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Sample Itinerary 2022

Please note that the itinerary is subject to change based on time, weather, security and other considerations.


DAY ONE: MONDAY MARCH 21

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport

Group arrivals: Our representatives will meet you as you exit the plane and escort you through passport control, baggage claim and customs. Your luggage will be delivered directly to your hotel and will be waiting in your room upon arrival.


Transportation arrangements from the airport will be made for groups of ten participants or more arriving at the same time. The order of the day's activities may differ, based on the time of your arrival.

  • Discover the Historic Ruins of Caesarea

Regarded as the jewel of the Mediterranean with its magnificently preserved ruins, Caesarea boasts a rich history and stunning natural setting. Originally a small Phoenician port called Straton’s Tower, the city was propelled to the center of global trade by King Herod. Approximately 22 BCE, he built the second largest harbor in the ancient world, complete with a theater, hippodrome, royal palace, marketplaces, bathhouses, and pagan temples.


Every five years, the city hosted lavish sporting competitions, reminiscent of the Greek Olympic Games and gladiator contests. After Herod’s death, Caesarea served as the capital of the Province of Judea as Rome assumed full control over the country. Tensions between Jews and pagans ran high, and a great revolt broke out in 66 C.E. The revolt eventually led to the destruction of the Second Holy Temple.


Caesarea flourished during the Byzantine period and later served as a strategic fortress for the Crusaders. Following the Mameluk conquest in the 13th century, the city fell into ruin and was eventually covered over by sand. The well-known philanthropist, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, was instrumental in reestablishing the city over a hundred years ago and making it into a modern thriving town.

  • OR

(this second option is recommended for those who recently participated in the Land and Spirit Israel experience)

  • Explore the Stunning caves and ruins in Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park

The National Park of Beit Guvrin-Maresha encompasses one of the most important cities of Judah from the First Temple Period. The site encompasses striking Roman ruins as well as fascinating caves (Bell Caves, Columbarium, Maze Caves, Sidonian Caves, and more). These caves were used during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136 CE) as hideouts from the superior Roman forces.


You can also view a completely rebuilt ancient village, providing a peek at life in ancient Israel.

  • Visit the state-of-the-art Yitzhak Rabin Center

Live through the tumultuous history of the State of Israel through the eyes of the late Prime Minister at the museum, library and research center established in his memory. A permanent exhibition is dedicated to the history of society and democracy in Israel with the life of Yitzhak Rabin serving as a connecting thread between the various sections.


The center, located in Tel Aviv on a hill with a commanding panoramic view of Hayarkon Park was erected on the foundations of a secret, underground power station known as "Reading G" or "J'ora." The station was built in 1954-1956 with funds from the German reparations agreement to supply power in the event of an enemy bombing.

  • OR

(due to spatial constraints, this activity slot will be predetermined by trip organizers based on bus assignment)

  • Tour the The Palmach Museum and encounter the elite battalion in Israel’s War of Independence

The Palmach (Hebrew acronym of Plugot Machatz, Striking Force; lit., “shock companies”) was the elite striking force of the Haganah, the underground military organization of the Jewish community in the British-ruled Palestine Mandate. Palmach was founded in May 1941 to help the British defend themselves against the approaching German armies. In the fall of 1942, as the German threat receded, British authorities ordered the dismantling of the company and the organization went underground. From that time until its incorporation into the newly formed IDF in 1948, the Palmach continued to defend and help fellow Jewish citizens. They were responsible for bringing in 65 ships of Holocaust refugees, pushing back against hostile British mandatory rule from 1945–1947, and preparing the defense of Jews against hostile Arabs in anticipation of the British withdrawal. Palmach’s notable attributes and warfare ethics were incorporated into the IDF when it was formed, and for years, many of the IDF’s chiefs and generals came from its ranks.


Unlike a “regular” museum, you will not find any artifacts or documents on display at the Palmach Museum. Rather, the experiential exhibits take you on a journey through the lives of a group of young idealists who take up arms to protect the Jews of Palestine. Through use of film and stagecraft, you experience the arduous training undergone by recruits, the close friendships formed, bloody battles fought, and the painful loss of comrades-in-arms.

  • Early dinner at Avenue Events Center in Tel Aviv
  • Transfer to the hotel, check-in, unpack
  • Overnight: Tel Aviv
  • Participants who arrive in Israel in the late morning or afternoon will join the rest of the group as per the day’s schedule.


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DAY TWO: TUESDAY MARCH 22

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel, with guest speaker

Option A - In the Footsteps of our Ancestors

    Length of tour: +/- 9 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers as well as return visitors

  • Ascend Mount Carmel, Site Where Elijah the Prophet Confronted the False Prophets of Ba’al

Not far from Haifa, Mount Carmel towers above Israel’s scenic Mediterranean coastline providing breathtaking views. While not especially tall, it is a striking landform in contrast to the flat coastal plains where it is located.


In the times of the first Holy Temple, the mountain was the scene of Elijah the Prophet’s confrontation with the “prophets” of the idol, Baal. As told in the book of Kings, at the time, Baal was perceived as a mighty, supreme being by many including King Ahab (who reigned 871 - 852 BC). Ahab’s wicked wife, Jezebel led him and the nation deep into paganism. After three years of punishing drought, Ahab had no choice but to accept Prophet Elijah’s challenge and he ordered 450 priests of Baal to meet Elijah on Mt. Carmel’s crest. In a stunning demonstration of G-d’s power, Elijah’s offering, immersed in a trench of water was consumed by a heavenly fire while the sacrifice for Baal, prepared by its priests, remained cold.

  • Discover the Historic Ruins of Megiddo

Megiddo lies at the Western entrance to the fertile Jezreel Valley, on the crossroads of the ancient trade route, the Via Maris, that stretched from Egypt in the South through Israel to the Northern empires of Syria, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia (modern day Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria). Rulers of Megiddo controlled the passage of merchants and goods, as well as armies, along the Fertile Crescent. Megiddo was a highly fortified city and many battles took place between competing civilizations for its control.

  • Packed lunch at Megiddo
  • Visit the Historic Military Training Ground at Ein Harod

From biblical times to recent history, this strategic spot was where armies-in-the-making trained, armies gathered prior to battle and where great battles were fought.


The Spring of Harod flows from Gideon's Cave, the site where Gideon gathered his men before fighting the Midianites. Judges 7:1 describes the scene: "Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley." It was here that Gideon administered the 'water test' as a way of choosing the warriors for the coming battle (Judges 7:4-7).


Today, Ein Harod is a nature reserve with the second largest pool in Israel, sprawling lawns, a picnic area, and great, looming eucalyptus trees. Aside from Gideon's Cave you'll be able to see some remains of an ancient aqueduct and a memorial to soldiers who died fighting on Mt. Gilboa.


The Harod Spring also served as one the first training bases for the Palmach with the assistance of the British officer Orde Wingate who was sympathetic to the plight of the Jews in Israel. The Palmach was a special strike force within the Haganah, the organized clandestine effort at armed self-defense of the Jewish population of the British Mandate that was the precursor to the IDF.

Option B - Classic

    Departure time: 8:00am
    Length of tour: +/- 9.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 2.5 hours, including a stop along the way
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers

  • Experience the Mystical Old City of Tzfat (Safed)

No tour to the North of Israel can be complete without recharging one’s spiritual batteries in the transcendent city of Safed.


Safed, or Tzfat as it is known in Hebrew, is derived from the word tsofeh (scout). It refers to the city’s unique location, perched on a steep slope high in the Galilean hills. One of the four holy cities in Israel, Safed represents the element of air. (Hebron represents earth, Jerusalem represents fire, and Tiberias represents water.) According to the Zohar, its pure mountain air is also the holiest in Israel.


Sources date the city back to the time of Joshua bin Nun (1355–1245 BCE), and archeological findings confirm dwellings dating back to the Second Temple era.


Safed grew with an influx of refugees from the Spanish Inquisition in the late fifteenth century, when it reached its zenith as a center of the study of Torah and Kabbalah. A massive earthquake in 1837 killed thousands of Safed’s inhabitants and destroyed many of the buildings, leaving behind only a small community. But the city was soon rejuvenated by early Chasidim who settled in its holy environs.

Option B.2 - Classic

    Departure time: 8:00am
    Length of tour: +/- 9.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 2.5 hours, including a stop along the way
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Visit Mount Meron: Ancient Burial Site of Mystics and Sages (prior to the Old City of Tzfat)

Explore Mount Meron, Burial Site of Sages and Mystics

The highest mountain in the Galil at more than 4,000 feet, Meron gets its fame on account of the great kabbalists and Talmudic sages buried on it. The remains of one of the oldest synagogues in the country, dating back to the time of the Second Temple, are also found on the mountain


The large domed building is the burial place of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (who lived in the second century C.E.) also known by the acronym of his name, RaSHbY and his son Rabbi Elazar. It has three entrance gates which all face in the direction of Jerusalem. Rabbi Shimon is the author of the Zohar, the fundamental text of Kabbalah. Also on the mountain are the gravesites of the great Mishnaic sages Hillel and Shammai, as well as their students. Up to the right is the burial place of Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar, another great sage of the same era as Rashbi.


Option C - Borders and Security

    Length of tour:
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1.25 hours
    Walking: Minimal
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers as well as return visitors

  • Tour the communities on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip at Kibbutz Alumim

A visit to the beleaguered communities in the south of Israel provides an opportunity to hear first-hand from those whose lives are directly affected by the often precarious security situation in the region. Candid conversations with the families who have chosen to settle in these communities shed light on what motivates them, what concerns them, and what gives them and their children the strength to persist in extraordinary circumstances.


Kibbutz Alumim (lit., Youth) is a kibbutz located in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Located close to the Gaza Strip, it falls under the jurisdiction of Sderot Negev Regional Council. The kibbutz, established in 1966, is part of the religious kibbutz movement. About twenty percent of the kibbutz’s residents are immigrants from the UK. Alumim has maintained the classic kibbutz collective lifestyle. Each member receives an allowance based on his or her needs; the amount is not connected to their occupation. Chores, including serving in the dining hall and guard duty at night, are done on a rotation. The kibbutz runs organic farms and a guest house with 22 self-contained apartments.

  • Packed lunch
  • Security Briefing at Gaza Border Lookout

A lookout over the border into the self-governing Palestinian territory of Gaza grants a perspective that cannot be gained from media coverage of the Middle East. Since the 2005 disengagement of the Gaza Strip, it has become a hotbed of terrorist activity. Gaza is ruled by the militant Hamas party and is a stronghold of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

Option D - Meet the Israelis

    Length of tour: +/- 9 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1.75 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers as well as return visitors

  • Visit Atlit: British Detention Center for illegal immigrants

From 1936 until 1948, the British severely curtailed Jewish immigration to the Mandate of Palestine due to Arab pressure. Thousands chose to immigrate illegally by land, air, and especially by sea. Those who were caught were interred by the British. The detention center in Atlit housed thousands of prisoners and was the scene of a daring breakout on October 10, 1945, led by Yitzchak Rabin (who later served as prime minister from 1974-1977 and 1992-1995). A tour of the site includes the barracks, a moving audio-visual presentation on the history of the jail, the processing center, and a ritual mikveh constructed for inmates.

  • Packed lunch
  • Meet Members of the Druze community in Daliyat al-Karmel

The Israeli Druze are a unique religious and ethnic minority among Arab citizens of Israel (1.6% of the total Israeli population). Though the Druze faith originally developed from Ismaili Islam, Druze are generally not considered Muslims. In 1957, the Israeli government designated the Druze a distinct ethnic community at the request of its communal leaders, ending years of discrimination. The Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel faithfully serve in the Israel Defense Forces and some members have attained top positions in Israeli politics and public service.


The Druze reside mostly in Northern Israel. Daliyat al-Karmel located around 20 km southeast of Haifa on Mt. Carmel is the country’s largest (pop. 17,427) and southernmost Druze town.

  • Tour the Yemin Orde Youth Village for At-risk Youth and Meet the Staff

Meet with the inspirational educators who run Yemin Orde Youth Village. Located on 77 acres atop Mount Carmel in northern Israel, the village is home, school and safe haven to over 400 at-risk and immigrant youth from around the world. The Village, a model of excellence in Israel, is open 365 days a year for youth who have no other place to call home.


The center has a high ratio of staff to students and provides individualized therapeutic care, academic tutoring, mentoring and supportive services. Jewish traditions and values are woven into the loving care. Alumni remain connected to the Village long after graduation providing them lifelong emotional support and assistance.

Option E - A Scholarly View

    Length of tour: +/- 8.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Study the Mishnah in Tzippori, the city of its birth

Tzippori (Sepphoris in Ancient Greek) is a village and an archeological site located in the central Galilee region of Israel. The site holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Jewish as well as Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic, and Ottoman influences.


It was in Tzippori, early in the third century CE, that Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi (Rabbi Judah the Prince), scion of the Royal House of David, presided over the Sanhedrin and edited and codified the Mishnah. This monumental task ensured the continuity of the Jewish Oral Law which had been transmitted through the generations as an oral tradition, from Moses until that time.

  • Packed lunch
  • Discover Beit Shearim, the Ancient Home of the Jewish High Court

Beit She'arim, the current name for the ancient Jewish town of Bet She'arāyim, is a partially excavated archaeological site. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Sanhedrin (Jewish legislature and supreme council) moved to Beit She'arayim. The town is mentioned rabbinical literature as an important center of Jewish learning during the 2nd century.


Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi lived there before moving for health reasons to Tzippori for the last seventeen years of his life. He is buried in Beit She'arim as he had planned before transferring to Tzippori. The fact that Rabbi Judah was buried there is believed to be a major reason for the popularity of the necropolis in Late Antiquity when Jews were barred from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the most preferred Jewish burial place.


An earthquake in 386 CE caused some damage, but the town recovered and enjoyed prosperity during the era of Byzantine rule.

Option F - Food & Wine

    Length of tour: +/- 9 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1 hours
    Walking: Minimal
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Tour the Morad Winery: Producers of Exotic Fruit Wines and Liqueurs

At the foot of Israel's Carmel Mountains and amid the beauty of the fertile Galilee, the Morad Winery in Yokneam transforms nature’s harvest into the finest of kosher wines and liqueurs. Made exclusively from fruits, vegetables and herbs, the winery produces a large selection of flavorful and exotic “wines” – from passion fruit to pomegranate. Recently, the winery has opened a boutique winery creating traditional wines as well. At Morad, you will learn about the process and experience a taste of their unique product.

  • Packed lunch
  • Visit an Ancient Olive Oil Press: Learn Antiquated and Modern Day Techniques
  • Tour and Tutored Wine-tasting at the historic Carmel Winery

In 1882, the first Israeli pioneers turned to Baron Edmond de Rothschild, the “Benevolent Provider” for assistance. The baron, owner of the world famous Chateau Lafite Winery in Bordeaux, received favorable reports that the climate in Israel was similar to Bordeaux, and recommended planting vineyards for the production of wine.


By 1891, the winery in Zichron Yaakov was operational and by 1896, it was exporting wine. The wineries and vineyards were the primary source of employment for the immigrants who arrived in the first wave of Aliyah.


Over the last century, Israel’s wine culture continued to develop and with it, the Carmel Winery. In the last decade alone, the winery has planted hundreds of acres of new vineyards. The company now encompasses a wide diversity of vineyards and grape varieties from every region throughout the country.

Option G - Nice & Easy

    Length of tour: +/- 6 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 30 minutes
    Walking: Minimal
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers as well as return visitors

  • Learn of Israel’s Technological Discoveries at The Weizmann Institute of Science

Named for Israel’s first President, The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research institutions in the natural and exact sciences. The Institute is a natural setting to learn about Israel’s scientific discoveries and technological inventions that span the entire spectrum of cutting-edge development in the 20th and 21st centuries. From mathematical, economic and scientific theories to exciting inventions in the fields of Medicine, Biotechnology, computer and mobile hardware and software, security and robotics, Israel is a major, indispensable contributor on the world stage.

  • Visit the Inspirational Save a Child’s Heart Foundation Center in Holon

Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli-based, international non-profit organization with the mission of improving the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries and creating centers of competence in these countries.


To date, Save a Child's Heart surgical and teaching missions have saved the lives of more than 5,000 children from 61 countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and throughout the Middle East and trained more than 120 medical team members from these countries.


Save a Child’s Heart was founded in 1995 at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, and the hospital continues to receive and treat the most difficult cases from throughout the developing world. During the tour, we will meet with patients from around the globe who are receiving life-saving treatment, free-of-charge, in Israel.

Option H - Premium

This tour is available for an additional cost.

  • Speed along the Mediterranean in a Tornado Boat
  • Explore Tel Aviv on a Segway
  • Enjoy a Whiskey Tasting Workshop at the Milk and Honey Distillery


All Groups

  • Dinner on your own in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Tel Aviv

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DAY THREE: WEDNESDAY MARCH 23

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel, with guest speaker

Option A - In the Footsteps of our Ancestors

    Length of tour: +/- 10 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1 hour
    Walking: Strenuous
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Explore the Biblical Landscape at Neot Kedumim

Neot Kedumim is a Biblical Landscape Reserve, the only one of its kind. At Neot Kedumim you can see and experience the land of the Bible as it was in the second millennium BCE, during the era of our forefathers. Ancient cisterns, mills, and olive and wine presses provide visitors with a firsthand experience of daily life and challenges of biblical times. Visitors learn how biblical figures used the knowledge of their times to live with the natural environment while building their future.

  • Packed lunch
  • Look Out Over the Valley of Ayalon, Location of Joshua’s Historic Battle

The Ayalon Valley is where Joshua and the Children of Israel fought a fateful battle against the Canaanites over 3000 years ago. The Bible recounts how Joshua Bin Nun saw victory slipping away as the darkness of night approached. He prayed: “O sun! Stand still over Givon; and moon, over the Valley of Ayalon.” Miraculously, the sun stood still, allowing for Joshua’s forces to complete their rout of the enemy.

  • Explore the Biblical City of Sha’arayim at the Khirbet Qeiyafa Site

The Khirbet Qeiyafa archeological site is located 30 km southwest of Jerusalem, on the summit of a hill that borders the Elah Valley on the north. The spot was a key strategic location in the biblical Kingdom of Judah and the area where the battle between David and Goliath took place.


Five seasons of excavation were carried out in between 2007 and 2011, uncovering nearly 20% of the biblical city of Sha’arayim, including 200 meters of the city wall, two gates, a pillar building and 10 houses. The discoveries clearly indicate a well-planned fortified city in Judah dating between the late eleventh to early tenth century BC, 300 years earlier than any previous discovery. This new data has far reaching implications for archaeology, history and biblical studies.

Option B - Classic

    Length of tour: +/- 9.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Visit the Old Port of Jaffa, the Ancient Gateway to the Land of Israel

Jaffa Port is an ancient port on the Mediterranean Sea, located in the Old City of Jaffa (Hebrew: Yaffo), with a history spanning over three millennia. The port is mentioned in the book of Jonah of the Tanach. It is where the prophet set sail for Tarshish in an attempt to avoid his mission to inspire repentance in the population of Ninveh. Jonah was famously swallowed by a giant fish after the vessel he traveled on was shipwrecked during a storm.


Josephus mentions Jaffa in his description of first Jewish revolt (66–73 AD) against Rome.


For centuries, Jaffa was the entry–point for Jews who sought to settle in or visit the Land of Israel. Its relative proximity to Jerusalem, a mere three-day journey by donkey, made it the obvious docking point for those who traveled by ship to fulfill their life-long dream of reaching the holy city.


In 1917, during World War I, Britain’s General Allenby defeated the Ottomans, and Jaffa became part of the British-administered Palestine Mandate. In 1947 and 1948 harsh fighting ensued between Jaffa which was largely inhabited by Arabs, and the adjoining Jewish city of Tel Aviv. On May 13, 1948, (one day before the proclamation of the State of Israel), the Arab forces in Jaffa were finally defeated by the Haganah and Irgun Zva’i Leumi underground forces. Since 1950, the Jewish city of Tel Aviv and the mostly Arab city of Jaffa are unified as the Tel Aviv-Yaffo municipality.


Still functional as a small fishing port with modern docks, today the port is primarily a recreational zone featuring restaurants, cafés, art galleries, and shops. A lighthouse, Jaffa Light, is located above the port.

  • Packed lunch
  • Experience the Colorful Vibe at the Carmel Market

The Carmel Market first opened in 1920, some eleven years after the establishment of the city, making it an integral part of the history of Tel Aviv. While most shopping in the 21st century has shifted into modern malls and the internet, the Carmel market is still immensely popular and its narrow street is busy whenever you visit, particularly before Shabbat on Thursdays and Fridays.


In recent years, a growing number of boutique stalls and eateries opened alongside the traditional traders and you can find boutique beers, arrays of halva, and small eateries that take advantage of the market’s produce.


The ‘Shuk’ occupies one street which runs from the junction of King George, Allenby, and Sheinkin Street to the Carmelit Bus depot in the south. The top end of the Carmel Market is focused on fashion and electronics, while the lower part is mainly food and fresh produce stalls.

  • Learn the History of the Jews throughout the Diaspora at the Museum of the Jewish People

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is more than a Museum. This unique global institution tells the ongoing and extraordinary, 4,000-year-old story of the Jewish people. The museum endeavors to portray the essence of the Jewish culture, faith, purpose and deed while presenting the contribution of world Jewry to humanity.


With the goal of connecting Jewish people to their roots and strengthening their personal and collective Jewish identity, the Museum opened in 1978 thanks to the vision of Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress. In 2005, the Israeli Knesset passed the Beit Hatfutsot Law that defines Beit Hatfutsot as “the National Center for Jewish communities in Israel and around the world”.

Option C - Borders and Security

    Length of tour: +/- 9.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Explore the Underground Bullet Factory at Machon Ayalon Kibbutz

On the surface, Machon Ayalon trained young people for pastoral life on a fully functioning kibbutz. Underground, out of sight from the British, the Ayalon Institute was the largest underground IMI (Israel Military Industries) factory. From 1946 to 1948 it produced the 9mm bullets used by pioneer groups including the Palmach, Hagana and Hatzofim in the Israeli War of Independence.


The museum today features a film on the history and a tour of the site including the Kibbutz laundry which ran 24 hours a day to conceal the noise of the factory below. The bakery provided clean air to the factory through pipes attached to its furnace.

  • Meet with Wounded IDF veterans at Achim LaChaim

During the Second Lebonon War in June 2006, Gil Ganonyan, a survivor of a terrorist’s bullet to the neck and Rabbi Chaim, a leader in the Jewish community of Seattle, visited the scores of injured soldiers who were rushed from the Lebanese border to Haifa’s Rambam hospital. As they went from bed to bed reaching out to the newly-injured soldiers, Gil told them how he had been through what they were facing and that he was there to help in any way needed.


From those first visitations, and a subsequent rehabilitation stint in Seattle for a group of ten wounded soldiers, Achim L’Chaim (Brothers for Life) was born in partnership with the Seattle Jewish community.


The program’s model of injured soldiers helping other injured soldiers has since become a template of programs in Hope for Heroism, transforming trauma into healing.

  • Packed lunch
  • Visit the Castel National Park: Site of a key battle in the War of Independence

Castel National Park is an Israeli national park which consists of a fortified summit located in the Judean Mountains, at the site of the former Arab village of Al-Qastal. The site is mostly known as the place of key, fierce battles of Operation Nachshon which took place there in April 1948. Arabs and Jews fought for control of the site, which overlooked the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. The Castel exchanged hands several times in the course of the fighting. The tides turned when the Arab commander, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, was killed and many of the Arabs left their positions to attend al-Husayni's funeral.

Option D - Meet the Israelis

    Length of tour: +/- 9.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Special Presentation: Israel’s Emerging Technologies and Promising Start-Ups

A showcase of some of Israel’s incredible new technologies at “Silicon Wadi” in Herzlia. Israel’s Silicon Wadi is an area in the coastal plain of Israel where business people and scientists work, developing breakthrough technologies, from cybersecurity and agricultural solutions to world hunger solutions. “Wadi” is the Arabic word for a valley or dry river bed, also commonly used in colloquial Hebrew. Silicon Wadi is a pun based on the Californian region of Silicon Valley.


Israel boasts many high-technology companies in a wide range of fields such as telecommunications equipment, software, semiconductors, biotechnology, and medical electronics. The majority of these companies are start-ups, with the most successful becoming world leaders in their respective fields. High technology and technology-rich products account for some 70 percent of Israeli exports. Multinational corporations have come to recognize Israel’s technology abilities: leading global companies like Intel, Motorola, IBM, Microsoft, Alcatel, and 3Com all have research and development facilities in Israel. Intel and Motorola also manufacture advanced products in Israel, and many other multinationals have purchased local companies, buying their patents and acquiring their human talent.

  • Experience the Colorful Vibe at the Carmel Market

The Carmel Market first opened in 1920, some eleven years after the establishment of the city, making it an integral part of the history of Tel Aviv. While most shopping in the 21st century has shifted into modern malls and the internet, the Carmel market is still immensely popular and its narrow street is busy whenever you visit, particularly before Shabbat on Thursdays and Fridays.


In recent years, a growing number of boutique stalls and eateries opened alongside the traditional traders and you can find boutique beers, arrays of halva, and small eateries that take advantage of the market’s produce.


The ‘Shuk’ occupies one street which runs from the junction of King George, Allenby, and Sheinkin Street to the Carmelit Bus depot in the south. The top end of the Carmel Market is focused on fashion and electronics, while the lower part is mainly food and fresh produce stalls.

  • Packed lunch
  • Tour a Shmura Matza Bakery, Esrog Orchard, and Children’s Home in Kfar Chabad

Our trip to Kfar Chabad will include a tour of the Shmura Matza Bakery where Pesach matzot are made by hand, an Etrog orchard and visit the Ohr Simcha Children’s Home, a nurturing environment for three hundred boys.


The Chabad-Lubavitch village in Israel, Kfar Chabad, was founded by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, in 1949. The first settlers were recent immigrants from the Soviet Union who had survived World War II and Stalinist oppression who worked the farms of the agricultural settlement located five miles south of Tel Aviv. Today Kfar Chabad is home to more than 6,000 Chabad residents and serves as Chabad’s headquarters in Israel. A full scale-replica of ‘770’ houses the operation offices.

Option E - A Scholarly View

    Length of tour: +/- 9.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1 hour
    Walking: Moderate/ Strenuous
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Visit Biblical Bet Shemesh and Samson’s Resting Place

The history of Beit Shemesh goes back to pre-biblical times. The ruins of the ancient biblical city can still be seen at Tel Beth-Shemesh near the modern city. In Joshua 21:16, this city was set aside as one of the thirteen cities for Kohanim. The city is mentioned in 1 Samuel as the first city encountered by the Ark of the Covenant on its way back to Jerusalem after having been captured by the Philistines in battle. In 2 Kings, Beit Shemesh is again mentioned as being the site of the battle between Amaziah king of Judea and Jehoash king of Israel.


Tel Tzor’a the likely location of the biblical village of Tzora, the city of Samson’s birth, is believed to be Samson’s burial site. Kibbutz Tzor’a nearby was founded in December 1948 by former Palmach members.

  • Packed lunch
  • Relive David’s Battle Against Goliath in Emek HaElah

Emek HaElah or "the valley of the terebinth" is called after the large and shady terebinth trees which are indigenous to its parts. It is best known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath in one of the most famous and compelling battles in recorded history. Looking out today over the Valley of Elah, it is easy to visualize the stone flung from David’s slingshot hurtling through the air, slaying Goliath.

Option F - Food & Wine

    Length of tour: +/- 9.75 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1 hour
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Visit Shvil Izim Farm, Producers of Artisan Goat Cheese in Tal Shachar

Located in the serene rolling hills of Moshav Tal Shachar, this wonderful family-run goat farm specializes in its own preservative-free artisan goat cheeses, including a Gouda, a well-reviewed Manchego and their own Soreq, named for the region in which they’re located. The farm also produces a soft feta, labneh or yogurt cheese, Camembert and yogurts, all produced from milk from their own 100-goat herd.

  • Packed lunch
  • Visit the Award-Winning Barkan Winery

Between the Hulda Forest and Kibbutz Hulda, at the heart of 500 acres of vineyards, resides Barkan Wine Cellars' visitor center. Barkan Wine Cellars is the second largest Israeli winery and its leading exporter, producing five to nine million bottles a year. Expect a unique experience around the theme of "from land to bottle". Visit the largest barrel hall in Israel, with over 5,000 barrels, watch an educational film about their grape-growing methods and the wine's manufacturing.

  • Sample Craft Beer and Hard Cider at the Family-Run, Buster’s Brewery

Moving to Israel in 2003 in the middle of the Second Gulf War and the Second Intifada, was, unpopular and difficult. Denny (Dad) turned his hobby of making beer and wine into a small business in the family’s garage.


Buster’s Brewery is the happy conclusion of the Neilson family’s adventurous path from a beach house in California, to a 50-acre cotton field in Tennessee and finally, to an incredible life in the hills of Jerusalem.


As the beer industry grew in Israel, the Neilsons were proud to be a part of the boom. When the youngest son, Matt concluded his military service and joined the business, Buster’s Beverage Co. (named after the family’s Golden Retriever) became a full-on alcoholic beverage production company, with an entrepreneur training program for those who want to pursue their own dreams.

Option G - Nice & Easy

    Length of tour: +/- 9 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 15 minutes
    Walking: Minimal
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers as well as return visitors

  • Relive Israel’s establishment at the newly opened Independence Hall in the Shalom Meyer Tower

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, then Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel. The new country, to be known as the State of Israel would take effect upon England’s termination of the British Mandate in Palestine later that night at midnight. The declaration finally realized the intent of the British Government for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” as expressed in the Balfour Declaration more than 30 years earlier.


At the newly established Independence Hall, we will recall the historic events leading up to that day and the subsequent Arab-Israeli War of 1948.

  • Learn the History of the Jews throughout the Diaspora at the Museum of the Jewish People

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is more than a Museum. This unique global institution tells the ongoing and extraordinary, 4,000-year-old story of the Jewish people. The museum endeavors to portray the essence of the Jewish culture, faith, purpose and deed while presenting the contribution of world Jewry to humanity.


With the goal of connecting Jewish people to their roots and strengthening their personal and collective Jewish identity, the Museum opened in 1978 thanks to the vision of Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress. In 2005, the Israeli Knesset passed the Beit Hatfutsot Law that defines Beit Hatfutsot as “the National Center for Jewish communities in Israel and around the world”.

Option H - Premium

This tour is available for an additional cost.

  • Fly over the stunning Golan Heights on a helicopter tour with a former Israeli Air Force pilot
  • Meet retired IDF commander Yaakov Selavan at the Syrian border and hear his firsthand account of the Yom Kippur War Battle at Tel Saki
  • Visit the Ancient Synagogue at Um El Kanatir and learn about the leading-edge methods used to restore it
  • Have an Off-Road Jeeping adventure exploring the Golan Heights
  • Fly by helicopter to Jerusalem along the Jordan Valley
  • Check in to your hotel
  • Dinner at the hotels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

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DAY FOUR: THURSDAY MARCH 24

  • Optional Early Morning Visit to Rachel’s Tomb

Our Matriarch Rachel (Rachel Imeinu) (1585–1553 BCE) passed away outside of Bethlehem (Beit Lechem) soon after giving birth to Benjamin. Her husband Jacob buried her there “on the way to Efrat” (Genesis 35). Rashi explains that when Jacob buried her there he knew that in future times the Jewish people would pass this place on their journey to Babylonian exile, and that compassionate Rachel would come to plead for Divine mercy for them.


The Midrash says Rachel’s prayers at that time elicited Gd’s promise to her that the Jewish people would ultimately be redeemed: “Your children shall return to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:16).


Rachel’s Tomb (Kever Rachel) has always been an important location where Jews engage in heartfelt prayer. It draws tens of thousands of visitors every year who come to visit the resting place of “Mama Rochel.” Some people have the custom to wear red thread that has been wound around Rachel’s Tomb, as an amulet to protect against misfortune.

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel, with guest speaker

  • Explore Hebron, the City of the Patriarchs and tour the Avraham Avinu and Bet Hadassah neighborhoods

Hevron is one of the four Holy Cities in the Land of Israel and is the place where our Patriarchs and Matriarchs lived, raised their families and spread the message about the existence of the Creator. Upon Sarah’s death, Abraham purchased a burial plot, the Cave of Machpela, from the local population for an exorbitant price. The negotiation concerning the sale and Abraham’s refusal to accept it as a gift are recorded in meticulous detail in the Book of Genesis. In later years, Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah were all interred in the Cave of Machpela, and so it is no wonder that the Jewish connection to Hevron has remained strong for millennia, despite its turbulent history. Our tour will take through the Jewish neighborhoods of where we will encounter the complexities of life in the city today, meet with local residents and connect with our heritage. The highlight is, of course, a visit to the Cave of Machpela itself.

  • Off-road Jeeping to explore the Biblical Heartland

The mountains of Gush Etzion are replete with natural springs and blossom with terraced plantings, vinyards and almond trees.


The Gush (as it is affectionately known) is as rich in history as it is beautiful. On the jeep tour, you follow the path our forefathers, from Abraham through the temple era, took to Jerusalem.

  • Peek at Life in the West Bank

Meet with residents of the West Bank communities and settlements to hear firsthand about life in the West Bank today.

  • Western Wall Experience with JLI

Join all JLI Land and Spirit participants for a special program at the Southern Excavations and Western Wall.


The Western Wall, Wailing Wall, or Kottel is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the "Western Wall". The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod, which resulted in the enclosure of the top of Mount Moriah, known as the Temple Mount.


The Western Wall is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount, the holiest place on earth in the Jewish faith, where the Holy Temples stood. Because of entry restrictions to the Temple Mount in Jewish Laws of Purity, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray today.

  • Dinner on your own in Jerusalem
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

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DAY FIVE: FRIDAY MARCH 25

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel, with guest speaker



Please note that touring this day is all on foot as the roads in and around Jerusalem are closed to traffic due to the Jerusalem marathon.

Option A - In the Footsteps of our Ancestors

    Length of tour: +/- 3.25 hours
    Walking: Strenuous
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Observe the Jerusalem Marathon in the Old City

Walk to the Old City of Jerusalem to cheer on runners in the eighth Jerusalem Marathon as they pass historic sites. 30,000 participants including elite runners and runners from abroad participate in several tracks of the Jerusalem Marathon.

  • Walk in the Footsteps of Prophets And Kings In the City of David

The Bible recounts how Yoav ben Zeruaya, King David’s fearless general, led a small band of men secretly into the strongly fortified Jebusite city, thereby leading to its capture. King David renamed the city Jerusalem and designated it as his new capital in place of Hebron. He also purchased the threshing floor of Arnava on Mount Moriah, site of the Temple to be built by his son Solomon, and brought up the Ark of the Covenant to the city, establishing it for all time as the spiritual and political capital of the Jewish people. It is in the City of David where the kings of Judah reigned, where Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied, and where Hezekiah, all alone, faced the mighty wrath of Assyria. There is archeological evidence as well of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians 2500 years ago. Not to be missed are the Palace of the Davidic Dynasty, the lookout over the Kidron Valley and Silwan, Canaanite fortifications, Warren’s Pier, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, and the Pool of Shiloach.

Option B – Classic

    Length of tour: +/- 3 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers

  • Observe the Jerusalem Marathon in the Old City

Walk to the Old City of Jerusalem to cheer on runners in the eighth Jerusalem Marathon as they pass historic sites. 30,000 participants including elite runners and runners from abroad participate in several tracks of the Jerusalem Marathon.

  • Explore the Ancient market place in the Cardo and the Broad Wall

Ancient columns of the main north-south artery of Roman-Byzantine Jerusalem (146 BCE–1453 CE), which also served as a market place, have been unearthed in recent years. Each civilization that came to Jerusalem in the course of more than 1,300 years reused the remains and ruins of their predecessors. In the covered section, visitors can see a wall comprised of many different levels of stones from different periods.


With a turn from HaYehudim Street toward Plugat HaKottel Street, and observers may look down upon the “Broad Wall” an ancient section of wall. Some archeological scholars date the wall to the late first Temple period when King Hezekiah (587–533 BCE) strengthened the fortifications of Jerusalem. According to others, it dates to the early second Temple period. The maps on the wall explain it all.

  • Tour Batei Machase, Remains of a Jewish Public Housing Project From the 1800’s

Batei Machase is an apartment compound constructed in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem between 1860 and 1890. It was essentially the first 'public housing' project built in the Mandate of Palestine, and was designed to provide shelter for the city's destitute population. The project was initiated by several Jewish organizations from the Netherlands and Germany, who took it upon themselves to care for the Jews of Jerusalem.


During the war of independence in 1948, the compound was the last stronghold for Jewish defenders of the city, until it was conquered by the Jordanian Legion. During the battle, the Batei Machase compound was partially destroyed, and its synagogue was demolished.

  • Tour the Western Wall Tunnels to learn about Temple-era Jerusalem

Starting with its entrance under arches that held up the Great Bridge that led to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall Tunnels offer an up-close look at some of the most amazing archeological finds from the Temple era. A glass floor in the bridge allows visitors to see the two-thousand-year-old stairs of a large ritual bath used by our ancestors during the Second Temple period before approaching this holiest place.


Underground, one can see the Western Wall stones, enormous squared-off boulders, with chiseled edges in their full glory. Many stop to pray at the stone closest to the Temple’s “Holy of Holies,” the center of a synagogue that existed in the Middle Ages and was recently rebuilt. Also in the tunnels is the remains of an underground passageway used by King David to approach the Temple Mount from his palace located on the current site of the Tower of David. A three-dimensional model of the Temple Mount and educational film complete the fascinating tour.

Option C – Borders and Security

    Length of tour: +/- 2.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Observe the Jerusalem Marathon in the Old City

Walk to Mt. Zion to cheer on runners in the eighth Jerusalem Marathon as they pass historic sites. 30,000 participants including elite runners and runners from abroad participate in several tracks of the Jerusalem Marathon.

  • Visit the Tomb of King David

Between 1948 and 1967 the eastern part of the Old City was occupied by Jordan, which barred entry to Jews even for the purpose of praying at Jewish holy sites. However, the southern part of Mount Zion where the Tomb of David was controlled by Israel and Jewish pilgrims from around the country and the world went to pray at David's Tomb where a climb to the rooftop, provided a glimpse of the Western Wall.


The tomb provides an excellent lookout point to trace the heroic battle for control of the Jewish Quarter in 1948 and its ultimate surrender to the Jordanian Legion.

  • Tour Batei Machase, Remains of a Jewish Public Housing Project From the 1800’s

Batei Machase is an apartment compound constructed in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem between 1860 and 1890. It was essentially the first 'public housing' project built in the Mandate of Palestine, and was designed to provide shelter for the city's destitute population. The project was initiated by several Jewish organizations from the Netherlands and Germany, who took it upon themselves to care for the Jews of Jerusalem.


During the war of independence in 1948, the compound was the last stronghold for Jewish defenders of the city, until it was conquered by the Jordanian Legion. During the battle, the Batei Machase compound was partially destroyed, and its synagogue was demolished.

Option D - Meet the Israelis

    Length of tour: +/- 3.25 hours
    Walking: Strenuous
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Observe the Jerusalem Marathon in the Old City

Walk to the Old City of Jerusalem to cheer on runners in the eighth Jerusalem Marathon as they pass historic sites. 30,000 participants including elite runners and runners from abroad participate in several tracks of the Jerusalem Marathon.

  • Tour the Muslim Quarter with Ateret Cohanim and meet the Jewish residents

Of the four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem (Armenian, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim), the Muslim quarter is the largest and most populous. Until 1929, many Jews lived in the Muslim Quarter, but with the outbreak of the violent pogroms by local Arab inhabitants at that time, they were forced to relocate.


In 1948, the Jordanian Legion succeeded in capturing the entire Old City of Jerusalem and forced the remaining Jewish inhabitants into exile. It was not until the Six-Day War, when the city was liberated, that Jews were able to return. Over the years, house by house, courtyard by courtyard, Jewish properties are being repurchased at great cost by various organizations, most notably Ateret Kohanim. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon purchased an apartment overlooking the main street in the Muslim Quarter. Although he had no plans to live there himself, he hoped that the security of Jews in the quarter would improve as a result of his acquisition.


Other Jewish sites in the Muslim Quarter include Kottel HaKattan, Bet HaTzalam, and the Gates of the Temple Mount.

Option E - A Scholarly View

    Length of tour: +/- 3 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Morning Torah Class at the Tzemach Tzedek Shul in the Jewish Quarter

Built in 1858 by emissaries of the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel (1789–1866), Chabad’s Tzemach Tzedek Shul is among several very old chasidic shuls tucked around the cobblestone alleys of the Old City. Several other chassidic groups—including Breslov, Chernobyl (Skver), Chortkov, Karlin-Stolin, Nadvorna, Kossov, and Lelov—are represented by 200-plus-year-old congregations still active today.

  • Walking Tour of King David Street and Alrov Mamilla Promenade

Optional walking tour along King David Street & the Mamilla Alrov Promenade telling the story of the first Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Old City.


King David Street is one of Jerusalem’s most prestigious addresses combining tourism, luxury residences, high commerce, galleries and shops in distinctive Jerusalem architectural style. A highlight is the stately King David Hotel, built in 1934. The hotel quickly became one of the leading hotels in the Middle East, hosting presidents, kings, diplomats, and celebrities. Pre-1948, the British Mandatory authorities rented the right wing and used it as the center of the administration in Palestine.


Opened in 2007, Mamilla Mall, also known as Alrov Mamilla Avenue, is an upscale shopping street, and the only open-air mall in Jerusalem. Located northwest of Jaffa Gate, the mall consists of a 2,000-foot pedestrian promenade lined by 140 stores, restaurants, and cafes.

Option F - Food & Wine

    Length of tour: +/- 2 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers as well as return visitors

  • Engage in the age-old tradition of Challa-baking

Option G - Run!

This option is available for an additional cost.

  • Participate in the annual Jerusalem Marathon with thousands of runners from around the world

The International Jerusalem Winner Marathon is one of the most exciting annual events in Jerusalem, drawing thousands of locals and tourists, amateur and professional runners alike from all over the world. Set against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s magnificent views and streets filled with history, the Jerusalem Marathon is truly one of the most unique marathons in the world. The Jerusalem marathon takes place at the beginning of spring in Jerusalem, with ideal weather conditions for outdoor sports.


Trip participants can register to run in the full (42.2 km), half (21.1 km) or 10 km races.



All Groups

  • Lunch on your own in the Jewish Quarter
  • Prepare for Shabbat, candle-lighting at the hotel
  • Welcome the Shabbat with thousands of Jews from around the globe at the Kottel
  • Friday night dinner at the hotel together with Lone Soldiers
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

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DAY SIX: SHABBAT MARCH 26

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel

  • Joint JLI Morning Service
  • Full course Shabbat Lunch at the hotel
  • Rest, relax and rejuvenate with some personal time

Optional Walking Tours

  • 1. Walking tour of the beautiful Yemin Moshe Neighborhood and Montefiore’s Windmill

Yemin Moshe was established in 1892–1894 by the Montefiore Welfare Fund which was dedicated to continuing the work done by British Jewish banker Moses Montefiore. The project marked the seventh year after the philanthropist's death and was named to commemorate Montefiore's first name and a verse from the Book of Isaiah. The neighborhood was built on land purchased by Montifiore in 1855, just outside Mishkenot Sha'ananim, a housing project he had built in 1866.


The landmark windmill, the famous symbol of the neighborhood and Montifiore’s enduring stamp on the Jerusalem landscape, was part of the financial infrastructure he had built to provide residents with a source of livelihood. Yemin Moshe is now an upscale neighborhood surrounded by gardens with a panoramic view of the Old City walls.

  • 2. Hanevi-im Street Walking Tour

Hanevi-im Street or “Street of the Prophets” is an east-west axis road in Jerusalem beginning outside Damascus Gate and ending at Davidka Square. Located to the north of Jaffa Road, it bisects the neighborhood of Musrara. During its heyday in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Street of the Prophets was a favorite address for hospitals, hospices, government offices, foreign consulates, monasteries and wealthy residents. A tour of the street, its historic buildings and Beit HaRav Kook will introduce you to some of the Jerusalem personalities of the last century who have left an indelible mark on Jewish life.

  • 3. Talbiya Neighborhood Tour

Talbiya is an upscale neighborhood in Jerusalem, located between Rehavia and Katamon built in the 1920s and 1930s. The neighborhood's official name Komemiyut, introduced after the establishment of the state, never caught on, and it is still known as Talbiya, the pre-1948 name. Some of Jerusalem's important cultural institutions are located in Talbiya, among them the Jerusalem Theater, the Van Leer Institute and Beit HaNassi, the official residence of the President of Israel.

  • Havdalah

Bring out Shabbat with a Musical Havdala and a mini-concert overlooking the Old City Walls. Chassidic melodies played by local musicians will carry the inspiration of Shabbat to the days to come.

  • Dinner on your own
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

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DAY SEVEN: SUNDAY MARCH 27

  • Optional Early Morning Visit to Rachel’s Tomb

Our Matriarch Rachel (Rachel Imeinu) (1585–1553 BCE) passed away outside of Bethlehem (Beit Lechem) soon after giving birth to Benjamin. Her husband Jacob buried her there “on the way to Efrat” (Genesis 35). Rashi explains that when Jacob buried her there he knew that in future times the Jewish people would pass this place on their journey to Babylonian exile, and that compassionate Rachel would come to plead for Divine mercy for them.


The Midrash says Rachel’s prayers at that time elicited Gd’s promise to her that the Jewish people would ultimately be redeemed: “Your children shall return to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:16).


Rachel’s Tomb (Kever Rachel) has always been an important location where Jews engage in heartfelt prayer. It draws tens of thousands of visitors every year who come to visit the resting place of “Mama Rochel.” Some people have the custom to wear red thread that has been wound around Rachel’s Tomb, as an amulet to protect against misfortune.

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel, with guest speaker

Option A - In the Footsteps of our Ancestors

    Length of tour: +/- 8 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers and return visitors

  • Ascend to Nebi Samuel, the burial place of the Prophet Samuel and enjoy the stunning view

The grave of Shmuel HaNavi, (Shmuel the Prophet, Nabi Samuel in Arabic), is located just north of Jerusalem on the hill, Rama, not far from the village of his birth, Ramatayim Tzofim.


Shmuel (931-877 BCE), the son of Chana and the Levite prophet, Elkanah was a disciple of Eyli, the last of Jewish leader in the era of Judges. During his life, Shmuel traveled throughout Israel to teach and judge the people and he was the prophet who anointed Shaul and David, the first two Israelite monarchs. Shmuel’s leadership marked the beginning of the era of the Prophets. The circumstances of his birth and life are recorded in Samuel I.

  • Visit an Archeological Site in Shiloh, Home of the Tabernacle

Jewish history will come alive at the fascinating archeological site of Tel Shiloh where the Tabernacle stood for 369 years. When the Children of Israel arrived in the land, they set up the Tabernacle (Ohel-Mo'ed) in Shiloh. There Joshua and Eleazar divided the land among the tribes who had not yet received their allocation and dealt with the allocation of cities to the Levites.


Because of the presence of the Tabernacle and within it the Ark of the Covenant, Shiloh then became the center for worship, a status it held until shortly before David's elevation of Jerusalem. The Jewish people made pilgrimages there three times annually for the major holidays of Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot.


Samuel relates that the sanctuary at Shiloh was administered by the priest Eyli. The young Samuel was dedicated by his mother Chanah there, to be raised at the shrine by the high priest. Samuel’s ascension as a prophet began there.

  • Lunch
  • Peek at Life in the West Bank

Meet with residents of the West Bank communities and settlements to hear about life in the West Bank today. See first-hand the reality of the modern-day Jewish residents in the area who have chosen to live in the land of their ancestors.

Option B - Classic

    Departure time: 8:00am
    Length of tour: +/- 8.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 1.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers

  • Ascend to the Famous Desert Fortress of Masada

One and a quarter miles west of the Dead Sea, rising 1443 feet above sea level, is Masada. With its wide, flat summit, it was the perfect place for military defenses. The first fortifications built on Masada were constructed by the Hasmoneans in 42 BCE. Twenty years later, Herod added a wall, water storage cisterns, and a beautiful palace.


Following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Jewish Zealots continued their Great Revolt against the Roman Empire from the Masada fortress. They appropriated the luxurious palaces and bathhouses that King Herod had built for himself a century earlier and lived off the water cisterns and vast stores of food that he had put in place. It was not long before the crack Roman Tenth Legion, under Flavius Silva, arrived to quell the rebellion with thousands of troops and auxiliaries. While the Zealots were hopelessly outnumbered, they managed to keep the Romans at bay due to the cunning fortifications and the sheer difficulty of ascent. Not to be deterred, the Romans built a massive ramp and a siege tower with a huge battering ram. On the eve of Passover 72 CE, the defensive wall was breached, leaving the path open for the legions to ascend and conquer the mountain. The Zealots chose to end their own lives rather than be subjected to the tyranny of the Romans, and when Flavius ascended Masada the next morning, he was met with a silence that continues to reverberate today.


Signs of Jewish religious life on the mountain include a mikva (ritual pool), and a synagogue that faces in the direction of Jerusalem.

  • Lunch
  • Float in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea

Measuring 309 square miles, the mineral-rich Dead Sea and nearby springs are known for their curative qualities. Its waters are 35 percent salt, which is ten times saltier than the Atlantic Ocean. Located in the Judean desert at 1,401 feet below sea level, it is the lowest spot on earth, and is a stark contrast to the not-too-distant Judean hills.


Due to the extremely high mineral content of the water, it has been renowned for centuries as a place of healing for a variety of ailments and skin conditions.


The sharp smell emanating from sulfur deposits close by reminds one of the destruction of nearby Sodom and Gomorah, when “G‑d rained down…sulfur and fire” (Genesis 19).

Option C: Borders and Security

    Length of tour: +/- 7.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers and return visitors

  • Trace the life of Menachem Begin at the modern Begin Museum

At this experiential museum, a multimedia exhibit tells the story of the birth of modern-day Israel through the life of Menachem Begin, the sixth Prime Minister of Israel and founder of the Likud party. Through historical reconstructions and reenactments, rare dramatic documentary videos, interactive touchscreen exhibits, and striking presentations, visitors take a journey through Begin’s life and experience his childhood in Poland, his years as the commander of the Irgun underground, the leader of the opposition in the Knesset and finally, as Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

  • Lunch
  • Pay Tribute to the Fallen Heroes Together with CTVP at the IDF Military Cemetery

The main Israel Defense Forces cemetery is located on the northern slope of Mt. Herzl. It was established in November 1949, when soldiers who fell in the Jerusalem area were buried here. In 1949, the government decided to turn the site into the main cemetery for IDF members who have fallen in the line of duty.

  • Visit East Jerusalem

From 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem was a city divided. The Jordanians controlled the East and Israel the West, with an ugly border running through from North to South. Following the Six-Day War, the city was united, yet many of the neighborhoods remain predominantly Jewish or Arab. In recent years, many Jews have chosen to make their homes in East Jerusalem. But the prevailing political and security climate has made this anything but simple. We will tour some of these neighborhoods and meet with the local Jewish residents.

Option D: Meet the Israelis

    Length of tour: +/- 8 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: No
    Recommended for: First timers and return visitors

  • Visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Children’s Memorial

Yad Vashem, Israel’s main Holocaust memorial museum and archive, is situated on the green slopes of Har HaZikaron (Mount of Remembrance) in Jerusalem. Israel’s Holocaust commemoration project began in 1953 with the task of perpetuating the memory of Holocaust victims and documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, to ensure that the Holocaust will be remembered by future generations. The new Yad Vashem museum, opened to the public in 2005, is designed in the shape of a prism penetrating the mountain.


The museum is divided into nine galleries that relate the stories of the Jewish communities before World War II, and the series of events that include the rise of the Nazis to power, the pursuit of the Jews, their eviction to the ghettos, and “the Final Solution” and mass genocide.


The personal experiences and feelings of the victims of the Holocaust constitute the groundwork for the museum’s exhibits of photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos, as well as excerpts from children’s diaries.

  • Lunch
  • View the world-famous Chagall Windows at the Hadassa Hospital

As the sun filters through the brilliant colors of Marc Chagall’s famous stained glass windows, the light bathes the Abbell Synagogue at the Hadassah University Medical Center in a special glow.


The Bible was Chagall’s primary inspiration for the art piece, particularly Jacob's blessings to his twelve sons and Moses' blessings to the twelve tribes. Each of the twelve windows is dominated by a specific color and contains a quotation from the individual blessings. Chagall (1887-1985) and his assistant, Charles Marq, worked on the project for two years, during which time Marq innovated a process for applying multiple colors to a single pane of glass requiring fewer lead strips than the traditional method.


The synagogue was dedicated in the presence of the artist on February 6, 1962 as part of Hadassah's Golden Anniversary Celebration. As Chagall said at the dedication: “This is my modest gift to the Jewish people who have always dreamt of biblical love, friendship and of peace among all peoples”.

  • Visit Yvel Jewelers and the Megemeria School of Jewelry and Ethiopian Art

Isaac Levy’s challenging childhood experience as a young new immigrant inspired him to seek ways to help other newcomers succeed. He founded Yvel Jewelers with his wife Orna in 1986, with the spirit of “giving back” at the heart of the company and today over 90% of Yvel’s employees are immigrants hailing from 23 countries.


In 2010, the Levy’s furthered their commitment with the establishment of the philanthropic Megemeria School of Jewelry and Art. Megemeria, meaning “genesis” in Amharic, the native language of Ethiopia, provides professional training and employment opportunities to Ethiopian immigrants to facilitate their integration into Israeli society as proud and contributing citizens. Students of the school design Yvel’s Megemeria line, integrating traditional Ethiopian design and craftsmanship with modern technique.

Option E - A Scholarly View

    Length of tour: +/- 7.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.75 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First timers and return visitors

  • Ride a Camel at Genesis Land

Genesis Land is situated in the heart of the Judean desert, on the way to the Dead Sea, in the land where the Patriarchs and Matriarchs lived. A magical place, it enables visitors to experience life as it was in biblical times.


Visitors to Genesis Land are greeted by Abraham’s manservant Eliezer, and by a train of camels which lead guests down to Abraham’s tent, where they experience his legendary hospitality.

  • Learn about Joshua at a Jericho Lookout

Visit a lookout over the city of Jericho from Mizpe Yericho and delve into the story of the miraculous conquest of the city by Joshua and the Children of Israel.


Mizpe Yericho is religious Israeli settlement in the Judean Desert lies on one of the last cliffs marking the edge of the Judean highlands, and overlooks the Jordan Rift Valley, the Dead Sea, and the ancient city of Jericho.


According to the Book of Joshua, the Battle of Jericho was the first battle of the Children of Israel in their conquest of Canaan. It is related that Joshua 6:1-27, the walls of Jericho miraculously fell after Joshua's Israelite army marched around the city blowing their trumpets.

  • Lunch
  • Visit Site of the Crossing the Jordan

Kasr el-Yahud ("Castle of the Jews" in Arabic) is traditionally considered to be the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Holy Land after wandering in the desert for forty years.

  • Explore Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Qumran is an archaeological site best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves, a series of eleven caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marl terrace.


Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947–1956, extensive excavations have taken place in Qumran. Nearly 900 scrolls were discovered. Most were written on parchment and some on papyrus. Cisterns, Jewish ritual baths, and cemeteries have been found, along with a dining or assembly room and debris from an upper story alleged by some to have been a scriptorium as well as pottery kilns and a tower. According to Dead Seas Scrolls Scholar Professor Lawrence Schiffman, the rules of the community, its heavy stress on the Zadokite legacy, and other details indicate the artifacts are of a Sadducean-oriented sect from the end of the 2nd Temple era.

Option F: Food & Wine

    Length of tour: +/- 7.5 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 0.5 hours
    Walking: Moderate
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: Return visitors

  • Enjoy a culinary tour of the Machane Yehudah Outdoor Market

The Machane Yehudah outdoor market, or “Shuk” as it is affectionately known, is one of Jerusalem’s most popular sites for a taste of local culture. Established under Ottoman Rule in 1887 along the Jaffa Road artery, the Shuk served the growing Jewish population who lived outside of the Old City. Over the years, Jerusalem saw an influx of new immigrants from all over Europe, Russia, and the Middle East—each group bringing with it its ethnic foods, creating a melting pot of cultures. Today, the Shuk is a blaze of color, a cacophony of sounds and a blend of tantalizing aromas as vendors call attention to their freshly baked goods, fruit, vegetables, and delicacies. You can also enjoy a delicious meal at a wide range of restaurants and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

  • Participate in a Coffee Tasting Workshop

Participate in a coffee-tasting workshop at Power Coffeeworks café in Jerusalem featuring beans, roasts and flavors from around the world.

  • Lunch
  • Bread Baking Workshop at Pat BeMelach

Pat BeMelach (Bread in Salt) in Rosh Zurim is a unique artisan bread bakery in the heart of Gush Etzion, a cluster of Jewish settlements located in the Judaean Mountains.


Pat BaMelach offers hands-on workshops, giving participants historical, educational, cultural and tasty bread-making activities. Led by David Katz, a Cleveland, Ohio native who has lived in Israel for the past 20 years. David is a formal and informal educator, who discovered his talent for sourdough after spending years baking Pesach matzot.

Option G - Nice & Easy

    Length of tour: +/- 6 hours
    Driving time to first destination: +/- 30 minutes
    Walking: Minimal
    Stairs: Yes
    Recommended for: First-timers as well as return visitors

  • Enjoy a stunning lookout over Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade

The panoramic viewpoint from the Haas Promenade offers a sweeping view of Jerusalem, replete with thousands of years of history. The promenade – popularly known in Hebrew as "the Tayelet" – is comprised of several walkways with observation terraces from where you can see the City of David, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives and many other ancient and modern landmarks.


The promenade is located on a high ridge on Jerusalem’s southern side that provides the first glimpse of Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, when approaching the city from the south. Tradition has it that this is the place from which Abraham saw the mountain where he was to bind his son Isaac.


The ridge is known today as Armon Hanetziv – the palace of the commissioner – for the residence built there by the British in the 1930s as the home of the High Commissioner.

  • Tour the Knesset

The Knesset is the single-chamber national legislature of Israel, with 120 members. It first convened on February 14, 1949 after the newly-formed modern State of Israel held its first elections. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. It also has the power to dissolve itself and call new elections.


The term “Knesset” is derived from the ancient Great Assembly (Knesset HaGedolah), an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, that governed ancient Israel from the end of the Biblical prophets era to the time of the development of rabbinic Judaism in 200 BCE. There is, however, no organizational continuity and–aside from the number of members–little similarity, as the ancient Knesset was an essentially religious body.


The Knesset compound sits on a hilltop in western Jerusalem in the Givat Ram district of Jerusalem. The main building was finance by James A. de Rothschild as a gift to the State of Israel in his will and was completed in 1966.

  • Visit the Israel Museum, Israel’s Foremost Cultural institution

The museum is Israel’s largest and most prominent cultural institution, housing the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls in the uniquely sculpted Shrine of the Book. Visitors to the newly renovated campus can also view the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, the Sculpture Garden, Youth Wing, Archeology Wing, Judaica Wing, and Fine Arts Wing.

Option H - Premium

This tour is available for an additional cost.

  • Explore the Path of the Patriarchs by self-driven off-road ATV
  • Lunch
  • Participate in Expert anti-terrorism training by former IDF commandos at the Caliber 3 Shooting Range
  • Discover one of King Herod’s fortresses used by the Jewish rebels in the Bar Kochva Revolt against the Romans


All Groups

  • Return to Jerusalem to prepare for the Gala Banquet
  • Gala Banquet at Binyanei HaUma, Jerusalem’s Iconic International Convention Center

During the Gala Banquet, participants of the Land and the Spirit trip will gather to celebrate the Land of Israel that they have come to know and love during their journey. After traveling her length and breadth, uncovering her secrets, discovering her history, sharing her hopes and fears, we made our eternal heritage a part of us forever.


At the banquet, we will commemorate our journey with an evening of entertainment and inspiration in the company of all 2020 JLI Land & Spirit participants and leading Israeli dignitaries. The banquet meal will be accompanied by stirring addresses, video tributes, and live musical entertainment.

  • Overnight: Jerusalem

Back to Top

DAY EIGHT: MONDAY MARCH 28

  • Breakfast

Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel, with guest speaker

Option 1

  • Visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Children’s Memorial

Yad Vashem, Israel’s main Holocaust memorial museum and archive, is situated on the green slopes of Har HaZikaron (Mount of Remembrance) in Jerusalem. Israel’s Holocaust commemoration project began in 1953 with the task of perpetuating the memory of Holocaust victims and documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, to ensure that the Holocaust will be remembered by future generations. The new Yad Vashem museum, opened to the public in 2005, is designed in the shape of a prism penetrating the mountain.


The museum is divided into nine galleries that relate the stories of the Jewish communities before World War II, and the series of events that include the rise of the Nazis to power, the pursuit of the Jews, their eviction to the ghettos, and “the Final Solution” and mass genocide.


The personal experiences and feelings of the victims of the Holocaust constitute the groundwork for the museum’s exhibits of photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos, as well as excerpts from children’s diaries.

Option 2

  • Discover the Israel Museum, Israel’s Foremost Cultural institution

The museum is Israel’s largest and most prominent cultural institution, housing the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls in the uniquely sculpted Shrine of the Book. Visitors to the newly renovated campus can also view the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, the Sculpture Garden, Youth Wing, Archeology Wing, Judaica Wing, and Fine Arts Wing.

Option 3

  • Visit Rachel’s Tomb

Our Matriarch Rachel (Rachel Imeinu) (1585–1553 BCE) passed away outside of Bethlehem (Beit Lechem) soon after giving birth to Benjamin. Her husband Jacob buried her there “on the way to Efrat” (Genesis 35). Rashi explains that when Jacob buried her there he knew that in future times the Jewish people would pass this place on their journey to Babylonian exile, and that compassionate Rachel would come to plead for Divine mercy for them.


The Midrash says Rachel’s prayers at that time elicited Gd’s promise to her that the Jewish people would ultimately be redeemed: “Your children shall return to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:16).


Rachel’s Tomb (Kever Rachel) has always been an important location where Jews engage in heartfelt prayer. It draws tens of thousands of visitors every year who come to visit the resting place of “Mama Rochel.” Some people have the custom to wear red thread that has been wound around Rachel’s Tomb, as an amulet to protect against misfortune.

Option 4

  • Join Pantry Packers at Colel Chabad

Volunteer at Colel Chabad's Pantry Packers packaging food for the needy. Colel Chabad, Chabad was established in 1788 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and has operated without interruption ever since. Colel Chabad goal since its founding is to provide material help - especially food - to the poorest Jews in the Holy Land, without compromising their pride and dignity.


Colel Chabad operates a unique facility where visitors can assist needy families by contributing an hour of their time. Many of the food staples, such as rice, beans, and grains, are purchased in bulk and need to be repacked to be put in food baskets and delivered in the necessary quantities to needy families. Here is your chance to don a cap, apron, and gloves, and have fun while making a difference.

Option 5

  • Visit the Shalva Children's Center

Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion.

Option 6

  • Tour the Western Wall Tunnels to learn about Temple-era Jerusalem

Starting with its entrance under arches that held up the Great Bridge that led to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall Tunnels offer an up-close look at some of the most amazing archeological finds from the Temple era. A glass floor in the bridge allows visitors to see the two-thousand-year-old stairs of a large ritual bath used by our ancestors during the Second Temple period before approaching this holiest place.


Underground, one can see the Western Wall stones, enormous squared-off boulders, with chiseled edges in their full glory. Many stop to pray at the stone closest to the Temple’s “Holy of Holies,” the center of a synagogue that existed in the Middle Ages and was recently rebuilt. Also in the tunnels is the remains of an underground passageway used by King David to approach the Temple Mount from his palace located on the current site of the Tower of David. A three-dimensional model of the Temple Mount and educational film complete the fascinating tour.

Option 7

  • Tour Magen David Adom Headquarters and meet Israel’s Jewish and Arab first-responders

The Magen David Adom is Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service. The name means "Red Shield of David". Formed in 1930 as a volunteer association in Tel Aviv, it was extended nationwide five years later, providing medical support to the public including not only Jews, but to Muslim, Druze, and Christians. In 1950, the Knesset made MDA, Israel's official national emergency service. Magen David Adom is recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross as the national aid society of the State of Israel under the Geneva Conventions, and a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. MDA has a dedicated medical emergency phone number in Israel is 101.

Option 8

  • Visit “Our Crowd” and learn about the revolutionary Israeli start-ups

Option 9

  • Morning at Leisure in Jerusalem

Enjoy some free time in Jerusalem to shop, sightsee, visit family and friends or simply relax.



  • Lunch on your own in Jerusalem

All Groups

  • Visit Ammunition Hill and Learn about the Battle for Jerusalem in the Six Day War

Ammunition Hill (Givat Hatachmoshet), situated between the modern neighborhoods of Ramat Eshkol and French Hill, was the site of one of the 1967 Six-Day War’s bloodiest and most important battles. A contingent of Israeli paratroopers vied to oust entrenched Jordanian legionnaires who were preventing Israeli access to Mount Scopus and the Jerusalem-Ramallah road. Thirty-seven Israeli troops lost their lives.


Today, Ammunition Hill houses the main Jerusalem induction center for new IDF recruits, an extensive museum, and the trenches and fortifications from the battle. The museum covers the events surrounding the battle in depth, including a rousing documentary film and exhibits on armed Jewish resistance to Nazi oppression in Europe. There are several memorials to the young men who died during the campaign for Jerusalem in 1967.

  • Meet the Brave Soldiers of the IDF

We will have the opportunity to meet with officers and combat troops to hear firsthand about life in the army, the training regimen, and their personal stories.

  • Dinner at the Achuza Hall near the airport
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport and Depart from Israel

This year in Jerusalem!



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