Rabbi Philip Scheim

Exploring Israel with Beth David

Led by Rabbi Philip Scheim

April 24 – May 7, 2017


Monday, 24 April

Depart Toronto on overnight flight to Israel

Tuesday, 25 April

Going up into the Land

Morning arrival 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. Visit the Palmach Museum for a multimedia presentation about the elite underground organization that played a critical role in founding the State of Israel. Check-in to the Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at hotel.

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 26 April

Academic Excellence and the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv

VIP tour of Tel Aviv University’s new advanced technology center. Lunch at Tel University. Travel through 2,000 years of Jewish history at Beit Hatfutzot – The recently renovated Museum of the Diaspora on the campus of Tel Aviv University. Explore Sarona, a former German Templar colony, which has recently become a trendy shopping and entertainment are in the center of Tel Aviv. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Thursday, 27 April

People, Pioneers and Geopolitics in the Western Negev

Travel to the western Negev. Visit Kibbutz Alumim to meet with a local kibbutz member and hear first-hand about living on the Gaza border, pioneering in the Negev and kibbutz as a community. Discover the heroic story of Israel’s southern front in the War of Independence and release a homing pigeon carrying a message, just as Jewish fighters in the Negev did to warn the people of Tel Aviv of the Egyptian army’s advance. Follow the Salad Trail at Moshav Talmei Yosef touring and tasting your way through hi-tech agriculture in the desert. Meet your homing pigeon and retrieve your message. Tour of an exotic orchard, followed by a gourmet Yemenite dinner at Ora‛s Yard on Moshav Kfar Maimon. Taste their home-made liqueurs and jams. Hear your hosts’ moving immigration stories. Dinner: Ora’s Yard. Return to Tel Aviv.

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday, 28 April

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

At Independence Hall relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new State of Israel.
Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv standing at the Founders’ Monument on Rothschild Boulevard and see 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 Nachalat Binyamin crafts fair. While there checkout the nearby Carmel Market and bohemian Sh einkin Street – All three of these Tel Aviv icons meet at the “Magen David Junction”. If only these stones could speak – Visit the Trumpeldor Cemetery to discover the stories of major figures in Israeli history. Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy beachside Promenade. Shabbat Candle Lighting. Optional Shabbat evening services – To be determined with the Rabbi. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Shabbat/Saturday, 29 April

And on the Seventh Day…in Tel Aviv

Optional Shabbat morning services at the Neve Schecter Masorati (Conservative) synagogue, followed by a meeting with Rabbi Roberto Arbiv to hear about his community. Walking tour of the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighborhood that gave birth to the “first Hebrew city in 2,000 years”. Traditional Shabbat Lunch at Hotel. Visit the “Aliyah Bet” Memorial in London Square to hear the story of the illegal immigration operations which rescued Jewish refugees before the founding of the State of Israel. Free time to swim, explore on your own and watch Tel Aviv’s residents folkdance, play raquetball and enjoy Shabbat afternoon by the sea. Havdalah with Rabbi Scheim. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Sunday, 30 April

Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee (Erev Yom Hazikaron)

Depart for northern Israel. Explore Tzippori, the ruins of the city where Rabbi Judah Hanasi sealed the Mishna. Discover its magnificent mosaics, including Mona Lisa of the Galilee and ponder why an ancient synagogue’s floor features a wheel of the zodiac. (Opportunity to study Jewish texts in the field). Lunch on own. Tour the old synagogues and picturesque alleys of Tzfat, cradle of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in the 16th century. Discover the origins of our Friday night service where Lecha Dodi was written. Visit a local glassblower and hear how Jewish spirituality influences her art. Check–in to the Lavi Hotel on Kibbutz Lavi in the Galilee. Dinner at hotel. Join members of Kibbutz Lavi for a Yom Hazikaron service in memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers.

Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi

Monday, 1 May

The Strategic Golan Heights and the Sources of the Jordan (Yom Hazikaron/Memorial Day)

Tour the Golan Heights and “look down at Israel below” the way the Syrian army once did. Then look out from strategic Mt. Bental to gain a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics. At 11:00 stand in solmen memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers as sirens sound throughout the country (Possibility of attending a Yom Hazikaron service). Boxed lunch (Restaurants in Israel are closed on Yom Hazikaron). Walk in the lush Tel Dan Nature Reserve, one of the sources of the Jordan River, where you’ll discover biblical intrigue and one of the oldest arches in the world. Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee followed by dinner at Decks lakeside restaurant. Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day in Tiberias or at Lavi.

Overnight: Lavi

Tuesday, 2 May

Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society (Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day)

Tour of Lavi led by a local resident to hear first hand about kibbutz life. Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Germachin Center in Beit Shean. Learn about this community’s modern day Exodus story and the challenges facing the Ethiopian Israeli community today. Lunch at Germachin Center. Travel south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem. Look out over the Old City of Jerusalem and recite the Shekhianua blessing. Check-in to the David Citadel Hotel or Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel or Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, 3 May

The Old City of Jerusalem – An Ancient Jewish Legacy

Discover the archaeological story of the Western Wall and episodes from rabbinic texts while standing where Jewish pilgrims walked 2,000 years ago at Robinson’s Arch and the Southern Wall Excavations. Visit the Western Wall to connect to an ancient Jewish legacy. Explore underground Jerusalem walking through the Western Wall Tunnels. Lunch on own in Jewish Quarter. Tour of the Jewish Quarter including the Hurva Synagogue, Broad Wall, Cardo and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, 4 May

Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

Set out early across the Judean Desert and ascend Masada by cable car to tour the ruins of Herod’s palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence. Discussion: Which Jewish Legacy – Masada or Yavne?
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. Return to Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own Recommendation – Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman railway station turned restaurant – cafe area.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, 5 May

Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity

Tour of Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Holocaust History Museum and Children‛s Memorial. Meaningful walk through the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery to discover chapters in modern Jewish and Israeli history. Lunch on own. Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites preparing for Shabbat. On the way, see the picturesque Nachalaot neighborhoods. Free time to relax, prepare for Shabbat and enjoy the hotel pool. Friday/Shabbat evenings options: 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. OR: Attend Friday night services at a local Jerusalem synagogue. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat/Saturday, 6 May

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Optional Shabbat morning services at your choice of local synagogues (Directions and recommendations will be provided). Kiddush at the Moreshet Israel Masorati (Conservative) synagogue followed by an update on the Masorati/Consevative Movement in Israel. Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel. Free time to relax, explore on own and enjoy hotel pool. Late afternoon walking tour to Mishkenot Sheananim, the first neighbourhood built outside the walls of the Old City. AND/OR: Walking tour to First Temple period burial site at Ketef Hinnom – Where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found.

Overnight David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 7 May

Departure – Check out

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon! Late morning departure. Arrive in Canada Begin planning next Israel trip with Rabbi Scheim and ITC Tours!

Tour Rates

Air* $1291 CA or $932 USD – Land Only $3995 USD All prices are per person in a double room

Single Room Supplement: $1675 USD

Third adult in triple room: Reduction $510 USD

Tour: Price is based on 20 paying travelers; price will decrease at 25 paying and may increase at less than 20 paying

Added to the above pricing are tips for Guide, Driver, Restaurants and Porterage $180 per person
*Fuel surcharge and airport taxes are subject to change

ITC offers group travel and health insurance $395 for trip cost up to $5500

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