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Congregation Emanu-El San Francisco

Jun 26, 2019 - Jul 7, 2019

Summer 2019 Family Israel Trip
Led by Rabbi Jonathan Singer
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • Departure from the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Day 1
Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor Educational Journeys representative.
  • Transfer to Tel Aviv.
  • Check in to the hotel and refreshments in the hotel lobby.
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 2
Friday, June 28, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Tel Aviv as a Jewish City, Tel Aviv as an Israeli City, Tel Aviv as a City of the World, with scholar Rachel Korazim.
  • Visit Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People that connects Jewish people to their roots and strengthens their personal and collective Jewish identity by conveying the narrative of the Jewish people and the essence of Jewish culture, faith, purpose and deed.
  • From Hebrew City to Hebrew State: Walk the Tel Aviv Independence Trail that begins with the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 and ends with the establishment of Israel in 1948. The trail includes the first homes of Tel Aviv that were built on sand dunes, Nahum Gutman’s mosaic of Jaffa’s history, the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium, the Great Synagogue, the Hagana Museum, the first branch of the Bank of Israel, the monument commemorating Tel Aviv’s founders, and the statue of the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff.
  • Visit the Independence House Visitors Center (at the Shalom Tower): “We Hereby Declare”, a tour and presentation on Israel’s Declaration of Independence, the aspirations it articulates and the dramatic events surrounding the establishment of the State.
  • Visit the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly crafts fair and eateries. Alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market and across the way is Sheinkin Street, with its hip cafés and funky chic shopping.
  • Lunch on own and rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat options:
    • Beit Tefilah Yisraeli: musical Kabbalat Shabbat (on the Promenade or at their location) in the best Tel Aviv tradition that intertwines old and new, Jewish and Israeli
    • Kehilat HaLev: musical Kabbalat Shabbat services that takes place within a community atmosphere, with an egalitarian attitude and clear language
    • Mishkenot Ruth Daniel: “Kabbalat Shabbat with Rabbi Mira Raz, musical accompaniment by Shimon Smith – new Israeli songs alongside  ancient melodies, all accompanied by guitar, and new thought-provoking sermons”
  • Group Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 3
Saturday, June 29, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Behind the Headlines: Israel Today: Interactive reading of English language Israeli and international newspaper headlines with social historian, Paul Liptz.
  • Guided tour through the Old City of Jaffa, beginning at the Jaffa outlook and tracing its story from the Biblical times to today’s Jaffa Port.
  • Meet with a Jewish and an Arab activist working towards making a better shared society in Jaffa.
  • Time at leisure.
  • Havdallah by the beach.
  • Dinner on own at the renovated Old Port of Tel Aviv, with its wonderful restaurants, cafés and shops, right on the water’s edge; or at the Tachana, Jaffa’s Old Railway Station, renovated and restored as a great pedestrian complex, with restaurants, shops and open spaces for people-watching.
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 4
Sunday, June 30, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Drive north along the Trans-Israel Highway, parallel to the Mediterranean coastline.
  • Guided visit through Caesarea, with its Roman theater, hippodrome and palace.
  • Walk through the waters of Mei Kedem, a restored stretch that was part of an ancient water system that operated during the Roman and Byzantine periods.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • The port city of Akko is a city of intrigue: walk through the labyrinthine alleys and streets exploring the remains of Crusader, Muslim and Ottoman construction inside the massive city walls; explore the subterranean Crusader city; explore the Ottoman fortress; visit a uniquely decorated synagogue.
  • Mavrhatey (My Light): In the full-size Ethiopian hut, Yoney Skiba offers guests an insight into the aliyah experience of Ethiopian Israelis and also into Ethiopian-Jewish culture. Taste the traditional injera sourdough flatbread and participate in the preparation of Ethiopian coffee with Ethiopian-Jewish music that heightens the experience.
  • Travel to the hotel.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Hagoshrim, North
Day 5
Monday, July 1, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Celebrate with the B’not Mitzvah at the excavated remains of an ancient Galilean or Golan synagogue
    • Options:
      • Korazim
      • Hatzor
      • Marut
      • Naburiya
  • Explore Tsfat, a center of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years and a contemporary artists’ colony, including:
    • Guided visit to the Ari, Caro or Abuhav Synagogues, each with its great stories and mystical messages
    • A stroll through the quaint Artists’ Colony, shop in the galleries and crafts shops and engage in dialogues with local artisans inspired by the messages of Kabbalah
  • Festive BBQ lunch at the Baba Yona ranch in honor of the B’not Mitzvah.
  • Enjoy rafting down the Jordan River.
  • Return to the hotel for leisure time.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Hagoshrim, North
Day 6
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Ascend the Golan Heights for an off-road jeep tour in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and their battles in the Six-Day War. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
  • Chocolate and Wine:
    • Adults: Wine tasting at one of the Golan’s boutique wineries
    • Children: Chocolate-making workshop at DeKarina Chocolaterie
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Walk through the Kinneret Cemetery taking the opportunity to consider the trials and triumphs of the early pioneers through the lens of the Zionist poetess Rachel and the sentiments inspired by Naomi Shemer, the songwriter of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav – both of whom are buried here.
  • Continue south via the Jordan Valley Rift to the Dead Sea Basin.
  • Proceed to Eretz Beresheet.
  • Mount camels and travel a short distance to the “Tent of Avraham Avinu” at Eretz Beresheet for an explanation and demonstration of ancient Biblical hospitality customs, many of which are preserved today in traditional Bedouin life.
  • Ascend to Jerusalem via the Eastern Gate and enter the Old City through Dung Gate.
  • Take the time to reflect and meditate at the Western Wall – HaKotel Ha’Ma’aravi or HaKotel; the eyes may just see giant bricks and people praying, the heart can see infinitely more as each person asks him/herself what it means to be here as an individual and as part of the Jewish people.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Leonardo Plaza, Jerusalem
Day 7
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Jerusalem of the In-Between: Interactive text study session with Ophir Yarden, Program Director at AdaShA (Lens/Perspective), Jerusalem Center for Interreligious Encounter.
  • Walk through the Old City to today’s Jewish Quarter for a guided visit through the Upper City of 2000 years ago.
  • Lunch on own in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Explore the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem, view the Gihon Spring and wade through the 2,700-year-old water tunnel of King Hezekiah (optional dry exit).
  • Walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Western Wall alongside the Temple Mount.
  • Guided visit to the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem for a walk through the city’s history – with observation points, visual and audio-visual aids – from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine. (time permitting)
  • Free time in the Mamilla pedestrian mall, a very contemporary shopping area with a whiff of the past, located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City with dinner on own.
  • The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum: the walls of the citadel serve as a stage for a night-time show – a celebration of sight and sound – that depicts the story of Jerusalem.
Overnight: Leonardo Plaza, Jerusalem
Day 8
Thursday, July 4, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit at Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center to the including:
    • The Avenue of the Righteous
    • The Holocaust History Museum
    • The Children’s Memorial
    • Special concluding ceremony in the Valley of the Communities

Note: Children 10 and over can go into the museum.

  • Walk/drive through the Israeli ‘Capitol Hill’ – along the Knesset – Israel’s Parliament; the famous Menorah; the Supreme Court Building; the Prime Minister’s Office; the Israeli National Bank and the future site of the National Library of Israel.
  • Possible meeting with Akiva Tor, Director of Special Projects, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and former Israel Consul to San Francisco.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through Machane Yehuda open-air market, where there is already a sense of Shabbat in the air, with an added urgency as shoppers seek out the nicest and freshest fruits, vegetables and fish for their Shabbat meals.
  • Dinner on own in the market, followed by a twilight walking tour through the colorful neighborhood of Nachlaot. Visit the various synagogues, walk through the narrow alleys and learn more about the different ethnic communities who contribute to the neighborhood’s charm.
Overnight: Leonardo Plaza, Jerusalem
Day 9
Friday, July 5, 2019
  • Early breakfast at the hotel.
  • Proceed to the Dead Sea.
  • Ascend Masada by foot or cable car for a guided visit through the site and an exploration of the symbolism and questions that arise from the Masada story and their implications for Jewish life today.
  • Ride the cable car down and continue to Ein Bokek for an opportunity to experience the feeling of weightlessness of the Dead Sea as you float in its waters and swim in the hotel pool, followed by lunch.
  • Optional: Hike up to and cool off in the refreshing pools and waterfalls in the Nahal David (David’s Stream) of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a unique ecosystem of springs, waterfalls and pools surrounded by lush greenery in a desolate desert setting.
  • Return to Jerusalem to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat at Congregation Shir Chadash in Tzur Hadassah (pending confirmation).
  • Home Hospitality with congregants or festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Leonardo Plaza, Jerusalem
Day 10
Saturday, July 6, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Meet with Anat Hoffman or Rabbi Noa Sattat from IRAC.
  • Mid-morning: An Historic Weave of Jerusalem Walk through the Valley of Hinnom, using the Bible as a guide, to the top of Mount Zion, the Hill of Three Religions.
  • Walk through Jerusalem’s famous Old City Market (shuk), with lunch on own and time for shopping.
  • Continue to the Christian Quarter and enter the Holy Sepulchre, situated on the hill called Golgotha or Calvary that contains the last five Stations of the Cross, including the sites of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.
  • Optional: Visit the unique collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum, including renowned international and Israeli art, and Judaica collections; the charming Billy Rose Sculpture Garden; the Shrine of the Book, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the miniature open-air Second Temple Period model that recreates Jerusalem in 66 CE.
  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • Looking Forward: Havdallah & summary session with Rabbi Singer and tour educator over a private festive farewell dinner.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport and check in for late-night flight.
Overnight: In flight
Sunday, July 7, 2019
  • Return flight to the United States.

*Program is subject to change, pending confirmations.

Price per person, based on double-occupancy
Single supplement
Third person sharing, under 12 years

* Prices do not include flights


3 nights Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv
2 nights HaGoshrim, Golan Heights
4 nights Leonardo Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem (including late check out on the final day)


Land Price Includes:

  • Group assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport
  • One group transfer from and one transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 10 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 9 days
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary
  • Meals
  • Breakfast daily
    • 2 lunches
      • BBQ lunch
      • Lunch + swim
    • 5 dinners
      • Shabbat dinner Tel Aviv
      • Dinner at north hotel (2)
      • Shabbat dinner Jerusalem
      • Farewell dinner
  • Source Materials, Hat, Map
  • Water on bus daily – 3 bottles per person per day
  • Porterage at hotels

Not Included:

  •    Tips for Guide and Driver
  •    Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  •    Travel and Medical Insurance
  •    Flights


Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

April 20, 2019 — 50% of Total Payment

May 15, 2019 — Full Payment


Travel Insurance:
We urge you to purchase cancellation insurance & supplemental medical coverage (which covers pre-existing conditions). This is a smart way to safeguard against life’s surprises.
We have made arrangements with SMS-Travel Insurance Center (Israel) of Omaha, Nebraska. SMS has over 25 years of experience as worldwide insurance brokers and can help you choose the policy that best meets your needs. Yonah Engel is our contact person.

Please note:

  • most insurance policies require purchase within 21 days of your first payment in order to receive maximum coverage (pre-existing conditions, bankruptcy insurance, etc).
  • even if you do not yet know the final trip cost (e.g. flights), write down the amount you do know – and then at a later date, we can amend the insurance premium.
  • trip dates are for the entire period away from home
  • trip costs are all pre-paid expenses (e.g. airfare + land costs)
Phone number: 1-402-404-5205
Mention promo code: IGT-MAKOR

There are no group flights organized for this tour.