Join Congregation Emanu El – Explore Israel Trip

Generation to Generation l’Dor V’ Dor

Led by Rabbi Jay Sherwood

June 29 – July 11, 2016

Wednesday, 29 June

Depart USA on an overnight flight to Israel

Thursday, 30 June

Entering 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 Dan Panorama Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday, 1 July

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

Travel to Rehovot for a guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – a secret bullet factory used by the Jewish underground before the founding of the State of Israel. 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 on Rothschild Boulevard and see the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Beit Bialik, the private home of Israel’s late poet laureate Chaim Nahman Bialik, and see its etrog shaped dome roof. 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 same junction. Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and get ready for Shabbat. Shabbat evening service on beach with Rabbi Sherwood. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel or home hospitality if possible.

Overnight: Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv

Saturday, 2 July

Shabbat in Tel Aviv

Shabbat morning services to be determined with Rabbi Sherwood. 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. Lunch on own. Walking tour of the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighborhood that gave birth to the “first Hebrew city in 2,000 years”. Free time to enjoy the beach and swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Havdallah with Rabbi Sherwood. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Sunday, 3 July

Unearthing the Past and Exploring the Desert

Drive to Beit Guvrin in the Judean Foothills. Unearth Israel’s past in a hands on archaeological excavation in a cave next to biblical Tel Maresha with Dig for a Day. Travel south across the Negev Desert. Enjoy Lunch, Bedouin hospitality and camel riding and at Sfinat Hamidbar (“Desert Ship”). Look out at the majestic Zin Valley David Ben Gurion’s gravesite in Sde Boker and hear about his vision for developing the Negev. Stop on the rim of Makhtesh Ramon (“Ramon Crater”) to look out and see a stunning desert landscape.
Check in to the Ramon Inn in Mitzpe Ramon. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Ramon Inn, Mitzpe Ramon

Monday, 4 July

Nature, People and Development in the Negev

Jeep tour of Makhtesh Ramon to discover magnificant desert landscapes and a fascinating window into the earth’s past. Visit Yerucham and hear about its transformation from a downtrodden development town to a dynamic growing community. Lunch with Kitchen Queens of Yerucham – a true gastronomic experience. Study session on “Why was the Torah given in the desert” with Debbie Golan at Bamidbar, a Yerucham based educational and social action center. Travel to Dead Sea region. Check-in to Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel. Swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. The hotel also has a fresh water pool and spa facilities. Massage and spa treatments available by prior reservation at own expense. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Isrotel, Dead Sea

Tuesday, 5 July

Masada and the Dead Sea: Freedom Fighters or Fanatics

Option: Early morning hike to climb up Masada with Rabbi Sherwood (Taxi from hotel to Masada at hikers’ expense). Ascend Masada by cable car to tour the ruins of Herod’s palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence 2,000 years ago: Discussion: Which Jewish Legacy – Masada or Yavne?
Time permitting: Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Drive past Qumran and see from the road some of the caves, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Lunch at Kibbutz Kalya. Drive north through the Jordan Valley.
Tour the Roman ruins of Beit Shean – A splendid city of the Decapolis. Hear how the rabbis of the Mishna related to the Roman theater and bathhouse. Dinner on own in Tiberias. Check-in to Nof Ginosar Hotel in the Galilee.

Overnight: Nof Ginosar Hotel, Sea of Galilee.

Wednesday, 6 July

Mystical Tzfat, Jordan Waters and the Strategic Golan Heights

Begin your visit to Tzfat outside the Cave of Shem and Ever to hear its story from Rabbi Sherwood. Tour the old synagogues and picturesque alleys of the city of Tzfat, that was the cradle of Kabbalah in the 16th century – Discover the origins of our Friday night service where Lecha Dodi was written.
Lunch on own. Kayak down the Jordan River – Great way to cool off on a hot day. Visit Kurlander Farm on Moshav Beit Hillel for a hands on experience milking cows and bottle feeding calves. Taste fresh chocalate milk and sample locally produced organic olive oil. Tour the Golan Heights for a perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics as we see former Syrian bunkers overlooking Israel and strategic Mt. Bental. Return to Ginosar. Dinner at hotel
Moonlight concert by Rabbi Sherwood at kibbutz hotel.

Overnight: Nof Ginosar Hotel, Sea of Galilee

Thursday, 7 July

Building the Land and the Struggle for Jewish Statehood

Engage in hands on tzedakah reclaiming food for needy people by picking vegetables with Leket near Moshav Nahalal in the Jezre’el Valley. Visit the Mukhraka Monastery on Mt. Carmel, where the prophet Elijah challenged the priests of Baal and see a stunning view of the Jezre’el Valley. Lunch on own in Zichron Yaakov, an early Zionist pioneering commuity. 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. Drive to Jerusalem on Trans Israel Highway – View and discuss Israel’s Security Fence en route. Hear about the struggle for the road to Jerusalem in the War of Independence as you drive on the highway through Shaar Hagai/Bab El Wad, and see the remains of convoys that tried to break the siege on Jerusalem. Graceland in Judea?: Stop off at the Elvis Presely Gas Station in the Judean Hills before entering Jerusalem. Look out over the Old City of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade. Check-in to Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, 8 July

The Old City of Jerusalem

An Ancient Jewish Legacy – Drive to the Old City of Jerusalem. 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). Visit the Western Wall to connect with an ancient Jewish legacy. Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat. En route see the picturesque Nachalaot neighborhoods. Lunch on own in Machane Yehuda Market. Free time to relax and prepare for Shabbat. Shabbat evening services at Kol Haneshama – A local Reform congregation. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, 9 July

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Shabbat morning services at your choice of local synagogues or Western. Wall (directions and recommendations will be provided). Traditional Shabbat Lunch at hotel. Visit to 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 – Recommendations: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing. Free time to relax, enjoy hotel pool or explore on your own. Havdallah with Rabbi Sherwood at the historic Montefiore Windmill in Mishkenot Shaananim, the first neighbourhood built outside the walls of the Old City. Free evening – Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman railway station turned restaurant – cafe area.

Sunday, 10 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 ac companied by an adult. Zoo visit is not included in the tour price). Lunch on own. Meaningful visit to Mt Herzl Cemetery to discover chapters in the history of Israel while vidsiting the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Theordore Herzl and Hannah Senesch. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels to discover underground Jerusalem.

Tour of Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Late check-out. Farewell Dinner at Medita Restaurant.

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!


Monday, 11 July

Arrive in USA

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

Package Costs and Reductions:

Land Package $3395 (Per person in a double room)

Air* and Land Package $5095.  Single Room Supplement $1057

Third Person over 18 in triple room: subtract $380

Bar & Bat Mitzvah, age 12-13 as 3rd in a triple: subtract $570

Child, age 4-18 as third person in a triple room: subtract $400

Reduction for 3rd or 4th child  up to 12 years in a Quad with parents $280

Added to the above are tips for guide, driver, restaurants and porterage $180

Price is based on 20 paying tour participants.  With less than 20 price will increase. 
Air price is subject to conformation – Fuel surcharge and airport taxes are subject to change.
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