<   Back

Shalom Austin Israel Mission 2023

Nov 6, 2023 - Nov 17, 2023

Shalom Austin Israel Mission 2023
Connect to the Land, People and State of Israel
Celebrate Austin's Partnership2Gether (P2G) in the Galilee
Shabbat in Jerusalem
Monday, November 6, 2023
Overnight: In-flight
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Days 2-4 Itinerary is subject to change pending arrival time(s) and program details from our Partnership2Gether Initiative in the Galilee


  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport
  • Assistance upon arrival.
  • Drive to Haifa along the Coastal Highway.
  • Check in to the Dan Carmel Hotel.
  • Festive Opening Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Haifa, Dan Carmel Hotel
Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Various days of the Journey include two tracks*, designed for:

  • First-timers
  • Returnees

Participants will choose a track on registration form.  See programmatic  content below to help inform your choice.

*The two-track program is dependant upon sufficient registration.


  • Breakfast at hotel.

Track 1
Introduction to Israel – The Golan

  • Drive across the Galilee.
  • While overlooking the Hula Valley below, Jeep ride on the slopes of the Golan Heights through the natural beauty and along the pathways of IDF soldiers who fought in the Six Day War.
  • Lunch on own

Track 2
Israel’s Defensive Line  on the Northern Border

  • Drive to the Northern border for a special program with the Alma Center for Research and Education, the center for Israel and Geopolitical studies, and Lt. Col (Ret.) Sarit Zehavi, exploring the challenging situation along Israel’s border with Lebanon, followed by a geopolitical simulation exercise at the Alma Center in Tefen.
  • Lunch on own

Entire Group

  • Visit Safed for a guided visit through the old city, using Jewish mysticism, poetry and photography as your guide, including a Challa Workshop in the Beit Hakhel ancient stone oven bakery, and/or a visit with a Kabbalistic Artist. (First-timer and returnee tracks will be provided)
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Depart for Partnership Region for 25th Anniversary Partnership2Gether Celebration, with dinner.
  • Return to Haifa.
Overnight: Haifa, Dan Carmel Hotel
Thursday, November 9, 2023
  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Check out and load buses with luggage.
  • Morning Partnership 2Gether Programming.
  • Afternoon Tracks:

Track 1
The Lebanese Border:  Nature and Geopolitics in the Western Galilee

  • Travel to Rosh Hanikra on the Israel – Lebanon Mediterranean Sea to see the Grottos, beautiful sea caves carved by the forces of waves and wind.
  • Guided visit through the underground Crusader city of Akko.
  • Continue to Jerusalem.

Track 2
Business, Technology, Entrepreneurship

  • Visit one of the Druze Towns in the Western Galilee for a special Druze Dessert Workshop, exploring both the Druze tradition and the myriad of sweets found in Druze food.
  • Board Jeeps for an off-road exploration of the nature and ethnic weave of the Galilean hills.
  • Continue to Jerusalem.

Entire Group

  • Travel to Jerusalem via the Judean Hills.
  • Shehecheyanu and Mission Arrival Ceremony overlooking Jerusalem from the Goldman Promenade (weather permitting), with introductions, music and light refreshments.
  • Check in to hotel, followed by dinner on your own and an optional walk into the Old City of Jerusalem.
Overnight: Jerusalem, Inbal Hotel
Friday, November 10, 2023
  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • All: The Memory of the Holocaust in Contemporary Israel Society, with Holocaust Scholar, Rachel Korazim.


  • First-Timers: Visit Yad Vashem, the National Jewish Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
  • Guided visit through the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations, the Historical Museum, concluding with the Children’s Memorial.


  • Returnees: Yad Vashem  Options
  • Special programs at the Yad Vashem
  • Art Museum
  • The Archive, with an archivist
  • The School for Holocaust Education, exploring some of the challenges in Holocaust education, both in the United States and Israel, as the distance from the Holocaust grows
  • The Restoration Lab
  • All: Mission Memorial Ceremony at Yad Vashem.


  • All: Continue to the Machane Yehudah Open Air Market, with time for lunch on own.
  • Check in to the Hotel.
  • Free time for rest and relaxation.
  • Optional visit to the Western Wall as Jerusalemites and guests welcome in Shabbat.
  • Austin Community Kabbalat Shabbat followed by a Festive Welcome Shabbat Dinner at the Hotel, with Musical Guests
  • Invited Guests –  including new immigrants from Texas.
  • Late night optional walk into Meah Shearim for a Hasidic Tish.
Overnight: Jerusalem, Inbal Hotel
Saturday (Shabbat), November 11, 2023

Shabbat Morning Options

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat services.
  • Optional guided walk through some of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, visiting various synagogues of differing traditions, concluding at the Ades Synagogue (Syrian) in the Nachlaot neighborhoods.
  • Optional Shabbat morning walk to Mount Zion, the Hill of Three Religions, with poetry and Midrash.
  • Shabbat Lunch at the hotel.


Afternoon Options

Number of tours to be determined by number of guides – tours can run twice –

once in the morning and once in the afternoon


  • First timers: The Jewish Quarter and Western Wall – Enter the Old City for a guided walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall.
  • Returnees: Multi-Ethnic Ramble in West Jerusalem – Set out from hotel for a walk across West Jerusalem to explore the multi-ethnic mosaic of the city through synagogues, churches, the ethnically diverse Nachlaot neighborhoods, the Machane Yehuda Market, Street of the Prophets and the Russian Compound.
  • Independent option: The New Israel MuseumVisit the newly renovated Israel Museum, its model of Jerusalem during the days of the Second Temple and the Dead Sea Scrolls, followed by an opportunity to visit the Jewish Life and Living, Archaeology, Israeli Art and Design exhibits, and more.
  • The Poet and the Windmill – Guided walk in Yemin Moshe using the poetry of Yehudah Amichai as a guide.
  • The German Colony of Jerusalem – Walk through the German Colony, built by the German Templars in the late 1800s’s, with their unique buildings and stories that have become part of Jerusalem’s lore.

Entire Group

  • Free time for rest and relaxation.
  • Havdalah overlooking the Old City.
  • Dinner on your own, recommendations to be provided and reservations made where requested.
  • Jerusalem After Hours: Pubs, Clubs and Music
  • Nighttime Overlook Tour of Jerusalem: Mount Scopus, Goldman Promenade, Mount of Olives (security considerations permitting), the old City Rooftops
  • Jerusalem Late Night Foodies – Ben Shetach, Russian Compound, Aggripas
  • Saturday night Options
    • The Jerusalem Night Spectacular sound and light show at the David Citadel Museum
    • The Western Wall Tunnels
    • Night Bike Ride around Jerusalem
    • Guided visit exploring late night  at the Machane Yehudah Market
Overnight: Jerusalem, Inbal Hotel
Sunday, November 12, 2023
  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Check out of hotel.

Track 1
 The Dead Sea

  • Drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea Basin.
  • Ascend Masada via Cable Car or the Snake Path.
  • Guided visit through Masada, a fortress and later a stronghold of Jewish Zealots who fought the Romans 2000 years ago, for an exploration of its meaning in modern Israel, as well as some of the outstanding efforts in recent years to renew the Roman mosaics and frescos.
  • Descend Masada and drive to Ein Bokek for an opportunity to float in the Dead Sea and use the spa facilities, with lunch.
  • Additional Option: Spend the day at the Ein Bokek Dead Sea Beach.


Track 2
The Negev and Ben Gurion’s Dream

  • Depart for the Negev Highlands.
  • Stop in Beer Sheva for a visit to Ben Gurion University and a glimpse at the unique partnership between the university, private industry and the State of Israel on Cyber and Internet security and development, including visits to labs and meetings with faculty, students and IDF officers and soldiers taking part in this unique project.
  • Lunch at Ben Gurion University.


Entire Group

  • Continue to Sde Boker, to visit the graves of David and Paula Ben Gurion, overlooking the Wilderness of Tsin, for an opportunity to hear about Ben Gurion’s vision for the Negev as the future of the Israeli People.
  • Check in to the Kedma Hotel.
  • Dinner at the Kedma Hotel.
Overnight: Sde Boker, Kedma Hotel
Monday, November 13, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.

(Number of options depends on number of buses):

  • Spa and Pool at the Kedma Hotel
  • Desert Sports, including, Biking, Sandsurfing and Rappelling
  • Guided visit to the remains of the Nabatean city of Avdat, with wine tasting at a Negev desert winery
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Sde Boker, Kedma Hotel
Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Entire Group

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Free morning at Kedma.
  • Depart Kedma for Western Negev.
  • Guided visit through Sderot and lunch with the Israel Trauma Coalition, for a glimpse at some of the challenges and triumphs of residents over the past 15 years.
  • Drive along the Gaza Border, with an opportunity to view the complexities of the border from a vantage point looking into Gaza.
  • Continue to Tel Aviv and check in to hotel.
  • Free time for rest and relaxation, with dinner on your own.
  • After hours optional visits to the Tel Aviv Promenade, Tel Aviv Port, Rothschild Boulevard with its many cafes, clubs and restaurants, the renovated Old Train Station, a design center, Sarona Compound – a center of food, entertainment, and creativity.
Overnight: Tel Aviv, Carlton Hotel
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Israel@2023, with scholar Paul Liptz, of Hebrew Union College and Tel Aviv University.


Track 1

“Introduction to Israel” – Tel Aviv: The First Hebrew City

  • Walk through the quaint historic Neve Zedek, which as the first Jewish-built neighborhood, was the precursor of Tel Aviv.
  • Stroll down Rothschild Blvd to learn about the founding of Tel Aviv, its first mayor, and see the Bauhaus architecture for which the White City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then hear about Israel’s Declaration of Independence outside Independence Hall (currently undergoing long-term renovations).
  • Visit the Carmel Market and take in the sights, tastes and aromas of one of Israel’s most colorful and diverse outdoor markets, with lunch on your own.


Track 2

 Business, Technology, Food and Beverage – The Flavor of Innovation in Tel Aviv

  • Visit the Sheba Medical Center.
  • Continue to Jaffa for a guided visit through the Old City and an opportunity to visit famous Jaffa Flea Market, Shuk HaPishpishim, with lunch on your own.


Entire Group

  • Return to the hotel for rest and relaxation.
  • Depart the hotel for the Yarkon River for a festive Mission Event.
  • Israel @75: Special Mission Event at Riverside on the Yarkon River, including  cocktails with Israeli produced spirits and dinner  highlighting Israel’s achievements over its first 75 years with stories, music and fun for all.
Overnight: Tel Aviv, Carlton Hotel
Thursday, November 16, 2023
  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Visit the new ANU Museum of the Jewish People on the campus of Tel Aviv University, for a special mission program exploring the story of the Jewish People, with the past as a foundation and the present as a source of creativity to look toward the future.
  • Continue to the headquarters of the INSS – Institute for National Security Studies, Israel’s leading security think tank,  for a strategic briefing on Israel and the neighboring countries.
  • Free time for personal exploration, last minute shopping and packing.
  • Check out of hotel, followed by a Mission Wrap up Conversation, at the hotel.
  • Festive farewell dinner.
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport.
Overnight: In-Flight
Friday, November 17, 2023

“Next Year in Jerusalem!”

per person in double-occupancy
single occupancy supplement

*Price is based on 30 participants
Price does not include airfare


2 nights in Haifa: Dan Carmel Hotel*
3 nights in Jerusalem: Inbal Hotel*
2 nights in Sde Boker: Kedma Hotel Hotel*
2 nights in Tel Aviv: Carlton Hotel* + late check-out on final day

*pending final confirmations

Land Price Includes:

  • Assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport
  • One Transfer from and one transfer to Ben Gurion Airport per bus
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 10 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 10 days
  • Field coordinator 10 days
  • Credit Card Fees
  • Hotel Accommodations** per above (including porterage) ** or similar, pending confirmation

All Site Admissions, programs and speakers as per the itinerary


  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 Lunches
  • 7 Dinners
  • Source Materials, Hat, Bag, Map
  • Water on bus daily – 3 bottles/person/day

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Tips for Guide and Driver
  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance (see below for more information)
  • Partnership Programming
  • Expenses incurred in case of required Covid testing during the trip or before departure


Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

August 1, 2023 — 50% of Total Payment

October 15, 2023 — Full Payment

Refund Schedule

Cancel Before August 1, 2023 — Full Refund

Cancel between August 1 and October 15, 2023 — 75% Refund

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

Cancel after November 1, 2023 — No Refund



Robyn Burch, [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

No group flight arrangements are planned for this journey; kindly make your own flight plans. Below are two itineraries recommended by Federation staff. Both flights will be met by Makor staff and will ride together to Haifa. If you choose another carrier/flight that does not arrive within an hour following these flights, you will be responsible for your own ground transportation to Haifa.

Austin (AUS) to Tel Aviv (TLV)
Tel Aviv (TLV) to Austin (AUS)

November 6:
Option 1A (Jet Blue / El Al)
B6 794, departs AUS at 6:30 AM, arrives JFK at 11:06 AM.  Connect to LY 2, departs JFK at 5:00 PM, arrives Tel Aviv (TLV) next day (November 7) at 10:20 AM

Option 1B (American / El Al)
AA 2292, departs AUS at 6:45 AM, arrives JFK at 11:25 AM. Connect to LY 2, departs JFK at 5:00 PM, arrives Tel Aviv (TLV) next day (November 7) at 10:20 AM

Option 2 (American / El Al)
AA, departs AUS at 5:47 AM, arrives to Miami (MIA) at 9:20 AM.  Connect to LY18, departs MIA at 12:00 PM, arrives Tel Aviv (TLV) next day (November 7) at 6:45 AM

After midnight on November 16/17 (departure is November 17):

Option 1A (El Al / Jet Blue)
LY 1, departs TLV at 12:45 AM, arrives JFK at 5:45 AM (on same day – November 17); connect to B6 295, departs JFK at 2:30 PM, arrives AUS at 5:35 PM

Option 1B (El Al / American)
LY 1, departs TLV at 12:45 AM, arrives JFK at 5:45 AM (on same day – November 17); connect to AA 2813, departs JFK at 7:39 AM, arrives AUS at 11:23 AM

Option 2 (El Al / American)
LY 17, departs TLV at 1:00 AM, arrives Miami (MIA) at 7:50 AM (on same day – November 17); connect to AA 1284 at 1:40 PM, arrives to AUS at 3:54 PM

Tel Aviv (TLV) to Austin (AUS)

After midnight on November 16/17 (departure is November 17):

Option 1A (El Al / Jet Blue)
LY 1, departs TLV at 12:45 AM, arrives JFK at 5:45 AM (on same day – November 17); connect to B6 295, departs JFK at 2:30 PM, arrives AUS at 5:35 PM

Option 1B (El Al / American)
LY 1, departs TLV at 12:45 AM, arrives JFK at 5:45 AM (on same day – November 17); connect to AA 2813, departs JFK at 7:39 AM, arrives AUS at 11:23 AM

Option 2 (El Al / American)
LY 17, departs TLV at 1:00 AM, arrives Miami (MIA) at 7:50 AM (on same day – November 17); connect to AA 1284 at 1:40 PM, arrives to AUS at 3:54 PM