I just wanted to let you know how much Amy and I enjoyed having you as our tour guide in Israel. We appreciated your depth of knowledge and your sense of humor. And it was good seeing the sites from a rabbi's point of view. I liked how you were careful to distinguish facts from legend and speculation at the ancient locations. You were also sensitive to the mobility challenges of some in our group over the hilly streets in Jerusalem and other locations. And we appreciated that you figured out how to make adjustments in the tight schedule to accommodate the group's requests.
You enhanced a wonderful vacation for us. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
Dear Donny, My wife and I would like to thank you for your help in making all of the arrangements for our recent "Israel Heritage Tour" that resulted in an absolutely fantastic experience. This, our first trip to Israel, was nothing short of MAGICAL. The tour package was very well organized, and all of the accommodations were first rate. The hotels in Tel Aviv, Eilat and Jerusalem were terrific and the "Israeli breakfasts" were sumptuous!!! What was most impressive was the way that the tour wove together the history, religion and geography of Israel and made the Bible tangible and alive.
During each day of the tour, all of our every needs was provided for. And the arrangements for hotels, restaurants, tourist sites, etc. were flawlessly executed. Our tour was a comprehensive, concentrated immersion into the life and history of Israel. Thank you again for helping to make our dream come true; Israel is now a real part of our life.
Respectfully, Carol and Marvin Medow
Donny, I want to thank you and the ITC team for all you did to support and arrange our trip. While I will speak only for myself, I know that Medows and the Martins feel much the same.
The tour design was perfect. While I know you didn't arrange the 12 days of perfect weather we had, everything else you touched was extraordinary. The accommodations were wonderful. The sequencing and pace were well thought out, and guide nothing less than amazing. I can't recommend Yuval DeJoannes enough. Several of the group were actually moved to tears when we had to say goodbye to him. He artfully blended history, civilization, plate techtonics, culture, regional political perspectives and comparative religion into the narrative in a way I've never seen as well done.
But beyond all expectations, the emotional impact for me was overwhelming. It is almost impossible, this soon after, to speak about that part of the trip. Some of the insights Yuval helped trigger as we moved around the country had me struggling to maintain my composure. We will all recommend ITC and this 12-day comprehensive tour, specifically, and will let our friends and fellow shul members know that despite all the travel these three couples have done, that we believed this to be the trip of a lifetime.
Please accept my thanks and please pass on our thanks to Yuval DeJoannes. He is one more of Israel's national treasures.
Our tour dates were August 12-26. It was an excellent trip. You and everyone in the office were helpful. The tour guide we had was excellent (Aaron, can't remember his last name at the moment). He was well informed, thorough, humorous - a great guide. There was a good balance of tour and free time. It was well organized and Micki in Israel was very nice and helpful.
The accommodations were also excellent. The food provided on the tour was also very good. Also, my husband had special dietary needs (gluten free vegan) and everyone was very willing to accommodate him as best they could.
We were happy to have extended our stay to include Eilat - we really enjoyed it.
It was a great trip. I'd do it again if I could;-)
I'd be happy to be a reference for potential tour goers.
Just wanted to thank you so much for the tour you put together and the amazing tour guide you got us, Julia Newman.
We had a fabulous time and she was outstanding
Thank you again
My husband and I both want to thank you for doing such a wonderful job planning our first trip to Israel. The tour you set up for us was perfect and Aaron our guide was wonderful. His knowledge and passion was evident and infectious. The group was smalll as we were hoping for.We all hit it off and have all stayed in touch to share pictures and hopefully meet up again. I have enticed them all to stay with us in Panama. But most important of all was the feeling of being in Israel- as you said " to finally come home." It was amazing. We will never forget it and want to go back- I believe we really will. You were also right about the hotels- they suited us ideally. They were perfectly located and offered everything we could want. It's amazing how you could pick so well for us.Considering the very short notice we gave you to finalize our plans you did a remarkable job- above and beyond as they say.
Hello Rabbi Jim,
The ceremony was really very special and meaningful for us. I think the boys got a lot out of it. Our guide, Eilan, (who is a special person) really helped me understand just how special it was because it was about our family and the boys needs, not about appearances or videos or the party. I believe that the trip to Israel made an impact on them and they are beginning to understand.
I appreciated your thoughts that by studying the imperfections of the very real people in the Torah we can learn and maybe do a little bit better - so in this case, maybe Joel and Josef will accomplish what Jacob and Esau did in a lot less than 20 years!
I thought you were the perfect Rabbi for this occasion and doing it at the newly opened section of the wall - with such intimacy and privacy that we had was beyond words. It is a day and time I think we will hold special in hearts for the rest of our lives.
To all at ITC that made this trip such a wonderful experience, especially Yaffa thank you.
We had saved to go for our 20th anniversary. We were so fortunate to have met Larry. It was all we had hoped for and so beyond. Going with the tour was the perfect decision as we would have never seen and heard all we did. It was everything we had hoped to see. Our tour guides were caring, so knowledgeable, and helpful all thru the tour. Hotels were great. The food has so spoiled us. Ze-ev one of our tour guides was wonderful. How does he know soooo much! And Israel is beyond words and emotions. Thankyou all again...Helen and Mark Nejfelt
I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to you and your staff, both in N.J. & Israel. On behalf of myself & my family I can say our trip was beyond our expectations. If we had to do it over I would not change a thing. Your tour itinerary, venues, activities & programing enveloped and engaged us like a magnet. Like moths to a flame, my family & I were so enamored, drawn & attracted to the people, places & faith that we were held breathless – except for the times I was so overcome with emotion I could not stop weeping (I wish I could send you a picture of my older daughter crying @the airport saying goodbye to the other families on our tour).
Adjectives do not do our trip justice other than to say it was magical. To be sure the pace was frenetic & tiring – but the combination of the hotels, sites, Bnai Mitzva ceremony, connection to the history, guides & hosts made for a life time of memories.
A significant enhancement and bonus that made our trip all the more memorable was the connectivity of the families we toured with. We all bonded in the blink of an eye. This group coalesced to such an extent that our guide, Geila, said she's never seen this closeness in a group of strangers before.
It would take me many more pages to describe how effected and emotional my family became – and ultimately in a foreign land 6000 miles from my home – I felt I had returned to my original home, (as a side point my wife's family name is Nahoum – possibly a lineage to the ancient prophet Nahum – who lived in a village near Jerusalem 2000 years ago).
I couldn't have been happier with the hosts & support staff, the Rabbi, the Shabbatom family, bus driver, Kabala artists, archeological guides, Abraham the Patriarch (though surprisingly he had an Australian accent) the host @the Galilee restaurant ‘Decks' (who made my wife weep by how welcoming she was to the Bnai Mitzvas), the Jeep drivers in the Golan, and my personal favorite was the young female Army officer – Jardin – who played the Saxophone at our final dinner. I wanted to take her home – but I wasn't sure how my wife would feel. I had to settle for a picture with her.
I reserve my special commendation & kudos to our guide Geila (I expressed my sentiments in a personal letter to her before I left). We found her to be exceptionally knowledgeable & proficient at every site and historical stop. She ensured we kept a brisk pace – but that everyone kept up and checked on our status obsessively. She took ownership of our safety & well being every moment. I cannot praise her enough. As a student and teacher of history I engaged her in numerous conversations and found her to be accessible, informative and proficient.
In summary we fell in love with the country & people – so much so we were making plans to return before we left. We plan to reach out & support the Jaffa Institute & other institutions we found on the trip.
I spent 62 years dreaming of returning to Eretz Yisroel – and so this was an emotional pilgrimage for me, culminating with my touching the Kotel wall. For my family it strengthened our bond to our faith & to the land of Israel. This trip opened new connections for me & my family (my wife is now actively planning a business venture with contacts she made in Tel Aviv).
I would say when (not if) we plan our return – I would want to plan our trip through your agency.
You are to be complimented & applauded for the efficiency and focus to details and competency in planning & client support and satisfaction.
Please feel free to use my letter or me as a referral for future clients.
Let me extend my blessings & prayers to you and your staff for a happy, healthy & sweet Jewish New Year.
W/our sincere thanks & appreciation,
please share my comments with your staff
I wanted to thank you for all the hotel arrangements you made for our recent trip to Israel. It turns out that the hotel accommodations were very important as I spent the second week of our trip sick and mostly in the hotels. All of the hotels were beautiful and comfortable. Loved the Isrotel at the Dead Sea.
Thank you again and we look forward to doing business with you again in the future.
The tour was so great and it has changed a lot of my perspective about
Israel and of course in my own life.
I arrived to Amsterdam yesterday. Thank you so much for your effort to make
my dream tour a reality.
I wish to go back to Israel in anytime next year.
Robert Llagas Babida
Dear Vicki and Rina,
Today is Friday, the first day that I am free of people and without schedule. I don't know where to begin!
I need to recompose from an amazing whirlwind of thee last 2 weeks.
Without doubt, you deserve a HUGE thanks. I can't thank you and your colleagues enough for the amazing event and journey you organized for us. EVERY item -- ranging from guides to places to restaurants to hotels -- was amazing. We cherished every detail, and appreciate so much the work, the thoughts and considerations that you and Rina put together to make it all happen. ITC and Diesenhaus are class acts, and I hope that I can repay my gratitude with good referrals (which I already have!!). On a personal level, dealing with you has been so special, and I miss you already! I will definitely look for you again.
The bat-mitzvah itself was exactly as you promised -- a memorable event etched in my heart. THANK YOU, thank you!! Your role in this will never be forgotten!
When I re-emerge more fully, I hope to reconnect with you again via skype, to thank you in 'person'! We are due back in NY by end of August. Will you be around?
In the meantime, I am sending you lots of love and warm wishes,
Gallya Lahav, Ph.D .* *
Department of Political Science,
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Social and Behavioral Sciences, S755
I just wanted you to know we had a wonderful trip and thought you and your team did an outstanding job! If you ever need a reference or recommendation let me know.
I appreciated all your help to make it great.
The Temple family trip to Israel was absolutely wonderful. We loved it and can't wait to return again. Our pre trip was great. Renting the car and driving in Israel was very easy. We had no problems and rarely got lost due to the GPS. The Emily Hotel in Tiberias was wonderful, immaculate and very comfortable. And, of course, the Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv was very nice.
Many thanks for helping us put together our first few days in Israel. Now we need to start thinking about the next time.
We would like to say thank you for this amazing journey. It was one of the best trips we went on thanks to your extraordinary guide Yehuda Leket. He was AMAZiNG ( always prepared with few surprises for us ) his very special! his knowledge and ideas made this trip Unique. There is no words to express how grateful we are. We have seen the most important highlights in just 4 days. We are very pleased and will recommend your agency to all our friends. Thank you for ale the memories!
Kinga and Steve Strogoff
We wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our trip with ITC to Israel and we are very happy customers! Please use us as a reference if needed.
Shari was a fantastic guide. All the kids got along well.
The tour was everything we hoped it would be. Thanks!!
Sam, Pam, Sara, and Jenna
I just wanted to let you know that our trip was amazing, Our tour guide Elia Dabi was very knowledgeable and courteous. He made to trip very special we learned so much about Israel and our history.
We really had a wonderful time.
Nancy and Ira Leeds
We are back from our visit to Israel. Thank you for setting up a wonderful itinerary. The hotels were great, food great, the guides were outstanding. We were very fortunate to end up in a semi-private tour for several days. Just three of us with a driver/guide. He was fabulous. I only wish I could remember his name.
We had a great time. Our only regret is that we could not stay longer. Thank you for all the arrangements.
Just a quick note to follow-up my tour with your organization. I was a member of the Manetto Hills Jewish Center synagogue tour from April 10-24, 2013 run by your company. The trip was magnificent and Israel Tour Connection did a great job. Everything was well organized with the perfect combination of sightseeing and fun. I especially want to praise the tour guide, Rueven Lavi. He is extremely knowledgeable and an absolutely superb presenter with a combination of humor and an inspirational passion for the State of Israel. Many thanks and a fond Shalom to your whole team. Warm regards, Arnold J. Miller
I just wanted to let you know how happy we were with ITC. There was never a glitch the entire trip, and our tour guide, Inon Hedvati, was outstanding. We couldn't have handpicked a better guide. He was so knowledgeable and enjoyable to be with as well as being punctual all the time. We would definitely recommend ITC to our friends.
We just returned from our Israeli vacation. This was my third visit and can say it far exceeded my expectation. It was Arielle's first visit and she was simply overwhelmed by the sites and people. Our tour guide Menachem (Meni) was not only extremely knowledgeable, he was passionate about his homeland. Meni was able to ensure that everyone had a full experience, even though the age range in our group of 14 varied. We were fortunate enough to celebrate Jerusalem Day and take a picture with the Mayor of Jerusalem and his wife. Donny, thank you for taking the time in arranging this tour for us. Your expertise and good humor made is tour great from start to finish.
Just wanted to let you know that our Israel trip was
amazing. Our tour only had 10 people and our tour guide was great.
His name is Eli and he was tireless, well informed and fun. So much to see
and so little time. Thanks for your help and advice!
Lauren and Art Sferlazzo
I wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful trip in Israel. Our guide for the first 7 days, Eli Dabi was great, funny and passionate, knowledgeable and caring. The tour guide for the last 3 days was also terrific, Abi Zohar. He was a retired General and really gave us some insight into the history that he actually lived through.
The Dan Panorama hotels were very nice. We weren't expecting much since we did the level C package, but we were pleasantly surprised. We had a small group that started with 17 then 15 then 4 for Eilat. That was nice having a small group. We got to know everyone and could tailor the tour a little to our desires.
I am so glad that we decided to do the 12 night tour including Eilat. We really got to see a part of Israel that you don't experience in the North. Timna was especially breathtaking.
I wish we had time to tour the Kibbutz instead of just eat and sleep there. A couple of the days were too busy and didn't have enough time at each site. Luckily we stayed an extra week with friends and could go back to some places at our leisure like Tzvat. All in all it was such a special experience that we will never forget.
Thanks, Debby & Brian Moidel
Hag sameach Hannukah!
Now that we are un-jet-lagged, we just wanted to drop you a note to let you know what an amazing trip we had in Israel. It went way over our expectations on all levels - a life experience I will never forget.
I just wanted to convey our deep appreciation for your putting the trip together for us and for your unwavering encouragement during the stress of "Sandy" on the east coast, and the "Operation Pillar of Defense" war with Gaza. I'm so greatful that we went forward with the trip. We had lots of jaw-dropping moments of awe and unexpected surprises. The tour guides were wonderful, warm, enthusiastic, and committed and were a joy to be with. I won't go into detail about all the fantastic experiences that unfolded within the framework of the itinerary, because I know that you have done this trip and know exactly what I am talking about. Unbelievable. What an eye-opener! I'm so proud of Israel (past and present). Can't wait for the next trip.
All the best,
Just wanted to give you feedback on our trip. It was AWESOME!!
We had a wonderful time. We had the very best tour guide (Arieh Haimovitch)
and although the group was small, we bonded very well and shared a once in a
lifetime experience. The hotels met expectations, but really, the highlight,
every day, was the itinerary, and actually getting to all the places
Everything was very well organized. We were picked up on time everytime -
from the airport, from the hotels - no complaints whatsoever. The
information we were provided with beforehand prepared us well.
Thank you. Please pass this feedback on to the rest of your organization.
You came highly recommended, and we will certainly ensure that we refer your
group to anyone else who plans to make the trip.
My husband and I just returned from an outstanding trip from Israel. Thanks to Marlene and her great team eveything was simply great.
I want to also let anyone know who has plans to go now that you should not let the latest issues going on in Gaza to stop you. We felt prefectly safe at all times. We had an emergency number to call just in case and guess what that just in case moment never came up. Go and have an amazing time!
Just wanted to say thank you for a) sticking with us and b) putting together a great trip. We may not have had a large group, but you stuck with us, and I was impressed at how you were able to keep the original pricing (designed for a larger group) with only small modifications. The participants were delighted, and so was I.
Shari was, as Vicki recommended, an excellent guide for this group. We had to be patient and constantly re-evaluate the day's plans based on the group's needs, and this was something that Shari not only didn't have a problem with, but it was just the natural thing to do for her.
And the real success of the trip was the itinerary, thanks to Barbara. While I wish more people could have joined us, those who did really found it a transformative and thought-provoking experience, which is what I wanted to happen all along.
So, thank you again. Well done!
Rabbi Steven Schwarzman
Congregation Beth Israel
15 Jamesbury Drive, Worcester MA 01609
Our trip was wonderful! I am so glad that we picked ITC and traveled with the group. I love the fact that we had a schedule, and sometimes had to get up early, but we still had down time. I was concerned because I've heard about tours where they don't give you a minute to put your feet up and relax! I've heard this from other people, that they never got to unpack their suitcases. The vacation was so great.. in some ways it's almost bittersweet to think about Israel again, I was very sad to leave. I LOVED the fact that we were in Jerusalem for 4 whole nights. I really got to feel like I knew where I was going, and we could walk around and see things at our leisure. Hillel was warm, friendly, funny, and SO knowledgeable. I loved how the bar and bat mitzvah kids were treated so special, ie. the dinner at Decks with T-shirts, and the fantastic last night dinner with their gift of a real Torah! I loved the food, our hotels, the bus, etc, etc. I'm going to send you some pictures right now before I forget. It was a phenomenal time, and I talk about ITC to everyone.
Thanks again for everything,
Larry and Barbara,
I left a message with Donny but just want to let you know how much Midway LOVED the tour. We had a great time. Yoram was fabulous. It all worked out. It is truly a pleasure working with you and I look forward to contacting you with info about our next trip in the not too distant future.
And the honey was fabulous too!!
Hag Same'ah and all the best—
Dear ITC Tours
My wife and I were on the Beth Am tour in July 2012. We really enjoyed the trip, and have memories that will last a lifetime. I wanted to just take a moment to praise the professionalism, knowledge, skills and friendliness of the guide Ronen Ben Moshe. Ronen made this trip great. He was flexible, courteous, kind, and has fantastic communication and people skills. Those of us on this trip have gotten together several times since our return and we always remark how much we enjoyed having Ronen as our guide, and how we feel that the trip would just not have been as great without him. He was just perfect for our group, and I wanted you to know that. Likewise, the bus driver was excellent, skillful, and friendly and we all enjoyed him as well. You would do well to use both of them on as many tours as you can because they just did it right.
Have a great new year.
Best, Curt & Bobbie Arnel
We had a fabulous time. As always ITC does an awesome job - all of our flight connections, dropoffs/pickups, etc. were spot on. Makes traveling so much easier when things go so smoothly!
Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv was spectacular. Also the concierge gave us a small guidebook of walking tours that we could do on our own so even though Tel Aviv wasn't part of our tour we got a flavor of the city.
Caesarea and Rosh Hanikra were amazing. Would have liked to spend more time in the city of Haifa (and perhaps skip the Acre stop?)
Kibbutz Lavi was nice but we didn't really get to experience the kibbutz. Our touring started right after breakfast and ended after dark so we really only ate and slept there. Last time, we stayed in Tiberias and had a day trip to Kibbutz Lavi so we actually got to visit the kibbutz. Oh well, next time.
I had not been to Sachne (Gan Hashlosha) in almost 30 years. Last time was as a teenager on a high school exchange program and the fresh water pool was as delightful as I remembered. A splendid way to cool off after touring Bet Shean in the morning. We stopped at CafeCafe for lunch on the way south towards Jerusalem. Truly an oasis in desert.
Dan Panorama in Jerusalem has changed locations since our last ITC trip. Now it's at the site of the former Moriah hotel. PERFECT LOCATION to walk just about anywhere - adjacent to Yemin Moshe, plenty of restaurants just a block or two away, 20 min to Jaffa Gate (where we climbed the ramparts at David's Tower, and also saw the sound & light show), 20 min to Emek Refaim (more great restaurants!)
We didn't realize that our group would be so small (just 10 people) so we had a mini-bus and the guide was also the driver (so he was quite the master of multi-tasking), though it was nice to have a smaller vehicle when he took us off the beaten path (for example to Majdal Shams for some great baklava on the way back from Mt Hermon).
Our day at Masada and the Dead Sea was like a day in paradise - the Crown Plaza was an ideal location for enjoying the sea and the pool, and the lunch buffet was truly delightful.
We had a very short visit to the Israel Museum (2nd Temple model and Dead Sea Scrolls) so we returned on our own on Shabbat to see the art and Jewish culture exhibits. We also enjoyed a visit to the zoo (also open on Shabbat) - it's built into a hillside with spectacular views of the city all around. The trails are shaded so even on a hot day it's very comfortable. Highly recommended for anyone traveling with children!
Thanks so much! Adina L.
We really had a terrific time!! There were so many great memories from this trip...everything from Ronen Ben Moshe the best tour guide ever, to the most beautiful hotel - Royal Beach in Eilat.
I ment to write to you but been busy w my dad being sick.. He's doing ok.. Thanks for asking.. The tour was amazing it was better then we imagined.. Your group did not leave anything out .. What you guys did for the bar/bats mitzvah kids was amazing... They made such good friends as well as we did.. The tour guy was amazing he knew so much stuff.. My son asking to go back I told him in a few years.. We will def use you again for a different tour.. I have been recommending ITC to everyone that I know..
Again thank you for the best experience I could have ever imagined..
Dear Rabbi Lebeau,
We wanted to thank you for the beautiful and moving Bar Mitzvah services. They were the highlight of our trip for our entire family and we will never forget it. Danny and all of us really appreciated your patience, support, creativity and thoughtfulness in creating such an extraordinary service .
Warm regards and l'hitraot.
I can't believe it is all over! There was so much anticipation for this event and it did not disappoint. Reuven the tour guide was exceptional, as were the attention to scheduling and detail. So thanks for memories of a lifetime.
Since we did not have a specific form, here are our thoughts on the trip: It exceeded our expectations in every regard! We were very impressed with the knowledge, presentation, warmth, and caring of tour guide, Reuben Lavi, the locations, food, and key features of the hotels, the breadth, depth, and inclusiveness of the itinerary, the many Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations/tributes to the celebrants, the family Shabat, and particularly, the camaraderie of the group. Having been to Israel twice, with Jewish groups, this one was different because of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah agenda but also more impressive in many ways.
Congratulations for not only creating excellent programming but executing the administrative details in a very smooth and seamless manner.
Thank you! very much
Leslie and David Glickman
We just wanted to drop a note to say what a wonderful time we had in Israel and our guide had a great deal to do with that! He really was able to connect with my son who is anxious to make a return trip. Nimrod was informative and passionate about Israel and his love for the country really showed. He imparted a great deal of knowledge to all of us and especially made an impression upon my son. We took a jeep ride off road down to the Dead Sea, rode the cable car to Masada in 112F heat and ate at McDonalds at the base of Masada. We went to visit soldiers up in the Golan and had the opportunity to speak with them which was a definite highlight for my son. Not to mention the most delicious tomatoes we ever ate right off the tree. So sweet that supermarket tomatoes don't compare. He was instrumental in helping us reconnect with my relatives who I had not seen in over 20 years. Anyone to tour with Nimrod will be lucky indeed.
Emily, Eric and Michael
Thank you, ITC, for all you did to ensure that we had a meaningful and enjoyable trip to Israel. We have visited Israel many times, beginning in 1955. We have gone both with groups and individually. Our recent trip was the best organized and most balanced visit that we have experienced. From the excellent accommodations to the comfortable bus and excellent driver, we were entirely satisfied. The ITC representatives, both in the United States and in Israel, were responsive to all our concerns. Our guide, Ronen ben Moshe, was outstanding. He was very knowledgable and sensitive to our needs. We look forward to using your services again.
Rabbi and Mrs. Paul Kushner
On July 4-15,2012 I took a Jewish Heritage Tour of Israel with ITC Tours.
The guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and the well planned itinerary was executed above and beyond my expectation.
The hotels were located in most desirable locations and the food was great.
I highly recommend ITC Tours and I will definitely travel with them again.
Marie and I just returned from our fabulous trip to Israel and Rome. We both want to express our deepest gratitude for arranging this holiday of a lifetime.
Special mention regarding our guide, Meni, contracted through Rent-A-Guide. As Marie put it, “From the very first day, he opened our eyes.” “What do you see?” was his prompt to the group as we went from one site to another, as he actively elicited our response and participation. Meni displayed a stunning facility with his comprehensive knowledge of Jewish practice and Jewish history. He made sure to keep us on a tight schedule to insure that we saw everything on the itinerary without having to wait for other groups. On the final days of the tour, while we were in Eilat, Meni created a wonderful party atmosphere as he brought the group together on two successive evenings for delicious dinners at non-touristy restaurants. He was always helpful with advice concerning local customs as well as things to do on our own time. Marie and I cannot praise him enough.
The accommodations were beyond anything we expected. As you know, we signed up for the “B” plan, yet everything was A+ in our estimation. In both locations where we happened to spend Shabbat, the Friday evening meal consisted of a luxurious, kosher buffet, which included wine for Kiddush and challah for motzi and they even provided little books with all the blessings as well as birchat hamazon. In Jerusalem, we attended Shabbat morning services at the Great Synagogue, a thrilling experience. A wonderful chazzan took over following the Torah service. He was accompanied by choir. Not very common at home these days, alas.
Rome was no less rewarding. It just so happened that our guide, Lara, was an art history major. Marie was also an art major so the match could not have been better. They fed off each other's knowledge and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Here too, we got to see everything we wanted to see, and Lara was anxious to modify the itinerary with anything we wanted. She showed us Jewish Rome. On Shabbat morning we went to the big synagogue in Rome. Finally, as you suggested, we used Sunday to do a day trip to Florence. Lara was instrumental in arranging our train tickets. Our day included a visit to the synagogue and its associated museum, as well as a wonderful lunch at a nearby Kosher restaurant called “Ruth's.”
We could not have asked for more. I hope you will be able to pass our appreciation to the appropriate agencies so that they are aware of the quality of their personnel.
One small fly in the ointment was Alitalia (Tel Aviv to Rome). As you predicted, the Kosher meal might be ordered but not provided. Although the tickets clearly state the flights should be confirmed, I found that it is apparently the current practice not to do so. In fact, the airlines do not respond to phone calls, neither in Israel nor Italy. Alitalia explicitly states in their website that special meals must be confirmed 24 hours in advance. Yet I was not able to reach them. When we received our boarding passes I asked about the meals. They told me about their 24 hour notification policy but off-handedly said all would be OK. During the flight, there was actually only one kosher meal and the flight attendant showed us that our boarding pass did not specify Kosher meals. By contrast, even though I was not able to phone Delta in Italy (there too the concierge informed me that airlines no longer require nor do they respond to confirmation requests), I was able to confirm everything via their website. Delta's website is much more user-friendly and allows the passenger to confirm meal and seating requests.
That aside, we could not be happier with our trip.
Thanks, most sincerely
Mickey, Mickey, Mickey
I'm sorry for not writing sooner but I stepped right into summer school when we returned.
What a wonderful trip and what a wonderful group of people. Please, let me do a commercial for you!
I'm sorry there was a discrepancy in the itinerary but when the final paper arrived I was in the middle of college finals with 250+ students in my 5 classes on two campuses 90 miles apart with 20+ travelers clamoring for last minute information before leaving on the trip of a lifetime. I just thought I knew what it said. I apologize for having created a problem. That was far from my intention. But the way ITC made it happen, thank you!
And when our flight was a mess, your flight person worked and worked and worked to get us off the ground. WOW. What an incredible group of people. I can't think of one thing to complain about, even if I wanted to nitpick. It just isn't there. (Please, I'm sorry but I forgot his name. Crisis pressure amnesia... Please remind me so I can thank him personally)
Our tour guide and driver were the best, by far, that I have ever had. Gila was a mother to the group who knew more than anybody would ever need. But she knew when to move on and when to stop. The way she worked with me to make sure that the sites were covered and yet still squeezed in some personal time for our people was awesome. This was a woman who went above and beyond the call of duty and yet always did it with joy!
Moshe drove the bus like a respectful gentleman who could thread a needle with a full size bus! Neither ever showed anything but a smile and a good time to our group. We had some folks and some situations that could have called for some frustration but this team never ever showed it.
I cannot say enough good things about ITC. Our recent trip to Israel was flawless. The preparations were professional yet personal. The trip was exactly what I asked for and planned. The guide, driver, and accommodations were second to none. This was my fourth trip to Israel and my second as leader. This was the best and most trouble free trip I have ever taken. I now have a "family" that I know will take care of my future tours, my guests and me.
You may quote me
P.S. Six of of us (three couples) are interested in going back next year and staying in a 3 bedroom house or hotel with Gila as our guide with a lot of free time. Could you give me some idea as to how this might work?
I think we will try to take another 20+ in three years. That's kind of the unwritten rule at our school. Every three years.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
Thank you for planning a perfect trip for us. Our guide, Zach Levin, made the trip a life changing event for both Linda and me. He was very sensitive to our needs and went out of his way to make sure we got the full Israeli experience. Zach is very knowledgeable and his passion and enthusiasm contributed to our getting the full flavor of the country. Any of your clients would be very fortunate to be escorted by him.
Your itinerary was perfect. We got to see everything that was meaningful in a short period of time. The Scotts Hotel was an awesome property. The upgrade at the Dan Panaroma was definitely worth it. The timing of our grandsons Bar Mitzvah worked in perfectly.
When we are ready to plan our next trip, possibly Italy, we will certainly contact you.
Harvey and Linda Werkstell
We just returned from an absolutely first-rate escorted tour of Israel with Israel Tour Connection, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. From the moment we were met at the airport till we were dropped off 10 days later back in Tel Aviv , all the details of our trip were handled efficiently and ITC staff members went out of their way to ensure that we would have a positive experience. I had read some negative reviews prior to booking our tour, but trust me, you can travel with ITC and expect to have a wonderful and memorable experience. We were a group of four over- 80's, and two of us had severe mobility challenges. We were blessed with an extremely knowledgeable guide, Waly, who not only studied archaeology but also the Bible, so that he was able to teach us about all aspects of the historical sites we visited and which he clearly is passionate about. In addition, he went out of his way to adapt our travel routes to meet our specific needs, limiting the amount of walking required, wait time at the Church of the Nativity, etc. The hotel accommodations were better than I had expected, very comfortable, with the usual amenities, including English-language TV stations. The food was plentiful, although once you've had one dinner buffet, there's not much variety. I definitely recommend seeing Israel with a tour group, and ITC more than lives up to its promises and website testimonials.
About The ITC NEWSLETTER:
I am enjoying these newsletters immensely. I have a close friend who grew up with my daughter and went to high school together. This friend went to Michigan State in later years and eventually married an Israli and presently lives in Israel, not sure just where. Anyway, I am happy to see where our friend is living and in doing so, feel close to her once again so many miles away. Thanks so much..HAROLD SCHMALTZ
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In the words of one of our fellow travelers (from Mississippi)—Shalom, y'all!
It's now 10 days since we returned Stateside. I continue to have difficulty responding to family and friends who ask the obvious question, “How was your trip?” I've replied with one-word answers—exhilarating, interesting, informative, grueling, provocative. In all honesty, the trip rendered both of us speechless. I also want to tip my hat to our superb guide. His ability to articulate nuances and contradictory narratives is a gift. We were so fortunate to have him with us.
It is amazing to sort out how much we did, saw, learned and thought; it cannot be reduced to one or two words.
Each time we talk about this amazing trip a different focus comes into view; sort of fun to see what surfaces, when.
We so appreciated all of our companions and what they brought to the table....thoughts, observations, and feelings.
This was the trip of a lifetime in terms of what we will always remember.
Shalom, y'all indeed!!
Some of the Bat Mitzvah pictures from our tour.
Thank you for the wonderful arrangements. Reuven was amazing and Avrim was patient and accommodating.
-- Ira K.
My family went on your Bar/ Bat Mitzvah Tour in December 2008 and my youngest daughter Ashley celebrated her Bat Mitzvah on December 25th,2008 on Masada! Our family connected with one of the other families on the tour- actually it was 3 families that are brothers and have remained in touch.
On June 3- 13, 2012 my son Josh and his now steady girlfriend, Becca Weiss whom he met on the trip will be returning to Israel on Birthright with Boston University!
Thanks for connecting us to Israel and to each other,
Cheryl Cohen and family
Just wanted to let you know , we just returned from an 11 night tour. From start to finish everything went exactly as promised plus more. Everyone was exactly on time from airport pickup to departure. Hotels were a pleasant surprise. Both Dan Panoramas were beautiful and above expectations for a "C" package. Our tour for the first 3 days was private for whatever reason. We were then joined by 3 other couples which was almost private. To say our tour guide(thru Rent-A- Guide) was great is an understatement. The guy was incredible from his knowledge to his personality and made the trip unforgettable. His name is Meni and he should definitely be commended by the company. Last but not least, thank you to Donny, your ITC representative. His honesty and persona was the reason we booked with you and everything he said came true. So thanks again.
You did I phenomenal job! Thank you. And yes, I did notice that you threw I little greek music in the last video.....cool. Before the memory of this trip fades to black I'd like to share my last journal entry. Then I won't bother you guys again.
My soul was weak
It needed nourishment
I lost my way
I needed direction
I needed balance and harmony
I needed God
I went to Israel.
My priorities were wrong
I was arrogant
I should be humble
I was prideful
But I was ignorant
I was looking for God
So I went to Israel
I don't know when it happened
Was it praying at the Western Wall?
Was it dancing with the soldiers on Shabbat?
Was it when I was alone in the desert?
Was it when I was floating in the Dead Sea?
I went looking for God
But God found me, in Israel.
I think we are all a little different after our trip....changed for the better.
Thanks for your greetings.
Again, the Interfaith trip that you set up for us was simply marvelous. I will remember it for the rest of my life. The accommodations were superb, the places we visited fascinating, and most of all, our guide Gila was outstanding. I can't say enough about her. She made the trip.
Best wishes for the holidays,
I want to thank you very much for organizing our recent Jewish Heritage Tour in Israel. My wife Randi and I found it to be the most meaningful trip we've ever taken. We have come home with a much-deeper understanding and appreciation of Israel. Our guide, Meir, was sensational. Since we were lucky enough to have a small number of fellow travelers (never more than 11 of us, and some days as few as two or three), we never felt rushed -- and we, basically, had a private tour. Having time to ourselves most nights and the two Shabbats on our own was great. It was stunning to find myself offering up spontaneous prayers at the Western Wall. What a moving experience!
We were able to see the Palmach Museum. I would strongly recommend it. I'm glad we arrived an extra day early so we could see it.
I was thrilled to buy a Gabrieli tallit and an Azoulay microcalligraphy lithograph (The 23rd Psalm) in S'fat. The Manta Ray restaurant on
the promenade near the Tel Aviv Dan Panorama was excellent and we enjoyed the Magandi (the spelling may be a little off) Yemenese restaurant behind the Carmel Market, and Dr. Shakshouka's was a fun experience. We also went to a pleasant restaurant at the train station (the name escapes me now). In Jerusalem, we had very good meals at Olive and Fish, and two other restaurants, all a block away from the Jerusalem Dan Panorama. One was Paradiso. Can't remember the other. Cafe Care in the Mamila Mall was also good.
Looking forward to briefing our friends who will be going on the same tour in April.
Thanks again for your excellent contribution to a fabulous trip.
Shalom! Bill Levin
Larry, Harvey, Vicki, Barbara, Tami:
Thank you for helping plan such a wonderful experience for the Knesset Israel tour of Israel and Jordan. Throughout the week, travelers felt educated, enlightened, moved and inspired by their experiences. Many of them are itching to return. What more could a rabbi ask for?
Roni Netzer's guiding was particularly professional, engaging and entertaining. His insights and storytelling brought the land - ancient and modern - to life. Logistics in Israel and Jordan came together very well, and each day was worthwhile.
I look forward to working with you to plan the congregation's next trip to Israel.
Best wishes & Shabbat Shalom,
My husband and I just wanted you to know howpleased we were with the tour.
Everything ran so smoothly. We did extend our trip an extra day--and your contacts in Israel were very helpful.
We will recommend your agency in the future.
It all seems like a dream.
Shelley & Fred Rosenfeld
I would like to thank you for the wonderful tour you have arranged for us. We had a marvelous time in Israel.We had a good english speaking guide.
He took us to the most unusual places. He told us, "thow away your guide books and I show you the real history of the place." He quoted the bible, the gomora,the history.This was just enjoyable every minute.
Once again thank you for the bottom of my heart, I am not a yongster, We were not sure that we could walk this much, but we did it!!!
I never had a chance to speak with you after our trip to Israel.
We did have a wonderful time. It was a trip that I wanted to go on for years .
We are all beyond thrilled that we went. I still can't believe that we were there and while we were there it was truly awesome to be there .. .
The itinerary was basically perfect for the 4 of us, for our first trip (I went when I was in 3rd grade...).
I felt like it started us with history from thousands of years ago and finished with 2011 Israel and Tel Aviv. I have my 3 favorite pictures of us framed on our wall. in one we are at the Wall, the 2nd we are in the Dead Sea and the third we are planting trees. I just smile every time I look at the pictures. The trip kept us going and seeing so many terrific things in Israel.
We returned from our amazing trip to Israel and would like to thank you for all of the arrangements made for the tour. Martin, our guide, was excellent and we met some really nice people in the group. Since the group was fairly small (27), we all got to know each other and enjoyed our time together.
Harriet & Sandy
We want to thank you for the trip of a lifetime! All of your hard work paid off in providing us with 13 miraculous days in Israel. Even the weather was perfect! Your hotel choices were wonderful and the itinerary was great. Although we were, of course, exhausted at the end of each day, the activities were interesting,varied,and extremely informative. Our guide, Nimrod Wiesenberg, was the best. Not only was he an expert in Israel's history, his demeanor and good nature made him a dear friend by the end of the week. His interest in maximizing our time in Israel and pointing out things he knew would be personally important to each of us made our time together so very memorable. He was particularly instrumental in helping me locate a beloved relative. His kindness will not soon be forgotten. Thank you again for our trip of a lifetime!
The Berger and Brown families
As I told Larry this afternoon, our trip worked out beautifully. Prague in the company of Rabbi Ron Hoffberg was a special treat - we learned far more about the Czech Republic and its connection with the Jewish people than we had ever anticipated. My husband and I are pleased to recommend our Israel and Prague experiences to any future travelers.
Dear Mickey, the ITC team,
I am back from our trip to Israel , and although still very jet-lagged, I wanted to tell you folks what a great time I had, and how much I enjoyed the entire trip. I saw and visited so much that I am still sorting it out.
I would like to mention that our tour guide Gali was superb. She was organized, knowledgeable, and fun to be with. Everyone of the trip remarked how skilled she is, and how much she did for us. You had better hang on to her - she is a winner!
Well done, and thanks again for a wonderful trip.
just have to tell you what a fabulous guide Gila is. Everyone on the trip has been remarking about how good she is. She is SO knowledgeable about history, dates, etc. Give her a period of time and she rattles off the exact year and what happened when and where. She is definitely a "keeper"!! Unanimous opinion of all of us!
We had one rainy day in Tiberius area - first day - where Jackie Haynes led us on a brief tour of her dig and then other sites that Gila took us to. Aside from that the weather has been magnificent! We are so enjoying this trip. When I first looked at the itinerary I said "been there, done that". But that's not true. Maybe "been there" is but her guiding and interpretations and other sites have all been different. Plus, in the twenty years since I've been here there have been lots of changes, i.e. the excavated tunnel at the Western Wall, that I have not seen. Wonderful trip. Last few days now in Tel Aviv and then home. I'll miss Israel. Maybe I'll have to come back soon!! LOL!!
Love to all....... Margie
It's Robin. You booked us this summer for an 11 night heritage tour. I just wanted to give you feedback on our trip (since you told me you don't usually hear from people after they travel). We LOVED our trip. We thought the itinerary was perfect. Of course we wanted a little more time in some places, but felt like we covered quite a bit of ground. We were with 29 people and although that sounded like a big number to us, we were a very cohesive group that got along very well. Our tour guide, Mali even commented on how nice our group was. Mali was very knowledgeable and kind.
So here's a big thank you for getting us on the right trip with the right people and for booking us at all the right places. We really appreciate all you did and enjoyed working with you.
Your tour turned out to be the very best time of my life. The group was small, about 14 to 17 people at the most. The two drivers, Maysha and Uri were fantastic.... but Israel was a collection of pure delight. Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Jewish and Christian sites were ... I have no words to convey the pure joy of seeing, walking among these places....imagining the folks who built them.
The most surprising fact was the urban, cosmopolitan and welcoming Arabs. I hadn't expected to be treated with anything but cold tolerance; very wrong impression. I loved the city of Akko and Arabs make the best coffee in the world.
I hated to leave Petra and must plan a trip (with you, of course) that includes at least a week there. I'd also like to stay in the port & city of Acaba. It was simply wonderful and the places and guides could not have been better.
Also, for economic reasons (retirement, etc) I chose your #3 for hotels. Boy, none of the Dan Panorama hotels felt like anything like a down grade. I enjoyed the breakfasts too. Delicious and I lost 10 lb. Now, everyone I know wants to know what I was eating there.
You did yourself proud putting my package together. Many thanks. The only way it could have been better is for me to have been smart enough to stay longer.
I want to thank you for being part of a wonderful journey to Israel for Lisa and I. From departing at JFK to arriving at JFK 12 days later the entire journey was perfect. Lots to see and not enough time to see it yet we managed to go on little sleep but always smiled. Amir Or-Ly our guide was beyond fantastic and our driver was great. The hotels was good and the Imbal in Jerusalem was first class.
Lisa and Ivan Menschel
Sincere and heart-felt thanks for an amazing and memorable family trip to Israel! My parents, both in their mid-eighties, wanted one more family trip to Israel to see family and experience the country. You met with my family several times, with our wish lists, to design a trip for us that would be stimulating, educational and flexible enough for all of us to enjoy. You recommended that we have our own car and private guide/driver. Fortunately, we took your advice. You selected a guide for us who immediately became a member of our family! When my Mom fell, the second day of our trip, our guide Doron Matiash stayed by my side, as our driver, our translator etc. to make sure that she got the best care possible. With his help and suggestions, we were able to continue our trip without missing a beat. Having Doron with us every day was a blessing. He always focused on ways to make the trip easy and comfortable for my parents, even if it gave him extra work. For all of us, he shared with us his passion and knowledge about Israel. The itinerary you planned was wonderful and we thoroughly enjoyed the first class hotels we stayed in. I realize that this was a once in a life time experience, and I will always be thankful to you Marlene, for planning and making this trip possible.
All the best,
We've been home for a few days and have finally caught up with our sleep.
I can't say enough about the trip. You and ITC handled everything perfectly. All went as well, or better than planned. A good deal of credit goes to our guide, Eilon Beja. Not only did he know his job (and practically every Israeli), he read and handled us superbly. By the end of the week I felt that I had made a new friend.
Please feel free to offer me as a recommendation.
Now that I have a bit of time, I wanted to let you know how much Sonni and I loved our Jewish Heritage Tour, that you arranged. Everything was wonderful, and we thank you for making it so.
The guides in each city had their own special personality and talent. Starting with Peer-Christian Scharer (our Vienna guide) and Erich Kammerleithner
(our guide to Salzberg), and then Artur Izsak in Budapest, Rabbi Ron Hoffberg in Prague and the incredible Thorsten Wagner in Berlin, we were shown the best of each City, had the culture explained to us beautifully, and established a wonderful chemistry with all of them. They were all dedicated and highly educated and knowledgeable professionals, which is so necessary with this type of travel experience.
It is very hard to manage a group of 30, which we were, starting in Budapest. You can't please everyone all of the time , but I can tell you without any hesitation, that the majority of our Group loved the trip and thank you for making it happen!
Your colleague Yaffa Roger did a fantastic job in coordinating our Berlin experience, and in making sure our dinners went off without a hitch. I know there was an issue with the liquor brought to one restaurant and she took care of it personally, which was a lovely gesture on her part, and greatly appreciated. She also arranged with Pavel the driver for changes in our departure times, showing a great deal of flexibility and cooperation.
Sara, I want you to show this email to your Boss, and please tell him that the Littky's and Cass's, who were our fellow travelers in Vienna, join Sonni and me in thanking you and ITC for an unforgettable travel experience!
We shall be back!
Dear Vicki and the ITC Team,
The journey was amazing. And I think that the guide deserves most of the credit for making it such a positive experience. He was/is incredibly knowledgeable, easy to understand, flexible, easy going, considerate, warm and attentive. I could go on for quite a while! His only downfall: he couldn't control the weather! It was so hot!!!
It was an excellent trip. And please give Graeme a raise if he asks for one-he is a treasure!
Dear Marlene, Vicki, and the entire ITC crew,
We just returned yesterday from our fabulous visit to Israel! Thank you for a wonderful, fact and fun filled trip that will remain with us forever! Our family had never travelled with a tour group before, and we definitely had our hesitations. However, upon first meeting the other families, and being warmly greeted by Richard Eisenberg, our tour guide, we began to settle into our new- found 'family.'
Richard has the gift of storytelling in such a way that he filled our minds with knowledge and our spirits with soul, telling us stories that we will not forget anytime soon! He was our fearless leader, who managed to get all children (and adults) where we needed to go, on time, and in such a pleasant manner. He managed to make everyone, regardless of age, feel like this trip was designed for him or her. On one of our last days, I casually asked my ten-year-old son if he would want his bar Mitzvah in Israel. He answered that he was not sure because a lot of family and friends could not come but then added..." but, I really like Richard." A compliment from a child is the truest compliment of all.
This is our first Shabbat back home and we are all missing Israel tremendously. Yet, we have our wonderful pictures and memories that will remain with us, along with Richard's smiling face as we entered the departures gate and his voice echoing in our ears, telling us an interesting historical fact and saying "...it all goes back to the movies."
Thank you for putting together such a wonderful experience,
Regina, Shaun, Sara, Danielle, Benjamin, and Jonathan
I just wanted to say thank you to the ITC group for the wonderful trip we had to Israel with The Temple group from Atlanta. Your personnel on the ground were all terrific, professional, warm, helpful and efficient. And interesting. Our guides were knowledgeable, funny and articulate and the staff assigned to the hotel were excellent as well.
The only hitch we had was that our flight from Boston to JFK, from which we were due to catch the El Al fight to Tel Aviv, was cancelled because of weather/traffic problems at JFK. A call to TAMI was handled very professionally. Due to the hour, she turned our plight over to Doni who was great. He rearranged the flight not once, but twice and finally had us insist that AA put us on a flight through Paris with a connection to Tel Aviv that got us there only a few hour later than originally planned. He followed through with re arranging the transportation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and it all went off without a hitch. He even called me to be sure we were actually on the plane prior to making the new arrangement for transportation to meet us at Tel Aviv.
I need not say how much anxiety is raised when the flight is cancelled and out of your control altogether. We were worried because we know El Al has abbreviated travel hours on weekends, and hoped to get to the Bar Mitzvah services in Jerusalem. It all happened worked because of the skill and persistence of Tami and Doni. We are grateful. Please pass on our praise to each of them, with our thanks.
Once again, many thanks to all of you, and of course to you for your many responses to my queries.
Good morning all,
My son and daughter-in-law just returned from Israel on your Jewish Heritage Tour. The word that they used to describe the trip was "amazing". Everything was about the tour was terrific and their guide Aryeh was most knowlegable and "guided" them very well.
I want to thank you all for all of your time, help and expertise. I look forward to doing future business with ITC. In fact I have clients traveling to Israel with you in October. I know they will have a wonderful and memorable time as my past clients have had.
We are back! I wanted to thank you for all of your help setting up our trip to Israel! We had the most amazing trip and it was flawless. Every single detail was perfect and went smoothly. The entire family loved it!
Loved the David Citadel, fabulous fabulous tour guide and driver, itinerary was great, we loved the food, flight on el al could not have been smoother, bar Mitzvah was beautiful ... You get the idea!
If i have one suggestion, i personally should have known better, but ... Becuse we were in Jerusalem for shavuot and shabbat i should have had some more modest clothes. It was not a problem but it was the only thing i forgot!
Kudos to you and all your team at ITC , thanks for the great experience ... We will remember forver!
Hi Vicki and ITC,
I wanted to let you know that we had an absolutely wonderful time on the
tour. It was very kid-oriented, and both of my kids (and my husband and I)
had a blast.
I wanted to ask if you could send me the address and email of the Rabbi, Jim
Lebeau We wanted to write him a thank-you for the beautiful Bar Mitzvah
Sara S. Dallas TX
I just wanted to let you know how wonderful the trip was.My husband and I have traveled quite extensively and in the process, taken many tours. This tour, by far, was one of the best we've been on. The itinerary was great; the tour guide(Hillel) was extremely knowledgeable, and, more importantly,wonderful with the kids.The hotels were lovely. Everyone connected with ITC was a pleasure to deal with. If we were supposed to be picked up, the people involved were always prompt and helpful. So, just wnated to say THANKS!
It is with pleasure I revisit my recent trip to Israel. My family and I traveled from Dec. 23 on the 11 day B'nai Mitzvah Tour which if summed up in one word would be amazing! I don't know if you spoke to Vicki but she did an awesome job with all our plans. In answer to your questions the hotels were lovely. In Jerusalem we stayed at the David Citidel which was a beautiful contemporary hotel with in walking distance of the Old City, great shopping, restaurants, etc. a great location. In Tiberias we stayed at the Leonardo Hotel another lovely hotel over looking The Sea of Galilee with in walking distance to the boat and a evening cruise on the sea. In Tel Aviv we stayed at the Carlton Hotel right on the Mediterranean Sea and the board walk. All the accommodations were superior and the food was fabulous, especially the breakfast buffets at each hotel. All these hotels were in our original itinerary. Our guide could not have been better if we had chosen him ourselves. He was so jovial, charismatic, knowledgeable and fun! He even lead our group in Jewish songs while on the bus! He was full of energy and enthusiasm, you could tell he truly loved being a guide and we loved him! We did not stay in a tent or go kayaking on our tour. We took a Jeep ride through the Golan Heights, went on an archeological dig, visited the Kotel Tunnels, the foundation for the Western Wall. My son and the other B'nai Mitzvah children on our tour celebrated their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs on Masada which was an amazing day followed by a dip in the Dead Sea. On a more somber note we spent time at Yad Vashem. We visited the mystical city of Tzefat (one of my favorites for beautiful artistry in Judaica). I hope this gives you an idea of how wonderful and memorable this trip was. I would strongly recommend ITC and have already raved to friends about the first class trip we experienced.
Pack your bags!
Best of luck
Thanks for all your help in Nov. & Dec. The trip was awesome. I would highly recommend ITC to anyone! We could not have been happier with the tour guides, the hotels, the food, not to mention all the places we packed in 10 days. You run an amazing trip!
Weinstein Family, Long Island, NY
Cindy and I can't stop thinking about how transformational our trip was and how you significantly you contributed to it.
Our knowledge of the Israeli culture, history and the people has really advanced.
You always have a place to stay when you are in NYC. Let us know when you might be in town.
Thanks again for a great two weeks.
Vicki, Hello and happy new year.
I did want to thank you for all your help above and beyond for making this trip to Israel a reality for my Father.
This was a dream come true for him.
Everything ended up being a success. He has been home now for a few days and can not stop talking about the trip. All the planning paid off and everything was in place.
The scooter was perfect and the gentleman was there to deliver this, pick this up and also repair it when needed!
The bathroom equipment was there and this helped him be as independent as he likes to be. I am so glad you were able to find him home hospitality. That was a highlight being able to spend time with the families.
You did a lot of extra work and we thank you. I really could not have done any of this without your help.
Again, I appreciate your help and always being so responsive.
Thanks and best wishes for the new year.
Hi Vicki, Donny and Marlene,
Although we have been home for a few weeks, I have been busy with the holiday. Now that I'm done with that, I want to take the time to thank you for a great and wonderful Bat Mitzvah tour.
We had the best time. Our guide Hillel was outstanding. He was in all the wars, so we heard about that, the history, the background to many places. We LOVED him! The Bat Mitzvah was very beautiful, very hot, but the Rabbi was nice. He gave each child his or her turn, and the families too. After the day on Masada the kids all connected, and for the remainder of the trip they were always together. They swam and ate together, and sat together on the bus!
Although Dr. Golub and I have been to Israel many times, we did go and see sights we hadn't seen before. Jeep tours, kayaking on the Jordan was fun for all of us. A few days before Netanayu was on the Jordan River too! The Hotels were good, our driver Osher was great, but I would say the buses need a bathroom. A little more time for Tel Aviv would have been good, maybe one more day. All in all It was a memorable time, and I will do my best to recommend it, maybe not summer, it was the hottest I have ever been!!! Even the water in Tel Aviv was like a bathtub, but we loved it ! All of you were great to work with, and your tour was top notch.
Best wishes for a sweet and healthy New Year
My husband and I wanted to convey to you our profound gratitude for the trip that ITC provided for us. It was the first time in Israel for both of us and our experience was magical. The logistics were perfectly handled- we were picked up and transported in a timely, comfortable and professional way from the time we arrived at the airport and met you there and landed in Israel and were met by your representative who ushered us to our guide. Every transition within Israel all the way to our guide in Eilat (Yoni) seeing us to the airport for our trip home was seamless. The sites and cities you selected for us to see and visit were absolutely magnificent and at every point we felt we were getting an inside look at a representative sample of this stunningly beautiful and fascinating country.
Alex, our bus driver was wonderful- professional, friendly, welcoming. Our bus driver and guide in Jordan as well were extremely friendly, well-versed in the history of Petra and extremely knowledgeable. A special word must be said about our Israeli guide Shari.She is the consummate professional- her knowledge of the history, archeology, art and people of each area that we visited made our experience at each site feel like a history lesson from someone who was actually there. Her knowledge is encyclopedic and she handled every aspect of our trip so that we got the most out of every area. She also showed enormous flexibility in meeting the needs and interests of all members of the group and her genuine love of and fascination with Israel was contagious. She repeatedly went above and beyond and made this trip into the magical experience it turned out to be. Having the combination of Shari as our guide, and Robin Joseph as our cantor accompanying us could not have been better. As I said, - this was our first trip to Israel - but it certainly won't be our last.
Thank you again. Sharon Diamond and Roger Nathaniel
I will write more later and send pix, but for now I want to tell you how great the trip was, exceeding all my expectations. We were very lucky to have 2 other very comparable families, and the most outstanding tour guide I have ever had. Mickey, our tour guide, had a state of the art 14 passenger van, and was just unbelievable as a guide. He was one of the family for 10 days. I can not say enough about his great character, knowledge and skills as a driver. His knowledge of history and his spirit of Israel were fantastic.
All said, I would stand up loud and clear to tell ITC and any body who wants to book a tour, how great the whole experience was, from the initial booking, to the pre trip communication, and to the support we had when we needed it in Israel for 2 small issues.
Please make sure you report this positive feed back you your bosses and especially about Mickey our guide. He works hard and would appreciate referrals. He is worth his weight in gold. I cant wait to go back! If you ever need somebody to visit Israel for you to be sure the facilities are excellent, I could volunteer to do it, I wont even charge you.
I am finally sitting down just to tell you we did have a really great trip.
The hotels were all good and with good food. The bus driver Avner did an excellent job. The guide Reuven who I believe is through Diesenhaus tours, just like the driver, was phenomenal. He knew so much about the religion and the history of Israel and with a really fantastic demeanor and sense of humor as well as sense of seriousness when needed. He also was very diplomatic on certain answers where others might have made negative comments about other factions, religions or cultures.
We saw the majority of what was planned though a few things got left off due to time or in one case rioting the day before where we would have come out of Hezekiah's Tunnels. They made the right call. A few times lunch was extremely late; that might be the only suggestion for the future. That is probably due to scheduling and I don't know how much that was up to the tour guide. Eating at 2:30 or 3:30 though when you have eaten breakfast at 7:30am is not so good, especially with kids. Fortunately that only happened twice.
So thanks again for all you did for us regarding the trip. Howard, myself and Adam had a great time. Michael found it very interesting even though he didn't want to be gone so long. Zach did fine and paid attention to everything despite being the least interested. He did absorb a lot though so hopefully that will stay with him!
Hi Vicki and ITC -
Now that we're back in San Diego, I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful time we had in Israel. It was one of the best trips our family has taken, and I wanted to thank you for your help in arranging everything. I would recommend your company to anyone traveling to Israel.
"Shaya -- Our group from Anderson, SC, returned home safely about noon on Monday, March 10. We had a very enjoyable journey to Israel. Everything you promised materialized, and more. Our driver/guide Arieh, who works for Rent-a-Guide was superb. If you have any questions or want more feedback, please let me know. Thank you for all you did to get us ready to go."
Herskowitz Family Strengthens Generational Ties.
"When our sons, Adam and Lowell, entered the Beth Ya'akov synagogue in Zichron Ya'akov near Haifa, they became the fifth generation of our family to visit the shul where their great great grandfather was the hazan. He was one of the original settlers in the town, which was one of the towns financed by Baron Rothschild. We enjoyed seeing the rebirth of the town we visited 18 years ago. There are many young families and two hotels now. Our first night in Jerusalem was a great experience, too. We walked along Ben Yehuda Street and bought a shofar at one of the stores. Of course, we were so excited that first night that none of us could sleep. At 5:30 in the morning, just as the sun was coming up, we had a beautiful view of the Old City from our terrace. The boys blew the shofar to celebrate our delight, and that's something we'll always remember."
Harold & Geraldine Herskowitz, Livingston, NJ
Just wanted you to know that our trip to Israel was WONDERFUL. ITC did an excellent job with the itinerary and included many nice surprises for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah kids. We're so glad to have discovered this company through your website. I would definitely use
them again and would recommend them to anyone planning a trip to
Kim and Larry Goldberg
Wall At Shabbat Enthralls Jacobs Family
"Kabalat Shabbat at the Western Wall was the exclamation point of our family's Israel experience. It seemed like the whole world was gathering there, and it was such a festive event when the Yeshiva students came dancing in arm-in-arm and singing. Then, it was inspiring beyond words for our Temple group to have our own service and pray while facing the wall. We were especially moved by the solemnity of Yad Vashem and the Hertzl National Cemetery, and then, we experienced great joy when singing and dancing with Jerusalem school children before Shabbat and dancing with our daughters, Phyllis and Mariel, on Masada after the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. We also enjoyed exploring modern Israel and discussing key issues with politicians and everyday citizens. Harold Herskowitz's cousin is the surgeon for Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Omert, and he arranged a breakfast meeting with us. We also got to discuss the peace issue with secular Israelis on the Golan and at a kibbutz near Haifa. We got to feel part of the Jewish People -- part of something bigger. And on Shabbat, you're in sync with people united by their Jewishness."
Mel and Linda Jacobs, Livingston, NJ
"Words can't describe the trip you planned for us. The attention to detail that you put in was outstanding. We had the time of our lives. I also appreciate your patience on the last minute changes. Our guide was outstanding. He was there for us. His concern to every detail was incredible. He is bright and has such a love for what he does. Your organization is one that I would highly recommend to anyone. I will definitely use you organization again. Thank you again ITC."
Frank Weissman, Stamford, Ct
"You helped us put together a private tour for our whole family. Your patience and expertise helped make this tour the best vacation our family has ever experienced. Thank you for everything."
Margott Benstock, Seminole, Fl.
"As a family we have taken many vacations. Israel has been by far the most memorable. Seeing my son Bar Mitzvahed atop Masada is an experience I will never forget. It was an experience I know he too will hold onto forever."
Bill & Cheryl Levine, Miami Fla.
"Thank you ITC! My family truly touched the land where our heritage began. A vacation full of fun and excitement, I am proud to be Jewish and extremely thankful we gave this gift to our children."
Rob & Stacey Baumgold, Madison Wisconsin
"My most memorable moment was floating in the Dead Sea looking up at Masada. My daughter was just Bat Mitzvahed there. Three generations took part in what is truly a miracle to our people, our heritage and our family. Thank you ITC for helping our family realize a dream!"
Richard and Carol Epstein, Waterbury, Conn.
"ITC you have helped us pass along our heritage to our children. I was Bar Mitzvahed in Israel and my oldest son now shares in this distinction. As a family, we feel more apart of our Judaism then ever before. Holding my wife's hand throughout the ceremony, I know what our son was feeling and it brought tears to my eyes."
Morty and Denna Roulf, Utica, NY
"Thank you ITC! We had a wonderful time traveling with you. Our whole family was touched by the experience. I had been to Israel before, but to share that feeling with the ones closest to me was truly inspirational. Going to services last Friday, my daughter cried. I asked what was wrong and she tuned to me and said that she carries the pride and tradition of our heritage. I cried too."
Howard & Sharon Diamond, Glenburny, Pa.
"I really believe everyone needs to visit Israel. Yes it was great vacation, in fact the best. More then just an opportunity to relax, I feel rejuvenated, or as your brochure suggests reJEWvenated! I have been recommending the experience to everyone."
Audra & Gary Berger, Boca Raton, Florida
"Touch the land where Judaism began is just the beginning of the experience. I cannot express the wonderful feeling of being back home after such a powerful family experience. Thank you ITC. We live in an area with a small Jewish population. My children now understand why I have insisted that they attend Hebrew school. My youngest even thanked me."
Neil & Mindy Spindel, Holly Springs, Miss
" ITC you run a very special tour. I have been to Israel on a number of different tours. This is the first letter I am writing in appreciation. I joined an ITC tour because my niece was being Bat Mitzvahed at Masada, an experience I would not have missed it. This tour was a very personal, intimate experience. I truly shared the experience with everyone on the tour; laughing, crying, singing, and celebrating. I plan on taking my family with ITC in two years when my oldest son is of Bar Mitzvah age. Thank you again for making this a memorable experience."
Rob & Laura Halpurn, Orlando, Fla.
"Your attention to details made the difference in our experience. Not just the itinerary, but the friendly service we received in planning the tour. Your suggestions on our extension were excellent. You are definitely Israel Tour Specialists. Thanks again."
Burt & Patti Seagel, New York City, NY
"ITC was recommended by friends who traveled with you. I now agree that this was the best money my family has ever spent on a vacation. Much more then a vacation, we feel our eyes have been opened to the pride of being Jewish. ITC, you made that happen. We really did touch the land where Judaism began and so much more. We made great friends on that tour including the family we met on Kibbutz."
Marshal & Linda West, Phoenix, Az.
"I travel a lot and have never written a thank you note before. From the beginning, your friendly service and advice made my wife and I feel extremely comfortable with choosing ITC. Now that we have returned we have not stopped talking about your organization. This tour has shown my family the value of continuing our Jewish tradition. It has really made us feel apart of something very special."
Adam & Wendy Jaffee, Potomac, Md.
"We struggled with the decision to throw a party for my son's Bar Mitzvah or to take this vacation. This tour was the best decision we could have made. Our tour guide was inspirational and made every day exciting. Our whole family had fun. More significant then the 4 hour party, this experience will truly last a lifetime for all of us."
Alan & Susan Stein, Randolph, NJ
".I saw it in his eyes, standing on top of Masada. I knew it then, he understood the pride of our Jewish tradition. Yet the most profound moment was what he said last week on the bima, the morning of his Bar Mitzvah ceremony here. We went to Israel last summer (8 months ago.) The things he spoke of, I saw it in the eyes of the Rabbi and everyone else sitting there listening, he was proud and thankful for his heritage. My friends commented to me afterwards, they too felt what he was talking about and they were so impressed that he understood this at such a young age. I know that this is what a Bar Mitzvah is about, but ITC you made it happen. Thank you!"
Eric & Michelle Fitzburger, Pittsburgh, Pa.
"Israel is like no other place in the world. I have travel a lot and nothing has compared. ITC, you showed me a country, a heritage, a people. I have always taken pride in my Judaism, but now I feel more connected with it then ever. It was amazing to see the Biblical history and yet equally as profound to behold the miracles of our modern Jewish State. Thank you for making this possible."
Steven & Miriam Goldner, Los Angeles, Ca.
"It was a great vacation. The whole family had fun. Yet we all came home a little changed. I guess that is by design. The pride my family feels about being Jewish is something very strong. My husband and I have insisted on passing on a Jewish education to our kids. This vacation has allowed them to touch, taste, hear and understand what that all means. Thank you ITC."
Phil & Susanne Weissman, New City, NY