Israel Next Pittsburgh

price per person from $799

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!

8 nights’ accommodation at select hotels + late check-out on last day 

9 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus with licensed, English speaking tour educator (No bus on Shabbat July 6, 2019)

1 group transfer and assistance from and to the airport

All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary

Meals: daily breakfast, 2 lunches and 7 dinners

Portage at the airport and hotels

Day One: Sunday, June 30, 2019
ON THE WAY TO ISRAEL

  • Depart the USA.

Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Monday, July 1, 2019
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

  • 9:45 a.m. Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport on Delta flight #466.
  • Our representative will be on hand to assist with all formalities and ensure that your journey has the smoothest of starts.
  • Meet Martin Beifield, your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • Make the short drive to Tel Aviv, a.k.a. “the city that never sleeps.” A place of sun and fun, its centers of culture and history are complimented by great beaches, stores, and entertainment.
  • 11:30 a.m. Meet in the hotel lobby and depart for Jaffa.
  • Beginnings:Modern Tel Aviv grew out of ancient Jaffa. Gaze out over the Mediterranean Sea; learn why Jaffa, mentioned in the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, is so historically important; and see how its Old City reflects the present as well as the past.
  • Walk through Jaffa's famous Flea Market - “Shuk Hapishpeshim” with lunch on own. (not included in package).
  • Check into the hotel with free time to freshen up.
  • 6:30 p.m. Meet in the lobby of the hotel to depart for dinner.
  • 7:30 p.m. Welcome Event: Toast your arrival in Israel and look forward to the exciting days ahead as we check out loft-life in Tel Aviv with dinner and drinks.

Overnight: Tal By The Beach Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day Three: Tuesday, July 2, 2019
INNOVATION & ENERGY: THE TEL AVIV STORY 

  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself.
  • 9:30 a.m. He/She Shoots, He/She Scores! Wheel your way to glory in a game of wheelchair basketball. Our team will include disabled adults and children who are receiving life-changing support and opportunities at the Accessible Health Zone. This inspiring program, established with help from the JDC, is part of a project that creates fitness and health partnerships between people with and without disabilities.
  • 10:30 a.m. Get Ready to Rumble: Hone your defense and fight skills with a session of Krav Maga, the martial art developed by the Israel Defense Forces that has spread around the world. Our instructor will be from the Anyone Can project, which, supported by the JDC, encourages people with disabilities to embrace and teach martial arts as part of their rehabilitation and empowerment process.
  • Stroll down the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly craft fair and eateries. Alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market with lunch on own (not include in package).
  • 2:30 p.m. Hallelujah! A People and their Prayers: Experience the diversity and dynamism of Jewish life at the rejuvenated Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People. A highlight is their new Synagogue Exhibition which combines the museum's famed collection of synagogue models with thrilling video art which explore the places where Jews pray, around the world and through the ages.
  • 4:30 p.m. Is the Writing on the Wall for Bohemian Tel Aviv? Join an expert on Tel Aviv's alternative scene for an urban adventure. Explore the latest street art and graffiti and find out what they reveal about life, art, and ideology in Israel's cultural capital.
  • The City at Night: Tel Aviv's food scene is on fire with world-class chefs and a huge range of happening restaurants. See and taste for yourself during a free evening with dinner (on own account).

Overnight: Tal By The Beach Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day Four: Wednesday, July 3, 2019
DIVERSITY & IDENTITY IN THE NORTH | DANI ROVENGER'S BIRTHDAY

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 8:00 a.m. A Culture of Creativity: Talk with technology journalist Viva Sarah Press about why tiny Israel is playing a giant role in high tech. We'll hear the personal stories behind the Start-Up Nation and find out how Israeli innovation (and chutzpah) is changing high tech and our lives.
  • Check out of the hotel as we head north.
  • 10:30 a.m. The Exodus and After: From the 1980s, Ethiopian Jews embarked on a modern-day Exodus to Israel that included both heroism and hardship. We'll meet the next generation, young Ethiopian-Israelis in Netanya who are being supported on the path to empowerment and integration by the Ethiopian National Project (ENP), a partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
  • Lunch en route.
  • 3:00 p.m. Minority Report: Shefaram is a fascinating but rarely-visited ancient town and modern city. An early Jewish rabbinical center operating under Roman rule, it was later a Crusader post and is now an Israeli Arab city with Muslim, Christian, and Druze communities. At the town's beautiful Roman Catholic church, we'll hear about the variety of Christian denominations in the area and their relations with the Muslim majority. Our visit to Shefaram will conclude at its now abandoned synagogue with a discussion on what, historically and today, it means to be a minority community in the Land of Israel.
  • 6:00 p.m. The Partnership2gether (P2G) program connects the JFGP, in many and mutually wonderful ways, with our sister city Karmiel and the surrounding Misgav region. We'll bring our communities still closer together as young leaders and activists from Karmiel-Misgav join us for an evening of food (dinner), fun and friendship.

Overnight: Nea Hotel, Northern Israel

Day Five: Thursday, July 4, 2019 
PEOPLEHOOD & PROGRESS | HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Free time at the beach (optional).
  • Check out of hotel.
  • Travel to Karmiel.
  • 10:30 a.m. Hashomer Hachadash is a volunteer agricultural program that provides a unique opportunity for volunteers from Israel and abroad to work the land, learn about its history and effectively help farmers in need.
  • 1:00 p.m. Israeli Lunch at the Children's Village. Falafel lunch with Kol Ami Mechina - The Jewish Agency six-month post-school preparatory program, connects 18-year-old Israeli high school graduates with their Diaspora Jewish peers on residential educational campuses throughout Israel.
  • 3:00 p.m. As we drive along the Trans-Israel Highway towards Jerusalem, there will be plenty of opportunities to see the “Security Barrier” or wall which runs along the seam zone between Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Hear of the barrier's effects on Israeli security and Palestinian communities.
  • A First Look at the Holy City: Whether it's your first time or you're a frequent visitor, the initial glimpses of Jerusalem are something special. We'll stop at Mount Scopus for a stunning overview of the ancient city and celebrate our arrival with a ceremony and the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing of thanks.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • 7:30 p.m. Dinner at Piccolino, a high-quality Italian restaurant in Jerusalem's historical city center. Alongside enjoying the delicious dairy meals and warm atmosphere, we'll share feelings and thoughts about the trip so far.

Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Six: Friday, July 5, 2019
THE LAYERS OF JERUSALEM

  • A Mindful Way to Start the Day: A yoga session and body/mind workout with a trained instructor will have you feeling fine.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • A walking tour will take you to the heart of Jewish life, history, and holiness: Jerusalem's Old City and the Jewish Quarter. Among the highlights will be:
  • A walk along the rooftops for a bird's eye view of the remarkably diverse yet closely bound communities of the Old City.
  • The Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its spectacular Byzantine-era columns.
  • King Hezekiah's “Broad Wall,” a massive wall built to protect Jerusalem from invasion 2,700 year ago.
  • Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish Quarter.
  • “The Best Falafel in the World! Right Here in the Old City”: The competition for the best street food in the Old City is tough. Check out the contestants with lunch (on own account).
  • No visit to Israel is complete without experiencing the Western Wall (the Kotel), widely considered Judaism's holiest site. Each year, over one million notes containing prayers and wishes are placed in the cracks of the wall.
  • 1:40 p.m. Explore the City of David, the core of ancient Jerusalem and learn how Jerusalem was administered during the First Temple Period and how its wealthy lived. See the Gihon Spring, the source of the city's water and integral to its survival and religious ceremonies.
  • LaDa'at Jerusalem Erev Shabbat - ????? ???? ??? ?????: Experience a city getting ready for Shabbat with a journey through some of Jerusalem's most interesting neighborhoods.
  • Enjoy some relaxation time at the hotel and prepare for Shabbat.
  • 8:00 p.m. Blessings, Challah, and Special Guests: Friday night is the traditional highlight of the Jewish week and the Jewish cookbook.

Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Seven: Saturday, July 6, 2019
THE CITY OF SHABBAT

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat morning services: Take your choice from Jerusalem's dizzying variety of synagogues. We'll be happy to supply maps and suggestions of which synagogue might be right for you. You can also use your Da'at app to get all the info.

Option 1: Israel Museum (without a guide)

  • The Israel Museum is the nation's largest cultural institution and an internationally-renowned art and archaeological museum. Take your choice from exhibitions that range from the Dead Sea Scrolls to contemporary Israeli art and much in-between (lunch on own account).

Option 2: Tower of David (without a guide)

  • Visit the Tower of David Museum where the story of Jerusalem, from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine, is told with exciting exhibitions and in a remarkable location (lunch on own account).

Option 3: Into the Desert, Masada and the Dead Sea (at an additional cost)

  • After breakfast at the hotel, we'll take a bus ride as low as it goes, on a guided visit to the Dead Sea Basin. It's 1412 feet below sea level and the lowest place on earth. The desert, the landscape, and the views are breathtaking.
    • A cable car will bring us to the peak of Masada with its extraordinary views and fascinating archaeological remains. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was where Jewish rebels are believed to have made their last stand against Roman invaders (c 74 CE) before committing mass suicide. We'll learn about Masada's importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel.
    • Go floating, rather than swimming in the Dead Sea. Not much can live in what is the saltiest piece of water in the world, nine times saltier than the ocean, but the weightless feeling of floating is fabulous fun.
    • Lunch (on own account).
    • While returning to Jerusalem, we'll drive by Qumran, where Jewish sects from the Second Temple period created a separatist community and where the Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the most ancient and important religious manuscripts in existence, were discovered.

All:

  • 7:15 p.m. meet in the lobby of the hotel.
  • Leaders of the Past, New Paths for the Future: Join Rabbi Danny Schiff for a text study session as we ask what the famous leaders of Israel's past can teach us about Jewish leadership today.
  • Three Stars in the Jerusalem Sky: At nightfall, we'll mark the end of a special Shabbat with a beautiful Havdallah ceremony overlooking the Old City.
  • Dinner on own account (not included in package).
  • 10:00 p.m. (optional) The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum: The walls of the Citadel serve as the stage for this cinematic celebration of sight and sound depicting the story of Jerusalem.

Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Eight: Sunday, July 7, 2019
JERUSALEM UNTANGLED

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 6:30 a.m. Moving On Up: Get energized for the great day ahead with a morning walk led by Martin Beifield.
  • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions: A ride on the Jerusalem Light Rail will provide fascinating insights into modern-day Jerusalem. We will discuss key issues confronting the city today, including the relationship between predominantly Arab East Jerusalem and the city's mainly Jewish western part. The tour will include:
    • Pisgat Ze'ev, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, largely populated by Jews.
    • The Arab communities of Shuafat and Beit Hanina.
    • The Machane Yehuda open-air shuk (market). We'll depart the train to check out Jerusalem's multi-cultural market, including lunch (on own account).
  • 2:30 p.m. Beyond the Black Hat: The ultra-Orthodox world is vital and growing but remains largely unknown, even alien to many of us. Encounters Outside the Box aims to increase our understanding and create connections based on mutual respect through tours of the Haredi neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim. A guide from these communities will discuss ultra-Orthodox lifestyles, belief systems, gender roles, dress codes, and much more.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • 6:30 p.m. Coming Out in the Holy City: The LBGTQ community in Jerusalem is making remarkable strides but still faces enormous, sometimes violent resistance in its struggle for equality and acceptance. Meet leaders and members of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance for a Q and A session and dinner at Olive and Fish restaurant.

Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem

 

Day Nine: Monday, July 8, 2019
A SHARED LAND, A SHARED FUTURE?

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart hotel.
  • 9:00 a.m. The Geopolitics of Jerusalem - Travel through the city of Jerusalem exploring some of the political and diplomatic complexities of recent years; drive around the seam zone, with an in-depth study seminar on the ramifications of current developments with (Res.) Danny Tirza, one of the seam zone's designers. on the political situation in Jerusalem with visits to some of its most talked-about areas, including the “Security Barrier.”
  • Travel into the West Bank/Judea and Samaria for an even-handed but challenging exploration of Palestinian and Jewish life over the “Green Line” in the disputed areas controlled by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War.
  • 12:00 p.m. Drive to Gush Etzion, located in the Judeans Mountains, to the Gush Etzion Winery for a tour, wine tasting and lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. Is Religion the Way Forward or an Obstacle to Peace? Meet with Khaled Abu Awwad and Rabbi Shaul Judelman from Shorashim, a program bringing West Bank Palestinians and their Israeli neighbors together despite their fears and suspicions.
  • 4:00 p.m. Palestinian Realities: Bethlehem is both a town famed for its religious significance and a modern Palestinian city. We'll meet locals to hear about their daily lives and their dreams and demands for the future.
  • 6:30 p.m. Return to Jerusalem for dinner at Ima, a local favorite for its classic Middle Eastern meals (the Kurdish kubeh is especially popular) and warm atmosphere.

Overnight: Harmony Hotel, Jerusalem

Day Ten: Tuesday, July 9, 2019
MEMORY & RENEWAL

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 9:00 a.m. Visiting Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is an essential emotional and educational experience. Your guided tour will include:
    • The Avenue of the Righteous, where trees symbolic of the renewal of life have been planted along with plaques honoring brave non-Jews who saved Jews during the Shoah.
    • The Historical Museum, a state-of-the-art interactive display reflecting decades of research and educational expertise. The story of the Shoah, with an emphasis on individual victims, is told through survivor testimonies, original artifacts and personal possessions saved from the ghettos and camps.
    • The Children's Memorial, where candles shine like stars in the sky to commemorate the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust.
    • A special Memorial Service where you can pay personal tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.
  • 12:30 p.m. Visit the Jewish Federations of North America for a meeting with Zohar Raviv the International VP of Education for Taglit-Birthright Israel and “one of the most influential Jewish educators in the world” including lunch.
  • Free to time relax and do any last-minute shopping.
  • Late check out of the hotel for those with evening departures.
  • 6:00 p.m. Meet in the lobby of the hotel.
  • 6:30 p.m. Farewell dinner at Anna, a Mediterranean restaurant with an Italian influence, situated in the serene and historic Ticho House in Jerusalem's city center: Share the experiences and discoveries that have inspired you during this journey as we say shalom u'lehitraot (bye and see you soon) to Israel.
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your overnight flight.

Day Eleven: Tuesday, July 10, 2019
BACK IN THE USA WITH A STORY TO TELL

  • Arrival in the U.S.A


Da'at Educational Expeditions itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.

*For IRS Charitable Deduction reporting purposes, subsidies received for this mission will be reported as goods and services received from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.  For Federal Income tax purposes, your deduction of annual contributions to the Federation will be limited to the amounts contributed in excess of this subsidy.
2019 Land Only Status  
Jun 30 $799 On sale

Flight Details


Accommodation Details



Tal Hotel Image

Tal Hotel
Tel Aviv

The Tal Hotel is a comfortable base for touring Tel Aviv, within easy walking distance to the city's nightlife, beach and the main shopping and sightseeing areas.

Nea Hotel Image

Nea Hotel
Moshav Shavei Zion

The NEA Hotel (NEA), a boutique hotel nestled in northern Israel, invites you to enjoy the tranquility and peace of nature, the pastoral vistas of the Galilee (including the turquoise ocean and breathtaking shores) and particularly luxurious rooms.

Harmony Hotel Image

Harmony Hotel
Jerusalem

The Harmony Hotel, just a 10-minute walk from the Old City and 5 minutes away from Jerusalem's new Mamilla shopping center, is located in the heart of Jerusalem in the Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, one of the first to have been built more than 100 years ago outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.


  • Registration deadline: 30 Mar 2019
  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 full paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
  • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
  • Payment Policy
    Da'at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancellation policies and initial deposits. Notification of any changes will be made explicitly to the participants where relevant.
    - Initial deposit of $350 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due at the time of reservation unless another amount is indicated for the particular trip or seminar.
    - Final payment is due 90 days before the scheduled trip begins, or as specified in your invoice.
  • Cancellation Policy:
    Cancellations need to be made in writing. Cancellation fees will be based on the date that the written cancellation is received.
    Cancellation fees:
    • 90 days or more prior to departure: the deposit
    • 89 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of the total trip cost
    • 45 days to the day of departure/no-show: 100% of the total trip cost
      Cancellation fees may also include:
      - Hotel or supplier cancellation fees.
      - For trips in Israel only: The cost of the PEACE OF MIND TRAVEL PROTECTION PROGRAM (POM), if this was purchased.
      - Group airfare penalty fee.
  • Hotel Accommodations: The trip price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Standard-size rooms are generally smaller outside of North America. They usually accommodate two people and include either one queen-size bed or two single beds (pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard). While some hotels provide an extra bed in a standard-size room for use by a child under the age of 12, we recommend that families of four or more should book adjoining or connecting rooms.
  • Meals are included as specified in the itinerary.
  • Tour Educator or Guide: All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.
  • Gratuities Included: All gratuities for restaurant staff at group meals are included.

 PRICE EXCLUDES

  • Transportation in the evening when dinner is on own.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d'hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • Water or snacks on the bus (unless indicated otherwise)
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Gratuities for Tour Educator (Guide) and Driver. We recommend the following guidelines for tips (amounts indicated in US dollars):

TRIPS TO ISRAEL:

  • Group of 20 participants and more: 
    Tour Educator: $8 | Driver: $4 - per participant per day
     
  • Hostess (when included in the package):
    $2 per participant per day or a minimum of $50 per day total
  • A security guard and/or a youth counselor (when included):
    $1 per participant per day per security guard, per youth counselor