EXPLORING ISRAEL

CONGREGATION BETH
ISRAEL TOUR


Led by Rabbi Jason Nevarez 
October 23-November 3, 2022

 
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DAY 1 – Sunday, October 23 - Depart the US and fly to Israel. Overnight: Flight
   
DAY 2 – Monday, October 24 – 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 and rest of the afternoon at leisure to relax. In the evening get together for a welcome group dinner and orientation to the program. Overnight: Dan Tel Aviv.

 

DAY 3 – Tuesday, October 25 – TEL AVIV – THE FIRST HEBREW CITY – After breakfast drive throughout "the city that never sleeps" 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.  Stop at Rabin Square, hub of Tel Aviv's political and cultural scene and where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995. Proceed to Beit Hapalmach to hear the story of the young men and women who made up the fledgling country's pre-State militia and fought the War of Independence. Take an ethnic tasting tour through Tel Aviv's famous Lewinsky Market, where you'll find a combination of foods and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and hear the unique stories of the local proprietors.  Visit Independence Hall, depicting David Ben Gurion's proclamation of Independence on October 14, 1948 (depends on its opening - currently under renovation) OR walk the Independence trail, a fascinating journey that takes us from a Hebrew city to a Hebrew state, a trail that begins with the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 and ends with the Establishment of Israel in 1948. Dinner on own. End the day at Nachlat Binyamin arts and Crafts Pedestrian Fair and the Carmel Open Market. Overnight: Dan Tel Aviv.

DAY 4 – Wednesday, October 26 - THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS – Start the morning visiting the “State of Mind” Innovation Center to learn about the new advancements Israeli start-ups are making in different fields. Visit Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv has now grown. Walk through the narrow passageways and ancient buildings in its Old City, explore some of the many art galleries and wander through the colorful flea market. Walk through Neve Tzedek, one of the most beautiful areas in the city. Neveh Tzedek was the first neighborhood built in the “new” city of Tel Aviv, back in 1887. Explore ANU museum, a fascinating journey that portrays the story of the Jewish people through the generations and up to the present time. Depart Tel Aviv to Sha'ar Hanegev and meet local people. In the evening dinner + concert at one of Tel Aviv's trendy clubs. Overnight: Dan Tel Aviv.

DAY 5 – Thursday, October 27 – ADVENTURES ON THE WAY NORTH – After breakfast and check out depart Tel Aviv and drive north along the Mediterranean, stopping at Caesarea, the city built by King Herod the Great, the largest man-made port of his time and a main source to his wealth. Explore Zichron Yaakov, the lovely town built by the new settlers in the late 1800's. Stop at a Druze village to learn about the culture of this important minority group and enjoy an authentic lunch with some explanations about Druze faith. Drive via Haifa, Israel's third largest and main port city and look over the amazing Baha'i Gardens. Check into your hotel. Dinner on own. Overnight: Pastoral hotel in the Galilee.

DAY 6 – Friday, October 28 – JEWISH MYSTICSIM AND CRUSADERS – Start the driving to Safed, a picturesque city of spiritual people and artists, wrapped in mysticism and mystery, and steeped in sacred atmosphere.  Visit Akko (Acre), UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is a meeting place for East and West, new and old, beauty and ruins, all adding to its uniqueness. Learn about Israel Arab mixed city. Time permit, enjoy the gleaming white cliffs of Rosh Hanikra and the beautiful stretch of beach below. Walk through the artificial tunnels and view caverns carved out by the pounding waves of the Mediterranean.  Enjoy a home hospitality Shabbat dinner at the home of Gadi Elias, a family that has lived in this land for several generations. Overnight: Pastoral hotel in the Galilee.

DAY 7 – Shabbat, October 29 – ISRAEL'S NORTHERN BORDER – Following breakfast drive up the Golan Heights and visit Oz 77, site of a major tank battle from the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Look over the border into Syria and try to better understand the issues faced by Israel's on its northern borders. Visit one of Israel's finest boutique wineries and enjoy wine-tasting and then take a short hike at one of the northern nature reserves, such as the Banias or Tel Dan Nature Reserve. End the day riding a jeep on the western sloops of the Golan – in the footsteps of the Israeli army in the 6 days' war. Overnight: Pastoral hotel in the Galilee.

DAY 8 – Sunday, October 30 – THE LOWEST PLACE ON EARTH – Breakfast at the hotel, check out and drive to Beit Shean, the largest archeological site in Israel where we'll explore this ancient Roman city with its impressive amphitheater and reconstructed streets. Continue to the Beit Alfa National Park which boasts the remains of one of the most beautiful synagogue mosaic floors in Israel. Drive south along the Jordan Valley Rift, stopping for lunch on own. Visit Qumran, where the oldest Bible ever found – the Dead Sea Scrolls – was discovered. Take a brief hike through the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.  Continue to the Dead Sea Basin and check into your hotel. Experience the unique phenomenon and the spa facilities, pools and beach. Dinner & Overnight: by the Dead Sea.

DAY 9 – Monday, October 31 – FROM MASADA TO JERUSALEM'S FOUNDATIONS – Following breakfast and check-out explore Masada, one of Israel's most famous sites, relating a story of perseverance and power, faith and surrender, ambition and tragedy. Ascend to Jerusalem and upon entering the city stop atop of one of the city's overviews to enjoy the magnificent view and recite the traditional Shehechyanu blessing.  We will enter the Old City and visit the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem; view the Gihon Spring and then walk through the Second Temple-period tunnel which brings you up into past the Old City walls. Take the bus up the hill and reenter the city via Jaffa gates – walk to the Jewish quarter for Lunch. After lunch short visit to the Davidson Center at Jerusalem Archaeological Park where you'll view Robinson's Arch, the remains of the bridge between the Temple Mount and the "Upper City" where the high priests resided, the Davidson Center and the Southern Wall Steps.Stop at the Western Wall with a chance to leave a message in between the ancient stones. Walk through the famous Western Wall Tunnels. Walk out of the old city via the Arab Bazar and the Christian quarter, check into your hotel. Overnight: Inbal hotel, Jerusalem.

DAY 10 – Tuesday, November 1 – FROM HOLOCAUST to REBIRTH – Start the day visiting Yad Vashem, Israel's main Holocaust Remembrance and Education Center; there will be "tracks" for both first-timers and returning visitors to allow all to draw meaning from their time in Yad Vashem which, in addition to remembering those victimized by the Holocaust, also testifies to the millions of lives reclaimed in Israel after World War II. We'll than take a political tour around various sites on the border lines of Jerusalem, including the security wall dividing Israel from Palestinian Territories. After lunch drive via Israel's Parliament - the Knesset and the Supreme court to explore the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, the home of several exceptional archaeological finds: The Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts. In the afternoon we will take part in a cooking workshop, offering you the chance to learn about Israeli cuisine (including dinner) and afterwards perhaps stick around to enjoy Machane Yehuda's night-life scene. When night falls, something magical happens at the shuk - bars, pubs and restaurants appear on every corner and the entire place turns into one enormous party. Overnight: Inbal hotel, Jerusalem.

DAY 11 – Wednesday, November 2 – JERUSALEM OLD CITY – Walk the Jewish Quarter and climb up to the rooftops of the Old City for a completely new perspective on one of the world's most treasured ancient sites. Walk through the Cardo, the main thoroughfare of Byzantine Jerusalem, and through the Hurva Square, the Quarters main square, where you can visit the beautifully restored Hurva Synagogue. Visit Mt. Zion, the traditional burial site of King David and stop at the Temple Mount observation point, which until 1967 was the closest Jews could get. Take a walk to get acquainted with some of Jerusalem unique neighborhoods. Continue to the Herodian Mansion and discover how wealthy Jerusalemites were 2,000 years ago.  In the evening, view The Night Spectacular, the moving sound & light show at the Tower of David OR walk on own to the Yemin Moshe Windmill and then wander along Ben Yehuda Street, or perhaps enjoy time at the First Train Station, with a variety of different types of restaurants and possible public entertainment. Overnight: Inbal hotel, Jerusalem.

DAY 12 – Thursday, November 3 –  THE JUDEAN HILLS – Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and after check-out drive to the Jerusalem Hills to the beautiful Absalom Stalagmites and Stalactites Cave and the moving Scroll of Fire sculpture, depicting the history of Israel from the Holocaust up to Independence. Continue to the Ella Valley where David defeated Goliath. Drive to Rehovot for a visit to the Ayalon Institute, the underground ammunition factory built by the Haganah to make bullets, under the nose of the British. Enjoy a delicious farewell dinner and then transfer to the Airport for a Safe trip home with unforgettable memories!