Discover Jewish Israel (8n/9d)

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial opened in 2005

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial opened in 2005

Day 1: Sunday
AM: Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport. After you have cleared passport control an Amiel representative will be waiting to welcome you with a VIP special assistance to facilitate your luggage identification, handling, customs clearance and escort you to your waiting driver. PM – Go to the hotel for check-in. Overnight David Intercontinental Tel Aviv, or similar

Day 2: Monday
Morning at leisure to relax after the long flight yesterday. Breakfast is included at your hotel.Meet your guide in the hotel lobby and depart for the Palmach Museum, an interactive peek into the lives and experiences of the young freedom fighters who were the founders of Israel’s Defense Forces. Tour Jaffa – one of Israel’s oldest port cities. After lunch on own, visit Independence Hall, and relive the exciting moment of David Ben Gurion’s moving Declaration of the State of Israel. Visit Kikar Rabin, where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995. Walk in his final path and discuss the impact of this event on the modern history of the State of Israel. End the day at the Azrieli Towers with a short film about the founding of the city and observatory. Return to the hotel for an evening on your own. Overnight:  David Intercontinental or Tel Aviv or similar

Day 3: Tuesday
First stop is Caesarea, the Roman port city on the Mediterranean. An audio-visual presentation brings to life the times of the Roman Legion controlling these shores several thousand years ago. In Zichron Ya’akov, visit the Aharonson House, the home of the Jewish secret organization “Nili”, which spied for Britain against the Ottoman Turks in the First World War. See an audio-visual presentation. After lunch on your own, we will continue north to Atlit, which used to be a detainee camp used by the British authorities to detain illegal Jewish immigrants to Mandatory Palestine. Atlit is located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, 20 km south of Haifa. Return to Tel Aviv for evening on your own. Overnight:  David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv or similar

Day 4: Wednesday
After checking out of our hotel we will go to Rehovot to tour the underground Ayalon Institute, where the pre-state Haganah built a secret bullet making factory under the noses of the British at the Ayalon Institute. Next we will have a special Tree Planting Ceremony. Feel your connection with the land of Israel by planting a tree with your own hands. After lunch, prepare to ‘get dirty’ at an archeological dig at Beit Guvrin. This is ‘Maccabee’ country: prepare to get dirty as you dig and find shards of pottery nearly 2,000 years old. Upon arrival to the Holy City of Jerusalem, participate in the tradition of saying the “Shechiyanu” and “Borei Pri Hagefen” blessing, as pilgrims did when approaching Jerusalem throughout history. Overnight:  David Citadel, Jerusalem or simialr

Day 5: Thursday
Stroll through the Jewish Quarter. A special point of interest is the Cardo, the “heart” of the unearthed main Roman thoroughfare and ancient marketplace. Enjoy a visit of the excavations of the Herodian Mansions and the “Burnt House”, located beneath the present-day. Jewish quarter, and showing how the High Priests and wealthy Jerusalemites of old lived. After lunch, visit Ir David (“City of David”), the section of Jerusalem that was captured and settled by King David and  established as the first capital of an independent Jewish entity. Tour the Southern Wall Excavations and the Davidson Center’s virtual 3D tour of the ancient Temple. Visit the Western Wall, and take a tour through the Kotel Tunnels, which show the Western Wall and the Holy Temple as they were in Roman Times, until the destruction of the temple in the year 70 CE. Overnight:  David Citadel, Jerusalem or similar

Day 6: Friday
Visit the new Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, which opened to the public for the first time in 2005. You will tour this memorial to the darkest moment in the world and Jewish history, its children’s memorial and exquisite gardens. Experience Israel’s newest attraction, “Herzl’s Vision” where you can learn the story of Theodore Herzl, whose vision of a Jewish Homeland was only a ‘dream’. Prepare for Shabbat. Candle lighting at the hotel and celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat in the Old City or at one of the many nearby shuls. A table is reserved for your Shabbat dinner (included) in the hotel. Overnight:  David Citadel, Jerusalem or similar

Day 7: Saturday (Shabbat)
Breakfast at the hotel at your leisure. Services at various nearby synagogues. Afternoon touring options – walking tour (on your own) either to the Western Wall or through some of Jerusalem’s beautiful neighborhoods near the hotel. Evening to enjoy Jerusalem as she comes back to life after a rest on Shabbat. Overnight:  David Citadel, Jerusalem or similar

Day 8: Sunday
Depart Jerusalem for the Judean Desert. Start the day at  Massada, King Herod’s desert mountain get-away palace and scene of the zealots’ last stand against the Roman Legion. Continue north and enjoy a walk through the beautiful Ein Gedi Waterfalls and study the biblical stories of King David and Saul. Lunch and swim at the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea Hotel with time to float in the unsinkable waters of the Dead Sea. Finish the day at Eretz Breishit, where you can enjoy camel rides and a special dinner just like in the days of our ancestors. Arrive back to your hotel in Jerusalem. Overnight:  David Citadel, Jerusalem or similar

Day 9: Monday
After breakfast in the hotel, drive around to see the new city of Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the site of the Israeli Parliament with its surrounding. Rose Gardens. Ammunition Hill, where one of the fiercest battles for Jerusalem took place during the Six Day War. Spend the afternoon doing last minute shopping, packing and relaxing.Farewell dinner at the fabulous Anna Ticho House restaurant in Jerusalem. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for return flight to the United States

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