Depart for Israel.
Tel Aviv – the new Zionist City. Independence Hall, former home of Mayor Dizengoff, where on May 14 1948 David Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. The White City of Bauhaus Architecture, seen on walking tour of Rothschild Boulevard. The Israeli Museum at Itzhak Rabin Center. Evening tour of Old Jaffa and dinner in Neve Tzedek neighborhood.
Ascend Masada to tour King Herod’s fortress where Jewish zealots took refuge after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 BCE and resisted a prolonged siege. Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, and float suspended in its waters. Continue to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve to hike up and then refresh in the pools of the waterfalls of Nahal David (where David took refuge from King Saul) and Nahal Arugot, site of the remains of a sixth century synagogue. Return to Gala welcome dinner in Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv, with entertainment and keynote speaker.
Overnight Tel Aviv.
Morning – four options:
- Option One: Business track: breakfast with economic expert. Visit a Venture Capitalist. Visit a turn-around project in a Jezreel Valley Kibbutz, then a winery, and then lunch.
- Option Two: Food and Beverage track: Ella Valley – drive through the valley where David slew Goliath and the Canaanites, Israelites, and Philistines roamed. Explore ancient olive and grape presses. Visit present day cheese farms and wineries. Lunch at Winery.
- Option Three: Outdoor Ecology Adventure Track: “Triathlon” morning bike ride along Tel Aviv seafront. Hike along the Israel Trail in Caesaria and Jisser A Zarka. Meet with Ornithology expert to learn about bird migration over Israel and efforts required to protect farmers and animals as 500 million birds migrate over Israel twice yearly. Lunch and swim at Crusader Harbor in Caesaria.
- Option Four: Diverse Faces of Israel Track: keynote speaker on assimilation of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel. Tour of South Tel Aviv quarter where Eritrean and Sudanese refugees have flocked. Visit to Welfare Center; and tour the Graffiti in the Florentine area.
Afternoon: four cultural options:
- Rubin Museum – renowned artist who depicted life in the 1920’s and 1930’s in Tel Aviv
- Bat Sheva Ballet – rehearsal and meet and greet
- Shenkar Academy of Design – meet and greet
- Gesher Theater (founded by Russian Immigrants) observe rehearsal simultaneously in three languages, meet and greet with actors.
Evening: concert of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Breakfast briefing with journalist.
- Business Track: Tel Aviv University School of Business: how the curriculum is adjusted to accommodate IDF veterans’ accrued experience during military service. Visit Google Israel and meet with top executive. Networking luncheon with Israeli businessmen. OR meeting with founders of Life Beam Technologies, the developer of the innovative platform that measures physiological and bodily parameters.
- Food and Beverage track: visit two different markets with entirely different concepts: one upscale outdoor mall at the Tel Aviv Old Port, and the other the traditional Outdoor Carmel Market. Lunch at a traditional Eastern European Jewish restaurant.
- Outdoor Ecology Adventure track: Reclaiming waste water in the Hefer Valley: narrowest point in Israel between the Palestnian Authority and the Mediterranean Sea, overlooking Palestinian town of Tul Karem. The story of water – from swamps to thriving state – the water purification system. Travel the lush landscape and pick fruit adapted to the soil. Stop at Alexander Stream to see steps implemented to save the water source as well as the water turtles that have been rescued. Visit Desalination Plant at Hedera, the largest in the country, stop to lunch at Kibbutz Magal, with employees of their drip irrigation factory.
- Faces of Israel track: Visit Israeli Defense Forces base, meet with officers and soldiers to discuss life in the IDF and how these young people view their contribution to society. Tour the famous Gush Etzion bloc just south of Jerusalem for conversation with Jewish and Arab local residents. Lunch.
Afternoon options: meet with a political scientist; a journalist/politician; a famous left wing author, and a psychiatrist.
Festive dinner at winery. overnight Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem: Choose from five options:
- Option One: Food and Beverage: Tour Machaneh Yehuda Market with well-known Chef.
- Option Two: Seamline and Co-existence: Visit the Security Belt of civilian neighborhoods established after the 1967 War. Visit Gilo, Armon HaNatziv, and Har Homa which overlook Arabic neighborhoods, where Jews and Arabs reside side by side on the “seam.” Overview of issues concerning Jerusalem today including the controversial security fence.
- Option Three: Archeology: Tour of the site of the Second Temple remains, in the middle of modern day Jerusalem. Discussion of struggles of archeologists MOD in the constantly fluctuating environment of a modern changing city.
- Option Four: Old City: Workshops and eateries in the Muslim Quarter, where 20000 people live in one square kilometer. Explore the maze of alleyways and religious beliefs.
- Option Five: The amazing Charlotte Bergman residence in the Israel Museum. The story and the collection.
Evening: Sound and Light Show at Tower of David.
- Learning Option One: Lecture on Haredim Vs. Non-Haredim in Israeli Society (ultra religious). Meet with Haredim and with the JAFI/JDC personnel who work with them.
- Learning Option Two: Study the weekly Torah portion at the Secular Yeshiva. Tour the Machaneh Yehudah Market, Mea Shearim, and Nahlaot to learn about the role of women.
Private Dinner overlooking the Old City walls.
Day 8: Optional Walking Tours
- Old City
- Templar Legends in the German Colony
- The Street of the Prophets
- Bike Ride around the old railway tracks through the city
- Walk to the Notre Dame Hotel viewing along the way the scenes of bitter battles in the 1967 War; have cheese and wine in the rooftop restaurant.
Old City of Jerusalem: City of David and Tunnel Tour; Yad V’Shem Memorial Museum to the Holocaust; departure for airport and return home.
*Itinerary is subject to change pending circumstances beyond our control*