Cantor Beny & Hope Maissner
Holy Blossom Synagogue
Israel & The Arts at 70
Through the Eyes of a Sabra
April 10 -- 23, 2018

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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4 nights Crowne Plaza, Tel Aviv, Israel
2 nights Kibbutz Hagoshrim Guesthouse, Upper Galilee, Israel
6 nights Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem (newly renovated), Jerusalem, Israel
All touring and sightseeing per an agreed upon itinerary in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an English speaking guide
Breakfast daily
Welcome dinner at hotel
Salad trail lunch
Shabbat dinner in a private room in Tel Aviv
2 Kibbutz dinners
Dinner at hotel in Jerusalem
Yom Ha'atzmaut & concert dinner
Yom Ha'atzmaut BBQ
Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem (main dining room)
Farewell dinner
Taglit Innovation Center visit
Eshkol visit
Yaron Bob “Rockets to Roses” visit
Co-existence walking tour in Jaffa
Glassblowing Kaballah workshop with Sheva Shaiman in Safed
Meeting with Rabbi Golan Ben Chorin
Jeeps in the North
DeKarina Chocolate Factory visit
Geopolitical bus tour through Jerusalem
Tower of David Sound and Light show (Not including bus)
Meeting with Miriam Peretz
VIP tour of the Israel Museum
Machane Yehuda tasting tour
Transfers included if arriving/departing with the main group
Entrance fees as per itinerary

NOT INCLUDED -These prices do not include:

Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
(will be available soon)
Any border taxes or visas
Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters
($20.00 per person, per day-pre-collected)
Any items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (highly recommended)
Concert and culture event tickets

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1, Tuesday, April 10, 2018: DEPARTURE

• We depart from Toronto on our overnight flight to Tel Aviv

Day 2, Wednesday, April 11, 2018: WELCOME TO ISRAEL

• Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, we are met by our Ayelet representative and assisted through customs.
• Our tour begins with a visit to Independence Hall, site of the 1948 signing of Israel's Declaration of Independence including the special exhibits for Israel's 70th.
• Visit Bialik Street for a walking tour through part of the White City to see the Bauhaus architecture and get a peek into the lives of some of Tel Aviv's most significant residents of years gone by, including, the Gutman Museum, Bialik House, the Reuven Rubin house & the Old City Hall & Square.
• Moving from the history of the declaration of the state to today and the future of Israel we will visit the Taglit Innovation Center and meet with one of the entrepreneurs.
• Check into our hotel.
• Welcome dinner this evening at our hotel.
• Later this evening we participate in a group ceremony recognizing the beginning of Yom Hashoah.

O/N Tel Aviv


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today we explore the southern frontier region of Eshkol in the Negev.
• We'll speak with students and teachers about their lives as we tour the Eshkol Region's Protected School. We'll witness their bravery and hope, as we view the buildings which are used for both learning and shelter.
• Meet Yaron Bob at his work shop. Struck by the terror of shell attacks, Yaron decided to transform something horrible into something beautiful - and so began his artwork, known as “Rockets into Roses”.
• We'll feast at the “Salad Trail,” a unique hands-on agricultural tour, and witness how Israeli innovation is literally making the desert bloom with crops grown out of some of the most inhospitable sands imaginable. We'll pick and taste fruits and vegetables straight from the kibbutz and experience flying strawberries, tiny orange orchards, racing pigeons, herbal gardens and a self-picking farm.
• Visit the JNF project with Beit Halochem of a park Haruvit Forest a sponsored by the Toronto community
• This evening we'll enjoy a ceremony at Yad Mordecai with the Defense Minister, in memory of Yom Hashoah.
• Return to Tel Aviv

O/N Tel Aviv

Day 4, Friday, April 13, 2018: TEL AVIV

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We take a guided walk through the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, one of the first neighborhoods built outside of Jaffa in the late 1800's & Old Tel Aviv. Walk along Slush Street and see the Rokach house, built in 1887 by Shimon Rokach, the neighborhood's entrepreneur and founder.
• Lunch (on own) in Jaffa.
• This afternoon, through Beit Daniel, the progressive congregation in Tel Aviv, we'll visit Old Jaffa for a Co-Existence TourThis experience brings together a Jewish and an Arab tour guide to explore the mixed city of Jaffa, where Arabs and Jews live side by side. Tracing the different historical narratives, we explore the possibility of creating a common future and shared society.
• Kabbalat Shabbat with a Reform Congregation.
• Shabbat dinner together this evening at our hotel, in a private room.

O/N Tel Aviv

Day 5, Saturday April 14, 2018: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Optional Shabbat services this morning.
• We join artist Rachel Gam on a personal art walking tour of Tel Aviv.
• Havdalah on the shore of the Mediterranean.
• Enjoy an evening in Old Jaffa where we walk among the many artists, vendors and cafes as we hear the history of the ancient port
• Dinner on our own this evening.
• Optional cultural activity this evening.

O/N Tel Aviv

Day 6, Sunday, April 15, 2018: THE GALILEE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Visit the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center which is devoted to shedding light on some of the more secretive chapters in Israel's history. The Center's mission is to honor, remember and preserve information on members of Israel's intelligence agencies and program as a whole.
• Continue to Atlit, a former detention compound for Jewish immigrants who arrived in Israel illegally during the British Mandate period.
• We stop atop Mt. Arbel whose peak affords us a panoramic view of Tiberias and Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee; this is Israel's largest fresh water reservoir
• Explore Safed, mystical center of Kabbalah study and practice. Here we visit the Ha'ari and Caro synagogues and have time to shop among the many artist studios and galleries.
• Visit the Kadosh Cheese Factory in Rosh Pina.
• Meet with Rabbi Golan Ben Chorin (reform Congregation) and the Musicians of Tomorrow.
• Dinner together this evening.

O/N in the Galilee

Day 7, Monday, April 16, 2018: THE GOLAN

• Breakfast at our kibbutz.
• We visit Tel Chai, site of one of the most dramatic moments in the life of the young Zionist community of Israel. Here a struggle took place which has become a legendary chapter in the story of Israel.
• We start our day with a hike at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, one of the sources of the Jordan River and a biblical archeological site.
• We ascend to Mt. Hermon, the highest mountain in Israel and visit Nimrod Castel.
• We board Jeeps for a tour along the border with stops for panoramic views and a briefing on the situation in Syria.
• Try your hand at chocolate making and learn from the experts in a delicious and fun experience at the Dekarina Chocolate factory in Ein Zivan.
• Stop for a visit at the Gamla Nature Reserve where we can see the 150 foot high waterfall…
• Continue to Mitzpe Shalom, also known as the Peace Lookout, located next to Kibbutz Kfar Haruv. Here we see the most spectacular view in Israel's Southern Golan.
• We take in an amazing panoramic view of the lower Galilee and see the memorial to those soldiers who lost their lives capturing this crucial spot from Syrian forces in 1967 at Mitzpe Gadot.
• Dinner together this evening.

O/N in the Galilee

Day 8, Tuesday, April 17, 2018: OLD AND NEW

• Breakfast at our kibbutz.
• Early morning departure to Kibbutz Ma'ale Gilboa. Here we and visit the museum where Beny served during his days in the army.
• We drive down via NOF Gilboa (the Gilboa view route).
• Stop at Nir David to visit the Choma and Migdal model.
• We continue to see the intricate mosaics in the synagogue at Beit Alpha.
• Drive via the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem.
• Upon arrival, we stop atop the Mount Scopus, where we recite a special “Sh'hekiyanu” blessing as we look over the City of Gold.
• Continue to Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem's military cemetery, where we visit the gravesites of Theodore Herzl, Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin.
• Visit the Hall of Names, Jerusalem's newest official memorial to IDF soldiers and victims of terror.
• Early dinner this evening at our hotel.
• Later this evening, we participate in the opening ceremony of Yom Hazikaron at the Western Wall with the President of Israel.

O/N Jerusalem

Day 9, Wednesday, April 18, 2018: YOM HAZIKARON!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Our morning speaker Prof. Meron Medzini , will share with us his personal experiences working with Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir.
• We participate in the Yom Hazikaron ceremony at Latrun, Israel's outdoor armed corps museum.
• Drive along the route of the Lamed He where we enjoy a panoramic view over the battlefield and Latrun.
• Continue to Gush Etzion, an area south of Jerusalem that was destroyed in 1948. We had to withdraw from the region but returned to rebuild after 1967. Meet and hear the personal stories from that time of great change, as we tour the area.
• We continue with a geopolitical bus tour through the southern neighborhoods of Jerusalem along the security fence.
• Participate in a festive prayer in the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem.
• This evening, we enjoy a special Yom Ha'atzmaut dinner together, followed by a Yom Ha'atzmaut concert with the Jerusalem Symphony.
• Option to join the people of Jerusalem dancing in the streets well into the night.

O/N Jerusalem

Day 10, Thursday, April 19, 2018: YOM HA'ATZMAUT HAG SAMEACH

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day with a visit to The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, a living memorial and the nation's tribute to a courageous fighter and fearless leader who worked for the freedom, future and security of the Jewish People in its own land. It was established by Israel's Knesset. The Center is located on the Hinnom Ridge, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.
• Enjoy the air show over Jerusalem.
• We join a Yom Ha'atzmaut BBQ with the people of Israel.
• Later, we enjoy a Cantorial concert at the Yeshurun Synagogue (info to be advised).
• Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore or just relax.

O/N Jerusalem

Day 11, Friday, April 20, 2018: EXPLORING JERUSALUM

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We start our day with a trip to the Ir David Excavations just outside the Old City walls, where we wander through the carefully preserved archeological excavations dating back to the time of King David. We will have the opportunity to walk through Hezekiah's Water Tunnel.
• We continue to the Museum of Underground Prisoners, commemorating the activity of the Jewish underground - Haganah, Irgun and Lehi—during the period leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel.
• Explore the bunkers at Ammunition Hill, the official museum symbolizing the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem. Its new multimedia film helps visitors better understand the events and battles of 1967.
• Welcome Shabbat at the Har El Reform Synagogue.
• We walk back to our hotel for Shabbat dinner.

O/N Jerusalem

Day 12, Saturday, April 21, 2018: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel
• We begin our day with morning Shabbat services at Shira Chadasha Congregation or a synagogue of your choice.
• We enjoy a walking tour of Nevim Street uncovering the history of “modern” Jerusalem in the past 150 years (architecture, art, history and story's).
• Havdalah at HUC overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem followed by a meeting with Dr. Eli Schleifer, noted Scholar, and former director of HUC's School of Sacred Music.
• Dinner on own this evening.
• Later tonight, we enjoy the Sound and Light show on the walls of the Old City at the Tower of David.

O/N Jerusalem

Day 13, Sunday, April 22, 2018: JERUSALEM

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Meet with Miriam Peretz to hear about her family story and get inspired.
• We continue with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust, including a special tour of the archives.
• We visit a startup company, PICO, looking into the future of Jerusalem as a cutting edge innovation hub.
• We enjoy a special VIP private tour of the newly renovated Israel Museum, including the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden.
• Visit the Israel Religious Center and meet with the director Rabbi Kariv.
• Late this afternoon, we visit Machane Yehuda, Jerusalem's outdoor marketplace, filled with foods & spices of every variety. Together we'll take part in the tasting tour in the market, allowing us to enjoy a varied taste of the marketplace in a fun and new way. We enjoy a farewell dinner and end our tour with a walk along the closed market where we view the special art painted on the shutters of the closed stalls.

O/N Jerusalem

Day 14, Monday, April 23, 2018: ARRIVAL HOME

• Breakfast at our hotel
• We transfer to the airport for our flight back home arriving later today.


*itinerary subject to change