5 – DAY BAR MITZVA TOUR:
DAY 1: OLD & NEW
We’ll start our day in Jaffa, one of the most ancient port cities in the world. After wandering the quaint alleyways of this timeless gateway to the Holy Land, we’ll descend to the port where Jonah was swallowed by the whale.
After a local lunch, we’ll head into modern Tel Aviv, exploring the early neighborhoods such as Neve Tzedek and Rothschild Boulevard, and discovering the story of the pioneers who helped build this city, and country, from sand dunes into skyscrapers.
We’ll finish our day at Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market for a late lunch, some shopping time and an unforgettable cooking workshop that will turn into a fantastic dinner. Overnight at hotel in Tel Aviv.
DAY 2: JUDAISM IN THE GALILEE
We’ll start our day with a visit to Kfar Kedem. Donning traditional clothing, we’ll get hands-on with Jewish life in the period of the Mishnah, enjoying an authentic lunch, riding donkeys, and enjoying various other activities.
Our next stop will be in Safed (Tzfat), one of Judaism’s four holy cities. We’ll wander its ancient alleyways and discover the secrets of the Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism) which developed here 500 years ago. Expect beautiful synagogues, stunning vistas, and remarkable tales. Overnight at hotel in Galilee.
DAY 3: DELVE INTO THE DESERT
Our day will begin at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Masada. After a quick lunch we’ll ascend by cable car and will explore the ruins of this remarkable desert fortress built by King Herod 2000 years ago, and discover the tragic end of its final defense.
After a busy couple of days, we’ll relax at a private Dead Sea beach for some well-earned down time. Float on these saline waters and you’ll come out rejuvenated – guaranteed!
As we head to Jerusalem, our final stop will be at Genesis Land to transport ourselves back into the Biblical wilderness for a meeting with Abraham. We’ll learn about life in the desert in ancient times and have the opportunity to ride a camel into the sunset. Overnight at hotel in Jerusalem.
DAY 4: BIBLICAL JERUSALEM
Jump straight into the atmosphere of ancient Jerusalem as we open the day with a walk on the 500-year-old city ramparts. We’ll then visit the City of David, the most ancient ruins in Jerusalem, taking us back into the time of the Bible. We’ll see David’s Palace and can walk underground in a tunnel built by King Hezekiah (great fun for kids!). We’ll emerge from the tunnel at the Pool of Siloam, an important stop for Jewish pilgrims at the time of the Temple.We’ll ascend by foot in the spirit of the ancient pilgrims to the impressive excavations in the Davidson Center where we’ll be able to transport ourselves 2000 years back in time and walk on the very stones that visitors would have walked on in the time of the Second Temple.
We’ll pause at the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) to soak up the atmosphere, and after a great local lunch, we’ll explore the Jewish Quarter (including more ruins from the Biblical period). Our day will conclude with a visit to the King David's Tomb on Mount Zion. Overnight at hotel in Jerusalem.
Optional (If on a Friday): In the evening return to the Western Wall plaza to experience the joyous ‘Receiving the Shabbat’ Jewish prayer service. Continue for a traditional Shabbat dinner at a local home or at the hotel.
DAY 5: BAR MITZVA & MODERN JERUSALEM
The special day is here – mazal tov! Our bar mitzvah will feel like a star as he enters the Old City accompanied by drummers & shofar blowers as we head to the Western Wall. We will be met by our Rabbi who will accompany the bar mitzvah and all of us through this most special ceremony.After an opportunity to change, we’ll continue into modern Jerusalem and get hands-on as we make our own candles. By now we’ll have worked up quite an appetite, so we’ll continue to the Machne Yehuda market for a culinary tasting tour. We’ll conclude our day with a tour of the trail-blazing graffiti around the market and then will have the opportunity to create our own memories in a graffiti workshop.
(To see you again)