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Mount Zion Temple

Nov 4, 2020 - Nov 13, 2020

Best of Israel 2.0
An Eclectic, Active, Insider Tour crafted by Rabbi Spilker
For folks who have been to Israel before and those who want an unconventional tour.
Wednesday, November 4

Departure from the United States.

Overnight: In flight
Day 2
Thursday, November 5

Note: The first day’s itinerary may change depending on the flight arrival time.

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor representative.
  • Ascend to Jerusalem via the Judean Hills.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Enter the Old City and continue to the rooftops for a “Welcome to Jerusalem”
  • Dinner at Eucalyptus restaurant,* which boasts “Eretz Yisrael” cuisine, which includes wild herbs and plants that grow on the Judean Mountains and recipes developed by different ethnic and religious groups that have settled in Jerusalem. (*or another “Andrew Zimmern” restaurant)
  • Optional short walk into the Old City for a glimpse at the moonlit Old City Rooftops from atop the Old City market rooftops as it comes to life on Thursday night, like no other, concluding at an all-night Challah Bakery.
Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 3
Friday, November 6
SETTING OUR INTENTION: The Land and its People
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Our Jewish Roots in this Land: text study with Rabbi Meir Schweiger at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies.
  • Designing Memorial Space: Explore art, architecture and open space at Yad Vashem’s Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden and selected memorials at Mount Herzl, including new National Memorial Hall.
  • Walk through Machane Yehuda market in search of Jewish delicacies from all over the world, with lunch on own.
  • Free time for personal exploration and time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat at Kol HaNeshama, one of the IMPJ Congregations in the Jerusalem area, followed by Shabbat dinner at the home of Rabbi Bill and Batya Berk. Bill is a nephew of Don and Rhoda Mains and has spoken at Mount Zion.
Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 4
Saturday, November 7
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat morning services at Tziyon, Shira Chadasha, and/or HUC-JIR.
  • Where Jerusalem and Israeli Literature Meet: Guided tour of sections of Jerusalem using excerpts from the works of classic Israeli authors such as Amos Oz, S.Y. Agnon, Haim Baer and Yehuda Amichai,
  • God is in the Details: Guided walking tour of the Christian and Muslim Quarters to explore their histories through design patterns of diverse national, religious and ethnic cultures. Also continue to the Jewish Quarter including the Hurva Square, the Batei Machase Square, hidden alleyways and the Kotel (Western Wall.)
  • Havdalah overlooking the Old City.
  • Experience the Jerusalem Night Spectacular Sound and Light Show at the David Citadel Museum and then free night and dinner on own.
Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 5
Sunday, November 8
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early morning visit to the Dome of the Rock, built on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif, a site holy to Jews and Muslims.
  • Mountain bike ride from Jerusalem through the Judean Hills, beginning at Kol Haneshama on the old railway tracks and continuing on the Round Jerusalem Bike Path, from the First Station into the Refaim Valley, through the Judean Hills and concluding at Yozma Congregation in Modiin (possibly joined by Israeli IMPJ members)
    • Alternative route:  Bike ride from first Jerusalem train station along the old train tracks to the Malha train station.  Board the train to Beit Shemesh and meet the rest of the group in Abu Ghosh for lunch.
  • Lunch in Abu Ghosh, Israeli Arab town.
  • Dinner celebration at Yozma with community members then return by bus to Jerusalem.
  • Depart for Machane Yehudah market for beer tasting at Beer Bazaar, followed by a night on your own to explore the Jerusalem night life.
Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 6
Monday, November 9
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Walk through the Menachem Begin Heritage Center that portrays the life, work and achievements of Menachem Begin, presented in state-of-the-art audiovisual technology.
  • The Geopolitics of Jerusalem: While en route to Bethlehem, explore the realities on the ground along the boundaries between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods and experience first-hand how these realities influence international diplomatic dialogue.
  • My Home in Palestine, visit Bethlehem and meet with Vera Baboun, educator and former mayor of the city, to discuss some of the realities of living under Israeli occupation and her hopes and dreams for the future.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • My Home in Judea, the Land of Israel, visit Efrat and meet with Mayor Oded Revivi to discuss the personal and national fulfilment of living in the Land of Israel and his hopes and dreams for the future.
  • Meet the Israelis and Palestinians of Shorashim – Judhur (Roots), a grassroots project which brings together Palestinians and Jewish settlers in a realistic and unique coexistence dialogue/living project, with Ali Abu Awaad, and Shaul Yudelman.
  • Drive through the Negev to Yerucham and check in to the hotel.
  • Processing conversation.
  • Home hospitality dinner with one of the Mevashlot Yerucham (the Yerucham Cooks) – a project geared to empowering the women of Yerucham.
Overnight: Desert Iris Hotel, Yerucham
Day 7
Tuesday, November 10
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early morning drive to the Ramon Crater(45 minutes from Yeruham)
  • Possible sunrise jeep ride in the crater.
  • Full-day hike in the Ramon Crater, with time for personal meditation and reflection, possibilities include:
    • Mount Ardon – the high central mountain in the crater
    • Har Saharonim – a knife like ridge hike which leads to the Parsat Nekarot mini canyon
  • Lunch: Field “shakshouka” cooking workshop
  • A visit to the Mitzpeh Ramon Artists’ Colony.
  • Conclude the day at the hotel with Wine Tasting of Negev wines with Boker Valley Vineyards Farm founder and owner, Moshe Zohar.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Desert Iris Hotel, Yerucham
Day 8
Wednesday, November 11
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning hike to Nahal Havarim, a dry river bed, and continue on to Ein Avdat.
  • Visit the graves of David and Paula Ben Gurion at Sde Boker, overlooking the Wilderness of Zin.
  • Lunch on own in Be’er Sheva.
  • Visit to the new Ben Gurion University Cyber Center.
  • Continue to Tel Aviv and check in to the hotel.
  • Meet with illustrator Ohad Shaltiel, director of special programming for the Tel-Aviv Museum’s Meyerhoff Art Education Center and former art director of the URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, Chicago, Illinois, USA, Art Director followed by a visit to the studio of photographer, Tal Shochat.
  • Evening on your own to explore Tel Aviv by night, which has become one of the White City’s most famous attributes (along with creativity, ingenuity and innovation).
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 9
Thursday, November 12
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Stop at the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv-Jaffa
  • Living Coexistance, meet with Orchard of Abraham’s Children Director, Ihab Balha
  • At the Nalaga’at Center, home to the Deaf-Blind Theater, participate in a sculpting workshop that simulates the “blindness” of the blind/seeing-impaired instructors so that the participant internalizes the senses of touch and listening while embarking on an emotional journey of creativity in a state of uncertainty.
  • Tel Aviv’s New Central (that is neither new nor central!) Bus Station is one of the craziest places in the country housing a Yiddish cultural center, Israel’s largest graffiti and art installation, a host of social justice NGO’s, a Filipino grocery store, a breakdancing studio…and even a bat cave.
  • Free time for personal exploration.
  • Wrap-up discussion.
  • Festive farewell dinner at the Malka chef’s restaurant or Anastasia, rated the best vegan restaurant in Tel Aviv, the vegan capital of the world.
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport for return flight to the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Friday, November 13

*Program is subject to change, pending confirmations.

Per person, based on double occupancy
Single supplement
Third person sharing, under 12 years
Third person sharing, 12-18 years

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


4 nights Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem
2 nights Desert Iris Hotel, Yerucham
1 night Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv


Land Price Includes:

  • Assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport for group flight
  • One group transfer from and one transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 8 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 7 days
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary.
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • 3 lunches
      • Old City tasting lunch
      • Lunch on bike ride day
      • Shakshuka lunch in Ramon Crater
    • 6 dinners
      • Welcome dinner at Eucalyptus Restaurant
      • Home hospitality Shabbat dinner
      • Dinner with Yozma Synagogue
      • Home hospitality dinner with Yerucham Women
      • Dinner at Yerucham Hotel
      • Farewell dinner in Tel Aviv
  • Source Materials, Hat, Map
  • Water on bus daily – 3 bottles per person per day
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Tips for Guide and Driver

Not Included:

  •    Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  •    Travel and Medical Insurance
  •    Flights


Payment and Refund Schedule

Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant (Early bird $400)

July 15, 2020— 50% of Total Payment

September 1, 2020 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel Before July 15, 2020 — Full Refund

Cancel between July 15 and September 1, 2020 — 50% Refund

Cancel between September 1 and October 1, 2020 — 25% Refund

Cancel after October 1, 2020 — No Refund


For more information, please contact Robin at robin@igt.co.il


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.