tour of historic “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint Neve Tzedek neighborhood that gave birth to the “first Hebrew city in 2,000 years”, once home to Zionist cultural pioneers Eliezer Ben Yehuda, S. Y. Agnon and Rabbi Kook.
  • Visit the new Shimon Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa to hear about Israel as the “Start-Up nation” and Shimon Peres’ vision for peace through regional cooperation and development.
  • Lunch on own
  • Discover Tel Aviv’s remarkable street art on a graffiti tour of the hip Florentine neighborhoodThe Soho of Israel.
  • Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy beach side Promenade.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight:  Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 20 July – Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee

  • Depart for northern Israel.
  • Program on Arab-Jewish relations and the complex identity of Israeli Arabs at Givat Haviva, including a visit to a nearby Arab village.
  • Lunch and encounter with Rabbi Yoav Ende on Kibbutz Hanaton, Israel’s only Masorati kibbutz (Program to be determined by Rabbis Blustin and Ende).
  • Explore ancient Tzippori and study Jewish texts in the ruins of the city where Rabbi Judah Hanasi sealed the Mishna. Discover its magnificent mosaics, including Mona Lisa of the Galilee and the Nile Flood Festival.  Then ponder why an ancient synagogue floor features a wheel of the zodiac.
  • Check-in to the Ramot Resort Hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
  • Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Ramot Resort Hotel, Galilee

Thursday, 21 July – 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.
  • Tour of the Golan Heights for a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics as we “look down at Israel” the way the Syrian army once did and then look out at the border from strategic Bental.
  • Geopolitical briefing on top of Bental by Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Sarit Zehavi on the current situation along the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire lines in the Golan Heights.
  • Guided tour and wine tasting at the boutique Pelter Winery on nearby Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
  • BBQ dinner with young Israeli soldiers who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel – Meet the young men and women of the IDF.
  • Overnight:  Ramot Resort Hotel, Galilee

Friday, 22 July – 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.

  • Continue south through the Jordan Valley along the border with Jordan. This

section of the Jordan Valley is on the West Bank.  En route we will discuss and see the division of the West Bank between Israel and the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Accords (Zones A, B and C).

  • Option: Stop off at the Ksar El Yahud Baptismal Site on the banks of the Jordan

River, which is also associated with where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land.  The Jordan River is less than 50 feet wide at this point.

  • Shehekhiyanu/Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • 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.
  • Check-in to Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem.
  • Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat.

Friday/Shabbat evening options

  • Light Shabbat candles at hotel.
  • Attend the “Israeli Kabbalat Shabbat” service at the First Station Compound (begins at 5:00 pm, so it is also possible to continue to one of the other kabbalat options listed below).
  • Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to pray together as a congregation at the “Masorti Kotel“, where men and women can stand together.
  • OR:  Attend Friday night services at a local Jerusalem synagogue.
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, 23 July – And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

  • Shabbat morning services at a local Conservative/Masorati synagogue, followed by Kiddush and an update about the Conservative/Masorati movement in Israel.
  • Shabbat Lunch at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism.
  • Shabbat afternoon options:
  • Late afternoon walking tour to the historic Montefiore Windmill to discover the first neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City.
  • AND/OR:  Walking tour to First Temple period burial site at Ketef Hinnom – Where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found.
  • Havdalah with Rabbi Blustin.
  • 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: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 24 JulyThe Old City of Jerusalem – An Ancient Jewish Legacy

  • Briefing on Religious Pluralism in Israel and the Masorti (Conservative) Movement by Rabbi Andy Sacks, Deputy Director of the Masorti Movement.
  • Discover the archaeological story of the Western Wall and episodes of Jewish life in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago at Robinson’s Arch and the Southern Wall Excavations.
  • Tour of Jewish Quarter including the Herodian Mansions, Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own.
  • Lunch on own
  • Tour Jerusalem’s quaint Nachlaot neighborhoods to discover a world of Jewish folklore and history just blocks from downtown Jerusalem.
  • Tasting tour of the bustling Machane Yehuda Market for a multicultural gastronomic experience.
  • Dinner on own, if still hungry.
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, 25 July – Etzion Bloc, Divided City, Six Day War Heritage Museum

  • Visit Kibbutz Kfar Etzion’s Museum and watch its new Audio Visual presentation about the the Etzion Bloc, which was conquered by the Jordanians during the War of Independence and resettled by its founders’ children after the Six Day War.
  • Encounter with Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, the largest community in the Etzion Bloc to hear about West Bank settlement and the Gush Etzion region.
  • Lunch at Gush Etzion Winery
  • Tour by bus and by foot along the ‘Urban Line’ (Green Line), the former Israeli-Jordanian cease fire line which divided Jerusalem for 19 years between 1948 and 1967.
  • Multimedia tour of the new Six Day War Heritage Museum at Ammunition Hill, the site of the fiercest battle in the Six Day War.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, 26 July – Jerusalem’s Contemporary Gepolitics: 150 Year Legacy

  • Update on Israeli and Middle East politics by Steve Linde, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Report and former editor of the Jerusalem Post.
  • Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem to examine several key geopolitical issues impacting on the city, including borders, building and settlement (Jewish and Arab) and Israel’s security fence.
  • Lunch on own
  • Afternoon free to shop and explore on own.
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, 27 July Defense, Geopolitics and Pioneering in the Western Negev

  • Travel to the western Negev.
  • Visit Kibbutz Alumim to meet with a local kibbutznik and hear first-hand about living on the Gaza border, pioneering in the Negev and kibbutz as a community.
  • Lunch at Kibbutz Alumim.
  • Discover hi-tech agriculture on the Salad Trail on Moshav Talmei Yosef.
  • Encounter/workshop with local sculptor Yaron Bob, who has created works of art from Kassam rockets that have fallen in the region.
  • Tour of an exotic orchard, followed by a gourmet farewell dinner at Ora’s Yard on Moshav Kfar Maimon.  Taste their home-made liqueurs and jams.  Hear your hosts’ moving personal immigration stories.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon! 

Thursday, 28 JulyArrive in USA

  • Begin planning your next Israel trip with Rabbi Blustin and ITC Tours!

Tour Package Includes

    All of this is Included in Your Tour

    • Deluxe accommodation, as per your itinerary
    • Touring and entrance fees, as per your itinerary
    • Meeting & assistance by your Israel Tours representative within the arrivals terminal at Ben Gurion Airport
    • One of Israel’s finest English-speaking licensed tour educators (guides), to be with you for the duration of the tour and give insight into this beautiful, spiritual land
    • Deluxe air-conditioned, comfortable modern motor coach, featuring large panoramic windows, reclining seats, and foot rests
    • Professional, safety conscious bus driver
    • Professional Israel Tours education director, to ensure an extraordinary Israel experience
    • Professional  Israel Tours tour manager
    • Snack and 1 small bottle of mineral water upon arrival in Israel
    • Hostess at Jerusalem hotel, based on a minimum of 25 travelers
    • Porterage at airport and hotels

    Print Application for Submission

    Land Only Package $4495 (Discounted rate for payment by check)

    Round trip Land and Air Cost $6175

    Single Room Supplement – $1400 (Discounted rate payment by check)

    Land Only Package $4675 (Full cost for credit card payment)

    Round trip Land and Air Cost $6422 (Full cost for credit card payment)

    Single Room Supplement $1456 (Full cost for credit card payment) Reduction

    3rd adult in room – $460

    Child, ages 2-12, as 3rd person in room – $580

    Bar/Bat Mitzvah child as 3rd person in room – $680