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Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Trip to Israel

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  • 9 nights' accommodation at select hotels + late check-out on last day
  • 10 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking tour educator
  • 1 group transfer and assistance from/to Ben Gurion
  • All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 2 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Youth counselor one day in Jerusalem
  • Portage at the airport and hotels

Day One: Saturday, December 16, 2017

  • Depart the U.S.A.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Sunday, December 17, 2017

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities (one group transfer will be provided based on the majority of participants on any one flight).
  • Meet your tour educator  Zvi Levran & Doron Wilfand and transfer to Tel Aviv, known as the “city that never sleeps,” with its centers of culture, recreation and national history and great beaches.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • 6:30 p.m. Meet in the hotel lobby and Light the 6th Hanukah candle.
  • 7:30 p.m. Middle-Eastern-style Welcome dinner at Maganda, in Tel Aviv's Yemenite Quarter, with a varied menu of traditional salads and grilled meats; orientation with Rabbi Michael and the tour educator.

Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day Three: Monday, December 18, 2017

  • Breakfast at the hotel.


  • 8:30 a.m. Israel Society @ 2017 : Dialogue with social scientist Dr. Raviv Schwartz.
  • 11:00 a.m Visit the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot for an eye-opening tour of a clandestine munitions factory used during the British Mandate.
  • 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 and walk through the famous Jaffa Flea Market - “Shuk Hapishpishim”.
  • Lunch on own.
  • 3:00 p.m. Visit Independence Hall, where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948.

Option 1

  • Architecture in Tel Aviv: a view from a Middle-eastern "eclectic" beginning, through International Bauhaus style to the skyscrapers of modern Tel Aviv; walk along Rothchild Boulevard, Neve Tzedek and the new Tachana compound, for new insight into how changes in the urban landscape reflect the surrounding culture.


Option 2

  • LaDa'at Hebrew Writers: Guided walk through the streets of Neve Tzedek, using the writings of S.Y. Agnon. 
  • Dinner on own at the renovated Old Port of Tel Aviv, with its wonderful restaurants, cafés and shops, right on the water's edge.
  • 8:30 p.m. Gather at the hotel to Light the 7th Hanuka candle with Israeli friends from Congregation Brit Olam

Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day Four: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

  • Breakfast at the hotel.


  • Check out of the hotel, depart Tel Aviv and drive along the coastal plain
  • Guided visit to Caesarea, one of the Land of Israel's most important cities in the Roman Period. Visit the Herodian Theater and the excavations along the Mediterranean shore, concluding with a visit to the ruined 900-year-old Crusader town.

Option 1

  • Kibbutz ideology and Israeli Reality in the 21st Century: Meet kibbutz member and Founder of Kibbutz Barkai (arranged by Cantor Caro) with lunch en own route.

Option 2

  • Guided visit to Zichron Ya'acov, one of the first communities established by the early Zionist pioneers, including:
    • A walk through the colorful Pedestrian Mall with Lunch on own
    • A walk through the glorious Ramat Hanadiv Gardens, dedicated to Baron de Rothschild (the “Nadiv” or “Benefactor”), located on the outskirts of Zichron Ya'acov.


  • Visit the Zippori National Park, known for its extraordinary ancient mosaics and its central role in Jewish life after the destruction of the Temple.
  • Continue to the Upper Galilee to the kibbutz hotel and check in.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
  • Lighting of the 8th and final Hanukah candle.
  • Modern-day Kibbutz Life: Meet with a second-generation kibbutz member.

Overnight: Kibbutz Giladi Hotel, Upper Galilee

Day Five: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  • 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.

Option 1

  • Take a Jeep tour off-road up the Golan Heights in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and their battles in the Six-Day War. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • The panoramic views from Mt. Bental (overlooking the abandoned 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 (time permitting).

Option 2

  • Visit Emek Habecha ('the Valley of Tears') on the eastern edge of the Golan Heights, site of one of Israel's fiercest battles in the Yom Kippuer war.
  • Lunch on your own, in Katzrin.
  • View the remains of the Second Temple-period town of Gamla on the Golan Heights, site of one of the fiercest battles fought against the Romans during the Great Revolt. Walk to the Bird Observatory and enjoy the sight of the vultures from which Gamla is famous. as they effortlessly catch the updrafts where they nest. Conclude your visit with a short walk to the 150-foot high Gamla Waterfall.
  • Wine & Cheese Tasting at a local winery on the Golan Heights Winery.


  • Return to the hotel or visit the Naot Shoe Factory Shop
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Giladi Hotel, Upper Galilee

Day Six: Thursday, December 21, 2017

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.


  • Possible Bat Mitzvah Ceremony in Katzrin Talmudic Village and explore its archaeological remains, including the partially reconstructed synagogue and homes from a thriving ancient Jewish community.
  • Explore Tsfat, a center of Jewish mysticism from hundreds of years and a contemporary artists' colony, including:
    • Guided visit to the Ari, Caro or Abuhav Synagogue, 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 dialogues with local artisans inspired by the messages of Kaballah.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Drive past Tiberias, an ancient/modern city located on the shores of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). One of Israel's four holy Jewish cities, this is where the “Jerusalem” Talmud was codified and where Maimonides is buried.

Option 1

  • Visit Bio-Bee Bilogical Systems on Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, leading experts in the mass production of beneficial insects and mites for agricultural purposes. There is regional cooperation in this field with Palestinians and Jordanians.

Option 2

  • Visit Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the base of Jesus' Galilean ministry, with its remains of an ancient synagogue.


  • Continue along the Jordan Valley Rift and upon entering Jerusalem stop at Mount Scopus for an overlook of the Old and New City of Jerusalem and to recite the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Enjoy a night 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.

Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Seven: Friday, December 22, 2017 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Expirience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market, and buy products for lunch.
  • 11:00 a.m. Drive west to take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves; prepare to get your hands dirty uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago, followed by a crawl through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth (crawling is optional). Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park was recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Exactly 60 years ago, on a dark and cold January night, 35 Israeli Palmach fighters went on a mission to assist the defenders of the besieged Etzion Bloc. Not one of them returned to tell the story. Visit the memorial site at Lamed Hey (convoy of 35) that was built in their honor.
  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • From the Diaspora to Jerusalem: Take a walking tour through the colourful neighborhood of Nachlaot. Visit the various synagogues, walk through the narrow alleys and learn more about the different ethnic communities who make up the neighborhood's mosaic.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services with a local Reform congregation Kehillat B'kerem, followed by home hospitality dinner with congregants.

Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Eight: Saturday, December 23, 2017

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Shabbat services and Bar Mitzvah Ceremony at Beit Shmuel.
  • Lunch on own (Optional: lunch at the Armenian restaurant Bulghourji Restaurant in the Armenian Quarter; not included).

Option 1

  • Enter the Old City and take a Shabbat Walk through unexpected paths to Mt. Zion, with a visit to the Temple Mount Overlook and King David's Tomb and continue with a walk 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 century.
    • King Hezekiah's First Temple-period "Broad Wall".
    • Hurva Square, the central square of the Jewish Quarter.
  • Stop at the Kotel (Western Wall) to experience the special atmosphere of this holy site. 
  • Visit the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, including some of the Via Dolorosa, the church of the Holy Sepulchre and other Christian sites.
  • Return to the hotel.

Option 2

  • Take a taxi to visit 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.


  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Old City.
  • Free time to explore Downtown Jerusalem, including the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall and the Nachalat Shiva neighborhood, with dinner on own.
  • 8:45 p.m. Meet at the Jaffa gate and proceed to The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum: The walls of the Citadel serve as stage for a night-tim show a celebration of sight and sound that depicts the story of Jerusalem.

Overnight: Prima King Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Nine: Sunday, December 24, 2017

  • Breakfast at the hotel.


  • The Memory of the Holocaust in Contemporary Israeli Society: Dialogue with Holocaust scholar, Dr. Rachel Korazim.
  • Visit the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including:
    • The Avenue of the Righteous
    • The Historical Museum
    • The Children's Memorial

Kids under the age of 10

  • Visit the Biblical Zoo, a beautifully landscaped habitat with a special focus on preserving Biblical fauna, geared to children of all ages (2-80).


  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • Visit Ammunition Hill, site of a Jordanian Police Academy until 1967, and one of the most crucial battle sites for the unification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. (time permitting)

  • Giving Back with Pantry Packers: Participate in Tikkun Olam by packing commodity food staples for Israel's poorest families; after a brief orientation session, don gloves, aprons and caps in order to fill bags of rice, beans and other commodities. (pending confirmation)

  • Dinner on own, perhaps on the vibrant Emek Refaim Street, in Jerusalem's German Colony.

Overnight: Prima King Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Ten: Monday, December 25, 2017

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Descend to the Dead Sea Basin.
  • B'nai Mitzvahcelebration at Qumran, the area where the Dead Sea Sect establish a community, and the caves where the Dead sea Scrolls were found.

Option 1

  • Hike to Nahal Arugot the freshwater spring and waterfalls in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a lush oasis in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Experience an astonishing sense of weightlessness as you float in the super-saline Dead Sea.

Option 2

  • Ascend by cable-car or walk up the Snake Path 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.


  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • Dinner on own, perhaps at the Old Train Station Plaza, with its' fashionable restaurants featuring local and international cuisine.

Overnight: Prima Kings Hotel,Jerusalem

Day Eleven: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 BEYOND BORDERS

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Return to the Old City and explore the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem. Walk through the recently opened Second Temple-period tunnel under the walls of the Old City, emerging in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.


  • 9:00 a.m. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Western Wall alongside the Temple Mount.
  • Depart Jerusalem and drive south towards Gush Etzion.
  • Creating A Joint Future For Palestinians And Israelis: Meet with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, Ali Abu Awwad, Shaul Judelman who all live in the Bethlehem / Gush Etzion Area and founded the Roots coexistence project. The Roots project draws Israelis and Palestinians who, despite living next to each other, are separated by walls of fear- not just fear of each other, but even of the price of peace. Without building trust, the suspicions between these two communities will suffocate the political peace agreements.
  • Return to Jerusalem, stopping at the Haas Promenade fro closing ceremony.
  • Late check out from the hotel.
  • 6:30 p.m. Festive Farewell dinner.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport and check in for the departure flight to the USA.

Overnight: Flight

Day Twelve: Wednesday, December 27, 2017

  • Arrive in the USA.


Need to Know

  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 35 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.

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.
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