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THE ULTIMATE – ALL INCLUSIVE BAR/BAT MITZVAH EXPERIENCE

Passover: April 4-19, 2012
Prices on request

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS
(B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner)

Day 1:  Wednesday, April  4 – Departure
Depart the USA for Israel.

Day 2:   Thursday, April  5 – Arrival
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv. Our representative  will meet you, help you through customs, and escort you to your transfer vehicle that will take you to Jerusalem. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at the Olive & Fish restaurant.  D 

Day 3:  Friday, April  6 – Jerusalem
We begin the day with a traditional Shehechiyanu ceremony at a panoramic overlook of Old and New Jerusalem, with wine and bread to welcome you to Israel’s unique capital city.  We will visit ‘Otef Yerushalayim, the new defense wall surrounding the city, and enjoy superb views of Jerusalem from several observation points. Then we will continue to the Kotel, Judaism’s holiest site,   followed by a tour of Jerusalem neighbourhoods to get acquainted with this fascinating city. In Mea She’arim, one of Jerusalem’s oldest religious neighbourhoods, we will see the preparations for Passover. Then we will visit Ammunition Hill, the site of the battle that liberated Jerusalem in 1967.  Early return to the hotel to prepare for this evening’s communal Seder, the traditional Passover eve meal.   BD  

Day 4:   Saturday, April  7 – Passover in Jerusalem
Start the day with an optional walking tour of the Four Quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem.  We will stroll through the bustling Arab market, walk down the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and explore the renovated Jewish Quarter, including the Roman Cardo and the Western Wall complex.  Today is the first day of Passover, and the afternoon is free to allow you to rest, visit relatives or stroll through the streets of Jerusalem, absorbing the special holiday spirit of this holy city. In the evening, we will have dinner at hotel.    BD

Day 5:  Sunday, April  8 – Jerusalem
Begin the day by exploring the new discoveries in the City of David, the archaeological site where 3,000 years of Jewish history has been rediscovered.  We will visit the Davidson Exhibition, where we will view the virtual reality reconstruction of the Temple Mount prior to its destruction by the Romans. We will tour the excavations at the Southern Wall of the Temple, where we will see parts of the original Second Temple wall.   Then we will walk through the Kotel Tunnels, the ancient passageways of Biblical Jerusalem.  Next, it’s on to the Herodian mansions to illustrate how people lived in King David’s day.  End your visit to the Old City with an overview of the history of the land of Israel.                              Dinner at a restaurant   BD

Day 6:  Monday, April  9 – Jerusalem
Start the day with a visit to the Knesset, the modern Israeli parliament, to see where Israeli lawmakers govern the country.  Then we will enter the Israel Museum complex and begin with a view of the Model of Ancient Jerusalem, an intricate detailed model depicting the Second Temple, palaces, homes, courtyards, gardens and markets of the ancient city.  We will tour the museum’s unique collection of Jewish artifacts and historical treasures that can only be found in Israel.  Next it’s on to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust.  We will begin with a lecture by a member of the museum’s staff, take a tour of the exhibits, the Children’s Memorial and the Valley of the Communities, and end our visit with a moving ‘Yizkor’ (memorial service).  Our next stop will be Har Herzl, the burial place of Theodore Herzl and most of Israel's great statesmen, to visit the Herzl Museum and the military cemetery. If time permits, we will visit the new Supreme Court Building and the Malcha Shopping Mall.  Dinner at a restaurant   BD

Day 7:  Tuesday, April 10 – Jerusalem / Galilee
Depart from Jerusalem, heading north through the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean to explore one of Israel’s most spectacular archaeological sites.  Visit the famous amphitheatre and stroll through the streets of this ancient Roman city to admire the unique architecture and technical ingenuity.  Continue to Beit Alfa to visit its ancient synagogue, which features beautiful sixth-century mosaic floors depicting the signs of the Zodiac.  Our next stop is the Mitzpe Hoshaya, a religious community in the Galilee Valley. Here we will enjoy donkey rides and have a chance to participate in making cheese.  before heading to our hotel in Tiberias.  Dinner at hotel.   BD 

Day 8:  Wednesday, April 11 – Galilee
Start the day with a visit to Safed, one of the four holy cities of Israel and the city of the Kabalah.  We will stroll through its narrow cobblestone streets, visiting several of its historic synagogues and the diverse galleries in the restored Artists’ Quarter.   Next we will drive to the army base at Malkia (subject to confirmation) to meet with Israeli soldiers and get an insider’s view of life in the Israeli army.  Then we will drive through the Upper Galilee to the picturesque town of Metulla on the slopes of Mt. Hermon, where you will have a chance to practice your target-shooting skills.  We will end the day at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, a natural wonderland, where we will hike along the shores of the Dan River and explore the ruins of the ancient city of Dan.  Dinner at hotel.    BD 

Day 9:  Thursday, April 12 – Galilee
We will begin the day with an exciting jeep tour of the Golan Heights, a great way to get a real feel for this beautiful area.  Our 4x4 vehicles will take us over rivers and up mountains with amazing panoramic views of the Galilee and the Mediterranean.  Next we will visit Katzrin, the capital of the Golan Heights and site of an ancient Talmudic town.  Here we will enjoy a breathtaking 180-degree film presentation of the “Golan Experience” at Kesem Hagolan.  We will then ascend Mt. Ben Tal to visit Kuneitra on the border with Syria, which overlooks Mt. Hermon as well as Syrian territory, where we will learn about its strategic value in the Yom Kippur War.  Our day will end with an unforgettable rafting experience on the Jordan River. Dinner at hotelBD 

Day 10:  Friday, April 13 – Galilee / Tel Aviv
We will depart the Galilee and drive west towards Haifa, Israel’s third largest city and one of its main ports, which is located in the Carmel Mountains overlooking the Mediterranean.  We will take a driving tour of some its famous landmarks, including the Baha’i Gardens and the German Colony, and we will enjoy the panoramic view from the top level of the city.  Then we’ll continue south along the Mediterranean Sea to the ancient Roman port city of Caesarea, built by King Herod over 2,000 years ago.  We will explore the fascinating archeological sites, including the Roman amphitheater and the Hippodrome, and we will view the state-of-the-art multi-media presentation.  Finally, we’ll continue driving south along the coast to our hotel in Tel Aviv to relax before Shabbat. Shabbat dinner at hotel.   BD

Day 11: Saturday, April 14 – Tel Aviv
Enjoy a free Shabbat in Tel Aviv, walking along the seaside promenade to       Old Jaffa, strolling along Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus buildings, visiting the entertainment center at the port or just relaxing at the beach or pool.  Tonight we will celebrate at an exciting Bar/Bat Mitzvah party, where we will be entertained by and enjoy the talents of Israeli artists.  A special celebratory dinner (subject to minimum number of participants) will be served - another evening of good times and family fun.  BD

Day 12:  Sunday, April 15 – Tel Aviv
Today begins with an archaeological dig at the Tel Maresha excavations, where we will take part in a hands-on search for ancient objects, followed by a ‘crawl’ through the famous Beit Guvrin caves.  Next we’ll drive 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.  Our next stop will be the city of Rehovot, where we will tour the amazing Machon Ayalon ammunition factory, which was used by the Hagana (Israel’s first army) to secretly manufacture bullets during the time of the British Mandate.  We will then drive back to Tel Aviv for a visit to Independence Hall, the building where Ben-Gurion officially declared the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.  Dinner at Maganda restaurantBD

Day 13:  Monday, April 16 – Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Masada
Today we will get up early and drive to Masada, the mountain fortress built by King Herod, where the Jewish Zealots chose suicide rather than surrender to the Romans.  We will ascend to the top by cable car for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service in a shaded spot, ensuring everyone’s maximum enjoyment. Following the ceremony, we will take a comprehensive tour of the site, walking through Herod's Palace, the synagogue, the bathhouse and newly-excavated areas.  We will then drive to the oasis site of Kfar Hanokdim, where we will enjoy Bedouin-style hospitality and a traditional ‘Chafla’ feast.   After lunch, we will head back down to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, to ‘float’ in the mineral rich waters, use the famous black mud and enjoy the spa facilities at our hotel. Dinner at hotel.   BLD

Day 14:  Tuesday, April 17 – Dead Sea / Eilat
We will depart the Dead Sea and drive through the Negev Desert to Mitzpe Ramon, a small town situated in a grand desert setting.  Here we will walk along the top of the magnificent Ramon Crater and enjoy the splendid view of its unique geological structures as we look over the vast Israeli desert.  We will then continue driving south through the desert to Timna Park, the site of ancient copper mines, to hike through the natural park and view the many unique sandstone formations, including the majestic Solomon’s Pillars.  Then it’s on to Eilat, Israel’s famous Red Sea resort town, to relax in your hotel. Dinner on your own.  B

Day 15: Wednesday, April 18 – Eilat / Petra option
On this last full day in Israel, you will be free to enjoy Eilat, participate in snorkeling and other water sports, visit the exciting Underwater Observatory, do some great shopping or just relax on the beach or at the hotel pool.  We will offer an optional excursion to Petra, Jordan’s rock-carved red stone city which was built by the Nabateans more than 2,000 years ago.  You tour will include the many wonders of the ancient city, including the Treasury, the amphitheater and the many obelisks, temples and tombs throughout the site.

Day 16: Thursday, April 19 – Fly home
Say goodbye to Eilat as we head north to Ben-Gurion Airport for your return flight to the USA. 

Prices for this program are not available yet, as we await 2012 contracts. Please contact us so that we can forward you the pricing information as soon as we have it.