Led by Rabbi Alan Lucas

Join Temple Beth Sholom’s Exploring Israel Tour

Led by Rabbi Alan Lucas

March 18 – 30, 2017

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Saturday, 18 March

Depart USA on overnight flight to Israel


Sunday, 19 March

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. Proceed to check-in at the Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at Liliyot Restaurant – A leading Tel Aviv eating establishment which trains at-risk youth for culinary careers.

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv


Monday, 20 March

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

Walking tour of “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint historic Neve Tzeddek neighborhood 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. Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv standing at the Founders’ Monument then stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch on own. Please choose one of the following touring two afternoon options: Multimedia tour of the Palmach Museum to discover the story of the elite underground organization that played a critical role in founding the State of Israel. Visit the Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center for a critical look at Israeli society and view the exhibit on Operation Jonathan – Israel’s daring Entebbe raid. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Carlton, Tel Aviv


Tuesday, 21 March

Geopolitics and Pioneering in the 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 life. Lunch in Kibbutz Alumim’s communal dining room. Tour and wine tasting at the Carmei Avdat Winery in the Negev Highlands. Check-in to the Beresheet Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon. Dinner Beresheet Hotel.

Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon.


Wednesday, 22 March

Makhtesh Ramon

Stunning Desert Beauty – Discover the natural history of the region at the multimedia Makhtesh Ramon Visitors Center dedicated to fallen Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. Explore Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) on foot and by jeep to discover magnificant desert landscapes and a fascinating window into the earth’s past. Lunch on own. Afternoon free to enjoy the hotel’s spa and recreational facilities. Dinner at Beresheet Hotel. See more stars than you ever have before on a Stargazing tour in the desert.

Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon.


Thursday, 23 March

Vision and Development in the Negev

Visit David Ben Gurion’s Grave in Sde Boker to hear about Ben Gurion’s vision for developing the Negev and look out at the cliffs of the stunning Zin Valley. Walk to Ein Avdat in the beautiful white canyon of the Zin Valley. Drive to the Negev development town of Yerucham. Lunch with the Kitchen Queens of Yerucham – a true gastronomic expereince.
Tour of Yerucham with a local social activist to hear about its transformation from a downtrodden development town to a dynamic growing community. Study session on the role of the desert in the Torah at Bamidbar, a Yerucham based educational and social action center.

Travel north to Jerusalem. Check-in to Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. Dinner on own. Overnight: David Citadel Jerusalem


Friday, 24 March

Exploring the Jewish Quarter and Welcoming Shabbat

Tour of synagogues in Jewish Quarter, including the restored Hurva Synagogue. “Assemble” an archaeological puzzle at the Israelite Tower to reconstruct a major event in biblical Israel (Site to be opened specially for Temple Beth Shalom group). Free time to shop and explore on own in the Jewish Quarter. Lunch on own. Free time to prepare for Shabbat. 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 Jerusalem


Saturday, 25 March

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Shabbat morning services at the synaogue of your choice (recommendatins and direction will be provided). Study session at the Conservative Yeshiva. Traditional Shabbat Lunch at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism. Shabbat afternoon options: Afternoon walking tour of Jerusalem’s “cultural mile” from your hotel to the Tower of David Museum at Jaffa Gate. Havdalah with Rabbi Lucas. 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: David Citadel Jerusalem


Sunday, 26 March

Off the Beaten Track Antiquities and Tastes

Visit to the Israel Museum for a guided tour of the Archaeology Wing with an emphasis on “Jewish Archaeology”, followed by free time to visit other exhibits on own. Tasting tour on the lively Machane Yehuda Market. Tour Nachlaot to discover quaint picturesque neighborhoods steeped in distinctly Jewish history, folklore and ethnicity in the heart of Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Jerusalem


Monday, 27 March

Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics?

Set out 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. Tour the ruins of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Return to Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Jerusalem


Tuesday, 28 March

Jewish Legacies and Social Responsibility

Tour of Yad Vashem Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Holocaust History Museum and Children‛s Memorial. Lunch on own. In depth tour of the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel at the graves of our fallen soldiers and national leaders. Hands on tzedakah project – Prepare food packages for distribution to some of Israel’s neediest people at Pantry Packers Jerusalem logistical center. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Jerusalem


Wednesday, 29 March

What’s New that’s Old

Tour of the City of David excavations to hear about new discoveries and what they are revealing about ancient Jerusalem. Lunch on own. Tour of the Menachem Begin Museum to view a multimedia presentation on the history of Israel seen through the life and times of Menachem Begin. Visit Ketef Hinom – An antiquities site on the grounds of the Begin Museum where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found. Remainder of afternoon free to relax pack and get in last minute shopping. Late check out. Farewell dinner at Medita Restaurant.

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!


Thursday, 30 March

Arrive in USA

Begin planning next Israel trip with Rabbi Lucas and ITC Tours!

Tour Rates

Land and Air* Package $5235 – Land Only $4185 All prices are per person in a double room

Single Room Supplement: $1550

Third adult in triple room: Reduction $180

Added to the above pricing are tips for Guide, Driver, Restaurants and Porterage $180 per person

ITC offers group travel and health insurance

*Fuel surcharge and airport taxes are subject to change

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