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We are joining Shaarei Tikvah's Exploring Israel Family Tour Led by Rabbi Adam Baldachin December 20 - 31, 2020 | Israel Tour
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Israel Tour / We are joining Shaarei Tikvah’s Exploring Israel Family Tour Led by Rabbi Adam Baldachin December 20 – 31, 2020

We are joining Shaarei Tikvah’s Exploring Israel Family Tour Led by Rabbi Adam Baldachin December 20 – 31, 2020

per person

We are joining Shaarei Tikvah’s Exploring Israel Family Tour Led by Rabbi Adam Baldachin December 20 – 31, 2020


Sunday, December 20

Depart USA

Monday, 21 December – 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 of Neot Kedumim, Israel’s biblical landscape reserve to learn about nature and agriculture in the Bible and try your hand at a challenging ancient leadership activity - shepherding a flock of sheep or goats.
  • 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 ancient alleys.
  • Shekhiyanu-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 at Maganda Restaurant in Tel Aviv’s old Yemenite Quarter.
  • Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 22 December – The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

  • Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv at the Founders' Monument then stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to see the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the new Israel Innovation Center, located in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, to learn though its interactive exhibit about new advancements by Israeli Hi-tech Start-Ups in fields such as medicine, security, aero-space, agriculture and alternative energy.
  • 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 “Magan David” Junction.
  • 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.
  • Visit Rabin Square, where late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and hear about the nation's shock and soul searching in its aftermath.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Recommendation for the evening:  Check out Tel Aviv Port, a fun restaurant-café and shopping area located 10 minutes from your hotel.
  • Overnight:  Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 23 December – Cradles of Jewish Civilization

  • 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.
  • OR:  Explore the ruins of Tzippori, the city where Rabbi Judah Hanasi sealed the Mishna.  Discover Tzippori's remarkable ancient mosaic pavements, including Mona Lisa of the Galilee, Nile Flood Festival and Orpheus, who looks like King David (?).
  • ITC Touch: Ponder why an ancient synagogue floor features a wheel of the zodiac.
  • 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.
  • Meet a kabbalistic artist to hear how Jewish spirituality influences his work.
  • Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, followed by lakeside dinner at Decks Restaurant.
  • Check–in to the Kibbutz Lavi Hotel on Kibbutz Lavi in the
  • Overnight: Lavi

Thursday, 24 December – 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 see 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 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.
  • BBQ dinner with young Israeli soldiers who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel.
  • Overnight:  Lavi

Friday, 25 December – Across Israel:  Many Faces of the Jewish People

  • Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Germachin Center in Beit Shean.  Hear a personal account of this community's modern day Exodus story and about the challenges facing the Ethiopian Israeli community today.
  • Lunch on own
  • Continue south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem.
  • Shehekhiyanu ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem and Temple Mount.
  • Check-in to the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem.
  • Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat.
  • Light Shabbat candles
Friday/Shabbat evening options:
  • Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to join the new egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat minyan run by the Masorti Movement at the Masorti Kotel, where men and women can pray together (begins at 6:00 pm).
  • OR: Attend Friday night services at a local Masorti (Conservative)
  • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel
Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat/Saturday, 26 December – And on the Seventh Day…in Jerusalem

  • Shabbat morning services at a local Masorti (Conservative) synagogue, followed by kiddush and an update on the Masorti Movement in Israel.
  • Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel
Shabbat 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.
  • Independent option: Visit to the Israel Museum on own to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Additional recommendations:  Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing.
  • Havdalah with Rabbi Baldachin.
  • Dinner on own
Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 27 December – Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity

  • Visit Yad Lakashish, a unique employment program for Jerusalem's elderly citizens and meet its senior artisans. Visit gift shop where "shopping is a mitzvah".
  • 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. (Children under age 10 are not permitted in Yad Vashem's historical museum).
  • Alternate 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.  Zoo visit not included in the tour
  • Lunch on own
  • 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.
  • Guided tour of the new Hebrew Music Museum in downtown Jerusalem's Nachalat Shiva neighborhood to learn about the history of Jewish music from biblical times and through seven different regions of the Diaspora.
  • Free evening
  • Dinner on own
  • Recommendation:  Stay in downtown Jerusalem to check out the nearby Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall.
  • Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, 28 December – The Old City of Jerusalem: An Ancient Jewish Legacy

  • Option:  B'nai Mitzvah ceremony at the egalitarian Masorti Kotel.
  • 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 Chanukah story.
  • Visit the traditional prayer area of the Western Wall.
  • Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem.
  • Festive B'nai Mitzvah lunch at Between the Arches Restaurant.
  • Tour of Jewish Quarter including rooftop lookout, Herodian Mansions, Cardo, Broad Wall and Israelite Tower (the latter is an ordinarilly closed archaeological site which will be opened specially for the group).
  • Dinner on own in Mamilla Quarter.
  • Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David.
  • Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, 29 December – Masada and the Dead Sea:  Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

  • Set out across the Judean Desert and ascend Masada by cable car to 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?
2nd Timers Option
  • Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bathe in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul.
  • 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 Dead Sea resort.
  • Stop off at "Abraham's Tent" for a Camel ride and biblical dinner before returning to Jerusalem.
Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, 30 December – Digging Up the Past and Lasting Memories

  • Drive 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.
  • Return to Jerusalem
  • Lunch on own
  • Remainder of afternoon free to explore on own and get in last minute shopping.
  • Late check out
  • Farewell Dinner at Medita Restaurant.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon

Thursday, 31 December – Arrive in USA

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

Land Only Package $4295 Discounted rate for payment by check;
Land and Air Package *$6395 Discounted rate for payment by check;
Single Room Supplement $1650 Discounted rate payment by check
Land only Package $4570 Full cost for credit card payment
Land and Air Package * $6650 Full cost for credit card payment
Single Room Supplement $1716  Full cost for credit card payment
Reductions Third person adult in triple room: subtract $700
3rd in room up to 12 year: -$950
3rd in room Bar Mitzvah child: -$1050
3rd and 4th in room in Quad: -$300
Tips $210 by check (guide, driver, restaurants, porterage) are added to the above

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