Temple Beth El
Congregational Adventure in Israel
Led by Rabbi Jonathan Biatch
and Cantor Jacob Niemi
June 12 - 23, 2023

Tour Rates & Dates:

There are no Departure Dates available for this Package.
*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
All rates above are in US Dollars, and are based on full payment by credit card unless otherwise noted.
If check payment discount is available for this tour, it can be selected after clicking "BOOK" above.
(Deposit can still be paid by credit card).
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.

Tour Overview:

Download a PDF version:

Join us as we explore Israel - from ancient stories to modern glories! We'll encounter Israel's high- tech wonders and culinary delights, address co-existence, connect with Progressive Jewish communities and so much more. Travel with us from Tel Aviv to the Galilee, from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, and beyond. We are grateful for the support of Joanna Berke of TBE in making this trip possible. 


5 nights
Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
2 nights
Kibbutz Maagan, Galilee
3 nights
Herods Hotel, Tel Aviv
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Breakfast daily
Dead Sea lunch and swim
Welcome dinner at a Jerusalem restaurant
Shabbat dinner at our Jerusalem hotel
2 kibbutz dinners
Farewell dinner at a Tel Aviv restaurant
Old City rooftops & walking tour
Meeting with am Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) representative
Temple Mount visit (security permitting)
Beit Guvrin archaeological expedition
Visit to Neve Shalom Jewish-Arab village
Meeting with former Mossad agent, Avner Avraham
Golan Heights jeep tour
Chocolate workshop or wine tasting
Jordan River rafting adventure
Safed local artist encounter and candle making workshop
Kfar Kedem experience
Palestinian Internship Program (PIP) meeting with Director Anna Gol-Dekel
Visit to the Tel Aviv LGBTQ Center
Volunteering for a Jaffa Institute Chesed project
Entrance fees per itinerary
Airport transfers if arriving/departing with the main group
Bottled water (2 bottles per person, per day on the bus)
Whisper headsets


Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Border taxes or visa fees
Tips to guide, driver and dining room personnel ($25 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed above
Items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (recommended -
group policy available)
Any costs associated with Covid-19 testing or vaccination

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Monday, June 12, 2023: DEPARTURE

• We depart on our overnight flight to Israel.

Day 2: Tuesday, June 13, 2023: WELCOME TO ISRAEL!

• Shalom and Bruchim Habaim—welcome to Israel! Our time in this incredible land has officially started and our excitement mounts as we set off on the adventure ahead. Just beyond passport control, an Ayelet representative will meet us in the baggage claim area and assist us through customs.
• We ascend to Jerusalem, stopping at the Haas Promenade to say Shehecheyanu as we enjoy our first glimpse of the City of Gold.
• After checking into our hotel, we have time to refresh before we enjoy our welcome dinner at a local restaurant together this evening.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 3: Wednesday, June 14, 2023: JERUSALEM'S OLD CITY

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Our adventure begins as we explore the Old City of Jerusalem on a walking tour of the different quarters. We enter the Ottoman walls via the Jaffa Gate and ascend to the rooftops of the Old City, where the beauty and complexity of Jerusalem become apparent from this incredible vantage point. We continue into the Jewish Quarter, filled with synagogues, shops and history, stopping at the Cardo Market and passing by the ancient Broad Wall. Our path takes through the bustling Arab shuk and into the Christian Quarter to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified, here we will see many different Christian Denominations including Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic, and Ethiopian, who all share property over part of the church. We walk through the bustling alleys of Via Dolorosa and into the shops of the Muslim Quarter.
• No trip to Israel is complete without a visit to the Kotel (Western Wall), built 2,000 years ago by King Herod to dignify and support the Second Temple. At this silent monument, a witness to triumph and tragedy, to hope and despair throughout the generations, we take time to reflect and pray, perhaps wedging a sacred note into a stone crevice and enveloping ourselves in the sense of holiness pervading the plaza.
• We stop by the adjacent Southern Wall excavations, where we find Robinson's Arch. Standing in contrast to the gender segregated Kotel, the area below the arch acts as the egalitarian section of the wall.
• We continue to Ir David, the City of David, where the stories of the Biblical King David come to life through the palace excavations, underground passageways, and monumental fortifications.
• We return to our hotel and refresh. Before our free evening, we meet with a representative of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) to explore the different challenges and fronts upon which they are advocating in Israel.
• Enjoy the evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 4: Thursday, June 15, 2023: DIGGING INTO ISRAEL

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We set out for an early morning visit to the Temple Mount, where Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice as mentioned in the Bible, and the starting point of the Prophet Mohammed's “Night Journey” in Muslim tradition, including the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. See the multicultural nature of Jerusalem as we witness Bar Mitzvahs taking place in both Ezrat Yisrael as well as at the Kotel.
• Next, we travel to Beit Guvrin and dig for a day in a real, live archaeological expedition! Through digging and sifting, we will uncover the ancient past, hidden for over 2,200 years, and turn their trash into our treasure.
• After time for lunch on own, we visit the Ayalon Institute and discover the underground ammunition factory that once played a pivotal role in Israel's fight for independence.
• Later this afternoon, we visit Neve Shalom, a unique village where Arabs and Jews live, work and learn together. The village acts as a microcosm of what coexistence could achieve.
• We return to our hotel in Jerusalem to freshen up. Those up for it may choose to visit the bustling Machane Yehuda market (bus will drop off, return to hotel on own).
• This evening, set out to discover the city and enjoy dinner on own on Ben Yehuda Street or at the Mamilla pedestrian mall.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 5: Friday, June 16, 2023: EXPLORING MODERN JERUSALEM

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day meeting with former Mossad agent Avner Avraham, who guides us through the history of one of the Mossad's greatest missions, the capture of Adolf Eichman in Argentina.
• Next, we visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an essential emotional and educational experience. This guided tour will include:
o The Avenue of the Righteous, where trees symbolic of the renewal of life have been planted along with plaques honoring brave non-Jews who saved Jews during the Shoah.
o The Historical Museum, a state-of-the-art interactive display reflecting decades of research and educational expertise. The story of the Holocaust, with an emphasis on individual victims, is told through survivor testimonies, original artifacts and personal possessions saved from the ghettos and camps.
o The Children's Memorial, where candles shine like stars in the sky to commemorate the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
** Younger children will visit the Biblical Zoo accompanied by our youth counselor.
• We continue to Mt. Herzl, where the adults will visit the military cemetery to pay respects to some of Israel's most beloved leaders, including Theodore Herzl, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and hear stories of some of the lesser-known heroes buried here.
**Kids 12 and under along with our youth counselor will tour the Herzl Museum for a unique audio-visual encounter with Theodore Herzl, the visionary of the Jewish state of Israel.
• We join together again and ride the Jerusalem Light Rail, where we see all of the residents of Jerusalem: Israeli Arabs, Ultra-Orthodox and everything in between, as we continue back to the city center.
• We return to our hotel and refresh before enjoying Kabbalat Shabbat services outdoors with the people of Jerusalem, at the Tachanah Rishonah (the transformed former train station of Jerusalem, now a lively venue), followed by Shabbat dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6: Saturday, June 17, 2023: FUN 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 the imposing mountain of Masada by cable car or snake path to view the remains of King Herod's fortress, including the synagogue, walls and bathhouse, as we learn about the Jewish Zealots' fateful last stand against the Roman forces.
• We descend the mountain and explore the fantastic desert beauty of Ein Gedi with a short hike to the hidden waterfalls in this desert oasis.
• We head to the beach for lunch, followed by an unsinkable swim in the luxuriating, salty and mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Here, we can cover ourselves in silky, healing mud and float effortlessly at the lowest place on Earth. We also enjoy the hotel's pool and spa facilities (optional - additional cost).
• We return to Jerusalem later this afternoon to freshen up before marking the end of Shabbat together with Havdallah, then setting out for dinner on own.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 7: Sunday, June 18, 2023: THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we depart Jerusalem and travel north along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, once the Roman capital of the region. Here, we view the ancient theater, stroll through the hippodrome and stand in awe at Herod's palace and harbor.
• We drive along the top of Mount Carmel to a panoramic overlook of Haifa revealing the beautiful Bahai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site adorning the descent to the sea.
• After lunch on own at Uri Buri, a delicious fish restaurant, we visit the Crusader port of Akko, stopping at the Underground Prisoner's Museum to learn about the challenges and pitfalls facing those who rebelled against British rule and hear about the daring prison break. We will meet with a guest speaker and hear about the violent attacks in Akko during May 2021 and learn how life can be complex in a mixed Jewish and Arab city. We take part in a program in Akko with activists working towards coexistence between Jewish and Arab neighbors (pending confirmation).
• Traveling through the hills of the Galilee, we arrive at our kibbutz and check in before dinner together tonight.

Overnight in the Galilee

Day 8: Monday, June 19, 2023: ADVENTURE IN THE GOLAN HEIGHTS

• Breakfast at our kibbutz.
• This morning, we set out on an adventurous jeep tour through the Golan Heights, riding along ancient Roman roads, passing through Syrian ruins and admiring the stark beauty of this windswept plateau. We ascend to the top of Mount Bental, a former Israeli bunker overlooking the ruins of Quneitra and the Valley of Tears. As the full vista comes into view, we reach a deeper understanding of both the past and present complexities facing Israel in a hostile Middle East.
• Next, our youth counselor accompanies our kids for a hands-on chocolate workshop, learning from the experts in a fun and delicious way as they make their own confections at the DeKarina Chocolate Boutique. Adults will enjoy a tour and wine tasting at the adjacent Pelter Winery.
• In the Upper Galilee, we hike through the Hermon Stream (Banias) Nature Preserve. Here, enjoy the confluence of nature and Roman ruins, a trail suspended just meters over the rushing water and cap off our experience by visiting the splendid waterfall.
• Our adventure continues as we embark on a rafting expedition down the Jordan River, meandering through its curves and enjoying the lush scenery along its banks.
• We return to our kibbutz and enjoy dinner together this evening.

Overnight in the Galilee

Day 9: Tuesday, June 20, 2023: MYSTICAL GALILEE

• Breakfast and check out our kibbutz.
• Today, we travel to the mystical city of Safed, birthplace of Kabbalah and home to legends, myths, and miracles. We will wander the cobblestone alleys, visit the ancient Caro and H'Ari synagogues, hear stories of the great mystics and stroll through the enchanting artists' quarter. While the adults meet with local artist Sheva Chaya in her studio for an interactive glimpse into the world of Kabbalah, glass blowing and questions of identity and Judaism, the children will participate in a candle making workshop accompanied by our youth counselor.
• We stop at a vantage point overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), to see the beauty of the land and hear about the pioneering spirit that helped develop Israel's north.
• Next, we journey 1,800 years back in time to the Mishnaic village at Kfar Kedem to discover how people lived during that era. We learn to press olive oil as it was done centuries ago, try riding a donkey, bake bread, grind spices and taste fresh goat cheese among other treats.
• We travel south to Tel Aviv and stroll through the charming Nachalat Binyamin Craft Fair, a twice-weekly street market with an avant-garde attitude featuring Israeli artisans, entertainers, crafts and souvenirs.
• After checking into our hotel, we spend the evening at leisure and enjoy dinner on own at Sarona Market, a world-class dining experience with a variety of cuisines and something for everyone to enjoy.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 10: Wednesday, June 21, 2023: A TASTE OF TEL AVIV

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Founded in 2014 by venture capitalist Yadin Kaufmann, Palestinian Internship Program (PIP) provides young Palestinian professionals with work experience placements at leading Israel-based companies. We meet with Anna Gol-Dekel, Executive Director of PIP, as well as an internship participant for their insight into this inspiring initiative.
• Next, we discover the architectural, cultural and intellectual foundations of Tel Aviv along Independence Trail and the Rothschild District, including a stop by the famed site of Israel's Independence Hall.
• Take a break for lunch and free time in the Carmel Market, enjoying the immersion into vibrant colors, intricate smells and dynamic flavors that make up this bustling marketplace.
• This afternoon, we visit the Tel Aviv LGBTQ Center to understand how their programs create a welcoming space in the city.
• Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and strolling along the exciting Tel Aviv boardwalk, where you can enjoy dinner on own with amazing views.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 11: Thursday, June 22. 2023: FINAL FAREWELL

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we take part in tikkun olam and volunteer through the Jaffa Institute's Chesed projects packing food supplies and serving the needy. We will learn about the huge difference the Jaffa Institute makes in the lives of children and adults, both Arab and Jewish, living in poverty in Israel.
• Next, we explore Old Jaffa, the ancient port city where the prophet Jonah set sail, to wander through the cobblestone alleyways and admire the artist galleries, all framed by views of the sea. We stop at a dramatic overlook of Tel Aviv to absorb the thriving “city that never stops.”
• We have time for lunch on own in Jaffa.
• The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax at the beach or discover this metropolitan city on own.
• This evening, we join together for a festive farewell dinner, recalling and sharing all that we have experienced on our journey together through Israel.
• We transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight back to the United States.

Day 12: Friday, June 23, 2023: WELCOME HOME!

• We arrive back home in the United States this morning.

*itinerary subject to change