Houston CommUNITY Journey to Israel 2024

Led by Olivia and Eric Barvin

Sep 17, 2024 - Sep 26, 2024

  • Who’s Going Our Community
  • Trip Type Mission
  • Duration 10 DAYS
  • Group Size 80+
  • Price From $6,350
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.

Once you have registered for the trip, you can also register for the pre-trip. Click here for details.

  •   Archaeology
  •   Current Affairs
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Active
  •   Cooking Workshop
  •   Food Tasting Tour

Program Itinerary

Tue. Sep 17, 2024
  • Depart for your flight to Israel.
Overnight: Flight
Wed. Sep 18, 2024
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Opening dinner at the hotel with welcome remarks by mission chairs.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Dinner
Thu. Sep 19, 2024
  • Speaker: Yossi Klein Halevi - journalist, scholar, and author.
  • Track 1: Enterprising Israel.
    • Meet with Rony Zarom, Founder and Chair of Unistream, an organization working with underprivileged teens across Israel to narrow socioeconomic gaps. Through its entrepreneurship platform, teens learn skills, develop confidence, build networks, and most importantly, they are encouraged to dream about a better future. Interact with participants, hear their pitches and see young entrepreneurs in the making.
    • Sustainability: Market tour focusing on food security with Metzilot Hamazon, The Jerusalem Food Rescuers, whose aim is to create a more just and sustainable urban food system with less waste.
    • The population boom has forced Israel to build at a rapid pace and to think about the character of neighborhoods, preserve the ancient, embrace cutting-edge design, and consider cost-of-living challenges in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Meet leaders of the Social Space group who turn derelict houses into social hubs.
  • Track 2: Tasting Israeli culture.
    • Listen to music from "Ecout" a group that is creating, performing, and searching for what contemporary Israeli culture sounds like.
    • Experience the essence of the Ultra-Orthodox culture through their traditional food. Discuss the conceptions and misconceptions about this community, their political influence, and the way in which their religious observance has shaped Israeli society. Meet Esti Shushan, a Haredi feminist activist who started a movement to protest the exclusion of Haredi women from Haredi political parties and from the Haredi public sphere.
    • The Jerusalem Thinkers distillery is part research library, part chemistry lab, part advanced technology workshop, part mind and behavior study center, part design studio, and 100% passion. We’ll learn and taste what Israeli gin is about.
  • Track 3: Israel at Last.
    • Tour Jerusalem's Old City including a climb to the rooftops, overlooking the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the golden Dome of the Rock, and the famous Hurva Synagogue.
    • The Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its Byzantine-era columns.
    • King Hezekiah’s “Broad Wall,” built to protect Jerusalem from invasion 2,700 years ago.
    • Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish Quarter, and the Kotel (Western Wall), widely considered Judaism’s holiest site. We’ll discuss the wall’s historical and contemporary importance and experience its unique atmosphere.
  • Track 4: Israel 2048.
    • HaPzura (Negev Bedouin Periphery): What has happened to sovereignty? And why are the Bedouins an underclass? Hear from Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund about this organization’s efforts to build civic equality and a shared future between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.
    • Tradition and Transformation – Life in a Bedouin City: During our visit to Rahat, the largest Bedouin settlement in Israel, we'll talk with residents and explore how their traditional clan and tribal life, work patterns, and gender roles are being transformed by life in a permanent "city."
    • Meet with members of the Regavim Movement, whose goal is to prevent illegal seizure of state land, and to protect the rule of law and clean government in matters pertaining to land-use policy in the State of Israel.
  • All: Free evening in Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Fri. Sep 20, 2024
  • Option 1: Recommended for first-timers:
    • Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Tour will include the Avenue of the Righteous, the Historical Museum, and the Children's Memorial.
  • Option 2:
    • Guided tour of the newly opened National Library.
  • Option 3:
    • Discuss the ties and tensions between the different faith groups and communities, including a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated by Christian groups as the burial place of Jesus; overlook of Dome of the Rock, which is sacred to Islam; and the Jewish Quarter’s famous Hurva Synagogue. 
  • All:
    • Return to the hotel and prepare for Shabbat.
  • Participate in a musical Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tower of David.
  • Shabbat Dinner at a venue overlooking the Old City.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Sat. Sep 21, 2024
  • Optional services.
  • You're welcome to choose one of these options:
    • Option 1:
      • Explore the pastoral neighborhoods of Yemin Moshe and Mishkenot Sha'ananim, where the great banker and philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore developed the famous windmill and the artists’ colony.
    • Option 2:
      • Stroll along the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City.
    • Option 3:
      • Explore the Israel Museum, housing more than 5,000 years of cultural treasures.
    • Option 4:
      • Walk along the new urban Park Hamesilla (Railway Park), built along the old railroad of Jerusalem.
    • Option 5:
      • Join Leon Wiener Dow, faculty member of the Hartman Institute for a fascinating text study session.
  • All:
    • Mark the end of Shabbat with a communal Havdalah ceremony.
  • Free evening.
    Optional tour of Western Wall Tunnel or Night Spectacular Sound and Light show.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
Sun. Sep 22, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Track 1: Enterprising Israel.
    • Ariel Sharon Park is one of the biggest environmental rehabilitation projects in the world. It is unique in that this plot of land, part of which was polluted and neglected for decades, has been turned into a flourishing metropolitan park. The park covers an area of some 2,000 acres, and borders on the municipal authorities of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Gan, Holon, Azor, and Or Yehuda. At the center of the park is the rehabilitated mound of garbage, Hiriya - a symbol of environmental and social healing.
    • Startup Village Yokneam is Israel's Alternative High-Tech Ecosystem with nearly 150 different companies involved in R&D and roughly $7 billion in technology exports annually. Yokneam’s location is unique, because it is the only startup ecosystem that is not located in an urban area. However it is very close to two of Israel’s most important academic institutions (Technion and the University of Haifa), and the agricultural research station at Neve Yaar.
    • Site visit to one of the programs supported by federation through our primary partners, Jewish Agency and JDC.
    • Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner.
  • Track 2: Tasting Israeli Culture.
    • The Museum of Art at Kibbutz Ein Harod was established by members of the kibbutz,its first home was in a wooden hut that was converted into an art museum in January 1938. Its permanent building, the first museum building to be erected in Israel, was inaugurated in the midst of the War of Independence (October 1948). The building, planned by a kibbutz member, is considered to be one of the earliest and prime examples in the world of modernist museum architecture based on natural lighting.
    • In the home of an Israeli Arab family, we’ll talk over tea and coffee, about their lives and participate in a cooking workshop in which we’ll discover some local culinary secrets.
    • Site visit to one of the programs supported by federation through our primary partners, Jewish Agency and JDC.
    • Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner.
  • Track 3: Israel at Last.
    • Take the cable car to the top of Masada, where Jewish rebels are believed to have made their final attempt to resist Roman invaders (c 74 CE).
    • Float into happiness on the Dead Sea.
    • Visit Kibbutz Gesher on the Jordanian border and descend to the Jordan River bank.
    • Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner.
  • Track 4: Israel 2048.
    • Journey into the heart of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) world with Encounters, a unique social venture that facilitates encounters between the secular and the Orthodox societies in Israel, meet with experts and hear about the challenges facing Israeli society and the growing haredi population.
    • What is Israel doing to deal with climate and other ecological issues that are already affecting everyday life? This and other questions will be posed to senior members of Adam Teva V’din, the leading organization advocating for sustainability of development and preservation of nature and conservation of Israel’s natural resources for future generations. The discussion will take place at the end of a site visit.
    • Site visit to one of the programs supported by federation through our primary partners, Jewish Agency and JDC.
    • Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Mon. Sep 23, 2024
  • Speaker: Sarit Zehavi CEO and founder of the Alma Research and Education Center.
  • In Tsfat, we'll see the Ari and Caro synagogues from the 16th century, artists colony, and meet some colorful characters that are part of the fabric of this mystical city.
  • Drive through the Hula valley to the Golan Heights, where jeeps will take us off-road to appreciate the natural beauty and strategic importance of this region.
  • Return to the hotel to freshen up.
  • Dinner party at a special location.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Tue. Sep 24, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Option 1:
    • Fascinating tour diving deep into the operations of Kibbutz Magal, the Israeli water sector, and Netafim- the pioneer and world leader in smart irrigation. We'll wrap up the experience by tasting different olive oil varieties.
  • Option 2:
    • Visit Sindyanna of Galilee - a non-profit organization that is creating economic opportunities for Arab women, one of Israel’s most underemployed sectors - and sample some of their award-winning olive oil.
  • Option 3:
    • Visit Rakia Mechina founded by a group of pilots in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) who came together to build a post-high school pre-military service leadership academy powered by the IAF heritage, values, and proven practices.
  • All:
    • Celebrate Federation's partnership with Petach Tikva at their iconic art and culture hub.
  • Continue to Tel Aviv and check into the hotel.
  • Free evening in Tel Aviv.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Wed. Sep 25, 2024
  • Guest Speaker: Michael Oren, American-born Israeli historian, author, politician, former ambassador to the United States, former member of the Knesset.
  • Experience the dynamism of Jewish life at the ANU Museum of the Jewish People.
  • Visit the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot and its secret ammunition factory.
  • Explore the Old City of Jaffa, including the flea market – Shuk Hapishpishim.
  • Walk along the Independence Trail in Tel Aviv 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.
  • Late check out.
  • Farewell dinner party.
  • Group transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport and check in for your flight.
Overnight: Flight Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 10
Thu. Sep 26, 2024
  • Arrive back in the US.


Cost p/p in double room
Cost p/p in single room
Early bird discount: Participants who complete registration and pay the $500 per person deposit by December 14 will receive $125 off per person, which will be deducted from the final trip invoice. Registration closed
David Citadel Jerusalem

Jerusalem: David Citadel

Upper Galilee: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel

Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv Hotel

  • Nights: 1 +Late Check Out
  • Room Category: Executive Sea View Rooms
  • Hotel Website

What to expect

  • 7 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included.
  • 8 days with a tour educator (guide), 7 days in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • Daily breakfast, 3 lunches & 5 dinners.
  • The J² adventures App available on the App Store & on Google Play (active 7 days before your departure and throughout your trip).
  • Water on the bus.
  • Porterage at the hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Credit card fees.
  • Group arrival transfers & 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.
  • Gratuities: Recommend guidelines for tipping are provided in the terms section.
  • 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.
  • Peace of Mind Travel Protection Program (POM).
  • 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 of $500 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.
  • 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.



A family vacation to Israel. An adventure of a lifetime traveling with friends to Morocco. A  trip to Poland or Portugal with your community. What do these trips have in common? No matter where you go, you will come back with a fresh perspective and appreciation of the place you visited as well as a heightened awareness of your identity as part of the global Jewish community. 


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


Just like you we're concerned for the future. And like you, J2 stands for equality, tolerance, pluralism, and true democracy.