I am Joining Exploring Israel at Leisure with Rabbi Michael and Annie Klein October 23–November 6, 2019 Optional Eilot – Petra Extension November 5- 10, 2019
I am Joining Exploring Israel at Leisure with Rabbi Michael and Annie Klein – October 23–November 6, 2019 Optional Eilot – Petra Extension November 5- 10, 2019
Wednesday, October 23
Thursday, October 24–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 Zion. Shekhiyanu – Welcome ceremony on top of Tel Jaffa overlooking modern Tel Aviv. Visit the Palmach Museum in Ramat Aviv to learn about the elite underground organization which played a critical role in founding the State of Israel. Check-in to the Dan Panorama Hotel or Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv's Mediterranean Coast. Welcome Dinner at Maganda Restaurant in Tel Aviv's old Yemenite Quarter. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Tel Aviv
Friday, October 25 –The Hebrew City and the Jewish State
Travel to Rehovot for a guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – An underground bullet factory used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel. Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv standing at the Founders' Monument on Rothschild Boulevard and 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 how Israel became the Start Up Nation. Lunch on 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 swim in the Mediterranean Sea, enjoy beachside promenade and get ready for Shabbat. Festive Shabbat dinner at hotel Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Tel Aviv
Shabbat/Saturday, October 26–And on the Seventh Day....in Tel Aviv
Optional Shabbat morning services at Havurat Tel Aviv, a local Tel Aviv or Morning at leisure. Traditional Shabbat Lunch at Hotel. Shabbat afternoon walking tour – To Be determined according to hotel choice/location. Free time to enjoy the beach and watch Tel Aviv's residents folkdance, play raquetball, walk the Promenade and enjoy Shabbat afternoon by the sea. Havdallah with Rabbi Klein. Free evening. Dinner on own Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Tel Aviv
Sunday, October 27–Along the Mediteranean Coast
Depart for northern Israel. Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace. Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games. Then walk to Caesarea's Crusader city and ancient harbor. Lunch on own: Guided tour of the Hecht Museum at Haifa University to see the Maagan Michael Shipwreck, the well preserved wreck of a 2,400 year old merchant vessel found in the Mediterranean Sea together with its “tool box”, which revealed fascinating information about ancient shipbuilding. Look at the greater Haifa region from the top of the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel. Tour of the Old City of Acco: Visit the Underground Prisoners Museum in Acco Prison, where the British held and even executed Jewish underground fighters. A daring escape from this prison is featured in the film Exodus. Then venture beneath the streets of present day Acco to explore the Crusader Knights Halls. Check- in to the Ramot Resort Hotel. Dinner at hotel Overnight: Ramot Resort Hotel
Monday, October 28–Mystics, Geopolitics and Israel's Finest
Visit the Kaballah Center in Tzfat to learn about (Kaballah) Jewish mysticism. Explore the old synagogues and picturesque alleys of the mystical city of Tzfat, which was the cradel of Kabbalah in the 16th century. Discover the origins of our Friday night service where Lecha Dodi was written. Lunch on own. Tour of the strategic Golan Heights to see bunkers where the Syrian army used to “look down at Israel below”. Visit Kibbutz El Rom in the Valley of Tears and watch the film Oz 77 about the Yom Kippur War. Then look out from the peak of Mt. Bental to gain a special perspective on Israel's complex geopolitics. Barbeque dinner with young Israeli soldiers who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel. Overnight: Ramot Resort Hotel or Mitzpe Hayamim Hotel
Tuesday, October 29–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; Visit the ancient synagogue of Beit Alpha and ponder why its 1,500 year old mosaic floor featuers a wheel of the zodiac. Continue south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem. Panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem and Temple Mount from Mt. Scopus. Shehekhianu ceremony to celebrate our arrival in Jerusalem – The eternal capital of the Jewish people. Tour of the Jewish Quarter including the Herodian Mansions, Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Check-in to the Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem. Free evening Dinner on own. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Jerusalem.
Wednesday, October 30 – 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? 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. Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bathe in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Free evening. Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Checkout the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Jerusalem
Thursday, October 31–The Old City of Jerusalem
An Ancient Jewish Legacy Discover the archaeological story of the Western Wall and episodes of Jewish life 2,000 years ago at Robinson's Arch and the Southern Wall Excavations. Hear about a recent iscovery connected to the Hannukah story. Visit the Western Wall and connect to an ancient Jewish legacy. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem. Lunch on own 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. Free time to explore additional exhibitions on own – Recommendations: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing. Dinner on own in Jerusalem's Mamilla Quarter. Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem
Friday, November 1 – Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity
Guided tour of Yad Vashem - Israel's national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Historical Museum and Children's Memorial. Lunch on own. Discover the story of Zionism's founding father Theodore Herzl at the multimedia Herzl Museum. Time Permitting: Explore the raucous 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. Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat. Option to attend Friday night services at the Western Wall or at a local Jerusalem synagogue. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem
Shabbat/Saturday, November 2
And on the Seventh Day....in Jerusalem Optional Shabbat morning services at the synagogue of your choice (recommendations will be provided). 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. Havdalah with Rabbi Klein. 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: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem
Sunday, November 3–Southern Exposure: Jewish Heritage in the Negev
Travel south to Beer Sheba, where the settled country meets the desert. Beer Sheva marked the southern border of biblical Israel – “From Dan to Beer Sheba”. Explore Tel Beer Sheva to discover Bible stories and a fascinating ancient water system. Guided tour of the Israeli Air Force Museum at Hatzerim Air Force Base to see exhibition of historic Israeli Air Force planes and hear the story of this elite branch of the Israel Defense Forces. Travel to the Negev Highlands. Time permitting: Look out at the majestic Zin Cliffs from Ben Gurion's Gravesite. Check in to the Ramon Inn in Mitzpe Ramon. Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Ramon Inn, Mitzpe Ramon
Monday, November 4 – Negev Highlands: Primeval Desert Beauty
Learn about the natural history of the region at the multimedia Makhtesh Ramon Visitors Center dedicated to fallen Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. Explore Makhtesh Ramon (‘Ramon Crater’) on foot and by jeep to discover magnificent desert landscapes and a fascinating window into the earth’s past. Enjoy camel rides, an explanation about Bedouin culture and lunch in Bedouin tent at Khan Hashayarot. Remainder of afternoon free to relax and enjoy hotel pool. Dinner at hotel. Evening: See more stars than you ever have before on a Stargazing tour in the desert Overnight: Ramon Inn, Mitzpe Ramon.
Tuesday, November 5–Vision and Development in the Negev
Late morning check out. Lunch on own. Tour of David Ben Gurion's House on Kibbutz Sde Boker to learn about his vision for developing the Negev. Travel to the western Negev 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 immigration stories from east and west. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon! -For travelers on Eilat-Petra extension overnight at Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv.
Wednesday, November 6 – Arrive in USA
Begin planning your next Israel trip with Rabbi Klein and ITC Tours! *ITINERARY SUBJECT TO CHANGE