Israel Family Journey

ISRAEL FAMILY JOURNEY

Treat your family to Israel’s rich history, modern culture and natural beauty on an 8, 10, or 12-day multi-generational tour with guaranteed dates offered during the summer and winter vacation seasons.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL
8-12 DAYS

OVERVIEW

Discover the very best of Israel on this pluralistic Jewish travel experience designed for everyone in the family and welcoming to all. 

Our carefully crafted itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Masada, the Judean Desert, the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, Haifa, the Mediterranean Coast, and Tel Aviv – with plenty of off-the-beaten-path discoveries and delicious meals your family will cherish along the way. Choose from an 8-day, 10-day, or 12-day itinerary with fixed tour dates scheduled throughout the summer and winter vacation seasons.

Israel Family Journey is an Authentic Israel program organized in association with BBYO (prior involvement with BBYO is not necessary). The program is organized in-house by our staff and led by our elite guides and counselors, allowing us to provide you with a higher level of service, a truly educational experience, and exceptional value.

organized-with-bbyo

CELEBRATING A BAR/BAT MITZVAH?


Traveling to Israel as a family is an especially meaningful way to mark a child’s coming of age. For those who wish to take part, there will be a brief and symbolic ceremony led by our staff in the Galilee (summer) or Masada (winter) to mark the occasion. This brief ceremony does not involve reading from the Torah, and no prior preparation is required. If you are interested in organizing a more traditional ceremony including Torah reading in Jerusalem or elsewhere, there are opportunities to do so before, during or after the tour. Contact us for planning advice, if you wish to be referred to a local rabbi who can design and lead a ceremony that fits your own family’s vision, or if you are seeking “mitzvah project” ideas. Keep in mind that becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is simply about reaching this milestone age. No ceremony is required in Jewish tradition, and for many families, the mere act of traveling through the Land of Israel together is the most impactful way to celebrate this happy occasion. Mazal tov!

Dates  |  Cost  |  Included  |  Itinerary  |  FAQs  |  Register  |  Preparing

Early Bird Discount + Risk Free Registration = Act Now!

Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are absolutely risk-free.

More Than a Tour

We understand that travel to Israel is unlike any other destination, which is why we offer so much more than expected.

  • Hands-on educational touring with a focus on more “experiences” and fewer museums
  • Fantastic food! – Enjoy more genuine local flavor and fewer hotel meals
  • Programming designed for a wide range of ages with activity options offered
  • Led by passionate 24×7 staff and backed by an organization you can count on
  • A focus on creating a sense of community and connection as part of a shared journey
  • Absolutely no hidden costs, no surprises, and a near all-inclusive package

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Retrace the footsteps of history in the Old City, explore a water tunnel in the City of David, and experience the quiet of Shabbat in Jerusalem
Descend to the lowest place on earth to float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada in the Judean Desert

Navigate the Negev Desert wilderness the old-fashioned way on camels and enjoy a delicious desert tent dinner feast
Experience Israel’s pioneering heritage at a kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee shores, and ascend the Golan Heights on an off-road jeep trek

Travel to the Mediterranean coastal city of Haifa and discover the stunning Bahà’í Gardens and Temple on Mount Carmel
Soak up the cultural riches, browse colorful street festivals, and enjoy the always lively beach culture of Tel Aviv

Make a solemn visit to Yad VaShem World Holocaust Remembrance Center and celebrate Israel’s revival at Independence Hall
Experience the Dig-for-a-Day Archeological Seminar, plant a tree in a JNF forest, and cool down on a relaxed rafting trip down the upper Jordan River

Sample Israel’s diverse cuisine at gourmet restaurants, in a Druze village, and in open-air marketplaces

DATES

TOUR ARRIVAL DATE
Program begins
Thursday DAY OR EVENING
8-DAY END DATE
Program concludes
Thursday evening
10-DAY END DATE
Program concludes
Saturday evening
12-DAY END DATE
Program concludes
MONDAY evening
PROGRAM TYPE
Program Hotel
Group Options
December 22, 2022*
WAITLIST
December 29, 2022December 31, 2022January 2, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
December 22, 2022*
WAITLIST
December 29, 2022December 31, 2022January 2, 2023Premium Hotels
REGISTER
June 8, 2023
17 SPOTS
June 15, 2023June 17, 2023June 19, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
June 8, 2023
17 SPOTS
June 15, 2023June 17, 2023June 19, 2023Premium Hotels
REGISTER
June 15, 2023
WAITLIST
June 22, 2023June 24, 2023June 26, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
June 22, 2023
7 SPOTS
June 29, 2023July 1, 2023July 3, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
June 29, 2023
5 SPOTS
July 6, 2023July 8, 2023July 10, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
June 29, 2023
AVAILABLE
July 6, 2023July 8, 2023July 10, 2023Premium Hotels
REGISTER
July 20, 2023
AVAILABLE
July 27, 2023July 29, 2023July 31, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
August 17, 2023
7 SPOTS
August 24, 2023August 26, 2023August 28, 2023Classic Hotels
REGISTER
August 17, 2023
15 SPOTS
August 24, 2023August 26, 2023August 28, 2023Premium Hotels
REGISTER
December 21, 2023
AVAILABLE
December 28, 2023December 30, 2023January 1, 2024Classic Hotels
REGISTER
December 21, 2023
AVAILABLE
December 28, 2023December 30, 2023January 1, 2024Premium Hotels
REGISTER
December 28, 2023
AVAILABLE
January 4, 2024January 6, 2024January 8, 2024Classic Hotels
REGISTER
December 28, 2023
AVAILABLE
January 4, 2024January 6, 2024January 8, 2024Premium Hotels
REGISTER
*The December 2022 itinerary follows an alternate route

Pricing Update | Program costs will be increasing by $100-$150/person on December 18. Plan ahead and save! Sign up commitment-free to lock in current prices.

HOTEL PACKAGE OPTIONS

CLASSIC HOTELS

  • Offered on all dates
  • 4-star equivalent hotels
  • Centrally located hotels
  • Max group size of 35
PREMIUM HOTELS

  • Offered on select dates
  • Mostly 5-star equivalent hotels
  • Centrally located hotels
  • Max group size of 35
Nof Ginnosar Hotel, Galilee
PACKAGE NOTES

  • View the projected hotels we are offering by date.
  • When more than one hotel package option is offered on the same dates, travelers will be accommodated in separate groups with separate staff teams.
  • We reserve the right to consolidate hotel package options on the same dates with a complimentary package upgrade

ROOMING NOTES

Double Occupancy Rooms

  • Will be accommodated with either a double bed or two twin-sized beds depending on your rooming request.

Triple Occupancy Rooms

  • At least one full-paying traveler is required in the room for the discount to apply for children ages 17 and under.
  • Triple rooms are typically standard size rooms and can be configured with either two twin beds and a roll-away bed or one queen-style bed and a roll-away bed.
  • No discount applies for triple rooms without a child who is age 17 and under, but in some cases, the room provided will be a larger-sized room.

Quad Occupancy Rooms:

  • According to hotel rules, two full-paying travelers and two travelers age 13 and under must be present to qualify for a quad occupancy room and the associated discounts.
  • Quad rooms are slightly larger than standard rooms, and they are subject to limited availability. Typical quad rooms have one bathroom and can be configured with either two twin beds and a two-person sofa bed or one queen-style bed and a sofa bed.
    Families of four who prefer more space and/or an extra bathroom should opt for two adjoining double rooms, however, no child discounts will apply.
  • Some hotels may not offer a quad occupancy room, in which case, two double rooms will be provided, and the quad occupancy discount will still apply, assuming the age rules are met.
  • Quad occupancy rooms have limited availability and are not guaranteed.

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TOUR DURATION OPTIONS

Israel Family Journey can be experienced as an 8, 10, or 12-day tour. Here’s how it works:

TOUR ARRIVAL DATE
The program begins at either 12:30pm or 6:30pm at our hotel in Jerusalem on Thursday. Travelers are encouraged to arrive on Wednesday to acclimate and participate in the early touring on Thursday – and an additional Jerusalem hotel night is available on Wednesday evening. A complimentary airport transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is provided on Wednesday for flights arriving between 6:00am-5:35pm and on Thursday for flights arriving between 6:00am-4:20pm.

8-DAY PROGRAM
The 8-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, and the Galilee – concluding as we arrive to Tel Aviv on Thursday evening. No hotel in Tel Aviv is included on Thursday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

10-DAY PROGRAM
The 10-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Galilee, Golan Heights, Rosh Hanikrah, Acco, Haifa, and Tel Aviv. The 10-day experience concludes on Saturday evening. No hotel in Tel Aviv is included on Saturday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

12-DAY PROGRAM
The 12-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Galilee, Golan Heights, Rosh Hanikrah, Acco, Haifa, the Carmel Mountains, the Mediterranean Coast, and additional experiences in the Tel Aviv region. The 12-day experience concludes on Monday evening. No hotel in Tel Aviv is included on Monday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

12-DAY PROGRAM
The 12-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Galilee, Tel Aviv, and Eilat. An optional tour of Petra and/or Rosh Hanikrah & Acco is also available as an add-on. No hotel in Eilat is included on Monday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

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COST

Early Bird Discount + Risk Free Registration = Act Now!

Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are absolutely risk-free.

Scroll right for 8, 10, and 12-day end dates.

8-DAY PROGRAM

CLASSIC HOTELS

Offered on ALL dates

PREMIUM HOTELS

Offered on limited dates
Base cost with double room hotel occupancy $2,800/p $3,150/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy $850/p $1,000/p
Discount for ages 13 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room
Hotels require two travelers 13 and under in a quad room
-$250/p -$350/p
Discount for ages 14-17 sharing a triple occupancy hotel room -$75/p -$100/p
10-DAY PROGRAM

CLASSIC HOTELS

Offered on ALL dates

PREMIUM HOTELS

Offered on limited dates
Base cost with double room hotel occupancy $3,150/p $3,650/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy $1,000/p $1,350/p
Discount for ages 13 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room
Hotels require two travelers 13 and under in a quad room
-$400/p -$450/p
Discount for ages 14-17 sharing a triple occupancy hotel room -$100/p -$125/p
12-DAY PROGRAM

CLASSIC HOTELS

Offered on ALL dates

PREMIUM HOTELS

Offered on limited dates
Base cost with double room hotel occupancy $3,850/p $4,400/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy $1,300/p $1,550/p
Discount for ages 13 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room
Hotels require two travelers 13 and under in a quad room
-$500/p -$550/p
Discount for ages 14-17 sharing a triple occupancy hotel room -$150/p -$150/p
Pricing Update | Program costs will be increasing by $100-$150/person on December 18. Plan ahead and save! Sign up commitment-free to lock in current prices.

HOTEL PACKAGE OPTIONS

CLASSIC HOTELS

  • Offered on all dates
  • 4-star equivalent hotels
  • Centrally located hotels
  • Max group size of 35
PREMIUM HOTELS

  • Offered on select dates
  • Mostly 5-star equivalent hotels
  • Centrally located hotels
  • Max group size of 35
Nof Ginnosar Hotel, Galilee
PACKAGE NOTES

  • View the projected hotels we are offering by date
  • When more than one hotel package option is offered on the same dates, travelers will be accommodated in separate groups with separate staff teams.
  • We reserve the right to consolidate hotel package options on the same dates with a complimentary package upgrade

ROOMING NOTES

Double Occupancy Rooms

  • Will be accommodated with either a double bed or two twin-sized beds depending on your rooming request.

Triple Occupancy Rooms

  • At least one full-paying traveler is required in the room for the discount to apply for children ages 17 and under.
  • Triple rooms are typically standard size rooms and can be configured with either two twin beds and a roll-away bed or one queen-style bed and a roll-away bed.
  • No discount applies for triple rooms without a child who is age 17 and under, but in some cases, the room provided will be a larger-sized room.

Quad Occupancy Rooms:

  • According to hotel rules, two full-paying travelers and two travelers age 13 and under must be present to qualify for a quad occupancy room and the associated discounts.
  • Quad rooms are slightly larger than standard rooms, and they are subject to limited availability. Typical quad rooms have one bathroom and can be configured with either two twin beds and a two-person sofa bed or one queen-style bed and a sofa bed.
    Families of four who prefer more space and/or an extra bathroom should opt for two adjoining double rooms, however, no child discounts will apply.
  • Some hotels may not offer a quad occupancy room, in which case, two double rooms will be provided, and the quad occupancy discount will still apply, assuming the age rules are met.
  • Quad occupancy rooms have limited availability and are not guaranteed.

Back to Top

TOUR DURATION OPTIONS

Israel Family Journey can be experienced as an 8, 10, or 12-day tour. Here’s how it works:

TOUR ARRIVAL DATE
The program begins at either 12:30pm or 6:30pm at our hotel in Jerusalem on Thursday. Travelers are encouraged to arrive on Wednesday to acclimate and participate in the early touring on Thursday – and an additional Jerusalem hotel night is available on Wednesday evening. A complimentary airport transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is provided on Wednesday for flights arriving between 6:00am-5:35pm and on Thursday for flights arriving between 6:00am-4:20pm.

8-DAY PROGRAM
The 8-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, and the Galilee – concluding as we arrive to Tel Aviv on Thursday evening. No hotel in Tel Aviv is included on Thursday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

10-DAY PROGRAM
The 10-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Galilee, Golan Heights, Rosh Hanikrah, Acco, Haifa, and Tel Aviv. The 10-day experience concludes on Saturday evening. No hotel in Tel Aviv is included on Saturday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

12-DAY PROGRAM
The 12-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Galilee, Golan Heights, Rosh Hanikrah, Acco, Haifa, the Carmel Mountains, the Mediterranean Coast, and additional experiences in the Tel Aviv region. The 12-day experience concludes on Monday evening. No hotel in Tel Aviv is included on Monday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

12-DAY PROGRAM
The 12-day itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Galilee, Tel Aviv, and Eilat. An optional tour of Petra and/or Rosh Hanikrah & Acco is also available as an add-on. No hotel in Eilat is included on Monday night unless it is requested as an extra booking.

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INCLUDED

Benefit from our no-hidden-costs approach so that you can enjoy your experience to the fullest. Review the official Prep-Trip Prep Guide for even more program information.


What’s Included

Airport Transfer

An airport greeting and private transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is complimentary for travelers arriving by flight to Ben Gurion Airport on the:

  • First day of the program (Thursday) between 6:00am–4:20pm
  • Day before the program (Wednesday) between 6:00am–5:35pm

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

Centrally located with porterage included
Classic and Premium options offered – Learn More

EDUCATIONAL STAFF

A licensed Israeli guide accompanies the group on 24 x 7 basis*
A youth counselor joins groups with over 25 participants

TOURING BUS

Deluxe motorcoach with AC and an experienced Israeli driver
Saturdays in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are walking tour days

Two Meals Daily

Including tax and tips at restaurant meals

All Programming

Site entrance fees and all touring experiences noted in the itinerary

Israel Sources & Resources Booklet

Preview the booklet in advance of your trip

Applicable Taxes

An additional VAT (tax) applies for Israeli citizens at group hotels

What’s Not Included

Local medical insurance (optional)
Get peace of mind with a local health insurance policy and receive medical care without any co-pays, deductibles, or paperwork. LEARN MORE
Travel protection (optional)
Prepare for the unexpected with a travel protection plan where children age 17 and under are included at no additional cost with a paid adult. LEARN MORE
Flights to/from Israel
Book your flights via a travel agent
Meals not included in the itinerary
Hotel incidentals
Israeli staff gratuities
Suggested $100-$150 per adult traveler
Required public health testing

HOTEL PACKAGE OPTIONS

CLASSIC HOTELS

  • Offered on all dates
  • 4-star equivalent hotels
  • Centrally located hotels
  • Max group size of 35
PREMIUM HOTELS

  • Offered on select dates
  • Mostly 5-star equivalent hotels
  • Centrally located hotels
  • Max group size of 35
Nof Ginnosar Hotel, Galilee
PACKAGE NOTES

  • View the projected hotels we are offering by date.
  • When more than one hotel package option is offered on the same dates, travelers will be accommodated in separate groups with separate staff teams.
  • We reserve the right to consolidate hotel package options on the same dates with a complimentary package upgrade.

ROOMING NOTES

Double Occupancy Rooms

  • Will be accommodated with either a double bed or two twin-sized beds depending on your rooming request.

Triple Occupancy Rooms

  • At least one full-paying traveler is required in the room for the discount to apply for children ages 17 and under.
  • Triple rooms are typically standard-size rooms and can be configured with either two twin beds and a roll-away bed or one queen-style bed and a roll-away bed.
  • No discount applies for triple rooms without a child who is age 17 and under, but in some cases, the room provided will be a larger-sized room.

Quad Occupancy Rooms:

  • According to hotel rules, two full-paying travelers and two travelers age 13 and under must be present to qualify for a quad occupancy room and the associated discounts.
  • Quad rooms are slightly larger than standard rooms, and they are subject to limited availability. Typical quad rooms have one bathroom and can be configured with either two twin beds and a two-person sofa bed or one queen-style bed and a sofa bed.
    Families of four who prefer more space and/or an extra bathroom should opt for two adjoining double rooms, however, no child discounts will apply.
  • Some hotels may not offer a quad occupancy room, in which case, two double rooms will be provided, and the quad occupancy discount will still apply, assuming the age rules are met.
  • Quad occupancy rooms have limited availability and are not guaranteed.

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ITINERARY

Israel Family Journey tells the story of Israel through the lens of Jewish historyWe begin where it started in Jerusalem, we follow the path of the Exile to Masada and Galilee, and then we conclude in Tel Aviv celebrating the establishment of modern Israel.

FINAL ITINERARIES MAY VARY ONLY SLIGHTLY AND WILL BE RE-CONFIRMED ABOUT TWO MONTHS PRIOR. VIEW PROJECTED HOTELS WE ARE OFFERING.

JUNE, JULY & AUGUST TOURS

Summers in Israel tend to be hot, and our itinerary features more opportunities for swimming, a hands-on archeological dig, rafting on the Jordan River, and more time in the Galilee.

Summer Experiences in Israel

VIEW SUMMER ITINERARY

Print this Itinerary

DAY 1 > THURSDAY: Baruch HaBah Welcome to Israel!
NOTE: To best acclimate for the journey ahead, travelers are encouraged to arrive at least a day early. Group rates are available at the Jerusalem hotel.

  • Arrive at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on your self-booked flight
    An airport VIP greeting and complimentary transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is included for all travelers arriving between 6:00am and 4:20pm today and between 6:00am and 4:35pm the day before
  • A complimentary “pre-tour” is available for travelers already in Israel from the night before or travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport by 9:30am today
    Notify us at least a month in advance if you plan to participate

    • Pick-up at 12:00pm from our Jerusalem hotel and travel to the bustling open-air Mahane Yehuda Marketplace for lunch on own
    • Discover the foundations of Jerusalem at the City of David archaeological park and navigate the Hezekiah water tunnel, fed by a natural spring (pack water shoes, and prepare to get wet!)
  • Evening: Get oriented over a welcome dinner at Joy Restaurant in the Mamilla Complex followed by the Tower of David Night Spectacular in the Old City
Dinner
JERUSALEM

DAY 2 > FRIDAY: The Old City of Jerusalem

  • Experience a panoramic introduction to Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade
  • Enter the Old City via Zion Gate – Explore the rooftops, alleys and squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Free time for shopping and lunch in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall — and go deep under the Old City in the Kotel Tunnels
  • Return to our accommodations – Freshen up, relax, and experience the quiet that descends on Jerusalem before the start of Shabbat
  • Option to attend a Kabbalat Shabbat experience at a local synagogue or at the Western Wall
  • Evening: Enjoy a festive Shabbat dinner as a group at our hotel
Breakfast & Dinner
JERUSALEM

DAY 3 > SATURDAY: Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning Option: Return to the Old City for a tour of the Christian Quarter and Arab Shuk (bazaar)
  • Shabbat lunch is included at our hotel
  • Afternoon Option: Jerusalem Beyond the Walls – Montefiore’s Windmill, Yemin Moshe, Mishkenot Sheananim, and the First Jerusalem Train Station Market
  • Evening: Discover Jerusalem nightlife at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall, the German Colony, the Russian Compound and beyond (on own)
Breakfast & Lunch
JERUSALEM

DAY 4 > SUNDAY: Loss & Renewal in Israel

  • Docent-led tour of the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center
    Children’s alternative: Tour of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
  • Depart Jerusalem and travel to Beit Guvrin National Park where we will pick up new skills on the Dig-for-a-Day archaeological workshop (a packed lunch is provided today)
    Less active alternative: Tour of Tel Maresha and the Bell Caves
  • Travel deep into the Judean Desert for a camel riding adventure and a memorable desert tent dinner feast at Kfar Hanokdim encampment
    Camel riding is limited to ages 5-67 according to Kfar Hanokdim’s rules
  • Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and check-in to our resort accommodations at Ein Bokek Beach
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DEAD SEA

DAY 5 > MONDAY: Adventures in the Judean Desert

  • Rise early and summit Masada – Hike the Snake Path or take the cable cars
  • Explore and recount the story of Masada – Herod’s desert mountaintop fortress and the bastion of an ancient Jewish rebellion
  • Descend Masada via the cable cars and return to our accommodations
  • Experience the wonder of effortless floating on the Dead Sea while enjoying our deluxe resort hotel facilities (spa access is available for ages 16+)
  • Take a short nature walk to the desert oasis at Ein Gedi National Park and view wild ibex in their natural habitat (time permitting)
  • Travel northwards to the Galilee via the Jordan River Valley, part of the vast Syrian-African Rift
  • Check-in and dinner at our kibbutz-based hotel accommodations located by the Sea of Galilee
Breakfast & Dinner
GALILEE

DAY 6 > TUESDAY: Mystics in the Galilee

  • Walking tour of ancient Tsfat – The historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Lunch on own and personal exploration time in the Tsfat artists’ colony
  • Cool off with relaxed rafting down the upper Jordan River
    Less active alternative: Tel Dan archaeological complex
  • View across Israel’s lush Upper Galilee and Golan regions from the Mitzpe Liran lookout point
  • Cruise on the Sea of Galilee followed by a gourmet dinner at Decks Restaurant in Tiberias on the waterfront
Breakfast & Dinner
GALILEE

DAY 7 > WEDNESDAY: Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights, and explore this strategic region on a historical off-road jeep trek
  • View Israel’s neighbors and navigate former IDF bunkers at the summit of Mount Ben-Tal, a dormant volcano in the northeast corner of the Golan
  • Travel to Ein Kinya village to learn about Druze culture over a traditional lunch
  • Free time and/or swimming in the Sea of Galilee and hotel pool
    Participants celebrating a B’nai Mitzvah have the opportunity to take part in a brief ceremony here on the banks of the Sea of Galilee
  • Evening: Dinner on own and personal exploration time in the village of Rosh Pina
Breakfast & Lunch
GALILEE

DAY 8 > THURSDAY: The Western Galilee

  • Depart the Sea of Galilee region and travel to the Western Galilee
  • Descend into the ocean-swept caves of Rosh Hanikrah on Israel’s far northern border
  • Lunch is served at the Rosh Hanikrah restaurant overlooking Israel’s rugged coast
  • Explore the ancient seaport of Acco, including the Knights Hall and Templar Tunnels
  • Continue to Haifa, Israel’s most diverse city, for a view of the Bahai Temple Gardens on the slopes of Mount Carmel
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital, in the early evening
    • 10-day and 12-day tour travelers will check in to our hotel along the coast and enjoy a free evening with dinner on own
    • For 8-day travelers flying home tonight on an overnight return flight, an optional transfer will depart from Tel Aviv for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30pm
      Accommodations in Tel Aviv are not included tonight for 8-day travelers unless otherwise requested 
Breakfast & Lunch
TEL AVIV

DAY 9 > FRIDAY: Founding of Modern Israel

  • Tour the ancient port city of Jaffa and browse the Jaffa Flea Market
  • Continue on to explore Tel Aviv’s trendy Rothschild Boulevard, and tour Independence Hall where the modern State of Israel was founded (re-opening in 2023)
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon celebrating the Tel Aviv spirit at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market in the historic Neve Tzedek neighborhood
  • Program wrap-up and farewells on the beach followed by the option to attend a Kabbalat Shabbat service on the beach (summer only) or at a local synagogue
  • Evening: Enjoy a festive Shabbat dinner experience as a group at our hotel
Breakfast & Dinner
TEL AVIV

DAY 10 > SATURDAY | Shabbat on the Beach

  • Relaxed morning to explore Tel Aviv on your own or enjoy the city’s Mediterranean beach culture
    Late check-out is available until 2:00pm for 10-day travelers and hotel extensions are available
  • A lunch voucher is provided that can be used at a variety of nearby restaurants
    Alternatively, Shabbat lunch can be included at our hotel by prior arrangement
  • Walking Tour – Rabin Square Memorial, HaBimah Theater Grounds, and the classic “White City” Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv
  • For 10-day travelers flying home tonight on an overnight return flight, an optional transfer will depart from Tel Aviv for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30pm
Breakfast & Lunch
TEL AVIV

DAY 11 > SUNDAY | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Travel along the Mediterranean Coast to explore Caesarea – Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the beach
  • Tasting, tour & lunch at Binyamina Winery with a separate activity for children
  • Learn how to surf and enjoy the rustic beaches of the Mediterranean north of Tel Aviv
  • Return to Tel Aviv for a free evening and dinner on own
Breakfast & Lunch
TEL AVIV

DAY 12 > MONDAY | Looking Back and Looking Ahead

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park to plant a tree in a JNF forest and discover the natural world of ancient Israel
  • Visit the Ayalon Institute (“the Bullet Factory”) – Learn about the story of the Haganah and the quest to create a modern Jewish State at this secret ammunition factory
  • Learn how Israel became the “Startup Nation” at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Jaffa
  • Discover the richness of Jewish Ethiopian culture and enjoy a traditional meal at the Battae Heritage Center in Tel Aviv
  • For 12-Day travelers flying home tonight on an overnight return flight, an optional transfer will depart from Tel Aviv for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30pm
    Accommodations in Tel Aviv are not included tonight for 12-day travelers unless otherwise requested 
Breakfast & Dinner


DECEMBER TOURS

Winters in Israel range from cool to mild, and our itinerary features extra time exploring Haifa, additional experiences in Jerusalem, and a ‘safari tour’ in the Hula migratory bird reserve.

Winter Experiences in Israel

VIEW WINTER ITINERARY


Print this Itinerary

DAY 1 > THURSDAY: Baruch HaBah Welcome to Israel!
NOTE: To best acclimate for the journey ahead, travelers are encouraged to arrive at least a day early. Group rates are available at the Jerusalem hotel.

  • Arrive at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on your self-booked flight
    An airport VIP greeting and complimentary transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is included for all travelers arriving between 6:00am and 4:20pm today and between 6:00am and 4:35pm the day before
  • A complimentary “pre-tour” is available for travelers already in Israel from the night before or travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport by 9:30am today
    Notify us at least a month in advance if you plan to participate

    • Pick-up at 12:00pm from our Jerusalem hotel and travel to the bustling open-air Mahane Yehuda Marketplace for lunch on own
    • Discover the foundations of Jerusalem at the City of David excavations
  • Evening: Get oriented over a welcome dinner at Joy Restaurant in the Mamilla Complex followed by the Tower of David Night Spectacular in the Old City
Dinner
JERUSALEM

DAY 2 > FRIDAY: The Old City of Jerusalem

  • Experience a panoramic introduction to Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade
  • Enter the Old City via Zion Gate – Explore the rooftops, alleys, and squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Free time for shopping and lunch in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall — and go deep under the Old City in the Kotel Tunnels
  • Return to our accommodations – Freshen up, relax, and experience the quiet that descends on Jerusalem before the start of Shabbat
  • Option to attend a Kabbalat Shabbat experience at a local synagogue or at the Western Wall
  • Evening: Enjoy a festive Shabbat dinner as a group at our hotel
Breakfast & Dinner
JERUSALEM

DAY 3 > SATURDAY: Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning Option: Return to the Old City for a tour of the Christian Quarter and Arab Shuk (bazaar)
  • Shabbat lunch is included at our hotel
  • Afternoon Option: Jerusalem Beyond the Walls – Montefiore’s Windmill, Yemin Moshe, Mishkenot Sheananim, and the First Jerusalem Train Station Market
  • Evening: Discover Jerusalem nightlife at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall, the German Colony, the Russian Compound, and beyond (on own)
Breakfast & Lunch
JERUSALEM

DAY 4 > SUNDAY: Loss & Renewal in Israel

  • Docent-led tour of the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center
    Children’s alternative: Tour of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
  • Visit the grounds of the Knesset – Israel’s Parliament Building – and stop for a photo-op at the famous National Menorah
  • Learn about the leaders who shaped the story of modern Israel at Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Travel deep into the Judean Desert for a camel riding adventure and a memorable desert tent dinner feast at Eretz Breisheit encampment
  • Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and check-in to our resort accommodations at Ein Bokek Beach
Breakfast & Dinner
DEAD SEA

 


DAY 5 > MONDAY: Adventures in the Judean Desert

  • Rise early and summit Masada – Hike the Snake Path or take the cable cars
  • Explore and recount the story of Masada – Herod’s desert mountaintop fortress and the bastion of an ancient Jewish rebellion
    Participants celebrating a B’nai Mitzvah have the opportunity to take part in a brief ceremony on the summit of Masada
  • Descend Masada via the cable cars and return to our accommodations
  • Experience the wonder of effortless floating on the Dead Sea while enjoying our deluxe resort hotel facilities (spa access is available for ages 16+)
  • Take a short nature walk to the desert oasis at Ein Gedi National Park and view wild ibex in their natural habitat (time permitting)
  • Travel northwards to the Galilee via the Jordan River Valley, part of the vast Syrian-African Rift
  • Check-in and dinner at our kibbutz-based hotel accommodations located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
Breakfast & Dinner
GALILEE

DAY 6 > TUESDAY: Mystics in the Galilee

  • Explore the Hula Valley migratory bird reserve on a safari wagon tour
  • View across Israel’s lush Upper Galilee and Golan regions from the Mitzpe Liran lookout point
  • Walking tour of ancient Tsfat – The historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Lunch on own and personal exploration time in the Tsfat artists’ colony
  • Sunset cruise on the Sea of Galilee with Israeli dancing followed by a gourmet dinner at Decks Restaurant in Tiberias on the waterfront
Breakfast & Dinner
GALILEE

DAY 7 > WEDNESDAY: Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan and explore the region on a historical off-road jeep trek
  • View Israel’s neighbors and navigate former IDF bunkers at the summit of Mount Ben-Tal, a dormant volcano in the northeast corner of the Golan
  • Travel to Ein Kinya village to learn about Druze culture over a traditional lunch
  • Continue west to Haifa, Israel’s most diverse city, and check in to our hotel on the slopes of Mount Carmel
  • Evening: Dinner on own in the historic German Colony neighborhood of Haifa
Breakfast & Lunch
HAIFA

DAY 8 > THURSDAY: The Western Galilee

  • This morning we explore the port city of Haifa, including a tour of the Bahai Temple Gardens on the slopes of Mount Carmel
  • Descend into the ocean-swept caves of Rosh Hanikrah on Israel’s far northern border
  • Lunch is served at the Rosh Hanikrah restaurant overlooking Israel’s rugged coast
  • Explore the ancient seaport of Acco, including the Knights Hall and Templar Tunnels
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital, in the early evening
    • 10-day and 12-day tour travelers will check in to our hotel on the coast and enjoy a free evening with dinner on own
    • For 8-day travelers flying home tonight on an overnight return flight, an optional transfer will depart from Tel Aviv for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30pm
      Accommodations in Tel Aviv are not included tonight for 8-day travelers unless otherwise requested
Breakfast & Lunch
TEL AVIV

DAY 9 > FRIDAY: Founding of Modern Israel

  • Tour the ancient port city of Jaffa and browse the Jaffa Flea Market
  • Continue on to explore Tel Aviv’s trendy Rothschild Boulevard, and tour Independence Hall where the modern State of Israel was founded (re-opening in 2023)
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon celebrating the Tel Aviv spirit at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market in the historic Neve Tzedek neighborhood
  • Program wrap-up and farewells on the beach followed by the option to attend a Kabbalat Shabbat service on the beach (summer only) or at a local synagogue
  • Evening: Enjoy a festive Shabbat dinner experience as a group at our hotel
Breakfast & Dinner
TEL AVIV

DAY 10 > SATURDAY | Shabbat on the Beach

  • Relaxed morning to explore Tel Aviv on your own or enjoy the city’s Mediterranean beach culture
    Late check-out is available until 2:00pm for 10-day travelers and hotel extensions are available
  • A lunch voucher is provided that can be used at a variety of nearby restaurants
    Alternatively, Shabbat lunch can be included at our hotel by prior arrangement
  • Walking Tour – Rabin Square Memorial, HaBimah Theater Grounds, and the classic “White City” Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv
  • For 10-day travelers flying home tonight on an overnight return flight, an optional transfer will depart from Tel Aviv for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30pm
Breakfast & Lunch
TEL AVIV

DAY 11 > SUNDAY | Honoring the Land of Israel

  • Travel to Beit Guvrin National Park where we will pick up new skills on the Dig-for-a-Day archaeological workshop
    Less active alternative: Tour of Tel Maresha and the Bell Caves
  • Visit the Ayalon Institute (“the Bullet Factory”) – Learn about the story of the Haganah and the quest to create a modern Jewish State at this secret ammunition factory
  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park to plant a tree in a JNF forest and discover the natural world of ancient Israel
  • Return to Tel Aviv to discover the richness of Jewish Ethiopian culture and enjoy a traditional meal at the Battae Heritage Center in Tel Aviv
Breakfast & Dinner
TEL AVIV

DAY 12 > MONDAY | Looking Back and Looking Ahead

  • Learn how Israel became the “Startup Nation” at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Jaffa
  • Travel along the Mediterranean Coast for a tasting & tour at the Binyamina Winery with a separate activity for children
  • Explore Caesarea – Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the beach
  • Celebrate the journey over a closing dinner at Arresto Restaurant along the Caesarea coast
  • For 12-day travelers flying home tonight on an overnight return flight, an optional transfer will depart from Tel Aviv for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30pm
    Accommodations in Tel Aviv are not included tonight for 10-day travelers unless otherwise requested (group rates available)
Breakfast & Dinner

FAQS

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions are answered below, and you can access the official Pre-Trip Prep Guide for even more background about the tour. Contact us if you have additional questions.


How do the 8, 10 or 12-day options work?

The program is offered as an 8-day, 10-day, or 12-day experience, but everyone travels as part of one group regardless of the duration chosen. The 8-day experience ends as we arrive to Tel Aviv on Thursday evening but does not include any touring in Tel Aviv. The 10-day experience includes touring in the Tel Aviv region on the final Friday and Saturday, with two overnights at a beach-side hotel in Tel Aviv. The 12-day experience continues from our Tel Aviv basis with touring in the Carmel Mountains, along the Mediterranean Coast, and in the greater Tel Aviv region.

Who staffs the tour?

The program is led by an experienced, licensed Israeli guide who is with the group on a 24/7 basis. Your guide will be fluent in English and deeply knowledgeable about the history, culture, environment, and landscapes of Israel. Our guides are charismatic educators with expertise in informal education — many of them also guide our BBYO teen groups. If your group has over 25 travelers, your tour will also be accompanied by an Israeli counselor who focuses on the experience of younger participants and provides additional support to the group in general. Finally, our travel takes place on a spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned bus with a dedicated driver.

How active is the touring?

Because we want you to get the most out of your time in Israel, our touring days are full, and there is quite a bit of travel by foot. While none of the walks are strenuous, you will find at the end of the day that you have taken a large number of steps! Be prepared for an average of 3-4 hours of walking a day over all manner of surfaces (cobblestones paths, nature trails, and uneven walkways, etc.). Additionally, the weather in Israel is warm, particularly over the summer, and the sun is more intense than you may be used to at home. When necessary, we will adjust the itinerary for your comfort, and you’ll find that most days have opportunities to cool down with swimming or getting wet in general.

NOTE: Travelers who wish to take a break can opt-out as needed after coordinating with the guide, and in some cases, we offer less active programming alternatives for those who wish. Travelers requiring walking support or with mobility constraints will not be well accommodated on this program. 

How can I incorporate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah as part of the experience?

Traveling to Israel as a family is an especially meaningful way to mark a child’s coming of age. There will be a brief ceremony led by our staff in the Galilee to mark the occasion for those who wish to participate (scheduled during free time). No preparation is required before the tour, and there is no extra cost. If you are interested in organizing a personalized ceremony, there are opportunities to do so before, during or after the tour.

Contact us for planning advice, if you wish to be referred to a local rabbi who can design and lead a ceremony that fits your own family’s vision, or if you are seeking “mitzvah project” ideas. Finally, keep in mind that becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is simply about reaching this traditional Jewish milestone age. No ceremony is required by Jewish law, and for many families, the mere act of traveling through the Land of Israel together is the most appropriate way to celebrate this happy occasion. Mazal tov!

What's the age composition of the group?

Groups are comprised of families spanning three generations and couples traveling without children are welcomed as well! Because of the active nature of the program, children aged 8 or older are best suited for this experience. Group sizes typically range from 15 to a maximum of 35 travelers with an average of 25 travelers. For your comfort, we normally use a 53-seat touring bus.

How is this a Jewish experience?

Israel Family Journey is a pluralistic Jewish travel experience open to all. Group meals are kosher, and there is no bus-based touring on Shabbat. The program is unaffiliated with any specific approach to Judaism. Travelers arrive with varying degrees of Jewish affiliation, and non-Jewish family members and friends are welcomed. Our goal is to provide a complete first-time experience in Israel through the lens of Jewish history and identity.

How much of a group experience is this?

Our goal for the program is to create a sense of community among individual travelers – with participants gaining lasting new friendships and a richer experience as a result. There are also ample opportunities for personal exploration during the tour and many of the dinners are intentionally left free. In particular, Saturdays are designed to be less structured, and no programming is mandatory on any day. Participants are encouraged to arrive in Jerusalem earlier or stay in Tel Aviv longer to explore even more on their own. Group hotel reservations can be extended accordingly.

How all-inclusive is the experience?

In short, you’re responsible for arranging your own flights to and from Israel, and we take care of most everything else! The program covers two meals a day, all touring, a fantastic staff team, hotel accommodations including luggage porterage, and deluxe motorcoach transportation. An airport greeting and roundtrip airport transfers are offered on the arrival day, the day before the arrival day, and on the final evening of the program (see below for full details). You’ll be responsible for one meal a day, specialty beverages at group meals, and staff gratuities.

How are special dietary needs accommodated?

Be sure to note any special dietary needs as part of your registration. We will coordinate with our hotel and restaurant meal providers to arrange special accommodations as necessary. We make a good faith effort to accommodate food allergy considerations, however, we can not make absolute guarantees on behalf of our meal-providing partners.

What's the suggested staff gratuities?

You’ll soon discover that our staff pours their hearts into the success of your experience, and at the end of the tour, providing a cash tip (dollars or shekels) is a customary and thoughtful gesture. Although the amounts and allocation are ultimately at your discretion, we recommend budgeting for a tip pool of $100-$150 per adult traveler to be divided as follows:

  • 1/2 for the guide
  • 1/4 for the driver
  • 1/4 for the counselor (if applicable)

How do I get ready for the trip?

Take a moment to review our Pre-Trip Prep Guide. Luggage tags are distributed approximately a month prior to arrival, and you’ll also be invited to a program Facebook group to connect with fellow travelers before the program and stay in touch afterward.

How should I arrange my travel to and from Israel?

Basic guidelines for planning your travel to/from Israel are summarized below. More detailed advice is contained in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or for advice on booking flights.

TRAVEL TO ISRAEL

  • All participants are expected to make their own air travel arrangements to and from Israel (book your flights via a travel agent). The only international airport in Israel is “Ben Gurion” (airport code: TLV), located just 40 kilometers from Jerusalem (approx.25 miles) and 15 kilometers (approx. 9 miles) from Tel Aviv. Non-stop flights are available from several major North American cities, including NYC, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newark, Miami, Dallas, and Toronto. Many connecting flight options are available via Europe.
  • An airport greeting and a private transfer to our Jerusalem hotel are complimentary for anyone arriving at Ben Gurion Airport by flight as follows:
    • The first day of the program (Thursday) between 6:00am and 4:20pm
    • The day before the program begins (Wednesday) between 6:00am and 5:35pm
  • NOTE: The transfers are private for Israel Family Journey travelers with a maximum wait time of 30 minutes if travelers on multiple flights are to be accommodated together. Due to logistical considerations, this transfer service is only available to travelers arriving at the airport by flight. 
  • Those travelers arriving outside of these covered times can receive the same airport greeting and transfer service to our hotel in Jerusalem for an additional fee depending on the size of the party (note: the cost of a standard taxi to Jerusalem is $80-$100)
  • Travelers arriving at Ben Gurion Airport after 4:20pm on the first day of the program will likely miss the welcome dinner and programming this evening and will be responsible for their own transportation to the restaurant. We do not recommend it!
  • Those travelers arriving in Israel early (which we recommend for acclimating in advance of the tour) can be accommodated by prior arrangement at our Jerusalem hotel based on our group rates, which includes breakfast and our standard cancellation terms.

TRAVEL FROM ISRAEL

  • At the end of the core program (Thursday or Saturday night), participants will be escorted back to Ben Gurion Airport in time for overnight flights departing between 10:30pm and 1:00am the next day. No hotel is included this evening unless arranged separately.
  • Participants booked on return flights outside of this window can be accommodated with an airport transfer by special arrangement, and additional fees will apply (note: taxis from Tel Aviv to Ben Gurion Airport are inexpensive, ubiquitous, and reliable).
  • Those travelers extending their stay in Tel Aviv can be accommodated at our beachfront hotel based on our group rates, which include breakfast and our standard cancellation terms.

Can I have a professional book my flights?

Yes! Get all the peace of mind from having a professional travel agency book your international flights without paying a premium. Get started at www.authenticisrael.com/flights.

What are the passport and visa rules for Israel?

Check to make sure that you know where your passport is and that it is not expired or about to expire. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you arrive in Israel. If your passport expires within this period, please start the renewal process today. Many airlines will deny you boarding if your passport is not valid according to this policy. If you are traveling to Israel on a USA, Canadian, or European Union member country passport, a visa is not needed to enter Israel. If you are traveling on a passport from another country, you may need a visa to enter Israel. If needed, our office is able to provide you with a program participation letter.

How do we approach safe travel in Israel?

Safe travel in Israel has been our guiding consideration for decades. We appreciate the responsibility that travelers entrust to us, and we care about your well-being in Israel like our own family. Key security-related protocols that we follow include:

  • Traveling on private transportation only
  • Traveling with a licensed Israeli guide at all times who has been trained in security response
  • Avoiding travel to areas of heightened concern
  • Use of hotels with a guard and a secure area
  • 24/7 support from our headquarters office in Israel
  • Close coordination with the Israeli security services via the “Situation Room”
  • Willingness to modify our programming, staffing structure, and/or overall protocols as needed based on actual conditions where we travel in Israel.

Finally, in the rare event of an acute security event in Israel, we have issued full refunds at our own discretion in the past, and we will continue to do so in the future should we deem the situation appropriate.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about our approach to providing travel experiences that are safe, meaningful, and joyous.

Page - My Turn - FAQ

REGISTER

To sign up, complete the online REGISTRATION FORM

Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are risk-free.

Enrollment Terms

Be sure to review these simple enrollment steps and terms 

    • To reserve your spot, a $250/person fully refundable deposit is due at the time of your registration (all program costs are listed in US Dollars)
    • The deposit becomes non-refundable four months prior to the program start date
    • The balance is due no later than two months prior to the program start date after which all payments are non-refundable and exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis at Authentic Israel’s discretion
    • Cancellations must be made in writing, and we encourage you to consider purchasing travel insurance
      Must be issued before your final trip payment is made. Some benefits are only available if your policy is purchased within 21 days of your initial trip registration.
    • Payment for the deposit may be made by check or credit card, and no credit card fees apply
    • Payment for the balance of program costs may be made by check or credit/debit card, however, a 3% processing fee applies for credit/debit card payments, and credit card fees are not refundable
    • All program dates are guaranteed, however, participation is subject to limited availability, and excess hotel rooms are typically released within 60 days of the program start date
    • Authentic Israel reserves the right to consolidate package options offered on the same dates according to its sole discretion – in such situations, complimentary upgrades will be offered
    • Authentic Israel reserves the right to deny acceptance to the program according to its sole discretion

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Overview  |  Dates  |  Cost  |  lncluded  |  Itinerary  |  FAQs  |  Register | Preparing

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