Israel with Friends

Led by Rabbi Brian Strauss & Lisa Shapiro Strauss

Jun 17, 2024 - Jun 28, 2024

  • Who’s Going Adults Only
  • Trip Type Private
  • Duration 12 DAYS
  • Group Size 30
  • Price From $7,195
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.

  •   Archaeology
  •   Current Affairs
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Social Justice
  •   Active
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Food Tasting Tour
  •   Heritage
  •   Home Hospitality
  •   Jeep Tour
  •   Nature Walks

Program Itinerary

Mon. Jun 17, 2024
  • Depart the USA.
Overnight: Flight
Tue. Jun 18, 2024
  • Arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Opening dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Dinner
Wed. Jun 19, 2024
  • Drive to the City of David and explore the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem.
  • Start your visit to the Jewish Quarter at the Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish part of the Old City.
  • Stop by the Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its Byzantine-era columns.
  • 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.
  • Visit Ezrat Israel, the pluralistic section of the Kotel (Western Wall).
  • Culinary tasting tour in the Old City.
  • Jerusalem and the Cross - Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, will take us on a tour of the communities and holy sites of the Old City’s Christian quarter. We’ll experience the long history and astonishing variety of Christian groups in Jerusalem, and contemplate the complex situation facing Christian minority groups living in Israel and the modern-day Middle East.
  • Return to the hotel to rest and freshen up.
  • Explore the Western Wall Tunnel in the evening.
  • Dinner at a local farm to table restaurant by the name of Shukriya.
  • Optional: Night visit to the Mahane Yehuda Shuk (open air market) at night with its bars and cafes, see the portraits of local personalities that have been painted on store shutters, and sample popular cocktails.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Thu. Jun 20, 2024
  • Take the cable car to the top of Masada.
  • Float into happiness on the Dead Sea where the feeling of weightlessness is great fun.
  • Hike in Nahal David, part of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
Fri. Jun 21, 2024
  • 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:
    • OPTION 1:
      • 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.
      • A memorial service where we will pay tribute to those who were lost. It will include the opportunity to talk about family members and loved ones who died during the Shoah.
    • OPTION 2:
      • The Art Museum is the world’s largest collection of Holocaust art, revealing the lives and heroism of artists engulfed by the Shoah. These artists risked their lives to create, often under the most harrowing conditions, an artistic record of the catastrophe.
      • The Valley of the Communities is a 2.5-acre monument dug out of bedrock. Engraved on its stone walls are the names of 5,000 Jewish communities that were destroyed by the Shoah.
      • The Sculpture Garden with its powerful and poignant artworks.
  • 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 the hotel to rest and prepare for Shabbat.
  • Go to the Western Wall in the evening before Shabbat.
  • Join Jerusalem in welcoming the Sabbath with Kabbalat Shabbat services.
  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Sat. Jun 22, 2024
  • Optional Synagogue crawl led by Rabbi Strauss.
  • Stroll along the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City.
  • Tour the Tower of David Museum and explore the city's history – from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine:
    • Poetry and Jerusalem a study session with Educator and Poet Shlomit Nissimm Naor.
    • Mark the end of Shabbat with a friends circle Havdalah ceremony overlooking the Old City.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Breakfast
Sun. Jun 23, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Spend time in Tsfat, where you will:
    • Visit the Ari Synagogue.
    • See the Caro Synagogue, built originally, like the Ari Synagogue, in the 16th century.
    • Walk through the Artists’ Colony.
    • Meet with David Friedman, a Tsfat artist inspired by Kabbalah.
    • Visit the Hula Nature Reserve, home to thousands of storks, cranes, pelicans, and flamingos. Enjoy bike-riding and golf-carting.
  • Check into the hotel to rest and freshen up.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Mon. Jun 24, 2024
  • Meet with a research expert from the Alma Research and Education Center at an overlook of the border.
  • Go for a jeep tour of the Golan Heights.
  • Enjoy a hike in the beautiful Tel Dan Nature Reserve.
  • Wine tasting at a local boutique winery.
  • Join Liz and Shai for a home hospitality meal in their home. Liz, an actress and raconteur, will share their life and love story. 
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Tue. Jun 25, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • 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. The tour will include:
    • Visit the Zippori National Park, known for its extraordinary ancient mosaics and its central role in Jewish life after the destruction of the Temple.
    • Visit Rish Lakish Olive Press, located on Moshav Zippori in the Galilee.
  • Enter Tel Aviv and check into the hotel.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast
DAY 10
Wed. Jun 26, 2024
  • Stop at the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv and to our journey in Israel.
  • Visit the Peres Peace Center, created by the late Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister and President of Israel.
  • Eat, drink, and learn at Levinsky Market, where we’ll sample food, sweets, and spices from all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
  • Jerusalem is often seen as the city of meaning and memory while Tel Aviv as a soulless urban sprawl. We will take a walking tour up and down Rothschild Boulevard as we search for the soul of Tel Aviv. A walking beit midrash will reveal how Tel Aviv personalities and famous icons, as well as architecture and public art, tell the compelling and even radical story of Israel’s first Hebrew city.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 11
Thu. Jun 27, 2024
  • Join Professor Reuven Hazan of the Political Science Department at Hebrew University for an introduction into Israel's turbulent political scene.
  • Meet African women seeking refuge in Tel Aviv. Learn about Kuchinate (meaning crochet in Tigrinya), a collective that celebrates African art and culture while empowering women asylum-seekers.
  • J² Salon Talk: The “Z” Word - The Many Faces of Zionism. Zionism aspired to be the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, and in the 20th century achieved and even surpassed many of its initial goals. But given Israel’s current challenges and realities, how relevant is Zionism today?
  • 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.
  • Late check out of the hotel and farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Group transfer to the airport.
Overnight: Flight Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 12
Fri. Jun 28, 2024
  • Until we meet again.


Cost p/p in double room
Cost p/p in single room

Jerusalem: Waldorf Astoria

Rosh Pina: Mitzpe Hayamim

Tel Aviv: The David Kempinski

What to expect

  • 9 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included.
  • 10 days of touring with a tour educator (guide), 9 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches & 6 dinners.
  • 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.
  • 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 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. 


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