DAY 1 – Tuesday, November 8 - All individual arrivals to arrive by the evening and will be checked into the group hotel. Get a good night's sleep! Overnight: Renaissance, Tel Aviv
DAY 2 – Wednesday, November 9 –TEL AVIV – THE FIRST HEBREW CITY – After breakfast meet your guide and driver and depart the hotel to begin your touring of Tel Aviv, "the city that never sleeps." Pass by the National Bima Theater, the Opera House and beautiful Rothschild Boulevard where you can see examples of the unique Bauhaus architecture and view Independence Hall (closed for renovations until 2023) and continue on to 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. Return to downtown Tel Aviv and walk along historic Bialik Street, where you'll see the home of Israel's laureate author, Haim Bialik, a well as the original City Hall. Drive to Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv has now grown, and after lunch on own in the colorful flea market, walk through the narrow passageways and ancient buildings in its old city, exploring some of the many art galleries. Return to Tel Aviv and visit the renovated ANU Museum – the Museum of the Jewish People – which offers a fascinating journey that portrays the story of the Jewish people through the generations and up to the present time, OR the fascinating Palmach Museum which presents the history of the pre-State fighting force and the stories of the young men and women who comprised its ranks. Return to the hotel to freshen up and then enjoy a welcome dinner at the mideastern restaurant Maganda. Overnight: Renaissance, Tel Aviv
DAY 3 – Thursday, November 10 - ALONG THE COAST - Following breakfast drive out of Tel Aviv, heading north. Stop first at Caesarea and visit the ruins of the Roman and Crusader cities. From there drive to the Carmel Mountains and Haifa, Israel's 3rd largest city, and enjoy a view of the beautiful view of Haifa Bay and the beautiful Baha'i Gardens and the Shrine of the Bab. Stop for lunch on own on the Carmel or in the bustling German Colony (where you can also get a view of the Shrine from below). Continue to the Yemin Orde Youth Village which for 70 years has served as a home for immigrant and at-risk children aged 5-19 years, and in the past few decades has taken in many chidren from Ethiopian families who struggled to make ends meet following their Aliyah; meet with some of the staff and residents, From there drive to the village of Zichron Yaakov, which was founded with the help of the philanthropist the Baron de Rothschild and known as the home of the Carmel winery. Visit to the winery and then return to Tel Aviv and evening at leisure to experience the city's lifely night-life, or depending on scheduling, attendance at a performance, concert, etc. (to be determined later on). Overnight: Renaissance, Tel Aviv
DAY 4 – Friday, November 11 – STRUGGLES OF A PEOPLE THROUGH THE AGES – After breakfast at the hotel drive to Rehovot to the 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 after a short walk through the gentrified neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, which was the first to be built in the "modern" city of Tel Aviv, wander through the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian arts and crafts fair, just adjacent to the famous Carmel open-air market; perhaps stop for lunch at the renovated train station or on trendy Shenkin Street. Return to the hotel to relax and experience Kabbalat Shabbat, perhaps on the beach, followed by Shabbat dinner at the hotel. Overnight: Renaissance, Tel Aviv
DAY 5– Shabbat, November 12 – Check out of the hotel after breakfast and drive along the Mediterranean to Akko,(Acre), a 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 and learn about this mixed city of Israeli Jews and Arabs. Lunch on own in the colorful market and continue to Nazareth, where according to tradition Jesus grew to manhood; visit the Church of the Annunciation. Continue east past Kfar Kana, where Jesus performed the Miracle of Wine and drive to the Upper Galilee to your kibbutz hotel. Check in, time to relax, dinner at the hotel and then meet with one of the kibbutz veterans to hear about the history and evolvement of the kibbutz movement. Overnight: Pastoral Kfar Blum Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee
DAY 6 - Sunday, November 13 – THE UPPER GALILEE AND GOLAN - Breakfast at the hotel drive to Safed, a picturesque city of spiritual people and artists, wrapped in mysticism and mystery and steeped in a sacred atmosphere. Visit two major synagogues and then wander a bit in the Artists' Quarter. Drive back east to the Golan Heights and enjoy an authentic Druze lunch in one of the villages. Stop at Oz 77, site of a major tank battle in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and discuss the issues the Israel faces on its northern borders. Visit to Kibbutz Misgav Am, located in the "Finger of the Galilee" and which overlooks into Lebanon; meet with IDF veterans and learn about this settlement and the consequences of living on the front-line. Then proceed to a cooking workshop and dinner at the home of Gadi Elias at Yesod Hamalah. Overnight: Pastoral Kfar Blum Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee
DAY 7 - Monday, November 14 – AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE – After breakfast drive south along the Hulah Valley to Magdala, traditionally the home of Mary Magdalene, which was an important fishing village during the 1st century CE and which boasts remains of an impressive and well preserved 1st century synagogue. Continue to the northern shores of Lake Kinneret and visit Capernaum where Jesus began His ministry with the Disciples. From there it's a short drive to Tabgha and view the beautiful mosaic floor, depicting the Miracle of Loaves and Fish, in the Heptagon Church. Continue to Tiberias on Lake Kinneret/Sea of Galilee for some free time to enjoy lunch on own overlooking the Lake. Finish the day's touring at the Kinneret Cemetery near Kibbutz Degania, Israel's first kibbutz, and hear the stories of the early chalutzim (pioneers) during the early 20th century. Dinner on own (options: Tiberias, Rosh Pina, Kiryat Shmonah).
Return to the hotel. Overnight: Pastoral Kfar Blum Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee
DAY 8 - Tuesday, November 15 – DESCENDING TO THE DEAD SEA - After breakfast check out of the hotel and depart the Upper Galilee. The first stop will be at the Jordan River Village, Israel's only free, year-round overnight camp for children from all sectors of Israeli society living with life-limiting conditions. Continue south along the Jordan Valley Rift, stopping for some refreshments on the way, and pass by Jericho and Kas-el-Yehud, traditionally thought to be the actual spot with Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Arrive at Genesis Land (Eretz B'Reishit) where you'll experience biblical-style hospitality and lunch. Drive to the Dead Sea Basin and check into your hotel. Free time to enjoy floating on the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea and to take advantage of the hotel's spa facilities. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight: Ganim, Dead Sea
DAY 9 - Wednesday, November 16 – ASCENDING TO JERUSALEM – Following breakfast check out and drive to Masada, one of Israel's most exciting sites which relates a story of perseverance and power, faith and surrender, ambitious and ending in tragedy; ascend and descend via the cable car. Then continue north via
Qumran, where the oldest Bible ever found – the Dead Sea Scrolls – was discovered and finally arrive at the "City of Gold" – Jerusalem. Upon entering the city stop atop of Mt. Scopus for an overview of the Old and New cities and to recite the traditional sheheiyanu blessing. Enter into the Old City and after lunch on own in the Jewish Quarter walk through the Cardo, the main thoroughfare of Byzantine Jerusalem, and through the Hurva Square, the Quarter's main square, where you can see the beautifully restored Hurva Synagogue. Visit Mt. Zion, the traditional burial site of King David and the site of the Last Supper and stop at the Temple Mount observation point, which until 1967 was the closest Jews could get. Check into the hotel and dinner on own, perhaps at the First Train Station, with its variety of different types of restaurants and possible public entertainment. Overnight: Inbal, Jerusalem
DAY 10 - Thursday, November 17 – REVELATIONS UNDERGROUND - Following breakfast drive to Yad L'Kashish (Lifeline for the Old) which provides an opportunity for elderly to become contributing members of the society. After the chance to buy some hand-made presents in the gift shop return to the Old City and start with an overview at the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem(dependent on time, enter into the Roman Tunnel which was only discovered in the last decade). Enter via Dung Gate and visit the Jerusalem Archaeological Park; 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. Continue to the Kotel (Western Wall) with a chance to leave a message in between the ancient stones, and then take a tour of the Western Wall Tunnels. Lunch on own in the Arab bazaar and pass some of the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa, and end the day's touring at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which many believe is the site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Free time for shopping. Dinner on own and then return to the Tower of David at Jaffa Gate to view the inspiring sound and light show, "The Night Spectacular". Overnight: Inbal, Jerusalem
DAY 11 - Friday, November 18 – MEMORIES FOR THE FUTURE - Following breakfast depart the hotel for Mt. Herzl, Israel's main military cemetery and where we'll take a tour of the Museum dedicated to Theodor Herzl and the formation of the World Jewish Congress, and then visit the graves of Israel's great leaders. Continue to Yad Vashem, Israel's main Holocaust Remembrance and Education Center. Enjoy time wandering in the Machne Yehudah open-air market with a chance for lunch on own and free time. Optionally late afternoon return to the Old City to welcome in Shabbat at the Western Wall. Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel. Overnight: Inbal, Jerusalem
DAY 12 - Shabbat, November 19 – SHABBAT IN JERUSALEM – Leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Those who wish depart the hotel with Rabbi Roman for "shul hopping". In addition, at supplemental cost, others can visit Bethlehem, traditional city of Jesus' birth; After lunch on own all will visit the Israel Museum, including the Shrine of the Book, home to several exceptional archaeological finds including the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts, the Model of 2nd Temple Jerusalem and additional exhibits at this world-class museum. Those departing that evening will check out from the hotel and all will proceed to the farewell banquet. Transfer to Ben Gurion Aiport for those departing for the USA while the rest will return to the hotel.