Israel YOUR Way

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The program begins in Tel Aviv with an opening dinner on Monday, April 1st and concludes with a closing dinner on Saturday, April 6th.
(Sunday, March 31 and Sunday, April 7 are travel days for those not extending their trip.)

Immerse yourself in an Israel journey designed to energize, inspire and nurture your mind, body and spirit. Explore Israel’s culture, society, innovation and majesty through the lens that reflects your passions. 

Tentative Trip Itinerary: Select a track below to view additional itinerary information.

(All itineraries are tentative and subject to change.)

Monday, April 1: Week begins with Welcome Dinner and program.
Enjoy entertainment , welcome remarks, cocktails and conversation at a beautiful and unique Tel Aviv landmark. Laugh along with American-born stand-up comedian, Benji Lovitt.

Tuesday, April 2: Breakfast at the hotel, track day one, free night in Tel Aviv.

Wednesday, April 3: Breakfast at the hotel, track day two, group dinner and special program.

Thursday, April 4: Breakfast at the hotel, track day three, Shehechiyanu, free night in Jerusalem.

Friday, April 5: Several options to choose from (confirmed selections to be offered in 2019), Kabbalat Shabbat, and group Shabbat Dinner with local guests.

Saturday, April 6: Free morning and early afternoon, closing discussions with speaker, Havdalah, light dinner, departures or free night in Jerusalem (hotel included this night).

TRACK DAY ITINERARIES

Experience Israel’s beautiful outdoors through movement, sport and physical thrills, and discover the ground-breaking inventions contributing to the creation of a healthier and cleaner world.

Track Day 1: Tuesday, April 2, 2019

  • Join Etgarim for a tandem bike ride where one of the riders is blindfolded and relies on support and assistance from their friend. The experience offers amazing insight into the world of the blind and the power of partnership. Get to know Etgarim, an organization empowering people with physical disabilities, by encouraging them to face the challenges of outdoor and extreme sports.
  • Bicycle building program with members of an intentional community in Lod. Meet the young people who are creating a new life together while also working to help one of Israel’s poorest and most diverse cities.
  • We’ll use Jewish texts and mindfulness techniques on a walk of meditation through a beautiful and inspiring landscape.

Track Day 2: Wednesday, April 3, 2019                             

  • Enjoy the waves of the Mediterranean while stand-up paddle boarding.
  • Participate in an outdoor cooking competition led by a local chef and using local ingredients.
  • Visit a Desalinization Plant located at the Rabin Power Plant on the Mediterranean coast and discuss whether desalinization is the key to addressing the region and the world’s pressing water shortages.

Track Day 3: Thursday, April 4, 2019

  • Rappel down the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • Meet the Olympic-medal winning Judoka Arik Zeevi and some young champions in the making at a judo training studio. Participate and try out some Judo moves.
  • Play basketball with the Peace Players, an organization that uses sports to build bridges of friendship, trust, and leadership between youth who live in communities divided by conflict.

Meet the creative forces behind Israel’s arts and culture to learn how they inspire and impact the world. Experience trailblazing cinema, vibrant cuisine, ground-breaking theatre and more as we weave a tapestry for the senses, from the mainstream to the avant-garde.

Track Day 1: Tuesday, April 2, 2019

  • Talk with award-winning author, Dorit Rabinyan, whose best-selling novel, All the Rivers, created a considerable discussion for its focus on the love between a Palestinian man and an Israeli Jewish woman.
  • Engage in a contemporary Israeli cooking workshop at Bulthaup, located in the beautiful Old Port of Tel Aviv. Enjoy the fabulous lunch you’ve prepared and compliment it with some of Israel’s best wines.
  • A tasting tour of the Milk & Honey, Israel’s first whiskey distillery. Learn about the history and process of distillation, walk through the various stages of making spirits and participate in a cocktail making workshop led by a mixologist.

Track Day 2: Wednesday, April 3, 2019                                 

  • Program with Natalie Marcus and Asaf Beizer, creators and head writers of “haYehudim Baim”, the controversial Israeli TV show that gives a new spin to historical events in Jewish history.
  • Visit Israel’s leading design houses and get a taste of Israeli fashion.
  • Take a photographic voyage through Tel Aviv. We’ll see how the city has changed and how it was depicted in old photos. We will explore how to use our phone and create meaningful frames and photos.
  • Drive to Netanya for an art or theatre program with Tarbut, a movement of pioneering young artists who reside and work as Tarbut Communities (“urban kibbutzim”) in weakened towns and cities throughout Israel.

Track Day 3: Thursday, April 4, 2019 

  • Visit the Vertigo Dance Village on Kibbutz Netiv Halamed Heh and meet with the dancers of Vertigo Power of Balance which connects people with various physical abilities, disabled and non-disabled, through movement, contact, and improvisation.
  • Travel on a Vintner’s Journey along the Ella Valley and the Judean Hills wine route, exploring some of the new and successful wineries that have sprouted in recent years, including the Elah, Tzora, Flam, Kastel, Tzuba and Katlav Wineries. Talk with winemakers and sample some of the best new Israeli wines.
  • Experience the diversity of the city’s art scene on either side of Jerusalem’s light rail track. We’ll start at the Machaneh Yehuda neighborhood, the site of Jerusalem’s famous outdoor market and a place of ceramics and painting studios and urban renewal art projects such as the Alliance House, a home and hub for Jerusalem’s creative community. On the other side of the tracks, we’ll enter the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mekor Baruch, home to some of the most important Haredi Yeshivot in Israel and of the Art Refuge gallery.

Explore how the start-up spirit has invigorated Israel’s society and economy. Meet the business leaders, young entrepreneurs and technological pioneers whose innovations are changing the world; get to know the social entrepreneurs and organizations reshaping the future of philanthropy in Israel.

Track Day 1: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 

  • Every act of leadership begins with a vision that is both inspiring and attainable. At a TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) workshop with the Reut Institute, we will understand and meet the forces behind this special project.
  • Experience the remarkable progress towards autonomous cars at Mobileye, Israel’s most successful start-up. Meet with Mobileye’s founder and former CEO, Ziv Aviram, who recently announced their record-breaking sale to Intel for over $15 billion, the largest-ever foreign acquisition of an Israeli company.
  • A special seminar at the IDC (Interdisciplinary Center) Herzliya will introduce us to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Talk with faculty and students in the Zell Program, mentored by top entrepreneurs and business leaders, who are launching real companies as part of their university studies.

Track Day 2: Wednesday, April 3, 2019                                         

  • Guided tour to the medicinal herb garden and the manufacturing plant of Bara Herbs Inc., the extraction facilities and the traditional Chinese pharmacy and dispensary. Followed by a super-food smoothie-making workshop, in which participants will learn how to incorporate healthy superfoods easily into their daily routine.
  • VIP visit to the Rambam Hospital to see its latest innovations, including the underground bomb-proof facility, and gain a deeper insight into the cooperation between the hospital and the Israel Defense Forces.
  • Tour Trendlines, a venture investment firm that invests in, incubates, and develops early-stage, high-promise, medical and agricultural technology companies in Israel, a global leader in start-up ingenuity.

Track Day 3: Thursday, April 4, 2019 

  • Meet with Eli Kazhdan, CEO of CityBook Services, a turnkey business process with many Haredi employees. We’ll also meet with an official from Modi’in Illit, a fast-growing Haredi city and the largest settlement on the West Bank.
  • Visit a high-tech hub/accelerator in East Jerusalem and learn how JEST supports entrepreneurship and innovation among the Arab community.
  • Tour a Jerusalem urban renewal project that provides affordable housing in the capital, with Emily Silverman of the Urban Clinic, a body of Hebrew University that works to strengthen creative and socially aware urban leadership in Israel.

Delve into the social, political and security issues that have Israelis talking. Meet the experts, activists and decision-makers – and those impacted by their decisions – as we access Israel from the inside.

Track Day 1: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 

  • Dialogue with Gen. (Res) Nitzan Nuriel, former Director Counter Terrorism Bureau, to learn about the balance of power on Israel’s Southern Border.
  • Visit Soda Stream, tour the factory’s grounds, and meet with Daniel Birenbaum, the CEO of Soda Stream, and a member of the Project TEN Steering Committee. Mr. Birenbaum will discuss BDS, Tikkun Olam and strengthening ties between Israel and the Diaspora, through programs like Project TEN, a Jewish Agency for Israel Project.
  • Proceed to Moshav Netiv Ha’asarah, located on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. Meet a resident and discuss the security implications of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.
  • Visit the Erez Crossing Point into the Palestinian Authority area of Gaza. Meet with soldiers and officers and gain an understanding of some of the complexities involved in Israeli/Palestinian relations, with lunch at an army base.
  • Meet with farmers and residents of the south who have been affected by the current situation and fires.

Track Day 2: Wednesday, April 3, 2019                                         

  • Drive to a Jewish settlement in the heart of the Samaria/the West Bank and meet with Oded Revivi, Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA Council, which represents Jews living in the settlements.
  • Meet with a Rami Nazzal, a Palestinian Jerusalemite reporter who writes for the New York Times, MSNBC, and Time Magazine and drive to Ramallah.
  • Cross at the Kalandia Checkpoint and witness the procedures enacted for crossing between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
  • Proceed to the Palestinian city of Ramallah and meet with a Palestinian politician.

Track Day 3: Thursday, April 4, 2019 

  • Participate in an in-depth discussion on the political situation in Jerusalem with visits to some of its most talked-about areas, including the Security Barrier. Drive along the seam zone and delve into current developments with (Res.) Danny Tirza, one of the seam zone’s designers.
  • Meet with Noor Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger from Shorashim, a program bringing West Bank Palestinians and their Israeli neighbors together, despite the walls of fear that separate them.
  • Take a ride on the Jerusalem Light Rail which will provide a new perspective into the city and the diversity of its communities. We will periodically depart the train for discussions about the differences, tensions, and contacts between East and West Jerusalem and a conversation with local activists, including Neri Horowitz, head of the Agora think tank and an expert on the relationship between religious and secular Jews in the state of Israel, and Tehila Friedman-Nachalon, a leading activist working to create a more tolerant and pluralistic Jerusalem inclusive to Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

To be added to a waitlist for one of the sold out tracks, send an email to Ashley.Appelman@shalomdc.org.

TRIP ADD ON ITINERARIES

March 27 – April 1, 2019
(Wednesday, March 27 and Monday, April 1 are travel days.)

Day One: Thursday, March 28, 2019

  • Check into the hotel (the official check-in time is at 3:00 p.m., if your room isn’t available upon arrival you may leave your luggage with the hotel concierge).
  • 2:00 p.m. Meet in the hotel lobby to begin the program.
  • Enjoy an introductory walking tour through Amsterdam’s alleys and canals and pass by the Royal Palace and the famous World War II Monument.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Welcome dinner with the S. Ambassador to the Netherlands and leaders of the local Jewish community.

Day Two: Friday, March 29, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart for a day trip to The Hague – the capital of the Netherlands, one of the major cities hosting the United Nations’ institutions, and home to 150 international organizations, including International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court.
  • Enter the Parliament and meet with a member of Parliament.
  • Proceed to the International Court of Justice and meet with representatives of the court.
  • Lunch (on own account), en route.
  • Be amazed at the famous Keukenhof, one of the world’s largest and most beautiful gardens. We will be visiting at an ideal time, spring, when over 7 million bulbs will be in bloom including an astonishing 800 varieties of tulips. Experience a huge variety of beautiful garden styles and see other memorable sights including the Tulip Mania exhibition at the Juliana Pavilion.
  • Return to Amsterdam with free time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at LJG Amsterdam, the progressive Jewish congregation of Amsterdam, followed by a communal Shabbat dinner.

Day Three: Saturday, March 30, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free day to explore the city on own.
  • Optional: A tour of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. We will discuss why Holland has such liberal laws and attitudes as we pass the street-side brothels of the Red Light area, which is also the location of scenic canals, bustling restaurants, and bars.
  • Enjoy a boat canal cruise and the relaxing atmosphere of Amsterdam while wandering through its canals.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah.
  • Dinner on own account and evening at leisure.

Day Four: Sunday, March 31, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
    • Visit the Anne Frank House, hear the story and tour the offices and “secret annex” where Anne Frank, her family, and others spent 23 months hiding from the Nazis.
    • Pass by the Jewish Quarter (Jodenbuurt), which back in the 16th century was the home to the biggest Western-Europe Jewish community, including the Jewish Historical Museum.
    • Tour the still active Portuguese Synagogue, once one of the largest synagogues in Europe and a symbol of the glory of the Sephardi Jewish community in Holland.
  • Lunch on (own account), en route.
    • Proceed to Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch Theater) which today, is a museum and memorial to the victims of the Nazi era. Our time here will include a special Memorial Service where you can pay personal tribute to the victims.
  • Join in for a group reflection at the National Holocaust Museum.
  • Return to the hotel before departing for dinner.
  • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day Five: Monday, April 1, 2019

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Group transfer to Schiphol International Airport.
  • Flight to Tel Aviv.
  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Transfer to your hotel.

March 29 – April 1 & April 7-8, 2019
(Friday, March 29 and Monday, April 8 are travel days.)

PRE-TRIP

Saturday, March 30, 2019

  • Optional afternoon walking tour (TBA).
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Havdallah meaning separation, which marks the end of a week and the beginning of a new one.
  • Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

  • Descend to the Dead Sea basin.
  • Ascend by cable-car or walk up the Snake Path to Masada, Herod’s mountain palace and the site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Roman legionnaires. Discuss Masada’s role as a symbol of Jewish defence and its current significance in modern Israel.
  • Float in the Dead Sea, use the spa facilities of the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea Hotel and enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch.
  • Dinner on your own in the renovated Old Port of Tel Aviv, with its wonderful restaurants, cafés and shops, right on the water’s edge; OR at the Tachana, Jaffa’s Old Railway Station, renovated and restored as a great pedestrian complex, with restaurants, shops and open spaces for people-watching.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

  • Old and New Tel Aviv: Visit the Shalom Tower, Israel’s first skyscraper, including the famous Nachum Gutman mural and models of the city.
  • From the Templers to the Hipsters: Guided tour to the newly renovated Templers town of Sarona, now a hip and vibrant fashion and culinary center, including free time to stroll through the indoor food and spice market Including a visit to the Historic Olive Mill and Press House for olive oil tasting and free time to stroll through the indoor food and spice market.
  • Visit Independence Hall, where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948.
  • Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view examples of the intriguing Bauhaus-style architecture from the 1930s; the local proliferation of the style won Tel Aviv recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the nickname of ‘the White City’.
  • Join the Israel Your Way main mission in Tel Aviv and depart hotel.

POST-TRIP

Sunday, April 7, 2019

  • Visit the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including: The Avenue of the Righteous, The new Historical Museum, The Children’s Memorial, The Holocaust Toy Exhibit and a concluding Memorial Service
  • Explore the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem.
  • Walk through the recently opened Second Temple-period tunnel under the walls of the Old City, emerging in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.
  • Group conversation at Robinson’s Arch or the Southern Wall steps where Jewish pilgrims entered the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago.
  • Visit the Kotel (Western Wall) and experience the special atmosphere of this holy site.

$4,295 per person for double occupancy.  There is an additional cost for single occupancy.  Cost does not include airfare or insurance. Most meals are included.

Participation in this program requires an $1,800 minimum household gift ($1,000 for participants age 35 and under) to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s 2019 Annual Campaign.

Participants are responsible for arranging their airfare and transportation to arrive in Tel Aviv by the afternoon of Monday, April 1, 2019.

Deposit: $300
Due at time of registration. The deposit will be applied towards your registration fee.

Balance Due:  February 2019

  • Must reside in the Greater Washington, DC region.
  • Valid passport for a minimum of six months from the start date of the trip (Sunday, March 31).
  • A $1,800 minimum household gift ($1,000 for participants age 35 and under) to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s 2019 Annual Campaign.

First Timers Pre/Post Trip in Israel
March 29 – April 1 & April 7-8, 2019 (Includes travel days)

Program officially begins in the evening on Saturday, March 30 at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv and ends in the evening on Sunday, April 7 in Jerusalem. There will be an optional afternoon walking tour for those who arrive early and the entire group will meet in the lobby to begin the program at approximately 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $1,995 per person for double occupancy.

Amsterdam & The Hague Pre-Trip
March 27 – April 1, 2019
Cost: $3,495 per person for double occupancy.

Program officially begins in the afternoon on Thursday, March 28 at the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam and concludes with a group flight to Tel Aviv in the morning of Monday, April 1. The group will meet in the hotel lobby on March 28 at 2:00 p.m. to begin the program.
Registration for the Pre-Trip to Amsterdam is currently full. If you are interested in being added to the waitlist, please contact Ashley Appelman at ashley.appelman@shalomdc.org or 301-348-7320.

April 1-4, 2019
Carlton Hotel
Eliezer Peri St 10, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

April 4-7, 2019
David Citadel Hotel
King David 7, Jerusalem, 9410119, Israel

For questions, please contact Ashley Appelman at ashley.appelman@shalomdc.org or 301-348-7320.

Israel YOUR Way Leadership

Mission Co-Chairs
Marianna & Brian Ashin and Kerry Iris & Eric Kassoff

Pre-Trip to Amsterdam & The Hague Co-Chairs
Susan Brett & Robert Shesser

Beyond the Headlines: Politics & Security Co-Chairs 
Bruce Levenson and Ashley Steinberg

Tapestry for the Senses: Arts, Food & Culture Co-Chairs  
Marcy Cohen and Amanda Rosenthal

Israel in Motion: Outdoor Adventure & Eco-Action Co-Chairs 
Marty Janis and Jacki Seley

Advancing Israel: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Co-Chairs
Scott Brody, Todd Rich and Jennifer Stier

See Photos from the 2017 Mission