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.
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- Art & Culture
- Current Affairs
- Expert Scholar
- Local Specialists
- Social Justice
- Depart Houston to Israel.
- Arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
- Check in at your hotel.
- Meet your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
- Stop at the Haas Promenade for a traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanksgiving.
- Shabbat Shalom! Participate in Kabbalat Shabbat with hundreds of Jerusalemites at the Old Train Station.
- Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.
- From Cana’an to Israel – Timeline of the Land: Discussion led by your tour educator.
- Shabbat Shalom. Take advantage of the option to attend services at local synagogues.
- Visit 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.
- Continue through Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish Quarter and experience the center of Jewish life, history, and holiness. Among the highlights will be:
- 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.
- At the end of the Via Dolorosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is believed to have been crucified. This is one of Christianity’s great pilgrimage sites and a testament to the remarkable diversity of the Christian world. It includes an empty tomb where it is said that Jesus was buried and resurrected.
- Our Thoughts, Our Journey: Come together to share experiences and feelings from your first day in Jerusalem.
- Mark the end of Shabbat with a Havdalah ceremony overlooking the Old City.
- Experience Jerusalem night life, including: The Mamilla Mall, the First Station, the Ben Yehuda and Nahalat Shiva Pedestrian Malls.
- Session led by Neil Lazarus, an internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of Middle East politics, public diplomacy and effective communication training.
- Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
- Visit the National Military Cemetery on Mount Herzl to recall landmark events in modern Israeli history for which these soldiers gave their lives. Follow with a visit to the graves of Theodor Herzl, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres in the adjacent section for Leaders of the Nation.
- Dinner at a local restaurant and time to reflect on the day.
- Dialogue with Dr. Rachel Korazim, a renowned educator who uses song, poetry, and literature to shine a light on Israeli life and society.
- Visit 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.
- Drive through the Israeli “Capitol Hill”: along the Knesset – Israel’s Parliament and its famous Menorah, the Supreme Court building, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Israeli National Bank, and the Israel National Library.
- Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Mahane Yehuda open-air market. Use your Yamishuk voucher to enjoy lunch in the market.
- Travel through the city of Jerusalem, exploring some of its political and diplomatic complexities – including the ‘Security Barrier’ – to gain a behind-the headlines insight into current developments.
- Watch the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum, a cinematic celebration of sight and sound depicting the story of Jerusalem.
- Check out of the hotel.
- As we drive north 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.
- 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.
- Stop at Capernaum. Often called the “town of Jesus,” this ancient fishing village was a mixed Christian Jewish area where Jesus and his disciple Peter were based. Explore the church and synagogue that have been discovered here and see the many pilgrims who flock to the area.
- Check into the hotel, followed by dinner.
- Time for some group processing, and brainstorming ideas for the classrooms in Houston.
- Stop by Tel Faher, an abandoned Syrian outpost that once threatened the northern towns of Israel. The view offers an invaluable insight into the challenges of the 1967 Six Day War and its rapid and unexpected conclusion.
- Grapes of the Golan: a tasting tour at a winery after visiting the barrel room and hearing an explanation of the winemaking process.
- 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.
- Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists' Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
- Return to the hotel for dinner.
- J² Salon Talk: Unpacking Utopia - The Kibbutz Then & Now. The kibbutz used to be a central institution in the Zionist revolution – socially, culturally, and even strategically. Much has changed, though, about the kibbutz and about Israel since those early years. What does a kibbutz look like today in the 21st century and how do the changes over the years represent shifts in Israeli self-image and society?
- Check out of the hotel.
- From the top of Mount Carmel view the Baha’i Gardens and gold-domed Shrine of the Bab, one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i religion.
- Visit the Leo Baeck School in Haifa, the Israeli Reform Movement’s flagship school, which provides innovative educational opportunities and community center services.
- Stop at the Ancient Roman Aqueduct, located on the pristine beaches of Caesarea.
- In Petach Tikva, our sister city, we'll see some of the programs initiated and implemented through our partnership.
- 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.
- Check into the hotel.
- 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. Discussion and brainstorming with ANU’s educational staff.
- Explore Nachalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv’s arts and crafts market before we move on to and the Carmel Market.
- Visit Rabin Square and Memorial dedicated to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin - his life, legacy, and the 1995 assassination.
- Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat dinner at your hotel.
- Walking tour in some of Tel Aviv's most picturesque neighborhoods.
- Free time to explore the city or for last minute shopping and packing.
- Time to reflect and where we have been and what we are taking home. Share the experiences and discoveries that have inspired you during this trip.
- Late check out and farewell dinner.
- Transfer to the airport and check-in for flight.
- Return to U.S.
RATES & LODGING
What to expect
- 8 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included.
- 9 days of touring with a tour educator (guide), in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
- Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 6 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.
- 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.
- Gratuities: Recommend guidelines for tipping are provided in the terms section.
- 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.
- 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.
- Protect your investment for $495 p/p: Should you cancel your trip up to 5 days before your departure for any reason, our POM program offers you a trip refund. Call 888-230-6008 or e-mail: [email protected].
- Please click here to view our full terms (T&C’s). These T&C’s apply to all reservations created within J2 Adventures.
DISCOVER NEW WORLDS.
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.