Begin planning your amazing adventure with Israel Travel Advisory Service (ITAS) TODAY! Call 1-800-326-4827

Jewish Pilgrimage to Israel Guide

A trip to Israel for Jews can and should be more than just a conventional tourist experience with foreign people, cultures, and places.

Many individuals visit Israel for a variety of reasons. For instance, some people travel for work. In contrast, others do it for fun or to have a fantastic time participating in activities like windsurfing in the Mediterranean or scuba diving in the Red Sea.

The most significant number of visitors to Israel are Jews that want to visit their Jewish homeland to see and connect with their ancient history.

Modern Israel

Israel receives many visitors who identify as Jews.

Do they come to discover what it means to them to be Jewish or to learn more about the land and people of Israel?

Visit places like Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where the Zionist leadership declared Israel’s independence in 1948, or Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, where most of the state’s early political leaders are buried if you wish to understand the experience of modern Israel.

In the vast expanse of the Negev, you can visit David Ben Gurion’s home and grave or see memorials to battles and fallen troops before meeting current soldiers on military sites.

Both the Knesset and the Supreme Court are open for visits. The best way to understand Israel’s minorities is to travel to Druze and Bedouin villages.

The Jewish atmosphere can be felt in public places, including shopping stores, outdoor markets, and city centers.

Through such a pilgrimage, one can feel and comprehend the experience of Jews living in the same hills and valleys as their ancestors, speaking the same language, and following the same holidays of the Jewish calendar.

Israel and You

Several Israeli tour operators use Jewish texts, games, or conversations to connect guests’ Jewish identities with the country and people of Israel.

A visit to Israel should concentrate on how you feel about your place in Jewish history, the Jewish world, Jewish politics, your community, and your family.

For instance, scheduling a trip to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market for a Friday would be preferable since you can see and experience the change in scenery and environment.

From the busy, high-energy environment of midday and early afternoon to the calm just before Shabbat, these types of events and interactions help us figure out how to apply these transformations to our lives and homes.

Journeys of the Spirit

Israel can be interacted with on a more personal level. An Israel tour is an opportunity to investigate the similarity between the journeys of the Jewish people and our souls.

Why should such spiritual reflection take place in Israel in particular? Israel is a place that encourages dreams, enabling Jews to connect to their greatest aspirations for themselves and their country, even in the age of fast communication and readily available worldwide travel.

Feel Closer to Your Heritage by Visiting Israel

If you want to connect with your Jewish Heritage travelling to Israel and visiting the most iconic sites is the best option.

Israel Travel Advisory Service is the way to go, so we can assist you in planning the ideal trip, vacation, or tour to Israel for you and your family.

From family tours to custom Israel tours, Israel Travel Advisory Service offers a variety of Israel Jewish Tours.

We take joy in ensuring that you have a real Israeli vacation thanks to our more than 45 years of experience planning trips to Israel.

Click here to learn more!



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Welcome to your Jewish Heritage

The next step in embracing your heritage and culture is to learn about the rituals, rites, and traditions unique to your religion and culture.Everything is celebrated in Jewish culture from birth to death, and they honour the person who lived it and the entirety of life.

Rituals are important and respected in many cultures, and it is a way of offering a warm invitation into their world.

Religious rituals known as rites of passage commemorate a person’s path from one stage of life to another.

Jewish customs that go back to biblical times and that have developed following regional traditions and Halakha (the power of laws and ordinances that have existed since the time of the Bible to regulate Jewish religious observances, daily life, and behaviour) mark important moments in a Jew’s life.

The Bible mentions rites of passage, including Brit Milah, Bat Mitzvah, and Bar Mitzvah. The evolution of weddings and funerals has mobilized rites of passage, such as marriage and death, and each has its rituals.

Rites of passage have occasionally been connected to other biblically inspired rituals, such as festivals and pilgrimages.

Birth and Baptism

The birth of a child is a reason for joyful celebration in every culture.

Brit Milah

Brit Milah Jews have a religious duty to remember God’s covenant with Abraham by getting circumcised.

Brit Bat/Simchat Bat 

Ashkenazi Jews have a long-standing custom where the father is invited to the synagogue on the first Shabbat following the birth of his daughter to receive an aliyah (the privilege of reading the blessings before and after a section of the public Torah reading), after which the baby’s name is announced.


Baptism in the Jordan River is a priceless rite of passage because it welcomes you into your heritage, helps you embrace it, and connects you to your ancestors, making you feel closer to them.

Coming of age

Jewish life became characterized by the textual world of the Torah and its changing interpretations, and the entrance of male and female children constituted a significant passage.

Jewish law holds parents responsible for their children’s actions up to this time.

These rituals mark the passage from childhood to adulthood, which includes accepting personal accountability for one’s behaviour and having more significant Jewish obligations.

Bar Mitzvah “Son of the Commandment”

At the age of 13, boys have their Bar Mitzvah. Once they reach adulthood, they are accountable to God for their sins.

When it comes to religious practice, a boy who has turned Bar Mitzvah is responsible for the same duties, obligations, and benefits as an adult.

On the first Sabbath following the boy’s 13th birthday, the ceremony takes place in the synagogue. After the ceremony, the boy’s father acknowledges that his son is now prepared to accept accountability for his own conduct.

Bat Mitzvah “Daughter of the Commandment.”

At the age of twelve, girls get their Bat Mitzvah.

Regarding the Torah readings, the ceremony is identical to that for boys and is performed on the Sabbath in the Temple.

The readings typically include a statement of commitment, a reading from the Bible, and other texts that discuss the obligations and responsibilities of the Jewish woman.


Jewish law stipulates two steps in the marriage process:

  • Kiddushin: The Betrothal
  • Huppah: The Canopy


Kiddushin, which means “sanctification,” is the name for a Jewish marriage (when something is holy or sacred). Shabbat, holidays, and mourning times are prohibited for Jewish weddings.


Wedding Canopy: The couple is taken by their parents to stand underneath the Huppah wedding canopy. It represents the Tallit (prayer shawl) and the home they will build together.


Marriage Contract: Instead of exchanging vows, the bride and groom sign the marriage contract, or ketubah, in the presence of two witnesses after the Rabbi has read it to them.

Two different kinds of contracts exist:

  • The Orthodox: It outlines the groom’s duties in the marriage. It doesn’t have any promises from the bride in it. It is meant to give her security in the future.
  • The Reform: It refers to shared responsibility and partnership within the marriage.

Smashing The Glass

The wedding ritual concludes with seven blessings recited over the wine and asking God to bless the bride and husband. There is a prayer for Zion (Jerusalem) as well.

The groom then stomps on the wine glass to break it as a memory of the Temple’s destruction in 70CE after the bride and groom take another taste of the wine.


Burial Rites

As a sign of respect, a Jewish person’s funeral must be held as quickly as possible (often within 24 hours) after death. On Shabbat or the start or last days of festivals, though, they are prohibited.

Chevra Kaddisha

A group of honourable men and women offered their services to help with funeral arrangements, wash and prepare the body for burial, and attend to the sick and the deceased.


When the Kaddish is said following the funeral, mourning begins.

At a parent’s funeral and every day for the following eleven months, children must recite the Kaddish.

The Kaddish focuses on the name of God, asking that people recognize its sacredness.

The grieving declares that even though they have lost a loved one, God is still their God, and they still acknowledge him as the supreme being in charge of the universe.

Sitting Shiva

Shiva, which means “seven” in Hebrew, is a term for the seven days following a funeral that do not include Shabbat.

Leave the Planning to the Experts

Want to learn more about these rituals and rites of passage or experience them yourself or with your family? Get in touch with ITAS Tours and talk with one of our advisors to find out more and start planning your next trip to Israel.

With ITAS Tours, your only concern will be enjoying the festivities and the parties. Israel Travel Advisory Service will create the perfect Custom, Family, and Jewish Israel Tour with more than 50 years of providing the highest quality tours in Israel, bringing families and their friends together to explore their rich heritage.

Click here to find out more!



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

A Guide To Selecting The Perfect Bat Mitzvah Tour Of Israel

If your daughter is soon to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah, you may have heard of travel agencies that provide pre-planned trips and tours to Israel. How will you pick the ideal tour company when so many options are available?

You can choose the ideal tour for your family and daughter using the four questions and five tips listed below.

What is a Bat Mitzvah Tour?

These tours and package holidays to Israel are for all family members, not only for the B’nai Mitzvah girl (the child coming of age). These tours cater to all guests, from younger siblings to grandparents, and offer spectacular holidays for the entire family.

Most tours will begin in Jerusalem and focus on the Old City and a walk through the restored Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall Tunnels, and the Time Elevator, which presents the 3,000-year history of Jerusalem.

Bat Mitzvah tours vary significantly from company to company, so choosing a tour focusing on areas and places that interest you, your family, and your daughter is important.

Find Personal Recommendations

A great way to find a top-notch tour company is to ask friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations.

Alternatively, you can ask in your local synagogue or on an online forum if you don’t know anyone who has been on such a tour.

What is the level of experience of the tour guides?

Your tour guide will make or break your trip to Israel, so this is an important question to ask a tour company. A reputable company will readily share the names and experiences of the guides they have working for them.

A tour guide who has worked with a company for an extended period is a positive sign, demonstrating the tour guide’s expertise, professionalism, and positive visitor feedback. It also suggests that the tour company is a respectable, high-quality business where a professional guide is proud to work.

An awesome tour guide will have the skills to include young children and grandparents and will become part of your family during the tour. They will meet you at the airport and remain with you throughout your journey.

You will learn so much about Israeli customs, traditions, and history that you could never expect to acquire elsewhere.

How Many Families Are Grouped Together on Each Tour?

You can choose a trip with just your family and friends or you can choose a trip which brings various families together to view Israel in an entirely new way. This can be a fun way to meet new people and make life-long friends.

You may never have thought it’s possible but travelling with new families can be helpful as they can share the magic of Israel’s rich history and the wonder of the Bat Mitzvah ceremonies.

Tips To Make or Break Your Bat Mitzvah

If you are looking for a small, intimate family Bat Mitzvah in Israel, combined with a private tour designed to fit your family’s wish-list, here are five steps to reach that goal:

  1. Select your flight dates, stay duration, and ceremony date on Monday and Thursday mornings when the Torah sections are read, and there are services for Bat Mitzvahs.
  2. Choose the ideal place for your family’s amazing celebration.
  3. Typically, the tour company will provide a Rabbi for the Bat Mitzvah ceremony but if you have any particulars you’d like to arrange, let them know and most can accommodate your wishes.
  4. Purchase any extras to make your ceremony more enjoyable, including a photographer, caterer, special lunch or dinner event, and more.
  5. Get a customized itinerary for you and your family’s amazing tour and ceremony in Israel based on your stay length and the ceremony’s date.

Your Adventure Starts with ITAS Tours

Receive expert guidance in selecting the perfect ceremony venue and celebratory activity for your Bat Mitzvah trip to Israel. They offer the perfect Bat Mitzvah Tours in Israel, fully customized for your family.



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Jerusalem: The City of Heart and Soul

Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem.

To many theologians, it is Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, and it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain.

When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it’s a homecoming. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory.

Throughout the history of Jerusalem, Jews lived inside its walls with only two interruptions: when Roman invaders forbade entry into the city and under Jordanian occupation when Jews, regardless of nationality, were denied access into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall.

Jerusalem must remain the world’s Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness but of trust and hope. As the Hasidic master, Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav, said, “Everything in this world has a heart; the heart itself has its own heart”.

The poet Yehuda Amichai, for whom Jerusalem was his heart and soul, wrote in one of his poems a verse that captures something of my feelings: “Jerusalem is a swing: sometimes I descend into the generations and sometimes I rise into the heavens.”

And that’s Jerusalem: a city where opposites, diversity, and change are all fused, lending it its unique character.

There is no other city in the world like Jerusalem. A city that people pine for, a city they face to pray, and for whose sake they pray, a city to which so many look up. A city that serves as a common ground but is often also a locus of friction.

A city contains everything: the spirit of sanctity and the vibrancy of day-to-day life. Jerusalem is a city whose one million inhabitants reflect the entire mosaic of Israeli society and its complexity. It’s a city whose name means “peace” and has also known many wars.

Jerusalem Day symbolizes one of the formative events in the city’s history. Since Jerusalem was unified, all parts of it have been growing and developing.

Jerusalem safeguards the sovereignty of the State of Israel. It guarantees freedom of worship for members of all religions, along with a form of coexistence that does not diminish difference and tradition, bringing to light the strength of our ability to live and work together.

On Jerusalem’s festive day, a national holiday for us all, our hope is that it preserves its unique character, including the burst of renewal and growth it has experienced in recent years.

Want to visit Jerusalem the City of Heart and Soul?

If you want to visit Jerusalem and get inspired as well, make sure you get in contact with Israel Travel Advisory Service.

With over 45 years of experience in organizing Israel Jewish tours, we pride ourselves in ensuring that your vacation to Israel is the best version of itself it can be.

Our offices in New Jersey, Florida, and Israel strive to provide the best quality Israel, family, Jewish Israeli, and Jewish Heritage tours.

ITAS is your best Israel travel advisory option.

Let us do the planning, and we’ll make sure you have a wonderful and fulfilling vacation.

Click here to learn more!



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Jewish Holidays: Religious and Spiritual Travel Guide

We all love to travel, whether with friends and family or by ourselves. Vacationing in Israel during the Jewish Holidays can be a wonderful experience.

Jewish holidays in Israel are worth remembering since each one is celebrated differently with festivals and unique events.

Each one has its own traditions and particular quirks, so here is a guide for your Israel Holiday Vacation.

There’s a celebration everywhere around you!

Shabbat, the Day of Rest
The Jewish holiday Shabbat is celebrated weekly and always begins on a Friday night (when dusk falls).

Jews who observe Shabbat diligently will not use electricity, write, or travel other than by foot, and will spend the day in prayer, eating celebratory meals, and resting.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year
Rosh Hashanah (in Hebrew “Head of the Year”) celebrates the Jewish New Year and is a joyous festival.

The festivities include prayers at the synagogue, a large meal, and exchanging gifts.

The ancient ceremony of “tashlich” is carried out on the first afternoon. It is a tradition to go to the sea or any body of water and throw breadcrumbs or pebbles in. This symbolizes the “casting away” of one’s sins.

For religious Jews, all of this is a chance for “spiritual renewal and great contemplation.”

Yom Kippur, “Day of Atonement”

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar, and in Israel, all life comes to a standstill.

Every business and school is closed, airplanes do not take off or land, and the streets are deserted by cars.

Religious Jews will fast for 25 hours, wear white and spend large parts of the time in synagogue, praying for forgiveness from God for their sins.

According to Jewish belief, this is the day God will pass judgment on every individual for the coming year. So it is seen as a chance to repent and ask for a chance of forgiveness.

Sukkot, “The Festival of Tabernacles”

Another fun festival, especially for children, is Sukkot which follows Yom Kippur and lasts seven days.

Historically, it was one of the three pilgrimage festivals where the Israelites were commanded to travel to the Temple. Today, Israelis celebrate by building a sukkah, a temporary, freestanding structure with three walls decorated with palm leaves.

It is tradition to eat meals inside and decorate the interior with the “four species,” the four different plants mentioned in the Torah. These are lulav, etrog, hadass, and aravah.

People carry these four plants at the synagogue and recite special prayers known as “Hoshanot.”

Simchat Torah, Rejoicing of the Torah
Simchat Torah immediately follows Sukkot and is a festival of unbridled joy. Jews dance around the synagogue holding Torah scrolls to mark the reading cycle of these holy manuscripts. In Israel, it is common to see Israelis dancing in the streets.

Hanukkah, “Festival of Lights”

Hanukkah is celebrated during winter and commemorates the “miracle of the oil” at the same time as the Second Temple. It lasts for eight days, and each night candles are lit on a special candelabrum.

Two special foods that are eaten are latkes and sufganiyot. Latkes are potato pancakes fried and served either with applesauce or sour cream. Sufganiyot are donuts with jelly inside.

Children spin a “dreidel,” and it’s a tradition to give them “gelt,” chocolate money, and small gifts.

Purim, the Feast of Lots
The Jewish holiday of Purim commemorates the bravery of Esther, who saved the Jews of Persia from being wiped out. It is a festival of enormous merriment in Israel, and it is a wonderful tradition for children and adults to dress up and attend parties.

Jews also attend the synagogue in costume, where they read from the Book of Esther and shout and boo at the name of “Haman,” Esther’s enemy, and drink a lot of wine.

Attending an adloyada (carnival parade) is a beautiful tradition, as is eating “Hamantaschen” cookies filled with poppy seeds. Religious Jews also send “mishloachmanot,” food baskets, to family, friends, and charities.

Yom haAtzmaut, Independence Day
The evening kicks off with a torch of lightning in Jerusalem and fireworks displays all over the country. Some parties continue late into the night, and the following day, it’s a time-honoured tradition to attend a barbeque and eat until you can’t move.

If you’re at the shoreline around midday, watch the flyovers that the Israeli Air Force carries out.

The Eight-Day Festival of Passover
This joyous festival falls in the spring in Israel and commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Israel, who fled slavery under the laws of the cruel Pharaoh.

It’s a tradition at this time of the year to hold a “seder,” in Hebrew “order,” where the “Haggadah” book is read, recounting the story of the Jews flight, including the miraculous parting of the waves of the Red Sea.

At Passover, bakeries in Israel close because it’s a religious commandment to eat only “matzah,” unleavened bread, for the holiday. This lets Jews remember that their ancestors fled Egypt in such haste that their bread had no time to rise.

In the Haggadah, the matzah is called “the Bread of Affliction.” The festival is also a reminder of liberty and that, after 2,000 years, with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Jews became a free people in their land.

Shavuot, “Festival of Weeks”, falls seven weeks after Passover. It is a pilgrimage holiday that marks the end of the spring harvest and the Torah’s giving to Moses on Mount Sinai. It’s a tradition to eat dairy products and wear white clothing with white flowers.
Shavuot is celebrated in earnest on the kibbutz, with the tradition of “bringing forth the first fruit.” Historically, this was an opportunity for farmers to display their achievements after a year of hard work in the fields.

Where’s the best place to spend some of these holidays?

So, where in Israel should you try to go to experience and be a part of the festivities?

Well, at Purim, there are parties all over the country but be sure not to miss the opportunity to see an adloyada. The two most popular take place in Holon, near Tel Aviv, and SdeBoker, in the Negev desert.

Shabbat comes around weekly and is celebrated at home after a short Friday night service at the synagogue. Israelis are very hospitable, so you might be invited as a guest to someone’s house for a meal.

There is also a Get Shabbat program running where you can be paired with a host family. Most families are traditional and observe Shabbat costumes, so you’ll see blessings made over candles, wine, and bread and get a feel for the whole experience.

For Passover, you’ll feel the spirit of freedom everywhere. If you want to see more religious traditions, head to Jerusalem, notably the Western Wall, for the “Birkat Kohanim,” a Priestly Blessing.

In terms of being a tourist, the only day you will be limited is Yom Kippur, so if you’re visiting during this holiday, make sure you have your preparations in advance, or get in touch with your Israeli tour operator for a “day off”.

Whichever time of the year you choose to be in Israel, experiencing any of the Jewish Holidays will only add to your overall enjoyment.

Israel Travel Advisory Service offers a wide range of Jewish Israel Tours, from family tours to bar/bat mitzvah Israel tours.

With over 45 years of experience in organizing Jewish heritage tours, we pride ourselves on ensuring that you’ll have a real Israeli vacation.

If you want to experience one of these holidays, ITAS is your way. We have Israel Jewish plans and tours that meet every need.

Click here to get in touch with our operators for more information!



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Family Trips to the Holy Land: A List by Experts

Family vacations are great, especially if they are to heal the body and soul, and a perfect way to do so could be by taking a family trip to Israel.

Israel Travel Advisory Service (ITAS) has offered custom tours to Israel for 50 years. We intend to provide our customers with the best travel and tour service.

We have different programs, each perfect to fit your needs and budget.

Custom Israel Tours

If you are looking to take a family trip to Israel, we recommend checking our custom Israel Tours. With this option, you’ll be able to create the perfect customized family visit to Israel and feel safe and confident doing it.

Jewish Heritage Tour Itinerary

If you are looking for a more specific experience along with your family members, check the Israel Jewish Heritage Tour Itinerary. You’ll get a relaxing retreat or a unique educational experience depending on what you want.

And you won’t have to worry about a thing! We’ll help you select departure dates, flights, hotel accommodations, as well as historical, religious, and cultural sites.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Israel Tour

Besides experiencing wonderful tours along with the family, what better way to enjoy a trip to Israel than celebrating your son’s or daughter’s bar/bat mitzvah on top of Masada.

ITAS offers top-notch itineraries and professional services on all our Jewish family trips to Israel.



Categories: Israel Tour, ITAS Travel Blog

Want To Enjoy Jerusalem’s Nightlife? Try Visiting Any of the These Spots

If you’re to visit Jerusalem any time soon, chances are that your current schedule only covers daytime activities. After all, it’s not rare for people to want the most out of daylight hours and end the day with a well-deserved rest.But here’s the thing, Jerusalem easily stands as one of the world’s most diverse cities. So much that nightlife feels as if you were already touring another city—Albeit one that’s just as beautiful.Such opportunities are not common, so it should be within your best interest to account for these experiences while you’re there.

Assuming that there’s still time to rearrange your schedule, here are some recommendations for places to visit during nighttime.

Believe us. You won’t regret staying up a little longer for any of these.

The Jerusalem Chords Bridge

The Chords Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge located near the city’s central bus station.

Standing at 387 feet high (118 meters), the Chords Bridge is the tallest structure in all of Jerusalem. In retrospect, you can’t get a more literal example of an “eye-catching landmark.”

But why should you add it to your schedule to begin with? Especially if you can appreciate such a tall construction from almost anywhere.

It was built with inspirations from both ancient and modern architecture, making it an incredible sight to behold from up close.

Plus, such ways of crafting are always subject to the insights of travelers as to figure out the artist’s deeper motivations. Maybe you could craft some of your own while you’re there.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the matter of its extra decorations. For a while now, the bridge’s chords have been decorated with various colored lights, which are always turned on during the night.

In other words, by visiting after sunset, you will get a light show unlike any other.

Mahane Yehuda Market

The Mahane Yehuda Market isn’t any regular market, mind you, and it’s the most extensive and liveliest out of all Jerusalem.

Composed by a series of narrow alleyways, all of them will be able to cover any need you might be running into. From regular convenience stores to gift shops. From family restaurants to the fanciest food outlets. From good ol’ bars to full-sized party venues.

In a way, saying that the Mahane Yehuda Market has something for everyone would be an understatement. Not to mention, its ambiance does give something to brag about. You’ll probably meet lots of fascinating people there!

If possible, try visiting on a Thursday night. Since most people don’t have to work on Friday, Thursday nights tend to see the market at its fullest potential.

Jaffa Road

Likewise, you can’t go wrong by visiting Jaffa Road, one of the city’s oldest and longest roads. Not only that, but it also houses several buildings that are essential to Jerusalem’s history. If that fits your interests, you could ask for a guided tour.

Additionally, this road has seen many commercial venues opening their doors. Jaffa Road is filled with locales for most needs, similar to the Mahane Yehuda Market, albeit to a lesser extent.

A simple walk along this road can quickly turn into a worthwhile experience. The buildings themselves are beautiful, and they’re all decorated with charming nightlights, and it’s a sight that’s both atmospheric and breathtaking.

Kikar Safra

Jerusalem is filled with culture that even its city hall is part of the experience. Kikar Safra is not only home to the city’s municipal government as it also houses many cultural and artistic performances.

While there are many buildings dedicated to that purpose, many artists have decided to make use of the surrounding exteriors instead. Something that Kikar Safra agrees to and promotes to a certain extent.

Just imagine what these artists could have prepared for a nighttime performance.

Keep in mind that these performances are subject to their own scheduling, so visit the city hall’s website beforehand and see what’s offered during your stay.

Mishkenot Sha’ananim

If you’re into preservation and some mild isolation, we’ve got an offer. Try visiting Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the very first Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Located slightly above the Sultan’s Pool, it now houses numerous art galleries and music centers in the sweet calm of the Old City’s outskirts.

In a way, you get to experience all kinds of aesthetic beauty.  You get the looks of the surrounding areas (like Mount Zion), you get to experience classic Jerusalem architecture, astounding paintings, the sound of carefully crafted music, and even a calm day in semi-rural life.

If that sounds attractive already, now picture how the daytime experience might differ from the nighttime one.

Tachana Rishona

If you like the idea of visiting several cultural centers, we can’t forget about Tachana Rishona, also known as The First Station.

As the name suggests, Tachana Rishona was a train station that represented the last stop of a Jaffa to Jerusalem trip. However, as the need for train transportation decreased, it eventually got discontinued.

Luckily, the town found another use for the location in no time. Nowadays, The First Station is used as a cultural and entertainment venue, which prides itself on celebrating the old Jerusalem days.

You can expect to find several pubs, restaurants, and even merchants inside, most of which offer their services on exterior spaces. Now, talk about a colorful and atmospheric night accompanied by good music.

The Wailing Wall

Going back to 520 BC, The Second Temple once stood as one of the most sacred locations for Judaism.

It was said that the Temple was the purest source of divine power, which then spread itself to the rest of the world.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that the Temple also housed a massive array of praying sessions, festivities, and religious offerings amidst the Jewish community. Sadly, it came to a close after the Temple was destroyed around 70 AD.

But that is not to say that traditions and customs have been lost to time.

Nowadays, the Wailing Wall (also known as the Kotel, or Western Wall) proudly stands as the last remaining structure of the Second Temple. So, to respect its former glory, Jews worldwide have decided to visit regularly and partake in praying sessions.

For the most part, visits are limited to the praying sessions. The only exception is during Friday nights when people organize celebrations akin to those held in the Second Temple.

If you opt for a Friday night visit, you’ll get to enjoy the night with tons of singing and dancing!

For Scheduling Your Daytime and Nighttime Itineraries, ITAS Tours Is There for You!

You now know some great places to visit during any night in Jerusalem.

But what’s that? You’re interested in visiting such places, but you don’t know what to move in your schedule to make it happen? Well, ITAS Tours can help with that, and more!

With over 45 years of experience in organizing Israel Jewish tours, we pride ourselves in ensuring that your trip to the Holy Land is the best version of itself it can be. And that involves taking care of everything in your name, from the planning itself to making all necessary arrangements.

Likewise, we pride ourselves in saying that no other company has managed to reach our quality levels, nor our levels of attention to your needs. Our team of experts will gladly be helping you from the early stages of your planning up until your trip back home.

Be it for personal vacation tours or family tours, ITAS Tours has got your back. Both Israel and Jerusalem have never been closer to you!

Visit our website to learn more!



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Traveling with Kids to Israel: Tips for Families

Having a family is hard work, and most of us spend tireless days working to make sure our kids can enjoy a great life. But as soon as mouths are fed and bills are paid, it’s time for a well-earned vacation.

Family trips are the best chance we have for spending time and bonding with our kids, and it’s a chance to recharge our batteries before going back to work.

A trip to remember

When looking for a spot for a family vacation, it’s best to consider somewhere that can fulfill everyone’s needs.

An Israel vacation tour is a great way for Jewish families to connect their rich ancestral roots.

Markets, museums, beaches, and plenty of historical sites are all in the books regarding Israel family tours. There’s something for everyone.

Tips to consider

Now, if you’re going on an Israel tour with kids, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Stay Hydrated

Most people take their family vacations since school is out during the summer, but the Israel summer can be very warm.

Make sure to keep water and hydrating snacks (like cucumber slices) handy to cool off and avoid dehydration.

Take it slow

We know that vacation time is limited, but between jet lag, crowds, and the unfamiliarity of a new place, your kids might feel overwhelmed.

Take breaks regularly and make sure you don’t overschedule outings. Remember, a vacation is about relaxation, too.

Where and what to eat

Kids can be the pickiest of eaters, and when going somewhere new, mealtimes can be a challenge.

Luckily, Israel’s got options galore to both to satisfy your pickiest palettes and astound the curious ones. Hotels offer a large variety of foods on their menus and it’s all very fresh!

Make it educational

Israel has an abundance of historical and biblical sites all around.

Before going, make sure to spend some time teaching your kids about what they will see there and why it’s important.

Keep the kids entertained

While education and cultural experiences are important, remember that your kids want to play.

Look for more kid-friendly activities such as the zoo, the aquarium, or even the First Station, where your kids can enjoy an international play date. Eilat is a wonderful resort city in the south of Israel on the Red Sea – the perfect place to play in the sun.

The big tip

With all there is to do in Israel, you’d need a vacation just to figure out what to do during your trip. That’s why it’s always best to ask the experts.

Here at ITAS Tours, we offer Israel Jewish Tours curated with care to cover all the bases and make sure that your family’s experience will be one to remember.



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

The Surprising Origin of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony

Nowadays, saying that bar/bat mitzvah ceremonies are of great importance to the Jewish community is a great understatement. Not only does it symbolize a child’s coming of age. But it also represents the moment in which they take on new religious privileges and adult responsibilities.

All things considered, this is one milestone unlike any other. One that is joyfully recognized and celebrated. Which it is.

That being said, after years of tradition, have you ever stopped to think about where it all began? Well, for that, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the origins of the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony.

Understanding the meaning behind the ceremony

Bar and bat mitzvah literally mean, “son/daughter of the commandment.” Bar is Aramaic and means the same thing as the Hebrew word, “ben” – “son of”. “Bat” came along later and is Hebrew for “daughter of”. So, when boys reach age 13 and one day they become bar mitzvah and girls at age 12 become bat mitzvah whether they have a ceremony of not.

The first ceremonies to recognize this special time in a young person’s life were held as early as the Sixth Century CE. Since the Middle Ages the full religious ritual has been observed, with the custom of calling a boy up to the Torah as a way of recognizing his entry to manhood. Blessings would be spoken and afterward a huge gala feast. Not much different from today’s celebrations.

The bar/bat mitzvah’s transition to a full-fledged ceremony is greatly attributed to the holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot’s deep connection with the Torah made sense to give a deeper meaning to the ceremony. Suffice it to say, being able to give your first public reading of the Torah is a pretty big deal. And a great reason to celebrate the bar/bat mitzvah with the entire family.

Want to take your bar/bat mitzvah to the next level? ITAS Tours has what you need!

Now that you know the meaning behind any bar/bat mitzvah ceremony, it makes sense that you would want to make the most out of yours. And do you know how you can achieve that? By making it take place in the Land of the Jewish people, Israel, itself! And we can help you do just that!

With over 45 years of experience organizing Israel tours, there’s no one better to trust than us. Our team of experts will gladly help you manage everything from the very start. That should cover the planning, getting the necessary commodities, making the ceremony arrangements, and everything in-between.

Be it for bar mitzvah tours, family tours or just a mere vacation, ITAS Tours has got your back. The land of Israel has never been closer to you!

Visit our website to learn more!



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Booking a tour of Israel for an Unforgettable Bar/Bat Mitzvah

The Jewish community can easily agree that there are very few life experiences that can rival the spiritual meaningfulness of both bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs.

For the child in question, there’s nothing that can match the notion of knowing you’re finally transitioning into the following stages of life. Likewise, there’s nothing like watching your children taking their very first steps into adulthood.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that you would want to ensure that the entire celebration is the best version of itself it can be. After all, people can only have one bar/bat mitzvah per lifetime.

Furthermore, your Jewish connection doesn’t necessarily end after the celebrations are done, so you might as well show it proudly.

For an experience unlike any other to get your family closer to their Jewish heritage, you can’t go wrong with planning for your children’s bar/bat mitzvah to take place in the Holy Land itself, accompanied by a tour of the same.

We understand that this might be an entirely new concept for some. Here are our tips for understanding what booking a bar/bat mitzvah tour of Israel entails.

We intend that, once you’ve skimmed through this article, you can rest assured knowing that you can organize a most unforgettable experience.

Going through touring options

With so many things to see in the beautiful land of Israel, your best bet for getting the most out of the experience is to sign up for a full-fledged tour.

Not only will it help you keep things tidy and organized, but it will also help you see the most locations—all with relative ease.

However, did you know that there’s more than one type of tour for you to choose from? Each with their respective pros and cons? Well, now you do.

So, to ensure that you pick the one that’s best for you, here’s what you should know about the three main options.

Quick note. For all intended purposes, when researching for potential tour providers, do make sure that you’re specifically looking at those who also offer bar/bat mitzvah-related services.

Book a private tour for your family

By booking a private tour, your family tour needs will be taken care of by a qualified guide, who will be handling all the logistics of both your tour and your bar/bat mitzvah celebration, all based on your exact specifications.

In other words, this option gives your entire planning process the utmost flexibility. Even if your tour guide is doing most of the accommodating things, your inputs will still have the highest priority.

Furthermore, tour guides are well-known for having extensive knowledge of the area surrounding them. As this will be a private tour for your family, you can rest assured that you all will be able to maintain an in-depth dialogue with your guide at any time during the tour.

Do keep in mind that this option will likely require you to independently plan all flight and hotel arrangements.

Join a premade group tour

Like a private tour, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of by joining a premade one, with little to no input on your part. However, they differ because premade groups typically include travel arrangements, hotel services and even daily meals. More importantly, they tend to have it all under the same price. Now, that’s something you’re not going to get with a private tour.

Furthermore, these kinds of groups usually consist of families, all with children of the same ages. In a way, aside from the tour and bar/bat mitzvah themselves, a premade group tour will also be giving you an intergenerational Jewish bonding experience for all your family.

Nonetheless, your family might feel more comfortable spending this time with each other. So make sure to consider everyone’s preferences before making a choice.

Depending on what everybody wants, you might prefer to keep things a little more private.

Design a tour by yourself

On a completely different note, there’s also the chance that you’re familiar with the country. Maybe you’ve already visited before, or perhaps you have relatives living there who could lend a hand during your trip.

If this is the case, you might feel comfortable planning it all on your own. The flights, hotel reservations, bar/bat mitzvah ceremony, the daily touring, meal reservations etc… While this takes a good deal of logistical know-how, it affords you the greatest flexibility.

By designing a tour by yourself, you are now in control of absolutely everything. Nonetheless, you’ll find yourself in need of doing thorough research regarding preparations for the ceremony. Not to mention all your day trips.

Other than that, do remember to give an answer of your own to the following questions:

  • Where will we go?
  • Where will we stay?
  • What will we do?

Feel free to come up with priority answers and answers, which you can skip on if needed. In the long run, you might get some use out of that kind of system.

Or you could start planning your family’s next unforgettable experience with ITAS Tours – the originator of the Israel Bar/Bat Mitzvah tours!

At the Israel Travel Advisory Service, we pride ourselves on giving the Jewish community a chance to reconnect with their roots. All while still enjoying a perfect family vacation amidst an extraordinary bar/bat mitzvah celebration. A private family bar or bat mitzvah will allow you to select your level of accommodations, sites to include, airline preference and much more.

With over 45 years of experience, you and your family can rest assured that your needs will be attended to with the utmost safety and quality.

For more information, visit today at ITAS Website.



Categories: ITAS Travel Blog

Contact Info

Main Office:
215 Millburn Ave.
Millburn, NJ 07041
800-326-4827 toll
973-376-9598 fax

Florida Office:

our location