Jewish Heritage Tour of Israel, Temple Kol Tikvah

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Day 1 – Sun. Oct. 22: DEPART USA

Depart today for the journey of a lifetime. Board your domestic flight from Charlotte Douglas Airport. Depart on your international flight. Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 2 – Mon. Oct. 23: ARRIVAL, TEL AVIV

On arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport you will be met by our airport representatives and escorted to your motor coach where you will meet your guide and driver. They will take you to nearby Tel Aviv to begin the tour. Visit Yafo (Jaffa) the biblical port city where the origins of Tel Aviv are found. Much of the ancient city has been restored with art galleries and boutiques. Then continue to the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek with its narrow alleys, many boutiques, restaurants and chic residences. Visit “Beit Hatfutzot” – the Museum of the Jewish People which depicts the dispersion of the Jewish People among the nations with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, their life in communities around the world and their return to their homeland with the creation of the State of Israel. Check-in to your hotel and relax after your long flight. Dinner is on your own this evening in the hotel dining room or one of the many nearby restaurants. Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Metropolitan Hotel, 11 Trumpeldor St., Tel Aviv tel: +972-3-519-2727

Day 3 – Tues. Oct. 24: TEL AVIV-YAFO

Your adventure begins this morning after breakfast when you begin to explore Tel Aviv and learn about the early beginnings of this city and Israel itself. Visit Independence Hall, where Israel was declared an independent country in May 1948. Continue along Rothschild Boulevard where many fine examples of the “Bauhaus” international-style architecture exist in proximity to newer high rise office buildings. This area known as the “White City” has been recognized by USESCO as a World Heritage Site. Visit the Yitzhak Rabin Center, depicting the modern history of Israel while following the military and political career of the late Prime Minister who was assassinated while trying to formulate a peace accord with the Palestinians. In Jaffa enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and then visit the “Na LaGa’at” (“Please Touch”) theater for a unique and fascinating performance. Return to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Day 4 – Wed. Oct. 25: TEL AVIV, GALILEE

Depart Tel Aviv after breakfast, driving north along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, the Roman port city and capital of the Province of Judea, built by Herod the Great. Continue north to Atlit to visit the former British Prison Camp where Jews attempting to immigrate to Israel were held until Israel declared its independence in 1948. Drive further north to Haifa, to visit the Leo Baeck School and Community Center, affiliated with the Reform Movement. Continue north from Haifa to Akko (Acre) the crusader port and stronghold with its many restored underground halls and passageways. Visit Rosh HaNikra near the Lebanese border with its sea-level grottoes and caves. Depart heading east across Galilee. Check-in to your Tiberias hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

Caesar Premier Hotel, Hatayelet, Tiberias, tel: +972-4-672-7200

Day 5 – Thurs. Oct. 26: GALILEE

Begin the day after breakfast, boarding jeeps that will bring you up to the Golan Heights. Visit bunkers from the wars fought to protect Israel from Syrian attacks, today providing panoramic views of Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Visit a “chocolaterie” for a special treat. Visit a winery where some of Israel’s finest wines are produced. Continue to Tzfat (Safed) one of the four holy cities in Israel and the home of Kabbalah – Jewish mysticism that was developed here. Enjoy the ancient synagogues and many art galleries. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 – Fri. Oct. 27: GALILEE, JERUSALEM

Depart after breakfast to visit Beit She’an, one of the 10 Roman “Decapolis” cities and one of the best preserved, showing how developed Roman cities of the time were. From here depart Galilee, heading south along the Jordan River, past Jericho to begin the ascent to Jerusalem. From Mt. Scopus, your first view of the Holy City, stop to recite the “shehechiyanu” prayer and to enjoy the view. Check-in to your hotel to freshen up. Then visit with one of the Reform congregations in the Jerusalem area, joining them for Kabbalat Shabbat and home hospitality dinner. Return to your Jerusalem hotel for your overnight stay.

Prima Kings Hotel, 60 King George St., Jerusalem, tel: +972-2-620-1201

Day 7 – Sat. Oct. 28: DEAD SEA, YAHEL

Depart Jerusalem after breakfast, heading east through the Judean Desert toward the lowest spot on earth, the Dead Sea. Visit Masada, the desert palace and refuge built by Herod that served as the site of the last stand of Jewish zealots in their hopeless struggle against the Roman legions that surrounded them. Visit Ein Gedi, a nature reserve that includes a natural desert spring and caves where David hid from the wrath of King Saul. Enjoy a swim/float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, before continuing south to the guest house at Kibbutz Yahel, affiliated with the Israeli Reform Movement. After freshening up, gather for a short Havdalah service to begin the new week together. Dinner and overnight at the Yahel guest house.

Ma’ayan BaMidbar Country Inn, Kibbutz Yahel, Southern Arava, tel: +972-8-635-7967

Day 8 – Sun. Oct. 29: ARAVA, NEGEV, JERUSALEM

After breakfast learn about life in the desert as you take a short tour of Kibbutz Yahel. Then depart Yahel, heading west and north as you leave the Arava and travel through the Negev region. Stop at Mizpe Ramon to visit the Ramon Crater Visitors’ Center and to learn about this unique natural phenomenon. Continue north through the Negev to Sde Boker, the site of the last home and final resting place of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. Continue on to Be’er Sheva to visit Tel Be’er Sheva with its ancient water system. Return to Jerusalem and check-in to your hotel for your overnight stay. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Prima Kings Hotel, 60 King George St., Jerusalem, tel: +972-2-620-1201

Day 9 – Mon. Oct. 30: JERUSALEM

Today will be spent entirely in Jerusalem’s Old City. After breakfast drive to the Dung Gate on the southern side of the Old City. Enter the Old City to visit the Temple Mount, where Solomon’s Temple and later Herod’s Temple once stood. Back out through the Dung Gate, visit the City of David, the original Jebusite city that David conquered and made into his capital city. Later visit the Davidson Center where the daily activities at the temple are depicted. Continue to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest spot in Judaism. Follow the passageways underground to visit the Western Wall Tunnels. Exiting onto the Via Dolorosa, follow this infamous labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys that lead through the Arab market and on into the Jewish Quarter. Walk along the Cardo, the main street in Jerusalem during Roman times. Time permitting, enjoy some free time to browse through the shops. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 10 – Tues. Oct. 31: JERUSALEM, DEPART

After breakfast today we will visit Israel’s national holocaust memorial and museum, Yad VaShem. Afterwards, visit the national cemetery on Mt. Herzl where many national leaders such as Theodore Herzl, Yitzchak Rabin and others are buried. Continue to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem for a tour of this world renowned institution including the famous Chagall Windows. Visit the Israel Museum where we will view the huge, scale model of Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls on display in the Shrine of the Book. View and learn about the much-publicized “security fence” between Israel and the Palestinian areas. Visit a local gourmet restaurant for the farewell dinner and then transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport for your return flight to the USA.

Day 11 – Wed. Nov. 1: ARRIVE HOME

Arrive home today with wonderful memories of your visit to Israel.

Optional Extension Tour to Petra

Day 10 – Tues. Oct. 31: JERUSALEM

As above with overnight in Jerusalem

Day 11 – Wed. Nov. 1: TEL AVIV, EILAT, WADI RUM

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for the short flight to Israel’s southern port and resort city, Eilat. On arrival in Eilat, transfer to the Arava Border terminal and after customs and passport control procedures, enter into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, meet your guide and driver and begin your visit to this fascinating and wonderful country. Drive east through the desert to Wadi Rum, with its amazing desert scenery. This is the area where the British army office T. E. Lawrence, known as “Lawrence of Arabia” facilitated the entry of the Hashemite Bedouin into WWI as British allies. Enjoy a desert safari. Then check-in to your luxury Bedouin tent camp desert accommodations for dinner and your overnight stay.

Sun City Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan, tel: +962-7-9566-6673

Day 12 – Thurs. Nov. 2: PETRA

After breakfast, drive north through the desert to Wadi Mousa to visit Petra, the world-famous capital of the Nabatean empire. This archaeological treasure was unknown to the western world until the late 18th century when it was secretly visited by a European explorer. Dinner and overnight at your Petra hotel.

Petra Moon Hotel, Wadi Mousa, Jordan, tel: +962-3-215-6220

Day 13 – Fri. Nov. 3: EILAT, DEPART

After breakfast depart Wadi Mousa, enjoy a brief visit to the Jordanian port and resort city, Aqaba before returning to the Arava Border Terminal and to Israel. Transfer to Eilat where you will check-in to your hotel to enjoy the beach, pool or to explore Eilat on your own. Lunch and/or an early dinner on your own. In the late afternoon transfer to the Eilat Municipal Airport for your return flight to Ben Gurion International Airport. Take the airport shuttle to transfer from the domestic to the international terminal to check-in for your return flight to the US.

Dan Panorama Hotel, North Beach, Eilat, tel: +972-8-638-9999

Day 14 – Sat. Nov. 4: ARRIVE HOME

Arrive home today with wonder memories of your visit to Israel and Jordan, until the next time.