Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and J² craft 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.
If there is enough demand, we will construct an alternative track for adult travelers who have been to Israel multiple times and are looking for a more in-depth educational experience. If you are interested, please contact Isaiah Benedek at [email protected] for more information. Please note that we cannot guarantee the same price for this experience.
- Art & Culture
- Family Friendly
- Home Hospitality
- Nature Walks
- Street Food
- Current Affairs
- Expert Scholar
- Depart the USA.
- Arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
- Check-in to your hotel (hotel check-in time is generally not before 3:00 p.m.).
- Relax from the journey by walking along the promenade to the port of Tel Aviv.
- Orientation & welcome dinner with your expert educator.
- 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.
- Join locals lunching at the Carmel Market, which sizzles with food options from all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Enjoy one of the recommended eateries.
- Return to the hotel to rest and freshen up.
- Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Beit Daniel in Tel Aviv, led by Rabbi Meir Azari.
- Shabbat communal dinner.
- Optional Shabbat morning services at a local synagogue.
- 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 during different periods of history.
- Return to the hotel.
- At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdalah ceremony. Participate in a Megillah Reading with a local Reform Community.
- Free evening to enjoy Tel Aviv’s food scene and night life.
- Check out of the hotel.
- Celebrate Purim on the streets of Israel.
- Head up north to the mystical and magical city of Tsfat. 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.
- See the Caro Synagogue, built originally, like the Ari Synagogue, in the 16th century. It is where Rabbi Joseph Caro, one of the greatest Jewish legal authorities, taught and lived.
- Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists' Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
- Check into your hotel.
- Visit the Tel Dan Nature Reserve and its Paradise Springs.
- We’ll gaze across the Golan and into Syria from the top of Mount Bental and learn about Israel’s geopolitical and security situation.
- Meet Sarit Zahavi CEO and founder of the Alma Research and Education Center for a border a briefing at several lookouts.
- Go for a jeep tour of the Golan Heights.
- Enjoy a B'nai Mitzvah celebration at one of Israel's most iconic and extraordinary sites.
- Check out of the hotel.
- Visit the Beit She’an National Park, one of Israel’s largest archaeological sites, with its Biblical-period archaeological mound and excavated Roman-Byzantine city.
- Visit Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu for an interactive tour of the Bio-Bee fields.
- As we drive 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.
- Continue to Jerusalem and check into your hotel.
- 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 walk along the rooftops that will provide an extraordinary scene of multi-faith Jerusalem. From this one spot, we will see the domes of three great religious landmarks:
- The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (marking where Jesus is believed to have been crucified);
- The Jewish Quarter’s Hurva synagogue
- The Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s most sacred and beautiful sites.
- The Cardo, the main street of Roman and Byzantine Jerusalem.
- 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.
- No visit to Israel is complete without experiencing the Kotel (Western Wall), widely considered Judaism's holiest site. 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.
- Return to the hotel.
- Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region.
- We'll drive to the Dead Sea Basin, 1412 feet below sea level and the lowest place on earth. The desert, the landscape, and the views are breathtaking.
- Climb via the Snake Path OR 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).
- 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. Short 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.
- Return to the hotel.
- 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:
- 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.
- The Museum of Holocaust Art. The world’s largest collection of Holocaust art reveals 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 Communities, a 2.5-acre monument dug out of bedrock. Engraved on its walls are the names of 5,000 Jewish communities that were swallowed up by the Shoah.
- The Sculpture Garden with its powerful and poignant artworks.
- Take part in 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 perished during the Shoah.
- At the end of our visit, we’ll come together to share reflections and discuss what we have experienced and learned at Yad Vashem.
- Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.
- Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, led by Rabbi Nir Barkin. followed by a home Hospitality Shabbat dinner.
- Check out of the hotel.
- Spend a free Shabbat in Jerusalem, including the following optional self exploration: Discover the Old City Ramparts, the Tower of David Museum, the Israel Museum or the Biblical Zoo.
- Group transfer to the airport.
- Arrive in the US.
RATES & LODGING
The cost of the Israel Mission is based on a minimum of 80 participants, should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed, the cost of the trip will be adjusted and a fee of $500 per person will be added to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
Cost of accommodations for pre & post nights including breakfast and all taxes:
-Tel Aviv: David Kempinski $600,- per night per double occupancy room, $580,- per night per single occupancy room.
-Jerusalem: David Citadel $520,- per night per double occupancy room, $505,- per night per single occupancy room.
*All rates are subject to availability. Registration open
What to expect
- 9 nights' accommodations.
- 9 days of touring with a tour educator (guide), 9 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus. 2 guides & 2 buses included.
- 1 field representative (hostess) throughout the trip.
- Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 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 airport & hotels.
- All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
- Credit card fees.
- Late check out on the day of departure is not included.
- Flights to & from Israel.
- Gratuities: Recommend guidelines for tipping are provided in the terms section.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.