The Grand Bar Mitzvah /Bat Mitzvah Tour, each Family is unique, and the turbulent Jewish history created a colorful mosaic of costumes & beliefs that makes each Bar Mitzva /Bat Mitzvah a one-of-its kind event. Hence, the following program is only a suggestion – a foundation on which our experts will specially design yourcustom-made itinerary according to your budget, schedule, and special traditions and needs… We will carefully choose the sites you visit and accommodate you according to your choice and abilities, be it a Luxury Hotel or our special Kibbutz Biblical Campsite “Emek David” – all in an effort to make it the once-in-a-lifetime experience it ought to be!!!
Starting Day: Sunday
Arrival – Jaffa – Welcome Dinner
Arriving at the Ben Gurion International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative, who will help you through the formalities and introduce you to the private guide we assigned to make this journey meaningful. We drive to the ancient city of Jaffa, the gateway to the Land of Israel, desired by generations of Jews. This is the perfect place to stroll through the alley-ways, watch the sun set over the Tel Aviv Seaside, and slowly get acquainted with the Land of Israel. Together with your guide you will have a local Israeli Welcome-Dinner and then you shall have a long night sleep in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv: Independence Hall – Bauhaus – Carmel Market – Nachalat Binyamin -Palmach Museum – Diaspora House
We set out later than usual, in order to overcome our jet-lag, and dedicate the whole day to the “First Hebrew City” – Tel Aviv. We start with the “Independence Hall”, House of Tel Aviv’s first mayor, where David Ben Gurion declared the independence of the State of Israel. We stroll through the Rothshild Boulevard, famous for its special BAUHAUS-Architecture that made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the colorful (and noisy…) Carmel Market and get a taste of Israel, after which you can always feel the Avant-Garde culture at the Nachalat Binyamin Pedestrian Zone and fancy Sheinkin Street. At the Tel Aviv University we visit two state-of-the-art museums: The “Diaspora House” that connects you to the Jewish Culture, where you can get the history of your family’s name/s from the Museum’s computer, and the Palmach-Museum, where they audio-visually show you the struggle for the creation of the State of Israel. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Caesarea – Alona-Park – Zichron Yaacov – Gan Hanadiv – Haifa
We drive along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Roman Port-City Caesarea, magnificently built by Herod King of Judea. Experience adventure at the Alona-Park where you will crawl through man-made tunnels, created in order to bring water to Caesarea. From here it is a short distance to Zichron Yakov, one of the pioneer villages sponsored by the Baron Rothshild, which still keeps the atmosphere of those days. After lunch we visit GAN HANADIV, the Memorial Park dedicated to the Rothshild Family, combining the history of the re-settlement of the Land of Israel with the special views and past of the region. We end the day at the famous Haifa Panorama Lookout, overlooking the marvelous Baha’i Gardens – a World Heritage Site. Check-in for 3 nights at a Kibbutz-Guesthouse in Galilee.
Acco (Acre) – Rosh Hanikra – Zefat (Safed) – Dinner & Kabbalah Night Tour
Drive to Acco (Acre) to visit the underground “Knights Halls” extraordinarily preserved since the Crusader Times, the Acco-Prison, remembering the brave Jewish underground-fighters who were imprisoned and executed by the British here, the Turkish Bath where “The Last Bath Attendant” will tell you some of Acco’s Legends, after which you will experience the typical Bazaar, with the colors and odors of the orient… In Acco we will also visit the Tunisian “Or Hatorah” Synagogue, a life-endeavor of a simple Jew who created a unique synagogue, covered with mosaics that depict the Jewish History & Religion. Drive to Rosh Hanikra right at the Lebanese Border, where we will go by cable-car down into the grottos carved by the sea… Driving along the “Northern Road” we reach Zefat (Safed) – Capital of the Kabbalah. Towards sunset we tour the different synagogues and look at some art-galleries, before entering a local restaurant for dinner. Night-time is when the real Kabbalah-Experience begins! A Kabbalist will meet us, and lead us on a spiritual night-tour through Safed, to get the spiritual teachings of the Kabbalah right under our skin! Spiritually aroused we return to our Kibbutz for Over-Night.
Kibbutz Tour – Hula Park with “Ophoria” – Jeep-Tour to Golan Heights – Lunch with Security Lecture – Ancient Katzrin
After breakfast one of the Kibbutz-members will join us for a tour through the Kibbutz. We board the bus and drive to the Hula Nature Reserve, experiencing the “Ophoria”- presentation that binds the Zionist ideas of the pioneers with modern environmental thinking of Bird- & Water-Conservation. Now we have a rough Jeep-Tour where we climb to the Golan Heights, experiencing its strategic value and its challenges in past and present. Have Lunch at the “Sharila” Restaurant overlooking the borders to Syria and Lebanon. Afterwards meet with Ret. Colonel Kobi Marom, who will talk with you about the current situation in the area. In the afternoon visit the ancient synagogue and reconstructed Talmudic Village in Katzrin where you will experience how the Jewish Law was created. Overnight in Galilee Kibbutz.
Dig-for-a-day at Beth Guvrin – Biblical Lunch at Emek David – Ranger-Tour – Mt. Scopus – Western Wall
We drive on the ultra-modern Yitzhak Rabin Highway, getting a chance for a close look at the Security Fence. “Highway 6” shortens our way to Beth Guvrin, where we participate in archaeological excavations of man-made caves, digging down into our past with our own hands! A short drive brings us to the Valley of the Therabynth, to “Emek David”, where the symbolic battle between David & Goliath took place. Here we have a “Biblical Lunch” that will take us back in time to those glorious days when David, son of Jesse, just turned Bar Mitzvah… Now we experience the modern Bar Mitzvah adventure riding special self-drive 4×4 vehicles searching for traces of our ancient king, before we ascend to The Holy City – Jerusalem! We will welcome the Shabbat from Mt. Scopus, overlooking the Old City and Temple Mount, continuing to the Western Wall, where we can do the Kabbalat Shabbat together with Jews from all over the world. Overnight in Jerusalem or Emek David.
Bar Mitzvah Celebration
The great day has come! It’s time to read the Torah and celebrate the Bar/Bat Mitzvah! As every Bar Mitzvah celebration is special, we will plan the details together with you. We offer a special, “out-of-the-box celebration” at our private site in the Kibbutz. We will arrange our Private Synagogue, “Hechal David”, especially for you, adjusting it to your needs, and you can spend the Shabbat Bar Mitzvah at our biblical site in the Kibbutz! O/N as before.
Jerusalem Old City: City of David – Davidson Center – Wailing Wall – Jewish Quarter – Temple Institute – Western Wall Tunnel
Visit the City of David, the very ancient Jerusalem, “where it all began”, including (those who dare!) walking in the water through the almost 3000-year-old Hezekiah’s Tunnel. At the Davidson Center we can see the recent excavation of the Southern wall of the Temple Mount and hear in an audio-visual presentation about the Jewish Pilgrims who ascended 3 times a year to the Temple in Jerusalem. Now we have a thorough tour of the Western Wall (Kotel) and the Jewish Quarter, including the “Temple Institute” where you can see the reconstructed tools as they were used in the temple! After dinner we will drive back to the “Wailing Wall” for a night-visit of the famous “Western Wall Tunnel” which will bring us as close as possible to the “Holy of Holiest”.O/N in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem New City: Yad Vashem – Knesset Menorah – Israel Museum
This day is dedicated to the New City of Jerusalem: Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial. If applicable, we can organize a ceremony at the memorial of your original community at “The Valley of the Lost Communities”. Then we visit the Menorah (Candelabra) situated in front of the Knesset building, housing Israel’s Parliament. In the afternoon we will visit the recently renovated Israel Museum, take a look at the 1:50 Model of Jerusalem during the time of the Second Temple and the “Shrine of the Book”, housing the original Dead Sea Scrolls. A Bar Mitzvah Tour includes, of course, the new Judaica exhibition! Overnight in Jerusalem.
Tzedaka (Charity) – Neighborhoods & Machane Yehuda Market – Time Elevator
Becoming an adult also means to take responsibility towards society. That’s why we will spend the whole morning in Tzedaka (Charity) activities of your choice: Be it aiding Holocaust-survivors, bringing food to the poor or help the handicapped, we will return the blessing we received to the needy. In the afternoon we will stroll through the Machane Yehuda Market and Jerusalem’s different neighborhoods, hear the legends and breathe this special Jerusalem atmosphere… At the “Time Elevator” we will go back in time to the Eternal City’s rich history. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Masada – Ein Gedi – Dead Sea
Early rise to climb Masada for Sunrise (or not…). If you wish, it is also possible to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah ceremony & read the Torah in the synagogue on top of Masada! Hike through the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, rich in water and wildlife. We end the day at the Dead Sea, taking advantage of its known healing qualities. Overnight in Jerusalem.