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Join Jacksonville Jewish Center's Exploring Israel Adventure Led by Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner December 23, 2018 - January 3, 2019 | Israel Tour
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Israel Tour / Join Jacksonville Jewish Center’s Exploring Israel Adventure Led by Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner December 23, 2018 – January 3, 2019

Join Jacksonville Jewish Center’s Exploring Israel Adventure Led by Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner December 23, 2018 – January 3, 2019

per person

Jacksonville Jewish Center’s Israel tour will cover many of Israel’s marvels: Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast, Historic Neve Tzeddek neighbourhood , Independence Hall, Nachalat Binyamin Crafts Fair, Carmel Market, Palmach High Tech Presentation, Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center

Join Jacksonville Jewish Center’s Exploring Israel Adventure

Led by Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner

December 23, 2018 – January 3, 2019

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Sunday, 23 December

Depart USA on an overnight flight to Tel Aviv

Monday, 24 December

Going up into the Land - Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative. Tour Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as the Gate of Zion and see the paintings and sculptures have been installed in its picturesque alleys. Welcome ceremony on top of Tel Jaffa overlooking modern Tel Aviv. Check-in to the Dan Panorama Hotel on Tel Aviv's Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner at Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.• Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 25 December

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State - walking tour of the quaint historic Neve Tzeddek neighborhood that would eventually give birth to Tel Aviv - the first Hebrew city in 2,000 years. Relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new State of Israel at Independence Hall. Learn 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 Nahalat 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". 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. Tour the museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center for a critical look at Israeli society. Free evening. Dinner on own. Informal evening Shmooze-‘n-Learn with Rabbi Lubliner at hotel. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 26 December

Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee - Depart for northern Israel. Tour the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace. Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games. Hear the story of Hanna Senesh and her poem Walking to Caesarea, better known as the song Eli, Eli. Visit Darkhei Noam Masorti Congregation in Pardes Hanna to hear about the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel. Pardes Hanna is part of the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville's Hadera-Iron Partnership Region. Lunch on own. Explore mystical Tzfat, the cradle of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in the 16th century. Visit its old synagogues and picturesque alleyways, and discover the origins of Kabbalat Shabbat, our Friday night service, in the city where Lekha Dodi was written. Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, followed by a lakeside dinner at Decks Restaurant. Check–in to the Kibbutz Lavi Hotel in the Galilee. Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi

Thursday, 27 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 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 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. OR: Taste wines and liqueurs at the boutique Bahat Winery. BBQ dinner with young Israeli soldiers, who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel - Meet the human face of the Israeli army. Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi

Friday, 28 December

Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society - Walking tour of Kibbutz Lavi led by a local kibbutznik to learn about kibbutz life. • 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. Check in to the Mt. Zion Hotel in Jerusalem - Great view of the Old City. Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat. (Candle Lighting Time in Jerusalem is 4:08 pm): Attend Friday night services at Kol Hanashama Synagogue in the nearby Baka neighborhood. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Mount Zion Jerusalem

Saturday, 29 December

And on the Seventh Day...in Jerusalem - Optional for the Adventurous in Spirit ! - Early morning (3:00 am) excursion with Rabbi Lubliner to hear Bakashot, a collection of songs and prayers sung in the wee hours of Shabbat winter mornings by Jews from Syria, at the Ades Synagogue in the Nahla‛ot neighborhood. Shabbat morning services at Shirah Hadashah Synagogue. Shirah Hadashah is a dynamic, liberal Orthodox syngogue where women play a significant role in leading services. Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel. Afternoon walking tour to the historic Montefiore Windmill to discover the first neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City. AND/OR: Visit the First Temple period Jewish burial site at Ketef Hinnom, where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found. Shabbat Torah study session with Rabbi Lubliner. Ma‛ariv & Havdalah with Rabbi Lubliner.• Free evening. Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Check out the First Station Cempound – Jerusalem's old Ottoman Train Station which has been converted into a restaurant- café area. It's right around the corner from your hotel. Overnight: Mount Zion Jerusalem

Sunday, 30 December

Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics? - Set out early 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 decision did our ancesters make? Masada or Yavne? What does that mean? 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. Time permitting: Tour the ruins of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and home to an ascetic sect of Essenes 2,000 years ago. Stop off at "Abraham's Tent" for a Camel ride and biblical dinner before returning to Jerusalem. Informal evening Shmooze-‘n-Learn with Rabbi Lubliner at hotel. Overnight: Mount Zion Jerusalem

Monday, 31 December

The Old City of Jerusalem: An Ancient Jewish Legacy - B'not Mitzvah ceremony at the egalitarian Masorti Kotel (near Robinson's Arch) to connect a Jewish past with a Jewish future. 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. Hear about a new archaeological 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. Celebratory B'not Mitzvah lunch at Between Arches Restaurant. Engage in hands on tzedakah preparing food packages for distribution to some of Israel's neediest people at Yad Ezra Veshulamit or Pantry Packers. Explore the bustling Machane Yehuda Market in the early evening as it transforms from a traditional marketplace into a hip food court. Free evening. Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Go for a stroll on the Ben Yehuda St. Pedestrian Mall in downtown Jerusalem. Overnight: Mount Zion Jerusalem

Tuesday, 1 January

Defense and Pioneering in the Negev - 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. Meaningful visit to the Neve Hanna Children's Home in Kiryat Gat. Neve Hanna is an extraordinary insitution providing loving care and rehabilitation to children who have been removed from their parents' homes because of abuse and neglect. See the Knesset Menorah, in front of the Knesset – Israel's parliament. This remarkable bronze sculpture depicting scenes from the Bible and Jewish history was given to the Knesset by the British Parliament. Visit Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Free evening. Dinner on own. Informal evening Shmooze-‘n-Learn with Rabbi Lubliner at hotel. Recommendation for the evening: Have dinner at the museum and explore additional exhibitions, such as Modern Israeli Art, Synagogue Interiors in the Judaica Section and the Archaeology Wing. Overnight: Mount Zion Jerusalem

Wednesday, 2 January

Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity - Tour of Yad Vashem - Israel's national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Historical 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. Zoo). Lunch on own. Am Yisrael Chai - Tour of the rebuilt Jewish Quarter in the Old City, including the Broad Wall, Rooftops, Cardo and Western Wall Lookout and hear about the remarkable discoveries under the ruins of the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue. Remainder of afternoon free to explore on own and get in last minute shopping. Farewell dinner at Olive and Fish Restaurant. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

Tour Location

  • Trip costs and reductions
  • Discounted price for check payment: Land Only Package $3,695 Air and Land Package $5795
  • Full price for credit card payment Land Only Package $3,843
  • Discounted price for check payment for Single Room Supplement: $1195
  • Full price for credit card payment for Single Room Supplement: $1242
  • Reduction off price for 3rd adult in room: subtract $290
  • Child, ages 2-12, as third person in parents' room: subtract $550
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah child as third person in parents' room: subtract $650
  • Third and Fourth child sharing room in quad with parents: subtract $200
  • Added to the above costs are tips for our Guide, Driver, Waiters and Porterage $195 Tour price is based on minimum of 20 participants