Day 1: TEL AVIV
Arrival in Ben Gurion Airport. Drive to the ancient port city of Jaffa famous for its association with the stories of Solomon, Jonah and Peter. On a walking tour learn about the American settlement of Mrs. Minor & Pastor George Adams who established Christ Church in Jaffa in 1862. Learn about the Templar Society founded in 1861 in southwest Germany. Afterwards transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 2: TEL AVIV B
Begin with a walk in the picturesque quarter of Neve Zedek, the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the ancient port of Jaffa. See the Diaspora Museum also known as Bet Hatfutsot on the campus of Tel Aviv University where the history of the Jews and their life in different countries for over 2500 years has been chronicled. Head to Ramat Aviv to visit the Palmach Museum dedicated to the Elite striking force of the “Haganah” the underground military organization of the Jewish community. The Palmach was founded in 1941 to help the British defend the country against the approaching German armies. Continue on to Independence Hall, where Prime Minister Ben Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14th, 1948.
**Time permitting a walking tour to discover Bauhaus style architecture in Tel Aviv (known as the White City) a collection of over 4,000 structures dating from the 1930’s designed by German Jewish architects who immigrated after the rise of the Nazis. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 3: TEL AVIV B
Begin with a drive to Ariel where you will meet a new generation of Israeli settlers. **A possible meeting with the Mayor of Ariel, Mr. Ron Nachman may be provided. Proceed to Gedera founded in 1884 by the “BILU” to visit the Museum and learn about the establishment of the BILU movement and the immigration of the “Biluim” to the Land of Israel. The Ayalon Institute nestled between Nes Ziona and Rehovot was built to fool the British into thinking it was a kibbutz, when it actually was a secret ammunitions factory. Time permitting stop at the Haganah Museum (a former Jewish paramilitary organization founded in 1920 to defend the Jewish community in Palestine against Arab violence). Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 4: TEL AVIV/HAIFA B
Leaving Tel Aviv we head for Caesarea built between 25-13 BCE by Herod the Great as the port city of Caesarea Maritima. See the Crusader city, the water aqueducts and the Hana Senesh Museum named after this valiant woman who died at the age of 23 by a Nazi firing squad in 1944.This Budapest born poet and author of the hymn “Eli” became a beacon of hope, courage and determination. Located at the southern end of the Carmel Mountain Range is Zichron Ya’akov, a city built by the first wave of Russian immigrants that escaped after the assassination of Tsar Alexander the first. Visit the Cemetery of Zichron Ya’acov, learn about the immigration from Yemen and continue to Beit Sara Aaronson, once the home of the agronomist Aharon Aaronson and his sisters Sarah and Rebecca, leaders of the Jewish secret organization “Nili” (Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker) which engaged in active espionage for Britain against the Ottoman Turks in World War I. **Time permitting attend a meeting with the Beth El congregation members. As the day winds down, stop in Atlit to visit the “Illegal Immigrants Camp” established in 1938 to prevent Jewish refugees from entering Palestine. Walk along the Templars (the German Colony) that was established in 1868. Overnight in the Haifa area.
Day 5: HAIFA/SEA OF GALILEE B
Learn about Israel and its minorities as you visit the Druze Villages. Continue on Mt. Carmel to Mukhraka (the Horn of Carmel) where Elijah confronted the Baal prophets and slew them at the Kishon Brook. Proceed to Alonei Abba named in memory of Abba Berdichev who parachuted into Czechoslovakia in 1943, but was captured and executed in 1945. Next is Bet Lehem HaGelilit (Bethlehem of the Galilee) in the northern Jezreel Valley originally built by the Templars who were chased out at the end of WW II for collaborating with the Nazis. Some 14 kms. south of the border with Lebanon is Kfar Vradim “Village of the Roses”. The first families here were mostly workers from ISCAR Metalworking owned by Mr. Stef Wertheim. Continue past Carmiel and end the day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee at Kibbutz Guest House Ein-Gev taking part in a unique experience meeting Kibbutz members in their homes learning firsthand about the Kibbutz concept and its influence on the establishment of the State of Israel. Overnight in Kibbutz Ein-Gev.
Day 6: SEA OF GALILEE B
Drive to Safed, one of the four holy cities of Israel located in the north and known for its study of mystical Kabbalah. Also learn about the return of the Sephardic community to Israel after its expulsion from Spain. Drive to the nearby agricultural village of Birya founded by the Palmach in 1945. At Kibbutz Nir David you will find a Wall and Tower Museum depicted in documents, photos and people’s statements. The title of “Homa u-Migdal” (Tower and Stockade) used during the British Mandate in Israel was given to Jewish communities established overnight with a view to challenge a law stipulating that settlements already built could not be destroyed. In the Upper Galilee stop at Rosh Pina founded in 1878 by a group of Orthodox Jews and today known for its trendy cafes and restaurants. At Kibbutz Kfar Giladi overlooking the Golan Heights visit the Shomer Museum documenting the Shomer movement, the precursor of the Israeli Army. See the ancient city of Tel Dan, an important archaeological and historical site to see the main water source of the Jordan. Visit Banias (Caesarea Philippi), an archaeological site located at the foot of Mount Hermon before ascending the Golan Heights to Kibbutz El Rom near the Valley of Tears (Emek HaBacha) founded in 1971. See “Oz 77”, a fascinating film telling the story of the Battle of the Valley of Tears where the Syrian Army was stopped by the Israeli Armed Corps 77th Oz Regiment in 1973. Proceed to Mt. Bental for its stunning view of Mount Hermon and the Golan, the Israel-Syrian border and the Yom Kippur War’s battlefield. Overnight in Kibbutz Ein-Gev.
Day 7: SEA OF GALILEE/JERUSALEM B
After breakfast drive to the fishing village of Capernaum on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee where 1,500 archaeological excavations have revealed ancient synagogues built one on top of the other. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered his famous 9 verse Sermon on the Mount. Drive south along the Jordan River to Kibbutz Gesher. At a designated meeting point at the Jordan River and Yarmouk River, Pinchas Rotenberg’s planned to divert the waters of the Yarmouk River to serve as the central reservoir in the hydro-electric station he was about to construct. Near kibbutz Gesher, on the banks of the River Jordan hides “Old Gesher”, a charming scenic corner with geopolitical and historic importance. The Battle Museum located in an underground shelter used to be the center of the settlement’s activities during the battle of the War of Independence. Hear the heroic story of Kibbutz Gesher during the Independence War. Next is Harod Springnear Mt. Gilboa said to be the very place where God reduced Gideon’s army from 2000 to 300 warriors based on their drinking habits and how they went on to defeat the Midianite army. (Book of Judges 6- 8). Major General Charles Orde Wingate, a Christian British intelligence officer risked his military career by secretly training special “night squads” (the Palmach)” to carry out missions against Arab raiders. Drive to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
* If time permits visit Beth She’an.
Day 8: JERUSALEM B
We begin our day in the Jewish Quarter, one of the four traditional quarters, home to numerous yeshivas and synagogues which has had a nearly continual Jewish presence since the 8th century B.C. Visit the Herodian Quarter and the Burnt House where the remains of magnificent buildings from the time of the Herodian dynasty period 37 B.C.E. till 70 C.E. can be found. Proceed to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall or Kotel) a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple courtyard and the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith and visit the Rabbinical Tunnel. Then continue to the new archaeological excavations at the City of David. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 9: JERUSALEM B
Drive to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. En route stop in Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Next is Masada,the mountaintop fortress of King Herod and the site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the advancing Romans. Ascend by cable car and visit the ruins of this ancient fortress. Afterwards descend by cable car and return to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 10: JERUSALEM B
Begin the day with a drive to the Mt. of Olives named for the olive trees that once covered its slopes and enjoy a panoramic view of this golden city. Descend via the Garden of Gethsemane located at the foot of the Mount of Olives and remembered as the place where according to the Gospels, Jesus and His disciples are said to have prayed the night before Jesus’ cruxifion. Next is the Kidron Valley where it is believed the Resurrection of the Dead will begin. Enter the Old City for a walking tour of the Christian Quarter walking along the Stations of the Cross. Leaving the Old City we drive to Ammunition Hill in Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem, the site of the most crucial battlefield in Jerusalem during 1967 war. Stop at Yad Vashem, the moving and somber Holocaust Memorial remembering the victims of the Holocaust. Drive to a meeting with the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ) and learn about their activities in the Land followed by Holy Communion in the Garden Tomb. Overnight in Jerusalem.
*** Optional lecture by a scholar in your hotel after dinner
Day 11: JERUSALEM B
Today we plant a tree in the Holy Land before driving to the Mountains of Jerusalem to see the 8 meter high bronze “Scrolls of Fire” monument created in the shape of two scrolls created by Nathan Rapaport, a Holocaust survivor which describes the journey of the Jewish people from the Holocaust to the Six Day War of June 1967. Next is the Biblical Garden in Yad Hashmona located in the Judean Mountains named for eight Jewish refugees from Austria who escaped to Finland in 1938. The Finnish Government handing them over to the Nazis in 1942, seven died in Auschwitz. Time permitting meet with the Messianic movement in Israel. Proceed to Mevasereth Zion some 10 kms. from the city which straddles both sides of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. Stop at the Observant Center and meet with new immigrants to Israel. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 12: JERUSALEM/TEL AVIV/DEPARTURE B
Transfer to Tel Aviv airport for your flight back home.
*** Program is subject to changes.
LAND TOUR INCLUDES
All airport transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary.
Hotel accommodation based on double occupancy in hotels specific or similar.
Meals as specified (B-Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner).
English speaking local guides.
Entrance fees to the monuments.
Airfare, taxes, meals not specified, insurance, gratuities.
A SIMILAR PROGRAM CAN BE CUSTOM TAILORED FOR INDIVIDUALS BASED ON UPGRADED HOTELS AND SIGHTSEEING BY PRIVATE CAR.