Congregation Rodeph Sholom
Faces of Israel

Led by Rabbi Benjamin Spratt & Cantor Shayna De Lowe

Aug 19, 2023 - Aug 30, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Members Only
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 12 DAYS
  • Group Size 80+
  • Price From $7,545
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) or for any assistance with this registration process or any other trip-related queries, please email Customer Care: [email protected]

YOUR journey

Journey opens us to new understandings of ourselves and our world.  As a community, we believe experiences beyond our regular routine can help nourish growth, spark connection, and expand awareness.  In the array of Jewish stories that thread through nearly every corner of our globe, the one that links biblical Jewish roots to modern striving is the story of Israel.  We are proud to bring an Israel journey to Congregation Rodeph Sholom unlike any other, giving new lenses and experiences into Israel.

We recognize that people have diverse interests so we are offering four distinctive and separate tracks that are exciting and compelling and are also reflective of the CRS community. You can choose to participate in any one of these tracks throughout your Israel journey.

Your choice of tracks are: Wisdom & Justice, Wellness & Food, Adventure & Nature and Family. Scroll down for daily highlights by track. By clicking on the “show more” button below the program outline you will be able to review each track in detail.

We are working with J² because they prioritize travel that is personal, meaningful, and backed by superb service, raising superb educators as the foundation of growth-filled journey. Travel is not just about the places you visit, but the connections you make along the way.

 

  •   Art & Culture
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Active
  •   Heritage
  •   Street Food
  •   Social Justice
  •   Special Access
  •   Family Friendly
  •   Nature Walks

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY
Sat. Aug 19, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
Overnight: Flight
DAY 2
WELCOME TO ISRAEL
Sun. Aug 20, 2023
  • Arrive 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 educators who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Group transfers to Tel Aviv and check into the hotel.
  • Group welcome dinner at Riverside, overlooking the Yarkon River.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: Join BINA, the Jewish Movement for Social Change.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Yoga Session on the beach.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Bike to the source of the Yarkon River.
FAMILY: Participate in a scavenger hunt.
Mon. Aug 21, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • We Declare our Vision for Israel: We’ll join BINA, the Jewish Movement for Social Change and their “We Declare” program in which Israelis and Jews debate whether Israel’s Declaration of Independence can be a living guide in the struggle to strengthen democracy, pluralism and equal rights. BINA is a secular yeshiva and educational institute which creates innovative and exciting interactions between Jewish leaders and Jewish culture.
    • Strangers in a Strange Land: South Tel Aviv is now "home" to thousands of migrant workers, asylum seekers, and refugees from war-torn and impoverished African countries. BINA will lead us on a tour of the Neve Sha'anan neighborhood as we explore what life is like for non-Jews seeking a new start in the Jewish State. The tour will include:
      • Talking with an African migrant or migrants about their experiences in Israel and what brought them here.
      • Meeting a veteran Jewish resident of the neighborhood to learn about their connections with, and attitudes to, the refugees.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • Yoga Session on the beach.
    • See the latest Street Art and learn what it reveals about life, ideas, and ideology in Israel’s cultural capital.
    • Ethnic Tasting Tour: Eat, drink, and learn at the Levinsky Market, where we’ll sample food and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East and try to figure out what is Israeli about Israeli food. This multi-cultural tasting tour will double up as a delicious lunch.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • Bike to the source of the Yarkon River, once one of Israel’s most polluted rivers, but community action has worked to make a significant change.
    • A Farm in the Big City: Venture up to the rooftop of Dizengoff Center, one of Tel Aviv’s most popular shopping malls, to visit the Green in the City Rooftop Farm. Meet representatives from the Livin’Green movement that are growing leafy green organic vegetables in the heart of Tel Aviv and using green transport to sell them to restaurants and supermarkets around the city.
  • FAMILY
    • 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.
    • Stylish Scavengers: Cryptic clues and madcap missions will let you discover, on this scavenger hunt in Neve Zedek, why one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighborhoods feels so young and cool.
    • 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.
  • ALL TRACKS
    • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast
DAY 4
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: Join Leket Israel for a hands-on Tikun Olam activity.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Home-Cooking and Hospitality the Galilee Way.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Hike up to the Montfort Crusader castle.
FAMILY: Walk through a 2,000-year-old water tunnel.
Tue. Aug 22, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • Islam, Judaism and Christianity – The Historical and Human Connection: Meet with Sufi Sheikh Ghassan Manasra.
    • Transcendence and Presence: Sufism is the branch of Islam most often associated with meditation and mysticism. We’ll join Ihab and Orah Ballah in Jaffa and experience Sufi meditation techniques and concepts during a Ziker ceremony.
    • A Time to Glean: Pick your way to a better world as we join the volunteer organization Leket Israel for a hands-on Tikun Olam activity. We'll be harvesting fruits and vegetables that will be donated to the needy.
    • Minority Report: Shefaram is a fascinating but rarely visited ancient town and modern city. An early Jewish rabbinical center operating under Roman rule, it was later a Crusader post and is now an Israeli Arab city with Muslim, Christian, and Druze communities. We’ll meet with residents and hear of their determination to maintain close, respectful ties between the town’s different populations. Highlights of our tour will include:
      • Visiting a local mosque and talking with a muezzin (Muslim clergy) about Islamic practice and life in Israel.
      • The town’s beautiful Roman Catholic church where we’ll hear about the variety of Christian denominations in the area and their relations with the Muslim majority.
      • Our visit to Shefaram will conclude at its now abandoned synagogue and a discussion on what, historically and today, it means to be a minority community in the Land of Israel.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • Stop at the Ancient Roman Aqueduct in Caesarea with the ruins of a past empire to your backs, enjoy the power of the sand, sea, and the rush of the water as you celebrate your journey throughout Israel.
    • Take part in the Palms Project, a live musical meditative experience led by musician, Maya Raviv. Participants are guided through a process of deep introspection and self-exploration.
    • Home-Cooking and Hospitality the Galilee Way: We’ll be welcomed into the home of an Israeli-Arab family to hear about their lives and to enjoy the Galilee’s famous food and hospitality. Our hosts will prepare and serve us a delicious lunch.
    • The Sweet Science of Ice Cream: Coexistence sure tastes good at Buza (Arabic for ice cream). This Arab-Jewish joint venture uses natural ingredients and Italian techniques to create Galilean glida (Hebrew for ice cream). We’ll learn about – and try our own hand at – the science and art of making ice cream, tour Buza’s production area and laboratory, then settle in for some serious ice cream heaven with a “five-type” tasting session.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • Surf’s Up, SUP’s Up: Standup paddle boarding is a hot new way to enjoy Tel Aviv’s beaches, sunshine, and warm water. SUP’s a user-friendly version of surfing, where paddling and flowing with the sea replace wipe-outs and saltwater in the mouth. Locals are even jettisoning the gym and using SUP for core and cardio training, for pilates, and as a great way to meditate on the Mediterranean.
    • Hike from the Goren Park down through the Keziv dry riverbed and up to the Montfort Crusader castle.
  • FAMILY
    • Drive along the coast and back in time 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.
    • Walk through the 2,000-year-old water tunnel at Park Alona, the water source for ancient Caesarea.
    • The Sweet Science of Ice Cream: Coexistence sure tastes good at Buza (Arabic for ice cream). This Arab-Jewish joint venture uses natural ingredients and Italian techniques to create Galilean glida (Hebrew for ice cream). We’ll learn about – and try our own hand at – the science and art of making ice cream, tour Buza’s production area and laboratory, then settle in for some serious ice cream heaven with a “five-type” tasting session.
  • ALL TRACKS:
    • Continue to the hotel for check-in, followed by dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: Study session with a local scholar.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Take part in a Vintner’s Journey.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Full throttle ATV ride.
FAMILY: Celebrate the B'nai Mitzvah ceremony in Ancient Katzrin.
Wed. Aug 23, 2023
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • Shattered Glass and Tikkun Olam: Study session with a local scholar.
    • Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists’ Colony of Tsfat with its galleries, shops, and studios.
    • Walk through the Tsfat Cemetery, including the grave of the mystical master, Rabbi Isaac Luria – “the Ari.”
    • Visit the Livnot uLehibanot work-study program, where participants from abroad study part of the day and spend the remainder of the day rebuilding the Old Quarter of Tsfat.
    • Return to the hotel for dinner.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • Morning dedicated to SPA and wellness treatments (not included in the package) at the hotel.
    • Northern Israel Wine Route: Take part in a Vintner’s Journey along the Golan and Galilean wine route, exploring some of the new and very successful wineries that have sprouted in recent years, among them Galil, Na’ama, Dalton, Pelter, Odem, and Golan Heights Wineries. Conversation with winemakers and connoisseurs, as well as wine tasting, included.
    • Cooking a Love Story: Join Liz & Shai in their home on the Merom Golan Kibbutz for a meal 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.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • It’s All Action With an ATV: Go full throttle during an ATV adventure on the Golan Heights. Your self-driven ride on an all-terrain vehicle will include beautiful northern nature, insights into the strategically vital Golan, and a whole lot of speed, so don’t forget your driver’s license.
    • Stop for a picnic lunch in the nature.
    • 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.
    • Return to the hotel for dinner.
  • FAMILY
    • Celebrating and Connecting to Our Past: Celebrate the B'nai Mitzvah ceremony in Ancient Katzrin. In the authentic reconstructed Talmudic-era synagogue, connect with ancestors from long ago as you celebrate this milestone. Mazal Tov!
    • Northern Borders, Northern Battles: We'll gaze across the Golan and into Syria from the top of Mount Bental and gain powerful insights into Israel's geopolitical and security situation. Analyze the current challenges Israel faces on its northern border, examine the impact of the tragic civil war in Syria, and hunker down in bunkers from the vital battles that took place here during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
    • 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. Water shoes are recommended.
    • Return to the hotel for dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 6
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: The Texts of the pioneers, Rachel the Poetess, Naomi Shemer, and more.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Smoothie-making workshop.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Take a camel for a test drive.
FAMILY: Explore Jewish life of 2,000 years ago, including donkey rides, costumes, pita baking, and more.
Thu. Aug 24, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • The Texts of the Pioneers: Study session in the Kinneret Cemetery. The area around the Kinneret was a stronghold for early Zionist experiments in communal living and collective agriculture. We’ll visit the graves of some of the iconic figures in pioneering Zionist culture buried at the Kinneret Cemetery including Rachel the Poetess, the Zionist Marxist philosopher Ber Borochov, and Naomi Shemer, the “first lady of Israeli song,” and discuss communal life in Israel then and now.
    • Environmental Issues Don’t Stop at the Green Line: Explore how Israeli and Palestinian environmental problems and projects are inextricably linked to each other with Eco Peace Middle East, an organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists to carry out cooperative ecological efforts. They will be our guides on a tour of the Hefer Valley. We’ll examine environmental issues hitting both Central Israel and the West Bank, see how giant sea turtles and other wildlife are affected by cross-border pollution, and visit an Israeli wastewater treatment plant that deals with the pollution crisis on the other side of the Green Line.
    • 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 Jerusalem hotel.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • The Land of Goats and Honey: In Israel there are about 2,400 farmers raising sheep and goats, keeping a total of about 520,000 animals. Join a farmer for a hands-on experience in modern-day goat farming. We’ll learn about raising and milking goats and end our visit with cheese tasting.
    • Get Holistic, Get Herbal: Bara Herbs is using plants mentioned in the Bible to get into the international market for herbal medicines. See how the combination of Israeli plants, Chinese medical knowledge, and Western herbalism is creating natural medicines, food additives, and cosmetics. We’ll also experience how healthy can be delicious with a smoothie-making workshop.
    • 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 the Haas Promenade 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 Jerusalem hotel.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • Springtime All Year Round: Cycle or take green vehicles around the Spring Valley Park. As we pass the bubbling brooks and fishponds, we’ll learn the scientific and biblical explanations for why this part of the arid Beit Shean Valley is blessed all year round with abundant streams and springs. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits.
    • Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu is the site for an interactive tour of the Bio-Bee fields, where environmentally-friendly ways to protect crops, which use flies, bees, and owls rather than pesticides, are developed. We’ll see how this collective kibbutz is thriving in 21st-century Israel and is strengthening environmentalism in the international marketplace.
    • Are You Ready for the Desert? Swap the hustle and bustle of the big city for the silence and stillness of the Judean Desert. At Kfar Hanokdim, we’ll experience desert life and hospitality.
    • How Fast Can This Thing Go? Accompanied by Bedouin guides, take a camel for a test drive as you ride into the heart of the Kanaim Valley.
    • A Desert Feast: Our traditional “hafla” dinner will begin with Arab salads, thick tahini, spicy matbucha, and more. The main dish will be meat accompanied by Bedouin-style pita bread and mansaf, stuffed vegetables with yellow rice and lentils.
    • Check into your guestrooms.
  • FAMILY
    • 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.
    • Visit Kfar Kedem in the Galilee for a hands-on family experience, exploring Jewish life of 2,000 years ago, including donkey rides, costumes, pita baking and more.
    • 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 the Haas Promenade 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 Jerusalem hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 7
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: Explore the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Kotel.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Special performance by the Vertigo Dance Company.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Sunrise climb via the Roman Ramp to the top of Masada.
FAMILY: Take a walking tour through Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish Quarter.
Fri. Aug 25, 2023
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • What Makes a Place Holy: Morning of study with educators and teachers of the Pardes Institute.
    • 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.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • Experience a special performance by the Vertigo Dance Company that combines exhilarating movement with important social messages. Afterwards, talk with the dancers and their Artistic Director.
    • Visit the Ella Winery and meet with winemakers and sample some of the best new Israeli wine.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • The Last Stand: Sunrise climb via the Roman Ramp 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 the Haas Promenade 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 Jerusalem hotel.
  • FAMILY
    • 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. From 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 Byzantine-era columns.
    • 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.
  • ALL TRACKS:
    • Jerusalem, the City of Shabbat: Join Jerusalem in welcoming the Sabbath, the highpoint of the Jewish week, with Kabbalat Shabbat services.
    • Communal festive Shabbat dinner.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 8
(OPTIONAL) SHABBAT MORNING SERVICES AT A LOCAL SYNAGOGUE FOLLOWED BY JERUSALEM EXCURSIONS
Sat. Aug 26, 2023
  • (Optional) Shabbat morning services at a local synagogue.
  • Morning at leisure to relax, enjoy the hotel pool and amenities, or join one of the following:
  • OPTION 1
    • Take a guided walking tour to the heart of Jewish life, history, and holiness, The Old City’s Jewish Quarter. Among the highlights: walking the ancient ramparts, climbing to the rooftops for a bird’s-eye view of the diverse, yet closely bound, communities of the Old City, walking through the Cardo, the main street of Roman-ruled Jerusalem, and experiencing the atmosphere at the Kotel, widely considered Judaism’s holiest site.
  • OPTION 2
    • Guided tour of the Tower of David Museum where the story of Jerusalem is told with exciting exhibitions and in an amazing location.
    • Visit some Christian sites, including the Pool of Bethesda and St. Anne's Crusader Church, followed by a walk along the Via Dolorosa, passing by the Ecce Homo Arch and the Sisters of Zion Convent, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • OPTION 3
    • Visit the wonderfully creative Israel Museum and its fascinating collections that range from archaeology and the Dead Sea scrolls to Jewish life and art, and from an open-air model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple to contemporary Israeli and European art.
  • ALL:
    • Return to the hotel for afternoon programs.
    • Three Stars in the Jerusalem Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special journey with a communal Havdallah ceremony.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 9
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: Palestinian Life in East Jerusalem with Encounter.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Enjoy the culinary delights of a chocolate workshop.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Experience a game of wheelchair basketball.
FAMILY: Float into happiness in the Dead Sea.
Sun. Aug 27, 2023
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • Al Quds – Palestinian Life in East Jerusalem: Join with Encounter, a nonpartisan educational organization trying to create more constructive and better-informed leadership with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Meet with locals and explore the “other Jerusalem” – the lives, neighborhoods, and beliefs of the Palestinians of East Jerusalem.
    • One City or Two? Go beyond the headlines as we explore the geopolitics of Jerusalem with site visits and discussions on key issues. Learn more about the complex relationship between predominantly Arab East Jerusalem and the city’s mostly Jewish western part. We’ll encounter the Security Barrier and discuss its effects.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • Experience and practice some Torah Yoga.
    • Comfort You Can Eat: Enjoy the culinary delights of a chocolate workshop at the Cacao Forest. 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.
    • Experience the “beer revolution” currently taking place in Israel, through a visit to the Srigim Brewery and meet with brew-master Ofer Ronen.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • Walking the Land: Nahal Katlav is one of the most exciting hikes in the Judean Hills. The hike works its way down the mountain from the Bar Giora Ridge to the Sorek Stream and provides a beautiful and challenging walk through trees, reeds, and archaeological ruins.
    • Experience a game of wheelchair basketball. Our team will include adults and children with disabilities who are receiving life-changing support and opportunities at the Accessible Health Zone.
  • FAMILY
    • 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.
    • 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.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
DAY 10
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS BY TRACK
WISDOM & JUSTICE: Meet with United Hatzalah volunteers.
WELLNESS & FOOD: Get to the bottom of Israel’s love affair with hummus.
ADVENTURE & NATURE: Rappel down Jerusalem's historic Old City walls.
FAMILY: Take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves.
Mon. Aug 28, 2023
  • WISDOM & JUSTICE
    • The Art of Tikkun Olam: Meet elderly, often impoverished, immigrants who are finding a sense of purpose and creating beautiful artwork at Yad LaKashish (Lifeline for the Elderly). We’ll hear personal stories and see the aging artisans in action, talk with those running this inspirational organization, and check out the fabulous gift shop that supports this endeavor.
    • Meet with United Hatzalah volunteers, serving the needs of Israel’s largest city whose population continues to grow.
    • Tzedek and Tzedakah: Study session with educators from the Pardes Institute.
  • WELLNESS & FOOD
    • A Taste of Tradition: A Culinary & Culture Tour of the Ultra-Orthodox World. There is no better – or more enjoyable – way to experience the essence of a culture than through its traditional food. With Encounters Outside the Box, a member of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community will take you on a tasting tour, sharing the unique background of each dish between bites. We will explore the evolution of Haredi foods, learn how and when they are traditionally served, identify the chef's origin through the dish, and hear the stories behind the recipes.
    • Chickpea Heaven: Get to the bottom of Israel’s love affair with hummus during lunch and a tasting tour of the Mahane Yehuda Shuk (market). We’ll check out the Shuk’s best hummus joints and a tehina factory, taste chickpea candies, and decide what’s tastier: old-fashioned or modern hummus. Along the way, you’ll find out everything you ever wanted to know about hummus but were afraid to ask.
  • ADVENTURE & NATURE
    • Plant a tree at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory and gain insight into the urban wildlife of Jerusalem through bird-watching and bird-banding.
    • Rappeling down Jerusalem's historic Old City walls is sure to get your adrenaline rushing. Over the centuries, many invaders have sought to overcome the Old City walls, but we'll be focusing on peace, excitement, and fun with an abseiling experience led by trained instructors.
  • FAMILY
    • 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.
    • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Mahane Yehuda open-air market.
    • Diggin' for Roots: We'll literally get in touch with the land and history of Israel during an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves. Get your hands dirty uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2300 years ago before crawling through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth. The non-crawlers among us will visit a more spacious part of the cave complex in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Return to Jerusalem and to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 11
CHALLENGES AND HOPES FOR THE FUTURE
Tue. Aug 29, 2023
  • Challenges and Hopes for the future with speaker.
  • Extending Our Hands: Take part in Tikkun Olam together with Keren BeKavod, the Center for Social and Communal Activity of Israel's Reform Movement. This organization assists populations in distress with an emphasis on social empowerment. They help Israelis from all walks of life, regardless of religion, place of origin, or political affiliation. We will lend a hand by packing boxes of food to be sent to residents in need.
  • AFTERNOON:
  • OPTION 1:
    • Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an essential emotional and educational experience. Your tour will include: the Avenue of the Righteous, the Historical Museum, and the Children’s Memorial, commemorating the 1.5 million children who perished during the Holocaust.
  • OPTION 2:
    • Explore the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem, and learn how the city was administered during the First Temple period.
    • Join the Temple Mount Sifting Project and help reveal the secrets of the Temple Mount. A chance to touch a part of history through sifting and sorting artifacts.
  • OPTION 3:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • OPTION 4:
    • Discover Hanevi’im Street (Street of the Prophets) and learn about the extraordinary people that lived in one of Jerusalem’s first modern neighborhoods. Visit the homes of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language, and artist Anna Ticho. See the Ethiopian Church, the Italian Hospital, and other buildings.
    • Visit the Italian Museum and learn about this lesser known, but fascinating, Jewish community.
  • ALL:
    • Farewell dinner at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
    • Group transfers to Ben Gurion International Airport for those departing on flights this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 12
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Wed. Aug 30, 2023
  • Return to the USA.

RATES & LODGING

Cost p/p in double room
$7,545
Cost p/p in single room
$9,540
Child As 3rd (Reduction)
- ($1,240)

Cost of accommodations for pre & post nights including breakfast and all taxes:
-Tel Aviv, Hilton $525,- per night per double occupancy room, $510,- per night per single occupancy room
-Jerusalem: Inbal $385,- per night per double occupancy room, $370,- per night per single occupancy room

*All rates are subject to availability.
Registration open

Tel Aviv: Hilton

Upper Galilee: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel

Jerusalem: The Inbal

What to expect

  • 9 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.
  • Group arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • Group departure transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches & 5 dinners.
  • Water on the bus.
  • Porterage at the airport & hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Gratuities.
  • Security.
  • 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.
  • 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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