CONGREGATION EMANU–EL
OF WESTCHESTER
FAMILY TRIP TO ISRAEL

Led by Rabbis Jennifer & Howard Goldsmith

Dec 21, 2023 - Dec 31, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Families
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 11 DAYS
  • Group Size 30+
  • Price From $4,600
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.

  •   Family Friendly
  •   Active
  •   Archaeology
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Heritage
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Home Hospitality
  •   Jeep Tour
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Nature Walks
  •   Expert Scholar

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
DEPARTURE
Thu. Dec 21, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
DAY 2
THE START OF OUR JOURNEY
Fri. Dec 22, 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.
  • Welcome to Jerusalem: Drive to the vibrant and colorful ancient city of Jerusalem, and experience the convergence of the old and the new.
  • Ascending these ancient hills, we will make our way to the Haas Promenade to take in Jerusalem in all of her glory. From our vantage point we’ll see the hill where Abraham brought Isaac and where our ancient Temples once stood. Following a beautiful welcome ceremony, and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanksgiving.
  • We’ll enter the Old City to walk along the Rooftops of the Old City for a behind-the-scenes look at the various communities in Jerusalem, and how they live alongside each other.
  • Entering the Jewish Quarter we’ll explore the story of our people’s ancient sovereignty, our kings and victories, as well as treachery and defeat, including:
    • King Hezekiah’s First Temple-period “Broad Wall”.
    • The Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem in Roman times.
    • Hurva Square, the central square of the Jewish Quarter.
  • We’ll enjoy the vibrant Old City Market (shuk) in the other quarters with more opportunities to explore Jerusalem’s cuisine with lunch on our own.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • We’ll welcome Shabbat together with familiar melodies in our ancient homeland at the hotel.
  • After services, we’ll enjoy dinner at the hotel or at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 3
PASSAGES IN TIME
Sat. Dec 23, 2023
  • Early breakfast at the hotel, followed by departure from the hotel for the Dead Sea Region.
  • We’ll celebrate with a Bnei Mitzvah ceremony in the ancient synagogue of Ein Gedi. A traditional ceremony in a synagogue from the 3rd century!
  • We’ll ascend by cable-car or walk up the Snake Path to Masada, Herod’s mountain palace and the site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Roman Legionnaires. What might this complex symbol of Jewish nationalism mean for us – and modern Israelis – today?
  • Lunch on own.
  • Who needs outer space when we can experience weightlessness in the Dead Sea. We’ll cover ourselves in mud and float in these amazing waters.
  • Free evening to explore this vibrant city and check out its many dining and entertainment options. Make sure you don’t miss the Old Train Station Plaza, with its fashionable restaurants featuring local and international cuisine.
  • Optional: Late night visit to the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Temple Mount’s Western Wall - this is better than sleep! Don’t miss it!
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 4
THE POWER OF MEMORY
Sun. Dec 24, 2023
  • Adults: We leave ancient history to struggle with our more recent past with a visit to the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Followed by a memorial service on these sacred grounds
  • Children under 10: Visit Ein Yael, an interactive, living museum, located on a 2,000-year-old archaeological site and enjoy weaving, ceramics, painting and other crafts typical of life in ancient times.
  • All: Enter the time of the Maccabees as we take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves. We’ll get our hands dirty as we uncover pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago. Then get ready for some spelunking Israel-style as we crawl through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth (crawling is optional). Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park was recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Return to Jerusalem and to the hotel for refreshing.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 5
A CITY OF LAYERS
Mon. Dec 25, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • A Mountain Holy to Many: Experience the complexity of inter-religious relations on Mount Zion. We’ll first visit the Upper Room. It is venerated by Christians as the location of Jesus’ Last Supper but was, for a period, converted into a mosque. In a room directly below, Jews pray at the place believed to be King David’s Tomb. A Mountain Holy to Many: Experience the complexity of inter-religious relations on Mount Zion
  • We’ll jump ahead to the rule of King David at the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem. The stories of the Bible will come to life in the place they unfolded.
  • Moving several hundred years at once, we’ll traverse the recently opened Second Temple-period tunnel under the walls of the Old City, emerging in the area where our ancient ancestors entered as pilgrims 2,000 years ago. At the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, the Davidson Center, Robinson’s Arch, and the Southern Wall steps this ancient period will come to life and resonate for us today.
  • At the end of the Via Dolorosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus is said to have been crucified. This church is one of Christianity’s great pilgrimage Sites and a testament to the remarkable diversity of the Christian world. It includes an empty tomb where it is said that Jesus was buried and resurrected.
  • Pita! Peppers! Spices! Cheese! Chocolate! Rugelach! There is nothing like the colorful and ethnically diverse Machaneh Yehuda market of Jerusalem – and just wait to see how we explore it.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 6
TOUCHING HISTORY
Tue. Dec 26, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel and depart Jerusalem for the North.
  • Visit the Beit She’an National Park, one of Israel’s largest archaeological Sites, with its Biblical period archaeological mound and excavated Roman-Byzantine city.
  • A surprise awaits us at the 1,500-year-old Beit Alfa Synagogue, with its beautiful mosaic floor, and insight into Jewish spiritual life during the Byzantine period when the ancient rabbis were laying the foundations of the Judaism that we practice today.
  • We’ll take in the beauty of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) with a boat ride on the lake that waters the Land of Israel.
  • At Capernaum, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we’ll consider the culture, folkways, and philosophies that led not only to the Judaism we know today, but also lay the foundation for Christianity.
  • Heading further north, we’ll drive to the Upper Galilee and check into our beautiful kibbutz hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 7
FROM MYSTICS TO DREAMERS
Wed. Dec 27, 2023
  • From the ancient rabbis, we’ll move to the Crusaders and the later Jewish mystics that called Tzfat home. It will all come to life as we explore:
    • A visit to the ruins and remains of a Crusader Fortress to present the challenges and roots associated with the rise and fall of the Crusades.
    • On a guided visit to the Ari Synagogue we’ll see where so much of our beloved Friday night prayers originated.
    • Enjoy some free time to stroll through the quaint art galleries and shop in the artists’ colony.
    • Visit the Livnot u'Lehibanot* campus to explore their inspiring excavation of medieval Tzfat.
  • An exciting off-road Jeep tour up the Golan Heights will take us in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and their battles in the Six-Day War. Set in beautiful natural scenery, we’ll gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
  • Watch the panoramic views from Mt. Bental (overlooking the abandoned Syrian town of Kuneitra) and gain sharp insights into Israel’s security situation on the Golan Heights and the enormous challenges it faced in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • Option 1: Visit the Pelter Winery, a young family boutique winery on the Golan Heights; wine tasting is included.
  • Option 2: Enjoy the culinary delight of a chocolate workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory on Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
  • All: Cooking a Love Story: Join Liz and Shai in their home on the Merom Golan kibbutz for dinner and an occasion to savor. As we feast on Shai's "enchanted soup", smoked entrecote and fabulous vegetarian options, Liz, an actress and raconteur, will explain how this couple's love story came to include providing great food and the warmest of hospitality.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 8
ALONG THE WATER
Thu. Dec 28, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • After all of those amazing breakfasts we’ll get some exercise during a visit to the Hula Lake for bike-riding, nature walks, and bird-watching (for the less exercise inclined there is a golf cart option!).
  • Farmers, Fighters, and Flyers: Visit Nahalal, Israel’s first moshav, and encounter the Israeli experiment of communal living, then and now. We’ll discuss why its members played such a prominent role in the Israeli military while visiting the village’s secret weapons hideaway used during the 1948 War of Independence. We will also stop at the graves of famed General and politician Moshe Dayan, and two Israeli fighter pilots, Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut, who died during the Columbia space shuttle mission of 2003, and his son Assaf, who died at age 21 during a training flight.
  • From One Camp to Another: From the late 1930s, the British authorities interned tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe, many of them Holocaust survivors, at the Atlit camp. We’ll visit the camp and discuss the lives of the people held there.
  • Drive to Tel Aviv, known as the “city that never sleeps,” with its centers of culture, recreation and national history, great beaches and fine stores.
  • Stop at the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Adult night out at a restaurant, kids will enjoy a pizza and a movie night.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast
DAY 9
THE FIRST HEBREW CITY
Fri. Dec 29, 2023
  • Arming for Independence: Visit the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot and uncover its role in the establishment of the state of Israel. This secret ammunition factory produced millions of bullets for Jewish forces fighting for a Jewish state and the end of British rule over Palestine.
  • Stylish Scavengers: Cryptic clues and madcap missions will let you to discover, on this scavenger hunt in Neve Zedek, why one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighborhoods feels so young and cool.
  • From Hebrew City to Hebrew State: Walk along the newly opened 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.
  • Calling Boutique-Loving Hipsters: Browse your way through Nachalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv’s arts and crafts market before we check out the hustle and bustle at the Carmel Market.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, led by Rabbi Nir Barkin, followed by a home hospitality dinner.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 10
SHABBAT IN TEL AVIV
Sat. Dec 30, 2023
  • You’ll never look at graffiti the same way again! Urban Culture Tours of Tel Aviv, Combining Street Art, Language & Graffiti: Join a local resident to explore the urban culture of the city.
  • Think Eataly – but better. Enjoy lunch on own at the Sarona Market. Through the smells, flavors and tastes of this renovated historical Templers town, explore the range of cuisine from local street food to fine dining by world renowned Israeli chefs.
  • Free Afternoon in Tel Aviv for an opportunity to:
    • Take in the grand art collection at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
    • Visit some of Tel Aviv’s legendary Art Galleries.
    • Wander through the Tachana, Tel Aviv’s newly renovated old train station, now a center of boutiques and good food, and one of Tel Aviv’s blooming hot spots.
    • Visit ANU – Museum of the Jewish People, the largest Jewish Museum in the world.
  • Late check out from the hotel.
  • Tel Aviv Port.A final Havdallah – say goodbye to our trip and to Shabbat on the beach in Tel Aviv.
  • Festive farewell dinner at one of Tel Aviv’s amazing restaurants.
  • Group transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for the departure flight to the USA.
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 11
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Sun. Dec 31, 2023
  • Return to the USA.

RATES & LODGING

participants
30+
Cost p/p in double room
$4,600
Cost p/p in single room
$6,200
Child As 3rd (Reduction)
- ($870)

Jerusalem: Dan Panorama

Upper Galilee: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel

Tel Aviv: Crowne Plaza Beach

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), 8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • 1 Group arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 1 Group departure transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • Daily breakfast & 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.
  • Cost for of adult night out at a restaurant, on December 28 (day 8).
  • 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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