2011 Family Bar & Bat Mitzvah Tours to ISRAEL
Bar or Bat Mitzvah child goes for free ( land only )* for the regular 12 day tour.
Day 1Monday Tel–Aviv
We will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport and will be met by a Gama Tours representative, who will assist us with our luggage, escort us through customs and introduce us to our guide and vehicle with driver. We will continue to our hotel in beautiful Tel Aviv, where we will check-in. We’ll all meet in the hotel for an introductory session and afterwards go to our Welcome Dinner at Maganda Restaurant.

Overnight Dan Hotel Tel Aviv.

welcome to israel Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 2Tuesday Tel-Aviv
After breakfast, we will meet our guide and be briefed and introduce the program and activities we will experience during the tour. Afterwards we start our day at the new and magnificent “Palmach Museum” where through a modern multi-media presentation; we can watch the history of the Palmach from 1941 to the War of Independence and the establishment of the State of Israel. Follow the lives and experiences of the young men and women who founded Israel’s Defense Forces. We’ll will drive through Rabin Square where former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Continue to visit Independence Hall where we will listen to an audio presentation including David Ben Gurion’s moving Declaration of Independence establishing the State of Israel.

Overnight in Tel Aviv.

tel aviv Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 3Wednesday Caesarea, Zichron Yaakov and North
After breakfast, we will leave Tel Aviv and travel north to visit the ancient city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great and once the seat of Roman rule. View the excavated Roman Theater, with its acoustic and theatrical sound, which was used for many performances throughout the centuries. A new audio-visual presentation brings to life the times of the Romans who controlled these shores 2,000 years ago. Today, it draws major venue attractions, for concerts and festivals. We will walk through the excavated fortress and view the aqueduct, once used for conveying water to the city. We will drive north to Zichron Ya’akov, where we will visit what was the home of Aharon Aaronson and his sisters Sarah and Rebecca, leaders of the Jewish secret organization “Nili”, which spied for Britain against the Ottoman Turks during the First World War. A short drive, we will continue to Park Alona to Mei Kedem. Here we will walk through the water tunnel (in the water itself) that provided water to the residents of Caesarea throughout the city’s early history. We will continue through the Galilee region and end the day on a Israeli Moshav where we will spend the next two nights.

Overnight and Dinner at Kibbutz

lower galilee Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 4Thursday, The Golan Heights
After kibbutz style breakfast, we will enjoy a day of adventure with an exciting jeep ride tour of the Golan Heights. We will enjoy the scenic hills, the strategic importance and history of this land and its physical beauty. Afterwards we will visit OZ77 and will see a dramatic film about the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This is the site of the main Syrian attack and where only a few Israeli tanks held off the massive armored assault against the IDF. We’ll pay tribute to those that fell defending the Jewish state at the most important memorial on the Golan Heights. We will pause at an Olive Oil factory on the Golan to see how the ancient process of extracting the oil from the olives is translated into the modern systems. We will enjoy some time for lunch here, Next we will have a hands-on experience with the fruits of the land as we go fruit picking in the orchards of Kibbutz Ein Zivan. See why Israeli agricultural products are praised worldwide. We will conclude our day with a ‘wet and wild’ exciting adventure kayaking down the Jordan River.

Overnight and Dinner at Kibbutz.

golan heights Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 5Friday, Safed and the road to Jerusalem
After kibbutz style breakfast, we will start the day our first visit will be the mystical city of Safed one of the Four Holy Cities according to tradition and its Kabalistic studies (the birthplace of Kabbalah). We will stroll through the narrow, winding alleyways and visit some of the beautiful synagogues, browse through the artist’s workshops and galleries found in the flourishing artists’ quarters. We will leave the north and drive south towards Jerusalem. We will stop along the way at Beit Alpha to see a magnificent mosaic floor from an ancient synagogue showing the 12 signs of the zodiac. We will stop for lunch ( on your own accord ) along the way own. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, we will go to a point overlooking the Old City, where we commemorate our arrival to the heart of Judaism with a special Shehecheyanu ceremony, a blessing introduced for Jews to offer thanks for new and unusual experiences, and is typically recited at the beginning of holidays and to celebrate special occasions. After checking into our hotel, we will enter the Old City and walk to the Western Wall (Kotel), Judaism’s Holiest site, for a Shabbat evening service unlike anything you have ever experienced. We will return to the hotel for a festive Shabbat dinner.

Overnight in Jerusalem – 2 choices of hotels.

windmill Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 6Shabbat at leisure – On your own
After breakfast, you can either participate in services at one of the many synagogues in Jerusalem or just relax at the hotel. Feel the special atmosphere of Jerusalem on Shabbat.

Overnight in Jerusalem – 2 choices of hotels.

old city Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 7Sunday, Dead Sea
After an early breakfast, we will depart to the Dead Sea area. Traveling south through the Judean Wilderness, we will arrive at the shores of the Dead Sea, as we descend to the lowest point on earth at 1305 feet (398m) below sea level. We will continue south to the legendary mountaintop plateau of Masada. We will ascend by cable car to the ancient synagogue of Masada and explore the ancient fortress. Here was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. From the top of Masada, the outlines of the Roman encampments are still visible below. On Masada we will have a special event where we will learn about the Tallit and the role it plays in Jewish life starting from the prayer “Shema” to the Bar Mitzvah and throughout the rest of your days. We will return north and visit the beautiful Ein Gedi reserve. See the waterfalls at this oasis in the desert, which is mentioned several times in the Book of Psalms, the place where King David hid from King Saul. The combination of Ein Gedi’s abundance of water and tropical climate provides wonderful exotic plant and animal life. After lunch (on your own account), we will enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to put mud on us and to float in the unsinkable waters of the Dead Sea at the Beach. On the way back to Jerusalem we will drive through the hills of Judea to the “Land of Genesis”. Here, after a desert camel ride, “Abraham” and his family will host us for a biblical-style dinner in their tent. We will return to our hotel for overnight in Jerusalem.

Overnight in Jerusalem – 2 choices of hotels.

dead sea Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 8Monday, Old City Jerusalem
After breakfast at hotel, we will enter the Old City and proceed through the broad stone stairway down to the holy Western Wall – the “Kotel”. We begin at the passageways descending through the many layers of Jerusalem’s past at the time of the Temple through the Western Wall Tunnels. Inside, a most interesting model shows the different dwelling periods and history of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Stand on the site believed to be the nearest spot to the “Holy of Holies”. Afterwards we’ll head for the Southern Wall excavations. Here we will meet our Rabbi, and celebrate the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies. Here we will also visit the Davidson Center, one of the most significant archeological sites in the country. We then proceed to the Jewish Quarter, which was reconstructed after the city was unified after the Six-Day War in 1967. A special point of interest in the restored Jewish Quarter is the “Cardo”, meaning the “heart” of this ancient Byzantine City. View the unearthed main Roman thoroughfare and ancient marketplace lined with columns. Prepare for our Celebratory dinner at the beautiful and historic Anna Ticho House.

Overnight in Jerusalem – 2 choices of hotels.

david Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 9Tuesday, New City
After breakfast, we will drive around the new city of Jerusalem to see the modern capital of Israel. At our first stop we will have the opportunity to ‘give something back’ to Israel by volunteering at HAZON YESHAYA, the soup kitchen that feeds Jerusalem’s needy. Then we will visit Yad Vashem. It is considered the first and most famous memorial to mankind’s darkest period. We will visit the very moving exhibit at the Children’s Pavilion, followed by a special ceremony in the Valley of the Communities – a man-made valley in the form of the European Map built in remembrance of where over 5000 names of communities are engraved on the stone walls, each one remembering a Jewish community that was damaged or destroyed during the Holocaust. We will continue to the Herzl Vision Museum, where we will visit Herzl’s Dream, an interactive tour though the life and times of Zionism’s founder. We will also visit Har Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery, where we can visit the gravesites of Israel’s greatest leaders and heroes, including Theodore Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinski, and Yitzchak Rabin. We will return to our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Free evening to explore Jerusalem or visit Ben-Yehuda Street and experience the night life of modern and young Jerusalem on your own.

Overnight in Jerusalem- 2 choices of hotels.

yad Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 10Wednesday, Judean Hills
After breakfast we will drive to the Ben Shemen forest for a Tree Planting Ceremony. Feel your connection with the land of Israel by planting a tree with your own hands. Next we will visit Latrun, the armored corps museum which presents visitors with the magnificent spirit of the armored corps since Israels Declaration of Independence…the technological accomplishments of the corps, exhibitions of the Armored Corps legacy and a sense of the Zionist spirit that infuses our national sites. Then we will have an exciting archaeological dig at Beit Guvrin. This site served as a major crossroad for commerce in ancient Israel and to this day, new discoveries are being made that shed more light on our past. We return to our hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure. Prepare for our farewell dinner at the beautiful Darna Restaurant.

Overnight in Jerusalem – 2 choices of hotels.

latun Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel
Day 11Thursday, Departure
After a wonderful Israeli buffet breakfast, those leaving we will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight back home. eliat Family Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours to Israel

* Itinerary subject to change.

Bar Mitzvah tours dates:
July 2nd – July 12th, 2012
July 23rd – August 2nd, 2012
August 6th – August 16th, 2012

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