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Gates of Prayer Journey to Israel

Dec 20, 2023 - Dec 31, 2023

Led by Rabbi David Gerber
Experience Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Galilee
Connect to the Land, People and State of Israel
Explore your relationship to Israel and the Jewish People
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
  • Departure from the United States
Overnight: En-route
Thursday, December 21, 2023
  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance from a Makor Educational Journeys representative.
  • Proceed to Jerusalem
  • Stop at the Goldman Promenade, overlooking the Old City for an opportunity to recite the traditional Shehecheyanu blessing upon arrival in Eretz Yisrael, followed by a short introduction to the city
  • Check-in to the hotel
  • Guided tour of Machane Yehuda, followed by a Welcome dinner at a Machane Yehuda area restaurant and orientation to the journey.
  • Options

–        After the shops close down an equally vibrant but “alternative” Machane Yehuda comes alive. Tour the urban art scene and get a different vibe from a beloved Jerusalem cultural icon.

–        Late-night visit to a Jerusalem Challah Bakery

  • Return to the hotel
Overnight: Jerusalem, Arthur Hotel
Friday, December 22, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Encompass the Old City of Jerusalem by following the “Ramparts Walk” along its 16th century walls — a glimpse at the weave of people and places that make Old and New Jerusalem.
  • Walls You See and Walls You Don’t See: Beginning with an overlook onto David’s City, explore the history of the walls and gates of Jerusalem, concentrating in the Jewish Quarter- the Broad Wall, the outlines of First and Second Temple walls and “Alone on the Walls,” an exhibition of photos about the last days and surrender of the Jewish Quarter in the War of Independence.
  • Lunch on own and leisure time in the Jewish Quarter
  • Conclude the day’s touring at Israel’s most famous Wall – the Western Wall/ Kotel
  • Return to the hotel
  • Shabbat Services and Dinner
Overnight: Jerusalem, Arthur Hotel
Shabbat, December 23, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Leisure time or attendance at a local synagogue
  •  “Window onto Zion”: Explore one building sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims that houses King David’s Tomb / the Room of the Last Supper / Nabi Daud
  • Walk through the suq, the Arab market with lunch on own at a local chumusia.  Observe the ethnic and religious cultural diversity of the Old City.
  • (Optional) Guided tour of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.
  • Havdalah
  • Dinner on own in the Mamilla Pedestrian Mall, downtown or First Station
  • View the Night Spectacular displayed on the walls of the Tower of David Museum, and/or Guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnels


  • Return to Hotel
Overnight: Jerusalem, Arthur Hotel
Sunday, December 24, 2023


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit to Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the Jewish NationalMemorial to the victims of the Holocaust, including the Avenue of the Righteous, the Holocaust History Museum and the Children’s MemorialConclude with a life-affirming activity In the Valley of the Communities.
  • Lunch at Café Shalva, a boutique café that is also an equal-opportunity work setting where an inclusive staff work as managers, waiters, and hosts. Learn about Shalva, the Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel
  • Drive to the Judean Lowlands to participate in an active archeological dig at Tel Maresha, while exploring man-made caves from 2,300 years ago, followed by spelunking through the caves. (A walk through already-discovered and accessible caves will be available for those who prefer.)
  • Evening and dinner on own
  • Optional: Participate in a Kol HaOt Family Arts Workshop, as a transition from Yad Vashem to the vibrant city of Jerusalem.


Overnight: Jerusalem, Arthur Hotel
Monday, December 25, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
  • 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.
  • At 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. “Swim” on the water’s surface, suspended on its high concentrations of salts and minerals.
  • Travel north through the Syrian-African Great Rift Valley. Lunch on own en route.
  • The She’an Nights is a multi-media night tour of the ancient city of Beit She’an-Scythopolis.  Following a short presentation on the history of the area, visitors stroll through the streets of the excavated city of Scythopolis
  • Proceed to the hotel and check-in
  • Dinner at hotel
Overnight: Galilee, Kibbutz Lavi Hotel
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 4X4 Jeep Ride through the Golan Heights, with its green fields, farmlands and volcanic mountains, alongside borders and former battlefields.
  • Lunch on own at Kibbutz Ein Zivan
  • Adults: Wine tasting
  • Youth:  Chocolate-making workshop
  • Return to the hotel
  • Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Galilee, Kibbutz Lavi Hotel
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Participate in “Lost in Safed” – an Interactive Map Quest with time at leisure in Safed
  • Travel to the Western Galilee
  • Enjoy in an authentic Druze/Arab lunch, a hands-on, true-to-life cultural immersion that’s not just about good eating, but about exploring foreign cultures through taste, smell and conversation.
  • Ride the cable car to the grottos at Rosh Hanikra for an opportunity to walk through the naturally-hewn grottos on the shores of the Mediterranean, and/or
  • Walk through alleys and streets in the port city of Akko, a labyrinth of intrigue, exploring the remains of Crusader, Muslim and Ottoman construction – its massive city walls, the subterranean Crusader city and Ottoman fortress.
  • Dinner at hotel
Overnight: Galilee, Kibbutz Lavi Hotel
Thursday, December 28, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
  • Through interactive experiences at the Old Courtyard at Kibbutz Ein Shemer, experience the kibbutz life of Israel’s pioneers. Continue with a tractor ride through the kibbutz.
  • Continue to Zichron Yaakov’s Wine Road, “Derekh HaYayin,” which has been recreated to bring back to life the character of the “moshava’s” early days.
  • Lunch on own in Zichron Ya’akov
  • Drive to Rehovot and visit the Ayalon Institute, a pre-state clandestine munitions factory, one of Israel’s first entrepreneurial startups.
  • Continue to Tel Aviv
  • Check-in to the hotel
  • Dinner and evening on own in the Tel Aviv Port
Overnight: Tel Aviv, Melody Hotel
Friday, December 29, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Tour along the Tel Aviv Promenade to Jaffa.
  • The Visitor’s Center of Old Jaffa enables the visitor to experience 5000 years of history in one the most ancient port cities in the world, with a virtual performance that brings past heroes to life.
  • Walk along the Nachalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall, with its arts and crafts fair and street artists, with lunch on your own
  • (Weather permitting) To the world, Tel Aviv means “beach” – even in the winter.  Learn to play “matkot,” the Israeli beach game with no winners or losers.
  • Musical Kabbalat Shabbat services at a Tel Aviv synagogue followed by dinner with congregation members.
  • Return to hotel
Overnight: Tel Aviv, Melody Hotel
Saturday, December 30, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning at leisure
  • Take a short tour in the trendy neighborhood of Florentin, to explore new and daring Israeli graffiti artists.  Continue to the “Tiny, Tiny” art gallery, where a professional graffiti artist, will teach the creative techniques and secrets behind graffiti art and make a graphic T-shirt or canvas to take home.
  • Lunch and rest of the afternoon on own
  • Havdalah
  • Farewell dinner at a Tel Aviv restaurant.
  • Depart for Ben Gurion International Airport for return flights home.
Overnight: En-route
Sunday, December 31, 2023
  • Arrival in United States

“Next Year in Jerusalem!”

Overnight: --
per person in double-occupancy
single-occupancy supplement
3rd person -12 and under- in parents' room

*Price is based on a minimum of 22 paying participants.
Price does not include airfare.



4 nights in Jerusalem: Arthur Hotel
3 nights in Upper Galilee: Kibbutz Lavi Hotel
2 nights in Tel Aviv + late check-out on January 2: Melody Hotel


Land Price includes:

  • 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 – 9 days
  • Hotel Accommodations as above or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary
  • Meals
    •  Breakfast daily
    •  2 Lunches
    •  7 Dinners
  • Source Materials, Makor Educational Journeys Hat, Bag, Map
  • Water on bus daily
  • All Site and Program fees
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Credit card fees

Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Tips for Guide and Driver (recommended $8 per day for guide, $4 per day for driver)
  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Potential costs stemming from Covid-19 regulations at the time of travel (ex: PCR)



Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

September 1, 2023 — 50% of Total Payment

November 15, 2023 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel Before September 1, 2023 — Full Refund

Cancel between September 1 and November 15, 2023 — 75% Refund

Cancel between November 15 and December 1, 2023 — 50% Refund

Cancel after December 1, 2023 — No Refund



Rabbi David Gerber, [email protected]
Rabbi Misha Zinkow, [email protected]; 833-GoMakor (Eastern Time Zone)



  • 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 regarding the purchase of travel insurance:

  • 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, the insurance premium can be amended.
  • 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" for this journey. You are invited to purchase tickets through a travel agent or on the Internet. The flight options below are recommended by Rabbi Gerber, and will be met by a Makor representative. If you arrive more than an hour after the El Al flight below, you will be responsible for your own transportation to Jerusalem.

New Orleans-Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv-New Orleans

December 20:
Option 1 (United)
UA 1067, departs MSY at 6:15 AM, arrives EWR at 10:18 AM.  Connect to UA 84, departs EWR at 3:55 PM, arrives Tel Aviv (TLV) next day (December 21) at 9:20 AM

Option 2 (Jet Blue/El Al)
B6176 , departs MSY at 10:09 AM, arrives JFK at 1:59. Connect to LY 2, departs JFK at 5:00 PM, arrives Tel Aviv (TLV) next day (December 21) at 10:20 AM

Please note: these flights depart on December 31, after midnight on December 30/31 

Option 1 (United)
UA 73, departs TLV at 12:20 AM, arrives IAD at 6:05 AM (on same day – December 31); connect to UA 2253, departs IAD at 8:45 AM, arrives MSY at 10:16 AM

Option 2 (El Al / Jet Blue)
LY 1, departs TLV at 12:45 AM, arrives JFK at 5:45 AM (on same day – December 31); connect to B675, departs JFK at 8:40 AM, arrives to MSY at 11:24 AM

Tel Aviv-New Orleans

Please note: these flights depart on December 31, after midnight on December 30/31 

Option 1 (United)
UA 73, departs TLV at 12:20 AM, arrives IAD at 6:05 AM (on same day – December 31); connect to UA 2253, departs IAD at 8:45 AM, arrives MSY at 10:16 AM

Option 2 (El Al / Jet Blue)
LY 1, departs TLV at 12:45 AM, arrives JFK at 5:45 AM (on same day – December 31); connect to B675, departs JFK at 8:40 AM, arrives to MSY at 11:24 AM