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Temple Sinai of Sarasota | Trip to Israel
led by Rabbi Michael Churgel

Day By Day
 
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  • 9 nights' accommodation at select hotels + late check-out on last day
  • 8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking tour educator and 2 days with an additional guide and 1 day with additional bus
  • 1 group transfer and assistance from/to the airport
  • All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 5 dinners
  • Portage at the airport and hotels

Day One: Sunday, May 6, 2018
DEPARTURE                                            

  • Depart the U.S.A.

Overnight: Flight


Day Two: Monday, May 7, 2018
ARRIVAL 

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Meet your tour educator and depart the airport drive to Tel Aviv.
  • Welcome to Tel Aviv, known as the “city that never sleeps,” with its centers of culture, recreation and national history, great beaches and fine stores.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Visit the Old City of Jaffa and ascend from the old port through the renovated alleyways to the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv at the place where it all began, followed by a walk through the famous Jaffa Flea Market - “Shuk Hapishpishim”.
  • Enjoy a Middle-Eastern-style welcome dinner at Maganda, in Tel Aviv's Yemenite Quarter, with a varied menu of traditional salads and grilled meats.
  • Israel 101: Opening remarks and orientation to our journey in Israel, led by Rabbi Churgel and your tour educator.

Overnight: Tel Aviv


Day Three: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
TEL AVIV: THE FIRST HEBREW CITY 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Walk through the museum at the Rabin Center, dedicated to the history of society and democracy in Israel. The life of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin serves as a time-thread connecting the faces and events of modern Israeli history.
  • Combining Street Art, Language & Graffiti: Join Niro Taub, a local resident, to explore the urban culture of the city.
  • Explore the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly crafts fair and eateries. Alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market and across the way Sheinkin Street, with its hip cafés and funky chic shopping; lunch on own.
  • Walking tour through colorful Neve Zedek, one of Tel Aviv's earliest neighborhoods. Today it is a cultural mecca, with many small boutiques and galleries, and the Suzanne Delal Dance and Theater Center.
  • Visit Independence Hall, where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948.
  • Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view examples of the intriguing Bauhaus-style architecture from the 1930s; the local proliferation of the style won Tel Aviv recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the nickname of ‘the White City'.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Free Evening and dinner on own in Tel Aviv, for an opportunity to:
    • Meander through the Old City of Jaffa.
    • Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard, with its many cafés and bars.
    • Experience Tel Aviv Port, with its restaurants and clubs.
    • Saunter down the Tel Aviv Beach Promenade.
    • 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.
  • Evening Cultural Event (dance, theater, music - tba).

Overnight: Tel Aviv 


Day Four: Wednesday, May 9, 2018
HISTORY AND COMMUNITES IN THE NORTH 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Israel and the Zionist Dream - How do they fit together? Dialogue with social scientist Raviv Schwartz.
  • Explore two thousand years of rich Jewish culture and community at Beit Hatefutsot (the Diaspora house) the Museum of the Jewish People and Culture; visit the newly opened synagogue exhibition and the “Heroes - Trailblazers of the Jewish People”.
  • Continue to a Druze village in the Carmel Mountains for a window into the unique world of the Israeli Druze community, including home-hospitality lunch.
  • Guided by a local resident, visit the famous Ein Hod artist colony south of Haifa, and explore some of the many galleries throughout the village.
  • View the Zippori National Park, known for its extraordinary ancient mosaics and its central role in Jewish life after the destruction of the Temple.
  • Check into the kibbutz hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
  • Where Is My Kibbutz Going? Dialogue with a kibbutz member on the ever-changing nature of kibbutz life today.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee


Day Five: Thursday, May 10, 2018
SERENITY AND SECURITY ON THE GOLAN 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Walk through the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, located on the largest tributary of the Jordan River, and explore the ruins of the great Biblical city of Dan.
  • Take a jeep tour off-road on the Golan Heights in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery while you gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
  • The panoramic views from Bental (overlooking the Syrian town of Kuneitra) give sharp insights into Israel's security situation on the Golan Heights, and the enormous challenges it faced in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the new threat from the north, ISIS.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Visit the Pelter Winery, a young family boutique winery on the Golan Heights; wine tasting is included.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Reflection time with Rabbi Churgel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee


Day Six: Friday, May 11, 2018
FROM MYSTICS TO DREAMERS IN THE GALILEE 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel and drive to Tsfat, a center of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years and a contemporary artists' colony, including:
    • Guided visit to the Ari, Caro or Abuhav Synagogues, each with its great stories and mystical messages.
    • A stroll through the quaint Artists' Colony, shop in the galleries and crafts shops and engage in conversations with local artisans inspired by the messages of Kabbalah.
  • Drive past Tiberias on the shores of Lake Kinneret.
  • lada'at Kinneret Cemetery: Enter the world of the early Zionist pioneers and learn about their hopes and dreams, their trials and tribulations and their ultimate success. Pause at the graves of legendary personalities such as Rachel the Poetess, Zionist philosopher Ber Borochov and songwriter Naomi Shemer.
  • Drive along the Jordan Valley, part of the enormous Syrian-African Rift, stopping for lunch on own en route.
  • Ascend to Jerusalem and upon entering the city stop at Mount Scopus for an overlook of the Old and New City of Jerusalem and to recite the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing.
  • Welcome to Jerusalem: Enter the vibrant and colorful ancient city of Jerusalem, and experience the convergence of the old and the new.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at with the Kehilat HaDror Reform Community, led by Rabbi Ezzie Ende.
  • Home Hospitality or communal Shabbat dinner with local congregants OR Shabbat dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Seven: Saturday, May 12, 2018
SHABBAT IN JERUSALEM | No guide 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Shabbat Services at the hotel
  • Free Shabbat in Jerusalem for an opportunity to explore (on own):
    • The Old City Ramparts for a walk along the ancient walls of the city
    • The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, for a walk through the city's history - with observation points, an animated film and visual and audio-visual aids - from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine.
    • The renewed and wonderfully creative Israel Museum, with its wide-ranging and eclectic collection, 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.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Late afternoon: Limud Session with Rabbi Don Goor, followed by a musical session led by Cantor Evan Kent.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Old City.
  • Dinner on own.
  • Evening Cultural Event (dance, theater, music - tba).                        

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Eight: Sunday, May 13, 2018  
THE LAYERS OF JERUSALEM 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Israeli Society @ 2018: Dialogue with scholar Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College.
  • Depart for the Old City.

First-timers

  • One Mountain, Three Religions: An inter-denominational exploration of Zion, the traditional burial site of King David, the Room of the Last Supper and a mosque - all sharing a single building.
  • Walking tour through the Jewish Quarter, for visits to archaeological treasures and other highlights, among them:
  • A walk along the Rooftops of the Old City for a behind-the-scenes look at the various communities in Jerusalem and how they live alongside each other.
  • The Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem in the 6th
  • King Hezekiah's First Temple-period “Broad Wall”.
  • Hurva Square, the central square of the Jewish Quarter.
  • Lunch on own in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Stop at the Kotel (Western Wall) and experience the special atmosphere of this holy site.
  • Explore the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, including the Davidson Center, Robinson's Arch and the Southern Wall steps where Jewish pilgrims entered the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago.

Returnees

  • Explore Christian East Jerusalem through visits with Christian personalities and institutions with Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish Christian Relations, including the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other Christian sites.
  • Lunch on own in the Old City.
  • Discover some less known gems in the Jewish Quarter, among them:
    • The four Sephardi synagogues, which reflect the richness and diversity of Diaspora Jewish traditions.
    • The 2,000-year-old Herodian Mansions.
    • Visit the Isaac Kaplan Old Yishuv Court Museum which captures the Jewish life in the Old City from the 16oo's till 1948.

All

  • Return to the hotel.
  • Enjoy a night out with dinner on own, perhaps at the Old Train Station Plaza, with its fashionable restaurants featuring local and international cuisine. On certain evenings one can enjoy street musicians, Israeli dancing and other attractions.
  • Optional: Return to the Old City for a tour of the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Temple Mount's Western Wall, exposed in recent years.

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Nine: Monday, May 14, 2018
First-timers: INTO THE DESERT, MASADA & THE DEAD SEA 

  • Early breakfast at the hotel.
  • Descend to the Dead Sea Basin.
  • Ascend by cable-car to Masada, Herod's mountain palace and the site of the Jewish Zealots' last stand against the Roman Legionnaires. Discuss Masada's role as a symbol of Jewish defence and its current significance in modern Israel.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Experience an astonishing sense of weightlessness as you float in the super-saline Dead Sea.
  • Return to Jerusalem.

Returnees: THE MOSAIC OF JERUSALEM

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions, and 4 Quarters: Take a ride on Jerusalem's light rail, starting at the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood and continuing through the Arab villages of Shuafat and Beit Hanina and ultra-Orthodox area of Ramot Eshkol, and ending at the Old City. Get a chance to see first-hand the mosaic and diversity of the Jerusalem population. Discuss the difference between East and West Jerusalem and the ongoing struggles between the city's different communities.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Israeli Film and a Window In: Meet with students and teachers from the Ma'aleh Film School for a screening and discussion, exploring the intersection of Judaism and modern life. Ma'aleh's unique, cutting-edge films attempt to foster deeper understanding and dialogue between religious and secular Jews. While Ma'aleh graduates are shaping the future of the Israeli film and television, they also created a first-of-its-kind video-therapy for at-risk youth, Ethiopian immigrants, terror victims and adults with special needs.

All

  • Challenges and Triumphs of Religious Pluralism and Social Justice in Israel: Discussion with Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
  • Reflection time with Rabbi Churgel.
  • Stroll along the Ben-Yehuda Street and Nachalat Shiva pedestrian malls, joining the many Israelis out on the town, with dinner on own.            

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Ten: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
MEMORY & RENEWAL 

  • Early departure to the Kotel to participate in a Rosh Chodesh service with Women of the Wall.
  • Return to the hotel for breakfast.
  • The Memory of the Holocaust in Our Lives: Dialogue with Holocaust scholar, Shlomo Balsam, consultant and advisor in education at Yad Vashem.
  • Visit the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including:

First- timers

  • The Avenue of the Righteous
  • The Historical Museum
  • The Children's Memorial

Returnees

  • The Holocaust Toy Exhibit
  • The Art Museum
  • The Valley of the Communities

All

  • A concluding Memorial Service
  • Lunch on own at Yad Vashem.
  • Visit the National Military Cemetery on Herzl to recall landmark events in modern Israeli history in which these soldiers gave their lives. Follow with a visit to the graves of Theodor Herzl, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in the adjacent section for Leaders of the Nation.
  • Drive through the Israeli ‘Capitol Hill' - along the Knesset - Israel's Parliament; the famous Menorah; the Supreme Court building; the Prime Minister's Office; the Israeli National Bank and the future site of the Israel National Library.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Reflection time with Rabbi Churgel.
  • Free time in the Mamilla pedestrian arcade, a very contemporary shopping area with a whiff of the past, located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City; dinner on own.
  • Optional: The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum: The walls of the Citadel serve as a stage for a night-time show - a celebration of sight and sound - that depicts the story of Jerusalem.                                              

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Eleven: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Tikkun Olam interactive visit to Yad LaKashish, a multifaceted sheltered workshop for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Meet the employees in their workshops, and take the opportunity to visit the shop that proudly presents their beautiful wares.
  • LaDa'at The Geopolitics of Jerusalem: Travel through the city of Jerusalem, exploring some of its political and diplomatic complexities - including the ‘Security Barrier' - to gain a behind-the-headlines insight into current developments.
  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market, with lunch on own.
  • Enjoy the rest of the afternoon for last minute shopping and packing.
  • Late check-out from the hotel and proceed to the festive farewell dinner at Anna, a Mediterranean restaurant with an Italian influence, situated in the serene and historic Ticho House in Jerusalem's city center.
  • Final remarks by Rabbi Churgel.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport and check in for the departure flight to the U.S.A.

Overnight:  Flight


Day Eleven: Thursday, May 17, 2018
ARRIVAL HOME 

  • Arrival in the USA.

 

 

Need to Know

  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 25 full paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
  • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
  • Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Two-bed rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are two-bed rooms with a rollaway cot where available and are not recommended when considering the comfort of those in the room. King-size beds are not available in most hotels; what is considered king-size usually consists of two single beds pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard. Some two-bed rooms may have two twin - not full- or queen-size - beds.
  • Meals are included as specified in the itinerary.
  • Expedition Director / Tour Educator or Guide: All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.
  • Gratuities Included: All gratuities for restaurant staff are included.
  • Baggage: All tour packages / group tours allow one piece of luggage per person and one carry-on bag. Excess luggage will be subject to charge of up to $100 per piece. The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator, shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach, please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.


Not Included

  • Personal Expenses: All personal expenses such as: laundry, valet service, cables, telephone calls and postage are not included.
  • Tips to the guide and driver (recommended guidelines vary based on number of participants)
    • For a group of 20 passengers and more:
      $8 per participant per day for the tour educator & $4 per participant per day for the driver
    • In the case where a hostess is included in the package:
      $2 per participant per day for the hostess or a minimum of $50 per touring day in total
  • Guests at meals.
  • Luggage: All tour packages allow one pieces per person and one carry-on bag. Excess luggage will be subject to a charge of up to $100 per piece. Da'at shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company.
  • Transportation in evening when dinner is on own.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d'hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • Water or snacks on the bus.
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.


Additional Information

  • Airline Security Measures: In the U.S., you must provide identification in the form of a passport at the time of airport check-in for travel to international destinations. Your passport name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket or you may be denied boarding.
  • If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S, you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that particular airport.
  • Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
  • Air Services: Once issued, tickets are non-refundable. Airline schedules and flights are subject to change without notice. We will not be responsible for penalties incurred for tickets, international or domestic, not issued by us due to schedule and/or flight changes. Airlines reserve the right to demand immediate issuance of tickets whenever they determine that specific flights are heavily booked even when normal ticketing rules do not require tickets to be issued until a later date. In this instance, we will require immediate and full payment of the airfare and airport taxes and fees as itemized on the invoice. This situation overrides invoice terms and conditions and payment due dates. If full payment is not received, seats will be cancelled by the airline and may not be available to be rebooked on the same flights or at the same airfare. Any replacement air arrangements and airfare will be the sole responsibility of the passenger. We suggest you contact your travel agent or the carrier several weeks prior to departure for seat assignments. Passengers are responsible to reconfirm their flights 72 hours prior to departure for all flights. Package is based on discount fares for group travel. Group members deviating from group dates will be charged a $75 deviation fee per person.
  • Holidays and Museum Closures - Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays locally observed in the destinations being visited.
  • Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer that your photo not be used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.

 
Temple Sinai of Sarasota Trip to Israel led by Rabbi Michael Churgel
2018Land OnlyStatus 
May 6$3799On Sale
 
  
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