Temple Etz Chaim Celebrates Israel
including Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
Led by Rabbi Tom Alpert
April 21 - May 1, 2020

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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Escorted Tour Includes:


4 nights Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel
2 nights Kibbutz Hagoshrim Guesthouse, Upper Galilee
2 nights David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv
All touring and sightseeing in a deulxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration
Breakfast daily
5 dinners, including Shabbat dinner & home hospitality in Jerusalem
Lunch at Leo Baeck Institute
Meeting with a Hartman Institute scholar
Shorashim/Roots program
Sound and Light show
Jeep tour in the Golan Heights
Wine tasting
Visit to Taglit Innovation Center
Transfer if arriving/departing with main group
Entrance fees per itinerary
Bottled water on the bus


Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Border taxes or visas
Tips to guide, driver and dining room waiters ( $18 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Optional Dinner in the Dark & Nalagaat Performance ($100 per person)
Meals not listed above
Items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Tuesday, April 21, 2020: DEPARTURE

• We depart Boston on our overnight flight to Israel.

Day 2: Wednesday, April 22, 2020: WELCOME TO ISRAEL!

• We arrive in Israel and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We transfer to Jerusalem, stopping atop the Haas Promenade to say the “Shehecheyanu” as we look out over the City of Gold for the first time.
• We check into our hotel and have time to refresh before our welcome dinner this evening at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 3: Thursday, April 23, 2020: THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIVIDE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the Hartman Institute and meet with a scholar for a program entitled “Israel and the Challenge of Power”.
• We travel to Gush Etzion for a dialogue with Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Shaul Yudelman, the founders of the Shorashim/Roots program. Shorashim fosters a grassroots movement of understanding, non-violence and partnership between Israelis and Palestinians.
• This evening, we visit the famed Machane Yehuda for a chance to explore the market and enjoy dinner on own, then stroll through to discover the artistic graffiti painted on the closed shutter doors.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 4: Friday, April 24, 2020: JERUSALEM THEN AND NOW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day at Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust, where we view the many moving exhibitions, including the Hall of Names and the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations.
• Lunch on own en route.
• We continue to Ir David, the City of David, where we wander through the carefully preserved archaeological excavations dating back to the time of King David, including the new excavations leading us to Robinson's Arch.
• This afternoon, we enter the Old City for a walking tour through the different neighborhoods. We begin in the Jewish quarter with a chance for personal reflection at the Western Wall, continue through the Arab market (shuk), then stroll along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian quarter.
• As the sun sets, we join together with a Progressive community Shabbat dinner and home hospitality with local residents (likely Kehilat Mevaseret Tzion).

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 5: Saturday, April 25, 2020: SHABBAT IN THE DEAD SEA BASIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We depart early this morning and travel south to the Dead Sea basin.
• Upon arrival, we ascend Masada by cable car or snake path to view the remains of King Herod's fortress, including the synagogue, walls and bathhouses, as we learn about the Jewish Zealots' last stand against the Roman forces.
• We descend the mountain and head to beach to enjoy lunch (on own) and an unsinkable swim in the healing, salty waters of the Dead Sea.
• We continue on a short hike to the hidden waterfalls in the desert oasis of Ein Gedi.
• We return to Jerusalem, passing the Qumran caves, the site where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered, along the way.
• Enjoy dinner on own tonight.
• After dinner, we walk to the Tower of David to watch the spectacular Sound and Light show.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6: Sunday, April 26, 2020: CAESAREA AND HAIFA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we depart Jerusalem and travel north to Caesarea, the former Roman capital of the area, to view the ancient theater and aqueduct.
• Next, we travel to Haifa to visit the Leo Baeck Institute to learn from their leadership about the innovative programming taking place here, as well as meet faculty and students throughout the afternoon. We enjoy lunch with Leo Baeck representatives.
• Early this evening, we travel to the Galilee to check into our kibbutz and refresh for dinner together tonight.

Overnight in the Galilee

Day 7: Monday, April 27, 2020: MYSTICISM IN THE NORTH

• Breakfast at our kibbutz.
• Today, we visit the mystical city of Safed, where we wander through the cobblestone alleyways to view the ancient synagogues and shop in the artist's quarter. Time for lunch on own here.
• Next, we set out on an exciting jeep tour through the Golan Heights passing former Syrian bunkers on the way to the top of Har Bental, where we take in the panoramic views leading into Syria.
• We continue to the Golan Winery for a tour and wine tasting.
• We return to our kibbutz for dinner together. A siren will sound marking the beginning of Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Memorial Day. If possible, we will join a local memorial event, either this evening or tomorrow morning.

Overnight in the Galilee

Day 8: Tuesday, April 28, 2020: THE ROAD TO TEL AVIV

• Breakfast and check out of our kibbutz.
• This morning, we depart the Galilee and travel west to the Mediterranean coast and begin traveling south. Along the way, we stop to hear the siren blast and take a moment of silence in honor of Yom Hazikaron.
• We visit the Ayalon Institute, where we discover the underground ammunition factory that played a pivotal role in Israel's fight for independence.
• We continue to Tel Aviv and the Sarona Market for lunch on own in this world-class dining establishment with foods of every variety.
• This afternoon, we visit Rabin Square, the place where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.
• We check into our hotel and refresh.
• Enjoy dinner on own, then join the people of Tel Aviv in the streets as Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel's birthday) begins.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 9: Wednesday, April 29, 2020: HIGH-TECH ISRAEL

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We stroll along Independence Trail through the Rothschild District and discover the architectural, cultural and intellectual foundations of this great city, including a stop by the famed site of Israel's Independence Hall. (Independence Hall is currently closed for renovations.)
• We continue with a walking tour through Neve Tzedek, discovering the artistic graffiti painted on the buildings throughout the neighborhood. Lunch on own along the way.
• Next, we continue with a walking tour of Old Jaffa, as we stroll along the cobblestone streets to see the artist's colony and take in the views of the sea in this ancient port. We stop at Abulafia Bakery along the way for a treat. (on own)
• Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to discover this metropolitan city on own.
• Optional: Enjoy a night out at Dinner in the Dark, an experience that will tantalize all of your senses, followed by a performance of Not by Bread Alone, at the Nalagaat Center, whose actors are both visually and hearing impaired (separate cost).

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 10: Thursday, April 30, 2020: OLD JAFFA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we meet with Rony Rozen, founder and CEO of the tech company PoccaDot, and current employed by Google, to hear her fascinating story, "From Manhattan to Tel Aviv."
• Later, we tour the cutting-edge Taglit Innovation Center for a glimpse into Israel's high-tech advances in the fields of science, medicine, security and space. We visit the interactive exhibition, followed by a meeting with one of Israel's up and coming entrepreneurs.
• Continue to the Diaspora Museum, where we learn about the history of Jewish emigration since the destruction of the Second Temple, see the scale models of synagogues from around the world, and view some of their excellent temporary exhibitions with a museum docent.
• We return to our hotel to check out, then enjoy a festive farewell dinner as we recall all that we have experienced together on this journey.
• We transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight back to the United States.

Day 11: Friday, May 1, 2020: WELCOME HOME!

• We arrive back in Boston this morning.

The Memories Last Forever!!
*itinerary subject to change