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Temple Shalom of Newton
Food, Wine, & Politics of Israel 2020
Led by Rabbis Allison Berry and Laura Abrasley

Day By Day
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* 7 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

* 1 group transfer and assistance to and from the airport

* All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary

* Meals: daily breakfast (private breakfast on March 26), 4 lunches & 4 dinners

* Portage at the airport and hotels

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).


Day One: Thursday, March 19, 2020

  • Depart the USA.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Friday, March 20, 2020 | Jerusalem Marathon
ARRIVAL | no guide

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion International Airport and transfer on own (not included in package) to your hotel followed by check in.
  • The City at NightIsrael’s food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself with dinner. We’ll be happy to make reservations and recommendations so that you can enjoy a night out at the Israeli restaurant ideal for you. 

Overnight:  Crowne Plaza, Tel Aviv


Day Three: Saturday, March 21, 2020

  • Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel. 
  • Meet your tour educator and depart Tel Aviv.
  • 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 (on own account) en route.
  • 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.
  • § Drive by Qumran, the area where the Dead Sea Sect established a community and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Crowne Plaza, Tel Aviv


Day Four: Sunday, March 22, 2020

  • Depart Tel Aviv and drive to Jerusalem. 
  • 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: 
  • 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.
  • Lunch on own en route. 
  • Explore the wonderfully creative Israel Museum, housing more than 5,000 years of cultural treasures. Highlights include the archaeology wing, with the most extensive collection of biblical artifacts in the world; the Jewish art and life wing; the fine arts wing; the sculpture garden; and the open-air model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Don’t miss the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered the world’s oldest existing biblical manuscripts.
  • Return to hotel with dinner on own. 

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight:  Crowne Plaza, Tel Aviv


Day Five: Monday, March 23, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of hotel and meet in the lobby to be transferred to Jerusalem (exact timing will be determined closer to date).
  • Check in to your hotel and start your journey with the Temple Shalom of Newton trip.  




Day One: Sunday, March 22, 2020

  • Depart Boston.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Monday, March 23, 2020

  • 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.
  • Welcome to JerusalemTransfer to the vibrant and colorful ancient city of Jerusalem and experience the convergence of the old and the new.
  • Meet your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Check into the hotel and freshen up.
  • Meet in the hotel lobby and depart the hotel.
  • A Window Into Israel & Our Journey: Orientation with the tour educator and rabbis over a private dinner at Anna, an Italian restaurant with a social agenda. Together with the Jerusalem municipality, Anna employs at-risk youth in their kitchen.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Three: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet.
  • Da'at Encounters: Navigate Your Way Through the Labyrinth of Israel Politics: Join Professor Reuven Hazan of the Political Science Department at Hebrew University for an introduction into Israel's turbulent political scene where coalition governments and powerful ideological divisions are a fact of life.


  • Pending confirmation: Take a tour of the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) and meet with a Knesset member to discuss current political issues.
  • Drive to the City of David.
  • Archaeology & Politics - Do They Mix? Meet with a representative of Emek Shaveh, an organization consisting of archaeologists and community activists, focusing on the role of archaeology in Israeli society and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Take a tasting tour in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Quarters of the Old City. Check out the culinary diversity and shared influences in multicultural Jerusalem by sampling hummus, tahina, and other classic local dishes. This doubles as a delicious
  • Jerusalem and the Cross: Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, will take us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the communities and holy sites of the Old City's Christian quarter. We'll experience the long history and astonishing variety of Christian groups in Jerusalem, meet local personalities and clergy and contemplate the complex situation facing Christian minority groups living in Israel and the modern-day Middle East.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Challenges and Triumphs of Religious Pluralism and Social Justice in Israel: Meet with Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
  • The City at Night: Israel's food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself with dinner (not included in package). We'll be happy to make reservations and recommendations so that you can enjoy a night out at the Israeli restaurant ideal for you.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Four: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Israel in the Mid-East Arena: Dialogue with  (Ret.) Miri Eisin, former advisor to the Prime Minister on foreign media.
  • Drive to Ramallah.
  • Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the West Bank, the controversial and complex area split between Israeli control and limited Palestinian self-government. The political center of the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah is sometimes called the “de facto capital of the state of Palestine.”
  • Life in Palestine, 2020: Tour the streets of Ramallah with Rami Nazzal, an internationally-published Palestinian journalist. He will provide an authentic, even-handed but raw, account of Palestinian life, politics, and aspirations.
  • Lunch at the Psagot Winery, accompanied by wine.
  • Our thoughts our journeys - reflection time led by Rabbis Allison Berry and Laura Abrasley.
  • Settlements & Settlers: Visit the Binyamin Region Visitor's Center, located on top of a mountain where the illegal settlement Migron used to be located; meet with members of the local community.
  • Return to Jerusalem for dinner (not included in package).

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Five: Thursday, March 26, 2020

  • Depart early to the Jewish Quarter through the Dung Gate and join the Women of the Wall for the Rosh Chodesh service.
  • Return to the hotel for breakfast in a private room and time for reflection and discussion.
  • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions, and 4 Quarters: Take a ride on Jerusalem's light rail, starting at the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood, continuing through the Arab villages of Shuafat and Beit Hanina, and the ultra-Orthodox area of Ramot Eshkol, ending at the Old City. Experience the mosaic and diversity of the Jerusalem population and discuss the differences between East and West Jerusalem and the ongoing struggles between the city's different communities.
  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Mahane Yehuda open-air market, with lunch (not included in package).
  • Beyond the Black Hat: The ultra-Orthodox world is vital and growing but remains unknown, even alien to many of us. Meeting Out of the Box aims to increase our understanding of this world through tours of the Haredi neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim. Guides from these communities will discuss their lifestyles, belief systems, dress codes and much more.
  • Stroll along the Ben Yehuda Street and Nahalat Shiva pedestrian malls, joining the many Israelis out on the town, with dinner on own.
  • Israeli Film and a Window In: Meet with students and teachers from the Ma'aleh Film School for screening and discussion, exploring the intersection of Judaism and modern life. Ma'aleh's unique, cutting-edge films attempt to foster a deeper understanding of the relationship between religious and secular Jews. While the school's graduates are shaping the future of Israeli film and television, they also provide a first-of-its-kind video therapy for youth-at-risk, Ethiopian immigrants, terror victims, and adults with special needs.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Six: Friday, March 27, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 9:30 a.m. 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.
  • Creating A Joint Future For Palestinians And Israelis: Meet with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger/ Shaul Judelman and Ali Abu Awwad who all live in the Bethlehem/Gush Etzion Area and founded the Roots coexistence project. The project draws Israelis and Palestinians who, despite living next to each other, are separated by walls of fear - not just of each other, but also of the price of peace. Without building trust, the suspicions between the two communities will suffocate the peace process.
  • Lunch (not included in package), en route.
  • Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.


  • Hiking in the Hills: Stretch your legs with a hike that will take you from the tree-laden beauty of the Jerusalem Hills down to the Sataf Springs. Along the way, witness how ancient methods of agricultural cultivation are being revived in modern Israel.
  • Meet at the hotel lobby and depart to Mevasseret Zion.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehilat Kamatz, led by Rabbi Alona Nir Keren.
  • Home hospitality Shabbat dinner/communal Shabbat dinner with local congregants OR festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Seven: Saturday, March 28, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • 9:30 a.m. Drive to the border of Gaza.
  • Hope Amidst the Fear: Israeli communities near the border with Gaza have endured thousands of rockets and other attacks over the last decade. We'll visit Kibbutz Kfar Aza and talk with Chen Kotler Abrahams about living and bringing up children in a place where terror and trauma are commonplace. Chen will explain why her mantra is “resilience” and how, despite it all, she still believes her Kibbutz is a beautiful place to live.
  • So Near Yet So Far: At the Black Arrow Monument, we will look out over nearby Gaza City and Jabalia and hear about life in the Gaza Strip, a crowded, impoverished area where 1.85 million Palestinians live. The monument itself is a reminder that the contemporary tensions along the Gaza border have deep roots. The memorial honors Israeli soldiers who died during 1955's Operation Black Arrow against Egyptian army posts in Gaza.
  • Boxed lunch.
  • 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 complemented by great beaches, stores, and entertainment.
  • Check into 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 Eight: Sunday, March 29, 2020

  • Optional: take a walk along the Tel Aviv Promenade on your own.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Da'at Encounters: 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 crocheted products. Kuchinate (meaning crochet in Tigrinya) is a collective that celebrates African art and culture while empowering women who seek asylum, many of whom suffered great hardships while fleeing to Israel. Here we'll 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.
  • What's Going on in Bohemian Tel Aviv? Join an expert on Tel Aviv's alternative scene for an urban adventure and graffiti tour. Explore the latest street art and find out what it reveals about life, ideas, and ideology in Israel's cultural capital.
  • 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 up as a delicious lunch.
  • The Art Scene in Tel Aviv: Visit the galleries which have put Tel Aviv at the forefront of the local and international art scene and meet with gallery owners for an insight into their world.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Mi Casa es Su Casa/Make Yourself at Home: Israel's culinary scene is filled with diversity from internationally-famous chefs to great street food. Find out why as we join a chef or wizard home cook for a private dinner. At EatWith, local and overseas foodies get to enjoy home-cooked dining and great conversation. Get to know your host's secret menus and cooking tips and enjoy great food in his or her home.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Nine: Monday, March 30, 2020

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Private breakfast at the hotel.
  • Da'at Encounters Israel and the Diaspora - Unity, not Uniformity: Dialogue with  Zohar Raviv recognized “as one of the most influential Jewish educators in the world” and a leading thinker on deepening the relationship between the Jewish people and Israel.
  • Our thoughts our journeys - reflection time led by Rabbis Allison Berry and Laura Abrasley.
  • An Israeli Scotch?! Take a tasting tour of the Milk & Honey Whisky Distillery, Israel's one, and only whiskey distillery. Learn how Israel got into the Scotch game, see the stages of making spirits - from grain to glass - and then raise your own glass in celebration of your journey. L'chaim! Cheers!
  • Enjoy lunch (not included in package) at the Sarona Market. Through the smells, flavors, and tastes of this renovated historical Templers town, explore the range of cuisine - from local street food to fine dining by world-renowned Israeli chefs.
  • Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Late check-out from the hotel (except for Petra extension).
  • Farewell Dinnerat:
    • Racha, a Georgian family restaurant offering a rich, happy, authentic, and culinary experience. Racha's authenticity is evident in every detail of its decoration. The hosts and chefs were born in Georgia's Racha region, while matriarch Tina conducts the family business.


  • Enjoy dinner at Deca, a gourmet restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine, focusing on fresh fish and superb cheeses, all supervised under the management of world-renowned chef, Haim Cohen.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport.

Overnight: Flight

Day Ten: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

  • Departure flight to US, arriving same day.

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 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.

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 Dec 01, 2019 (based on availability), thereafter the tour will be available for land-only services. Cancellation of group air reservations after Dec 01, 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.


  • 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
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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