Tour highlights include: Tour the ancient port city of Old Jaffa. Ayalon Institute, Magen David Junction and Independence Hall. Visit the ruins of Caesarea, Old City of Acco, Grottos of Rosh Hanikra. VIP access to new archaeological discoveries. Machane Yehuda Market, Shabbat in Jerusalem
Join Temple Sholom’s Amazing Israel Adventure Led by Rabbi Ari Rosenberg
Going up into the Land - Morniong arrival 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. Shehekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony on top of Tel Jaffa overlooking modern Tel Aviv. Check-in to the Metropolitan Hotel near Tel Aviv's Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at Maganda Yemenite Restuarant.
Overnight: Metropolitan Hotel, Tel Aviv
Friday, 6 July
The Hebrew City and the Jewish State - Guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – An underground bullet factory in Rehovot used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel. At Independence Hall relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new 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. 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". Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and get ready for Shabbat. Shabbat Candle Lighting Friday evening services – Israeli Kabbalat Shabbat in Tel Aviv Port. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Metropolitan Hotel, Tel Aviv
Shabbat/Saturday, 7 July
And on the Seventh Day...in Tel Aviv - Shabbat morning services at a local Reform synagogue followed by a participatory Torah study session. Walking tour of historic "Little Tel Aviv" - Discover the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighbourhood that gave birth to the "first Hebrew city in 2,000 years". Traditional Shabbat Lunch at Hotel. Visit the "Aliyah Bet" Memorial in London Square to hear the story of the illegal immigration operations which rescued Jewish refugees before the founding of the State of Israel. Free time to swim, explore on your own and watch Tel Aviv's residents folkdance, play raquetball, walk the promenade and enjoy Shabbat afternoon by the sea. Havdallah with Rabbi Rosenberg. Free evening. Dinner on own. Overnight: Metropolitan Hotel, Tel Aviv
Sunday, 8 July
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. Look out over 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 Old Acco to explore the Crusader Knights Halls. Travel to Rosh Hanikra in the northwest corner of Israel. Descend by cable car to explore the Grottos of Rosh Hanikra – Beautiful sea caves formed by the forces of wind and water. Check–in to the Kibbutz Lavi Hotel on Kibbutz Lavi in the Galilee. Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi.
Monday, 9 July
Mystics, Geopolitics and Israel's Finest - Explore mystical Tzfat's old synagogues and picturesque alleys of the - Discover the origins of our Friday night service where Lecha Dodi was written. Glassblowing demonstration in the studio of a local artist - Hear about the influence of Jewish spirituality on her art. Raft or Kayak down the Jordan River – Great way to cool off on a hot day. Tour of the strategic Golan Heights to visit 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 Israeli soldiers. First hand encounter with young people who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel. Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi
Tuesday, 10 July
Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society - Tour of Lavi led by a local Kibbutznik to learn first hand about kibbutz life. Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Gemarchin Center in Beit Shean. Lunch on own. Continue south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem. Visit the Western Wall and connect to an ancient Jewish legacy. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem. Tour of 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 Prima Kings Hotel in Jerusalem. Free evening Dinner on own. Recommendation for evening: Visit the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea. Scrolls and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Also recommended: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors and the Archaeology Wing. Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
Wednesday, 11 July
New City - Old City: Jewish Legacies in Jerusalem - Visit Yad Lakashish, a unique employment program for Jerusalem's elderly citizens and stop in its gift shop where "shopping is a mitzvah". 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. Lunch on own. Engage in hands on tzedakah preparing food packages for distribution to some of Israel's neediest people at Pantry Packers in southern Jerusalem. Explore the City of David using the Bible and archaeology to make Jerusalem's stones tell the story of the city's ancient past. Wade through Hezekiah's Tunnel – A still flowing ancient water system that saved the city of Jerusalem 2,700 years ago (dry option available).
OR: 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. Dinner on own. Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David. Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
Thursday, 12 July
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 bathe in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Stop off at "Abraham's Tent" for a Camel ride and biblical hospitality before returning to Jerusalem. Dinner on own. Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
Friday, 13 July
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. ) Lunch on own
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. Shabbat candle lighting. Friday/Shabbat evenings options: Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to pray together as a congregation at the egalitarian Kotel (Ezrat Yisrael), where men and women can pray together. OR: Attend a special Israeli Kabbalat Shabbat at the First Station Compound. OR: Join the worshippers at a local synagogue for Friday night services. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
Shabbat/Saturday, 14 July
And on the Seventh Day... in Jerusalem - Shabbat morning services at a Hebrew Union College, followed by kiddush and an update about the Reform movement in Israel. Meeting with a representative of Rabbis for Human Rights. 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 Rosenberg. 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: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
Sunday, 15 July
Digging Up the Past and Renewing the Present 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. Plant a tree in Israel to commemorate your visit and honor a loved one. Return to Jerusalem. Lunch on own See the Knesset Menorah, a remarkable bronze sculpture depicting scenes from Jewish history. Remainder of afternoon free to explore on own and get in last minute shopping. Late Check out. Farewell Dinner at Olive and Fish Restaurant. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!
Monday 16 July
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