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.
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A trip to the ancient land of Israel isn’t complete without a visit to some of its spectacular synagogues. You can easily request these sites from Israel travel companies which offer custom Israel itineraries. There are so many impressive synagogues scattered throughout Israel, in this blog entry we’ll look at three of them: the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Abuhav Synagogue in Safed, and Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue. Each of theses synagogues are unique and worthy of a visit during an Israel vacation.
The Hurva Synagogue, originally founded in 1721, is in Jerusalem’s Old City. It was destroyed years later and lay in ruins for over 100 years. Rebuilt in 1864, the Hurva Synagogue was the central space used by the Ashkenazi Jewish community to gather for meetings and worship until its destruction by the Arab Legion in the 1948 War of Independence. Ten years later, a 52-foot commemorative arch was built over the ruins as a memorial. In 2010, a replica of the synagogue which was built on the site 150 years earlier was rededicated as a place of worship. The Hurva Synagogue is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people. One of its most spectacular features is the breathtaking 360-degree views of Jerusalem from the veranda which surrounds the dome.
The Abuhav Synagogue is another splendid site to visit during a custom Israel itinerary. This synagogue houses the oldest Torah scroll in Safed, believed to have been written by the Spanish Rabbi, Isaac Abuhav. Built in the fifteenth century – the interior dome is adorned with images of musical instruments used in the Temple in Jerusalem and various symbols from the tribes of Israel. Legend has it that Rabbi Abuhav and his followers built the synagogue in Safed around 1490, after expulsion from Spain. The synagogue is often visited by groups touring the Jewish homeland.
Lastly, is the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. Built with funds provided by Sir Isaac Wolfson, a Jewish philanthropist from Great Britain, the Great Synagogue was consecrated on August 4, 1982 in memory of the six-million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The Synagogue is the largest in the world. Its façade design is based on the Second Jewish Temple. The sanctuary features a colossal chandelier and gorgeous stained-glass above the Aron Kodesh. Free guided tours of the Great Synagogue are available when you call ahead. Or better still, let Israel Travel Advisory Service prepare the perfect custom Israel itinerary for you and your family or friends. While you relax we’ll do all the “heavy lifting”.