Jewish Family Tour – A family-oriented cross-country tour of Israel over just a bit more than a week. From the north to the south, and everything in between, this route is a crash course in Israel’s most unique and beautiful sites. Specially designed to offer hands-on experiences that will allow families of all ages to explore their Jewish heritage together and discover the stories that have made this small strip of land such an important part of the world’s history.
Jewish tours to Israel – At Israel’s northern-most point, we will take a cable car to the country’s greatest vista- the Hermon Mountain. On the mountain’s peak, you will be treated to a view of the country’s northern landscape and neighbors, Jewish Family Tour, and will easily understand why the Hermon has dubbed “the eyes of the country”.
Following our descent, we will continue to Gamla, the camel-shaped city of the Second Temple period famous for its role in the Great Revolt against the Romans. A visit to the reconstructed Talmudic village of Katzrin– complete with costumes and stories- will allow all to step into the shoes of villagers living in the period following the Great Revolt.
From Katzrin we will cross the Jordan River into the Upper Galilee and visit the mystical city of Tzfat (Safed). One of the four holy cities of Israel, Tzfat was home to the great 16th century mystic Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, better known as the “Ari. Jewish Family Tour -” The old city’s diverse synagogues, Kabbalists, and colorful characters will make it clear why Tzfat is known as the city of wind and spirit.
Before traveling to our hotel in Haifa, we will make a prayer-stop at the nearby tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the famous Talmudic scholar credited with writing the fundamental Kabbalistic work “The Zohar”.
Jewish Family Tour – The Carmel and the Coast
Begin the day with a stroll through the beautiful and world-renowned Bahai Gardens, where we will learn about the unique Bahai religion. After a walking tour through Haifa’s diverse neighborhoods, we will then travel to Zichron Yaacov. One of the first settlements of the pre-Mandate Halutzim movement, Zichron was home to the Carmel Winery, as well as heroes like Sara Aaronson of the Nili spy ring. After patrolling the bevy of boutique stores and eateries lining the Zichron Yaacov pedestrian mall, we will visit Ramat HaNadiv– the garden memorial to the city’s founder, the famous Baron Edmund de Rotschild.
Jewish Family Tour A trip down the stunning Carmel coastline will take us to the Atlitimmigration detention camp, where we will discover the life that faced many of the immigrants who tried to sneak into Israel while under British rule. Our day will end with a visit even further back in time to Caesarea– the magnificent port city built by Herod, which would later become the Roman capital of Judea- followed by a drive to our hotel in Jerusalem.
Our visit to the country’s capital begins at the heart of it all, theWestern Wall, where we will stop to pray and meditate on the history of Jerusalem,Jewish tours to Israel, Nearby at the City of David national park, where King David founded the Jewish capital, we will have the chance to walk through the Bible. Home to significant archaeological finds, the City of David boasts both an ancient water system and Herodian era road- both of which are open for public exploration – Jewish Family Tour.
After understanding what life was like in the time of the kings, we will make a small trip to the Temple Mount Sifting Project and help discover near-lost treasures that shed light on the happenings atop of the Temple Mount thousands of years ago.
Before returning to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat, we will hop over to the Machane Yehuda Market for a true Jerusalemite experience. Known for its fresh produce, bread, and good prices, the “Shuk” is a popular spot for pre-Shabbat shopping, an experience that engages all of the senses. Back at the hotel we will prepare for Shabbat services and enjoy a lavish Shabbat meal together in the dining hall, Jewish tours to Israel.
Shabbat morning in the city of gold begins with services at the synagogue of your choice and is continued by free time and lunch. After lunch, we will take a relaxing tour of the Old City’s Jewish quarter, where we will hear the stories of those who settled in the rova and the challenges they faced during the War of Independence. Those who wish to continue stretching their legs can do so in the Mishkanot Shaa’nanim neighborhood, where we will experience firsthand Moshe Montefiore’s revolutionary vision of a neighborhood outside of the Old City Walls. A traditional seduat shlishit meal and havdalah service will conclude Shabbat.
After Shabbat, we will head out to Ben Yehuda Street for a taste of Jerusalem’s unique nightlife.
Gush Etzion + Shfelat Yehuda
Our day opens with a family-friendly learning session at the Har Etzion yeshiva in Alon Shvut, one of the primary settlements in the Gush Etzion bloc. From the yeshiva, we will travel Kfar Etzion and learn of the“Gush”’s history. Gush Etzion once knew of much harder times during the War of Independence but is now a modern and bustling center of communities just outside of Jerusalem.
Following lunch, we will travel to the Tel Azeka archaeological mound. Nestled in the beautiful forest of Brittania Park, Tel Azeka was once the Judean city of Azeka and overlooks the site of David’s legendary battle with Goliath.
The day continues with cave crawling at Chirbet Madras. During the time of the Bar Kokhba revolts, Jewish rebels and their families lived in the Madras caves, hiding there from Roman enemy forces. The narrow pathways lead to communal areas and are a thrilling way to understand what life was like while fighting with the great Bar Kokhba.
We will end our day with a visit to the Bet Guvrin national park, where we will further our understanding of life under Roman rule with visits to an ancient olive press, dove caves, underground cisterns, and more.
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Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea
Following an early wake-up, we will drive to the foot of the Masadamountain and begin our ascent to the legendary fortress (a cable car option is available). Famous for being the last stronghold of the Great Revolt against Rome, Masada was previously one of the fortified homes of King Herod. King Herod, famous for his eccentricities and monumental building projects, turned the Masada cliff into a palace complete with bathhouses and a swimming pool.
We will descend Masada by cable car and enjoy breakfast before moving on to the Ein Gedi national park. Blessed with an abundance of natural springs, Ein Gedi is a patch of green in the middle of the dry Judean Desert. These unique conditions create a home for beautiful wildlife, as well as an ancient Jewish community whose synagogue can still be seen today.
Before continuing our drive south, we will have time to relax by the beautiful Dead Sea and float in its famous and rejuvenating salty waters.
Though the Negev is famous for being a desert, this morning we will get our hands dirty working with agriculturalists on one of the many projects set to add green to the southern scenery, while learning about the ancient desert lifestyles of the Jews, Bedouins, and Nabateans. The blooming of the Negev was a vision held by David Ben Gurion before the establishment of the State. Nearby Kibbutz Sdeh Boker– our next stop- is where he chose to live his life in a modest house that we will visit. After going behind the scenes in Ben Gurion’s life, we will pay our respects at the grave he shares with his wife Paula, in a spot overlooking the breath-taking Zin Valley.
Jewish tours to Israel – our trip continues at the nearby makhtesh– a crater created by years of sedimentary deposits and erosion. One of the world’s few makhteshim, it offers us a glimpse into the rich history of Mother Earth. The different minerals deposited in the sand of the makhtesh offer a natural variety of colors and a fun craft activity for parents and children alike. A hiking option is available for those who wish to further explore the geology of the Negev.
After breakfast, we will head out to the Jaffa port. The only port in Israel For centuries, Old Jaffa was the gateway to the country, and both the port and its neighborhood of winding alleyways hold a plethora of legends and stories. A quick visit to the local Pishpushim Marketplace will test your bargaining skills and might land you a treasure for cheap.
We will then head into Tel Aviv, where we will learn about Israel’s evolution from prehistoric villages to a modern cultural hub at the Eretz Israel Museum. On our way to the location of Israel’s emotional declaration of independence in 1948, we will pass the famous Bauhaus International style of architecture that earned Tel Aviv UNESCO World Heritage status. We will end our trip in Israel where the modern country was born, Independence Hall, learning about the challenges that bore the county we have seen over this past week.