I got my itinerary for Israel- looks sweet!
Day 1 – Thursday, July 4th
· 7:00 AM – Arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport. You will be met and assisted through customs by IsraelExperts staff and will meet your Israeli tour guide and driver who will be with you throughout your tour.
· Hike at the beautiful Mount Meron, the second highest point in Israel.
· Explore Tzfat– the ancient and modern home of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism).Tour ancient synagogues and artists’ quarters.
· Orientation: Take some time to get to know your fellow participants, staff, and guide while preparing for the 10-day journey ahead of you.
Accommodation: Kibbutz Shomrat*
Day 2 – Friday, July 5th
· See the Banias – the largest waterfall in Israel, and visit the remains of an ancient city.
· Visit Tel Hai, one of the first four settlements of the Galilee, and hear about the pioneers of the modern State of Israel.
· Travel to the former military outpost at Har Bental and take in a stunning 360 degree view of Israel and Syria.
· Arrive at your kibbutz in time to prepare for Kabbalat Shabbat (the arrival of Shabbat) and candle lighting followed by Shabbat dinner. Participate in Oneg Shabbat program.
Accommodation: Kibbutz Shomrat
Day 3 – Saturday, July 6th
· Spend Shabbat relaxing with your group with various programming and free time on your Kibbutz.
· You’ll also have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Kibbutz to learn more about the history of the Kibbutz movement and the history of the Kibbutz on which you’re staying.
· Take part in the ceremony ending the Shabbat and welcoming the new week: Havdalla.
Accommodation: Kibbutz Shomrat
Day 4 – Sunday, July 7th
· Participate in a unique co-existence seminar at Givat Haviva
· Explore Jaffa, one of the world’s ancient ports. Modern Jaffa has a heterogeneous population of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Jaffa is a major tourist site with an exciting combination of old and new. You may have time to explore the local flea market called Shuk Hapishpeshim for all kinds of hidden treasures (and delicious things to eat).
· Take time to relax on one of Israel’s beautiful Mediterranean beaches.
· Enjoy a night out in Tel Aviv in an area full of trendy restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes and shops.
Accommodation: Galil NTY*
Day 5 – Monday, July 8th
· Mifgash (“Encounter”) Begins. Today you will be joined by 8 young Israelis who will be traveling with you for the next 5 days. You will have the privilege to explore Israel through their eyes (and they through yours) and to forge new and lasting friendships.
· Visit Rabin Square (“Kikar Rabin” in Hebrew); a large public city square in central Tel Aviv, named after Israeli Prime MinisterYitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated at the conclusion of a massive peace rally held at the square on November 4, 1995.
· Stroll down the trendy area of Nachalat Binyamin and the neighboring market “Shuk HaCarmel”, where you can find many cafes, shops and unique gifts.
· Visit Tel Azeka, the excavations of the biblical town overlooking the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath.
· Learn the history of Midras in the Iron age and the roman period; hike around the Bar Kochba caves
· Spend the night at Chan HaShayarot– Desert Experience. Partake in a light taste of Bedouin tradition and culture including a welcome ceremony of coffee and tea followed by a Middle-Eastern dinner served in the traditional style seated on rugs and pillows in a Bedouin style tent. Accommodation is in a mock up of a traditional Bedouin tent.
Accommodation: Chan Hashayarot*
Day 6 – Tuesday, July 9th
· Start the morning riding camel-back as the sun rises over the desert.
· Visit to David Ben Gurion’s grave at Sde Boker, overlooking a beautiful view of the desert. David Ben Gurion was the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel and one of the most influential people in the founding of the State of Israel.
· Explore innovative agricultural and environmental concepts at Shvil Hasalat (Salad Trail)where you will be able to enjoy fresh organic vegetables of the region.
· Visit the Indoor Playground in Sderot, a 21,000-square-foot secure indoor playground and community center. Learn more about the city of Sderot and the resilience of the residents living there.
· Get to know your Mifgash Israelis by partaking in a special activity they have prepared for you.
Accommodation: Inbar Arad Hotel*
Day 7 – Wednesday, July 10th
· Climb Masada via the earthen Roman ramp built 2000 years ago to storm this desert fortress and view the remarkable excavations including Herod’s Palace and stables, the ancient synagogue and the ancient water system.
· Hike in the Ein Gedi desert oasis at Nachal David and float in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth.
· Stop at Har HaTzofim (Mount Scopus) viewpoint to say Shehechiyanu and enjoy the stunning view of Jerusalem.
Accommodation: Kibbutz Tzuba*
Day 8 – Thursday, July 11th
· Visit YadVashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust. The museum presents the historic events that befell Europe following the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany and the fate of the Jews under Nazi rule in the occupied countries.
· Visit Mount Herzl, Israel’s military cemetery and the burial place of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and Theodore Herzl.
· Visit Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s largest “shuk” (outdoor market), where you can find many different people and wares.
· Spend the night out on Jerusalem’s vibrant pedestrian mall, Ben Yehudah Street. Enjoy the open-air mall (a.k.a. ‘ha midrechov’) with its pubs, shops, and restaurants with plenty of live music.
Accommodation: Kibbutz Tzuba
Day 9 – Friday, July 12th
· Get a breathtaking view of Jerusalem from the lookout at Haas Promenade.
· Visit the Old City of Jerusalem– visit the Kotel (Western Wall), Cardo and the Jewish Quarter.
· Farewell for Israelis – End of Mifgash.
· Take part in a special Kabbalat Shabbat (the arrival of Shabbat) at the Western Wall (Kotel), one of the holiest sites in Judaism. back at the hotel, Participate in “Oneg Shabbat” (Shabbat pleasure) program.
· Shabbat of a Lifetime– Receive an informative introduction to Shabbat in Jerusalem at the Western Wall followed by a home hospitality including a five-course meal. Tickle your taste buds with an authentic Shabbat experience with home-made traditional Jewish foods from nine countries around the globe.
Accommodation: Jerusalem Gardens*
Day 10 – Saturday, July 13th
· Take a walking tour through the beautiful Rose Garden of Jerusalem where you can see Israel’s Parliament building known as the “Knesset” which houses the legislative branch of government.
· Bring the experience to an end with a closing session.
· Take part in the ceremony ending the Shabbat and welcoming the new week: Havdalla
Accommodation: Jerusalem Gardens