Temple Israel of Dayton
Journey to Israel

Led by Rabbi Karen Bodney Halasz

Jan 18, 2023 - Jan 30, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Adults Only
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 13 DAYS
  • Group Size 13+
  • Price From $5,380
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.

  •   Heritage
  •   Street Food
  •   Innovation

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
ON THE WAY
Wed. Jan 18, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
DAY 2
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY
Thu. Jan 19, 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 educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Arming for Independence: Visit the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot and uncover its role in the establishment of the State of Israel. This secret ammunition factory produced millions of bullets for Jewish forces fighting for a Jewish State and the end of British rule over Palestine.
  • Drive to Tel Aviv and check into the hotel.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 3
LAYERS OF JERUSALEM
Fri. Jan 20, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • 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.
  • Ethnic Tasting Tour: Eat, drink and learn at the Levinsky Market, where we’ll sample food and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East and try to figure out what is Israeli about Israeli food. This multi-cultural tasting tour will double up as a delicious lunch.
  • Depart for Jerusalem and check into the hotel.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Har-el, followed by Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Lunch tasting tour & Shabbat dinner
DAY 4
SHABBAT IN JERUSALEM (no Guide)
Sat. Jan 21, 2023
  • (Optional) Attend Shabbat morning services at one of the many Jerusalem synagogues.
  • Free Shabbat in Jerusalem with an opportunity to explore on your own. Suggestions include:
    • The Tower of David Museum for a walk through the city’s history – with observation points, an animated film, and visual and audio-visual aids – from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine.
    • The Biblical Zoo, a beautifully landscaped habitat with a special focus on preserving biblical fauna, geared to children of all ages (2-80).
  • Three Stars in the Israel Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony.
  • Free evening in Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 5
THE LAYERS OF JERUSALEM
Sun. Jan 22, 2023
  • Navigate Your Way Through the Labyrinth of Israel Politics: Join Professor Reuven Hazan of the Political Science Department at Hebrew University for an introduction into Israel's turbulent political scene where coalition governments and powerful ideological divisions are a fact of life.
  • The Art of Tikkun Olam: Meet elderly, often impoverished, immigrants who are finding a sense of purpose and creating beautiful artwork at Yad LaKashish (Lifeline for the Elderly). We’ll hear personal stories and see the aging artisans in action, talk with those running this inspirational organization, and check out the fabulous gift shop that supports this endeavor.
  • 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 future Site of the Israel National Library. Tour the grounds of Israel’s “Capitol Hill”: The Rose Garden, featuring more than 400 species of roses imported from all around the world; The Knesset – Israel’s Parliament building and its famous Menorah – Israel’s symbol monument built from bronze; The Supreme Court – designed to reflect Jewish and democratic values of justice.
  • Take a multi-cultural tasting journey through the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda open-air market: Enjoy the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of this vibrant area where Jerusalemites shop. This doubles as a delicious lunch.
  • Sacrifice and the State: Visit Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, to discuss key events in the nation's history and to honor those who fell while fighting for the state. Our visit will include:
    • The Main Military Cemetery where Israel's fallen soldiers are buried side-by-side regardless of rank, each with a simple, stark gravestone.
    • Leaders of the Nation: Visit the graves of Israeli leaders including Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres, and learn how they dealt with the great questions confronting the State.
  • Yemin Moshe and Mishkenot Sha'ananim: Get to know the great banker and philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore as you explore the pastoral neighborhoods, famous windmill and the artists’ colony that he developed and which transformed Jerusalem in the nineteenth century. En route, view two of modern Jerusalem’s most storied and important landmarks: the King David Hotel and the YMCA building.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Lunch
DAY 6
MEMORY AND REDEMPTION
Mon. Jan 23, 2023
  • Together at the Wall: Celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a prayer service at the Kotel (Western Wall). We’ll join Women of the Wall, leaders in the struggle for religious freedom in Israel, in welcoming the arrival of the new month with a service of joy and togetherness.
  • No visit to Israel is complete without experiencing the Kotel (Western Wall), widely considered Judaism's holiest site. Each year, over one million notes containing prayers and wishes are placed in the cracks of the wall. We'll discuss the wall's historical and contemporary importance and experience its unique atmosphere.
  • Going Under, Going Deeper: 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.
  • 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:
  • FOR FIRST-TIMERS
    • 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.
  • FOR RETURNEES
    • No Child’s Play,” which presents the toys, games, diaries, and personal stories of children trapped in the Shoah. The Holocaust Film Archives and see original film footage, newsreels and films made during the time of 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 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.
  • ALL
    • Lighting the Way: Get a different view of Jerusalem, its epic history, and diverse communities on a nighttime tour of the Old City Ramparts. With lanterns lighting our way, we'll walk from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate, hearing stories and seeing sights of times both ancient and new.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 7
TO THE SOUTH
Tue. Jan 24, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel and depart Jerusalem.
  • Little Guy Versus Big Guy: Drive through the beautiful and historic Ella Valley and Tel Azeka. The striking flora in the valley includes the stately terebinth tree, delicate cyclamen, and blue lupine. Surrounded by hills, this is where the biblical standoff between David and Goliath took place; you can imagine the Philistines above the valley on one side and the Israelites on the other.
  • Diggin' for Roots: We'll literally get in touch with the land and history of Israel during an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves. Get your hands dirty uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2300 years ago before crawling through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth. The non-crawlers among us will visit a more spacious part of the cave complex in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Old Man and the Desert: Visit the grave and the house of Israel's “founding father”, David Ben-Gurion at Kibbutz Sde Boker. We’ll discuss why Ben-Gurion, the “grand old man” of Israel’s public life and the country’s first Prime Minister, abandoned the political scene for life in an isolated kibbutz in the Negev Desert.
  • Check into the hotel, followed by dinner.
  • Hope Amidst the Fear: Israeli communities near the border with Gaza have endured thousands of rockets and other attacks over the last decade. During her presentation, Chen Kotler Abrahams from Kibbutz Kfar Aza will explain what it’s like to live and bring up children in an area where terror and trauma are commonplace. We’ll hear why Chen’s mantra is “resilience” and how, despite it all, she still believes her kibbutz is a beautiful place to live.
Overnight: Mitzpe Ramon (Negev Desert) Meals: Dinner
DAY 8
THE WONDERS OF THE CRATER
Wed. Jan 25, 2023
  • The Heart of the Negev: Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) is the world's largest erosion crater, nearly 25 miles long and between 1-6 miles wide, shaped like an elongated heart. Marvel at the striking red and yellow layers and unique geologic formations. Explore this geomorphic wonder with:
  • During a jeep tour, where we'll start at the edge of the crater for an overview before descending to Wadi Ramon, learn about the crater and its formation before continuing our trek to the summit of Mount Gvanim for a stunning view. Our journey will continue along Wadi Gvanim, stopping in the shade of an acacia tree to point out the flora and fauna of the region before we return to Mitzpe Ramon.
  • Walk to the unique natural phenomenon known as HaMinsara (The Carpentry Shop), which looks like a pile of wooden blocks, but are actually black basalt rocks. Along the way, explore the rock formations that were created by thousands of years of erosion.
  • A visit to the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors' Center will provide a window into the makeup of the Maktesh, as well as the surrounding region.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
  • Stargazing on the edge of the Makhtesh. With its lack of light pollution and vast darkness, this is one of the best places in Israel for viewing the night sky. Enjoy the solitude as we identify some of our favorite constellations and perhaps spot a shooting star or two.
Overnight: Mitzpe Ramon (Negev Desert) Meals: Dinner
DAY 9
THE ARAVA VALLEY
Thu. Jan 26, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Growing a Sense of Belonging: The principles of egalitarian Reform Judaism are fostered at the eco-Jewish Kibbutz Lotan, which was founded by the Reform Zionist movement. Promoting progressive expression of Jewish religion and culture through rituals, mitzvot, relationships, and everyday life, the Kibbutz houses one of Israel's largest environmental education centers, and it includes dome-shaped earthen houses and alternative building projects. We'll learn about the pluralistic, inclusive philosophy of the Kibbutz. At the end of our visit, we'll visit the teahouse, where we'll sample local herbal tea.
  • Stop at Kibbutz Yotvata for lunch on own account.
  • Primordial Pillars and Metal Mines: With ancient copper mines, impressive sandstone columns, acacia trees, and even a lake in the midst of the desert, Timna Park offers something for everyone. Showing evidence of human activity in this desert region from antiquity until the present, the park is located in a horseshoe-shaped valley, with Mount Timna, the world's first copper mine, in its center. Don't miss Solomon's Pillars and the Mushroom.
  • Continue to Eilat and check into the hotel.
Overnight: Eilat
DAY 10
ROCKING THE RED SEA
Fri. Jan 27, 2023
  • The Underwater Observatory: Eilat's coral reefs and marine life make it a favorite haunt for divers. But this popular marine park and observatory lets you experience what's going on underwater while staying dry. There are stingrays and sea turtles, rare and beautiful fish and yes, an awesome gathering of sharks.
  • Kick back at the beach or get active and swim with the dolphins, scuba dive, for the especially adventurous, go parachuting.
  • Take a short relaxing cruise on the Red Sea.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services overlooking the Red Sea.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Eilat Meals: Shabbat dinner
DAY 11
PETRA: THE JEWEL IN THE JORDANIAN CROWN
Sat. Jan 28, 2023
  • A transfer will bring you from Eilat to the Yitzhak Rabin Border Crossing where a representative will assist with passport procedures. After crossing into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, you'll be met by your local guide and driver.
  • Begin your 2-hour drive to Petra.
  • A Wonder of the World: Explore the astonishing natural and man-made features of Petra, the ancient capital of the Nabataean empire, half-built, half-cut into rock. UNESCO considers Petra one of humanity's most precious cultural possessions and has declared it a World Cultural Heritage Site. Despite being one of the world's most famous archeological sites, the "City of Pink" still retains its mystery and its capacity to amaze. Our Petra experience will include:
    • The Siq: From the 4th century BCE, the nomadic Nabataean tribes established a kingdom that stretched from present-day Saudi Arabia to Damascus. They chose Petra as their capital, in part because it was easy to defend. Every visitor had to approach Petra through this winding canyon, known as the Siq, which is surrounded by 200-meter-high walls of stone. We'll take the same magical path and, along the way, see examples of how this area was also an ancient religious site.
    • The Treasury: This breathtaking monument, which was featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is the most famous structure in Petra. It was the tomb of a Nabataean king and was carved out of iron-laden sandstone. It is called the Treasury because it is believed that the Egyptian Pharaoh, while pursuing his former Israelite slaves, buried his treasures here. Whether that happened or not, this tomb certainly reflects the fabulous wealth that the Nabataeans secured through trade and taxation.
    • The Theater: This stunning theater was built by the Nabataeans, but when the Romans took over Petra (and the Nabatean Empire) in 106 CE they wasted no time in enlarging it. Carved out of the mountainside, around 8500 people (a third of Petra's population) would gather here to watch performances.
    • The Royal Tombs: Carved into the cliffs are more thrilling examples of the architectural brilliance of the Nabataeans. Among the highlights of these massive tombs are the colors and craftsmanship of the interior rock structures.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant/hotel.
  • We'll return to Israel via the Yitzhak Rabin Border Crossing.
  • Transfer back to the hotel in Eilat.
Overnight: Eilat Meals: Lunch
DAY 12
EILAT TO TEL AVIV
Sun. Jan 29, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel and transfer to the Ramon Airport for a domestic flight to Ben Gurion Airport.
  • Upon landing at Ben Gurion, return to Tel Aviv.
  • Beginnings: 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.Walk through Jaffa's famous flea market – Shuk Hapishpeshim.
  • Peace AND Prosperity? The Peres Peace Center was created by the late Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister and President of Israel, to develop peacebuilding programs based on innovation and optimism. Our visit will include:
    • A tour of the Israeli Innovation Center, which celebrates the people and companies that are making Israel the "innovation nation".
    • The center includes continually updated, high-tech exhibits on everything from artificial intelligence to the latest developments in water use.
  • Festive farewell dinner, followed by a transfer back to Ben Gurion Airport for the departure flight to the USA.
Meals: Farewell dinner
DAY 13
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Mon. Jan 30, 2023
  • Return to the USA.

RATES & LODGING

participants
13+
Cost p/p in double room
$5,380
Cost p/p in single room
$6,350

Tel Aviv: Tal by The Beach

Jerusalem: Dan Boutique

Negev Desert: Ramon Inn

Eilat: Dan Panorama

What to expect

  • 10 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.
  • 1 Group arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 1 Group departure transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 1 way domestic flight from Ramon Aiport to Ben Gurion Airport.
  • 1 day tour to Petra, including all border taxes & visa.
  • Daily breakfast, 3 lunches & 5 dinners.
  • Water on the bus.
  • Porterage at the airport & hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Credit card fees.
  • Flights to & from Israel.
  • Activities at the beach on Day 10.
  • 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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