ITINERARY

WEST BLOOMFIELD FAMILY MISSION
Led by Rabbi Josh Bennett, Rabbi Michael Moskowitz, Cantor Michael Smolash,Rabbi Jen Kaluzny and joined by Rabbi Harold Loss and his family
December 22nd – January 2nd, 2022

Day 0: Thursday, December 22 – Arrival in Israel

Welcome to Israel -   ברוכים הבאים

  • Here we are in the Holy Land! Arrive on your own to the Holy Land. Feel free to rest up before the trip or explore the city of Tel Aviv on your own. Make sure to save something for the trip though!

  • We will have several transfers(depending on the flight's arrival time) to our beautiful hotel in the Negev 

  • Dinner at Kedma Hotel 

Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Sde Boker

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Day 1: Friday, December 23 - On The Way To The Negev Desert!

  • The Salad Trail - We’ll walk through “The Salad Trail”, Shvil Hasalat, a working farm and interactive museum designed to teach visitors what it takes to farm and grow crops in the desert (a window to the Israeli world famous Hi-tech agriculture).

  • Lunch at the Salad Trail

  • Sandboarding – Slide down the stunning Negev dunes, where anyone can be a surfer.

  • Check in to the hotel and get ready for Shabbat!

  • Shabbat Service at the hotel and Lighting Chanukah Candles

  • Shabbat Dinner at the hotel

Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Sde Boker

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Day 2: Saturday, December 24 - Shabbat in The Desert

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Special Shabbat Service –in the desert!

  • Lunch at the hotel

  • Ein Avdat – A shaded canyon in the Negev Desert of Israel.  Archaeological evidence shows that Ein Avdat was inhabited by Nabateans and Catholic monks. Numerous springs at the southern opening of the canyon empty into deep pools in a series of waterfalls. The water emerges from the rock layers with salt-tolerant plants like Poplar trees and Atriplexes growing nearby.

  • Camel Ride – at Han Hashayarot 

  • Ben-Gurion's Tomb – The graves of David and Paula Ben-Gurion overlook a breathtaking view of the Tsin canyon and the Avdat highlands in the heart of the Negev. The path from the parking lot to the tranquil grave site goes through a garden of carefully nurtured local flora that can thrive in the arid climate and saline conditions of the local soil.

  • Dinner – Bedouin “Hafla” at Han Hashayarot – Including a delicious Bedouin meal and many surprises!

Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Sde Boker

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Day 3: Sunday, December 25 - The Biggest Crater In The World

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Jeep Ride - We will have an unforgettable 2 hours Jeep ride in the crater, allowing us to explore the crater from a different angle.

  • Rappelling at Mitzpe Ramon - Descend the cliffs of the Ramon Crater, the world’s largest makhtesh (crater) in a new fun, exhilarating, and safe way, abseiling down the cliffs of the crater from the town of Mitzpe Ramon, you’ll not only experience something new, but will also have incredible views across the desert landscape and feel the thrill first-hand.

  • Lunch on your own

  • Ramon Crater Hike

  • Ramon Visitor Center - Opened in 2013, the new Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center, is set on the northern cliffs of the Ramon Crater, world’s largest Machtesh, and tells the geological story behind this unique and amazing work of nature. Aside from the Machtesh, the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center also serves as a museum and memorial for Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who died in 2003 when the Shuttle Columbia disintegrated when re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.

  • Dinner at the hotel and Lighting Chanukah Candles

Overnight: Kedma Hotel, Sde Boker

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Day 4: Monday, December 26 - Masada and The Dead Sea

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Masada - Learn about this amazing archeological wonder, where King Herod built his summer palace and the Zealots from the Great Revolt spent their final days. Here we will meet actors around the ancient site who will breathe life into this amazing story and make it come to life before our eyes.

  • Dead Sea Spa - Have a float at the Dead Sea, use the famous mud or just enjoy the outdoor pool at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, including lunch.

  • Lighting Chanukah Candles

  • Dinner – On Your Own in Tel-Aviv

Overnight: Royal Beach, Tel Aviv

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Day 5: Tuesday, December 27 - Welcome to the NON-STOP City

  •  Breakfast at the hotel

  • Jaffa – The ancient port city was the gateway to the Holy Land.  We will walk through the ancient port, down the small alleyways visiting the artist colony and all the beautiful galleries. We’ll visit the enchanting flea market, where we might find a few bargains and have an amazing overlook of the first Hebrew city of Israel: Tel Aviv.

  • Flea Market – Visit the colorful Shuk Hapishpeshim, or Flea Market, where you never know what kind of great bargain you might find. Here we will play "speed scavenger hunt" (divide into groups – each gets a list of missions and needs to come back with as many completed as possible in 20min). The family that will get the most points from all buses will be trip royalty (we'll let you know what this means later)! Rules on how to treat royalty will be determined by the Rabbis.

  • Lunch - On Your Own

  • Independence Hall - Where Ben Gurion declared the establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948.  A story worth hearing as we visit this iconic building and see it from the outside!

  • Carmel Market – The most colorful food market of Tel Aviv, where we will have the chance to walk around and enjoy the smells and the colors of this special market. 

  • Outdoor Artist Market - Nahalat Binyamin Street becomes a showplace for young artists to display their works, a great place for unique and not too expensive souvenirs.

  • Dinner -On Your Own 

Overnight: Royal Beach, Tel Aviv

 

 

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Day 6: Wednesday, December 28 - The Coastal line and Partnership Day

  • Breakfast at the hotel 

  • Caesarea - Here we will visit the excavations including an ancient Roman Theater breathtakingly located on the Mediterranean beach, the roman bathhouse, the Hippodrome, and the famous port.

  • Lunch – On Your Own

  • Tzippori - The home of "Mishna" and Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, a fascinating city which once was occupied with a mix of Jews, Christians, Pagans and Samaritans. Some of the most beautiful ancient mosaics ever discovered can be seen here, some apply that the Jewish community here was very advanced for the time almost like the reform movement of those times.

  • Partnership Day – to be determined

  • Dinner - Home Hospitality

Overnight: Royal Beach, Tel Aviv

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Day 7: Thursday, December 29 - Digging Into The Past

  • Breakfast at the hotel and Check-Out

  • Ayalon Institute - Located in Rechovot. This place was originally created to fool the British into thinking it was a kibbutz during the British Mandate. In fact, it was a secret ammunition factory set up by the Jewish underground.

  • Lunch on the way

  • Archaeological Dig - Here, we will have a "Dig-for-a-Day" activity – an archeological seminar, in which we will join the archeologists for a real dig opportunity to learn about the community who lived underground in these beautiful caves.

  • Tel Maresha - Beit Guvrin National Park - Visit and learn about this unique area where people lived 2000 years ago, and under their houses, they had a whole underground world where every family had their own business.

  • Arrival in Jerusalem and check-in to hotel

  • Dinner - On Your Own in Jerusalem

Overnight: Orient, Jerusalem

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Day 8: Friday, December 30 - The New City 

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Visit the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust

  • Bnei Mitzvah:

  • Twinning Program – A meaningful program for children celebrating their Bar/Bat Mitzvah where they will be paired with a child who never lived through the Holocaust to celebrate their own Bar/Bat Mitzvah

  • Younger Children - Visit the Biblical Zoo, a beautifully landscaped habitat with a special focus on preserving Biblical fauna, geared toward children of all ages.

  • Short hike at Sataf Springs /Mount Zion/Windmill at MIshkanot Sha’ananim/Ramparts Walk

  • Back to the hotel to freshen up

  • Kabbalat Shabbat – celebrate Shabbat and your arrival to the Holy City.

  • Dinner - Communal Shabbat Dinner at the hotel

Overnight: Orient, Jerusalem

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Day 9: Saturday, December 31- Shabbat In Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Bnei Mitzvah Ceremony – Beit Shmuel

  • Lunch – at Bourghoulji

  • Old City Walking Tour - Discovering the significant sites at each quarter, including the Muslim Quarter (security permits) with the colorful Arab market, the Christian Quarter with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Via Dolorosa

  • Havdallah

  • Dinner on your own – Time for shopping on Ben Yehuda street

  • OPTIONAL: Light Show - The walls of the Citadel serve as a stage for a nighttime show which is a celebration of sight and sound. Amidst the archaeological remains in the Citadel’s courtyard and to the sound of original music, the story of Jerusalem unfolds through giant breathtaking, virtual reality images.

Overnight: Orient, Jerusalem

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Day 10: Sunday, January 1- The Holy City Of Jerusalem 

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • City of David – The place where the Jewish nation began their special relationship with the magical city of Jerusalem. Here we will walk in King David’s palace and enter the biblical version of a “water ride” through the pitch-black Hezekiah Tunnels, armed with our flashlights.

  • Lunch – on your own.

  • The Jewish Quarter – Visit the incredible holy sites like the Western Wall and the Hurva Synagogue as we walk through the narrow alleyways of the quarter. Leave the city through the Jaffa Gate and walk to Ben Yehuda Street.

  • Back to the hotel to pack and rest

  • Celebratory Dinner with surprises!!!!

Overnight: Orient, Jerusalem

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Day 11: Monday, January 2- Farewell To Israel

  • Breakfast at the hotel and Check Out

  • Caliber 3 –We will learn from former special operative officers about the great lengths IDF soldiers go to train and be ready for anything and everything. Krav Maga, weapons training, urban combat, and more.

  • Time for lunch on your own and shopping for presents in the market and Ben Yehuda Street

  • Machne Yehuda Market - At Israel’s most famous outdoor market, Machne Yehuda, where we'll have a chance to taste delicacies of Jewish communities from around the globe! Either sit down for a great dinner or snack around.

Then:

  •  Drop off at Ben Gurion Airport – Farewell to Israel!

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