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Temple Beth-El of Great Neck

Dec 21, 2019 - Jan 2, 2020

Celebrate Chanukah in Israel
Led by Rabbis Tara and Meir Feldman

Registration closes on September 15, 2019.
Saturday, December 21, 2019
  • Departure from the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Day 1
Sunday, December 22, 2019

NOTE: The first day’s activities will depend on flight arrival time.

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor Educational Journeys representative
  • According to the Book of Maccabees, the family of Judah Maccabee is buried in a first century BCE town called Modi’in. Nearby the modern town of Modi’in visit the ruins of a synagogue, a mikveh (ritual bath), two main roads, a system of alleyways crisscrossing the site in a grid pattern, an olive press and monumental graves that would closely match the description of Maccabean family graves.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Walking tour along the Tel Aviv Promenade to Jaffa.
  • Introduction, welcome, and Shehecheyanu at the Jaffa HaPisga (Peak) Garden, followed by a guided tour through the Old City of Jaffa, tracing its story from the days of the Bible through the Jaffa Port.
  • Light Chanukah candles.
  • Festive welcome dinner.
Overnight: Ritz Carlton, Herzliya
Day 2
Monday, December 23, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The Story of Israel on Rothschild Boulevard: Take part in a family Scavenger Challenge on Rothschild Blvd, exploring the old and new, from Tel Aviv’s modest beginnings in Ahuzat Bayit to the global high tech hub all around Rothschild Blvd.
  • Lunch on own and dessert tasting tour at one of the famous markets Shuk HaCarmel or Levinsky Market.
  • Optional: Bike the length of Tel Aviv, along the Beach Boardwalk Bike Path, with the Mediterranean on your left and the city of Tel Aviv on your right.
  • Light Chanukah candles at a home for the elderly in Bat Yam and join in their choir singing Chanukah songs.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Ritz Carlton, Herzliya
Day 3
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Guided tour through Caesarea, including the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, the Promenade and the Palace, and concluding with the remains of the Crusader City, exploring along the way the relationship between Romans and Jews, with a historo-drama performed by the youth.
  • Lunch on own in Safed.
  • Guided tour through the mystical city of Safed: walk the alleyways, stroll through ancient synagogues, check out the artist colony, and meet a Kabbalistic artist. Enjoy Safed’s famous market with its Judaica and unique art.
    • Candle making workshop
    • “Sfiinge” making workshop
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Light Chanukah candles with Kibbutz members.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee
Day 4
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Begin by taking the cable car from the southern foothills of Kiryat Shemona to the top of the Naftali range/Kibbutz Manara. This is the longest cable car ride in Israel.
    • Go down the mountain slides, with more than 1200 meters of panoramic view track. Kids may opt to try the longest zip line in Israel.
  • Visit the Tel Dan Nature Reserve for a short nature walk along the Dan River, concluding at the site of the Biblical town of Dan.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Jeep ride on the slopes of the Golan Heights through the natural beauty and in the footsteps of IDF soldiers who fought in the 1967 Six Day War.
  • Ascend Mount Bental, overlooking Syria, for a security briefing and the latest update from the events in Syria.
  • Light candles with IDF soldiers. (pending IDF confirmation)
  • Dinner at the kibbutz.
Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee
Day 5
Thursday, December 26, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Drive south through the Jordan Valley.
  • Visit Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu for a glimpse at their unique agricultural startup, Bio-Bee, one of the leading international companies in the field of biologically-based integrated pest management and natural pollination, using nature to engage with nature, using the limited resources of the area to bring benefit to the kibbutz.
  • Stop at Qasr el Yahud on the Jordan River, where, according to some Jewish traditions, Joshua crossed the Jordan River into the land of Israel and according to some Christian traditions, Jesus was baptized.
  • Stop at Mount Scopus for an introduction to Jerusalem and welcome ceremony with traditional bread and salt.
  • Short tour, followed by lunch on own at Machane Yehuda, one of the most famous markets in the Middle East.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Light candles with an organization that celebrates inclusion.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 6
Friday, December 27, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Descend to the City of David and follow the footsteps of the architects and builders of the city some 3,000 years ago.
  • Lunch on your own in the Old City, followed by a Rooftop Walk to take in a bird’s eye view of the Temple Mount, the intricate alleyways of Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter, and the skyline of the Jewish Quarter.
  • Visit the Kotel (Western Wall) for a moment of prayer and reflection, with some sharing of thoughts by Rabbis Tara and Meir Feldman.
  • Return to the hotel for rest and preparation for Shabbat.
  • Light Shabbat and Chanukah candles at the Kotel. Stand in awe at the Kotel (Western Wall) as young Jews sing and dance their welcome to the Shabbat.
  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 7
Saturday, December 28, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free morning, with a chance to catch your breath.
    • Other options: explore the quiet neighborhoods of Jerusalem, have your own adventure in the Old City, go “synagogue hopping,” or enjoy the spa at the hotel.
  • Lunch at the hotel.
  • Guided tour of the Christian Quarter of the Old City, including the Via Delarosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Home hospitality in the home of Rabbi Bill and Batya Berk for Seudat Shlisheet (light refreshments), a discussion, and havdallah, celebrating the transition from Shabbat to the new week.
  • Light Chanukah candles with outstanding women since the 7th candle is in honor Judith, the heroine of Chanukah who saved her people from slaughter.
  • “Chanukiot tour” in a Jerusalem neighborhood.
  • Free evening and dinner on your own in Jerusalem.
Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 8
Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Drive south to the lowest point on earth, the area around the Dead Sea.
  • Hike the snake path or take the cable car up to the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, the place where the last free Jews held out against the Romans after the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. Explore some of the crucial issues the Masada story raises for contemporary Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora, including a dramatized debate between Elazar Ben Yair, the leader of the Masada zealots, and Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakai, who created a new Judaism in Yavneh.
  • Descend Masada via cable car.
  • Visit the Dead Sea, with lunch on your own and an opportunity to float in the famous water of the world’s saltiest sea, with optional spa amenities.
  • Hike in the Ein Gedi and Arugot Waterfalls and listen to the desert poetry of King David, who likely composed these poems in this place.
  • Stop at Eretz Beresheet – Genesis Land for a traditional biblical welcome and camel riding.
  • Candle lighting in the desert.
  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 9
Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Celebrate our B’nai Mitzvah moment of a lifetime, at the place where it all began—the Kotel (Western Wall)—in the pluralistic Ezrat Yisrael Plaza section of the Kotel, near Robinson’s Arch, close to where the southern and western walls come together.
  • Possible stop at Chagall windows at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem.
  • Celebratory lunch at Café Inbal, Ein Karem.
  • Return to the hotel for a meeting with Kids4Peace, a chance to meet Jewish, Christian, and Muslim kids who are part of one of the most inspirational and hopeful peace projects in Israel.
  • Guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnel.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 10
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Preparing for Yad Vashem, session with Rabbi Bill Berk at the hotel.
  • Experience Yad Vashem, Israel’s official national memorial to the Holocaust victims, with a twinning opportunity for the B’nai Mitzvah to make the visit even more special.
    • Option for young children to go to the Biblical Zoo instead
  • Lunch on own.
  • Drive to the Underground Bullet Factory at the Ayalon Institute and discover how the Jews who had no weapons and no ammunition found a way to make bullets under the nose of the British who severely punished those caught making weapons. Hear the story how this helped the Israeli Army (IDF) develop a tradition of creativity, technological innovation, and thinking out of the box.
  • Kurdish/Moroccan/Yemenite cooking workshop and dinner in the Judean Hills.
  • Return to Jerusalem.
Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 11
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided tour of the collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum, including international and Israeli art, the world’s most complete Judaica collections, the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden, the Shrine of the Book, home to the archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the miniature open-air Second Temple Period model that recreates Jerusalem in 66 CE.
    • Parallel programming for youth and children.
  • Lunch and the rest of the afternoon on own.
  • Summary discussion led by Rabbis Tara and Meir Feldman, followed by a festive closing dinner at a Jerusalem restaurant.
  • Depart for Ben Gurion International Airport for return flight to the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Thursday, January 2, 2020
  • 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

* Prices do not include flights


2 nights Ritz Carlton, Herzliya
2 nights Hagoshrim, North
6 nights Orient 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 – 11 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
  • Meals
  • Breakfast daily
    • 2 lunches
      • Shabbat lunch
      • B’nei Mitzvah lunch
    • 6 dinners
      • Welcome dinner
      • Dinner at north hotel (2)
      • Shabbat dinner
      • Cooking workshop
      • 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 and Refund Schedule

Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

Nov 30, 2019 — 50% of Total Payment

Dec 15, 2019 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel before July 15, 2019 — Full Refund

Cancel between July 15 and October 1, 2019 — 50% Refund

Cancel between October 1 and November 1, 2019 — 25% Refund

Cancel after November 1, 2019 — No Refund


For more information, please contact Keren at keren@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.