Dix Hills Jewish Center‛s Exploring Israel Tour

July 17 – July 31, 2016

Join Rabbi Howard Buechler on

Dix Hills Jewish Center‛s Exploring Israel Tour

July 17 – July 31, 2016

Dix HIlls

Sunday, 17 July

Depart USA on an overnight flight to Israel

Monday, 18 July

Going up into the Land

Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative – Tour the alleys of Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as the Gate of Zion. Shekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony on top of Tel Jaffa overlooking modern Tel Aviv. Check-in at the Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at Meatos Restaurant. Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 19 July

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

Walking tour of historic “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighbourhood that gave birth to the “first Hebrew city in 2,000 years”. Relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new State of Israel at Independence Hall. Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch on your own and free time to explore the Nahalat Binyamin crafts fair. Visit the Palmach Museum for a multimedia presentation about the elite underground organization that played a critical role in founding the State of Israel. Continue to Jem’s Beer Factory in Petch Tikva. Hear the story of its founder, Jeremy Welfeld, who “left a comfortable job at the White House for the sake of making beer in Israel”. Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy beach side Promenade.   Free evening. Dinner on own. Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 20 July

Along the Mediterranean Coast

Depart for northern Israel. Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace. Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games. Lunch at the boutique Tishbi Winery Restaurant in Binyamina. Tour of the Old City of Acco: Visit the Underground Prisoners Museum in Acco Prison, where the British held and even executed Jewish underground fighters. A daring escape from this prison is featured in the film Exodus. Then venture beneath the streets of present day Acco to explore the Crusader Knights Halls. Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee followed by dinner at Decks Restaurant. Check–in to the Nof Ginosar Hotel on Kibbutz Ginosar by the Sea of Galilee. Overnight: Kibbutz Ginosar.

Thursday, 21 July

Mystics, Geopolitics and Israel’s Finest

Tour the old synagogues and picturesque alleys of the mystical city of Tzfat – Discover the origins of our Friday night service where Lecha Dodi was written. Glassblowing demonstration in the studio of a local artist – Hear about the influence of Jewish spirituality on her art. Raft or Kayak down the Jordan River – Great way to cool off on a hot day. Time permitting: Nature walk in the Banias Nature Reserve to see its beautiful waterfall. Tour of the strategic Golan Heights to visit bunkers where the Syrian army used to look down at Israel below. Then look out from the peak of Mt. Bental to gain a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics. Chocolate making workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory on nearby Kibbutz Ein Zivan. Barbeque dinner on an Israeli army base with young soldiers who are giving some of the best years of their lives to the defense of Israel. Overnight: Kibbutz Ginosar

Friday, 22 July

Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society

Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Germachin Center in Beit Shean. Learn about Ethiopian Jewry’s modern day Exodus story and the challenges facing the Ethiopian Israeli community today. Continue south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem. Shekhiyanu/Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat. On the way, see the nearby picturesque Nachalaot neighborhoods. Check-in to Dan Panorama Hotel or Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat. Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to pray together as a congregation at the “Masorati Kotel”, where men and women can stand together. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Dan Panorama

Saturday, 23 July

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Shabbat morning services at a local of your choice (recommendations and directions to be provided by Rabbi Buechler) or sleep late. Learning session at the Conservative Yeshiva. Shabbat Lunch at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism. Shabbat afternoon options: Late afternoon walking tour to the historic Montefiore Windmill to discover the first neighbourhood built outside the walls of the Old City. Option: Additional walking tour with Rabbi Buechler to discover Jerusalem’s Rehavia neighborhood and its hidden splendor. Havdalah with Rabbi Buechler. Free evening. Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman railway station turned restaurant – cafe area. Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 24 July

The Old City of Jerusalem

An Ancient Jewish Legacy – Explore the City of David using the Bible and archaeology to make Jerusalem’s stones tell the story of the city’s ancient past. Wade through Hezekiah’s Tunnel – A still flowing ancient water system that saved the city of Jerusalem 2,700 years ago (dry option available). Lunch on own in Jewish Quarter. Tour of Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Discover underground Jerusalem in the Western Wall Tunnels. Free evening. Dinner on own. Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, 25 July

Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

Set out early across the Judean Desert and ascend Masada by cable car. B’nai Mitzvah Ceremony on top of Masada to connect a Jewish past with a Jewish future. tour the ruins of Masada – Herod’s palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence. Swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at a local resort. The resort also has a fresh water pool and spa facilities. Massage and spa treatments available by prior reservation at own expense. Lunch at Dead Sea resort. Time permitting: Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Stop off at “Abraham’s Tent” for a Camel ride and biblical hospitality before returning to Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own. Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, 26 July

Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity

Tour of Yad Vashem Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Historical Museum and Children‛s Memorial. (Children under age 10 are not permitted in Yad Vashem’s historical museum). Alternate program for younger children: Visit Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, where you’ll see animals which lived in Israel during biblical times. (Children must be accompanied by an adult. Zoo visit not included in the tour price). Lunch on own. Meaningful visit to the Mt. Herzl Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel at the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Theordore Herzl and Hannah Senesch. Engage in hands on tzedakah preparing food packages for distribution to some of Israel’s neediest people at Pantry Packers in southern Jerusalem. Dinner on own in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Quarter. Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David. Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, 27 July

Underground Adventure

Drive to Beit Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands, crossing enroute the biblical Elah Valley, where David and Goliath fought. Dig up Israel’s past by participating in a hands on archaeological excavation with Dig for a Day in Beit Guvrin National Park. Lunch on own. Travel to Rehovot for a guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – an underground bullet factory used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel. Return to Jerusalem. Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, 28 July

Trees, Mitzvahs and Jerusalem the Capital

Visit Yad Lakashish, a unique employment project helping Jerusalem’s elderly, including a stop in its gift shop “where shopping is a mitzvah!” Plant a tree in the soil of the land of Israel to help renew a forest near Jerusalem. Lunch on own. Guided tour of the Israeli Supreme Court Building – An architectural gem and an opportunity to learn about Israel’s legal system. Light meal and mifgash/encounter with Rabbi Chaya Baker and Masorati families at the Ramot Zion Synagogue in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood. Overnight: Inbal Hotel,, Jerusalem

Friday, 29 July

The Future of the Past

Briefing on Israeli and Middle East Politics by guest lecturer. Visit the Israel Museum, a tour of the including the Shrine of the Book (Dead Sea Scrolls) and the large scale Model of Ancient Jerusalem, followed by free time to explore other exhibits: Our recommendations – Synagogue interiors in the Judaica Wing; Modern Israeli art and the Archaeology Wing. Lunch on own. Remainder of afternoon free to explore on your own, get in last minute shopping and prepare for Shabbat. Attend Friday night services at an inspiring local Jerusalem synagogue. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, 30 July

Shabbat in Jerusalem – Familiar Ground

Shabbat morning services at the local synagogue of your choice (Suggestions and directions will be provided). Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel. Walking tour to the Christian Quarter in the Old City, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, to appreciate Jerusalem’s multicultural character. Option: Additional walking tour with Rabbi Buechler to discover “Jerusalem gems”: Russian and Ethiopian Churches, a Herodian Column and the rebirth of the Hebrew language. Havdalah with Rabbi Buechler. Late Check-out. Farewell Dinner at Olive and Fish Restaurant. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

Sunday, 31 July

Arrive in USA

Begin planning your next Israel trip with Rabbi Buechler and ITC Tours!

Tour Rates

Land and Air* Package $5445 Land Only $3795 All prices are per person in a double room. Single Room Supplement:$1475 Reduction 3rd adults in room $265 Child, ages 2-12, as 3rd person in room: subtract $650 Bar/Bat Mitzvah child as 3 rd in room: subtract $710 Third and Fourth in a quad with parents: subtract $200 Added to the above pricing are tips for Guide, Driver, Restaurants and Porterage $180 per person. Tour price is based on 25 travelers
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