Congregation
of Reform Judaism
Hands-on Journey to Israel

Led by Rabbi Steve Engel

Mar 22, 2023 - Apr 2, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Multi-Generational
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 12 DAYS
  • Group Size 30+
  • Price From $5,890
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
  •   Expert Scholar
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Home Hospitality

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
TO ISRAEL
Wed. Mar 22, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
DAY 2
ARRIVAL
Thu. Mar 23, 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.
  • Group transfer to Tel Aviv, also known as “the city that never sleeps.” A place of sun and fun, its centers of culture and history are complimented by great beaches, stores, and entertainment.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner, followed by orientation with your group leader and tour educator.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
TEL AVIV - THE FIRST CITY
Fri. Mar 24, 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.
  • 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.
  • Neve Zedek was one of Tel Aviv’s first neighborhoods as the city grew outside of Jaffa. Stroll through this stylish area with its boutiques, galleries, and the Suzanne Dellal Center, Israel's world-class home of contemporary dance.
  • Browse your way through Nahalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv’s arts and crafts market.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Beit Daniel in Tel Aviv, led by Rabbi Meir Azari.
  • Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Shabbat Dinner
DAY 4
SHABBAT IN TEL AVIV
Sat. Mar 25, 2023
  • Visit ANU – Museum of the Jewish People, the largest Jewish museum in the world, and join a fascinating journey that portrays the story of the Jewish people through the generations and up to the present time.
  • 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.
  • A Fallen Leader, A Fallen Soldier: The assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 was one of the great traumas of Israeli political history, shocking Israel similar to the way that President Kennedy’s death affected America. The Rabin Center Museum examines the life of one of Israel’s most storied soldiers and politicians and illustrates how his death was linked to the wider conflicts and dilemmas that continue to shape Israel.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Three Stars in the Israel Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony.
  • When the Sun Goes Down: Enjoy Tel Aviv’s hot nightlife, with its boardwalk and cafés, bars, clubs, shows – and more.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 5
COMMUNITIES PAST AND PRESENT
Sun. Mar 26, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Dialogue with members of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism’s (IMRPJ) pre-army academy (mechina) in Jaffa.
  • Guided visit to the ancient city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar.
  • Visit Eshbal in the Lower Galilee, a Kibbutz established by members of the Dror Israel Movement, who have dedicated themselves to improving society through education and adapting Kibbutz life to the 21st century.
  • You Be the Chef: We’ll be welcomed into the home of an Israeli Arab family to talk, over tea and coffee, about their lives and to join them for a GalilEat cooking workshop. The Arab villages of Galilee are famous for their food, including fish and olive dishes and delicious desserts like knafeh and baklawa. We’ll find out the local culinary secrets and, mentored by our host family, whip up and eat a traditional dinner.
  • Continue to the hotel for check-in.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Dinner
DAY 6
EXPLORING THE GOLAN
Mon. Mar 27, 2023
  • Take a jeep tour off-road on the Golan Heights. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
  • Northern Borders, Northern Battles: At the top of Mount Bental, an expert from the Alma Research and Educational Center will brief us on Israel's geopolitical and security situation. Gaze across the Golan and into Syria and discuss the current challenges Israel faces on its northern border including from Iran and Russia. We'll examine the impact of Syria's tragic civil war and hunker down in bunkers from the vital battles that took place here during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • The Druze of Israel: Visit a village in the Golan for a glimpse into the lives of Israel's Druze community. We'll talk with a member of this minority group which, despite being famed for their contribution to the Israeli Defense Forces, remains largely unknown to many Israelis. We'll explore their background and beliefs, as we look at their complex but close relationship with the State of Israel. Then we'll enjoy the tastes of the Druze kitchen with a home hospitality lunch.
  • The Golan Heights is also a wine country. Sample some of its best during a tour of the boutique Pelter Winery. We're doing the driving, so treat yourself to some Israeli gin to go with the grapes. L'chaim and cheers!
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.
  • Group conversation at the hotel.
Overnight: North Meals: Lunch & Dinner
DAY 7
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Tue. Mar 28, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel and depart.
  • 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 could:
    • 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.
    • See the Caro Synagogue, built originally, like the Ari Synagogue, in the 16th century. It is where Rabbi Joseph Caro, one of the greatest of all Jewish legal authorities, taught and lived. Hear the story of how he was visited here by a maggid, an angelic messenger, who revealed secrets of the Torah.
    • Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists’ Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
    • Meet with David Friedman, a Tsfat artist inspired by Kabbalah.
  • As we drive south on the Trans-Israel Highway, there will be plenty of opportunities to see the Security Barrier which runs along the seam zone between Israel and the Palestinian Territories and to learn about the barrier’s effects on Israeli security and Palestinian communities.
  • A First Look at the Holy City: Over the centuries, many pilgrims have been moved and awed by their first sight of the ancient, sacred city of Jerusalem.
  • At the Mount of Olives, where, according to Christian belief, Jesus ascended to heaven, we'll celebrate our arrival in Jerusalem with a special ceremony including blessings and gorgeous views. We'll also see the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world which, according to Jewish tradition, will be the starting place for the resurrection of the dead.
  • Check into the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 8
THE LAYERS OF THE CITY
Wed. Mar 29, 2023
  • 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 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 is 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.
    • Going Under, Going Deeper: 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.
  • A Mountain Holy to Many: Experience the overlapping religions and the complexity of inter-religious relations at Mount Zion. The site is venerated by Christians as the location of Jesus' Last Supper but was once a mosque while, in a room directly below, Jews pray at the place where King David is believed to have been buried.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Lights! Action! Jerusalem! Watch the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum. The walls of the Citadel serve as the stage for this cinematic celebration of sight and sound depicting the story of Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 9
A NATION'S CAPITAL
Thu. Mar 30, 2023
  • Meet with Knesset Member Gilad Kariv at the hotel.
  • Sacrifice and the State: Visit Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, to discuss key events in the nation's history and to honor those who fell while fighting for the state. Our visit will include the Main Military Cemetery where Israel's fallen soldiers are buried side-by-side regardless of rank, each with a simple, stark gravestone.
  • Beyond Beautiful Braids: In this challah-baking workshop, you’ll learn some secrets to making challah that’s crusty on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. Guided by a world-class chef at the Teamim Cooking School in the Mahane Yehuda Shuk (market), you can mix, knead, braid, and bake stunning challah for Shabbat, or eat it fresh out of the oven, if you like.
  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Mahane Yehuda open-air market. Machane Yehuda: Explore the colorful and ethnically diverse Mahane Yehuda market of Jerusalem.
  • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions, and 4 Tribes: Take a ride on Jerusalem's light rail and experience the mosaic of the Jerusalem population. As we travel through Jerusalem's diverse neighborhoods, including those populated by Haredim and Arabs, we'll note the difference between East and West Jerusalem and the ongoing struggles between the city's different communities. Discuss whether Jerusalem is divided, as Former President Ruby Rivlin has suggested, into four "tribes."
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 10
THE POWER OF MEMORY
Fri. Mar 31, 2023
  • The Holocaust and Contemporary Israeli Society: Dr. Rachel Korazim will examine how Yad Vashem reflects the Israeli understanding of the Shoah (Holocaust). In particular, we'll explore the radically different ways in which secular Zionist and ultra-Orthodox leaders understood the causes and meaning of the Holocaust.
  • Dr. Korazim is a renowned educator and expert on Israel and the Holocaust.
  • 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 is 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 commemorates the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
  • Jerusalem Prepares for the Sabbath: Experience the unique atmosphere as Jerusalemites busily prepare for Shabbat. Walk through neighborhoods and explore the diverse traditions Jews have brought with them from different corners of the world.
  • Private dinner at Adom, which specializes in wines and international cuisines, combining local ingredients and flavors with French and Italian influences.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Dinner
DAY 11
INTO THE DESERT: MASADA & THE DEAD SEA OR SHABBAT IN JLM
Sat. Apr 1, 2023
  • Option A:
    • Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region.
    • 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 in 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.
    • Hike in Nahal David, part of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. This is a desert oasis with springs, waterfalls, and freshwater pools, so don't forget your swimsuits.
    • Return to Jerusalem and to the hotel.
  • Option B: day at leisure to:
    • Attend Shabbat morning services at Kehilat Harel.
    • 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.
  • All:
    • Late check-out from the hotel.
    • Wrap up conversation and farewell dinner.
    • Group transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for the departure flight to the USA.
Meals: Dinner
DAY 12
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Sun. Apr 2, 2023
  • Return to the USA.

RATES & LODGING

participants
30+
Cost p/p in double room
$5,890
Cost p/p in single room
$7,790
Child As 3rd (Reduction)
- ($1,110)

Tel Aviv: Hilton

Upper Galilee: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel

Jerusalem: Orient

What to expect

  • 9 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included.
  • 10 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 & 6 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.

J2 STUFF.

We have everything you need to know before you go. Check out our Instagram my_j2adventures for cool updates and interesting tidbits.