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A Journey for the Mind, the Heart and the Spirit

October 21 - 30, 2024

Month after month, we have followed the news from the country we love, with trepidation, admiration tinged with anxiety, optimism fending off fear. Now, it’s time to (re)engage directly, to bear witness both to the horrors and to the heroism – and to celebrate 76 years of triumphant accomplishment.

In the stillness of the Negev and the bustle of Tel Aviv, the old city of Akko and the eternal magic of Jerusalem, we will delve into history both ancient and recent, engage with the distinctive mosaic of Israelis, peer into the future that is emerging and experience the wonders of this vibrant, multiethnic country as well as the deep sorrow of October 7.

HIGHLIGHTS

Pay tribute to the fallen in the Gaza Envelope and at Mount Herzl

Witness artists’ responses to October 7

Experience the volunteer energy that has ignited the country

Discover Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s vision for bringing the desert to life

Wander the melding of three world religions in the Old City of Jerusalem

Explore the alleyways of ancient Akko, one of the oldest ports in the world

Hang out with the new generation of Bedouins keeping their culture alive

Gaze at the amazing night sky from the edge of the Ramon Crater

Visit Masada and Float in the Dead Sea

Harvest the olives that become your favorite oil

Sample salted bagel ice cream topped with kiwis at the ice cream paradise Golda

Lunch on seafood at the iconic Uri Buri restaurant, a symbol of Arab-Jewish coexistence

Dates & Pricing

October 21 – 30, 2024

  • Cost: $10,999 per person
  • single occupancy supplement: $3,500
  • Non-temple member fee: $1,000
  • A $1,000 deposit per person is due upon registration with the balance due by August 2, 2024

Cancellation Policy:

  • By July 8 – All fees minus $500 per person will be refunded
  • July 8 –  August 2: 50% of all fees will be refunded
  •  No refunds after August 2, 2024.
This is an ALL-INCLUSIVE trip, covering:
  • Private pick-up at Ben Gurion Airport or other Tel Aviv locations
  • All accommodations (5-star hotels)
  • Private, licensed tour guide
  • All special activities, sights, admission fees and programs as per itinerary
  • Luxurious, WiFi-equipped bus for the entire trip
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners (and some street food!), alcohol included, as noted in itinerary
  • All tips and gratuities
  • An exclusive Temple Emanu-El Streicker Cultural Center trip photo book
Not included:
  • Airfare to/from Israel
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Note that some activities rely on local hosts, suppliers or sites and are subject to change.

Minimum age for participation is 21.

Accommodations

Itinerary

DAY 1: WELCOME

Monday, October 21, 2024

“It is in the Negev that the creativity and pioneer vigor of Israel will be tested, and this will be a crucial test.” David Ben-Gurion

  • A private pick-up from the airport or a Tel Aviv location will take you to the Kedma Hotel, in the heart of that desert, the Negev
  • Program begins at 4:00PM; meet in hotel lobby
  • Visit the grave of Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion
  • Shehechiyanu at Carmey Avdat Winery, planted on the remains of ancient terraces, and hear about adopting age-oldviniculture techniques and the effects of the Gaza war
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Negev

DAY 2: DESERT DREAMS

Tuesday, October 22, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning Options:
    • Yoga
    • Hiking through Maktesh Ramon
    • ATV off-roading
  • Lunch at Masait Food Truck in the middle of the desert, run by chef Nir Alkasi, known by soldiers as “Nir, the Shnitzel King of Nitzana”
  • Visit the Ramon Visitors’ Center, set on the northern cliffs of the Crater, for the geological story behind this unique natural wonder
  • Relax at the hotel spa or by the pool
  • Sunset Jeep ride through the stunning Negev
  • Desert dinner under the stars, complete with a traditional taboon oven for bread making, smoked meats, drinks and desert music
  • Stargazing with an expert
  • Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Negev

DAY 3: BEARING WITNESS

Wednesday, October 23, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Depart for Otef Aza (Gaza Envelope), stopping at key lookout points for in-depth discussions of the complexities of the Gaza border situation with a geopolitical expert
  • Lunch with soldiers at the Shuva Achim Hospitality tent, which has morphed from a field hospital into a refreshment spot for soldiers serving in the Gaza Envelope
  • At the wreckage of what was the Sderot Police Station, hear the story of October 7 from witnesses to the tragedy at the Nova Music Festival in the Re’im Forest
  • Erev Simhat Torah and dinner with a Reform community in the Otef Aza area
  • Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Negev

Day 4: SHARED SOCIETY

Thursday, October 24, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Depart for the North
  • Meet the Bedouin “Desert Stars,” members of a village program building a new generation of Bedouin leaders for a thriving community and a strong Israeli society
  • Bedouin lunch with Desert Stars
  • Drive to Tel Aviv
  • Walking tour of Old Jaffa
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Evening on your own
  • Overnight:  The David Kempinski Hotel, Tel Aviv

DAY 5: CULTURAL REFLECTIONS

Friday, October 25, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Explore ANU, the newly reimagined Museum of the Jewish People, filled with interactive exhibitions that tell the story of Jews across generations and around the world
  • Graffiti Tour in Florentin, the Tel Aviv neighborhood where the stories of what has happened since October 7 and current social issues are painted on facades
  • Tour of and lunch at Levinsky Market, specializing in spices and Mediterranean delicacies
  • Free time
  • Visit to the Square of the Kidnapped and Missing in front of the Tel Aviv Art Museum, including the Shabbat Table set for 200 missing Israelis and other powerful works of art
  • Kabbalat Shabbat
  • Shabbat Dinner
  • Overnight:  The David Kempinski Hotel, Tel Aviv

DAY 6: THE NORTHERN FRONTIER

Saturday, October 26, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Harvest olives and visit an olive press
  • Learn about the dangers on the northern borders
  • Lunch at Uri Buri in Akko, a popular restaurant serving fresh seafood and 100 different kinds of Israeli wine for the past 40 years.
  • Tour of the narrow streets, towering ramparts, venerable synagogues, secret passageways and Muslim minarets of the port of Akko, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Return to Tel Aviv
  • Small group Israel Street Food dinner
  • Late night stop at Golda Ice Cream
  • Overnight:  The David Kempinski Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 7: HOMELAND

Sunday, October 27, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
  • Visit Brothers for Life, a center for wounded combat soldiers or A Healing Place, an emergency mental health facility to help traumatized young people from the Nova Music Festival
  • Forage for edible plants and make lunch with Nurit Hertz in the Jerusalem hills
  • Remember at the Machal Memorial, dedicated in 1993 to honor volunteers who came from outside of Israel to fight on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people
  • Learn about the relationship between Israel and the US at 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, with its monument forming an American flag, a metal remnant from Ground Zero embedded at the base
  • Drive to Jerusalem and check-in at the hotel
  • Dinner at Hatzot, a landmark family restaurant founded in 1970 by two brothers, Abraham and Michael Ajami
  • Overnight:  Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY 8: HISTORY, HOPE AND MEMORY

Monday, October 28, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Choose 2 from the following 4 options (lunch on your own):
    • Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Memorial to the Holocaust
    • Tour Jerusalem’s Old City, sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including the Jewish Quarter, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and, conditions permitting, the Muslim sites on the Temple Mount
    • Explore the new campus of the National Library of Israel, the nation’s preeminent research collection, founded in 1892, the reservoir of the collective memory of Israelis and Jews of all backgrounds
    • Guided tour of the Israel Museum, the country’s largest cultural institute, with its Judaica collections and the world’s most extensive archaeology holdings of the Land of Israel, including the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Free time
  • Early dinner at Hummus Ben Sira
  • Tower of David Sound and Light Show, a multisensory experience celebrating Jerusalem’s profound story amid the archaeological ruins in the Citadel courtyard
  • Late night walk to the Western Wall
  • Overnight:  Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY 9: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Tuesday, October 29, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Masada and Dead Sea option:
    • Ascend the mountain by cable car to explore Masada, a natural fortress combining natural beauty and deep meaning, the scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago
    • Swim and float in the mineral-rich Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth
    • Lunch at the Nevo Isrotel Hotel
    • Dead Sea Boat Ride to see a captivating “salt-chimneys forest,” wondrous mud, salt pearls, salt diamonds and sinkholes filled with sweet water with a guide from The Dead Sea Revival Project
  • Haifa option:
    • Admire the Baha’i Gardens’ captivating terraces, gracefully flowing toward the Mediterranean Sea, and discover the history of this sacred site and the principles of the Baha’i religion
    • Lunch and tour in Wadi Nisnas, a colorful neighborhood of narrow streets, picturesque stone houses and an extraordinary market that reflects a city of many faiths and communities
    • Visit Beit-Hagefen Art Gallery, which includes a regular exhibition space, a Museum Without Walls and The Third Space, dedicated to education and the arts
  • Dinner on your own
  • Overnight:  Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY 10: BRINGING IT HOME

Wednesday, October 30, 2024

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Discussion about what comes next in Israel with Haviv Rettig Gur, veteran Israeli-American journalist and The Times of Israel’s senior analyst
  • Taste your way through Machane Yehuda Market, an iconic multiethnic bazaar bursting with life, art and flavor
  • Lunch at Azura, a family-run restaurant in the Iraqi section of the market, famous for its Turkish-inspired delicacies
  • Pay respects to the 28,000 soldiers and civilians killed since the founding of the state and to Zionism’s leaders, the national cemetery where Theodor Herzl himself is buried
  • Free time/Packing/Rest
  • Final dinner of authentic Arabic food made from local produce at Reshta Restaurant in Ein Rafa village, set among green fields with a breathtaking view.
  • Transfer to the airport, Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv

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