Woodlands Engaging Israel

Led by Rabbi Mara Young

Feb 16, 2023 - Feb 26, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Families
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 11 DAYS
  • Group Size 25+
  • Price From $3,635
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.

  •   Active
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
ON THE WAY
Thu. Feb 16, 2023
  • Depart the USA.
DAY 2
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY
Fri. Feb 17, 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.
  • 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
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Tel Aviv Beach overlooking the Mediterranean.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
GOOD SHABBAT VIBES | WALKING TOUR
Sat. Feb 18, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • Morning services at Kehillat Neve Zedek in Tel Aviv, led by Rabbi Roberto Arbiv.
  • Walk through colorful Neve Zedek, one of Tel Aviv’s earliest neighborhoods, nowadays a cultural mecca hosting small boutiques, galleries, and the Suzanne Dellal dance and theater center.
  • What’s Going on in Bohemian Tel Aviv? Join an expert on Tel Aviv’s alternative scene for an urban adventure. Explore the latest street art, slang, and graffiti and find out what they reveal about life, ideas, and ideology in Israel’s cultural capital.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Free late afternoon and evening to enjoy the city.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 4
COMMUNTIES PAST AND PRESENT
Sun. Feb 19, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Visit 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.
  • From the top of Mount Carmel view the Baha’i Gardens and gold-domed Shrine of the Bab, one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i religion.
  • Which way toward coexistence? It is often argued that Haifa is Israel's strongest area for Arab-Jewish cooperation. Explore what has been achieved and what remains to be done at Beit HaGefen, an Arab-Jewish cultural center. We'll talk with Israeli Arab activists and wander through the multicultural Wadi Nisnas neighborhood and markets.
  • A Taste of the Galilee: We’ll be welcomed into the home of an Israeli Arab family to hear about their lives and to enjoy a mini workshop on the culinary traditions of the Galilee. Our GalilEat host family will prepare some delicious local delicacies and provide expert advice as we whip up a classic local dish for dinner.
  • Check into the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Dinner
DAY 5
SERENITY AND SECURITY IN THE NORTH
Mon. Feb 20, 2023
  • Hit the ground racing as we go off-road for a jeep tour on the Golan Heights that will combine natural beauty with insights into one of Israel's most strategically important areas. We recommend talking with your jeep drivers about their personal experiences and feelings about the Golan.
  • We'll gaze across the Golan and into Syria from the top of Mount Bental and learn about Israel's geopolitical and security situation, the current challenges Israel faces on its northern border, and hunker down in bunkers from the battles that took place here during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • Lunch at Kibbutz Merom Golan.
  • Option 1: The Golan Heights is also wine country. Sample some of its best during a tour of the boutique Pelter Winery. We're doing the driving so treat yourself to some Israeli gin to go with the grapes. L'chaim and cheers!
  • Option 2: Enjoy the culinary delight of a chocolate workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory on Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
  • All: Return to the hotel for dinner.
  • Israel’s Security Challenges on the Northern Borders: Hear from a research expert from the Alma Research and Education Center about some of the challenges facing Israel on its northern border. Some topics that will be discussed include: How has the civil war in Syria changed the IDF’s security doctrine on the border? How is Hezbollah preparing for the next conflict with Israel? What are the solutions and how is the US involved?
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Tue. Feb 21, 2023
  • Check-out of the hotel.
  • 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.
  • As we drive north on the Trans-Israel Highway, there will be an opportunity to see the Security Barrier which runs along the seam zone between Israel and the Palestinian territories, and to learn about the barrier’s effects on Israeli security and Palestinian communities.
  • A First Look at the Holy City: Over the centuries, many have been moved and awed by their first sight of Jerusalem. We'll climb to the top of the Tower of David 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.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 7
LAYERS OF JERUSALEM
Wed. Feb 22, 2023
  • Take a walking tour through Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish Quarter, 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; and the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s most sacred and beautiful sites.
    • 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.
    • Become Your Favorite Biblical Character! Let the Bible’s authentic costumes and backgrounds provide a fun photo opportunity for you to dress up like Moses, Ruth, or a Temple Priest.
  • “The Best Falafel in the World! Right Here in the Old City”: The competition for the best street food in the Jewish Quarter is tough. Check out the contestants!
  • The Jerusalem Archaeological Park is a large-scale excavation that has uncovered vital parts of ancient Jerusalem. A particular highlight is to walk on the Southern Wall steps used by Jewish pilgrims to enter the Temple, 2,000 years ago. But there is much else to see, including Robinson’s Arch, the remains of a major Second Temple-period street, and drainage tunnels used by Jewish fighters hiding from the Roman invaders.
  • 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.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 8
POWER AND MEMORY
Thu. Feb 23, 2023
  • Option 1: Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is 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.
  • Option 2: Explore the Israel Museum, housing more than 5,000 years of cultural treasures. Highlights include the archaeology wing, with the most extensive collection of biblical artifacts in the world; the Jewish art and life wing; the fine arts wing; the sculpture garden; and the open-air model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Don’t miss the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered the world’s oldest existing biblical manuscripts.
  • All: Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machane Yehuda open-air market.
  • Challenges and Triumphs of Religious Pluralism and Social Justice in Israel: Meet with Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
  • Evening at leisure in Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 9
MASADA&THE DEAD SEA
Fri. Feb 24, 2023
  • Option 1:
    • 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.
    • Hike in Nahal David, part of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. This is a desert oasis with springs, waterfalls, and freshwater pools. Another feature is the ibex, hyraxes, and other desert mammals that live in this area. Nahal David is named after the biblical David, who fled here to escape from the murderous King Saul. (Time permitting)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Return to the hotel.
  • Option 2: Free day to explore the city on your own.
  • All: Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Mevasseret in Mevasseret Zion, led by Alona Nir-Keren followed by a home hospitality dinner. (Pending confirmation)
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Dinner
DAY 10
SHABBAT IN JERUSALEM
Sat. Feb 25, 2023
  • Walk to the Old City.
  • The City Underneath: Tour the Citadel moat and the “Kishle” in the Tower of David museum. Discover the underground military complex and prison compound from the 19th century which includes newly-discovered archaeological evidence on the history of Jerusalem since the First Temple.
  • The Old City Ramparts: Stroll along the ancient outer walls for a bird’s-eye view of the remarkably diverse yet closely bound communities of Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • A Mountain Holy to Many: Experience the overlapping religions and the complexity of inter-religious relations at Mount Zion. Christians believe this to be the location of Jesus’ Last Supper but was once a mosque while, in a room directly below, Jews pray at the place where King David is believed to have been buried.
  • Explore the fascinating medieval Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated by many as the site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Walk through Jerusalem’s famous Old City Market (Shuk).
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel (by 6:00pm).
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah.
  • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Group transfer to Ben Gurion Airport.
Meals: Dinner
DAY 11
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Sun. Feb 26, 2023
  • Return to U.S.A.

RATES & LODGING

participants
25+
Cost p/p in double room
$3,635
Cost p/p in single room
$4,860
Child As 3rd (Reduction)
- ($656)

Tel Aviv: Crowne Plaza Beach

Upper Galilee: Hotel HaGoshrim nature

Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel

What to expect

  • 8 nights' accommodations. Late check out on the day of departure is included until 18:00.
  • 9 days of touring with a tour educator (guide), 8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • Group arrival transfer & VIP assistance at the airport.
  • Group departure transfer & VIP 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.

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