Friday, June 5, 2015

Our itinerary

Today is Friday and we leave Dallas this coming Sunday.  I'm sure that we are all busy doing laundry and packing and being generally excited for this trip.

I had originally planned on posting each day's itinerary on that day and then actually read through the itinerary and realized that I will be way too exhausted to do that so here is our itinerary while I still have a some energy.

JUNE 7-18, 2015

Day One: Sunday, June 7, 2015

§ Depart the U.S.A.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Monday, June 8, 2015
ARRIVAL | no guide

§ 3:15 p.m. Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport with US Airways, flight #796.
§ VIP Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
§ Transfer to Tel Aviv, known as the “city that never sleeps,” with its centers of culture, recreation and national history, great beaches and fine stores.
§ Check into the hotel.
§ Dinner at your own expense at a local restaurant (a reservation can be made).

Overnight: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

Day Three: Tuesday, June 9, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ 9:00 a.m. Meet your tour guide in the hotel lobby and visit the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv at the place where it all began and then walk through the famous Jaffa Flea Market – “Shuk Hapishpishim”.
§ LaDa’at Ethnic Tasting: take a tour through Tel Aviv’s famous Levinsky Market, where you'll find a combination of foods and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and hear the unique stories of the individuals who sell them, with Lunch on own.
§ 2:00 p.m. Drive to the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot for an eye-opening tour of a clandestine munitions factory used during the British Mandate. Return to Tel Aviv.
§ Walk through the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly crafts fair and eateries; alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market and across the way Sheinkin Street, with its hip cafés and funky chic shopping.
§ Swimming time at hotel beach!
§ Dinner at your own expense at the renovated Old Port of Tel Aviv, with its wonderful restaurants, cafés and shops, right on the water’s edge.

Overnight: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

Day Four: Wednesday, June 10, 2015  

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ Check out of the hotel and drive north along the the Trans-Israel Highway for a close-up view of the ‘Security Barrier along the seam zone between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
§ 10:30 a.m. Visit Kibbutz Ein Shemer for a unique kibbutz experience; go back in time to the early days of the kibbutz to see – feel – smell and taste the different aspects the kibbutz has and learn how it changed from the time the kibbutz was established till today.
§ Lunch at your own expense en route.
§ 1:30 p.m. Visit Kfar Kedem in the Galilee for a hands-on family experience, exploring Jewish life of 2,000 years ago, including donkey rides, costumes, pita baking and more.
§ 4:00 p.m. Drive to the Upper Galilee and enjoy rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River.
§ Check into the hotel.
§ Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim Hotel, Upper Galilee

Day Five: Thursday, June 11, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ Walk through the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, located on the largest tributary of the Jordan River, and explore the ruins of the great Biblical city of Dan.
§ 10:30 a.m. Take a Jeep tour off-road up the Golan Heights in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and their battles in the Six-Day War. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
§ Visit a Druze village for a window into the unique world of the Israeli Druze community, with lunch at your own expense.
§ 2:00 p.m. Enjoy the culinary delights of a chocolate workshop at the De Karina Chocolate Factory at Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
§ The panoramic views from Mt. Bental (overlooking the abandoned Syrian town of Kuneitra) give sharp insights into Israel’s security situation on the Golan Heights, and the enormous challenges it faced in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
§ Return to the hotel and time to enjoy the pool and for the adults, a chance to relax at the hotel spa.
§ Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hagoshrim Hotel, Upper Galilee

Day Six: Friday, June 12, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ Check out of the hotel and drive to Tsfat,  center of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years and a contemporary artists’ colony, including:
§ Guided visits to the Ari, Caro or Abuhav Synagogues with their great stories and mystical messages.
§ A stroll through the quaint Artists’ Colony and shop in the galleries and crafts shops.
§ Drive south past Tiberias on the shores of Lake Kinneret and the Jordan Valley.
§ 12:30 p.m. Hands-on experience in modern-day goat farming at the Az-Iz Goat Farm, with cheese-tasting.
§ Lunch at your own expense.
§ Upon entering Jerusalem, stop on Mt. Scopus to recite the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing.
§ Check into the hotel and time to prepare for Shabbat.
§ Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel (Western Wall).
§ Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Seven: Saturday, June 13, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ Optional Shabbat Services.
§ Free Shabbat in Jerusalem for an opportunity to explore (on own):
§ The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, for a walk through the city’s history – with observation points, an animated film and visual and audio-visual aids – from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine.
§ Walk through Jerusalem’s famous Old City Market (shuk).
§ The Biblical Zoo, a beautifully landscaped habitat with a special focus on preserving Biblical fauna, geared to children of all ages (2-80).
§ Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Old City.
§ Dinner at your own expense, perhaps on trendy Emek Refaim Street in the German Colony.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Eight: Sunday, June 14, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ Proceed to Old City and begin with an exploration of the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem; view the Gihon Spring and wade through the 2,700-year-old water tunnel of King Hezekiah (optional dry exit).
§ Stop at the Kotel (Western Wall) and experience the special atmosphere of this holy site and then walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Western Wall alongside the Temple Mount (Western Wall Tunnel entrance at 1:10 p.m.).
§ Lunch at your own expense in the Jewish Quarter and continue with a walking tour to archaeological treasures and other highlights, among them:
§ The Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem in the 6th century.
§ King Hezekiah’s First Temple-period “Broad Wall”.
§ A walk along the Rooftops of the Old City for a behind-the-scenes look at the various communities in Jerusalem and how they live alongside each other.
§ Return to the hotel.
§ Dinner at your own expense, perhaps at the Old Train Station Plaza, a central neighborhood hub for food, entertainment, culture, and enrichment.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Nine: Monday, June 15, 2015

§ Early breakfast at the hotel.
§ Drive to the Dead Sea Basin and ascend by cable-car to Masada, Herod’s mountain palace and the site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Roman Legionnaires; discuss Masada’s role as a symbol of Jewish defence and its current significance in modern Israel.
§ Lunch at your own expense.
§ Short hike to Nahal David, the freshwater spring and waterfalls in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, where David hid from King Saul.
§ Experience the weightlessness of the Dead Sea as you float in its waters.
§ Return to Jerusalem.
§ 4:00 p.m. Stop for a camel ride through the desert in Biblical-style.
§ Free time in the Mamilla pedestrian arcade, a very contemporary shopping area with a whiff of the past, located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City; dinner at your own expense.
§ 9:30 p.m. The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum: The walls of the Citadel serve as a stage for a nighttime show – a celebration of sight and sound – that depicts the story of Jerusalem.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Ten: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ 9:00 a.m. Visit the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including:
§ The Avenue of the Righteous
§ The new Historical Museum
§ The Children’s Memorial
Kids with Anna and Irwin:
§ The renewed and wonderfully creative Israel Museum, with its wide-ranging and eclectic collection, from Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls, to Jewish Life and Art, European art, contemporary Israeli art and the open-air model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.
§ Lunch at your own expense.
§ Depart Jerusalem towards Beit Guvrin.
§ 2:00 p.m. Take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves; prepare to get your hands dirty uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago, followed by a crawl through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth (crawling is optional). Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park was recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
§ Return to Jerusalem.
§ Free Evening in Jerusalem on Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall or on Emek Refaim Street in the German Colony, with dinner at your own expense.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Eleven: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

§ Breakfast at the hotel.
§ Join Friends Bat Mitzvah ceremony at Robinson's Arch.
§ Experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market, with lunch at your own expense.
§ Engage in a dynamic family experience at the Kol Ha’Ot Art Gallery. Through the magical power of the arts and the special atmosphere of the location, grapple with Jewish texts in a transformative, interactive program that will leave you with a long-lasting family memory.
§ Free time for last minute shopping and packing.
§ Dinner at your own expense.
§ Late check-out from the hotel and transfer to the airport to check in for the departure flight, with VIP assistance.
§ 11:30 p.m. Fly with US Airways flight #797 to the US.

Overnight: Flight

Day Twelve: Thursday, June 18, 2015

§  Arrive back in Dallas.


  1. Whew! We're going to be super busy. So excited about our Dweeby family trip!!

  2. I can't wait to read about the trip! Anna will be so happy y'all are doing this :)