M-F 9am-5:30pm EST

Our home, Our Hearts | October 2020

price per person from $4535

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!


9 nights’ accommodation at select hotels.

8 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
9 days of touring with a licensed, English speaking tour educator.
Individual transfers and VIP assistance to and from the airport.
All site entrance fees and program fees as per itinerary.
Meals: daily breakfast, 3 lunches & 5 dinners.

Water and Don & Evan's favorite snacks.

Portage at hotels.

Day One: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

  • Depart the US.


Overnight: Flight


Day Two: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport. A representative will be on hand to help you with anything you need.
  • Lay Eyes on Our Jerusalem, a vibrant and colorful city we call home, where we encounter the old and the new every day.
  • Check into the David Citadel Hotel.
  • Welcome dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Jerusalem, The food is excellent, the setting is quaint, and it comes with a social conscience. The restaurant trains and employs youth with limited opportunities. Evan and I look forward to connecting and sharing thoughts about this journey together.


Meals: Dinner


Overnight: David Citadel, Jerusalem


Day Three: Thursday, October 22, 2020

  • Breakfast is served. You will find Evan near the healthy food. As for me, I can give you pointers on the best breakfast desserts.
  • What's Being Done to Advance Pluralism and Gender Equality in Israel? I am on the board of directors of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform movement in Israel. Evan and I are extremely close to Anat Hoffman and have turned to IRAC a number of times when we personally felt we were the victims of discrimination. We'll be hearing personal stories from staff members as well as a candid discussion on the state of pluralism in Israel today.
  • Chickpea Heaven: We'll check out the best hummus joints in Mahane Yehuda Shuk. To make things even more interesting, you will also be tasting hummus prepared by Evan. The tour will conclude with some classic hummus recipes (including Evan's) and a hummus-making kit.
  • Opening the Closet Doors of the Holy City: The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, which serves the city's LGBT community, is a cause close to our hearts. We were among its earliest supporters. You will hear from Ofer Erez, who enlisted in the army as a woman and eventually came out as the IDF's first transgender soldier during officer training.
  • 1 City, 2 States, 3 Religions, and 4 Quarters: The Jerusalem light rail is truly amazing. We're going to start from the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood, continue through the Arab villages of Shuafat and Beit Hanina and the ultra-Orthodox area of Ramot Eshkol, and end at the Old City. We love the diversity of Jerusalem's communities. It's part of what attracted Evan and me to Jerusalem. We're going to talk about the differences between East and West Jerusalem and the ongoing struggles between the city's different communities.
  • Return to the hotel.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Overnight: David Citadel, Jerusalem


Day Four: Friday, October 23, 2020

  • Nothing says “Boker tov” (good morning) like a run (optional) through the streets of Jerusalem with long-distance runner Evan. All levels are welcome! (If you're wondering, I will still be at the breakfast dessert table.)
  • An Unhealthy Obsession? Noga Tarnopolsky is a journalist who has spent many years writing for the foreign press corps and is the LA Times correspondent in Israel. She is also a good friend of ours - we hang out with her a lot. In this presentation, Noga will examine why the media's eyes are fixed so firmly on Israel and argue that the extensive coverage is leading to less, rather than more, understanding of the situation.   
  • The Israel Museum: You can catch us here pretty often. It's one of our favorite places to visit. As members of the museum, we can visit as frequently as we like and check out the latest exhibits, even if we're short on time. We're going to have a docent take us around the museum's eclectic collection, ranging from archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls to Jewish life and art and the open-air model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.
  • We love Kol Haót Art Gallery, and every friend we have ever taken here tell us how they connect to Judaism in new and amazing ways through art. Evan and I had David Moss's artwork hanging up on the walls of our LA house. It's a magical and interactive way to bring in Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services will take place in the beautiful neighborhood of Yemin Moshe. Evan, who will be leading prayers, has the most incredible voice. You're in for a treat. You'll also get to hear some thoughts and words of Torah from yours truly.
  • Just a short walk from Yemin Moshe, we will head back to our home where you will join us for an intimate homemade Shabbat dinner. You'll also get to meet our #superstar cats, Archie and Griffin (gratis allergy meds are available).


Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Overnight: David Citadel, Jerusalem


Day Five: Saturday, October 24, 2020

  • Connect body, soul, and Jewish sacred texts in a Torah yoga session (optional). Evan loves yoga. I don't!
  • Our favorite Shabbat activity: Walking through the Old City.
    • We'll meet an Armenian Ceramic Artist and visit his workshop, followed by a short tour of the Armenian Quarter, the smallest of the four quarters with the fewest residents.
    • Is It a Church or a Synagogue? We'll visit Christ Church, the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East, which looks exactly like a synagogue.
    • We'll also see the Austrian Hospice, which as well as being a European enclave in the heart of the Old City, serves the best strudel in the Middle East.
  • Where Amichai Poetry Comes Alive: Yehuda Amichai was Israel's most renowned poet. I was fortunate enough to study with Amichai as an undergrad in Berkeley, and I'm an enormous fan of Israeli poetry. No better way to experience Jerusalem than through Amichai's poetry.
  • Three Stars in the Jerusalem Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal and musical Havdallah ceremony with friends who are also leaders of the Israeli Reform movement at Beit Shmuel.


Meals: Breakfast


Overnight: David Citadel, Jerusalem


Day Six: Sunday, October 25, 2020

  • Check out of the hotel.
  • As we drive north on the Trans-Israel Highway, there will be an opportunity to see the Security Barrier which runs along the seam zone between Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and to learn about the barrier's effects on Israeli security and Palestinian communities.
  • I first visited the Leo Baeck School in Haifa when I was 16 years old as an exchange student. Back then, it was a cool high school for hanging out. Today it is so much more than just a school - it teaches pluralism and is a model for co-existence. We are very close with the head of the school, and one of the rabbis there, Naama Dafni-Kellen, attributes her becoming a rabbi to me.
  • Coexistence Through Cuisine: We strongly believe in a multicultural society. Essentially, it's why we made Aliyah - we wanted to help bring the values of pluralism and tolerance to Israel. Haifa is an amazing example of multiculturalism, and the most authentic market in Haifa is without a doubt Wadi Nisnas. This will be a cultural as well as a culinary tour as we talk with local merchants and residents about how the spices and stalls of Wadi Nisnas express the history and soul of a community.
  • Star of the Sea: In the 13th century, Catholic hermits imitated Elijah and took to the caves of Mount Carmel. We'll visit the Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) Monastery, established near Elijah's caves and the spiritual center of the Carmelite religious order. A place of contemplation, the monastery has seen some pretty turbulent times, including occupation by the British and Israel militaries. I am particularly excited to check out the impressive dome with its paintings of Elijah and other biblical figures.
  • We're going to take a moment at the top of Mount Carmel, the setting for many biblical stories and the old stomping ground of the prophet Elijah, to admire the view of Haifa Bay. If you want an example of Haifa's tremendous diversity, look no further than the beautiful Baha'i Gardens, known as one of the two holiest sites for the Baha'ai faith, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • You Be the Chef: We love food. We especially love Middle Eastern food. A great way to experience authentic Middle Eastern fare is to take part in a cooking workshop guided by an Israeli-Arab family who will welcome us into their home. The Arab villages of the Galilee are famous for their food, including fish and olive dishes and delicious desserts like knafeh and baklawa. We'll discover the local culinary secrets and, mentored by our host family, prepare and eat a traditional dinner.
  • Check into the delightful Elma hotel.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Overnight:  Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, Zichron Yaacov


Day Seven: Monday, October 26, 2020

  • Still at the dessert table at the breakfast buffet.
  • Living on the Edge: Later today, you'll watch Evan perform his one-man show, which was actually motivated and inspired by the Gaza War, when rockets were falling all around us in Jerusalem. For now, we are going to gain a better understanding of Israel's security challenges as we talk to Eitan Oren, a local Kibbutz member, as well as IDF soldiers serving on the Lebanese border. From Kibbutz Malkiya, we will look into Southern Lebanon and discuss the difficulties facing communities in northern Israel.
  • Buza=Glida=Gelato=Ice Cream: I like ice cream and Evan likes posting about ice cream on Facebook. Co-existence never tasted as good as it does in this delicious ice cream workshop. Buza (Arabic for ice cream) is a joint operation by Alaa Sweitat and Adam Ziv. This Muslim-Jewish duo uses 100% natural products and Italian knowhow to create Galilean glida (Hebrew for ice cream). Heads-up: Prepare to photobomb Evan's ice cream selfies.
  • This Is No Ordinary Winery: Kishor Winery is one of the Upper Galilee's blossoming new wineries. It is also where Kibbutz Kishorit members with special needs work all year round - each according to their ability. We'll learn more about this extraordinary place on a tasting tour.
  • Hope You Left Room for Dinner: We're going to head back to Elma and enjoy dinner overlooking the Mediterranean.
  • Evan's One-Man Show: In "Shards: Putting the Pieces Together,” Evan brings a Broadway voice and a cantor's soul to share his life story, beginning in New York, continuing in LA, and now in Israel.


 Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Overnight: Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, Zichron Yaacov


Day Eight: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

  • Tie Up Your Shoelaces: This morning's run (still optional) is brought to you by Evan and the beautiful pastoral village of Zichron Ya'akov.
  • You have the rest of the morning to enjoy the captivating Elma Hotel before you check out.
  • Fall in Love with Zichron Yaakov: We love walking around Zichron Yaakov. It's beautiful and quaint. It also has tremendous colorful history. At the end of the nineteenth century, Baron Rothschild, a French banker and Jewish philanthropist, became the patron of Zichron and saved the town from demise, after almost all the Romanian Jews who had settled here perished from malaria. Within a year, Rothschild built Israel's first winery - the Carmel-Mizrahi winery.
  • We're All About the Wine: I have always loved wine, and living in Berkley, I would visit Napa Valley, known for its wine. That love of wine remained during the years and continues to this day. We are going to be visiting Somek winery, which we don't get to visit nearly enough, but we're excited to share this tasting tour with you. We'll also get to meet fifth-generation vintner Barak Dahan and savor the results of his family's long-term love affair with the land and grapes of the area.
  • There's Art in Them Thar Hills: We are going to experience the Ein Hod artists' colony in the foothills of the Carmel Mountains. Evan & I own our own glass masterpiece from Ein Hod, which you may have seen while you were in our home for Friday night dinner.
  • Tel Aviv: Our Second Home: People often tell us that we belong more in Tel Aviv than we do in Jerusalem. We love our lives in Jerusalem, but we spend as much time as we can - usually once a week - in the 24-hour city with a pulse.
  • Check into the beautiful Drisco Hotel.


Meals: Breakfast


Overnight:  Drisco, Tel Aviv


Day Nine: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

  • As a flat city, Tel Aviv is perfect for a morning run (really, it is optional) - with Evan, of course!
  • Surf's Up, SUP's Up: Standup paddleboarding: The first time we did standup paddleboarding was during the Gazan War in 2014. It was a way for us to relax and detach from the stress of the time. It's an extremely user-friendly version of surfing. So, you'll find that I will be joining Evan for this particular physical activity! (Other activities such as sitting are also fun.)
  • Beginnings: Modern Tel Aviv grew out of ancient Jaffa. We will reflect on how Jaffa, mentioned in the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, is so historically important.
  • Shuk Hapishpeshim is amazing - and is an antique lover's dream come true. We own a few gems from the flea market. Join us as we search for the hidden knickknacks.
  • Levinsky Market: Food again. But Levinsky offers so much more than amazing food. It's the stories of the families behind the food that makes it taste so much better.
  • Gan Meir Gay Center of Tel Aviv: Every year, you will find us here at the beginning of the Pride parade with 200,000 of our best friends. Today we'll talk with activists and members of various LGBTQ organizations about the progress and challenges of the LGBT rights movement.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Overnight: Drisco, Tel Aviv


Day Ten: Thursday, October 29, 2020

  • The Reform Jewish World: A glimpse into the world of the Reform Movement in Israel with Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism and Rabbi Naomi Efrat, leader of Kehilat Halev, who are both good friends of ours. All too often, people talk about the challenges facing the Reform movement in Israel. We're going to shed light on the successes and milestones.
  • Along the Water: We made Aliyah with four bikes. We're really into bike riding. We're going to enjoy an easy bike ride starting from the Yarkon River, through the Tel Aviv Port, and along the shoreside Tel Aviv promenade, ending at the old port of Jaffa.
  • Out of East Africa: We believe strongly in spotlighting populations that usually don't receive enough attention. We will meet African women seeking refuge in Tel Aviv and see how they are working toward a brighter future by creating beautiful crocheted products. Kuchinate (meaning crochet in Tigrinya) is a collective that celebrates African art and culture while empowering women asylum-seekers, many of whom suffered great hardships while fleeing to Israel. Here we'll:
  • Join women from East Africa for a traditional coffee-making ceremony and talk with them about their lives in Israel and the struggles they are seeking to overcome through creativity and collective action.
  • Try our hand at creating East African baskets (or bracelets) during a craft workshop led by the women of Kuchinate.
  • Farewell dinner will be at our favorite restaurant in Tel Aviv: Claro, in the Sarona complex. It's not often that I remember specific meals but the best lunch I have ever experienced was at Claro. Chef Ran Shmueli's farm-to-table restaurant is renowned for its creative cuisine and welcoming atmosphere.


Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Overnight: Drisco, Tel Aviv


Day Eleven: Friday, October 30, 2020

  • Your last Israeli breakfast. For this trip, anyway. Did I mention the dessert buffet?
  • Check out of the hotel - we'll say “Le'hitraot.” Make sure to “Friend” us on Facebook!
  • Head to Ben Gurion International Airport and check in for your return flights to the US.
  • #ComeBackSoon

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.

2020 Land Only Status  
Oct 20 $4535 On sale

Flight Details

Accommodation Details

David Citadel Image

David Citadel

Located in Western Jerusalem on the prestigious King David Street, this Jerusalem hotel faces the ancient walls of the Old City. With modern decor, 384 sumptuous suites and guestrooms with state of the art communication facilities, fine restaurants and a wide range of amenities for its discerning guests.

Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel Image

Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel
Zichron Ya'acov

As uplifting for the soul as it is relaxing for the body, the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel in Zichron Ya’akov was built on the belief that when you stay with art, the art stays with you long after you leave. Designed by award-winning architect Yaakov Rechter and the vision of arts patron Lily Elstein, it is unique in Israel: a complex entirely dedicated to the arts.

The Drisco Hotel Image

The Drisco Hotel
Tel Aviv

Welcome to the Drisco Hotel, part of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World collection, offers a distinct experience designated to entice savvy travelers & patrons. The beautifully restored property channels its exceptional history, enliven by a contemporary design that is an homage to the original 1866 Ottoman grandeur.

  • Registration deadline: 20 June 2020
  • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 full paying participants. 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 $500 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.


  • Credit card fees.
  • 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.
  • 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):


  • Group of 20 participants and more: 
    Tour Educator: $8 | Driver: $4 - per participant per day