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Rodef Shalom
Congregational Trip to Israel 2020
Led by Rabbi Aaron Bisno

Day By Day
 
What's Included
 
The Small Print
 
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* 7 nights' accommodation at select hotels

* Guaranteed late check-out on the day of departure March 23, 2020

* Portage is included

* 8 touring days with tour educator (guide)

* English-speaking tour educator (TE) who brings your itinerary to life

* 8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus

* 1 group transfer and assistance from/to the airport

* Airport portage is included

* Meals: daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 5 dinners

THE GOAL
This journey will be an opportunity to travel with the Rabbi, creating a connection with the country and the people of Israel.


THE NARRATIVE
Our journey throughout Israel will include visiting the must-see historical, religious, and modern sites, which are the part of the history of the land and the people. We will learn about the land, the nation, and the country through its food, sites, current events, and of course, experiencing daily life in Israel.  We will connect with our partnership community in the Carmiel /Misgav Region and discover what makes it special.


Day One: Sunday, March 15, 2020

ON THE WAY TO ISRAEL

  • Depart the US.

Overnight: Flight


Day Two: Monday, March 16, 2020

THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY

  • 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 who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Drive to Tel Aviv, also known as “the city that never sleeps.” A place of sun and fun, its centers of culture and history are complimented by great beaches, stores, and entertainment.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Enjoy a festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant, followed by orientation with your group leader and tour educator.

Overnight: Tel Aviv


Day Three: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

TEL AVIV: THE FIRST HEBREW CITY

  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • Da’at Encounters: The State of the State of Israel: Talk 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 for 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 it's Old City reflects the present as well as the past.
  • Walk through Jaffa’s famous Flea Market – Shuk Hapishpeshim.
  • Neve Zedek was one of Tel Aviv’s first neighborhoods as the city grew outside of Jaffa. Stroll through this stylish area with its boutiques, galleries, and the Suzanne Dellal Center, Israel's world-class home of contemporary dance. 
  • LaDa’at: 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 as a delicious lunch. 
  • From Hebrew City to Hebrew State: Walk along the newly-opened Independence Trail and embark on a remarkable journey that begins with the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 and ends with the establishment of Israel in 1948.
  • 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.”
  • Stroll down the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly craft fair and eateries. Alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • The City at Night: Tel Aviv’s food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself during a free evening with dinner (not included in package). Afterward, those who love the nightlife can sample the city’s bar, club, and café culture or stroll along the refurbished promenade and port.

Overnight: Tel Aviv


Day Four: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

HISTORY & COMMUNITIES ON THE ROAD NORTH

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Drive along the coast to Caesarea, one of the Lands of Israel’s most important cities during the Roman Period. Explore life 2,000 years ago with its ancient amphitheaters, palaces, and bathhouses.
  • Pioneers and Martyrs: Encounter the successes, struggles, and sacrifices of the Zionist pioneers during a tour of Zichron Ya’acov, one of the first settlements created in 1882 by the modern Zionist movement. Here, we’ll experience the modern face of Zionism as we walk through the town today with its picturesque Pedestrian Mall, historic buildings, and boutique shops.
  • Lunch (not included in package), en route.
  • Drive to the Carmiel Misgav Region, Pittsburgh’s partnerships region and see how our program positively affects the lives of local residents. (pending confirmation).
  • Continue to the hotel, check in, and enjoy dinner. 

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee


Day Five: Thursday, March 19, 2020

NATURE & SECURItY IN THE NORTH

  • 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.
  • Hit the ground racing as we go off-road for a jeep tour of the Golan Heightthat 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.
  • Visit a Druze village for a window into the unique world of the Israeli Druze community, with lunch (not included in package).
  • Northern Borders, Northern Battles: We’ll gaze across the Golan and into Syria from the top of Mount Bental and gain powerful insights into Israel’s geopolitical and security situation. Analyze the current challenges Israel faces on its northern border, examine the impact of the tragic civil war in Syria, and hunker down in bunkers from the vital battles that took place here during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
  • The Golan Heights is also wine country. Sample some of its best during a tour of the boutique Pelter Winery. We’re doing the driving, so treat yourself to some Israeli gin to go with the grapes. L’chaim and cheers!

OR

  • Enjoy the culinary delights of a chocolate workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory on Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.
  • Da’at Encounters: Radical Then, Still Relevant Now? The pioneering, socialist Kibbutz movement played a vital role in the establishment of the State of Israel and was one of the early State’s most influential and distinctive communities. Meet with a second-generation Kibbutz member and hear how life has changed on the Kibbutz in today’s more individualistic era.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, Upper Galilee


Day Six: Friday, March 20, 2020

FROM THE HILLS OF THE NORTH TO THE HILLS OF JERUSALEM

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 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, you’ll:
    • 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.
    • Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists’ Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
    • Meet with artist Sheva Chaya in her studio for an interactive window into the world of Kabbalah, glass blowing, and questions of identity and Judaism.
  • 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.
  • Lunch (not included in package), en route.
  • 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.
  • Togetherness at the Wall: We’ll head to the Old City for Kabbalat Shabbat services at Ezrat Israel, the pluralistic section of the Kotel (Western Wall). This space for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel was only established after sustained struggle and the issue of progressive prayer at Judaism’s most sacred site remains one of the most controversial issues in the Jewish world. Nonetheless, the dominant themes as we welcome Shabbat will be of joy and togetherness.
  • Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Seven: Saturday, March 21, 2020

THE CITY OF SHABBAT

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • (Optional) Shabbat Services at a local reform community.
  • (Optional) 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.
  • 12:00 meet at Jaffa Gate for lunch in the Old City (not included in package).
  • 2:00 meet at Jaffa Gate for 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:
  • A Mountain Holy to Many: Experience the overlapping religions and the complexity of inter-religious relations at Mt. Zion. The site is venerated by Christians as the location of Jesus’ Last Supper but was once a mosque while, in a room directly below, Jews pray at the place where King David is believed to have been buried.
    • A walk along the rooftops that will provide an extraordinary scene of multi-faith Jerusalem. From this one spot, we will see the domes of three great religious landmarks: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (marking where Jesus is believed to have been crucified); the Jewish Quarter’s Hurva synagogue; and the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s most sacred and beautiful sites. 
    • The Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its spectacular Byzantine-era columns.
    • King Hezekiah’s “Broad Wall,” a massive wall built to protect Jerusalem from invasion 2,700 years ago.
    • Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish Quarter.
  • 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.
  • The conclusion 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.
  • There will also be time to see the bargains and the bargaining in the Old City Shuk (market) in the Christian Quarter.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah 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. This is a great place for dinner (not included in package).
  • 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 Jerusalem.

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Eight: Sunday, March 22, 2020

INTO THE DESERT: MASADA & THE DEAD SEA

  • Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region.
  • As Low as It GoesWe’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 StandClimb via the snake path OR 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.
  • The Sea of SaltFloat into happiness at 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.
  • Lunch (not included in package), en route.
  • We’ll 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.
  • Return to the hotel to freshen up.
  • Da’at Encounters: The Holocaust and Contemporary Israeli Society: Rachel Korazimwill 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.
  • Stroll along the Ben Yehuda Street and Nahalat Shiva pedestrian malls, joining the many Israelis out on the town, with dinner (not included in package).

Overnight: Jerusalem


Day Nine: Monday, March 23, 2020

JEWISH MEMORY, JEWISH RENEWAL 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • VisitYad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an essential emotional and educational experience. Your guided 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, commemorating the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
    • A memorial service where we will pay tribute to those who were lost.
  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Mahane Yehuda open-air market, with lunch (not included in package).
  • Drive by the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, Supreme Court, and other national institutions.
  • Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Festive farewell dinner at Olive & Fish, a meat and fish restaurant located across from the Liberty Bell Garden.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport and check in for your flight.
  • Departure flight to the US, arriving the next day.

Overnight: Flight


Day Ten: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

  • Arrive in the US.
 

Need to Know

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 16 Dec 2019

  • 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 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.


PAYMENT POLICY
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.


CANCELATION POLICY
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.


TRAVEL INSURANCE
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.


HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS
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.


MEALS
Are included as specified in the itinerary.


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 at group meals are included.


PRICE EXCLUDES

  • 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.
  • Gratuities for Tour Educator (Guide) and Driver. We recommend the following guidelines for tips (amounts indicated in US dollars):
    Group of 20 participants and more:
    Tour Educator: $8 | Driver: $4 - per participant per day
    Hostess (when included in the package):
    $2 per participant per day or a minimum of $50 per day total
    A security guard and/or a youth counselor (when included):
    $1 per participant per day per security guard, per youth counselor


GUIDELINES FOR REGISTERING CHILDREN (UNDER AGE 18)

  • The first two people in any double or triple room are charged full package rates as adults, even if the second person is a child under the age of 18.

    For this reason, the first two people you select for a double or triple room MUST be selected as adults in order for the registration process to succeed.

    To register the following room configurations:

    • For double room occupancy for:
      • 1 adult & 1 child - Please select 2 adults.
      • 2 children - Please select 2 adults.
    • For triple room occupancy for:
      • 2 adults & 1 child - Please select 2 adults & 1 child**
      • 1 adult & 2 children - Please select 2 adults & 1 child**
      • 3 children - Please select 2 adults & 1 child**

    (**Reduced rate for a child as a 3rd in a triple room will only be applied if the child is under the age of 18)

To Register Now, click here

 

  
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.
from $4,924
land + air
 
from $3,229
land only
 
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