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Congregation Etz Chaim | Back to Israel

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  • Optional flights to and from Tel Aviv as listed in the air section of this program (Taxes and fuel charges are included and are subject to change by the Airline).
  • 11 nights' accommodation at select hotels
  • 12 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking tour educator including 1 touring day in Petra (Israeli tour educator companion group in Petra, Shabbat January 11th walking tours no bus)
  • 1 group transfer and assistance from and to the airport
  • All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 5 lunches & 5 dinners
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Border Taxes in/out Jordan
  • Visa to Jordan
  • Tips to guide and driver in Israel & Petra
  • Portage at the airport and hotels


Day One: Sunday, January 5, 2020

  • 5:10 P.M. Depart Chicago O'hare International Airport on British Airways flight #294.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Monday, January 6, 2020

  • 6:50 a.m. Arrive London Heathrow International Airport.
  • 8:05 a.m. Depart on British Airways flight #165.
  • 2:50 p.m.Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. Our representative will be on hand to assist with all formalities and ensure your journey has the smoothest of starts.
  • Meet your tour educator, Hannah Estrin, who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Depart to Tel Aviv, also 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 and freshen up.
  • Depart for 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.
  • Welcome dinner at Goshen, an upscale grill restaurant located on the historic Nachalat Binyamin Street.
  • Israel 101 - Our Thoughts, Our Journey: Opening remarks and orientation of your trip by Rabbi Cosnowsky and your tour educator.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Three: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 | Asara B'Tevet
TLV 24/7

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Israeli Society @ 2019: Meet with scholar Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University and Hebrew Union College.
  • What's Going on in Bohemian Tel Aviv? Join an expert on Tel Aviv's alternative scene for an urban adventure. Explore the latest street art, slang, and graffiti and find out what they reveal about life, ideas, and ideology in Israel's cultural capital.
  • LaDa'at Ethnic Tasting Tour: walk through Tel Aviv's famous Levinsky Market, where you'll find a combination of foods and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and hear the unique stories of the individuals who sell them.
  • Stroll down the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly craft fair and eateries. Alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market.
  • Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view examples of Tel Aviv's eclectic architectural history, including Bauhaus buildings from the 1930s that have earned the city recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the reputation of “the White City”.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Free Evening and dinner on own account 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.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Four: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • A Culture of Creativity: Talk with technology journalist Viva Sarah Press about how tiny Israel is playing a giant role in hi-tech. We'll hear the personal stories behind the Start-Up Nation and find out why Israeli innovation (and chutzpah) is changing the hi-tech world
    and our lives.
  • A special tour of Jewish and Israeli Art at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, including the Clock exhibit, guided by artist Ohad Sha'altiel.
  • Depart for Rabin Square, a center of Tel Aviv's cultural and political life, named for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who was assassinated here. Take a quiet moment at the Rabin Memorial
  • Lunch (on own account), en route.
  • Drive to Ra'anana (program TBD).
  • Free Evening and dinner on own account for an opportunity to:
    • Explore the colorful Neve Zedek
    • 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.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Five: Thursday, January 9, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 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.
  • Lunch (on own account), en route.
  • Drive to the Gaza border.
  • Living on the Edge: Proceed to Moshav Netiv Ha'asarah on Israel's border with Gaza, meet a resident and discuss the security implications of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.
  • Drive to Jerusalem.
  • 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 Mount Scopus for a stunning overview of the city and celebrate our arrival with a special ceremony and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanksgiving.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Stroll along the Ben-Yehuda Street and Nachalat Shiva pedestrian malls, joining the many Israelis out on the town, with dinner on own account.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Six: Friday, January 10, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 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.


  • Explore the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, the Davidson Center and the Southern Wall Excavations.
  • Explore the archaeological treasures and other highlights of the Jewish Quarter:
    • Ascend to 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.
    • Walk through the Cardo - the main street of Jerusalem in the 6th century, King Hezekiah's First Temple-period “Broad Wall” and Hurva Square - the central square of the Jewish Quarter.
  • Lunch (on own account) at the Jewish Quarter.
  • Return to the hotel with time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue or at the Kotel (Western Wall).
  • Shabbat Dinner.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Seven: Saturday, January 11, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional: Shabbat services at HUC-JIR- Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.


  • Optional (on own): 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.
  • Group lunch (TBD).
  • Proceed to the Christian Quarter - the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other Christian sites.
  • Walk through Jerusalem's famous Old City Market (shuk).
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Old City.
  • Free time in the Mamilla pedestrian arcade, a contemporary shopping area with a touch of the past, located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City; dinner on own account.
  • Going Under, Going Deeper: Explore the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Kotel, and examine important archaeological discoveries that are revising our understanding of daily life in ancient Jerusalem. (pending confirmation)

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Eight: Sunday, January 12, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

Option 1 (with a local guide)

  • Visiting Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is an essential emotional and educational experience. Your tour will include:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Children's Memorial, where candles shine like stars in the sky to commemorate the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
    • A special Memorial Service where you can pay personal tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

Option 2 (with the tour educator)

  • Visit Herzl, including the museum dedicated to the life and achievements of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the World Zionist Movement. Continue to Herzl's grave and those of Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, and other leaders of the nation.


  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market, with lunch on own account.
  • 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.
  • Walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Western Wall alongside the Temple Mount.
  • Follow the Via Dolorosa, the path Jesus is believed to have taken as he walked, holding a cross, to his crucifixion.
  • The final station of the Via Dolorosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, 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.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner on own account.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Nine: Monday, January 13, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 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.
  • Drive by Qumran, where a separatist Jewish sect from the Second Temple period created an isolated community and where the Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the most ancient and important religious manuscripts in existence, were discovered.
  • The Last StandA cable car will bring us 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) before committing mass suicide. We'll learn about Masada's importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel.
  • Take a short hike to Nahal David, the freshwater spring and waterfalls in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a lush oasis in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. (time permitting)
  • Check into the hotel followed by lunch.
  • The Sea of SaltGo floating, rather than swimming in the Dead Sea. Not much can live 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.
  • Group conversation followed by dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Dead Sea

Day Ten: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.

Option 1

  • Take a short walk to the Ein Bokek Springs at the southern end of the Dead Sea.

Option 2

  • Sleep in or dangle your feet at the Dead Sea again,


  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Drive southwards along the Jordan Valley, part of the enormous Syrian-African Rift.
  • Lunch at the kibbutz.
  • Proceed to the Reform Kibbutz Lotan and explore creative Jewish approaches to community life and the environment.
  • Stop at the Kibbutz Yotvava and try their famous ice cream.
  • Continue to Eilat and Check into the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Eilat

Day Eleven: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early departure for the Arava Border Crossing.
  • Upon completion of passport procedures, cross into Jordan.
  • Guided tour of the ancient Nabatean City of Petra, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea - an important ancient crossroad between Arabia, Egypt, and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra, half-built, half-carved into the rock, is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges and is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.
  • Lunch at a local hotel/restaurant.
  • Late afternoon return to the Arava Border Crossing.
  • Cross back into Eilat and transfer back to the hotel, with time to freshen up.
  • Dinner on own account.

Overnight: Eilat

Day Twelve: Thursday, January 16, 2020

  • Possible morning hike in the Hills of Eilat.
  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Drive to the Ramon Crater.
  • Jeep Tour to explore the geological wonders of the Ramon Crater, with a stop for a walk to the unique natural phenomenon known as the Carpentry Shop.
  • Drive through the massive natural Ramon Crater, Explore the geological wonders of the crater while walking to the unique natural phenomenon known as the Carpentry Shop.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Visit the gravesite of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, located at Sde Boker in the Negev Desert, overlooking the Wilderness of Zinn.
  • Continue to Tel Aviv.
  • Looking Forward: Summary session with the Rabbi and tour educator over a private festive farewell dinner.
  • Check into the hotel.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Twelve: Friday, January 17, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your return flight to the USA.
  • 6:20 a.m. Depart on British Airways flight #162.
  • 9:45 a.m. Arrive London Heathrow International Airport.
  • 12:05 p.m. Depart on British Airways flight  #295.
  • 3:00 p.m. Arrive Chicago.



Need to Know


  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 full paying participants. 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 US. 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.


Da'at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Notification of any changes will be made explicitly to the participants where relevant.

  • Initial deposit of $500 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due at the time of reservation unless another amount is indicated for the particular trip or seminar.
  • Final payment is due 90 days before the scheduled trip begins, or as specified in your invoice.


Cancelations need to be made in writing. Cancelation fees will be based on the date that the written cancelation is received.

Cancelation fees:

  • 90 days or more prior to departure: the deposit
  • 89 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of the total trip cost
  • 45 days to the day of departure/no-show: 100% of the total trip cost

Cancelation fees may also include:

  • Hotel or supplier cancelation fees.
  • For trips in Israel only: The cost of the PEACE OF MIND TRAVEL PROTECTION PROGRAM (POM), if this was purchased.
  • Group airfare penalty fee.


We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date.

Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges are estimated and subject to change at any time.
Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges are not guaranteed unless the group air tickets have been issued. Group air tickets are issued approximately 35 days prior to departure. Group air tickets are only issued upon receipt of full payment from all of the trip participants.
Air and land packages are open for registration until SEP 09, 2019 (based on availability), thereafter the tour will be available for land-only services. Cancellation of group air reservations after SEP 09, 2019 (and before the group flight tickets are issued) will entail a penalty of $100 per ticket.

Airfare to the tour departure point and from the tour ending point is not included.
Airfare may be purchased from us for travel originating in the United States. Please see Flights tab in the right-side toolbar.


The trip 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. Standard-size rooms are generally smaller outside of North America. They usually accommodate two people and include either one queen-size bed or two single beds (pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard). While some hotels provide an extra bed in a standard-size room for use by a child under the age of 12, we recommend that families of four or more should book adjoining or connecting rooms.


Are included as specified in the itinerary.


All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.


All gratuities for restaurant staff at group meals are included.


  • Credit card fees
  • Transportation in the 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 (unless indicated otherwise)
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.

Three simple ways to book ARZA World tours!

1. ARZA World customer service center is open Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30 pm EST. Call 888-811-2812.
2. Booking with us is easy! Register online by simply finding the right program for you and clicking 'Register now.'
3. We are proud to work with the Travel Agent community. Simply contact your favored travel agent and ask them to handle your booking; restrictions apply.

Important to Know
  • Land-only price does not include arrival/departure transfers unless otherwise indicated.
  • By paying a deposit upon registration, you are agreeing to ARZA World terms.
  • We highly recommend carefully reviewing those terms for full details about conditions and penalties.
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