Rabbi Adam Baldachin
Join Shaarei Tikvah Family
Led by Rabbi Adam Baldachin
December 20 – 31, 2017
Wednesday, 20 December
Depart USA on an overnight flight to Israel.
Thursday, 21 December
Entering the Land
Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative. Plant a tree and Shekhiyanu-Welcome ceremony to celebrate your arrival in the Land of Israel. Tour the alleys of Old Jaffa, the ancient port city once known as the Gate of Zion. Look out from the top of Tel Jaffa at modern Tel Aviv. Check-in at the Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner and orientation at Maganda Yemenite Restaurant.
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv
Friday, 22 December
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. Visit Rabin Square, where late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and hear about the nation’s shock and soul searching in its aftermath. At Independence Hall relive David Ben Gurion declaring the new State of Israel. 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. 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”. Free time to get ready for Shabbat. Shabbat evening services – To be determined with Rabbi Baldachin. Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel.
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv
Saturday, 23 December
Shabbat in Tel Aviv
Optional Shabbat morning services at Neve Schecter, a Masorti (Conservative) congregation in Tel Aviv’s historic Neve Tzeddek neighborhood. Walking tour of the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighborhood that gave birth to the “first Hebrew city in 2,000 years”. Lunch at hotel.. 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. Free time to walk along the beach side Promenade and see the people of Tel Aviv enjoying Shabbat afternoon, including Israeli folkdancing. Havdallah with Rabbi Baldachin. Free evening. Dinner on own.
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv
Sunday, 24 December
Cradles of Jewish Civilization in the Galilee
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 (Children under 6 are not allowed in the Palmach Museum). Depart for northern Israel. Please choose one of the following two touring options for the entire group. Tour the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace. Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games. OR: Explore ancient Tzippori and study a Jewish text in the ruins of the city where Rabbi Judah Hanasi sealed the Mishna. See 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 Kibbutz Lavi Hotel on Kibbutz Lavi.
Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Deluxe rooms at Kibbutz Lavi
Monday, 25 December
Ancient and Modern Geopolitics and Israel’s Finest
Learn about kibbutz life on a walking tour of Lavi led by a member of the community. 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. Lunch on own. Jeep tour of the Golan Heights to see we see former Syrian bunkers overlooking Israel and then continue to strategic Mt. Bental for a special perspective on Israel’s complex geopolitics. 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. Dinner with young Israeli soldiers who are giving some of their best years to the defense of Israel. Overnight: Deluxe rooms at Kibbutz Lavi
Tuesday, 26 December
Across Israel: A Multicultural Jewish Society
Drive along the Sea of Galilee Coast en route to Beit Shean. Discover Ethiopian Jewish culture at the Germachin Center in Beit Shean. Learn about this community’s modern day Exodus story and the challenges facing the Ethiopian Israeli community today. Travel south through the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea region, passing en route Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Lunch on own. Check-in to Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dead Sea 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: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dead Sea
Wednesday, 27 December
Masada and the Dead Sea
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?. Descend Masada by the Roman Ramp Camel ride, Bedouin hospitality, including an explanation about Bedouin culture, and lunch at Kfar Hanokdim. Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Check-in to the Inbal Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem. Dinner on own in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Quarter. Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound and light show at the Tower of David. Rest of evening free Recommendations for the evening: Check out the Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Jerusalem
Overnight: Inbal Hotel Hotel, Jerusalem
Thursday, 28 December
The Old City of Jerusalem: An Ancient Jewish Legacy
Engage in hands-on archaeological work help reclaim lost artifacts from the Temple Mount at the Emek Tzurim Sifting Project. 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 Chanukah story. Lunch on own. Tour of Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, Broad Wall and Rooftops followed by free time to shop and explore on own. Visit the Western Wall and connect with an ancient Jewish legacy. Discover underground Jerusalem in the Western Wall Tunnels.
Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem
Friday, 29 December
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 on Zoo visit). Lunch on own. Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market (Shuk) 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. Light Shabbat candles at hotel. Friday/Shabbat evening 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
Full Cost (credit Card payment)
$1294 Single room supplement
Rountrip air JFK – TLV $1950 person: *subject to change Third person in triple room over 18: subtract $225
Discounted Cost (Check Payment)
$3195 per person in double
Child, ages 2-12, as third person in parents’ room: subtract $580 Bar/Bat Mitzvah child as third person in parents’ room: subtract $690 Third and Fourth child sharing room in quad with parents: subtract $410
Price is based on 25 paying tour participants a reduction at 30 or increase at less than 25
*Air pricing is subject to confirmation. Fuel surcharge and airport taxes are subject to change.