Exploring Israel with Congregation Ahavat Olam

Exploring Israel with Congregation Ahavat Olam Tour

Led by Rabbi David Amar

October 26 – November 6, 2016

Exploring Israel

Wednesday, 26 October

Depart USA on overnight flight to Israel


Thursday, 27 October

Going up to Jerusalem

An Ancient Jewish Legacy – Morning arrival in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative. Drive to Jerusalem. Shekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Enter the Old City of Jerusalem to tour the Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter. Lunch on own in Jewish Quarter. See the world renowned Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital. Discover the story of Zionism’s founding father, Theodore Herzl, at the multimedia Herzl Museum, followed by a 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.

Proceed to check-in at the Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem. Welcome dinner and orientation at Olive and Fish Restaurant.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Friday, 28 October

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). Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat. See the picturesque Nachalaot neighborhoods along the way. Free time to relax and 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: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Saturday, 29 October

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Shabbat morning services at your choice of local synagogues.
Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel. Late afternoon walking tour to the historic Montefiore Windmill to discover 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. Havdalah with Rabbi Amar. Free evening, Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman train station turned restaurant – cafe area.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Sunday, 30 October

Exploring Ancient Jerusalem

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 – Hear about a recent archaeological discovery connected to the Hanuakah story. Tour the Western Wall Tunnels to explore underground Jerusalem. Lunch on own. Visit the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Free time to explore additional exhibitions on own. Our Recommendations: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing. Dinner on own in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Quarter. Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Monday, 31 October

Masada and the Dead Sea

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. Time permitting: Walk in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve – Opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Tuesday, 1 November

Across Israel: Jewish Multiculturalism

Drive north through Jordan Valley to Beit Shean.
Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture and hear a moving modern day Exodus story at the Gemarchin Center in Beit Shean. Lunch on own. Visit the ancient synagogue of Hamat Tiberias and ponder why a wheel of the Zodiac appears on its 1,500 year old mosaic floor. Visit the Tomb of Maimonides and the Maimonides Heritage Center in Tiberias for a program about this remarkable medieval Jewish philosopher focusing on his approach to food, nutrition and medicine. Check-in to Nof Ginosar Hotel on Kibbutz Ginosar by the Sea of Galilee. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Nof Ginosar.


Wednesday, 2 November

Mystical Tzfat and the Stragegic Golan Heights

Tour the old synagogues and picturesque alleyways of the mystical city of Tzfat and discover the origins of our Friday night service where Lecha Dodi was written. Visit the studio of a Kabbalistic artist and hear how Jewish spirituality influences his work. Lunch on own. Jeep tour to the Golan Heights to visit former Syrian bunkers where the Syrian army used to look down at “Israel below”. Ascend to the peak of strategic Mt. Bental to look out at the border and gain a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics. Guided tour of the boutique Bahat Winery including wine tasting. 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 Nof Ginosar.


Thursday, 3 November

Along the Mediterranean Coast to Modern Tel Aviv

Guided tour of the former Atlit detention camp where the British held Holocaust refugees, who tried to enter the country “illegally”. Board an “illegal immigration ship” to watch a multimedia presentation about the heroic pre-State immigration. Lunch on own. Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater and Promontory Palace – Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games. Check-in at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv


Friday, 4 November

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

Visit the Palmach Museum in Ramat Aviv for a multimedia presentation about the elite underground organization that played a critical role in founding the State of Israel (Entry from age 6 and above). Relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new State of Israel at Independence Hall. Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus architecture which made central Tel Aviv 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 Sheinkin Street – All Three of these Tel Aviv icons meet at the “Magen David” junction. Time permitting: Tour the alleys of Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as the Gate of Zion. Lookout over modern Tel Aviv from the top of Tel Jaffa. Free time to get ready for Shabbat. Friday/Shabbat evening service options: To be determined with Rabbi Amar. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv


Saturday, 5 November

Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Shabbat morning services – To be determined with Rabbi Amar. – 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. Traditional Shabbat Lunch at Hotel. Walking tour of “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighborhood that gave birth to the “first Hebrew city in 2,000 years”. Havdallah with Rabbi Amar. Late check out. Farewell Dinner at Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport — See you again soon!


Sunday, 6 November

Arrive in USA

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

Tour Rates

Land and Air* Package $4345

Land Only $3195 All prices are per person in a double room
Single Room Supplement: $995
Third adult in triple room: Reduction $200

Main Tour: Price is based on 15 paying travelers; price will decrease at 20 paying and may increase at less then 15 paying

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

ITC offers group travel and health insurance $197 for trip cost up to $4500

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