Israel Experience

Weintraub Israel Center Israel
Oct 14-22, 2018

Online Registration Coming Soon!

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We are thrilled to invite you to explore our new offer, the Weintraub Israel Center’s Israel Experience.

A fully-guided journey to Israel. All the “must see” sites together with unique tracks for those who have already visited Israel and would like an opportunity to dig a little deeper.

Unique personal encounters both in Tucson’s Partnership region of Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon as well as other locations in Israel based on specific and common interests of the group.

  • Flexible options throughout the tour
  • Open to all ages and faiths

The Weintraub Israel Center is proud that this new initiative will fulfill our mission statement- to build a living bridge between Tucson and Israel.



Please note. The program is subject to change.

Group Staff:  Oshrat Barel, Stuart Mellan, Todd Rockoff
Tour Educators: Muki Jankelowitz, Shari Robins

Meals and activities which are included as part of the trip are indicated in the program.  Other meals and activities indicated by an asterisk (*), and are the responsibility of the participants. 

Day 1 – Depart USA for Israel  Sunday, Oct 14, 2018

Day 2 – Arrive in Israel  Monday, Oct 15, 2018

Welcome to Israel! After safely landing at Ben Gurion International Airport we will travel to the coastal city of Tel Aviv.


Meet at Ben Gurion airport with tour educators, and staff from the JCC Israel Center

Drive to the Old City of Jaffa that begins with an overview from Jaffa, a gate way to the Holy Land for thousands of years and a view of modern Tel Aviv make Shechyanu (blessing of gratitude)


Check into hotel

Depart for opening dinner and orientation to the trip at local Tel Aviv restaurant

Overnight – Dan Panorama/Royal Beach Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 3 – Tel Aviv and the “New Jew” Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018

Our journey begins exploring the first modern “Hebrew City”, and its expression of modern Jewish-Zionist identity.


8:30 am  Making Sense of Israel” an intriguing introduction to Israel to set the stage for this journey with educator Avraham Infeld (at hotel)

 Divide into 4 parallel tracks

10:00 am  Track 1: “The Beginnings of the Modern Hebrew City of Tel Aviv,” depart for a guided tour; walk through Neve Tzedek, one of the first neighborhoods of the modern city of Tel Aviv and hear the stories of the founders of Tel Aviv  and their vision for the cultural capital of the State of Israel; including a guided visit to Independence Hall, where the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948 and a look at the guiding principles of the founders of the State

Track 2: “Tel Aviv as the trail blazer of the start-up nation”- visit a local start up and learn of why the culture of the city provides fertile ground for innovation

Track 3: Visit one of Tel Aviv’s Art museums and focus on one of the city’s great artists (Nahum Guttman, Reuven Rubin) or tour the Israeli art wing at Tel Aviv Modern Museum of Art (staff decides in planning process which museum to visit)

Track 4: “Tel Aviv on Two Wheels,” depart on bicycle through some of the different areas of Tel Aviv to get a sense of the city’s expanse and diversity


12:30 pm         *Tracks meet up for lunch on own Nachlat Binyamin artisans market and time to stroll through stalls, and the adjacent Carmel market

2:00 pm           Depart for the excavations at Caesarea city on the Mediterranean Sea  expanded by Herod the Great who renamed it Caesarea Marittima, in honor of the Julius Caesar. It was an exemplary Roman city, with all the Roman cultural and engineering ingenuity


5:30 pm           Travel north; check into hotel

7:30 pm           Dinner at hotel followed by tie- in discussion

Overnight –Ramot Resort

Day 4 – The North – Communities, Security and Water  Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018

A day to focus on staff development, and getting a closer look at some of the


8:30 am           Depart for guided visit the Mount of Beatitudes Church on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee

Ascend Golan Heights and visit Mount Ben Tal, for overview of the borders of Israel and look into Syria, with an opportunity to discuss the geo-political status of the region and the humanitarian efforts made by Israel to care for wounded from Syria

 12:30 pm         Lunch and wine tasting at one of the Golan boutique wineries (each bus will visit a different winery


2:30 pm           Depart in parallel tracks

Track 1: Depart for jeep ride off the beaten track to explore some of the important historic and military sites in the upper Galilee

Track 2: Visit one of the pre army leadership training programs “Mechina” to meet with the young people and discuss with them what motivates them to devote a year to volunteering and studying prior to their army service

Track 3:  Hike in one of the nature reserves in the Golan Heights or visit to the Agmon Hahula nature reserve and take a golf cart or bicycle around the reserve which is a landing and feeding place for millions of birds who migrate every winter across the continent

5:30 pm           Tracks meet up  at the Baba Yona ranch – take part in the culinary delight and cooking contest – preparing your own meal and learn about some traditional Israeli foods – salads and “al ha’esh” (BBQ);

Return to hotel

Overnight –Ramot Resort

 Day 5 – Stories of Israel – Ascent to Jerusalem  Thursday, Oct 18, 2018

The day begins with a visit to Beit She’an to meet with some of the residents and hear their stories and how they reflect the mosaic of Israeli society; travelling up to Jerusalem to explore the city’s place as central to three religions; visit the Jewish and Christian Quarters of the Old City and excavations adjacent to the Temple Mount; visit remnants of Jewish life from Temple times and also get a taste of contemporary Jerusalem and some of the social challenges facing residents of the capital.


8:30 am           Check out of hotel and drive to Jerusalem

9:30 am           “Sirim ve Sipurim,” (Saucepans and Stories) meet with  local personalities from Beit Shean and hear their stories of how they and their families arrived in Beit Shean, challenges and aspirations for the future

11:00 am         Depart for Jerusalem

 1:00 pm           Overview of Jerusalem

 Lunch at Eucalyptus restaurant overlooking the walls of the Old City


3:00 pm           “Centrality of Jerusalem for the Major Religions,” depart for a short guided visit through selected areas of Jerusalem’s Old City, and a guided walk of Jerusalem of the Second Temple Period in the Jewish Quarter including a visit to the southern wall excavations and the Kotel  (Western Wall)

5:00 pm           Check-in to hotel


7:00 pm           *Track 1: Depart for Machane Yehuda shuk which transforms at night from a fruit and vegetable market to a place of music, bars and restaurants; dinner on own

 *Track 2: Depart for Mamilla Mall or the First Train Station for dinner on own

Overnight – David Citadel  and Dan Panorama (or Inbal hotel and Dan Panorama/Mt Zion)


Day 6  Legends and landscapes

Friday, October 19, 2018

Journey to the wilderness to understand the many dimensions of Masada as history and myth, and the significance of the Dead Sea area in Jewish history and Israel today.


8:00 am           Depart for Masada

 Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea and look at the changing structure of the Sea which is shrinking from mineral mining and evaporation

10:00 am         Ascend Masada by cable car for a guided visit to the extensive excavations of Herod’s fortress above the Dead Sea, including discussion about Masada as a strategy for Jewish survival

(possible parallel track for veteran visitors to see lesser known sites in the Dead Sea such as Qumran caves, hike in Nachal David etc)


*Lunch on own at the Masada food court, Enjoy a quick swim in the Dead Sea at one of the beaches in the Northern Dead Sea

2:30 pm           Depart for Jerusalem


5:00 pm           Meet as a group for Shabbat candle lighting; depart for the Kotel (Western Wall)  for Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the Sabbath)

 7:30 pm           Shabbat Dinner at hotel hosting a few soldiers from the Michael Levin lone soldiers center

 Overnight – David Citadel  and Dan Panorama (or Inbal hotel and Dan Panorama/Mt Zion)

Day 7 – Shabbat Shalom  Saturday, Oct 20, 2018

Experiencing the beauty of Shabbat as a different dimension of Jewish journey – the weekly separation from daily life and an opportunity to explore its meaning for different people in Israel and abroad


Free time to join Shabbat Services in one of Jerusalem’s many synagogues or to enjoy Jerusalem’s parks, visit the Old City or just relax

 11:00 am         Track 1: Walk through Yemin Moshe Neighborhood with the poetry of Yehuda Amichai

Track 2: Visit selected exhibitions at the Israel Museum, considered to be one of the most significant encyclopedic museums housing extensive art and archaeology

Track 3: R&R at the hotel or meet up with friends and family


1:00 pm           *Shabbat lunch on own  (Shabbat lunch is available at the hotel by sign up at additional cost)

2:30 pm           Depart from hotel for guided  tour of Old City in Christian Quarter and visit Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the rooftops of the Old City

5:30 pm           Tie in discussion followed by Havdallah


7:00 pm           Depart for dinner at Jerusalem restaurant on Mamilla Mall

Sound and Light Spectacular at the History of Jerusalem museum at Jaffa Gate (optional with sign up)

Overnight – David Citadel  and Dan Panorama (or Inbal hotel and Dan Panorama/Mt Zion)


Day 8 –Collective memory –  Creating Partnerships  Sunday, Oct 21, 2018

Today we devote time to getting a greater understanding of the Holocaust and it’s impact on Israeli society followed by a visit to our partnership region of Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon for a  closer look at the notion of peoplehood and strengthening relations between our communities


8:00 am           “Understanding the Significance of the Holocaust in Israeli Society,” with educator Rachel Korazim  (at hotel)

 9:15 am           Depart for visit to the historical museum of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, including the Avenue of the Righteous of the Nations and a visit to the Children’s memorial


1:00 pm           *Lunch on own

 2:30 pm           Depart for Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon

 Afternoon activities to be planned together with colleagues from Partnership Region and will include:

  •  Visits to communal projects in region
  • Home hospitality or dinner with local residents
  • Hike and/or visits to other sites to get acquainted with region

9:30 pm           Depart for Jerusalem

Overnight – David Citadel  and Dan Panorama (or Inbal hotel and Dan Panorama/Mt Zion)


Day 9 – Journey’s End   Monday, October 22 , 2018

 Coming full circle, an opportunity to enjoy different experiences that make up contemporary Israeli society: politics and security; tikkun olam and culinary trends as a reflection of Israel’s diverse cultures.


 Farewell to participants attending the GA who will check out of hotel and have transport to the GA

 9:00 am           All the group departs for Beit Guvrin National Park, located in Israel’s lowland hills and participate in an archaeological dig and cave crawling to get a sense of the layers of history buried there


                        Depart in small parallel tracks:

Track 1:           A Closer Look at issues of Security and Politics ; depart for Etzion Settlement Bloc (Gush Etzion), South of Jerusalem to meet with local resident, and hear the story of the rise, fall, and rise again of this settlement in 1948 and 1967. We will discuss the larger settlement movement in the occupied territories

Track 2:           Tikun Olam – volunteer opportunity at Pantry packers packing dry goods for the needy followed by a stop for coffee at Harutzim, a social enterprise café which is run by adults with disabilities

Track 3:           Flavors of Israel – guided visit to Machane Yehuda fruit and vegetable market and some of the lesser known alley ways to meet with some of the store holders and tastings to get a sense of the culinary mosaic of Israel


* Lunch on own followed by free time (in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv)

 4:00 pm           Check out of the hotel followed by wrap up discussion with tour educator and JCC Israel Center staff


6:00 pm           Depart for final dinner at Jerusalem restaurant

Depart for airport or vacation extension