Israel Your Way 2023
with The Jewish Federation
of Greater Washington

May 8, 2023 - May 13, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Adults Only
  • Duration 6 DAYS
  • Group Size 70+
  • Price From $5,699
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 extension. Click here for details.

  •   Archaeology
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Current Affairs
  •   Expert Scholar
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Innovation
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Social Justice

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
Mon. May 8, 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 educators who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • 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.
  • Welcome cocktail dinner at a Tel Aviv location.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 2
Tue. May 9, 2023
  • Private breakfast with a guest speaker.
  • Lunch included for all tracks.
  • TRACK 1: SPIRITUALITY & MINDFULNESS
    Creating Sacred Spaces and Places
    • Islam, Judaism and Christianity: 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 (sufi-meditation ceremony).
    • 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.
    • We Declare Our Vision for Israel: We’ll join BINA, the Jewish Movement for Social Change and their “We Declare” program in which we will debate whether Israel’s Declaration of Independence can be a living guide in the struggle to strengthen democracy, pluralism and equal rights.
  • TRACK 2: POLITICS & SECURITY
    The Arab Minorities
    • Drive to Lod, a mixed Jewish-Arab city, for an in-depth look at this unique community. Visit the Community Center, one of the few in Israel which serves both Jews and Arabs. Walk the city with a local resident and discuss the current social climate of the city.
    • The Arab Community and State-Minority Relations in Israel: Dialogue focused on whether Arab-Jewish coexistence in Israel is an achievable reality or simply a pipe dream, with the participation of Arab Members of Knesset.
  • TRACK 3: CULTURE IN ACTION
    Creating a Diverse Culture
    • Drive to Haifa to train and play basketball with Hapoel Haifa, followed by a tour through Haifa to view the results of this team's efforts with youth-at-risk in multi-cultural schools.
    • Tasting tour of the Haifa market - multiculturalism at his best.
    • Visit the Haifa Social Situation Room (Smart Social Theater). This is a new medium for decision-making, city planning and management. The Social Situation Room develops new methodologies for collecting and analyzing data related to socio-economic issues and enables informed decisions to be made, based on a wide range of data and advanced spatial visualizations.
  • All TRACKS: Return to Tel Aviv for a free evening.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Private Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 3
Wed. May 10, 2023
  • TRACK 1: SPIRITUALITY & MINDFULNESS
    Spirituality and Community Living
    • Visit Hararit, the capital of Transcendental Meditation in Israel, a small Jewish community situated in the heart of the Galilee. Meet founders to discuss their quest to build a spiritual community.
    • Communal search for Spirituality: Study session with a local scholar.
    • Take a mindfulness hike to the Hararit lookout.
    • Visit Kibbutz Hanaton, founded by the Israeli Masorti (Conservative) Movement, to meet with founders and discuss some of the challenges and triumphs of modern Zionist pioneering.
    • Bathe in the Waters of Hope: Explore water as a source of spiritual change. At Kibbutz Hanaton, we'll meet Rabbi Dr. Haviva Ner-David who founded Sh'maya, the only Mikveh (ritual bath) open to all. Hear why she thinks that the ancient Jewish custom of immersing in the ritual bath remains a spiritually powerful experience of hope.
  • TRACK 2: POLITICS & SECURITY
    Sovereignty in the Negev
    • Bedouin – 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: We will visit Rahat, the largest Bedouin settlement in Israel, often called the only Bedouin city in the world. 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.
      OR
    • Working the Land - HaShomer HaChadash: Engage in a joint study program as we discuss whether farming can still play a powerful role in building the country and its people. Meet young Israeli city-slickers and find out why they’re embracing the challenges of agricultural volunteering. Live off the land with a cooking in nature adventure.
    • So Near Yet So Far: At the Black Arrow Monument, we will look out over nearby Gaza City and Jabalya and hear about life in the Gaza Strip, a crowded, impoverished area where 1. 85 million Palestinians live. The monument itself is a reminder that the contemporary tensions along the Gaza border have deep roots. The memorial honors Israeli soldiers who died during 1955’s Operation Black Arrow against Egyptian army posts in Gaza.
  • TRACK 3: CULTURE IN ACTION
    Israeli Culture – Touching Raw Nerves; Who is "IN" and Who is "OUT"?
    • From the River to the Sea: Mountain bikes will be our vehicles of choice as we hit the paths and trails of Tel Aviv’s sprawling Yarkon Park.
    • How they see us: Explore the new ANU Museum of the Jewish People, followed by an in-depth conversation about the image of Diaspora Jewry amongst Israeli society.
    • The Art of Immigrants: Meet artist Zoya Cherkasky in her studio to discover how Israel is portrayed through her artwork, followed by a meeting with African women seeking refuge in Tel Aviv. See how they work towards a brighter future by creating beautiful, crochete products.
    • Explore the Jaffa Vibe: Take a musical tour through Jaffa with Neta Weiner, a musician, rapper, and social activist, and House of System Ali, an organization which uses music, texts, and art to create new partnerships in Israel. We’ll learn about Jaffa's historical importance (mentioned in the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale), its contemporary status as a mixed Jewish-Arab city, and more as we explore the multicultural identities, histories, and sounds of Jaffa.
  • All TRACKS: Private dinner at a venue.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 4
Thu. May 11, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel and depart.
  • Lunch included for all tracks.
  • TRACK 1: SPIRITUALITY & MINDFULNESS
    From Thinking to Doing – Applying Knowledge, Practicing Good
    • Goal Setting: Meet with Tal Ben Shahar, one of the leaders in the field of positive psychology.
      OR
    • Psychology and Conflict: Dialogue with Professor Eran Halperin, of the psychology department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Head of the aChord Center. The aChord Center was established in response to the field's need for practical knowledge and innovative tools to best deal with psychological barriers in intergroup relations.
    • Study session at the Hartman Institute, focusing on spirituality in the modern world. Torah Yoga session overlooking the Old City.
    • Sustainability: Jerusalem 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.
  • TRACK 2: POLITICS & SECURITY
    Democratic and Jewish - The Challenge
    • Refugees: Visit a project dedicated to assisting refugees from Ukraine.
    • Meet with Ariella De Porto, Director of JAFI's unit for Aliyah, Absorption & Special Operations to learn about and discuss Ukrainian Aliyah and resettlement. Learn about the wide variety of issues that have been raised with the arrival of these refugees from Ukraine.
    • Talk with a leading scholar at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) about the challenges facing Israel as a Jewish and democratic State and what can be done to bolster the nation’s democratic values and institutions.
    • One City or Two? Go beyond the headlines to 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 section.
  • TRACK 3: CULTURE IN ACTION
    Dissolving Boundaries – within Ourselves and between Others
    • Hiking in the Hills: Stretch your legs with a hike that will take you from the tree-laden beauty of the Jerusalem Hills down to the Sataf Springs. Along the way, witness how ancient methods of agricultural cultivation are being revived in modern Israel.
    • Activism through Art: Mekudeshet explores the holy and the secular, the past, present, and future through art that reflects Jerusalem's complexities. Meet artists from a variety of creative disciplines and from different communities who turn the social, cultural, and political challenges of Jerusalem into fertile ground for creativity and social change. This art tour offers a unique insight into Jerusalem's diversity and complexity through the prism of local artists.
    • Cinema as a Window into Immigrant Culture in Israel: A Glimpse into Israeli Society through film with the Ma’aleh Film School. Ma’aleh’s unique, cutting-edge films attempt to foster a deeper understanding of the relationship between religious and secular Jews. While the school’s graduates are shaping the future of Israeli film and television, they also provide a first-of-its-kind video-therapy for youth-at-risk, Ethiopian immigrants, terror victims and adults with special needs.
  • ALL: Celebrate our arrival to Jerusalem with a special ceremony and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanksgiving.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 5
Fri. May 12, 2023
  • Pre-registration required for morning program options:
    • OPTION 1:
      • Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an essential emotional and educational experience. In addition to the Avenue of the Righteous, the Historical Museum, and the Children’s Memorial, there’ll be special tracks for repeat visitors who may not yet have seen the world’s largest collection of Holocaust art that reveals the lives and heroism of artists engulfed by the Shoah. Another option for repeaters will be to explore the Valley of the Communities, a 2. 5-acre monument dug out of bedrock. Engraved on its stone walls are the names of 5,000 Jewish communities that were swallowed up by the Shoah.
      • Continue to Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery where the leaders of the nation are buried.
      OPTION 2:
      • Walking tour to the heart of Jewish life, history, and holiness, The Old City’s Jewish Quarter, 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.
      • Walking tour to the Tower of David Museum where the story of Jerusalem is told with exciting exhibitions and in an amazing location.
      OPTION 3:
      • Visit the Israel Museum with 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.
      • 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.
  • ALL: Blessings, Challah, and Friends: Shabbat dinner is the traditional highlight of the Jewish week and the Jewish stomach. We’ll come together with friends old and new to enjoy the rituals, recipes, and relaxation of Shabbat in Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 6
Sat. May 13, 2023
  • Shabbat walking tours in Jerusalem.
  • Afternoon mission wrap-up conversation in a private hall.
  • Seuda Shlishit.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Three group departure transfers to Ben Gurion Airport for departure flights.
Overnight: Flight Meals: Breakfast and Seuda Shlishit

RATES & LODGING

participants
70+
Cost p/p in double room
$5,699
Cost p/p in single room
$7,124
A minimum household gift of $1,800 to Federation's 2022 and 2023 Annual Campaign is required to participate on the main mission.
$5,000 minimum household gift to Federation’s 2022 and 2023 Annual Campaign is required to participate on the pre-trip.
If you are under 45 years old and interested in learning more about available subsidies, please reach out to [email protected]
Registration open

Tel Aviv: Hilton

David Citadel Jerusalem

Jerusalem: David Citadel

What to expect

  • Daily breakfast, including 1 private breakfast at the Hilton on May 9th, 2 lunches, 3 dinners & 1 Seuda Shlishit.
  • 6 nights' accommodations.
  • 6 days of touring with a tour educator (guide) in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Walking tour on Shabbat.
  • 3 Group arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 3 Group departure transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • Water and snacks on the bus during touring days.
  • Porterage at the airport & hotels.
  • 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.

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