B'nai Vail Congregation
Led by Rabbi Joel Newman
October 19-31, 2022
Day 1 - Wednesday, October 19 - ARRIVAL IN ISRAEL – Arrive safely at Ben Gurion International Airport. Welcome by our representative, assistance with arrival formalities and after claiming luggage transfer to Tel Aviv. Check into the hotel, enjoy dinner on own and hopefully get a good night's sleep. Overnight: Dan Tel Aviv.
DAY 2 – Thursday, October 20 – DISCOVERING the DESERT – Following breakfast and check out depart the city and drive south to Be'er Sheva, an ancient city dating from Biblical times and the capital of Israel's Negev region. Stop at Tel Beer Sheba which offers archaeological remnants of the ancient city and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll meet with faculty of Ben Gurion University, one of Israel’s leading research universities and among the world leaders in many fields. Drive to Mitzpe Ramon and check into the hotel. After dinner enjoy stargazing in the desert, the perfect spot to take in the wide expanse of sky above us. Dinner & Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Negev.
DAY 3 – Friday, October 21 – ANCIENT CULTURES AND ADVENTURE – After breakfast enjoy a jeep tour through the Ramon Crater, the biggest crater of its kind in the world, where we go back some 220 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. We'll learn about the formation of this phenomena, taste unique desert plants, trace wild animal tracks and listen to the roaring hum of silence. Explore the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors' Center dedicated to the memory of the Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon; the center offers an amazing view of the crater's beauty and treasures. As we drive view Avdat, the Nabatean ghost town and learn about the culture of this ancient trading people. Continue to Carmey Avdat, one of the new farms in the Negev, for wine tasting and to discuss the new pioneer ideology. Dinner & Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Negev.
DAY 4 – Shabbat, October 22 – FROM THE GAZA STRIP UP TO TEL AVIV – After breakfast check out of the hotel and begin the drive to Tel Aviv. Stop on the way to visit Sde Boker where Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, dreamed of settling the Negev. Continue to the small town of Sderot that's been the Hamas' main target of rockets originating in the Gaza Strip; stop at the Black Arrow, looking out to where you can see Gaza and try to better understand the challenges faced by Israel on its southern border. Drive via Rehovot to Ayalon Institute, the underground ammunitions factory built by the Haganah and used to make bullets, without the British Mandate leaders' knowledge. Return to Tel Aviv and check into the hotel. Dinner on own. Overnight: Dan Tel Aviv.
DAY 5 – Sunday, October 23 – PAST TRIUMPHS AND FUTURE PROMISES – After breakfast drive through the city and pass by the National Bima Theater, the Opera House and the beautiful Rothschild Boulevard where you can see examples of the unique Bauhaus architecture and renowned Dizengoff Street. Then proceed to the Palmach Museum to hear the story of the young women who made up the fledgling country's pre-State militia and fought the War of Independence. Experience a tasting tour combined with a graffiti tour in one of Tel Aviv's famous neighborhoods; discover a combination of foods and hear the unique stories of the local proprietors, explore street art and discuss the differences between graffiti and other types of art as you learn about the real cultural DNA of the city and leave your own graffiti mark on the walls of Tel Aviv. Continue to Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv has now grown and walk through the narrow passageways and ancient buildings in Jaffa's Old City. Stop at Rabin Square, where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 but which is also the hub of Tel Aviv's political and cultural scene. After dinner on own account those who wish can enjoy an evening of jazz at one of Tel Aviv's trendy clubs. Overnight: Dan Tel Aviv.