Women Off the Beaten Path
WRJ Goes to Israel

Led by Sara Charney & Rabbi Marla Feldman

May 7, 2023 - May 15, 2023

  • DESTINATION Israel
  • Who’s Going Women Only
  • Trip Type Mission
  • Duration 9 DAYS
  • Group Size 25+
  • Price From $5,350
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.

  •   Art & Culture
  •   Special Access
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Active
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Heritage
  •   Nature Walks

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY
Sun. May 7, 2023
  • Optional mid-morning program for those in the country:
    • The Art and Wisdom 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.
    • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions, and 4 Tribes: Take a ride on Jerusalem's light rail and experience the mosaic of the Jerusalem population. As we travel through Jerusalem's diverse neighborhoods, including those populated by Hareidim(ultra-Orthodox) and Arabs, we'll note the difference between East and West Jerusalem and the ongoing struggles between the city's different communities. Discuss whether Jerusalem is divided, as former President Ruby Rivlin has suggested, into four tribes.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Meet your tour educator Shari Robins, who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration in the hotel lobby.
  • Enjoy a festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant and get to know each other.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Dinner
DAY 2
WHAT LIGHTS YOUR FIRE?
EREV LAG B’OMER
Mon. May 8, 2023
  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • Together for the Wall: We’ll join Women of the Wall (a YES Fund grantee) for a conversation about their struggle for religious freedom in Israel. Discuss the way forward in the struggle for religious pluralism and gender equality in Israel with a representative from the Israel Religious Action Center (a YES Fund grantee).
  • The Secrets of Jerusalem: Walk along the streets of the Old City for a behind the scenes look at the various communities in Jerusalem, including:
    • A meeting with an Armenian Ceramic Artist and a visit to his workshop, followed by a short tour of the Armenian Quarter, the smallest of the four quarters with the smallest number of residents.
    • Is it a Church or a Synagogue? A visit to Christ Church, the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East, which looks exactly like a synagogue.
    • A visit to the Austrian Hospice, a European enclave in the heart of the Old City, known for its breath-taking views from the rooftop terrace.
  • Take a VIP tour of the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Kotel (Western Wall). A senior archaeologist will show us the astonishing new discoveries made here, including a huge section of the wall and a Roman theater that have both been hidden for 1,700 years. These discoveries, generally closed to the public, are radically revising our understanding of daily life in Jerusalem following the Roman conquest.
  • Group dinner, followed by an evening bus ride through the city to see the Lag Ba’Omer bonfires at every corner.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Dinner
DAY 3
EDUCATION OF THE NEXT GENERATION
LAG BA'OMER
Tue. May 9, 2023
  • 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.
    • Option # 2
      Women in the Holocaust: Take a specially curated visit at the Yad Vashem compound focusing on Women in the Holocaust and the many unique challenges they faced.
    • All
      Participate in a memorial service where we will pay tribute to those who perished.
  • Lunch with HUC-JIR North American students and Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean. (YES Fund grantee)
  • The Road to Independence: Khan Sha’ar HaGai, also known as Bab el-Wad, is situated in the narrow opening of a valley on the main road connecting the lowlands with Jerusalem. We will follow in the footsteps of the men and women who took part in the fierce battles during the War of Independence, fighting to break the siege on Jerusalem.
  • Two Peoples in One Land – Arab Jewish Coexistence 24/7: Special program at Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace), a mixed Arab-Jewish community outside of Jerusalem.
  • Located in Abu Ghosh's pastoral wadi, enjoy typical Israeli-Arab cuisine over dinner at Neora, with its favourable dishes and warm Middle Eastern hospitality.
Overnight: Jerusalem Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4
SEEING OUR IMPACT
Wed. May 10, 2023
  • Program with the IMPJ (YES Fund grantee) - to be determined
  • Check out of the hotel and depart for the North.
  • As we drive 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.
  • 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.
  • Visit the Leo Baeck School in Haifa, the Israeli Reform Movement’s flagship school, which provides innovative educational opportunities and community center services for Haifa’s mixed Jewish and Arab population, where we will learn about the programs supported by WRJ’s YES Fund and meet with our grantees.
  • Which Way Towards 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 Way Forward in the North: Visit Sindyanna of Galilee and sample some of their award-winning olive oil. We’ll learn how this non-profit organization is producing fine, fair-trade products and creating economic opportunities for Arab women, one of Israel’s most underemployed sectors. The tour will include a zaatar making workshop.
  • Check into the hotel and enjoy the spa.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Dinner
DAY 5
FOOD & CULTURE BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER
Thu. May 11, 2023
  • Schechinah, Femininity and Kabbalah: 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. Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists' Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
  • 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 lunch.
  • 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.
  • Return to the hotel and enjoy dinner.
  • Time for reflection: What have we seen, and how has it affected us?
Overnight: Upper Galilee Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6
FROM THE PAST TO THE PRESENT
Fri. May 12, 2023
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Drive along the coast 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 theater, palace, and bathhouse. Just this past year the long-awaited new museum allows a glimpse into what was beneath the water for centuries.
  • A Hidden Gem, A Vibrant Culture: The Ralli Museums in Caesarea are not as well-known as some other art institutions in Israel, but they provide a stunning example of the art and culture – both Jewish and non-Jewish – of the Spanish-speaking world. The first building highlights Spanish and Latin-American paintings and sculptures, including an impressive exhibition on Salvador Dali. The second structure is dedicated to the culture of Sephardi Jews and includes marble statues of Maimonides, Spinoza, and Ibn Gvirol as well as 16th to 18th-century European art based on biblical themes.
  • Hannah Senesh’s poem “A walk to Caesarea” better known as “Eli, Eli” was inspired by a walk from Kibbutz Sdot Yam, where she lived, towards Caesarea. The recently renovated museum tells the story of this remarkable young woman whose poetry still has an influence on Israeli society.
  • Continue to Tel Aviv, also known as “the city that never sleeps. ” A place of sun and fun, its centers of culture and history are complimented by great beaches, stores, and entertainment.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Browse your way through Nahalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv’s arts and crafts market, before we check out the hustle and bustle at the Carmel Market.
  • Time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Depart for Shoham.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Shoham, led by Rabbi Rinat Tzfania-Schwartz.
  • Communalhome hospitality Shabbat dinner with the Shoham congregation.
  • Return to Tel Aviv and to the hotel.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Shabbat dinner
DAY 7
SHABBAT SHALOM
PARSHAT BEHAR-BECHUKOTAI
Sat. May 13, 2023
  • Option # 1
    • 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 (74 CE). We'll learn about Masada's importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel.
    • Kicking Back at the Dead Sea: A blissful afternoon will include floating in the Dead Sea. Not much can live (or swim) in the “Sea of Salt,” which is nine times saltier than the ocean, but the weightless feeling of floating is great fun. We’ll also enjoy a buffet lunch and feel the relaxation seep into our bodies as we check out the hotel’s spa facilities. And there’ll be the opportunity for some “muddy good fun” getting covered in the famous Dead Sea mud. For thousands of years, people of all ages have enjoyed this tradition and believed that the Dead Sea mud and minerals 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 Tel Aviv.
  • Option # 2
    • The Urban Art Scene of Southern Tel Aviv: The blue collar Kiryat HaMelacha neighborhood has suddenly become the happening home for contemporary Israeli art. A local art expert will guide us through the neighborhood’s galleries and studios.
    • Lunch en route.
    • Return to the hotel.
  • All
    • Three Stars in the Tel Aviv Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony.
    • The City at Night: Tel Aviv’s food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself during a free evening. Afterwards, those who love the nightlife can sample the city’s bar, club and café culture or stroll along the refurbished promenade and port.
Overnight: Tel Aviv Meals: Lunch
DAY 8
WHERE DO WE SEE OURSELVES?
Sun. May 14, 2023
  • A State Against the Odds, 75 years later: Learn about the establishment of the State of Israel and consider whether David Ben-Gurion’s proclamation of a Jewish state based on equality and justice was a miracle, madness or both. Stand outside Independence Hall (the interior is currently being refurbished) before moving to their nearby temporary exhibition, and then discuss the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence, and sing, as they did on May 14, 1948, Hatikva (The Hope), Israel’s national anthem.
  • Out of East Africa: Meet African women seeking refuge in Tel Aviv and see how they are working toward a brighter future by creating beautiful crochet products. Kuchinate (meaning crochet in Tigrinya) is a collective that celebrates African art and culture while empowering women asylum-seekers, many of whom suffered great hardships while fleeing to Israel. Here we’ll join with women from East Africa for a traditional coffee-making ceremony and talk with them about their lives in Israel and the struggles they are seeking to overcome through creativity and collective action. Try your hand at creating East African baskets (or bracelets) during a craft workshop led by the women of Kuchinate.
  • Visionaries and Builders: Learn about the great thinkers and founders of the first Zionist city, Tel Aviv, buried at Trumpeldor Cemetery, including Israel’s “National Poet” Haim Bialik, Tel Aviv’s influential first mayor Meir Dizengoff, and the famous singer Shoshana Damari.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 9
CELEBRATING HUMAN CONNECTION
Mon. May 15, 2023
  • Visit KitePride, an Israeli fashion social enterprise owned by an Israeli NGO which provides jobs to survivors of human trafficking and prostitution. Together we will create functional, one-of-a-kind BAGS from up-cycled kitesurfing kites, sails, parachutes and wetsuits. Through each bag sold, jobs are created and fabric is saved from landfill. Meet volunteers and hear about their challenges and achievements.
  • Experience the diversity and dynamism of Jewish life at the new ANU: Museum of the Jewish People.
  • Return to the hotel with time for last-minute shopping.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for the return flight to North America.
Overnight: Flight Meals: Dinner

RATES & LODGING

participants
25+
Cost p/p in double room
$5,350
Cost p/p in single room
$7,075
Early bird rate until Oct 31, 2022 - after Oct 31, rate will be adjusted to $5,350 per person. Registration open

Jerusalem: The Inbal

Upper Galilee: Hotel HaGoshrim nature

Tel Aviv: Sheraton

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) in a luxury, air-conditioned bus (two tour educators on May 13th).  
  • Group departure transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches & 7 dinners.
  • Water on the bus.
  • Porterage at the airport & hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Credit card fees.
  • Group arrival transfer & assistance at the airport.
  • 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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