Jewish 11 Day Bar/ Bat Mitzvah

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Day 1 - Monday - Tel Aviv
We will arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport and will be met by an Ophir Tours representative, who will assist us with our luggage, escort us through customs and introduce us to our guide and 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.

Day 2 - Tuesday - Tel Aviv
After breakfast, we will meet our guide and be briefed and introduce the program and activities we will experience during the tour. We start our day with an exciting visit to Machon Ayalon where we will see a replica of a weapons factory from the War of Independence. Continue for a tour* of World Heritage Site of the White City of Tel Aviv, including Old Jaffa, Neve Tzedek, the Nachlat Benjamin pedestrian mall and more.
*Option for cycling tour.
*Option for Special tasting tour at "Shuk Levinsky" with Inbal Baum, the owner of "Delicious Israel" specializing in introducing the tastes of this market.
We’ll 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. Return to hotel for overnight

Day 3 - Wednesday - Caesarea, Zichron Yaakov and North
After breakfast, we will check out and 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. 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 an Israeli Kibbutz where we will spend the next two nights. Check in to hotel for dinner and overnight

Day 4 - Thursday - The Golan Heights
After kibbutz style breakfast, we will enjoy a day of adventure and head to kibbutz Malikiye on the Lebanese border. A local guide will join the group to give an insiders view of life along this unique border. We will encounter the IDF soldiers and have an opportunity to share some goodies with them. Our next stop is the Hula Valley Nature Reserve. We visit the wildlife heaven and can see local wildlife and depending on the season the migration of thousands of birds from a special camouflaged vehicle. Afterwards we will visit Oz 77 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 enjoy the scenic hills, the strategic importance and history of this land and its physical beauty. 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*.
*Indoor option to visit De Karina Visitors’ Center, located at Ein Zivan in the Golan Heights. The Visitors’ Center offers chocolate workshops, for a hands-on chocolate making experience to prepare truffles, desserts and sweets. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight

Day 5 - Friday - 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 Kfar Kedem (Hoshaya) and enjoy pita making and donkey rider and a full introduction to the biblical lifestyle. You will also have the unique experience of seeing a carrier pigeon in action. 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.
*Option for Sabbath of a lifetime experience for dinner.

Day 6 - Shabbat - 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.


Day 7 - Sunday - 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 Massada. 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. We will return north and visit the beautiful Ein Gedi David Waterfall. 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.

Day 8 - Monday - 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/ Bat Mitzvah ceremonies. Here we will also visit the Davidson Center, one of the most significant archaeological 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. Return to hotel for overnight.

Day 9 - Tuesday - New City
After 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. Stimulate you senses with the aromas, flavors, and sounds of the Jerusalem Market (Shuk Machane Yehuda) with the ‘Shuk Bites’ program. We will provide a voucher card which includes a number of recommended bakeries, coffee shops, fruit vendors, and more with a map on the back of the card showing each of their locations. Enjoy walking through the Shuk and stopping at leisure at the places on the card.  We will return to our hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. In the evening enjoy free time to explore Jerusalem or visit Ben-Yehuda Street and experience the night life of modern and young Jerusalem on your own.

Day 10 - Wednesday - 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. Drive to Beit Govrin for an Archaeological dig and tour. We return to our hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure. Prepare for our farewell dinner at the beautiful

Day 11 - Thursday -Departure
After a wonderful Israeli buffet breakfast, those leaving we will be transferred to Ben Gurion International Airport for your flight back home.


*Program is subject to changes and availability

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