Tel Aviv | Caesarea | Golan Heights | Galilee | Masada | Dead Sea | Jerusalem
Tour includes a hospitality welcome event with hot/cold drinks and dried fruits, and a biblical presentation by Abraham. Visitors enjoy a 15-minute camel ride from the entrance of the site to Abraham’s tent. A pita bread baking workshop is also included.Israel’s tastiest tourist attraction is the popular Salad Trail in the northern Negev. This three hour tour gives visitors get a firsthand experience of the fertile land and it’s produce in a unique touch-and-taste farm. Become an expert grower and discover 15 varieties of cherry tomatoes, savor four types of carrots, and delight in seven mint assortments!The Path to Peace wanders along the border wall that divides the Gaza strip and Israel in a colorful mosaic creation made by thousands of people to denote hope, love, tolerance, and kindness among all of humanity. Visitors take an active part in the continual creation of the peace wall by writing a personal wish on the back of a handmade piece of mosaic to affix to the wall. The tour includes meeting with the artist and her family who live in the shadow of the wall.The Bar/Bat Mitzvah “twinning” program is an increasingly popular way to strengthen a child’s identification with his or her Jewish heritage by learning about and forging bonds with individual children who were murdered during the Holocaust. The Yad Vashem program pairs the Bar Mitzvah boy or Bat Mitzvah girl with a child who did not have a chance to mark his or her own Bar/Bat mitzvah. The boy or girl being remembered will share something with the child celebrating – a birthday, a name or place of origin. The tour lasts approximately 3 hours and includes stops for explanations and tastings. Tour includes a visit to the Nahlaot neighborhood which is an integral part of the history of the area.
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Day 1: Departure
Today, depart on your international flight from the US.
Day 2: Arrival in Tel Aviv
We will arrive in the evening at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. After we collect our luggage, we will board the bus and drive to Tel Aviv, where we’ll check into our hotel.
Day 3: Tel Aviv
Today we will eat breakfast in the hotel before heading south to the Ayalon Institute, which served as a secret ammunition factory during Israel’s War of Independence. Disguised as a kibbutz that operated a laundry service, the underground factory beneath the laundry machinery produced more than 2 million bullets during Israel’s fight for statehood.
Return to Tel Aviv, where we will visit the Palmach Museum, a fascinating interactive tour that follows the lives of several young soldiers of the Palmach, the predecessor to today’s IDF. As we walk from room to room, we will see how these young men and women in pre-state Palestine found courage and comradery as they did their part in establishing the state of Israel.
We will then see Rabin Square, formerly the Kings of Israel Square, where then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin addressed a massive peace rally just moments before his assassination on November 4, 1995.
We will take a tour of the ancient city of Jaffa, which has a large Arab Christian population living side-by-side with the Jewish residents.
Next will be a lovely walk through Neve Tzedek. This was the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the Old City of Jaffa – it was established in 1887 – 22 years before Tel Aviv, Israel’s first modern city – was established. Today it is one of the trendiest, and hippest areas in the entire country, if not the Middle East, with museums, fashion boutiques, art galleries, handicrafts, fine restaurants, and much more.
Finish the day with a walking tour through the outdoor Carmel Market, followed by some time for final souvenir and gift shopping. (B)
Day 4: Tel Aviv | Caesarea | Acre
After breakfast, we will check out of the hotel and drive north to Caesarea, where we will visit the archaeological site Mei Kedem, located at Park Alona. There, we will walk through an ancient underground water tunnel that was built by the Romans over 2,000 years ago.
Continue to the coastal city of Caesarea, which was built by Herod the Great as a major port city in the 1st century CE. Caesarea National Park is an archaeological park with the remains of a hippodrome (which features frescoes), and the Promontory Palace, which features what remains of a mosaic floor.
Next will be a visit to the ancient city of Akko (Acre). The city was a major port in biblical times and was always a major point of conquest for invading armies. In the 12th century, the Ottomans built a citadel on top of the 200-year-old Crusader fortress. Today, the site is home to the Underground Prisoners Museum, dating to the British Mandate period (1917-1948), when members of the Jewish underground armies in pre-state Palestine were imprisoned here.
We will finish the day at the beautiful natural grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, at the northwestern tip of Israel. After a cable car ride down to the grottoes, we will witness the effects of nature in all of its majestic beauty and power. (B)
Day 5: Golan Heights
After breakfast, we start the day at Tel Dan, one of the largest and oldest archaeological sites in Israel. During the period of the Israelite monarchy, the city was inhabited by the biblical tribe of Dan and was the northernmost city in the kingdom. Today, we can see many of the remains not only from that period, but also dating back to a city nearly 5,000 years old.
We will then ascend the Golan Heights where we will start things off with a jeep tour. In addition to being the home to some of Israel’s most gorgeous scenery, the Golan Heights have played a significant role in Israel’s wars, serving as a buffer between Israel and Syria to the north.
After a visit and tour of the De Karina Chocolate Factory, we will end the day kayaking on the Jordan River. (B)
Day 6: Northern Israel | Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will check out of the hotel, and drive the Israel-Jordan border to visit Naharayim Park. Here, we will be able to see the tunnels and giant dams that were built some 80 years ago, a few years before the State of Israel was established.
Next, we will head over to Gan HaShlosha National Park, where we will have time to enjoy swimming in the refreshing pools that stay naturally warm throughout the year.
We will then get back on the bus and drive all the way to the Judean desert, right outside of Jerusalem. Here we will visit Genesis Land, where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived more than 3,000 years ago. We will take a short camel ride in the desert, a pita-making workshop, and enjoy the hospitality of Abraham himself, whose hospitality to guests was legendary – even in his time.
We will part ways with our forefather, and drive to Jerusalem, where we will start our time in the eternal city with a special Shehecheyanu ceremony from the lookout point of Mount Scopus. (B)
Day 7: Jerusalem
We will start the day at Yad Vashem, the world’s leading Holocaust memorial and research center. Here, the children will participate in the powerful and beautiful Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program. The Bar and Bat Mitzvah is a very meaningful rite of passage for every Jewish child. However, many children during the Holocaust never had the opportunity to celebrate such a day. We will take a special tour of the museum, with a focus on the fate, challenges, lives and deaths of Jewish children during the Holocaust. At the end of the tour, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah children will receive a special certificate that commemorates a child their age from the Holocaust whose memory they have will keep alive as their Bar/Bat Mitzvah “twin.”
During the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program for the older children, the younger kids will enjoy a visit to Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, which has both a world-renowned collection of biblical-era wildlife and has had great success in breeding several endangered species
Next, we will visit the Bloomfield Science Museum, an interactive museum that allows kids and adults to experience science and technology with a wide variety of hands-on activities.
We will finish the day with a walking – and tasting – tour of Jerusalem’s famous Machane Yehuda shuk (open air market). Here, among the glorious smells and sounds of the produce, spices and many other foodstuffs being sold, we will have time for some souvenir shopping. (B)
Day 8: Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will go the Old City of Jerusalem for a special Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebration for our children at the Southern Wall, inside the Davidson Center Jerusalem Archaeological Park.
Next, we will visit Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall. Also referred to as the Wailing Wall, much of this wall was renovated by King Herod in the late 1st century BCE, was the retaining wall upon which the walls of the Holy Temple were built. It remains the holiest site for many Jews around the world to this day.
Right next to the Western Wall plaza are the Western Wall Tunnels, located underneath many of the buildings and homes in the Old City. Here, we can see a high-tech model of what archaeologists believe the Holy Temple and the city of Jerusalem looked like 2,000 years ago, and we will see the full length of the original Western Wall, some 1,600 feet longer than what is visible from the plaza above ground.
We will finish the day with a tour of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, which will include a walk through the Cardo, from the Latin word for “heart,” which was the center of the City during the Second Temple period. Today, it is filled with a wide variety of shops where you can purchase souvenirs, Judaica, art, and much more. (B)
Day 9: Jerusalem | Masada | Dead Sea
After breakfast, we drive south to This was the site of the final Jewish stronghold that fell to the Roman Empire in the year 73 CE, thus ending the Great Revolt that saw the destruction of the Second Temple three years earlier. We ascend and descend via cable car this mountaintop fortress where the last Jewish inhabitants chose to take their own lives rather than be subjected to slavery under the Romans.
After Masada, we take a short drive to the Ein Gedi National Park where will enjoy a lovely nature hike through the reserve.
From there, we will go to the lowest point on Earth – the Dead Sea – for a float on its unsinkable waters.
We head back to Jerusalem, and after dinner we will return to the Old City for the fabulous Laser Light Show Spectacular on the backdrop of the Tower of David Museum. Dress warmly, as we will see the history of this historic city, using the ancient walls of David’s Citadel, lasers and original music. (B)
Day 10: Southern Israel | Tel Aviv
After breakfast, we will head south towards Israel’s southern border with the Gaza Strip. The first stop will be Moshav Netiv Ha’asara. There, we will have a chance to meet with some of the residents of the moshav to hear their perspective on the security situation along the border. We will also visit the beautiful Path to Peace, an amazing mosaic wall, along the border wall separating Israel from the Gaza Strip. The mosaic can be seen from both sides of the wall, instilling a hope for peace and a brighter future in all who see it. Visitors are encouraged to add their own personal message of hope on a colorful mosaic, which is then glued to wall, allowing guests to be an active part of this ongoing project.
Leaving Netiv Ha’asara, we will drive to the Black Arrow Monument, a memorial to the Israeli paratroopers who battled infiltrators from Gaza and Egypt in the years preceding the 1956 Sinai Campaign. In addition to the monument, the site contains the Armistice Commission building from the early years of Israel’s existence, and a site commemorating the first water pipeline to serve the Negev desert.
Next, we will visit the town of Sderot, also very near the border with Gaza. Sderot has borne the brunt of many of the rocket attacks in the years since Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, and we will have the chance meet with some of the town’s residents to learn about their experiences and hear their thoughts.
Finishing the day on a lighter (as well as healthier and more delicious) note, we will visit the Salad Trail for a tour of greenhouses along the northern Negev. Along the tour, we will pick some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season, while seeing and learning about the latest, state-of-the-art agricultural technologies. It should go without saying that we will be able to taste the products that we help pick. (B)
Day 11: Departure
We will check out of the hotel and drive back to Ben Gurion airport for our flight home, all the while starting to think about our next visit to this beautiful land of Israel. (B)