Congregation Or Ami
Family Trip to Israel

Led by Rabbi Paul Kipnes

Jun 18, 2023 - Jun 30, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Families
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 13 DAYS
  • Group Size 30+
  • Price From $4,988
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.

  •   Active
  •   Heritage
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Street Food

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY
Sun. Jun 18, 2023
  • Meet your tour educator, who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Opening dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 2
THE BEAT OF THE CITY
Mon. Jun 19, 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.
  • 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.
  • Experience the dynamism of Jewish life at the newly opened ANU Museum of the Jewish People, dedicated to telling their story and representing their diversity, highlighting the creative works and cultural riches of a variety of communities in different periods of history until the present day.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 3
THE FIRST HEBREW CITY
Tue. Jun 20, 2023
  • Jaffa: 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 –ShukHapishpeshim.
  • Peace AND Prosperity? The Peres Peace Center was created by the late Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister and President of Israel, to develop peacebuilding programs based on innovation and optimism.
  • Drive to Rothchild boulevard.
  • 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.
  • The City at Night: Tel Aviv’s food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself during a free evening with dinner. Afterwards, those who love the nightlife can sample the city’s bar, club and café culture or stroll along the refurbished promenade and port.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 4
ALONG THE COAST
Wed. Jun 21, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Mending Hearts: Meet children from the Middle East and Africa who are getting a new chance at life at Save A Child’s Heart. Based in Holon, this Israeli humanitarian project provides life-saving surgery and care for children with heart diseases from 59 countries and territories, including the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, where the most up-to-date medical care is not available. (The children of Save A Child’s Heart always appreciate gifts of art supplies and small treats.
  • Drive along the coast to Caesarea, one of the Land of Israel's most important cities during the Roman Period. Explore life 2,000 years ago with its ancient theater, palace, and bathhouse.Stop at the Ancient Roman Aqueduct, located on the pristine beaches of Caesarea. With the ruins of a past empire to your backs, enjoy the power of the sand, sea and the rush of the water.
  • A Home and a Hope: The Yemin Orde Youth Village houses, protects, and educates over 400 youth from across the globe. Most of its children have suffered trauma early in their lives, including loss, neglect, and poverty. Yemin Orde gives these children a safe place to live, with individualized therapeutic care and an education that integrates general studies with Jewish identity and culture. Tour the village and meet some of the students and faculty of this innovative program.
  • Drive to Haifa and check into the hotel.
  • Experience the up-and-coming culinary scene in trendy Haifa with free evening and dinner on own account. 
Overnight: Haifa
DAY 5
THE WESTERN GALILEE
Thu. Jun 22, 2023
  • Battling for the Holy Land: Encounter the Christian Crusaders and their Muslim rivals in Akko (Acre). This UNESCO Heritage Site was a stronghold of Crusader power in the Holy Land but was also an important center of Muslim Ottoman rule. Today, it exemplifies the multi-culturalism of northern Israel. Highlights of our visit will include:
    • The restored Crusaders' Fortress where we’ll look into the lives of the Templar knights, the Christian warrior-monks based here from the 12th century who fought to control the Holy Land.
    • The el-Jazzar Mosque, one of Israel's largest and most important mosques and an illustration of the Muslim influence in the country, then and now. The mosque is named after its designer, the talented but brutal Ottoman governor Ahmad Pasha el-Jazzar.
    • Walking on the fortified walls that protected Akko and made it a vital town for controlling the Holy Land. Through the centuries, invaders damaged but could never destroy these walls. We'll see the massive security measures carried out by Ahmad Pasha el-Jazzar in order to defeat Napoleon and his French army at Akko in 1799.
  • From the Sky to the Sea: At Rosh Hanikra, the steepest cable car ride in the world will take us down to beautiful sea grottos (sea caves) formed by countless waves hitting the soft chalk rock.
  • In the reaches of the Western Galilee, Ma’arat Keshet (“Arch Cave”) is a natural stone bridge at the top of a sheer precipice (with the possibility of rappelling). A short hike to the top of the arch offers an amazing view of the Western Galilee and the Mediterranean, and reveals how this natural phenomenon was formed.
  • Drive to Goren Park for a scenic overlook of the medieval castle of Montfort.
  • A Taste of the Galilee: We’ll be welcomed into the home of an Israeli Arab family to hear about their lives and to enjoy a mini-workshop on the culinary traditions of the Galilee. Our GalilEat host family will prepare some delicious local delicacies and provide expert advice as we whip up a classic local dish for dinner.
Overnight: Haifa Meals: Dinner
DAY 6
TO THE GALILEE
Fri. Jun 23, 2023
  • A Special Celebration - A Special Location: Celebrate your Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the beauty, wilderness, and history of the Zippori National Park.
  • Visit the innovative Zippori National Park, site of Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi’s codification of the Mishna and extraordinary ancient mosaics, with a special mosaic-making program for children and youth.
  • Visit Rish Lakish Olive Press, located on Moshav Zippori in the Galilee, for a hands-on family experience.
  • Option 1:
    From Little Things Great Things Grow: The Golan Heights is wine country. Sample some of its best at the Pelter Winery. Nir and Tal Pelter used to run this winery out of the backyard of their family farm. The brothers have proven their expertise since then, but the winery remains a boutique family affair. We're doing the driving, so you're welcome to treat yourself to Pelter's Israeli gin along with the grapes.
  • Option 2:
    Comfort You Can Eat: Enjoy the culinary delights of a chocolate workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory on Kibbutz Ein Zivan. Chocolatier Karina Chepelinski continues her family's tradition of creating hand-made premium chocolate. During this tour and workshop, taste various chocolates and learn what makes it so delicious. Then, experiment with quality ingredients to create your own chocolate masterpiece.
  • All:
    Kabbalat Shabbat in nature with Rabbi Kipnes.
    Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Shabbat dinner
DAY 7
NATURE AND SECURITY
Sat. Jun 24, 2023
  • Paradise Springs is one of the places we'll visit at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. We'll tour the remains of a 5,000-year-old city and find out why water is like gold in the parched Middle East.
  • Stop by Tel Faher, an abandoned Syrian outpost that once threatened the northern towns of Israel, and follow the footsteps of Israeli soldiers who fought there in the 1967 Six-Day War. The view offers an invaluable insight into the challenges of the war and its rapid and unexpected conclusion.
  • The Druze of Israel: Visit a village on the Golan Heights for a glimpse into the lives of Israel’s Druze community. We’ll learn about the background and beliefs of this minority group as we look at their complex but close relationship with the State of Israel.
  • Return to the hotel for some pool time.
  • Havdallah at the hotel.
  • Dinner at Zemach Junction mall.
Overnight: Upper Galilee
DAY 8
SPIRTUALTY AND WATER
Sat. Jun 25, 2022
  • Walk around the peak of Mount Meron, the highest mountain in the Galilee and a beautiful nature reserve. At the foot of the mountain is the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a longtime beacon for Jewish mystics from the city of Safed across the valley.
  • 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.
    • 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. Tour the Tsfat Candle Factory.
  • We’ll explore the cobbled streets of Rosh Pina, one of the earliest Zionist agricultural settlements and now a picturesque village and artists’ colony. Nimrod’s Lookout in Rosh Pina is a moving memorial to Nimrod Segev, who was killed during the Second Lebanon War. Meet with Nimrod’s father, Hezi Segev, and hear about Nimrod’s life and deep connection to the Galilee.
  • Cool Off Down the Jordan River: With the hot weather, it’s time to take to the water with rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River. This is the parched Middle East rather than the Rockies, so the current is mainly calm and suitable for ages five and up.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Dinner
DAY 9
KOL YISRAEL AREVIM ZEH BAZEH
Mon. Jun 26, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Stop for a quick dip at the Kinnert.
  • As we drive south through the Jordan Valley, we’ll discuss the strategic and political situation in this area and consider how Israeli control over it is viewed by some as vital to national security but by others as an impediment to any future agreement with the Palestinians.
  • 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.
  • 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 climb to the rooftops to see and discuss the ties and tensions between the different faith groups and communities of the Old City. From this one spot, we'll look out over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated by Christian groups as the burial place of Jesus; the golden Dome of the Rock, which is sacred to Islam; and the Jewish Quarter's famous Hurva Synagogue.
    • 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.
    • The Jerusalem Archaeological Park is a large-scale excavation that has uncovered vital parts of ancient Jerusalem. A particular highlight is to walk on the Southern Wall steps used by Jewish pilgrims to enter the Temple, 2,000 years ago. But there is much else to see, including Robinson's Arch, the remains of a major Second Temple-period street, and drainage tunnels used by Jewish fighters hiding from the Roman invaders. A museum, including movies and a 3-D model of ancient Jerusalem, add to the experience.
  • 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.
  • Check into the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 10
MEMORY AND RENWAL
Tue. Jun 27, 2023
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tour the grounds of Israel’s “Capitol Hill”: The Rose Garden, featuring more than 400 species of roses imported from all around the world; The Knesset – Israel’s Parliament building and its famous Menorah – Israel’s symbol monument built from bronze; The Supreme Court – designed to reflect Jewish and democratic values of justice.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 11
THE DEAD SEA BASIN BEYOND BORDERS
Wed. Jun 28, 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 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. Featured are the ibex, hyraxes, and other desert mammals that live in this area. Nahal David is named after the biblical David, who fled here to escape from the murderous King Saul.
  • Walk through Arugot Stream in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, the largest and most beautiful in the Judean Desert, into a world of canyons and waterfalls.
  • We'll drive by Qumran, where a separatist Jewish sect from the Second Temple period created an isolated community and where the Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the most ancient and important religious manuscripts in existence, were discovered.
  • Return to Jerusalem and to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 12
BEYOND BORDERS
Thu. Jun 29, 2023
  • At the Heart of It All: Explore the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem, and learn how the city was administered during the First Temple period. Our visit will include:
    • Archaeological discoveries illustrating how the wealthy and powerful lived in ancient Jerusalem.
    • The Gihon Spring, the source of Jerusalem's water, which was integral to its survival and religious ceremonies.
  • King Herod – Villain, Visionary, or Both? Visit Herodian, where King Herod built an impressive palace-fortress and where he is believed to have been buried in 4 BCE. This archaeological site is the ideal place to explore the clout and character of one of ancient Israel’s most influential and polarizing figures.
  • Ride the longest zipline in Israel at “Eretz Ha’ayalim” (Deer Land) in the Etzion Bloc.
  • Is Religion the Way Forward or an Obstacle to Peace? We’ll go beyond the Green Line to meet with Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger/ Rabbi Shaul Judelman from Shorashim (Roots), a program bringing West Bank Palestinians and their Jewish neighbors together despite their fears and suspicions.
  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Mahane Yehuda open-air market.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Group departure transfer to Ben Gurion airport, check in to your flight back to the USA.
Meals: Dinner
DAY 13
RETURN
Fri. Jun 30, 2023
  • Arrive home.

RATES & LODGING

participants
30+
Cost p/p in double room
$4,988
Cost p/p in single room
$7,273
Child As 3rd (Reduction)
- ($-1,220)
In addition to this price, all participants are expected to make a $1,000 per person donation to Congregation Or Ami.
Questions? Please contact Rabbi Kipnes at [email protected]

Child reduction for a child Age 13-18: -$1,220.
Child reduction for a child Age 2-12: -$1,600
Registration open

Tel Aviv: Carlton

Haifa: Dan Carmel

Sea of Galilee: Ramot Resort Hotel

Jerusalem: Orient

What to expect

  • 11 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included.
  • 11 days of touring with a tour educator (guide) in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • 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.
  • Group/individual arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 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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