United Hebrew Congregation
Innovation in Israel
Led by Rabbi Brigitte & Lee Rosenberg
April 30 - May 11, 2023

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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Israel is a land of connections and reconnections. It is a place that both holds nostalgia and awaits rediscovery. Over the decades, so much in Israel has changed dramatically, yet the essence that draws us remains the same. Join us on a fun, interactive and hands-on journey of discovery, experiencing time-honored sites in a new light and sharing new experiences that will form the base of cherished memories for years to come.

3 nights Tal Hotel by the Beach, Tel Aviv
4 nights Leonardo Boutique Hotel, Jerusalem
1 night Kibbutz Lotan, Lotan
2 nights Irus Hamidbar (Desert Iris) Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned motor coach with an expert English-speaking guide
Breakfast daily
Lunch in Yokneam
Lunch and swim at the Dead Sea
Lunch in Lotan
Bedouin lunch and hospitality
Welcome dinner
Home hospitality dinner in Old Jaffa
Machane Yehuda chef-led tour + dinner
Shabbat home hospitality dinner in Jerusalem
Dinner in Jerusalem (May 6th)
Dinner at Kibbutz Lotan
Dinner at Mitzpe Ramon hotel
Farewell dinner with Rabbi Rinat Safania Schwartz
Old Jaffa co-existence tour
Meeting and dialogue with entrepreneur Rony Rozen
High-tech company visit in Yokneam
Volunteering at Project Leket
Visit to Reichman University (formerly IDC)
BioBee program at Weizmann Institute
Old City walking tour
Lecture & dialogue with Khaled Abu Toameh
JVP Margalit Startup City visit
Jerusalem hummus tour
Kumzits & stargazing at Kibbutz Lotan
Lag BaOmer celebrations
Tour of Ashalim Power Station
Visit to Netiv HaAsara
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 and visa fees
Tips to guide, driver and dining room personnel ($20 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed above
Optional evening at Jerusalem Beer Bazaar
Optional midnight bike ride in Jerusalem
Items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (recommended - group policy available)
Any costs associated with Covid-19 testing and vaccination

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday, April 30, 2023: OUR JOURNEY BEGINS

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

Day 2: Monday, May 1, 2023: WELCOME TO ISRAEL!

• Shalom and Bruchim Habaim—welcome to Israel! We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We begin our adventure in Old Jaffa for a welcome ceremony overlooking the glistening Mediterranean Sea and to discuss the transformation of Jaffa to the metropolitan city of Tel Aviv.
• We check into our hotel and have a chance to freshen up after our long journey.
• This evening, we enjoy our welcome dinner at a local restaurant and discuss our excitement for our upcoming adventures.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 3: Tuesday, May 2, 2023: THE ORIGINS OF A MODERN NATION

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day at Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel a state in 1948.
• Next, we visit the Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, founded by the late President Shimon Peres. The center is a non-political, non-governmental organization focused on building a more prosperous Israel and a more peaceful Middle East, through innovation, technology and cutting-edge coexistence programs. As Israel turns 75, the center helps illuminate her history, and highlight her potential for the future.
• Free time to explore the city on own. Those who choose can stroll through the Nachalat Binyamin weekly craft fair, soak in the sun at the beach or shop at some of the trendy boutiques.
• Later this afternoon, we join together again and return to Old Jaffa, where a Jewish and Arab guide lead us side by side through the streets of this ancient city on a co-existence tour. We trace the dual historical narratives as we explore the possibility of creating a common future and shared society.
• This evening, we are invited for a home hospitality dinner with a local family in Jaffa and a chance to learn their customs.
• Optional: For those who enjoy a nightcap, join us for a taste of spirits at Sarona Market's Whiskey Bar (cost on own).

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 4: Wednesday, May 3, 2023: ISRAEL'S START-UP NATION

• Breakfast at our hotel accompanied by entrepreneur Rony Rozen, founder and CEO of the tech company PoccaDot and current employed by Google, who shares her fascinating story, "From Manhattan to Tel Aviv."
• We travel to our sister city of Yokneam to find out why Israel is known world-wide as the “start-up nation” during a visit to a high-tech company area. Our visit includes lunch.
• Next, we partake in tikkun olam with a hands-on experience with Project Leket, a volunteer organization that provides food for Israel's most needy by collecting excess produce from farms and food distribution companies.
• Next, we travel to Herzliya to visit one of Israel's leading academic institutes, Reichman University (formerly known as IDC Herzliya). Here, we meet with students participating in their unique Israel at Heart Scholarship Program, which provides an opportunity for Ethiopian candidates with high leadership potential to earn an undergraduate degree at the university.
• We return to Tel Aviv for an evening at leisure. Scope out the Tachana filled with cafes and restaurants of every variety or return to the Sarona Market for a world-class dining experience and cuisines of every kind.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 5: Thursday, May 4, 2023: TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, our discovery of Tel Aviv continues with a tour of ANU: Museum of the Jewish People (formerly the Diaspora Museum), recently renovated and featuring interactive audio-visual exhibits that bring life and color to the vibrant history of the Jewish people outside the land of Israel following the destruction of the Second Temple.
• Next, we tour the Weizmann Institute to learn about their environmental science programs, and partnerships, including BioBee a leading international agricultural company.
• We ascend to Jerusalem stopping at the Haas Promenade to say the Shehecheyanu as we look out over the City of Gold for the first time together.
• We continue to our hotel to check in and freshen up.
• Later this afternoon, we head to the famed Machane Yehuda market for a chef-led tour. We wander through the pyramids of spices, brightly colored exotic vegetables, platters of nuts and olives and delicious halva creations. After our introduction to the fundamentals of Israeli cuisine, we prepare dinner together with our purchases.
• We remain in the market after closing to view the artistic graffiti painted on the closed stall shutters.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6: Friday, May 5, 2023: WE REMEMBER

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit 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. Our time here will conclude with a memorial service in memory of all who lost their lives to the Nazis.
• We continue to Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, we pay our respects by the gravesites of some of Israel's most prominent leaders, including Theodore Herzl, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, in addition to hearing about the many lesser-known heroes of Israel's wars buried here. • The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore on own or relax at our hotel.
• As the sun sets, we join together for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Old City, followed by Shabbat home hospitality dinner with members of the Jerusalem Jewish community.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 7: Saturday, May 6, 2023: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Shabbat Shalom! This morning, you may choose to go “shul-hopping” with Rabbi Rosenberg or relax and enjoy the morning at leisure.
• This afternoon, we meet and return to the Old City for a walking tour. We begin in the Christian quarter followed the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and into the Muslim quarter to the Arab shuk.
• We return our hotel to hear a lecture entitled “A Snapshot of Palestinian Society” by Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent, Khaled Abu Toameh.
• Ben Kodesh Le'chol - we join together for Havdallah, marking the end of Shabbat and the beginning of a new week.
• We enjoy dinner together this evening, followed by optional evening fun at the Beer Bazaar (cost on own).

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 8: Sunday, May 7, 2023: JERUSALEM OLD AND NEW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the Margalit Startup City and meet with an executive from Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), a company founded in 1993 to invest in countries in Israel, the United States and Europe, identifying opportunities from inception and growing them into global industry leaders.
• We enter the Old City again, this time for a tour of the Jewish quarter, filled with synagogues, shops and history, stopping in the Cardo Market, the Hurva Synagogue and passing by the Broad Wall.
• We visit one of the only Karaite Synagogues in the world. This very ancient sect of Judaism believes the synagogue must be underground!
• We head underground to the Western Wall tunnels for an opportunity to discover the many layers of Jerusalem's history, passing through grand building projects from ancient Rome through the modern day.
• We return above ground and set out on a hummus tour through the Old City. Those who wish to explore on own may do so.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.
• Optional: Set out on a guided midnight bike ride through Jerusalem, pedaling through the alleyways and neighborhood streets to see the city from a different perspective.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 9: Monday, May 8, 2023: THE DEAD SEA BASIN/LOTAN

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We depart early this morning and travel south to the Dead Sea basin.
• We stop for a short hike to the hidden waterfalls in the desert oasis of Ein Gedi.
• Next, we head to the beach for lunch and an unsinkable swim in the luxuriating, salty and mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, where we can cover ourselves in silky, healing mud and float at the lowest place on Earth.
• After a day of fun in the sun, we continue to Kibbutz Lotan to check in and enjoy dinner together.
• Our evening continues with kumzits and stargazing to celebrate Lag BaOmer.

Overnight in Lotan

Day 10: Tuesday, May 9, 2023: DESERT ADVENTURES/LAG BAOMER

• Breakfast and check out of our kibbutz.
• We continue Lag BaOmer celebrations with members of the Center for Creative Ecology in Lotan, including lunch.
• We drive north to Mitzpe Ramon. Upon arrival we stop at the Visitor's Center for an audio-visual exploration of its geology, flora and fauna and to learn about its connection to the Israeli hero and astronaut, Ilan Ramon.
• We continue to our hotel to check in and freshen up before dinner together this evening.

Overnight in Mitzpe Ramon

Day 11: Wednesday, May 10, 2023: DESERT EXPLORATION

• Breakfast and a leisurely morning at out hotel, then check out.
• In the late morning, we visit Sde Boker, the burial monument to Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. We will see how his vision of making the desert bloom is becoming a reality and learn why his gravesite has become a site of modern pilgrimage for Israelis.
• Next, we explore innovative responses to global environmental challenges during a visit to the Ashalim Power Station, where three kinds of energy are produced.
• We continue to a Bedouin encampment for a traditional hospitality and lunch experience.
• Later this afternoon, we visit Moshav Netiv HaAsara to learn about the Path to Peace, a community-created mosaic along the border wall separating Israel from the Gaza Strip. We have an opportunity to add a piece to the mosaic and put our own imprint on this project of hope.
• We travel back to Jerusalem and join together with Rabbi Rinat Safania Schwartz for a festive farewell dinner and a chance to reminisce about our amazing adventures through Israel.
• We transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight back to the United States.

Day 12: Thursday, May 11, 2023: WELCOME HOME!

• We arrive back in the United States this morning.

*Itinerary subject to change