Temple Sinai of Rochester
Israel Trip

Led by Rabbis Debbi Till & Alan Katz

Feb 26, 2023 - Mar 8, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Adults Only
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 11 DAYS
  • Group Size 25+
  • Price From $4,250
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.

  •   Social Justice
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Archaeology

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
ON OUR WAY TO ISRAEL
Sun. Feb 26, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
DAY 2
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY
Mon. Feb 27, 2023
  • Group arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. Our representative will be on hand to assist with all formalities andensure your journey has the smoothest of starts.
  • Meet your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Enter Tel Aviv, also known as “the city that never sleeps,” with its centers of culture, recreation and nationalhistory, great beaches, and fine stores.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Israel 101 – Our Thoughts, Our Journey: Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant and orientation for your trip with Rabbi Till, Rabbi Katz and your tour educator.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
DIVERSITY IN THE FIRST HEBREW CITY
Tue. Feb 28, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a luxurious breakfast buffet before checking out of the hotel.
  • Ascend to the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv at the place where it all began.
  • Walk through Jaffa’s famous flea market – Shuk Hapishpeshim.
  • The Israeli Spark: Get to know Israel’s dominant high-tech companies and most promising startups through a guided exhibition tour at the Center for Israeli Innovation. Taglit, in partnership with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, has designed this cutting-edge visitor’s center to showcase Israel’s tech landscape and what makes the country an incubator for innovation.
  • 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. The Museum represents all parts of the Jewish people and highlights the creative works and cultural riches of a variety of communities in different periods of history.
  • What’s Going on in Bohemian Tel Aviv? Join an expert on Tel Aviv’s alternative scene for an urban adventure and graffiti tour. Explore the latest street art and find out what it reveals about life, ideas, and ideology in Israel’s cultural capital.
  • The City at Night: Israel’s food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself with dinner. We’ll be happy to make reservations and recommendations so that you can enjoy a night out at the Israeli restaurant ideal for you.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 4
ALONG THE WATER
Wed. Mar 1, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • A Time to Glean: Pick your way to a better world as we join the volunteer organization Leket Israel for a hands-on Tikun Olam activity. We'll be harvesting fruits and vegetables that will be donated to the needy.
  • Head north and back in time to Caesarea, one of the Land of Israel's most important cities during the Roman Period. Explore life 2,000 years ago with its ancient amphitheaters, palaces, and bathhouses.
  • Grapes and Gravity: The family-run Kitron Winery produces boutique wines using a unique gravitational system, which allows for minimal human handling throughout the process. Tour the winery as you learn some of the secrets and stories behind this small business with a deep connection to the Galilee. Visit the rock-carved wine cellar, learn some tips for pairing wines with food, and enjoy wine tasting.
  • Continue to the Upper Galilee and check into the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Dinner
DAY 5
SERENITY & SECURITY
Thu. Mar 2, 2023
  • Paradise Springs is one of the places we’ll visit at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. We’ll tour the remains of a 5,000-year-old city and find out why water is like gold in the parched Middle East.
  • Stop by Tel Faher, an abandoned Syrian outpost that once threatened the northern towns of Israel, and follow the footsteps of Israeli soldiers who fought there in the 1967 Six Day War. The view offers an invaluable insight into the challenges of the war and its rapid and unexpected conclusion.
  • Northern Borders, Northern Battles: We’ll gaze across the Golan and into Syria from the top of Mount Bental and gain powerful insights into Israel’s geopolitical and security situation. Analyze the current challenges Israel faces on its northern border, examine the impact of the tragic civil war in Syria, and hunker down in bunkers from the vital battles that took place here during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • The Druze of Israel: Visit a village on the Golan Heights for a glimpse into the lives of Israel’s Druze community. We’ll learn about the background and beliefs of this minority group as we look at their complex but close relationship with the State of Israel.
  • 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.
    • Meet with artist Sheva Chaya in her studio, for an interactive window into the world of Kabbalah, glass blowing, and questions of identity and Judaism.
  • Return to the kibbutz hotel for dinner.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Dinner
DAY 6
THROUGH THE JORDAN VALLEY
Fri. Mar 3, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Builders & Dreamers: 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.
  • 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.
  • A First Look at the Holy City: Over the centuries, many have been moved and awed by their first sight of Jerusalem. We'll stop at Mount Scopus for a stunning overview of the city and celebrate our arrival with a special ceremony and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanksgiving.
  • Check into the hotel
  • Drive to the modern city of Modi’in partner city with Rochester.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, led by Rabbi Nir Barkin.
  • Home hospitality for Shabbat dinner with local congregants.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Shabbat Dinner
DAY 7
INTO THE DESERT: MASADA & THE DEAD SEA
Sat. Mar 4, 2023
  • Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region.
  • As Low as It Goes: We'll drive to the Dead Sea Basin, 1,412 feet below sea level and the lowest place on earth. The desert, the landscape, and the views are breathtaking.
  • The Last Stand: 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). We'll learn about Masada's importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel.
  • The Sea of Salt: 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.
  • Muddy Good Fun: Coat yourself in the famous Dead Sea mud, a time-honored tradition enjoyed by all ages. For thousands of years, it has been believed that the mud and minerals of the Dead Sea have special healing and beauty qualities. See and feel for yourself.
  • We’ll drive by Qumran, where a separatist Jewish sect from the Second Temple period created an isolated community and where the Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the most ancient and important religious manuscripts in existence, were discovered.
  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • Three Stars in the Jerusalem Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 8
JERUSALEM OF GOLD, OF COPPER, AND OF LIGHT
Sun. Mar 5, 2023
  • At the Heart of It All: Explore the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem, and learn how the city was administered during the First Temple period. Our visit will include:
    • Archaeological discoveries illustrating how the wealthy and powerful lived in ancient Jerusalem.
    • Travelling through time as we walk in ancient drainage channels from the City of David to the Western Wall’s massive foundation stones at the foot of the Temple Mount.
  • Stop at the Kotel (Western Wall) to experience the special atmosphere of this holy spot.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 climb to the rooftops to see and discuss the ties and tensions between the different faith groups and communities of the Old City. From this one spot, we’ll look out over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated by Christian groups as the burial place of Jesus; the golden Dome of the Rock, which is sacred to Islam; and the Jewish Quarter’s famous Hurva Synagogue.
    • 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.
  • Lights! Action! Jerusalem! Watch the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum. The walls of the Citadel serve as the stage for this cinematic celebration of sight and sound depicting the story of Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 9
JEWISH MEMORY, JEWISH RENEWAL
Mon. Mar 6, 2023
  • The Holocaust and Israel Today: Scholar Shlomo Balsam will examine how the memory of the Holocaust continues to influence the country, its politics, and its people.
  • 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, where candles shine like stars in the sky to commemorate the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
    • A concluding memorial ceremony by the Korczak Memorial.
  • Enjoy a multi-cultural tasting journey through the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda open-air market: Enjoy the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of this vibrant area.
  • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions, and 4 Quarters: Take a ride on Jerusalem’s light rail, starting in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, continuing through the Arab villages of Shuafat and Beit Hanina and the ultra-Orthodox area of Ramot Eshkol, and ending at the Old City. Experience the mosaic and diversity of the Jerusalem population and discuss the difference between East and West Jerusalem and the ongoing struggles between the city’s different communities.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Lunch
DAY 10
LIVING ON THE EDGE
Tue. Mar 7, 2023
  • The Process for Progress: Discuss the way forward in the struggle for religious pluralism and gender equality in Israel with a representative from the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
  • Hope Amidst the Fear: Israeli communities near the border with Gaza have endured thousands of rockets and other attacks over the last decade. We’ll visit Kibbutz Kfar Aza and talk with Chen Kotler Abrahams about living and raising children in a country frequently under attack.
  • Chen will explain why her mantra is “resilience” and how, despite it all, she still believes her Kibbutz is a beautiful place to live.
  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • Free time for last-minute shopping and packing.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport to check in for your return flight to the USA.
Meals: Dinner
DAY 11
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Wed. Mar 8, 2023
  • Return to the USA

RATES & LODGING

participants
25+
Cost p/p in double room
$4,250
Cost p/p in single room
$5,560

Tel Aviv: Crowne Plaza Beach

Upper Galilee: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel

Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel

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), 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.
  • Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 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.
  • 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.

J2 STUFF.

We have everything you need to know before you go. Check out our Instagram my_j2adventures for cool updates and interesting tidbits.