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Congregation Gates of Prayer

Dec 18, 2022 - Dec 29, 2022

Discover Israel
Led by Rabbi David Gerber
Celebrate the Jewish people's past, present & future in the Land & State of Israel
Optional extension to Eilat/Petra, December 29 - January 1
Sunday, December 18, 2022
  • Departure from the United States.
Overnight: En route to Israel
Day 1
Monday, December 19, 2022

• Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport and meet your Makor tour educator

• Proceed to Tel Aviv
• From atop the Azrieli ObservationTower, get a 360° view of the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv and beyond to get a glimpse of Israel’s geography and topography
• Check in to the hotel

• Dinner [and Journey introduction] at the Goshen Restaurant with Rabbi Gerber & your journey educator.

Overnight: Melody Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 2
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
  • Depart hotel
  • Travel to the Jaffa Port, with the ocean on the right and the city of Tel Aviv on the left.
  • Continue with a brief walk through the Old City of Jaffa, tracing Jaffa Port’s story from the days of the Bible through its mixed demographics of today
  • Return to the Nachalat Binyamin market in Tel Aviv, for a stroll through an outdoor street market with quality Israeli crafts and folk art
  • Lunch on own* (*we will provide suggestions when meals are “on own”)
  • Board your bus to journey to Israel’s North
  • Stop for a short walk through Nahal HaShofet, which flows through the tranquil backdrop of HaZorea Forest
  • Continue north to the Sea of Galilee
  • Check in and dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Nof Ginosar Hotel
Day 3
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Board Jeeps and travel on the Golan Heights to discover first-hand the strategic importance of the area, including an overview from the top of Mount Bental and a view across the border onto the Syrian Golan
  • Lunch on own at Café Anan
  • “Taste Bud Tantalizers” – Wine and Chocolate:
    • Adults: Wine tasting at a boutique winery
    • Youth: Chocolate workshop at De Karina
  • Continue to Safed, for a guided visit through its alleyways, ancient synagogues, market, and artist colony, using the stories of the mystics as a guide
  • Return to hotel
  • Barbecue dinner at Baba Yona Farm


Overnight: Nof Ginosar Hotel
Day 4
Thursday, December 22, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out
  • Proceed to Beit She’an, one of the largest and best-preserved archeological sites in Israel, for a guided visit in one of the ancient Near East’s most strategically situated cities
  • Continue to Jerusalem
  • Stop at Mount Scopus for a panoramic view of Jerusalem and an opportunity to recite the traditional Shehecheyanu blessing upon arrival to the Holy City
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 5
Friday, December 23, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Preparing for Shabbat: “…gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil.”  (Deuteronomy 11:14). Today’s visits/tours will tie Jewish sources to participatory activities based on these elements:
  • Drive in to the Judean Hills for:
    • Grain– Challah baking
    • Wine– Wine-tasting in a local boutique winery or with a professional wine-expert
    • Oil: Visiting ancient olive terraces and olive presses; practical demonstration of olive oil production and/or how does a Judaica artist use the concept of “light” in creating ritual objects such as candlesticks and chanukkiot.
  • Afternoon at leisure or join Jerusalemites from all walks of life as they prepare for Shabbat at Machane Yehudah open air market, with lunch on your own
  • Kabbalat Shabbat at one of the Jerusalem area Reform synagogues (or on your own at hotel), followed by a festive Shabbat dinner with congregants (or with group at hotel)
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 6
Shabbat/Saturday,December 24, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning for rest, reflection and/or services at Hebrew Union College.
  • Lunch on own in the Arab shuk
  • Guided visit of the Old City, beginning at Jaffa Gate and walking along the rooftops of the Old City for a glimpse at the multi-ethnic weave of the city, followed by a guided visit through the Armenian and Jewish Quarters, Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Return to the hotel
  • Tour Yemin Moshe neighborhood In the Footsteps of the Poet Yehuda Amichai
  • Havdalah overlooking the Old City Walls
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 7
Sunday, December 25, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Proceed to the Dead Sea Basin
  • Ascend Masada via cable car or on foot 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 float in the Dead Sea and swim in the hotel pool, followed by lunch.
  • Afternoon of “soaking in the rays” and spa treatments at the hotel.

(For those who have already been to Masada, option  to spend the whole day at the spa).

  • Return to Jerusalem
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 8
Monday, December 26, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Memory of the Holocaust in Israeli Society Today, a presentation by Holocaust scholar Rachel Korazim
  • Visit Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the national memorial to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, including the Avenue of the Righteous.  Conclude with a memorial program in the Valley of the Communities
  • Tour the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, which stands as a symbol of both Jewish sovereignty and dedication to democracy. Meet with MK Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the first Reform rabbi to be elected to the Knesset
  • Lunch on own

Afternoon choices

  • Worlds of Light

Enter the Israel Museum through “Route of Passage” an underground access that angles upward toward a 44-foot rainbow-spectrumed artwork.

Option 1: Space That Sees: James Turell’s “Skyspace” performance pieces that respond to and interact with environmental conditions and atmospheric fluctuations over time.

Option 2: Leisure time in the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden

Possible other visits at the Museum:

Dead Sea Scrolls, housed in the Shrine of the Book, whose very architecture evokes the struggles of the “Sons of Dark and the Sons of Light”

Paintings, explore the unique utilization of natural light by visual artists in early 2oth century Eretz Yisrael

Ritual Objects: Shabbat candlesticks, chanukkiot, and ner tamids as ritual objects that convey themes of light

  • Or, explore Jerusalem on your own



  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 9
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit to the Ayalon Institute in Rehovot, a pre-state clandestine munitions factory, for a glimpse at the ingenuity and creativity of Israel’s pre-state armed forces
  • Participate in an authentic Kurdish Cooking Workshop in Moshav Zachariah that affords a hands-on, true-to-life cultural immersion that’s not just about good eating, but also about exploring other cultures through taste, smell, and experience
  • Visit Beit Shemesh and participate in a mitzvah project at Latet, a national NGO that fights poverty and food insecurity
  • Travel through the Judean Hills to return to Jerusalem
  • Free evening and dinner on your own
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 10
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Underneath the Old City’s chaotic maze of buildings is the Western Wall Tunnel, the extension of the retaining wall that was built 2,000 years ago by Herod the Great to support the massive compound of the Temple
  • Ride along the Jerusalem Light Rail, for an opportunity to explore the city and its people as the train travels through Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, passing through Ultra Orthodox, Secular, Mixed, Arab and traditional centers of Jerusalem, with commentary by your guide.
  • Conclude with a visit to a private home in the picturesque neighborhood of Ein Kerem, to meet with local artists and view and taste their creations.
  • Lunch on own and return to hotel (Packing time)
  • (Checkout for those returning to the United States)
  • Proceed to Chutzot Hayotzer for Mapping the Journey – an interactive arts program with Kol Ha-Ot – Rabbi Matt Berkowitz and staff guide participants through a visual midrash exercise to review the individual and collective experience of traveling in and engaging with Israel
  • Festive farewell dinner lunch at the Eucalyptus restaurant which boasts “Eretz Yisrael” cuisine using wild herbs and plants growing on the Judean Mountains – hyssop, Jerusalem sage, and just-picked figs and recipes developed by different ethnic and religious groups who have settled in Jerusalem
  • Option 1: Return to the hotel (for those going to Eilat)
  • Option 2: Depart for Ben Gurion Airport (for those returning to the United States; arrive on Thursday, December 29)
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem OR In flight
Eilat, Day 1
Thursday, December 29, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel (Jerusalem)
  • Check out of hotel
  • Depart for Ben Gurion International Airport for flight to Eilat
  • Fly to Ramon Airport, and continue to Eilat
  • Check in to hotel
  • Afternoon, dinner and evening on own

Eilat & Area Attractions & Activities:

Note: Individual activities indicate that participants can do things on their own while group activities indicate that it would be better/more economical to do as a group

  • Individual Activities:
    • Scuba dive or snorkel among the reefs
    • View the fish through glass at the underwater observatory and aquarium
    • Water skiing
    • Parasailing
    • Spa
    • Walk along the promenade


  • Group Activities:
    • Day trip to Petra
    • Jeep tours into the Eilat Mountains
    • Tour of Timna National Park
    • Chai-Bar Nature Reserve


All lunch(es) and Thursday dinner on own.

Overnight: Queen of Sheba Hotel, Eilat
Eilat, Day 2
Friday, December 30, 2022

Eilat & Area Attractions & Activities:

See previous day

  • Shabbat Dinner at hotel (included)
Overnight: Queen of Sheba Hotel, Eilat
Shabbat/Saturday, December 31, 2022
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Free time to enjoy Eilat – depending on flight departure schedules.
  • Check out of the hotel
  • Proceed to Ramon Airport, near Eilat
  • Fly to Ben Gurion International Airport
  • Return to the United States.
Overnight: In flight

*Program is subject to change, pending confirmations.

Price per person, based on double occupancy
Single occupancy supplement
Third person sharing, child 12 years & under
Third person sharing, child 13-17 years old


* Prices based on 20 full-paying participants.  Prices do not include flights.



  • 1 night, Melody Hotel, Tel Aviv
  • 2 nights, Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Hotel, Galilee
  • 6 nights, Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem



  • Assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport for one group flight
  • One transfer from and one transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for one group flight
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 10 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 10 days
  • Hotel Accommodations per above or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs, as per the itinerary
  • Source Materials, Hat, Bag, Map
  • Water on bus daily – 3 bottles per person per day
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Credit card fees


  • Breakfast daily
  • 2 lunches
  • 5 dinners


  • Flights
  • Tips for Guide, Hostess and Drivers
  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance (Recommended: SMS Travel Insurance Center, Omaha); Email: yonah@travelinsuranceisrael.com; Tel: 402-404-5205 (see below for more information)
  • Potential costs stemming from Covid-19-related regulations at the time of travel (ex. PCR or serological tests).

Payment and Refund Schedule

Please Note: A full refund will be applicable depending on the global pandemic status.

Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

September 1, 2022— 50% of Total Payment

November 1, 2022 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel Before September 1, 2022 — Full Refund

Cancel between September 1, 2022 and October 15, 2022 — 50% Refund

Cancel between October 15, 2022 and December 1, 2022 — 25% Refund

Cancel after December 1, 2022 — No Refund


For more information, please contact Rabbi David Gerber, rabbi@gatesofprayer.org or Rabbi Misha Zinkow, misha@makorjourneys.com


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.

​Regarding Travel Insurance, 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 at this time.

Price per person, based on double occupancy
Single occupancy supplement
Third person sharing, child 14 years and under


*Based on 10 full-paying participants.

Price Includes:

  • 2 nights + late checkout on December 31
  • Makor Staff throughout the weekend
  • Airport Assistance at Ben Gurion Airport upon departure
  • One Transfer from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport
  • Round-trip Internal Flights
  • Round-trip Transfers to and from Ramon Airport
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Porterage at hotel


Not Included:

  • Optional activities as suggested in itinerary
  • Tips for Guide and Driver
  • Meals on own and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Potential costs stemming from Covid-19-related regulations at the time of travel (ex. PCR or serological tests).
  • Joined Petra Tour, $350 per person, which includes: Pick up from hotel, assistance at the border crossing (2), border taxes and visas, all transportation in Jordan, English-speaking Jordanian guide, lunch at a local restaurant in Petra, all entrance fees in Petra. Makor will make all necessary visa arrangements.

For more information, please contact Rabbi Misha Zinkow at misha@makorjourneys.com