The Westchester Jewish Center Israel In-Depth Tour
December 19-30, 2018

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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5 nights Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem (newly renovated), Jerusalem, Israel
1 night David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv, Israel
2 nights Kibbutz Nof Ginosar Hotel, Galilee, Israel
2 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
6 dinners, including 2 Shabbat dinners in Jerusalem
5 lunches, including 2 Shabbat lunches in Jerusalem
Sound and Light show
Jeep tour in the Golan Heights
Winery experience
Transfers included if arriving/departing with the main group
Entrance fees as per itinerary

Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges (Contact Ayelet Tours for group flights)
Any border taxes or visas
Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters ($18.00 per person, per day-pre-collected)
B'nai Mitzvah ceremony
Meals not listed above
Any items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Wednesday, December 19, 2018: DEPARTURE

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

Day 2: Thursday, December 20, 2018: WELCOME TO ISRAEL

• We arrive in Israel and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We meet our guide and driver and begin our journey to Jerusalem. Upon arrival, we stop at the Haas Promenade to say the “Shehecheyanu” as we look out over the City of Gold for the first time.
• We check in to our hotel and have time to relax and refresh.
• This evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner together on our first night in Israel.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 3: Friday, December 21, 2018: TOURING OUR HISTORY - ANCIENT AND MODERN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we enter Jerusalem's Old City via the Dung Gate, and enjoy time for reflection at the Western Wall.
• We tour the Western Wall tunnels, where we discover the archaeological wonders that once remained untouched for centuries.
• Next, we visit the Jewish quarter, where we explore the four Sephardic synagogues.
• Time for lunch on own in the Old City.
• We continue our tour of the Old City with visit to the Christian quarter, where we stroll along the Via Dolorosa and end at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
• We return to our hotel to refresh.
• As the sun begins to set, we join together for Shabbat candle lighting.
• We walk to the Kotel for Shabbat services with the people of Jerusalem, followed by Shabbat dinner and singing together at our hotel.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 4: Saturday, December 22, 2018: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Free morning to enjoy Shabbat services at one of the local congregations (options will be provided).
• We enjoy Shabbat lunch together at our hotel.
• Following lunch, we spend the afternoon at leisure or enjoy an optional Shabbat walking tour through the new city neighborhoods, including a stop at the windmill in Yemin Moshe and the Germany Colony, past the president and prime minister's homes.
• This evening, we join together for Havdallah in the park adjacent to our hotel as Shabbat comes to an end.
• Spend the evening on own discovering Ben Yehuda Street or the German Colony.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 5: Sunday, December 23, 2018: THE DEAD SEA BASIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We depart early this morning for 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 walls, palaces, synagogue, and the bathhouses, learning about the Jewish Zealots' last stand against the Roman forces.
• We descend the mountain and head to a nearby resort for lunch, followed by and an unsinkable swim in the healing, salty waters of the Dead Sea.
• Take a short hike to the hidden waterfalls in the desert oasis of Ein Gedi.
• We return to Jerusalem later this evening for dinner on own.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6: Monday, December 24, 2018: B'NAI MITZVAH CELEBRATION!

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we celebrate our B'nai Mitzvah on the Southern steps, followed by a celebratory kiddush after the ceremony.
• We visit Ir David (City of David), where we wander through the carefully preserved archaeological excavations dating back to the time of King David.
• We stop at the Knesset for a group photo in front of the bronze menorah sculpture outside.
• This afternoon, we continue to the Mea Shearim, neighborhood, to learn about the unique lifestyle of the Ultra-Orthodox residents.
• Free time for dinner on own.
• Later this evening, we walk to the Tower of David to watch the spectacular Sound and Light show

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 7: Tuesday, December 25, 2018: JERUSALEM IN DEPTH

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, our first stop is the Supreme Court for a tour of the beautiful and symbolic building.
• We visit Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem's military cemetery, where we pay our respects at the gravesites of Theodore Herzl, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.
• We continue to Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust, where we take part in an eye-opening experience as we view the many moving exhibitions, including the Hall of Names and the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations.
• We visit Machane Yehuda, where we take in the sights, sounds and smells as we enjoy a falafel lunch together.
• We travel to Tel Aviv this afternoon, where we visit Nachalat Binyamin and see the entertainers and artists that bring the streets to life.
• We check in to our hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Day 8: Wednesday, December 26, 2018: TOURING TEL AVIV

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we visit Independence Hall to hear the recording of David Ben Gurion declaring Israel a state in 1948.
• Our next stop is at Rabin Square, site of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.
• We visit the Palmach Museum, where we “join up” with the paramilitary forces from Israel's pre-statehood days.
• We continue to Old Jaffa for a chance to shop and explore the art studios
• We then drive north into the Galilee.
• Dinner at our kibbutz hotel.

Overnight in the Galilee

Day 9: Thursday, December 27, 2018: THE MYSTICAL NORTH

• Breakfast at our kibbutz.
• This morning, we set out on a jeep tour through the Golan Heights and learn the story of the wars of 1967 and 1973.
• We visit the overlook and historic military site at Tel Facher.
• We continue to the Golan Winery for a tour and wine tasting.
• Time for lunch on own.
• We travel to the mystical city of Safed, where explore the ancient synagogues and admire the crafts in the artist's quarter.
• We check in to our kibbutz in the Galilee and enjoy dinner together this evening.

Overnight in the Galilee

Day 10: Friday, December 28, 2018: THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM

• Breakfast and check out of our kibbutz.
• We travel to Kfar Kedem, a hands-on biblical village, offering visitors the chance to live as in Mishnaic times, including lunch.
• Next, we see the ruins of Tzippori, including the mosaic known as the Mona Lisa of the Galilee.
• We ascend to Jerusalem to check in to our hotel, where we have time to refresh.
• We join together for Shabbat dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 11: Saturday, December 29, 2018: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Enjoy Shabbat services or visit (on own) the newly renovated Israel Museum to see the famous Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. You may also enjoy a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art, a short walk from our hotel.
• We join together for Shabbat lunch at our hotel.
• After lunch, we return to the Old City to walk the ramparts, giving us a birds-eye view of the different living quarters and arrive at the Kotel in time for sunset.
• Tonight, we enjoy a gourmet farewell dinner, as we recall all that we have experienced together on this journey.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 12: Sunday, December 30, 2018: DEPARTURE

• We transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the United States, landing later today.

*Itinerary subject to change