Join Merrick Jewish Centre's Family Israel Tour

Join Merrick Jewish Centre’s Family Israel Tour

Generation to Generation ‘l Dor V’ Dor

Led by Rabbi Ravid Tilles August, 21 – September 2, 2016


Sunday, 21 August

Depart USA on overnight EL AL flight to Israel

Monday, 22 August

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 Dan Panorama Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at a local restuarant.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, 23 August

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State

Walking tour of historic “Little Tel Aviv” – Discover the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighbourhood 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. Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view 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 Nahalat Binyamin crafts fair. Travel to Rehovot for a guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – an underground bullet factory used by Jewish forces before the founding of the State of Israel. Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, enjoy the beach side Promenade. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 24 August

Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee

Depart for northern Israel. Explore ancient Tzippori and study Jewish texts in 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 floor features a wheel of the zodiac. Lunch on own. 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. Check–in to the Nof Ginosar Hotel on Kibbutz Ginosar by the Sea of Galilee. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Ginosar.

Thursday, 25 August

Ancient and Modern Geopolitics and Israel’s Finest

Jeep tour to the Golan Heights for a perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics as we visit former Syrian bunkers overlooking Israel and strategic Mt. Bental. Please choose one of the following two “touring and tasting” options. Both located on nearby Kibbutz Ein Zivan (Possibility of splitting the group): Chocolate making workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory. OR: Guided tour of the boutique Bahat Winery including wine tasting. Lunch on own. Raft or Kayak down the Jordan River – s great way to cool off on a hot day. 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. 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. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Ginosar

Friday, 26 August

Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society

Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Gemarchin Center in Beit Shean. Lunch at Germarchin Center. Continue south through the Jordan Valley and ascend to Jerusalem. Shekhiyanu/Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat. On the way, see the nearby picturesque Nachalaot neighborhoods. Check-in to Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem. 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, 27 August

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Shabbat morning services at a local Conservative/Masorati synagogue, followed by Kiddush and an update about the Conservative/Masorati movement in Israel. Shabbat Lunch at the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism. Shabbat afternoon options: 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 Tilles. 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: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, 28 August

Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity

Guided 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 accompanied by an adult.) 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. Engage in hands on tzedakah preparing food packages for distribution to some of Israel’s neediest people at Pantry Packers in southern Jerusalem. 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, 29 August

The Old City of Jerusalem

An Ancient Jewish Legacy – B’nai Mitzvah Ceremony at the Masorati Kotel to connect a Jewish past with a Jewish future. 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. iscover underground Jerusalem in the Western Wall Tunnels. Festive B’nai Mitzvah lunch at Between the Arches restaurant. 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 – still a flowing ancient water system that saved the city of Jerusalem 2,700 years ago (dry option available). Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, 30 August

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, time permitting: Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Stop off at “Abraham’s Tent” for a Camel ride and biblical hospitality before returning to Jerusalem. Free evening. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, 31 August

Travel to the development town of Sderot in the Western Negev.

Tour of Sderot for a first hand look at life in this Gaza border community. Meeting with young social activists who have settled in Sderot to help build up and strengthen this underprivileged community. Tour of exotic orchard, followed by lunch at Ora‛s Yard on Moshav Kfar Maimon. Taste their home-made liqueurs and jams. Hear your hosts’ moving immigration stories. Travel to Rehovot for a guided tour of the Ayalon Institute – a clandestine bullet factory used by the Jewish underground before the founding of the State of Israel. Return to Jerusalem. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, 1 September

Modern Israel’s Realities and Wrapping Up

Plant a tree in the soil of the land of Israel to help renew a forest near Jerusalem. Engage in hands-on archaeological work help reclaim lost artifacts from the Temple Mount at the Emek Tzurim Sifting Project. Lunch on own Guided tour of Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Remainder of afternoon free to explore on your own, relax and get in last minute shopping.

Farewell Dinner. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

Friday, 2 September

Arrive in USA

Begin planning your next Israel trip with Rabbi Tilles and ITC Tours!

Tour costs and reductions:

Land Package $3295 (Per person in a double room)

Air* and Land Package $4525  Single Room Supplement $985

Third person over 18 in triple room: subtract $420

Child, age 2-12 as third person in a triple room: subtract $530 

Bar / Bat Mitzvah, age 12-13 as 3rd in a triple: subtract $630 

Child, 14-18 as third person in a triple room: subtract $490

Reduction for 3rd or 4th child up 12 years in a Quad with parents $ 180

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

Price is based on 25 paying tour participants.  With 30 or more price will be reduced with less than 25 price will increase.  
*Air pricing is subject to confirmation – Fuel surcharge and airport taxes are subject to change.
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