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Rabbi Meeka Simerly | Israel Tour
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Rabbi Meeka Simerly


per person

Includes many of Israel’s marvels including: Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast, Historic Neve Tzeddek neighbourhood, Independence Hall, Founders’ Monument, Nachalat Binyamin, Ayalon Institute, Caesarea, Ruins of Tzippori, Mystical Tzfat, Learn about kibbutz life, Tel Dan Nature Reserve, Jordan River, Golan Heights, Mt. Bental, Meet young Israeli soldiers

Join Temple Beth Tikvah’s

Exploring Israel tour Led by Rabbi Meeka Simerly

February 18 – March 1, 2018

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Exploring Israel tour Led by Rabbi Meeka Simerly February 18 - March 1, 2018


Sunday, 18 February

Depart USA on an overnight ELAL flight to Israel

Monday, 19 February

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. Check-in to the Dan Panorama Hotel on Tel Aviv's Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at Maganda Yemenite Restuarant. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 20 February

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State - Walking tour of historic "Little Tel Aviv" - Discover the historic Neve Tzeddek neighbourhood that gave birth to the "first Hebrew city in 2,000 years". Visit Independence Hall in honor of 70 years of Israeli Independence and to relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new state. 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's "White City" 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 bohemian Sheinkin Street – All Three of these Tel Aviv icons meet at the "Magen David Junction". Travel to Rehovot for a guided tour of the Ayalon Institute, a clandestine bullet factory used by the Jewish underground before the founding of the State of Israel. Free evening. Dinner on own Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 21 February

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. OR: Explore the ruins of Tzippori and study a Jewish text in the ruins of the city where Rabbi Judah Hanasi sealed the Mishna. Discover its magnificent mosaics, including Mona Lisa of the Galilee and discover why an ancient synagogue floor features a wheel of the zodiac. Lunch on own. Explore mystical Tzfat's old synagogues and picturesque alleys - Discover the origins of our Friday night service in the city where Lecha Dodi was written. Visit the studio of a kabbalistic artist to hear about Jewish spirituality the influences his work. Check–in to the Kibbutz Lavi Hotel on Kibbutz Lavi in the Galilee. Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi

Thursday, 22 February

Mystics, Geopolitics and Israel's Finest - Tour of Lavi led by a local kibbutznik to hear first hand about kibbutz life. 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 strategic Golan Heights to see bunkers where the Syrian army used to "look down at Israel below". 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: Kibbutz Lavi

Friday, 23 February

Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society - 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. 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. Check-in to the Dan Panorama Hotel or Prima Kings Hotel in Jerusalem. Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat. Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to pray as a congregation at the egalitarian Ezrat Yisrael section of the Western Wall near Robinson's Arch. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Jerusaelm

Shabbat/Saturday, 24 February

And on the Seventh Day... in Jerusalem - Optional Shabbat morning services at the synagogue of your choice (recommendations and directions 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 Ketef Hinnom, a First Temple period burial site, where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found. Havdalah with Rabbi Simerly. 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, 25 February

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 recent discoveries that are shedding new light on old stories. Visit the traditional prayer area of Western Wall and connect with an ancient Jewish legacy. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem. Lunch on own. Tour of Jewish Quarter including the Hurva Synagogue, Herodian Mansions, Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Free evening. Dinner on own. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Jerusalem

Monday, 26 February

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 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. Time permitting: Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Dinner on own. Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Jerusalem

Tuesday, 27 February

Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity - Guided tour of Yad Vashem - Israel's national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Holocaust History Museum and Children’s Memorial. Lunch on own. See the world renown Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital. Discover the story of Zionism's founding father Theodore Herzl at the multimedia Herzl Museum, followed by a meaningful visit to the Mt. Herzl Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel at the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Theordore Herzl and Hannah Senesch. Dinner on own in Jerusalem's Mamilla Quarter. Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David. Recommendation for the evening: Checkout the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem.
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel Jerusalem

Wednesday, 28 February

Jerusalem: Capital of Israel - Multimedia tour of the new Six Day War Heritage Museum at Ammunition Hill, the site of the fiercest battle in the Six Day War. Visit the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the of ancient Model of Jerusalem in the first century, followed by free time to explore additional exhibitions on own. Our recommendations: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing. Lunch on own. 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!

Thursday, 1 March

Arrive in USA - Begin planning your next Israel trip with Rabbi Simerly and ITC Tours!

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