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Travel to Israel with Temple Solel!

TEMPLE SOLEL – Israel Journey
DATES: MAY 28 – JUNE 6, 2023

DAY ONE: Sunday, May 28, 2023
▪ 9:55 AM – Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport. Our representatives will be happy to provide
you with a service with your arrival procedures.
▪ Meet your tour guide and depart towards Neot Kedumim.
▪ JNF Encounter – The Landscape and Lifestyles of the Bible: Neot Kedumim is a 625-acre Biblical
landscape reserve hidden in the Judean foothills. Here, you’ll find the plants, vineyards, threshing
floors, cooking techniques, and water cisterns of biblical times and will recreate the daily life of our
ancestors. Our visit will include:
o Shepherds and Their Sheep: From Abel to Abraham and from Moses to King David, many
biblical heroes were shepherds. We’ll learn how they kept their flocks under control and try
out our own techniques during a fun session of sheep and goat herding.

o Making Our Mark: Celebrate your journey and get in touch with the Land of Israel with a tree-
planting ceremony. We’ll plant indigenous saplings mentioned in the Bible and help make Israel

▪ Light Lunch at Abraham’s Tent.
▪ Drive to Tel Aviv, check into your hotel and freshen up.
▪ Meet at the hotel lobby and depart to Rothschild Blvd.
▪ A State Against the Odds: Learn about the establishment of the State of Israel and consider whether
David Ben-Gurion’s proclamation of a Jewish state based on equality and justice was a miracle,
madness or both. Stand outside Independence Hall (the interior is currently being refurbished), and
then discuss the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence.
▪ Petrozilia may be Hebrew for parsley but it’s also the name of a grill restaurant on Tel Aviv’s
fashionable Rothschild Boulevard where meat is very much on the menu. Our venue for our
welcome dinner is also known for its Israeli wine list and hummus starters.
▪ Israel 101 – learn about the basics of Israel, its people, history and geography, followed by an
orientation to your trip with your tour guide.
▪ Return to the hotel.
Overnight: The Renaissance, Tel Aviv

DAY TWO: Monday, May 28, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel.
▪ Israel @75: Dialogue with Professor Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College
about the key issues shaping Israeli society today. Find out whether the country is stronger than
ever or splitting into separate “tribes.”
▪ Depart the hotel to Jaffa.
▪ Beginnings: Modern Tel Aviv grew out of ancient Jaffa. Gaze out over the Mediterranean Sea; learn
why Jaffa, mentioned in the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, is so historically important; and
see how its Old City reflects the present as well as the past.
▪ Peace AND Prosperity? The Peres Peace Center was created by the late Shimon Peres, former
Prime Minister and President of Israel, to develop peacebuilding programs based on innovation and
▪ Ethnic Tasting Tour: Eat, drink and learn at the Levinsky Market, where we’ll sample food and
sweets from all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East and try to figure out what is Israeli
about Israeli food. This multi-cultural tasting tour will double up as a delicious lunch.
▪ JNF Encounter – Arming for Independence: Visit the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot and uncover its
role in the establishment of the state of Israel. This secret ammunition factory produced millions of
bullets for Jewish forces fighting for a Jewish state and the end of British rule over Palestine.
▪ Return to Tel Aviv.
▪ Free Evening and dinner on own in Tel Aviv for an opportunity to:
o Meander through the Old City of Jaffa.
o Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard, with its many cafés and bars.
o Experience Tel Aviv Port, with its restaurants and clubs.
o Explore the gentrified Neve Zedek neighborhood.
o Saunter down the Tel Aviv Beach Promenade.
o Wander through the Tachana, Tel Aviv’s renovated old train station, now a center of boutiques
and good food, and one of Tel Aviv’s blooming hot spots.
o Walk through the smells, flavors and tastes of the renovated historical Templers town of

Sarona, and explore the range of cuisine – from local street food to fine dining by world-
renowned Israeli chefs.

Overnight: The Renaissance, Tel Aviv

DAY THREE: Tuesday, May 30, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel.
▪ Out of East Africa: Meet African women seeking refuge in Tel Aviv and see how they are working
toward a brighter future by creating beautiful crochet products. Kuchinate (meaning crochet in

Tigrinya) is a collective that celebrates African art and culture while empowering women asylum-
seekers, many of whom suffered great hardships while fleeing to Israel. Here we’ll:

o Join with women from East Africa for a traditional coffee-making ceremony and talk with them
about their lives in Israel and the struggles they are seeking to overcome through creativity and
collective action.
o Try our hand at creating East African baskets (or bracelets) during a craft workshop led by the
women of Kuchinate.
▪ Want to know why Tel Aviv is considered to be the LGBTQ+ capital of the Middle East? Join our
Queer guides at Rainbow Tour TLV who will offer you a bold and unfiltered view of the most
vibrant city in Israel. We believe that in order to truly experience a city and understand its story, you
must meet and interact with communities that live in it! So put on your best outfit and let us take
you over the Rainbow.
▪ Tel Aviv’s food scene is booming. Check out some of the options with lunch (on own account) at
the Nachalat Binyamin food and crafts fair before joining the hustle and bustle of the Carmel
▪ Israel @ 75 – Peoplehood: Experience the diversity and dynamism of Jewish life at ANU: The
Museum of the Jewish People. Formally known as the Diaspora Museum. Learn about the various
communities around the world, their customs, and traditions. A highlight is their new Synagogue
Exhibition which combines the museum’s famed collection of synagogue models with thrilling video
art which explore the places where Jews pray, around the world and through the ages.
▪ Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day in leisure, at the hotel pool or the beach.
▪ Dinner on own

▪ Dinner on your own at Café Kapish, offering a variety of appetizing dishes and an out-of-the-
ordinary communication experience. The deaf and hearing-impaired waiters of Café Kapish will

engage in a dialogue with you in sign language followed by a visit to the Nalaga’at Theater to view a
production of Lo Al HaLechem Levado – Not by Bread Alone OR Luna Park, performed by a
deaf/blind theater group. (Pending performance schedule – Cost not included.)
Overnight: The Renaissance, Tel Aviv

DAY FOUR: Wednesday, May 31, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a checkout.
▪ Drive along the coast Caesarea, one of the Land of Israel’s most important cities during the Roman
Period. Explore life 2,000 years ago with its ancient amphitheaters, palaces, and bathhouses.
▪ Visit the Yemin Orde Youth Village, one of Israel’s most innovative educational institutions,
specializing in integrating new immigrant youth into Israeli society. Dialogue with faculty and
▪ You Be the Chef: We’ll be welcomed into the home of an Israeli Druze family to talk, over tea and
coffee, about their lives and to join them for a GalilEat mini cooking workshop. The Druze villages of
the Galilee and the Carmel region are famous for their food, including fish and olive dishes and
delicious desserts like knafeh and baklawa. We’ll find out the local culinary secrets and, mentored by
our host family, whip up and eat a traditional lunch.
▪ Battling for the Holy Land: Encounter the Christian Crusaders and their Muslim rivals at Akko (Acre).
This UNESCO Heritage Site was a stronghold of Crusader power in the Holy Land but was also an
important center of Muslim Ottoman rule. Today, it exemplifies the multi-culturalism of northern
Israel. Highlights of our visit will include:
o The restored Crusaders’ Fortress where we’ll look into the lives of the Templar knights, the
Christian warrior-monks based here from the 12th century who fought to control the Holy
o Walking on the fortified walls that protected Akko and made it a vital town for controlling the
Holy Land. Through the centuries, invaders damaged but could never destroy these walls. We’ll
see the massive security measures carried out by Ahmad Pasha el-Jazzar in order to defeat
Napoleon and his French army at Akko in 1799.
▪ Drive to the hotel and check in.
▪ Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Pastoral, Kfar Blum

DAY FIVE: Thursday, June 1, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel.
▪ Visit the famous Israeli Naot shoe factory.
▪ Walk through the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, located on the largest tributary of the Jordan River, and
examine the ruins of the great biblical city of Dan.
▪ Hit the ground racing as we go off-road for a jeep tour of the Golan Heights that will combine
natural beauty with insights into one of Israel’s most strategically important areas. Retrace the
experiences of Israeli soldiers in their battles here during the Six-Day War of 1967 and talk with
your jeep drivers about their personal experiences and feelings about the Golan.
▪ Watch the panoramic views from Mt. Bental (overlooking the abandoned Syrian town of Kuneitra)
and gain sharp insights into Israel’s security situation on the Golan Heights and the enormous
challenges it faced in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
▪ Lunch at Merom Golan Hotel.
Option 1
▪ Wine Tasting at a local winery on the Golan Heights.
Option 2
▪ Enjoy the culinary delight of a chocolate workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory on Kibbutz
Ein Zivan.
▪ Enjoy rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River.
▪ Return to the hotel.
▪ Dinner at the hotel.
▪ Our Thoughts, Our Journey: Come together to share experiences and feelings from your journey so
Overnight: Pastoral, Kfar Blum

DAY SIX: Friday, June 2, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a checkout.
▪ Perhaps it’s the combination of mysticism and art, and maybe it’s the mountain air in Israel’s highest
city; entering Tsfat, there is a sense of something uniquely Jewish but not quite of this world. Here,
o Visit the Ari Synagogue and share in the inspiration and innovation that moved Rabbi Isaac
Luria (the Holy Ari) and his fellow mystics. In Tsfat they developed the Kabbalah, the esoteric
insights of Judaism and created Kabbalat Shabbat, the prayers sung on Friday evenings to
welcome the arrival of the Sabbath.
o See the Caro Synagogue, built originally, like the Ari Synagogue, in the 16th century. It is
where Rabbi Joseph Caro, one of the greatest of all Jewish legal authorities, taught and lived.
Hear the story of how he was visited here by a maggid, an angelic messenger, who revealed
secrets of the Torah.
o Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists’ Colony with its galleries, shops,
and studios.
▪ Visit Moshava Kinneret in the Jordan Valley for an in-depth look at communal living then and now,
in one of Israel’s first Moshavim (farming villages); proceed to the cemetery where Rachel the Poet,
national song writer Naomi Shemer and others are buried.
▪ Lunch on own en route.
▪ As we drive south through the Jordan Valley, we’ll discuss the strategic and political situation in this
area and consider how Israeli control over it is viewed by some as vital to national security but by
others as an impediment to any future agreement with the Palestinians.
▪ A First Look at the Holy City: Over the centuries, many have been moved and awed by their first
sight of Jerusalem. We’ll stop at the Haas Promenade for a stunning overview of the city and
celebrate our arrival with a special ceremony and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of
▪ Check into the hotel and freshen up.
▪ Meet at the hotel lobby and depart to the city of Modi’in.
▪ Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, led by Rabbi Nir Barkin.
▪ Home Hospitality Shabbat dinner/communal Shabbat dinner with local congregant.
▪ Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

DAY SEVEN: Saturday, June 3, 2023
▪ Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region.
▪ As Low as it Goes: We’ll drive to the Dead Sea Basin, 1412 feet below sea level and the lowest place
on earth. The desert, the landscape and the views are breathtaking.
▪ The Last Stand: Take the cable car to the top of Masada with its extraordinary views and fascinating
archaeological remains. This UNESCO World Heritage site is where Jewish rebels are believed to
have made their final attempt to resist Roman invaders (c 74 CE). We’ll learn about Masada’s
importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel.
▪ Lunch and a “Swim” in the Sea of Salt: Float into happiness at a private beach on the Dead Sea. Not
much can live or swim in what is the saltiest piece of water in the world, nine times saltier than the
ocean, but the weightless feeling of floating is great fun. You’ll also enjoy a buffet lunch at a Dead
Sea hotel.
▪ Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in leisure.
▪ The Process for Progress: Discuss the way forward in the struggle for religious pluralism and gender
equality in Israel with a representative from the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
▪ Three Stars in the Jerusalem Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a
communal Havdallah ceremony overlooking the Old City.
▪ Free time in the Mamilla Mall, an upscale shopping street and the only open-air mall in Jerusalem,
located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. Dinner on own account.
▪ Lights! Action! Jerusalem! Watch the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum. The walls of
the Citadel serve as the stage for this cinematic celebration of sight and sound depicting the story of
▪ Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

DAY EIGHT: Sunday, June 4, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel.
▪ At the Heart of It All: Explore the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem, and learn how the
city was administered during the First Temple period. Our visit will include:
o Archaeological discoveries illustrating how the wealthy and powerful lived in ancient
o The Gihon Spring, the source of Jerusalem’s water and integral to its survival and religious
o Having fun wading through the 2,700-year-old water tunnels (there’s an optional dry exit), an
architectural wonder of King Hezekiah’s.
o Travelling through time as we walk in ancient drainage channels from the City of David to the
Western Wall’s massive foundation stones at the foot of the Temple Mount.
▪ The Jerusalem Archaeological Park is a large-scale excavation that has uncovered vital parts of
ancient Jerusalem. A particular highlight is to walk on the Southern Wall steps used by Jewish
pilgrims to enter the Temple, 2,000 years ago.
▪ No visit to Israel is complete without experiencing the Kotel (Western Wall), widely considered
Judaism’s holiest site. Each year, over one million notes containing prayers and wishes are placed in
the cracks of the wall. We’ll discuss the wall’s historical and contemporary importance and
experience its unique atmosphere.
▪ Lunch on own in the Jewish Quarter.
▪ Become your favorite biblical character! Live the Bible’s authentic costumes and amazing
backgrounds provide a fun photo opportunity for you to dress up like Moses, Ruth or a Temple
▪ Take a walking tour through Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish Quarter and experience the center
of Jewish life, history, and holiness. Among the highlights will be:
▪ The Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its spectacular Byzantine-era
▪ King Hezekiah’s “Broad Wall,” a massive wall built to protect Jerusalem from invasion 2,700 years
▪ Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish Quarter.
▪ At the end of the Via Dolorosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus is
believed to have been crucified. This church is one of Christianity’s great pilgrimage sites and a
testament to the remarkable diversity of the Christian world. It includes an empty tomb where it is
said that Jesus was buried and resurrected.
▪ One City or Two? Go beyond the headlines as we explore the geopolitics of Jerusalem with site
visits and discussions on key issues. Learn more about the complex relationship between
predominantly Arab East Jerusalem and the city’s mostly Jewish western part. We’ll encounter the
Security Barrier and discuss its effects.
▪ Return to the hotel.
▪ Dinner on own.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

DAY NINE: Monday, June 5, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel.
Option 1 with the guide:
▪ The Holocaust and Contemporary Israeli Society: Dr. Rachel Korazim will examine how Yad Vashem
reflects the Israeli understanding of the Shoah. In particular, we’ll explore the radically different ways
in which secular Zionist and ultra-Orthodox leaders understood the causes and meaning of the
Holocaust. Dr. Korazim is a renowned educator and expert on Israel and the Holocaust.
▪ Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an
essential emotional and educational experience. Your 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, commemorating the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
o A memorial service where we will pay tribute to those who were lost. It will include the
opportunity to talk about family members and loved ones who died during the Shoah.
Option 2 with an adult:
▪ Visit the Biblical Zoo, a beautifully landscaped habitat with a special focus on preserving Biblical
fauna, geared to children of all ages (2-80).
▪ But Jerusalem Has No Ocean! Jerusalem may be one of the few great cities without access to the
sea but it does have the recently-opened Israel Aquarium. Highlights include the shark tank, feeding
the stingray, and an exhibition showcasing the marine life of Israel’s “four seas.”
▪ Take a multi-cultural tasting journey through the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehudah
open-air market: Enjoy the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of this vibrant area where Jerusalemites
▪ Drive to Gush Etzion.
▪ Is Religion the Way Forward or an Obstacle to Peace? We’ll go beyond the Green Line to meet with
Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Shaul Judelman from Shorashim (Roots), a program bringing West Bank
Palestinians and their Jewish neighbors together despite their fears and suspicions.
▪ Return to Jerusalem and enjoy dinner on own.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

DAY TEN: Tuesday, June 6, 2023
▪ Breakfast at the hotel.
▪ Drive to the Ella Valley.
▪ Diggin’ for Roots: On the last stop of our journey, we’ll literally get in touch with the land and history
of Israel. Take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves. Get your hands dirty
uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2300 years ago, and then crawl through the Maresha
Cave Labyrinth (non-crawling options are available) in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
▪ Return to Jerusalem.
▪ Lunch on own.
Option 1:
▪ Explore the wonderfully creative Israel Museum, with its eclectic collection, ranging from
archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls to Jewish life and art, European art, contemporary Israeli art
and the open-air model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.
▪ Enjoy some time off for last minute shopping and packing.
Option 2:
▪ Enjoy the rest of the day in leisure, for last minute shopping and packing.
▪ Late checkout of the hotel.
▪ Farewell dinner will be at Piccolino, an intimate Italian restaurant in Jerusalem’s historic city center.
Known for its pastas, pizzas, and fish, Piccolino is located in a lovely building of Jerusalem stone and
graceful arches that adds to the enjoyment.
▪ Transfer to the Ben Gurion International Airport and check into your flight.
Overnight: Flight