12-Day Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tour
DAY 1 FLIGHT TO TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Overnight flight to Tel Aviv, Israel.
DAY 2 ARRIVAL TEL AVIV / JERUSALEM
“Bruchim Habaim” and welcome to Israel. You will be warmly greeted by an IBMT Tours representative at the airport who will assist you through customs. A FREE transfer will be available for those who booked their flights with IBMT Tours. After you have checked into the hotel you are invited to join us in one of the private lounges of the hotel for a festive IBMT Tours welcome cocktail reception where you can mingle with your fellow travelers and enjoy hot canapes & hors d’oeuvres. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Meal: Welcome cocktail reception and light dinner
DAY 3 JERUSALEM (OLD CITY)
Begin the day with a trip to the top of Mount Scopus, one of the few places from which both the Dead Sea and the Dome of the Rock can be seen. Marvel at your first panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade. Together with the members of the tour, collectively we recite the “Shehechayanu” blessing and toast l’chaim to celebrate your visit to Israel. Enter via the Zion Gate which leads to the Armenian Quarter and walk through the restored Jewish Quarter passing the excavated Roman Cardo. At the revered Western Wall, a specially arranged walk takes us through a newly opened 1200 foot long tunnel excavated at the time of King Herod then used as an aqueduct to channel water to the Temple. On our way to the Israel Museum, we pass by the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), where a 5m– seven-branched bronze Menorah, the symbol of the Jewish people is found. Across the way is the modern Supreme Court Building, the highest judicial court in Israel. Proudly sitting on a hill in Givat Ram, the Israel Museum was founded in 1965.The white domed Shrine of the Book represents the lids of the jars in which the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found near Qumran. Across the way is the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden, a unique blend of Zen and Western art principles. Marvel at the meticulously recreated 1:50 Scale Model of Ancient Jerusalem during the Second Temple period which was transferred to the Israel Museum in 2006 at a cost of $3.5 million dollars. Later at the hotel join the Rabbi for your Bar/Bat Mitzvah rehearsal. Free evening dinner is on your own. Overnight Jerusalem.
DAY 4 JERUSALEM / TEL MARESHA / REHOVOT LATRUN/ MACHANE YEHUDA (SHUK)
Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves to take part in a 3-hour program of digging, sifting and touring Beit Guvrin National Park. Who knows what we might find on our archeological dig at Tel Maresha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to Ayalon Institute in Rehovot, a secret underground ammunition factory where you will learn of the bravery and ingenuity of pre-state freedom Hebrew fighters. Pay a visit to the Yad La-Shiryon Museum in Latrun (located between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv/Jaffa). Famous around the world for its unique and diverse collection of tanks and armored vehicles, this is a `hands-on` visit for the children as they can actually climb up on the combat tanks. This was the staging area for the Independence War. At the Armor, Corps Museum learns about the battles that secured the road to Jerusalem which led to victory.
Tonight, we experience a new type of dinner. We will travel to the famous Machane Yehuda market for a Shuk tasting tour, a different type of cuisines will be offered to us exploring the variety of foods Israel has to offer. An experience you do not want to miss out. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Meal: Breakfast & dinner
DAY 5 JERUSALEM – MASADA – DEAD SEA – JERUSALEM (BAR-BAT MITZVAH DAY)
This is YOUR SPECIAL BAR/BAT MITZVAH DAY. Drive through the Judean Wilderness to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, some 1200 feet below sea level and continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Masada. An exciting 3-minute cable car ride will whisk you to the top to view the excavations of the Herodian palace, storerooms, bathhouse and water reservoirs. Visit the ruins of the small Synagogue which served the Jews of Masada and the Beit Midrash (Torah Study Hall). Your guide will retell the harrowing tale of the 967 zealots (men, women and children). Here we will meet our Rabbi to witness the joy of your child coming of age. Descend by cable car and head to the Dead Sea. You are invited by IBMT Tours for lunch & a swim at the Herod’s hotel the Dead Sea and experience the unique sensation of “floating” in the unsinkable waters. Most facilities will be available to you. Adults will be able to enjoy the spa as well (at additional cost). Time for relaxation before your exciting evening. After a great lunch and relaxation at the Dead Sea and spa, we head to the mountains between Jerusalem and Dead Sea. A convoy of camels will be waiting to pick us up at (Eretz Breishit) where the story of Abraham will be recreated. In Abraham’s tent, enjoy an authentic festive Bar/Bat Mitzvah dinner followed by a Menorah Lighting Ceremony. An entertainment group will celebrate our Simchah through the evening with dancing, singing, a drummer circle and well as other surprises. A magical evening is in store for us. This will be an evening you will never forget! A short drive takes us back to Jerusalem for overnight. Dress code: casual
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6 JERUSALEM (SHABBAT)
Our day begins with a somber visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s moving memorial to the Holocaust where tour members take part in a Yizkor service. See the poignant Children’s Pavilion, the new Holocaust Museum and the Valley of Destroyed Communities where the names of 5000 lost communities have been inscribed in the stone walls.
After an emotional visit to Yad Vashem we need some time to change our mood by visiting the Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, lots of locals are celebrating the coming of the weekend by spending time on this beautiful exciting and happening street in Jerusalem.
Return to the hotel in Jerusalem to dress for Shabbat. We are blessed to be able to celebrate Shabbat in Jerusalem. Your host for Shabbat will be waiting to take you on an IBMT Tours experience “Shabbat of a Lifetime“ which includes Kabbalat Shabbat, dinner and hospitality, Jerusalem style. Afterwards a short walk back to the hotel. Overnight Jerusalem.
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 7 JERUSALEM (SHABBAT) DAY AT LEISURE
In observance of Shabbat, today is a day of relaxation. Families can explore the Old City and the Jewish Quarter, one of the four quarters of the Old City on foot. Or simply relax at the hotel. Dinner is on your own. Overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 8 JERUSALEM / KFAR KEDEM / SAFED / TIBERIAS
Leaving Jerusalem behind we head for the Galilee and Kfar Kedem situated between Tiberius and Haifa next to Tzippori where a “hands-on” experience will transport us back in time to revisit life as it was in a Jewish village in the Galilee some 2000 years ago. Wearing authentic clothing, you can ride donkeys, turn wheat into bread and feast on a rustic Galilean meal. This is an amazing experience. Light lunch will be served at the village under a tent.
We continue to Safed, one of the four holy cities and home of Kaballah (Jewish mysticism). This charming town is filled with cobblestoned streets and lined with ancient synagogues and artists’ galleries, offers breathtaking views of the entire Upper Galilee. On arrival at our hotel, you are invited to a second celebration in the north. Our chef will prepare an outdoor Potjie South African BBQ dinner for our families sitting around a bonfire, while a guitar player entertains us with Israeli Mediterranean songs and dance. Overnight Kibbutz
Meal: Breakfast, Light lunch, Dinner
DAY 9 TIBERIAS / GOLAN HEIGHTS / KUNEITRA / EIN ZIVAN / TIBERIAS
Explore the geo-politically vital Golan Heights by private jeep this morning. Travelling off-the-beaten-track roads, we will hear about the decisive battles fought in this area. In Biblical times it was referred to as Bashan, the captivating beauty of the Golan becomes more beautiful as you go higher. Stopping at an observation point overlooking Kuneita and Syria, you will gain a meaningful perspective as to the significance of the strategic Golan Heights.
Now for some fun as we head to Ein Zivan to participate in chocolate making at the famous De’ Karina chocolate factory. Established by Karina Chaplinski, De Karina Chocolates has gained an impressive reputation as a gourmet chocolatier. Hear about the history and culture and take part in a hands-on workshop. Adults visit a winery and take part in wine tasting).
This afternoon is set aside for more fun as you river raft and zipline on the mighty Jordan River. Try not to get wet! Driving back along the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s sole source of fresh water and a favorite vacations spot we come to Tiberias, once a Rabbinical scholar center. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner with members of the Kibbutz. Overnight Kibbutz.
Meal: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 10 TIBERIAS / TEL DAN / DRUZE VILLAGE / TEL AVIV
We set our sights on the Tel Dan National Park combining a lush nature reserve with a Biblical archaeological experience with three easy hiking routes and a short wheelchair-accessible trail. At the heart of the park is Tel Dan, the capital of the ancient northern kingdom. The Dan River, one of the sources of the Jordan, flows through the reserve, its water coming from the snow melting on nearby Mount Hermon. A wading pool offers a refreshing break.
On top of Mt. Carmel, we stop at the Druze Village of Ussifiya for a traditional Druze lunch hosted by a Druze family and learn about these unique Israeli citizens. En-route to Tel Aviv, we visit the ancient port city of Caesarea built by King Herod the Great about 25-13 B.C.E. Your short introduction includes the arched amphitheater and aqueduct. In less than one hour we will be in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv with time to relax on the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean. Tonight you will be dropped off at Rothschild street in Tel Aviv a scene you have never seen before. There will be time on your own to explore the great cafes and amazing famous restaurants in the area with various fusion food you can find only in Israel. You will receive “envelope money” from IBMT Tours and we will recommend some restaurants nearby for you. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Meal: Breakfast, Druze Lunch and envelope money for dinner on your own
DAY 11 TEL AVIV / JAFFA / TEL AVIV
The morning is at leisure to spend time with your family swimming at the beach or at the hotel pool or walking along the promenade or you can take our Optional “Flying Powered Parachute” program. You will be transferred to Kibbutz Ga’ash where you will meet your trainer / pilot and fly with him for about 20 minutes over the Mediterranean shore seeing Israel from both sides. ($165.00 US per person – ask for details).
Around noontime, we will start our day by visiting the famous indoor Sarona Market with time for tasting a large variety of food and cuisine created only in Israel. Enjoy lunch on your own from a large variety of different cuisines the market offers. This afternoon moves on to ancient Jaffa where Jonah began his adventure with the whale. A perfect place for people watching and good food. Take a short walk through the restored town before returning to Tel Aviv with its narrow byways filled with artist galleries and cosmopolitan shops. A city full of secrets, surprises and adventures. We finalize our tour today with the Independence Hall trail walking along Rothschild Blvd. Tonight a special farewell dinner at Goshen restaurant with its five-star cuisine. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 12 TEL AVIV – USA / CANADA
After breakfast for those who booked their return flight in the morning, a transfer will be provided to the airport for your return flight home. For those who booked a late night flight, you have a chance to enjoy a free day in Tel Aviv on your own. You can check out from the hotel between 11am – 12pm keep your luggage in the lobby with the bellboy and stroll along the Tel Aviv famous promenade, have a great lunch at one of the great restaurants at the port of Tel Aviv just 10-15 minutes by taxi from the hotel. Return to the hotel for your transfer to the airport for your late evening flight departing right before or after midnight.
**Free trip for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child (ask for details)
Jerusalem: Inbal Hotel
Tel Aviv: David Intercontinental
YOUR LAND TOUR INCLUDES
Meeting and assistance on arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport by our representative
Escorted group transfer on arrival and departure
Transportation by deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
Five Star Deluxe hotel accommodation based on double occupancy
10 night’s hotel accommodation based on double occupancy at the above five-star deluxe hotels
Full Israeli buffet breakfast at hotels daily with chefs standing by to take your orders
The services of a Government licensed English speaking tour guide throughout (the services of a local guide only in Eilat depending upon the number of participants)
FREE Rabbi Service on Masada and preparatory disc with Torah readings
Porterage of one normal-sized piece of luggage per person at the airport and hotels
8 full days sightseeing as per the program including entrance fees as per the itinerary
Machane Yehuda Shuk bites tour dinner
“Shabbat of a Life Time “ dinner and hospitality
A BBQ dinner with bonfire and entertainment
A unique Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration & dinner (special event)
8 dinners throughout the 12-day tours
3 lunches 12-day tour (Dead Sea Lunch & swim Day 5 / Kfar Kedem Light lunch Day 8/ Authentic festive Druze lunch Day 10)
A special gift to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child
And much more…
YOUR LAND TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE
Round trip airfare to Tel Aviv and return
Departure taxes, fuel surcharge and airport improvement fees (subject to change without prior notice)
Insurance – non-refundable insurance premium
Single supplement quoted separately
Meals and beverages not mentioned
Early check-in – late checkout
Expenses of personal nature
Tips to Guide/Driver/Restaurant or hotel staff