Absolute Israel
Congregation Emanu El
Israel Journey

Led by Rabbi Oren Hayon

May 27, 2023 - Jun 6, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Multi-Generational
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 11 DAYS
  • Group Size 30+
  • Price From $4,760
Program is tentative and subject to change. Connect with our Customer Care Team by calling: (888) 230-6008 Mon.-Thur. from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

YOUR journey

J² crafts journeys of inspiration, education, and Jewish connections to Israel and worldwide. We are guided by a simple but powerful concept: No two trips are the same; each experience should be personal, meaningful, and backed by superb service. Travel is not just about the places you visit, but the connections you make along the way.

  •   Archaeology
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Expert Scholar
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Nature Walks
  •   Jeep Tour
  •   Rafting & Kayaking

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
DEPARTURE
Sat. May 27, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
DAY 2
ARRIVAL
Sun. May 28, 2023
  • Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. Our representative will be on hand to assist with all formalities and ensure your journey has the smoothest of starts.
  • Meet your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Depart for Tel Aviv and check into the hotel upon arrival.
  • Opening dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
THE FIRST HEBREW CITY
Mon. May 29, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • Beginnings: Modern Tel Aviv grew out of ancient Jaffa. Gaze out over the Mediterranean Sea; learn why Jaffa, mentioned in the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, is so historically important; and see how its Old City reflects the present as well as the past.
  • Walk through Jaffa’s famous flea market – Shuk Hapishpeshim.
  • Tel Aviv's food scene is booming. Check out some of the options at the Levinsky Market, with food and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East and try to figure out what is Israeli about Israeli food.
  • What’s Going on in Bohemian Tel Aviv? Join an expert on Tel Aviv’s alternative scene for an urban adventure and graffiti tour. Explore the latest street art and find out what it reveals about life, ideas, and ideology in Israel’s cultural capital.
  • From Hebrew City to Hebrew State: Walk along the Independence Trail and embark on a remarkable journey that begins with the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 and ends with the establishment of Israel in 1948.
  • Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in leisure.
  • When the Sun Goes Down: Enjoy Tel Aviv’s hot night life, with its boardwalk and cafés, bars, clubs, shows – and more.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 4
ALONG THE COAST
Tue. May 30, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Depart Tel Aviv and drive to northwards to visit a Druze village in the Carmel Mountains for a window into the unique world of the Israeli Druze community, including a dialogue with a local resident.
  • Visit the Mukhraka (Horn of the Carmel), the monastery of the “place of burning” where according to Jewish, Christian, Druze and Muslim belief, the dramatic battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal took place. The panoramic view in all directions is spectacular.
  • Stop on the top of Mount Carmel for a panoramic view of Haifa Bay and visit the Baha’i Gardens and gold-domed Shrine of the Bab, one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i religion, on the slopes of Mount Carmel.
  • Visit the Zippori National Park, known for its extraordinary ancient mosaics and its central role in Jewish life after the destruction of the Temple.
  • Drive east to the Upper Galilee and check into the kibbutz hotel, followed by dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 5
NORTHERN EXPOSURE
Wed. May 31, 2023
  • Walk through the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, located on the largest tributary of the Jordan River, and explore the ruins of the great Biblical city of Dan.
  • Take a Jeep tour off-road up the Golan Heights in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and their battles in the Six-Day War. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
  • The panoramic views from Mt. Bental (overlooking the abandoned Syrian town of Kuneitra) give sharp insights into Israel’s security situation on the Golan Heights, and the enormous challenges it faced in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • Meet with a research expert from the Alma Research and Education Center at an overlook of the border.
  • Enjoy rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River, followed by activities in the adventure park with climbing walls, rope bridges, and ziplines.
  • Return to the kibbutz for dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 6
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Thu. Jun 1, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Perhaps it's the combination of mysticism and art, and maybe it's the mountain air in Israel's highest city; entering Tsfat, there is a sense of something uniquely Jewish but not quite of this world. Here, you'll:
    • Visit the Ari Synagogue and share in the inspiration and innovation that moved Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Holy Ari) and his fellow mystics. In Tsfat they developed the Kabbalah, the esoteric insights of Judaism and created Kabbalat Shabbat, the prayers sung on Friday evenings to welcome the arrival of the Sabbath.
    • Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists' Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
  • Depart southwards on the Trans-Israel Highway and see the Security Barrier.
  • Take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves and prepare to get your hands dirty as you uncover pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago, followed by a crawl through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth. Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park was recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • A First Look at the Holy City: Over the centuries, many have been moved and awed by their first sight of Jerusalem. We'll stop at Mount Scopus for a stunning overview of the city and celebrate our arrival with a special ceremony and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanksgiving.
  • Check into the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 7
A CITY OF LAYERS
Fri. Jun 2, 2023
  • Meet with geopolitical guide and researcher Eran Tzidkiyahu to hear about the “other Jerusalem” – the lives, neighborhoods, and beliefs of the Palestinians.
  • The Old City Ramparts: Stroll along the ancient outer walls for a bird’s-eye view of the remarkably diverse yet closely bound communities of Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • Take a walking tour through Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish Quarter and experience the center of Jewish life, history, and holiness. Among the highlights will be:
    • A walk along the rooftops that will provide an extraordinary scene of multi-faith Jerusalem. From this one spot, we will see the domes of three great religious landmarks: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (marking where Jesus is believed to have been crucified); the Jewish Quarter’s Hurva synagogue; and the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s most sacred and beautiful sites.
    • The Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its spectacular Byzantine-era columns.
    • King Hezekiah’s “Broad Wall”, a massive wall built to protect Jerusalem from invasion 2,700 years ago.
    • Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish Quarter.
  • No visit to Israel is complete without experiencing the Kotel (Western Wall), widely considered Judaism's holiest site. Each year, over one million notes containing prayers and wishes are placed in the cracks of the wall. We'll discuss the wall's historical and contemporary importance and experience its unique atmosphere.
  • Explore the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Kotel, and examine important archaeological discoveries that are revising our understanding of daily life in ancient Jerusalem.
  • Return to the hotel with time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat at the Old Train Station.
  • Private Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast & Shabbat Dinner
DAY 8
SHABBAT IN JERUSALEM
Sat. Jun 3, 2023
  • Shabbat morning prayers at a local Reform synagogue.
  • Explore the wonderfully creative Israel Museum, housing more than 5,000 years of cultural treasures. Highlights include the archaeology wing, with the most extensive collection of biblical artifacts in the world; the Jewish art and life wing; the fine arts wing; the sculpture garden; and the open-air model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Don't miss the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered the world's oldest existing biblical manuscripts.
  • Explore the pastoral neighborhoods of Yemin Moshe and Mishkenot Sha'ananim, where the great banker and philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore developed the famous windmill and the artists’ colony.
  • Three Stars in the Jerusalem Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony overlooking the Old City.
  • ADULTS: Enjoy a night out on your own in Jerusalem.
  • YOUTH: Pizza and game night at the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 9
MASADA & THE DEAD SEA
Sun. Jun 4, 2023
  • Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region.
  • As Low as It Goes: We'll drive to the Dead Sea Basin, 1412 feet below sea level and the lowest place on earth. The desert, the landscape, and the views are breathtaking.
  • The Last Stand: Take the cable car to the top of Masada with its extraordinary views and fascinating archaeological remains. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is where Jewish rebels are believed to have made their final attempt to resist Roman invaders (c 74 CE). We'll learn about Masada's importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel.
  • The Sea of Salt: Float into happiness at the Dead Sea. Not much can live or swim in what is the saltiest piece of water in the world, nine times saltier than the ocean, but the weightless feeling of floating is great fun.
  • Return to Jerusalem and to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 10
THE POWER OF MEMORY
Mon. Jun 5, 2023
  • OPTION 1:
    • Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an essential emotional and educational experience. Your guided tour will include:
      • The Avenue of the Righteous, where trees symbolic of the renewal of life have been planted along with plaques honoring brave non-Jews who saved Jews during the Shoah.
      • The Historical Museum, a state-of-the-art interactive display reflecting decades of research and educational expertise. The story of the Holocaust, with an emphasis on individual victims, is told through survivor testimonies, original artifacts, and personal possessions saved from the ghettos and camps.
      • The Children’s Memorial, commemorating the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
      • A memorial service where we will pay tribute to those who were lost. It will include the opportunity to talk about family members and loved ones who died during the Shoah.
    • Personal Reflections: At the end of our visit, we’ll come together to share feelings and thoughts and discuss what we have experienced and learned at Yad Vashem.
  • OPTION 2: Two by Two the Animals Went into the Ark: The Biblical Zoo is one of Jerusalem’s loveliest places. It has a great collection of animals with a special focus on creatures mentioned in the Bible. It includes 62 acres of open areas where the animals live, a zoo train if you don’t feel like walking, a petting zoo, and plenty of other activities to keep all ages enthralled.
  • ALL: Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market.
  • Enjoy the rest of the afternoon for last-minute shopping and packing.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Transfer to the Ben Gurion International Airport to check in for the departure flight.
Overnight: Flight Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 11
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Tue. Jun 6, 2023
  • Return to the USA.

RATES & LODGING

participants
30+
Cost p/p in double room
$4,760
Cost p/p in single room
$6,560
Child As 3rd (Reduction)
- ($1,100)

Tel Aviv: Hilton

Upper Galilee: Kfar Giladi hotel

Jerusalem: The Inbal

What to expect

  • 8 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included.
  • 9 days of touring with a tour educator (guide) in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • 1 Group arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 1 Group departure transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 5 dinners.
  • Water on the bus.
  • Porterage at the airport & hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Credit card fees.
  • Flights to & from Israel.
  • COVID related expenses, including tests.
  • Evening transportation when dinner is not included.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc. are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d’hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Value Added Tax is currently not applicable to tourists visiting Israel. Should the law change, you will be notified accordingly, and VAT will be added to your final invoice.
  • Gratuities: Recommend guidelines for tipping are provided in the terms section.
  • Please review our terms & conditions (T&C’s) or request that we send you our full T&C’s. Until you do that, here is the small print, and other stuff you may want to know:
  • Validity | All prices quoted are based on exchange rates as of the proposal date and are subject to change without notice. Rates are per person and are based on shared twin room occupancy.
  • How to Make a Reservation | The quickest way to make a reservation is to register online or contact us by email. We accept VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. A non-refundable deposit is required in order to complete the registration process.
  • For any assistance with this registration process or other trip-related queries, please email Customer Care: [email protected]
  • Payments | The balance of your payment is due 90 days before your trip begins, or as specified in your invoice. You will receive an email reminder 2 weeks before this date. Various payment options are available as follows:
  • Credit card | We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Please check with your credit card provider regarding international processing fees. We are unable to process payments of over $1,000 over the phone. Please submit payment online via a credit card or by wiring funds via your bank.
  • Domestic bank wire transfer | Payment should be wired in the same currency that is listed on your invoice. Please add the name of your group or invoice number as a reference and forward a copy of the transfer receipt by email. The bank transfer should clearly state the beneficiary’s name on the wire transfer.
  • Please use the following information: Investors Bank 101 JFK Parkway, Short Hills, NJ 07078 ABA Routing Number: 221272031
  • Beneficiary Instructions: For the benefit of J² Adventures. Account number: 1001858331
  • J² Adventures reserves the right to automatically cancel your reservation on that date and it may be subject to reconfirmation should the final payment not be received.
  • Cancelation Policy | All cancelations need to be made in writing. The cancelation fee depends on the date when we receive written notification of your request to cancel your booking. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Cancelation fees | Cancelations made 90 or more days prior to departure incur the loss of the deposit. Cancelations made 89 to 46 days prior to departure incur the loss of 50% of the full trip cost. Cancelations made 45 days or less prior to the departure incur the loss of 100% of the full trip cost.
  • Cancelation fees may also include: Hotel or supplier cancelation fees. J² Adventures reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Please refer to the small print tab on your trip’s webpage or in your proposal for your cancelation policy and fees.

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