Day 1: Departure
DAY 2: ARRIVAL IN ISRAEL
- Land in Israel. Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities at Ben Gurion International Airport.
- Meet your guide and transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem, the City of Gold
DAY 3: JERUSALEM: CITY OF THREE FAITHS
- Breakfast meeting with a local political expert providing an insiders view on “Israel in a Volatile Middle East“:
- Visit the Old City of Jerusalem, uncovering the layers of Jewish history from the time of the First Temple until present day. Sites include the City of David with the latest discoveries along the newly opened Pilgrims Path, southern wall Excavations, and Western Wall.
- Accompanied by a local expert see the Haram El Sharif, as it is known to Moslems, or the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews.
- Walk through the Christian Quarter, the Via Dolorosa, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Visit the Cardo, the Ramparts and the Four Quarters of the city, with falafel lunch en route.
- Enjoy a night showing of the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum. This amazing sound and light show uses the walls of this archaeological site as the background for virtual reality images to tell the story of Jerusalem
Day 4: OUT OF THE DARKNESS TO MODERN DAY GEM
- Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Memorial to the Holocaust
- Take a tasting tour of the famed Machene Yehuda market, Jerusalem’s celebrated outdoor market. Go behind the scenes with our expert guide, learn about the different cultures and their foods, meet some of the proprietors and hear their stories.
- Tour the stunning architectural gem housing Israel’s Supreme Court, learn how Israel’s democracy has evolved over the last 70 years and meet with a justice (based on availability)
- Or: Visit the Israel Museum and see the Holy Land model and the Shine of the Book, to see the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls
- Dinner with a renowned Israeli journalist at a Jerusalem restaurant
Day 5: UNWRAPPING THE ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
- Led by an IDF Colonel, take a seamline tour of the separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian Territories
- Tour Bethlehem and meet with locals over lunch
- Visit the settlement area of Gush Etzion. Meet with activists from an Israeli-Palestinian NGO active in promoting Jewish-Arab co-existence, dialogue, non-violence and eventually trust between Israelis and Palestinian as a path to peace.
- Meet reserve IDF soldiers for a special forces workshop at Calibre 3.
Day 6: THE LOWEST PLACE ON EARTH
- Drive from Jerusalem towards the Judean wilderness, beginning at Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were written 2000 years ago and were discovered in 1948.
- See Masada, the famous mountain where the Zealots hid after the fall of Jerusalem. Ascend by cable car to the fortress, which was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans.
- Lunch and “float” in the soothing Dead Sea waters
- Return to Jerusalem to rest. Enjoy a Shabbat home hospitality dinner with locals.
Day 7: HISTORY AND SPIRITUALITY IN THE GALILEE
- Check out and travel north to visit the Crusader harbor and 12th-century ramparts at Caesarea. This ancient city, now archaeological park, located on the Mediterranean Sea was constructed by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC and named for Caesar Augustus, Caesarea was one of the most splendid cities in Palestine and was the capital of the province for almost 600 years. (TBD)
- Visit to Mt. Carmel, site of Elijahs ascent
- Meet with the women of Sindyanna, a joint Israel Arab cooperative for lunch and explore their unique cooperation
- Accompanied by an expert guide, visit Magdala, site of one of the most significant second temple period archaeological discoveries in the last decade, the Magdala stone, and the ancient synagogue that sits along the Sea of Galilee shores.
Day 8: SECURITY AND THE GOLAN HEIGHTS
- Travel north to the Golan Heights and meet a retired IDF Colonel for a security briefing along Israels border with Syria. Visit Mt. Bental and walk through the antiquated Israeli bunkers for a sobering taste for what outpost army life is like.
- Board jeeps for a ride through the foothills of the Golan Heights, through the battle fields of the Yom Kippur War and to various bunkers that protect the Israeli soldiers on the border with Syria.
- Visit the Druze community of Majdal Shams, and meet with the local Sheik.
- Enjoy wine tasting and lunch at a boutique winery
- Spend the remainder of the afternoon in Tzfat, home to ancient synagogues, artists’ galleries and alleyways full of legends and history, stretching back 2000 years.
Day 9: FOOD, FUSION AND THE KIBBUTZ LIFESTYLE
- Visit the ancient walled city of Akko, once a strategic Crusader stronghold, and now a mixed Jewish-Arab city and model of co-existence. Visit the recently restored home that has been converted to a cultural venue for author workshops and walk through the ancient Akko market enjoying some special tastings en route.
- Hear from renowned chef Uri, and enjoy a special tasting menu at Uri Buri
- Accompanied by a local kibbutz member, visit a local kibbutz and learn about the early kibbutz communal movement and learn how their amazing high tech agricultural technology has become a world leader in its field.
- Travel to Tel Aviv and check in at your hotel
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Day 10 THE START UP CITY – INNOVATION AND CULTURE IN TEL AVIV/JAFFA
- Take a walking tour in Jaffa followed by a VIP private tour of the Peres Center for Innovation. From here we will walk through Neve Tzedek and Rothschild Boulevard, and view the unique Bauhaus architecture which has earned the city a UNESCO World Heritage Award.
- Enjoy a culinary graffiti tour in one of Tel Avivs most colorful and gentrifying neighborhoods. See how street art/ graffiti has become the sounding board for local artistic expression with its own unique style.
- Remainder of the day at leisure for shopping
- Farewell Dinner at one of Tel Aviv’s excellent chef restaurants
Overnight: Tel Aviv
DAY 11 -DEPARTURE