Celebrating Israel's 70th Birthday
Led by Rabbi Brian Schuldenfrei
April 16-26, 2018


Tour Rates & Dates:

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*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
Upgraded room categories may be available to book later in the booking process.
If Land & Air price is displayed, the air portion includes tax and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change until ticketed.

Discounted Rates (Check payment):

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Land Only: $3,999 (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $1,189
Land & Airfare: $5,438 (double occupancy)
Land & Airfare: $6,627 (single occupancy)

Full Cost (Credit card payment):

Land Only: $4,119 (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $1,225
Land & Airfare: $5,601 (double occupancy)
Land & Airfare: $6,826 (single occupancy)


Tour Overview:

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INCLUDED - These prices include:

3 nights David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv, Israel
3 nights Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel
2 nights Crowne Plaza Haifa, Haifa, Israel
1 night Crowne Plaza, Tel Aviv, Israel Breakfast daily
5 dinners, including Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem 
4 lunches, including Shabbat Lunch, a Yom Ha'Atzmaut picnic and home hospitality in Yerucham 
Taglit Innovation Center 
Sound and Light show 
Shorashim - Judhur (Roots) encounter with Palestinians and Settlers 
Shuk bites 
Kfar Etzion visit & discussion 
Study session at Hartman Institute 
Jeep tour in the Golan 
Wine tasting 
Transfers included if arriving/departing with the main group 
Entrance fees as per itinerary 
Porterage

NOT INCLUDED - These prices do not include: 

Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges (group flights coming soon)
Any border taxes or visas 
Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters ($18.00 per person, per day-pre-collected) 
Any meals not listed above 
Donations to speakers 
Any items of a personal nature 
Travel insurance (highly recommended)


Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Monday, April 16, 2018: DEPARTURE

• We depart the United States on our overnight flight to Israel.

Day 2: Tuesday, April 17, 2018: WELCOME TO ISRAEL!

• We arrive in Israel this afternoon and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative who will provide us with light refreshments.
• We depart Ben Gurion Airport and drive through the Ayalon Valley to Jaffa, where we have a welcome ceremony at the Jaffa Overlook, with introductions, orientation and a glimpse at 9,500 years of life in Jaffa.
• We continue to Tel Aviv for our welcome linner (lunch/dinner) together at Benny HaDayag.
• Check in to our hotel with time to refresh.
• This evening, we attend one of the neighborhood Yom Hazikaron ceremonies for a rare opportunity to participate in Israeli national culture, and to respectfully join in as we commemorate the fallen together. At 8pm, the entire country will stand at attention as the sirens sound throughout Israel.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 3: Wednesday, April 18, 2018: MILITARY MIGHT & ENDLESS INNOVATION (YOM HAZIKARON)

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit Latrun, Israel's outdoor armored corps museum, where we explore the tanks and artillery used by the Israeli Defense Forces throughout the country's history. We also witness the huge ceremony marking Yom Hazikaron.
• At 11:00am, a siren sounds and we pause with all the people of Israel for a moment of silence in honor of Yom Hazikaron.
• We visit the Taglit Innovation Center for a glimpse of the future, and see how Israeli innovations are changing the world. We also meet with one of Israel's young entrepreneurs.
• We visit the Media Innovation Lab at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, for a discussion about the next chapter of Israel's start-up success. (Pending confirmation due to holiday.)
• Free time to relax and refresh.
• This evening, we attend a Tekes Maavar Transit Ceremony, as we go from Memorial Day to Yom Ha'Atzmaut at the event put together by Beit Tefilah Yisraeli.
• We celebrate Israel's 70th Birthday (Yom Ha'Atzmaut) at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv's central square and the site of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 4: Thursday, April 19, 2018: CELEBRATING 70 - HAPPY YOM HA'ATZMAUT! CELEBRATING THE FULFILLMENT OF THE ZIONIST VISION

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We start our day with a visit to Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared independence for the State of Israel in 1948.
• Continue along Rothschild Blvd., where Tel Aviv began, for a walk through the UNESCO Heritage White City collection of Bauhaus buildings.
• Around 10am, we marvel as the Israeli Air Force performs a special fly-over and show that passes over Tel Aviv and much of the country, marking the celebration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut.
• Enjoy a cook-out lunch, in traditional Israeli style, at an area park.
• Special celebratory program with local Israeli families arranged through our partner High School, Ironi Hey.
• This afternoon, we take a guided walk through the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, one of the first built outside of Jaffa in the late 1800's, with its stories of founders and dreamers and contemporary Israeli creativity.
• Visit one of Tel Aviv's premiere museums, open today for the holiday. Options include the beautiful and recently upgraded Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Collection Houses Museum of the History of the IDF, which tells the story of the military history of the State of Israel, since the period of the struggle for establishment of the state, to modern day, the Etzel Museum, which offers detailed information on one of the leading military organizations in the history of Israel's struggle for independence, or many more.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 5: Friday, April 20, 2018: ZIONISM'S NEW FRONTIER: THE SOUTH

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we drive south to Yerucham to meet Mayor Michael Biton, called by some the small town mayor who just might “rekindle Zionism” with his work inspiring many to acts of chesed and social justice. We enjoy home hospitality lunch hosted by locals.
• We enjoy a special program with Midreshet Be'er, a pre- women's study and volunteer academy, or the Yerucham pre-army Mechina.
• We ascend to Jerusalem and stop atop Mt. Scopus, to say the “Shehecheyanu” prayer, as we look out over the City of Gold for the first time.
• Kabbalat Shabbat services at Robinson's Arch at the convergence of the Southern and Western Walls. We enjoy time at the Kotel and join thousands of Jews from all over the world in welcoming Shabbat with song, prayer and dance.
• We gather for Shabbat dinner together at our hotel.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6: Saturday, April 21, 2018: A JERUSALEM SHABBAT

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Spend the morning at leisure during the calmness of Shabbat. Option to attend Shabbat services at a local synagogue, explore the quiet neighborhoods of Jerusalem, have your own adventure in the Old City, go “synagogue hopping”, or use the pool and other hotel amenities.
• We enjoy Shabbat lunch together at our hotel.
• Shabbat afternoon options:
o Free time
o Guided visit through the colorful neighborhood of Nachlaot, considered by many to be the most pluralistic neighborhood in all of Israel
o The Poetry of Jerusalem: from the Psalms to Yehudah Amicahi, while walking through the neighborhood of Yemin Moshe and Abu Tor, explore how Jerusalem was viewed by generations of poets, those who never set foot in the holy city as well as those for whom it was a lifelong home
• This afternoon, we meet with Yizhar Hess, the Executive Director of the Israeli Masorti Movement, to hear his take on religious freedom in Israel.
• As Shabbat comes to an end, we have Havadallah overlooking the walls of the Old City.
• Dinner on your own along the Mamilla.
• We walk to the Tower of David for the spectacular Sound and Light show on the walls of the Old City, narrating over 3,000 years of Jerusalem's history.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 7: Sunday, April 22, 2018: ENCOUNTERING THE WEST BANK

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin today by meeting Anat Hoffman of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). We learn about the struggles for equality, pluralism and social justice in Israel, and take part in their Olim (immigrant) program.
• Drive to Gush Etzion and take part in a workshop with Israelis and Palestinians at Shorashim—Judhur (Roots), a grassroots project which brings together Palestinians and Jewish settlers in a realistic and unique co-existence/dialogue/living project, hosted by Ali Abu Awad, Rav Hanan and Noor Awad.
• We visit Kibbutz Kfar Etzion to see the sound and light show about the Jewish settlement project in the region from the 1920s to present, followed by lunch and discussion.
• This afternoon, we visit a nearby Palestinian village as we absorb the many narratives that shape and often divide this volatile region.
• We return to Jerusalem and continue our tour at Machane Yehuda marketplace to take in the sights, smells and sounds, and participate in the innovative “shuk bites” tasting tour. Time for dinner on own nearby.
• Later, our guide will walk us through the now closed market area, where artists have created master works, spray painted upon the stall roll-down doors. The effect completely transforms the area, which is now undergoing a hip renaissance, with small bars, music and more late into the night.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 8: Monday, April 23, 2018: A TASTE OF THE NORTH

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We visit the Hartman Institute for a study workshop with one of their incredible scholars.
• This morning, we travel north to the Galilee.
• We begin our northern adventure with a jeep tour up to the Golan, passing Syrian bunkers on our way to the top of Har Bental, where we take in the views stretching far into Syria.
• Continue to Olea Essence in the ancient city of Qatzrin, for a tour and olive oil tasting.
• Next, we visit the Golan Winery, where we enjoy a wine tasting as we look out over the beautiful vineyards. We meet with Victor Schoenfeld, head wine maker, and former member of Ner Tamid!
• We travel to Haifa, and take in the gorgeous view from atop the Bahai Gardens, cascading down the side of Mt. Carmel.
• We check in to our hotel and spend a relaxing evening at leisure and enjoy dinner together.

Overnight in Haifa

Day 9: Tuesday, April 24, 2018: ISRAEL'S ACHIEVEMENTS

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day at the Technion, Israel's MIT, to meet the people behind the “Start-Up Nation”. Based on our group participants, we will tailor our visit to learn more about medical research, robotics, nanotechnology, energy or water. Along the way, we will stop at one if its labs.
• We continue to Rosh Hanikra, where we discover the chalk-cliff grottoes that have been carved out by the Mediterranean waters over time.
• We enjoy a powerful visit to Rambam Medical Center, the world's largest subterranean hospital. Rambam is the only tertiary hospital in the north of Israel, serving a population of 2 million. At the core of their recent renovation is the construction of the world's largest fortified, subterranean, emergency hospital. A 1,500 car parking lot in peacetime, in the event of war it will convert into a 2,000-bed emergency hospital within 72 hours. We will meet hospital leadership and learn firsthand their challenges and accomplishments.
• Spend the remainder of the day at leisure discovering Haifa on own.
• Dinner together at our hotel this evening.

Overnight in Haifa

Day 10: Wednesday, April 25, 2018: COMPLETING OUR JOURNEY

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Our final day will explore the roots of Zionism and the foundation of the state. We begin with a visit to Atlit, a former detention compound for Jewish immigrants who arrived in Israel illegally during the British Mandate period.
• We continue south to Zichron Yaakov, the beautiful European style village. We enjoy time to shop and have lunch on own. We also visit the Nili Spy museum.
• Our next stop is at Ramat Hanadiv to tour the Rothschild Garden. Throughout our visit, we learn about the origins of Zionism.
• We enjoy a farewell dinner along the coast, as we recall all that we have experienced together on this journey.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 11: Thursday, April 26, 2018: WELCOME HOME!

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the United States, landing late this evening.

THE MEMORIES LAST FOREVER!
*itinerary subject to change