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Explore Israel with Temple Emanu-El

Led by Rabbi Michael Resnick

May 5 – 17, 2024

Don’t miss out! Space is still available.

Sunday, 5 May – Depart USA

Monday, 6 May Going up into the Land

  • Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time)
  • Evening tour of Old Jaffa, the ancient port city, once known as the Zion Gate, through which Jonah fled and Solomon brought the Cedars of Lebanon.
  • Shehekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony TBD.
  • Check-in to the David Intercontinental Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast.
  • Welcome dinner at Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.
  • Overnight: David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 7 May – The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

  • Walking tour of historic “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint Neve Tzedek neighbourhood 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.
  • ITC Touch: Discover City of Sand and Sea, a mosaic fountain created by artist and writer Nachum Gutman portraying scenes from the history of Jaffa and Tel Aviv.
  • Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv at the Founders’ Monument.  Then stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Lunch on your own and free time to explore the Nachalat Binyamin crafts fair. While there checkout the nearby Carmel Market and great street food.  Then have a look at bohemian Sheinkin Street All Three of these Tel Aviv icons meet at the “Magen David Junction”.
  • Guided tour of the Ayalon Institute in Rehovot – an underground bullet factory used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel. 
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight: David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 8 May Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee

  • Depart for northern Israel.
  • Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace, and ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games.
  • Lunch on own
  • Tour mystical Tzfat’s ornate old synagogues and picturesque alleyways and discover the origins of our Friday night service in the city where Lecha Dodi was written.
  • Free time to shop in galleries and explore Tzfat’s Artists Colony on own.
  • Check–in to the Mitzpe Hayamim Hotel in the Galilee.
  • Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight:  Mitzpe Hayamim

Thursday, 9 May 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 the peak of strategic Mt. 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.
  • Tour and wine tasting at the boutique Pelter Winery.
  • Dinner at hotel.
  • Overnight:  Mitzpe Hayamim

Friday, 10 May – Across Israel:  Many Faces of the Jewish People

  • Guided tour of the former Atlit Detention Camp where the British held Holocaust refugees, who tried to enter the country “illegally”, then board an “illegal immigration ship” to watch a multimedia presentation.
  • Shekhiyanu/Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Check-in to the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem.
  • Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat.
  • Friday night services – TBD with Rabbi Resnick.
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel.
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat/Saturday, 11 May And on the Seventh Day…in Jerusalem 

  • Shabbat morning services – TBD with Rabbi Resnick.
  • Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel
  • Visit the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Model of ancient Jerusalem in the first century.  Free time to explore additional exhibits on own.  Recommendations:  Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica Section and the Archaeology Wing.

Shabbat late afternoon options:

  • Late afternoon walking tour to the historic Montefiore Windmill to discover the first neighbourhood 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, now on display at the Israel Museum.
  • Havdalah with Rabbi Resnick.
  • Dinner on own
  • Watch the Night Spectacular Sound and light show at the Tower of David.
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 12 May Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity (Erev Yom Hazikaron)

  • Meaningful visit to Mt Herzl Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel while vidsiting the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Theodore Herzl and Hannah Senesch.
  • Tour of Yad Vashem Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, including a moving visit to the Children’s Memorial, followed by a tour of the Holocaust History Museum
  • Lunch on own
  • Visit the bustling Machane Yehuda Market.
  • Dinner at hotel (Restaurants are closed on Yom Hazikaron evening).
  • Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers:  At 8:00 pm as sirens sound throughout the country, step outside your hotel and stand in solemn memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers.
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, 13 May The Old City of Jerusalem: An Ancient Jewish Legacy (Yom Hazikaron)

  • Synagogues of the Jewish Quarter, Tour includes visits to the Four Sephardic Synagogues, the restored Hurva Synagogue, the Karaite Museum. Then hear about the remarkable discoveries under the ruins of the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue.
  • Stand in solemn memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers as sirens sound throughout the country.
  • Lunch on own
  • 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, including a new discovery connected to the Hanukkah story.
  • Visit the traditional prayer area of the Western Wall.
  • Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem.
  • Happy Independence Day!  As the sun sets, Israel switches from the solemnity of Yom Hazikaron to outbursts of joy and even dancing in the streets as Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day begins.
  • Dinner on own
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, 14 May Masada and the Dead Sea:  Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

(Yom Ha’atzmaut)

  • Check out of hotel after breakfast.
  • Set out early across the Judean Desert and ascend Masada by cable carto tour the ruins of Herod’s palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence.  Discussion: Which Jewish Legacy – Masada or Yavne?  What decision did our ancesters 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.  Massage and spa treatments available by prior reservation at own expense.
    • Lunch at Hod Dead Sea resort.
    • Travel to Negev Highlands.
    • Time permitting:  Look out at the majestic Zin Cliffs from Ben Gurion’s Gravesite.
    • Check in to the Beresheet Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon.
    • Dinner at hotel
    • Overnight:  Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

    Wednesday, 15 May Negev Highlands: Primeval Desert Beauty

    • Explore the Negev Highlands on foot and by jeep to discover magnificant desert landscapes and a fascinating window into the earth’s past.
    • Camel ride and Bedouin hospitality lunch at Khan Hashayarot.
    • Remainder of afternoon free to relax and enjoy the hotel’s spa and recreational facilities.
    • Dinner at hotel.
    • Overnight:  Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon.

    Thursday, 16 May – Nature, Vision and Development in the Negev

    • Tour of David Ben Gurion’s House on Kibbutz Sde Boker to learn about his vision for developing the Negev.
    • Lunch on own
    • Guided tour of the Israeli Air Force Museum at Hatzerim to see exhibition of historic Israeli Air Force planes and hear the story of this elite branch of the Israel Defense Forces.
    • Farewell dinner.
    • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

    Friday, 17 May Arrive in USA

    Tour Package Includes:

    • Hotels: David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel Aviv; Mitzpe Hayamim Hotel in the Galilee; Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem and Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon
    • All Breakfasts, Friday night “Shabbat” Dinner and Shabbat Lunch, 6 weekday dinners and lunches as per itinerary
    • Touring with Rabbi Michael Resnick and one of Israel’s Top Tour Guide educators in a WiFi enabled deluxe touring Motor Coach

    Print Application for Submission

    Land Only Package $5795 (Discounted rate for payment by check)

    Land Only Package $6027 (Full cost for credit card payment)

    Land and Air Package $7515 (Discounted rate for payment by check)

    Land and Air Package $7816 (Full cost for credit card payment)

    Single Room Supplement $2275 (Discounted rate for payment by check)

    Single Room Supplement $2366 (Full cost for credit card payment)

    Reduction – Adult 3rd in a room $728