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Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tour in Israel

2013 dates: July 1 – 10,   July 29 – August 7,    August 5 – 14,    August 19 – 28

Monday arrivals

The best family tour offered in North America
Conducted and organized by the finest most experienced team
Great family activities
, excellent hotels and many meals are included
(Legend: B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner)

For prices, please click here.

Day 1,  Monday - Welcome to Israel

Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Our representative and guide will meet you, help you through customs, and porters will load your bags onto our latest model, super-deluxe air-conditioned tourist coach to drive to your hotel in Tel Aviv.  In the afternoon, free time for walking at the promenade, or enjoying the new SPA at the Carlton hotel. Welcome dinner at hotel.

Overnight:  Carlton, Tel Aviv (D)

Day 2, Tuesday – Tel Aviv area

Drive to Rehovot, where you will tour the amazing Machon Ayalon ammunition factory, which was used by the Haganah (Israel’s pre-independence army) to secretly manufacture bullets during the time of the British Mandate. Continue to Latrun, a strategic location on the road to Jerusalem during Israel’s War of Independence. Here we will tour the IDF Armoured Corps Museum, where all the tanks used by the Israeli army since 1948 are on display.  Back to Tel Aviv, visit to Independence Hall, the building where Ben-Gurion officially declared the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.  This evening dinner is at Maganda Restaurant, famous for its Israeli cuisine.

Overnight:  Carlton, Tel Aviv (BD)

Day 3,  Wednesday – Archaeological Dig and the Dead Sea

Today begins with an archaeological dig at the Tel Maresha excavations, where you will take part in a hands-on search for ancient objects; followed by a “crawl” through the famous Beit Guvrin caves. Continue further into the desert to meet the Bedouin, the Princes of the desert, at "Hanokdim Farm.”  Test your camel riding skills; experience a Bedouin "Chafla" –  a sumptuous dinner of Bedouin food while you enjoy their unique hospitality. Spend the afternoon at leisure at the Dead Sea Spa hotel.  Relax and unwind in the geothermal pools, "float" in the Dead Sea – you cannot sink; coat yourself in the famous black mud  - they say it’s good for you! After dinner, there will be a meeting and rehearsal with the Rabbi for the families, and individually with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah (to ensure their comfort with the Rabbi).

Overnight:  Isrotel, Dead Sea  (BLD)

Day 4, Thursday – Masada to Jerusalem

After breakfast, ascend Masada by cable car. Masada was the last stronghold of the Zealots who chose death rather than surrender to the Roman Legion in the Jewish revolt against Rome some 2000 years ago (73 CE).  The site was declared a UNESCO “World Heritage Site.” Join the Rabbi, your Spiritual leader for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service, at select locations overlooking the Dead Sea and the Mountains of Moab. After the service tour Herod the Great’s mountain refuge, later the last stronghold of the zealots in the Jewish Revolt against Rome, including Herod’s Palace, the synagogue, the bath house, the water system and the fascinating storage rooms. Return to your hotel for breakfast and swim in the Dead Sea. Drive to Ein Gedi for a hike through this beautiful oasis to the falls. On route view Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  Stop for a beautiful overview of the ancient and new city of Jerusalem and a short "Shehechiyanu" ceremony on the way to the hotel.  Dinner this evening is in a lovely restaurant.  Experience the amazing Sound & Light show at the Citadel Museum.

Overnight:   Inbal, Jerusalem  (BD)

Day 5,  Friday – Jerusalem New City

Drive to Ammunition Hill to learn about the epic battle fought by the Israeli Paratroopers and Jordanian Legionnaires in the Six Day War (1967) that resulted in the unification of Jerusalem.  Continue to Yad Vashem National Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust. Stop in the grove of the Righteous Among the Nations, continue to the Children’s Memorial, then proceed to a special "Yizkor" (memorial service) in Bikat Ha Kehilot (The Valley of Communities) and visit the new Museum.  A special program will be provided for children (accompanied by one parent). Stop on Mt. Herzl to discuss “from Shoah Letkuma” (from destruction to Independence), visiting the final resting place of the founders of modern day Israel who had a dream and some of those young men who paid the ultimate price to make the dream a reality.   Drive to Machane Yehuda Market, walk along the alleys of the market and taste locally made halva, homemade Jerusalem ice cream, natural health drinks and fine olive oils.   Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Before sunset visit the Western Wall to witness Kabbalat Shabbat at the start of Friday evening prayers and watch the procession of Yeshiva students dancing their way to the Kotel to greet the Sabbath bride. Enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner at the hotel.

Overnight:  Inbal, Jerusalem (BD)

Day 6,  Saturday -  Jerusalem at Leisure

Spend a day at leisure in this fascinating city with an opportunity to rest, to participate in one of the many Shabbat services, to visit sites in Jerusalem or to relax with relatives. Or participate in an optional morning walking tour; walk through some of Old Jerusalem’s diverse neighborhoods. Time to shop in the bustling Old City. The rest of the day is free to rest and prepare before the big party. Evening: Unforgettable Festive Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration including special dinner and live entertainment (subject to minimum number of participants) at the hotel.

Overnight:  Inbal, Jerusalem  (BD)

Day 7, Sunday – Jerusalem Old City

After breakfast depart for tour in the Biblical City of David. An exciting visit in the heart of ancient Jerusalem, the city of kings and prophets, where the most exciting and notable finds of recent years were discovered, including an impressive public structure from the time of Kings of Judea. Visit the underground water system including new discoveries in the area of the Canaanite Citadel and the Canaanite Pool. Take the full wet trail or walk in the dry tunnel.  We arrive at the Southern Wall Archaeological Park which includes a multimedia presentation at the Davidson Centre, describing life around the Temple Mount some 2000 years ago.  Continue through the Southern Wall Excavations, and then stop at the Kotel – the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.  End the day walking back in time through the Western Wall (Rabbinical) Tunnels, a fantastic on-going excavation under the city also known as “Hafirot Hakotel.” The evening is free.

Overnight:  Inbal, Jerusalem  (B)

Day 8, Monday – Galilee

Drive via the Jordan Valley through the homeland of Prophet Elisha and stop at Beit Shean – where the bodies of King Saul and his sons were taken from the walls of the city, to visit the largest on-going excavation in Israel at Scythopolis and see the fine Roman, Byzantine and Omayyad ruins.  Journey to the center of Kabbalah, the ancient, sacred city of Safed.  Explore the picturesque alleyways, stop to see the historic synagogues and visit some of the many fine galleries in this artists’ colony. Continue down through the Jordan River area, where you can test your skills kayaking on the Jordan River and zip lining on the Omega.

Overnight:  Galei Kinneret,Tiberias  (BD)

Day 9, Tuesday – Galilee and Golan

Begin the day with a blast at Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar - test your skill at target shooting (subject to government approval). Visit an Army Base, with a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with IDF soldiers who defend the northern border of Israel and observe the life of an active combat unit. Continue down the northern slopes of Golan Heights, stop for a spectacular view of the lush Finger of the Galilee en route to Tel Dan – bible in hand, walk the nature trail along Dan, the largest source of the Jordan River.  Visit the ancient gate from the time of King Ahab, the mud brick gate from the time of Abraham and the altar from the time of King Jeroboam. Take a jeep tour off the beaten track up and onto the Golan Heights following the route of the IDF when they captured the Golan Heights in the Six Day War. Continue to Tiberias where we end the day with a sumptuous dinner and boat ride at Decks Restaurant.

Overnight:  Galei Kinneret,Tiberias  (BD)

Day 10, Wednesday – Haifa and Caesarea

The day begins at Mitzpeh Hoshaya to participate in cheese making and bread baking.  Take the donkey ride challenge (if you are skilled you’ll get your license as well).  Travel via Haifa to view the Baha’i Gardens.  En route visit a quaint Druze Village. Continue to Caesarea to see the perfect Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, the crusader walls and stop at the new Multi Media show where one can “speak” to King Herod, Rabbi Akiva and many of the prominent elders who shaped history some 2000 years ago.  Continue along the coastal road through the Sharon Coastal plain to Tel Aviv.  Enjoy the farewell dinner, before departing for the  airport.  (BD)