Led by Rabbi Aaron Starr

December 22nd – 31st, 2020

Day 1: Tuesday, December 22nd – Arrival + Desert Caravan

Day depends on arrival time

Welcome to Israel -   ברוכים הבאים

  • Lunch on your own – Beit Shemesh

  • Ethiopian Village – The Beta Israel Village Project is a unique social- business that combines agricultural and educational activities with the intent of preserving Jewish-Ethiopian heritage and establishing it as a sustainable national asset.

  • Tel Be'er Sheva - Tel Be’er Sheva, the area in which the forefathers of the Jewish nation (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) lived and worked, is an important biblical tel – one of three from the days of the Bible that UNESCO has included in its list of world heritage sites.

  • Dinner at the hotel


Overnight: Beresheet, Mitzpe Ramon

Day 2: Wednesday, December 23rd – Exploring the Crater

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Hike on the rim of the crater - We will do a short hike around the machtesh, where we will have a window into the earth.

  • ATV Ride in the Ramon Crater - We will depart towards Road 40 (Independence Road), descending into the Crater. Then we'll mount Gvanim Mountain (Color Mountain) for the first spectacular observation of the crater. On our way to the "Nekarot Horseshoe," we will pass Saharonim Kahn (Crescent Inn- an ancient Nabatean inn) and will descend the Maale Dkalim Road (palm road)- a challenging technical segment. We'll proceed driving on the crater walls towards the famous geological dikes in Ardon Wadi. There, we will connect with the Ramon Color Road, the restored quarries of the area. We'll return on Road 40 to the incense/ spice route quarter. Throughout the trip, we'll have breaks for photographs, coffee/ tea, as well as explanations about the area.

  • ** The specific route may vary according to the season and weather conditions.

  • Bedouin Experience - Ride a camel through a desert trail to see the crater view and then back to our tent and we will be served lunch. See how Bedouin bread is made under the fire, how they take out the chicken meat that was cooked few hours in the ground under the fire and we will be served it on rice with a few fresh salads that are prepared on the spot. Sit on the ground with pillows while you sip on tea and coffee and enjoy the famous Bedouin hospitality

  • Siesta at the hotel – Relax at the hotel and some fun time at the spa

  • Dinner at the hotel

  • Star Gazing - At night, we'll have a mesmerizing experience – watching the stars at the desert with a telescope, with an astronomy expert, while we sit around a bonfire and drink coffee and tea.

Overnight: Beresheet, Mitzpe Ramon

Day 3: Thursday, December 24th – Blazing a Trail

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Avdat – The site of a ruined Nabataean city in the Negev desert in southern Israel. It was the most important city on the Incense Route after Petra, between the 1st century BCE and the 7th century CE.

  • Nana Winery - Nana is a high-altitude winery, set some 800m above sea level atop Mt Ramon. This location, in the middle of the Negev desert, overlooking the Mahktesh Ramon crater, makes for an unusual but inspiring place to cultivate grapes.

  • Desert Picnic – Delicious food prepared for us by a private chef

  • Solar Energy Research Center Sde Boker – The Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center at Midreshet Ben-Gurion is the national alternative energy research institute of Israel. After a tour of the facility, we will visit the solar fields and learn about how Israel is powered by the desert sun.

  • Dinner at the hotel

Overnight: Beresheet, Mitzpe Ramon

Day 4: Friday, December 25th – Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Early Start

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Boat Ride and Kayaks on the Dead Sea – Exploring the Dead Sea as you have never experienced before. On our journey, we will find salt crystals in different shapes and sizes, and surrounding the Dead Sea are the powerful mountains: on the east, Moav Mountains, on the west, the cliffs of He'etekim and Dragot.

  • Lunch on your own – on the way

  • Qumran - This archaeological site is located near the Dead Sea.  It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, in caves in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marl terrace.

  • Check-in and freshen up for Shabbat

  • Shabbat Enters – 16:02

  • Kabbalat Shabbat and Shehecheyanu at the Davidson Center/Egalitarian Section

  • Shabbat Dinner at the hotel


Overnight: Herbert Samuel, Jerusalem

Day 5: Saturday, December 26th – Shabbat in the Holy City

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Bnei Mitzvah Ceremony – Beit Shmuel

  • Lunch at Beit Shmuel

  • Option for:

  • Relaxed Shabbat on your own

  • Or:

  • Exploring the Christian and Muslim Quarters - Discovering the significant sites at each quarter, including the Muslim Quarter with the colorful Arab market, the Christian Quarter with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Dolorosa.

  • Ramparts Walk - View the city of Jerusalem from atop of the Old City walls via a Ramparts Walk whereby you walk on most of the ancient city’s walls.

  • For Everyone:

  • Havdallah – Shabbat Ends 17:22

  • Dinner on your own

  • Optional addition of:

  • Light and Sound Show - The walls of the Citadel serve as a stage for a nighttime show which is a celebration of sight and sound. Amidst the archaeological remains in the Citadel’s courtyard and to the sound of original music, the story of Jerusalem unfolds through giant breathtaking, virtual reality images.

Overnight: Herbert Samuel, Jerusalem

Day 6: Sunday, December 27th – Wine Culture and Biblical Cooking

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Ein Kerem – A serene place on the terraced slopes of Mt. Eitan, where ancient mountainous agriculture is practiced as it was by the Israelites thousands of years ago. The 250-acre site is maintained as a reconstruction of ancient agricultural methods. All the work is done by hand, or with the help of farm animals, without any machinery or use of pesticides.

  • Biblical Culinary Workshop – Deep in the Judean Hills we will tour the surrounding forests and gather ingredients for our meal. Afterward, we will work together to turn our hand-picked ingredients into a delicious meal.

  • Judean Wine Country – A tour of one many boutique wineries in the area (to be determined). Family owned and operated, the vineyards and wineries blend their love of the craft, the area, and their grapes into exquisite wines.

  • Guest Speaker – Kahled Abu Toameh - an Israeli Arab journalist, lecturer and documentary filmmaker. Abu Toameh writes for The Jerusalem Post and for the New York-based Gatestone Institute, where he is a senior distinguished fellow.

  • Dinner on your own


Overnight: Herbert Samuel, Jerusalem

Day 7: Monday, December 28th – Jerusalem the New

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Yad Va'Shem –Visit the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and experience the memorial from behind the scenes.

  • Lunch - on your own

  • Dual Narrative Tour – Visit the two sides of the infamous separation wall as we dive into the details of the dual narrative of the Holy City and the surrounding area.  We will tour the Israeli side with our Israeli guide and by the afternoon we will cross to the other side, to Bethlehem, with our Palestinian guide who will host us for an authentic home-cooked meal. This will give us a unique opportunity to explore both perspectives and narratives of the ongoing conflict and give us a better understanding of Israel, and also a glimpse into the daily lives of everyday people on either side.

  • Free time for shopping

  • Drive to Tel Aviv

  • Dinner on your own


Overnight: Hilton, Tel Aviv

Day 8: Tuesday, December 29th – Israel's Heartland + Partnership Evening

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Emek Hefer - Have a taste of Beni's shopping route in the Valley of Emek Hefer and meet the local people and learn about their businesses of olive oil productions, cheese farms, organic farming, bakeries, coffee shops and much more. We will take a tour through Emek Hefer, the most developed area in Israel of farm to table. This incredible valley is close to the sea and is full of farm to table local, independent families and businesses that support the economy.

  • Picnic Lunch  

  • Partnership Evening – to be determined

  • Home Hospitality Dinner


Overnight: Hilton, Tel Aviv

Day 9: Wednesday, December 30th – Nonstop City

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Peres Center for Innovation - The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, founded in 1996 by the late President of Israel, Shimon Peres, develops and implements impactful and meaningful programs with a focus on promoting a prosperous Israel, nurturing and highlighting Israeli innovation, and paving the way for shared-living between all of Israel's citizens and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors.

  • Tikva/Levinsky Market Culinary Tour - The famous spices and herbs market with a local guide, where we will get a unique taste of Israel through the many spices that give a unique flavor to the many ethnic dishes that embody the concept of "Israeli Cuisine".

  • Lunch and Free Time in Sarona - Sarona combines a unique architectural history with a dynamic urban experience. Together they create a center of culture, leisure, and shopping in a relaxed and upscale atmosphere. The renewed colony includes an urban park and the accurately restored original 37 buildings of the Templar settlement. These have been transformed into elegant cafes, ritzy restaurants, high-end art galleries and an assortment of specialty shops.

  • Milk and Honey Distillery/Whiskey Museum – Tour "The Milk and Honey", Israel's first distillery where you will learn about the history and process of the spirit making and finish with some tastings, of course!

  • Farewell Dinner and Imrov Workshop


Overnight: Hilton, Tel Aviv

Day 10: Thursday, December 31st – From Independence to Innovation

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Independence Hall - where Ben Gurion declared the independence of Israel in 1948- a story worth hearing. A Tel Aviv landmark which we will view from the outside.

  • Palmach Museum - An experiential museum, covering the Palmach legacy through the stories of individuals and groups.

  • Lunch on your own – Tel Aviv Port

  • IDA – In this immersive IDA program we will learn from former special operative officers about the great lengths IDF soldiers go to train and be ready for anything and everything. Krav Maga, weapons training, urban combat, and more.

  • Dinner - on your own

  • Departure



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Ha’Calanit 49a Elyachin, Israel, 3890800

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