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FAMILY BAR / BAT MITZVAH PROGRAM IN ISRAEL

DECEMBER 23, 2013 – JANUARY 4, 2014

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, December 23         Israel

Welcome to Israel! Our representative will meet you after passport control and will escort you to your transfer. Transfer to Tel Aviv, the modern business and cultural capital of Israel. Check into our luxurious, beachfront hotel near the Tel Aviv Marina and Sea Promenade.  You might be too excited to relax and absorb some sunshine with the thrill of being in our land of Israel. During the welcome dinner, we will be briefed on the program. In the evening, walk through people-friendly Dizengoff Street with its sidewalk cafes, or along the promenade, listen to the surf and get ready for a dream come true.

Overnight:  Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv   (Dinner included)

 

Day 2   Tuesday, December 24       Tel Aviv

After your delicious buffet breakfast, you’ll start your orientation tour in the 4,000 year old port city of Jaffa, from which you’ll have a breathtaking view of modern Tel Aviv and the ancient/modern contrast of the two. You’ll want to stroll through the narrow, picturesque streets of this old city, view the art galleries and enjoy the special Mediterranean ambiance.  Next, we drive south from Tel Aviv to Machon Ayalon to visit the pre-state underground ammunition factory. After a short lunch break we visit the Carmel Market shopping district, to mingle with the crowd and become part of this bustling life style. We proceed to Beit Hatefutsoth - the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora for a special family adventure. The children will have a special role in discovering “The routes of the Roots.” We proceed to Independence Hall where the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948 by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. We will learn about the first steps of the newly established Jewish state. If time permits we’ll take you to the tallest skyscraper in Israel (designed by Canadian architect David Azrieli), Azrieli Center, where you can have a sky-high panoramic view of Tel Aviv.

Overnight:  Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv   (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 3   Wednesday, December 25     En route to Galilee

After a bountiful breakfast, we bid farewell to Tel Aviv and drive north along the coastal road. Visit Caesarea, the most famous port city built by King Herod, where we will visit the newly excavated Hippodrome and experience the new multimedia show that depicts the history of this ancient city, and experience its new attractions. Drive through a Druze village on the way to Haifa, Israel’s major port city. View the Baha’i Shrine and beautiful Persian Gardens.  Proceed to the ancient holy city of Safed; visit the artists’ colony and the tiny old synagogues in the town where Kabala was “mystically” born. We proceed through the mountains of Galilee to our hotel. 

Overnight:  Galei Kinneret Hotel, Tiberias   (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 4    Thursday,  December 26         Galilee/Golan

Exploring the northernmost part of Israel.  What a blast! We begin at Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar’s shooting range to test our target shooting skills (subject to government approval).  As the kids boast about who scored best, we drive towards Kiryat Shmona, then take the cable car to the mountaintop Kibbutz Manara. From here you’ll photograph a great view of the Northern Galilee and Lebanon. We continue to the Banias Springs, one of the sources of the Jordan River, and then proceed to Mount Ben Tal.  This stronghold overlooks the deserted Syrian city of Kuneitra and provides a breathtaking view of the whole area including the kibbutzim below and shows how vulnerable they had been, prior to 1967. We then visit an army base for yet another unbelievable experience, speak with the soldiers who defend the northern borders and observe the life of a real combat unit! (This northern program and the visit to the army base is subject to change due to the political situation and the ability of IDF to host groups.) In the evening we drive to Tiberias where we have an evening of surprises, fun and good food at Decks (Israeli grill) Restaurant. 

Overnight:  Galei Kinneret Hotel, Tiberias   (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 5    Friday, December 27             En route to Jerusalem

We drive to the east bank of the Sea of Galilee to visit Mitzpe Kfar Haruv from which we will have a fantastic view of Lake Kinneret and better understand the political complexities in this part of the Golan Heights. We continue south, via the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, along the borders with Syria and Jordan to Beit Shean, then view the Roman Amphitheatre and tour the largest excavation site of any Roman city in the Middle East. We’ll continue through the coastal plain, attempting an early Jerusalem arrival to participate in a “Shehechiyanu” ceremony. After registration in our deluxe hotel, and a short break, we drive to the Western Wall to watch and participate in the Friday night prayers.  Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem   (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 6   Shabbat, December 28           Jerusalem

A free day. Walking tour to explore the Old City, or visit relatives, friends. Swim in the enclosed pool, rest before the tour continues. Tonight at 7:30 pm, we will participate in our Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration dinner party. Guests may be invited (must be coordinated in advance).

Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem   (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 7  Sunday, December 29              Old City of Jerusalem

Before entering the Old City we’ll have a historical orientation; then our guide will take us through sites to which very few have access!  We will visit the Jewish Quarter, the Cardo and the colonnaded main street of Byzantine Jerusalem, and the Kotel (Judaism’s holiest site –the Western Wall, in which you may place a note).  Visit the Davidson Exhibition to see a fantastic computer imaging presentation of the Temple.  We’ll see the Hafirot Hakotel (the most recent Wall excavations), Southern Wall Excavations, the Rabbinical Tunnel under the Temple Mount, the stores under the Robinson Arch.  Learn of the illegal excavations by those who are trying to destroy Jewish archaeological evidence of our homeland.  Lunch break in the Jewish Quarter. Walk through the bazaars and more.  If time permits we will visit the City of David including the 3D presentation. 

Overnight:   Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem   (Breakfast included)

 

Day 8   Monday, December 30               New City of Jerusalem

We begin our day with a tour of the New City of Jerusalem. View the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and view the beautiful new Supreme Court building. Ride the Time Elevator, a multimedia attraction which takes you on a fascinating, three dimensional, simulated ride through the last two millennia of Jerusalem’s history.   We stop and have lunch and then we proceed to Har Herzl Military Cemetery to pay homage to Theodore Herzl, and Israeli leaders and heroes at their final resting place. Visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, for a tour of its exhibits, Children’s Memorial and Valley of the Communities.  If time permits we will visit Israel Museum. Before dinner the families will meet the Rabbi, and then the bar/bat mitzvah children will have a chance to rehearse privately in comfort with him.    

Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem    (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 9   Tuesday, December 31              Archaeological Dig

Early departure, we drive west to Modi’in tree planting center and ceremony.  Continue to the ancient city of Beit Guvrin for archaeological dig at Tel Maresha. We sort through our excavated treasures in the caves! We proceed to Latrun to visit the magnificent Mini Israel. At Mini Israel you’ll be mesmerized by the astonishing miniature replicas of all the major structures and historical sites of Israel, which make this country unique. We’ll then tour the Armored Forces Museum occupying the premises formerly used by the British Army during their mandate. This site was of strategic importance in defense of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem supply route during the War of Independence. Today young soldiers (and visitors) learn of those who preceded them here. You’ll have plenty of photo opportunities as you and your children examine all the different tanks and armored vehicles that were in IDF service before we return back to Jerusalem and, if time permits, we stop on the way at the Scrolls of Fire Monument. 

Overnight:  Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem    (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 10   Wednesday, January 1               Desert Experience/Dead Sea

Today we bid farewell to Jerusalem with an early departure for a hike to Ein Gedi Falls, then to Kfar Hanokdim for our Desert Experience – a day of exceptional family excitement!  We’ll encounter the desert Bedouins at Havat Hanokdim.  A caravan of camels will take us for a ride through the desert where we’ll have a “Chafla” lunch, enjoying Bedouin hospitality.  We proceed to the hotel for a dip in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, cover our bodies with black mud and have fun. We spend the night at the deluxe Isrotel Hotel, near Masada.        

Overnight:  Isrotel, Dead Sea   (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

  

Day 11   Thursday, January 2           Masada/En route to Eilat

A pre-dawn ascent of Masada by cable car to view the gorgeous sunrise over the desert and Dead Sea from this fortress which staved off the arduous Roman advance and earned a position as one of one hundred “World Heritage Sites” by the United Nations. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah service will be held in our shaded spot, ensuring everyone’s maximum enjoyment of the ceremony. You’ll have some time to visit the famous palace, synagogue, bathhouse and more, built here by Herod the Great. We begin our tour via Beer Sheba for a short stop at the Air Force Museum at Hazerim Air Base. Continuing south through countless wonderfully surprising desert scenes, we’ll visit the magnificent Ramon Crater and – if time permits – the copper mines of Timna to visit Solomon’s Pillars. Tonight we are going to have our farewell dinner.

           Overnight:  Hilton Queen of Sheba Hotel, EilatHihhH      (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 12   Friday, January 3              Eilat/Petra (optional)

Free day in Eilat to enjoy the sun and the sea. Take advantage of the snorkeling and diving opportunities. Or enjoy an optional tour to Petra! Shabbat dinner will be served at the hotel.

           Overnight:  Hilton Queen of Sheba Hotel, EilatHihhH      (Breakfast and dinner included)

 

Day 13   Shabbat, January 4           Eilat

This morning you are free to enjoy Eilat and to pack.  Undoubtedly, many names and phone  numbers will be exchanged and many good-byes will be said.  Return to Tel Aviv late this afternoon by air and transfer to Ben Gurion 

Airport for your late night flight back to the USA.  (Breakfast included)

 

Shalom and Le’Hitra’ot!

 

WINTER 2013/2014

 

Price Includes:

  • 12 nights hotel accommodation, as follows:
    • 2 nights at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv
    • 2 nights at the Rimonim Galei Kinneret Hotel in Tiberias
    • 5 nights at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem
    • 1 night at the Isrotel Hotel at the Dead Sea
    • 2 nights at the Hilton Queen of Sheba in Eilat
    • Daily Israeli breakfast and 12 meals as follows:
      • 11 dinners including: Welcome dinner, Farewell dinner, Celebration dinner
      • 1 Bedouin Chafla lunch
      • B’nei Mitzvah ceremony on top of Masada
      • 9 days of sightseeing as per itinerary on deluxe motor coach
      • English speaking fully licensed guide
      • All entrance fees to places of interest and activities mentioned in the itinerary
      • Airport transfers with assistance for passengers who are joining our official group flights                                          
      • Transfers to local restaurants for included dinners outside the hotel as per the above program
      • One way domestic flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv
      • Porterage at the airport and hotels
      • Gratuities to outside restaurants and hotel staff
      • Welcome kit upon arrival
      • All taxes and service charges for foreign tourists in Israel
      • And much more….

 

Not Included:

  • International airfare.   Flights are available from the US and Canada.  Please let us know if you are interested in booking our group flights.
  • Airport transfers for passengers who are not traveling on the official group flights
  • Services of a personal nature
  • Optional tour: Petra one-day tour from Eilat
    • Meals and drinks not included in the program
    • Travel insurance
    • Gratuities to driver and guide
    • VAT for passengers who hold Israeli passports (this also applies to passengers who have dual citizenship, with one passport being an Israeli passport)

 

Payments & Registration: 

A deposit of $350 per person is required to secure space on the tour.  This amount becomes non-refundable 3 months prior to departure.  Final payment is due 2 months prior to departure

Payment is by check. For credit card payments a credit card processing fee will apply.

Credit cards are processed in US$ by our partners in Canada. Foreign transaction fees may apply and are the responsibility of the passengers.

Insurance:  

Travel insurance is available.  To cover pre-existing conditions, the insurance must be paid in full at the same time the deposit is made.  Otherwise insurance must be purchased at time of final payment latest.

 

Passports:  

Must be valid six months beyond your return travel date.  If you are not a US passport holder, please check visa requirements.

 

Cancellation Policy:

The deposit is refundable up to 3 months prior to departure.

Air tickets are subject to full penalty after they are paid for and ticketed

Land services are subject to 50% cancellation fee up to 14 days prior to departure and 75% 14 days or less, prior to departure.

                                                                          

Disclaimer:

Sarai Tours / IsraelExperts™ acts as a direct or indirect agent between the passengers participating in the tours/flights, and/or the travel agent/organization who organizes the tours/flights, and between the relevant travel contractors (airlines, hotels and restaurants, railway companies, bus companies, their owners, managers and employees or their representatives), and are not to be held responsible for any mishap connected to and/or rendered by the aforementioned companies and/ or persons. All participants in these tours are bound by the general conditions, rules and regulations as fixed by the contractors. Any damage and/or injury, loss and/or additional expenses caused by reasons beyond the control of Sarai Tours / IsraelExperts™, or not under their direct control, will be borne by the participants and is their sole responsibility. Sarai Tours / IsraelExperts™ reserves the right to amend programs, and/or alter dates and hours of departures. Furthermore, Sarai Tours / IsraelExperts™ recommends to all participants to insure themselves and their belongings prior to arriving in Israel or to beginning a tour.