Rabbi Paul Plotkin

Join Rabbi Paul Plotkin, “Been there …. not yet done that”

An exploration of the issues!

April 20 – May 3, 2017


Thursday, 20 April

Depart USA on overnight flight to Israel

Friday, 21 April

Going up in to the Land

Morning arrival to be met and assisted by ITC representative and guide. Ascend to Jerusalem Shekhiyanu/Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Beyond the Walls: This tour chronologically traces Jerusalem’s urban development as seen through the19th and 20th century neighborhoods outside the Old City walls. In the course of the tour we will encounter stories of pioneers, competing empires and ethnic diversity that made Jerusalem in to the city it is today. Lunch on own at the colorful Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as Jerusalem prepares for Shabbat. Opportunity to purchase food for Shabbat lunch and snacks. Check-in to David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem. Join hundreds of other Jews from around the world to Greet the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat, 22 April

Shabbat in Jerusalem

Optional “shul-hopping” with Rabbi Plotkin. Afternoon at leisure to explore on own, visit with family and friends or relax by the pool. Optional pre-purchase tickets available for Ramparts Walk today (not included in tour price). Lunch on own Havdalah with Rabbi Plotkin. Saturday night on the town. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 23 April

Jerusalem Neighborhoods and Geopolitics.

Explore the City of David excavations using the Bible and archaeology to unravel Jerusalem’s ancient past, including an update on new discoveries. Lunch on own. Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem – Opportunity to examine key geopolitical issues impacting on the city, such as borders, building and settlement and Israel’s security fence and gain first hand insight beyond what you read in the newspapers. Erev Yom Hashoa – Dinner on own at hotel.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, 24 April

Yom Hashoah – Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity

Yom Hashoa Memorial Service at Yad Vashem – Stop to for two minutes of silence as sirens are sounded throughout. Yad Vashem – Attend National Holocaust memorial ceremony on the Yad Vashem campus and visit Valley of Lost Communities. Edut Speaker: Holocaust survivor Yossi Kleiner, who testified at the Eichman trial, will share his personal story. Lunch on own. “Start Up Nation” – Visit to Oramed a bio-med start-up firm in Givat Ram’s Hi-Tech Park (formerly “incubator village”) to learn about how Israel has become a world leader in innovation. Dinner on own

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, 25 April

Jerusalem: A United or Divided City?

Speaker on Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian State (based on availability)
Tour neighborhoods of Arab East Jerusalem with Rabbis for Human Rights. Walking tour and visit to Jewish homes in the Moslem Quarter that have been purchased by the Ateret Cohanim Jerusalem Reclamation Project. Lunch on own. Tour the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem. Meet with Ruach Hadasha (New Spirit) an organization working to keep young, non-ultraorthodox, Jews in Jerusalem. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, 26 April

Over the “Green Line”

At Kibbutz Kfar Etzion discover the story of the Etzion Bloc (Gush Etzion) from its pioneering settlement and heroic stand in Israel’s War of Independence to its renewal after the Six Day War. Meet Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, a West Bank settlement in “the consensus” and local resident Albi Kava. Lunch on own. Tour of Efrat. Meet with Rabbi Seth Mandell, father of Koby Mandell, who was murdered by terrorists. Visit a smaller settlement, outside of the consensus. Dinner on own.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, 27 April

Jewish Religious Spectrum

Join Women of the Wall for morning Rosh Hodesh service at the Western Wall.
Discussion with Anat Hoffman of IRAC. Meeting with Rabbi Seth Farber, head of Itim, an organization that works to bridge gaps and make Jewish lifecycle rituals more accessible to secular Israelis. Lunch on own. Meeting with Dr. Micha Goodman at the Ein Prat Mechina, a pre army preparation program for Israelis from both religious and secular backgrounds. Tour the enormous Belzer Synagogue, an example of Hasidic splendor and recovery after the Holocaust. Meeting with a local Masorti (Conservative) rabbi. Free evening. Dinner on own

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, 28 April

Wine, Borders and Settlements

Visit to local boutique wineries in the Sharon Region. Lunch on own. Look out from Alfei Menashe, a West Bank settlement, at the greater Tel Aviv area and the “narrow waste of Israel lying below. Tour of the town of Ariel, a large “suburban” West Bank settlement. Optional Shabbat services at Shira Hadasha, a modern Orthodox synagogue in which women take an active role in leading services.Home hospitality Shabbat dinner with Shabbat of a Lifetime, including traditional blessings, food, stories and songs.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat, 29 April

A Heavenly Shabbat

Optional Shabbat morning services. Remainder of the day at leisure in Jerusalem

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 30 April

People, Pioneers, Geopolitics and Defense in the Negev

Travel to the western Negev. Drive through Sderot, a border development town that was the target of numerous rocket attacks from the neighboring Gaza Strip. Look out over northern Gaza Strip from the Asaf Siboni Observation Point near Kibbutz Niram. 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 at Kibbutz Alumim. Tour Israel‛s Air Force Museum to view the planes and equipment and to hear the story of this brave fighting force. Visit with Rabbi Plotkin‛s daughter, who has made aliyah and lives in Beersheva. Return to Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own at hotel (Restaurants are closed on Erev Yom Hazikaron). Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem.

Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, May 1

Yom Hazikaron

Memorial Day: The Battles for Jerusalem – Visit the renovated Museum of the Underground Prisoners, where Jewish pre-State freedom fighters were imprisoned by the British; hear their valiant story. Enter the Old City through the Zion Gate for a walking tour in the footsteps of the battles for Jerusalem in 1948 and 1967. At Ammunition Hill see a terrific new audio-video presentation about the fierce Six Day War battle for Jerusalem – enter former Jordanian trenches (if available). Drive to Tel Aviv through the gorge of ShaarHagai/Bab El Wad and then stop at Latrun, a former battle site and the central memorial to Israel’s tank corps. Hotel check-in

Dinner on own. Evening: Join in Independence Day festivities as Israelis “switch” from mourning to joyous celebration. Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, May 2

Yom Ha‛Atzmaut – Independence Day

Walking tour of the historic Neve Tzedek neighborhood that gave birth to the first Hebrew city in 2,000 years. Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus architecture which made central Tel Aviv a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy watching Israel Air Force flyovers – A Yom Ha‛Atzmaut tradition. Free time to enjoy beach, pack and relax.
Late check-out. Farewell dinner at Goshen Restaurant.

Depart for the airport

Wednesday, May 3

A Temporary Departure

Return to USA. Begin planning your next Israel trip with Rabbi Plotkin and ITC Tours!

Tour Rates

Land and Air* Package $5515 – Land Only $4315 Single Room Supplement: $2080

Third person over 18 as 3rd room: – Subtract $640 Flight above is based on NY area – Flights are also available for your home area airport.

Added to cost: tips for Guide, Driver, Restaurants and porterage $185 per person

ITC offers group travel and health insurance $495 for trip cost up to $6000

Israel Phone

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