Israel at 70 Celebration

Shalom! Join the Lehrhaus Judaica and Tiyul family and embark on a journey to Israel. The trip will include many of the popular sites – such as the Western Wall and Masada but also give you the opportunity to go off the beaten track and meet with the people of Israel. You will get to enjoy Israel in one of the most climactic weeks of the year as the State commemorates its fallen and celebrates 70 years of Independence. You will be cared for and looked after by your scholars and staff from Tiyul- Jewish Journeys together with an experienced tour educator who will open up windows into the wonders and complexity of Israel, her sights, sounds and people.

Achievements, Challenges, and Ancient Treasures

Jerusalem / Tel Aviv / Haifa

April 9-20, 2018

Petra & Eilat


April 20-24, 2018

In partnership with Lehrhaus Judaica

Program is subject to change.
The Tracks require sign up before arriving in Israel

Day 1 – Sunday, Apr. 8


Option 1: United nonstop SFO-Tel Aviv at 8:00 pm

Option 2: Turkish Airlines via Istanbul at 6:00pm

Day 2 – Monday, Apr. 9


8:00 pm Arrival of United direct flight from San Francisco.
Group transfer to Jerusalem.
Check into hotel

10:00 pm Arrival of Turkish airways flight from San Francisco via Istanbul.
Group transfer to Jerusalem.
Check into hotel

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 3 – Tuesday, Apr. 10


Today we spend our day in Israel’s historical capital, Jerusalem, discovering its ancient and contemporary wonders.

8:30 am Introduction to Israel, to the trip and to each other with scholars Dr. Jehon Grist and Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan and with tour educator, Dr.Joe Freedman (private room in hotel)

9:30 am Depart for an overview of old and new Jerusalem from the Hass Promenade. Guided walk through the Old City of Jerusalem focusing on the Jewish Quarter - including the Hurva synagogue, Southern Wall excavations, the Kotel (Western Wall) and Herodian Mansions

1:00 pm Lunch

3:00 pm Continue exploring the sites and alleyways of the Old City.

6:30 pm Dinner on own and free evening in Jerusalem in Machane Yehuda which transforms from a fruit and vegetable market to the buzz of restaurants and bars in the evening hours (we will be happy to make dinner reservations on your behalf)

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 4 – Wednesday, Apr.11

(Erev Yom Hashoa – eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day)
(B, D)

A look at how Israel understands and commemorates the holocaust and how it has and continues to shape Israeli society.

8:00 am "Understanding the Significance of the Holocaust in Israeli Society," with educator Rachel Korazim (at hotel).

9:00 am Depart for visit to the historical museum of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, including the Avenue of the Righteous of the Nations and a visit to the Children's memorial

1:30 pm Lunch on own in Beit Hakerem open mall or at the Shalva social enterprise restaurant staffed by young people with disabilities. Visit to Mount Herzl , Israel's national military cemetery for fallen soldiers of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and leaders of the nation; visit selected graves of Israel's Prime Ministers to understand how the cemetery and those who are buried there have become a symbol of Israel's civil society. Take the light rail to city hall in Safra Square

6:30 pm Dinner at hotel (restaurants and recreational centers are closed this evening out of respect for Holocaust Remembrance Day)

7:30 pm Depart to one of the Holocaust memorial ceremonies at local community center or school which begins at 8pm

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 5 – Thursday Apr. 12

(Yom Hashoa ve Ha'gvura –Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism.) (B, D)

Today, we descend to the Judean Desert, as we learn of the legendary story of the Masada fortress and the role it has played in Modern Israel. The colorful landscape of the Dead Sea will be the backdrop of our day as we encounter the desert at its best.

8:30 am Depart for Qumran national park near the Dead Sea , to walk through the excavations where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 and contain both biblical and sectarian scrolls

10:00 am Two minute siren will be sounded throughout the county in honor of those who perished in the Holocaust

11:30 am Continue south to Masada

12:30 pm Lunch on own in the food court
Ascend the ancient mountain fortress by cable car for guided tour of the extensive excavations

4:00 pm Time for a float in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth

6:30 pm Depart for dinner at Canaanite restaurant in the Judean desert for dinner under the stars followed by a drumming circle

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 6 – Friday, Apr. 13


Today, we look at the significance of these days in the Jewish calendar and their impact on Israel and the Jewish people; a look at some different facets of Israeli society; change of pace as we move into Shabbat gear.

8:30 am "Current Events in Israel: What the Weekend Papers are Talking About," with journalist (at hotel)

10:30 am Depart in parallel tracks
Track 1: Israel in the 21st century – visit one of Jerusalem's hi- tech companies to get a sense of why Israel has such a central world in the international market place
Track 2: Social Enterprise – visit one of the growing number of social enterprises in Israel – where non-profits have adopted a business model to ensure sustainability

1:00 pm Lunch on own at bustling Machane Yehuda market or the First Station complex or along Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall; free time Return to hotel to rest and prepare for Shabbat

6:30 pm Meet in lobby to light candles and depart for the Western Wall for Kabbalat Shabbat. Shabbat dinner with "Shabbat of a Lifetime," hosted in the home of a Jerusalem family.

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 7 – Saturday, Apr. 14


Enjoy the slower pace of Shabbat – whether you are observant traditional or secular, there is a Shabbat experience to be enjoyed.

10:00 am Depart for guided visit to selected exhibitions at the Israel museum with Dr. Jehon Grist and Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Pusan

Lunch on own

3:00 pm Free afternoon and evening with dinner on own Optional: Sound and Light Spectacular at Jaffa gate or Cultural event (TBD – at extra cost)

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 8 – Sunday, Apr. 15


A look at some competing voices and visions for the future of Israel and Palestine

8:30 am Depart for the town of Efrat in Gush Etzion, driving alongside the separation/security fence, with a stop on the way to appreciate the proximity of the Jewish and Palestinian populations and to meet with Shmil Atlas, Executive Director of the Efrat fund for an insight into the importance of settlements such as Efrat for Israel's security

Lunch on own

2:00 pm Meet with staff from Ir Amim (“City of Peoples”) a nonprofit organization which focuses on Jerusalem in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a guided drive through Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods to understand the challenges facing the city (and the country).

5:00 pm "Is Co-Existence an Option in the Middle East?" meet with members of Family Forum- bereaved Jews and Palestinians who have lost family members to the conflict, but come together with an understanding for the need for dialogue and co-existence

7:00 pm Dinner on own and free evening

Overnight - Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 9 – Monday, Apr. 16


Breakfast at hotel followed by check out.

Depart for Latrun, strategic hill top on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and location of battles during the reign of Joshua, and later with the Maccabees; in contemporary history, the Battle of Latrun was a central to keeping Jerusalem connected with the rest of the country during Israel's War of Independence

Continue to Tel Gezer, to visit the excavations dating back from the Bronze Age to Biblical times

1:00 pm Lunch and wine tasting at the Bravdo boutique winery at Carmey Yosef where the ancient art of winemaking has become a modern day industry

2:30 pm Depart for short guided walk through the Neot Kedumim Biblical Nature and an opportunity to plant a tree in the reserve

5:00 pm Depart for Tel Aviv; check into hotel

Free night in Tel Aviv and dinner on own

Overnight - Orchid Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 10 – Tuesday, Apr 17

THE CARMEL: MOSAIC OF ISRAELI COMMUNITIES Eve of Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day) (B, L, D)

As Israel moves towards its 70th year of independence, we encounter some of the different minorities who make up the modern State of Israel.

8:30 am Depart for Haifa for a guided visit the Baha'i Gardens to view the wondrous geometrical gardens and learn about the Baha'i teachings which focus on the notion that humankind is one, that the prejudices and barriers that divide humanity must be overcome, and that the unity of all peoples must be established through the evolution of the social order

10:30 am "Intentional Communities: Modern Day Pioneers," depart for meeting with members of one of Israel's urban young centers in the Hadar neighborhood of Haifa who are part of a nationwide movement to settle in towns and villages on the geographical or social periphery of society in order to strengthen the community that they have become a part of 1:00 pm Lunch and home hospitality at the Druze Village of Daliyat Hacarmel in the Carmel Mountains and an opportunity to learn about the Druze citizens and their significant role and contribution to Israeli society Depart for Tel Aviv

6:00 pm Dinner at hotel (restaurants and recreational centers are closed this evening out of respect for Memorial Day)

7:30 pm Depart for Yad Lebanim to participate in the Yom Hazikaron ceremony. A two minute siren will sound at 8pm to mark the beginning of Memorial Day

Overnight - Orchid Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 11 – Wednesday, Apr. 18


The atmosphere of Yom Hazikaron is very prevalent – in the media, in the public space and then the dramatic change to celebration as we begin Yom Ha'atzmaut in the evening.

9:00 am Depart for the Old City of Jaffa for an overview of the coastline and the port that was once the first port of call for immigrants to the Land of Israel. Poetry tour through Jaffa

11:00 am A two minute siren is sounded throughout Israel to honor the lives of those who have died through wars and terror. Guided walk through Neve Tzedek, one of early neighborhoods that developed outside of Jaffa to learn about the establishment and growth of Tel Aviv.

12:30 pm Lunch on own

2:00 pm Visit Israel’s Independence Hall and hear the story of Israel’s Declaration of Independence proclaimed there on May 14, 1948.

7:00 pm Transitioning: From Mourning to Celebration, a Country in Transition,"

8:00 pm Dinner on own and free evening to enjoy the festivities of Yom Ha'atzmaut

Overnight - Orchid Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 12 – Thursday, Apr. 19

YOM HA’HATZMAUT – Celebrating 70 Years of Independence (B, L)

Just before leaving, we explore Israel’s first Hebrew city, and ways Israel is making a difference in the world today.

Late morning start; Independence Day celebrations to include watching the traditional flyover as it passes over the Tel Aviv coastline; possible visit to the Tel Aviv art museum or walking tour (TBD)

1:00 pm Festive Independence Day lunch with wrap up discussion
Free afternoon to walk along the promenade, watch the crowds, enjoy the beach

9:00 pm Depart for airport for United Airlines flight at 1:00 am on Friday Apr 20; or for those flying Turkish Airways, overnight at hotel and early morning departure

Overnight - Orchid Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 13 – Friday, Apr. 20


6:00 am Arrival in SFO (United Airlines flight)

5:15 am Depart for Ben Gurion airport for those flying on Turkish Airways at 8:40 am 5:00 pm Arrival in SFO (Turkish Airlines flight)



Day 1 – Friday, Apr. 20


9:00 am Depart for a Bauhaus architecture tour Tel Aviv

11:00 am Time to enjoy the Nachalat Binyamin arts and crafts market and the Carmel market.

Lunch on own. Free afternoon

Kabbalat Shabbat at Beit Tefila congregation. Shabbat dinner at hotel

Overnight - Orchid Plaza Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 2 – Saturday, Apr 21


Free morning. Check out of hotel

Flight to Eilat from Sde Dov domestic airport located in Northen Tel Aviv
Drive from Eilat to the Arava border with Jordan, drive to Petra.
Check into hotel; dinner at hotel

Overnight - Movenpick Hotel, Petra

Day 3 – Sunday Apr 22


Guided visit to the excavations at Petra. Wandering through the mystic narrows of the Siq (made famous in the film Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail); we’ll venture into a world filled with the most colorful sandstone monuments on the planet, from the Treasury (Khazneh) to the Silk Tomb. Lunch at the Basin restaurant located at the heart of the ancient Rose City. Free time to explore on your own. Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight - Movenpick Hotel, Petra

Day 4 – Monday Apr 23


Discover the Gulf of Eilat’s breathtaking underwater reefs at the submarine observatory, the Turkish police station dating back to the time of Lawrence of Arabia, and other exciting sites on a warm and leisure day. Farewell dinner

Overnight - Orchid Hotel Eilat

Day 5 – Tuesday, Apr 24


Flight from Eilat to Sde Dov. Drive to Orchid Hotel to pick up luggage. Depart on United to SFO at 1:00am (April 25).

Those who fly Turkish Airlines the following day will need an extra night in Tel Aviv on April 24.

Trip Scholar: Dr. Jehon Grist, COO/Senior Educator of Lehrhaus Judaica, holds a Ph.D. in Mediterranean History and Archaeology from UC Berkeley. He has been a professional educator for 40 years, a tour leader for 21 and produces Lehrhaus Pre-Tour courses. These fully narrated and richly illustrated online programs introduce the history and culture of our destinations and also preview the sites we'll visit on the tour.

Trip scholar: Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan, who served for 20 years as rabbi and senior educator at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, assumed his duties as Rabbi and Senior Educator for Lehrhaus Judaica in October 2010. After a decade of creating Ketubot, printmaking, working in informal education traveled back to Israel in 1985 to learn at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and became a rabbi in 1990.

Tour Leader: Ariel Goldstein CEO at Tiyul Jewish Journeys, was born in Uruguay, studied Latin American history in Montevideo and then studied tourism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he graduated as Tour Guide in 1998. He has led tours throughout Israel, Europe, Persian Gulf, Latin America, Africa, China, India and United States. Ariel speaks Spanish, English, Hebrew and Portuguese.

Tour Educator: Joe Freedman Joe holds an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and an Ed.D from Teacher's College, Columbia University. He came on aliyah from the US in 1980 and lives with his family in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Until recently Joe served as the Director of the Ramah Programs in Israel. Previously, he worked as Director of In-Service Training at Hebrew University's Melton Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora. He was Director of the Ramah Israel Seminar from 1986-1999, during which time he also earned his tour guide license issued by Israel's Ministry of Tourism.

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