When planning your year, scheduling time for relaxation is just as important as scheduling meetings or a big business trip. Vacations are a time when you rest your body and recharge your soul.
January may seem a bit too early in the year to be planning vacations, but to those who know about productivity and time management, it’s as natural as the sun rising in the east.
If you’re considering a trip to Israel in 2022 and want to make the most of your time there, you might want to consider a guided tour of Israel to make sure you hit all the important sites.
Israel day tours often consist of all the city’s sights: from the mountains to the sea, important sites and museums, and the best restaurants around. However, if you’re Jewish and are looking for a more spiritual experience, you may want to consider a Jewish Tour of Israel.
Home to Jerusalem, Israel is the historical center of plenty of stories told in the Tanakh and dotted with many locations to visit and affirm your faith. Any Israel Jewish tour should include at least some of the following sites in their itinerary.
Valley of Elah
A great way to start your tour is at the Valley of Elah, the stage of the battle between David and Goliath. Though you will probably not see any giants, you can still walk through a field of sunflowers, anemones, and lupins.
The Temple Mount
Time later, David, now king of Israel and Judah, would conquer the city of Jerusalem where he was to raise an altar to God at The Temple Mount. Now considered the holiest place in Judaism, it is an epicenter of Israel’s history and God’s dwelling place and ministry on this earth. This is where Solomon built the first Jewish Temple.
Not too far from here, you will find the Western Wall (Kotel HaMaaravi in Hebrew), also known as The Wailing Wall. This is the last remnant of the Second Jewish Temple and has heard Jewish prayers for centuries.
The Mountain of Sodom
If you’re looking for another famous scene from the bible, the Mountain of Sodom is a view for the list. Made almost entirely of Rock Salt, it is a site to ponder the consequences of vice and sin.
Not far from it, you can find a pillar of salt believed to be Lot’s wife after ignoring the angel’s instruction and looking back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Mount of Olives
For a final stop on your Jewish heritage tour, the Mount of Olives is a mountain that has served as a burial ground for Jewish people for 3000 years. With around 150,000 graves of notable rabbinic figures and the tombs of the prophets Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.
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This overview is but a fraction of the historical and biblical sites that wait in Israel, not to mention all the other beautiful natural wonders like the Dead Sea,Ein Gedi, and Gan HaShlosha.
To make sure you can fully experience Israel on your 2022 holiday, ITAS Tours is a travel planning and advisory service for trips to Israel. We offer custom tours so you can experience Israel’s culture, environment and cuisine in full, all at your own leisure.
Let us do the planning, and we’ll make sure you have a wonderful and fulfilling vacation.
When you choose Israel Travel Advisory Service (ITAS) to deliver your customized Israel Jewish Heritage Tour itinerary – you’ve selected the very BEST! With 50 years’ experience in the Israel travel industry, ITAS offers the utmost care and attention to ensure an unforgettable Jewish Heritage tour experience. Whether you’re creating a vacation tour for family and friends, a relaxing business retreat or an epic educational experience, ITAS has the expertise to provide the highest quality Israel tour available. Your guests will not be disappointed in the level of service provided regardless of the size of your group. ITAS has prepared and executed trips for individuals and groups of up to 600 people. ITAS will assist you in selecting a departure date, flights, hotel accommodations, and historic, religious and cultural sites to see throughout Israel. The tour is designed to connect with participants from a Jewish perspective. There are numerous sites you’ll want to visit during your Israel Jewish Heritage tour itinerary. Some highlights include:
- Western Wall Tunnels – underground tunnel exposing the greatest portion of the ancient Western Wall
- Old City of Jerusalem – visit the unique shops at the Cardo Maximus in the Jewish Quarter
- The Israel National Museum – a world class museum housing the Great Isaiah Scroll among other Dead Sea Scrolls and priceless artifacts
- Masada – location of King Herod’s desert fortress
- Beit She’an Archaeological Park – Israel’s largest archaeological excavation
- The Dead Sea – float on the unsinkable waters of the Dead Sea
- Eilat – Israel’s southernmost port which sits on the Red Sea, Eilat is very much a resort city.
- Safed – charming ancient city with cobblestone alleyways, artist galleries and medieval synagogues.
- Yad Vashem – Israel’s National Holocaust Museum
- Caesarea – Roman ruins on the Mediterranean Sea shore
- Knesset – Israel’s parliament building
- The Baha’i Temple and Gardens – a UNESCO World Heritage site
Sample Israel Jewish Heritage Tour Itinerary
USA / TEL AVIV
Non-stop overnight flight from USA to Tel-Aviv.
ARRIVAL / TEL AVIV / JERUSALEM
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, you will be meet your ITAS guide & driver then proceed to Jerusalem. Upon entering Jerusalem, you will have an opportunity to recite the “Shehechayanu” blessing. Welcome Shabbat at the Western Wall. Shabbat dinner & overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem.
Enjoy a full day at rest to celebrate Shabbat or participate in a walking tour of the Old City starting with a 20-30 minute walk to reach the Old City. Enter the City via the Jaffa Gate & through the narrow cobblestone walkways of the Christian, Moslem & Armenian Quarters. Continue along the Via Dolorosa, the “way of sorrows,” to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The walking tour ends at the “Tower of David”, where the Museum offers a photographic history of Jerusalem explaining the 4000-year-old story of the city. Take time to climb the ramparts of the citadel to enjoy a 360-degree view of the Old City and the New City of Jerusalem. Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem.
Enter the Old City via the Zion Gate. Walk through the restored Jewish Quarter, passing through the Roman Cardo. Walk within the Rabbinical Tunnel & the Davidson Center (Southern Wall excavations). Drive to the Israel National Museum to see the Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, & a model of Jerusalem during the 2nd Temple period. Next, visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust, for a Yizkor service. Visit the Children’s Pavilion & the Valley of Destroyed Communities. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM / LATRUN / NEOT KDUMIM
Stop to view the bronze Knesset Menorah, situated across from the Knesset (Israel Parliament) building. Next, drive to Ein Karem to view Chagall’s famous stained glass windows at the synagogue of the Hadassah Hospital. Visit the Hertzel Museum on Mount Herzel, Israel’s military cemetery & pay respects at the tomb of Yitzhak Rabin. Drive through the Ayalon Valley to Latrun, and tour its Armour Corps Museum. End the day at Neot Kdumim, where you will have the opportunity to step into the biblical landscape of our ancestors (seven spices, Hag Ha’asif, the time of in-gathering & the four spices tour). Fulfill a mitzvah for the land of Israel by planting a tree. Dinner in a restaurant at Abu Gosh. Return to Jerusalem. Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem.
DEAD SEA / MASADA / EIN GEDI
Travel through the Judean wilderness along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada. Ascend Masada by cable car to view the ruins of Herod’s desert fortress: palace, storerooms, bathhouse & waterworks. Eat lunch at one of the Dead Sea Hotel and after enjoy the spa facilities (optional) including the unique sensation of a “float” on the unsinkable Dead Sea. Continue your Dead Sea adventure with a visit to Ein Gedi, the oasis of the Judean desert. Take a short hike to the waterfalls. Enroute back to Jerusalem, pass the caves of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Dinner on your own. Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem.
CAESAREA / ROSH HANIKRA / ACRE / LATRUN
Depart Jerusalem & drive to Caesarea. Explore the Roman Theater & the Aqueduct. Proceed to Haifa; ascend Mount Carmel; delight in the stellar view of the Mediterranean coastline & the stunning terraced gardens of the Baha’i Center. Visit the Druze Village of Ussifiya—time to learn about these unique Israeli citizens—including lunch. Drive along the coast to Acre, a former Crusader stronghold. Roam the ruins, including the knights’ center and dining hall. End the day with a visit to Rosh HaNikra for a cable car ride to the beautiful grottoes. Dinner & overnight: Kibbutz Guest House.
GOLAN HEIGHTS / GALILEE
Today we will explore the Golan Heights by jeep! Afterward, continue by motor-coach to Mt. Bental for an observation of Kuneitra & Syria. While in the Golan Heights we will also visit OZ 77 at Kibbutz Elrom, where you will learn the history of the Golan Heights. Visit one of Israel’s famous wineries where you will have an opportunity to taste the wine. End this day with a tour & lecture about life in the kibbutz. Participate in an Israeli folk dance lesson. Dinner & Overnight: Kibbutz Guest House.
SAFED / ZIPPORI / TEL AVIV
This morning will drive to the mystic city of Safed, home of the Kabala. This charming town, filled with cobblestone streets, lined with ancient synagogues & art galleries offers breathtaking views of the entire Galilee. We then continue to Zippori to see its large excavations of a prosperous city of the Roman period. End your touring day in Tel Aviv visiting the famous Carmel Market and Nachalat Binyamin, the arts & crafts market. Shabbat dinner at the hotel. Overnight: Hotel in Tel Aviv.
TEL AVIV / FREE DAY
Today is yours – to explore, shop, stroll along the seafront promenade or swim in the Mediterranean Sea! Late check out from the hotel. Farewell Dinner. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA.
TEL AVIV / USA
Your flight back departs after midnight. Return home filled with a treasury of family-shared memories for a lifetime! Arrive USA the same day.
Contact Us to create your spectacular Israel Jewish Heritage Tour Itinerary!
For many, visiting Israel is a dream come true. Thus, the importance of maximizing your time while there is something tour operators take into great consideration when creating customized tours. If your unfamiliar with Israel the help of a knowledgeable tour guide is extremely beneficial. And there are so many amazing sites to see it’s hard to choose which ones to make a priority during your Israel vacation itinerary. To help you with that ITAS (Israel Travel Advisory Service) has created a list of some of the top must-see sites in Israel.
Nearly 3 million people visit the Western Wall annually. Around 19 BC King Herod the Great began a massive expansion project, besides rebuilding the Jewish Temple, he extended the platform on which it stood. The Western Wall we see today is part of the retaining walls built during that time. Most of the stones used to build the wall weigh between 2 and 8 tons each, but others weigh even more, with one incredibly large stone located in the northern section of Wilson’s Arch measuring 43 ft. and weighing approximately 570 tons. The Western Wall is approximately 1600-feet-long, most of it is concealed by buildings. Due to restrictions put on Jews from entering the Temple Mount, the Western Wall plaza is the closest connection to the Temple. For this reason, it is the holiest site in Judaism.
Caesarea Harbor National Park
In 31 BCE Augustus Caesar gifted a small Phoenician town to Herod the Great. He renamed it after the Emperor and built a major port, palace, bathhouse, hippodrome, stables and other impressive structures such as the aqueduct and Roman amphitheater. Visitors today can enjoy a breathtaking view the Mediterranean coastline as they stroll amongst the ancient ruins of Caesarea. A new Visitor Center offers a media presentation and rare archaeological artifacts inside one of the original vaults built by Herod.
On the list of World Heritage sites, the Baha’i Garden and Shrine complex is the holiest site for the Baha’i faith. It is also Haifa’s #1 attraction because of its stunning beauty and grandeur. The main garden is comprised of 19 steep terraces full of lovely flowers, fountains and small sculptures. From its base this striking floral staircase extends a half mile up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. Standing on its top terrace you can see the Haifa city and port, Akko, and the hills of Galilee.
The Dead Sea is the lowest elevation on Earth at roughly 1400 feet below sea level. It is one of the saltiest lakes with a salinity of approx. 34%. The Dead Sea lies in the Jordan Rift Valley bordered to the east by Jordan and to the west by Israel and the West Bank. Due to its harsh saline environment nothing can grow in it, however due to it’s high mineral contents, Dead Sea mud has been touted for its therapeutic properties for centuries.
Yad Vashem is Israel’s National Holocaust Museum and the largest of its kind in the world. The museum exhibits provide an accurate historical account, through various media, of the atrocities the Jewish people endured during World War II. Yad Vashem preserves the memory of those who perished and honors those who fought valiantly against the oppressors. It is a site every visitor to Israel should see for themselves to better understand the magnitude of this atrocity.
Our list of the top must-see sites in Israel could be much longer! Other amazing sites to include on your Israel vacation itinerary are: the City of David, Masada (another World Heritage site), Independence Hall, Rosh HaNikra, and the Jewish Quarter to name just a few.
Israel Travel Advisory Service is a highly respected, full-service tour operator specializing in Jewish Heritage tours of Israel. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org