Israel 2.0 Itinerary

Below is the itinerary of Temple Isaiah’s Israel Trip in the Winter of 2016.  Thank you to our tour guide, Einav Ayalon, our driver, Salman, and to the staff of ARZA/Da’at for organizing the trip.  For more information about the trip and if you’re interested in planning a similar experience, contact Rabbi Joel Nickerson at

Thursday, February 25, 2016


  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Transfer to the hotel in Jerusalem (on own).
  • Check into the hotel.
  • 4:50 p.m. Meet Einav Ayalon, your tour educator, in the hotel lobby.
  • 5:00 p.m. Social, Moral & Culture Challenges in Israeli Society in 2016: Dialogue with scholar Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College.
  • Walk to Yemin Moshe for an overview of the Old and New city of Jerusalem and to recite the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing.
  • 7:00 p.m. Welcome dinner at Olive & Fish, a meat and fish restaurant located across from the Liberty Bell Gardens.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, February 26, 2016


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 8:30 a.m. Women of the Wall: Meet with Rabbi Susan Silverman a member of the board at Women of the Wall for a discussion on their progress and challenges.
  • LaDa’at The Geopolitics of Jerusalem – ירושלים: ובליבה חומה: Travel through Jerusalem, exploring some of its political and diplomatic complexities – including the ‘Security Barrier’ – to gain a behind-the-headlines insight into current developments.
  • Proceed to the Old City and stop at the Kotel (Western Wall) and experience the special atmosphere of this special site.
  • LaDa’at Machaneh Yehuda – אל השוק: Actively explore the colorful and ethnically diverse Machaneh Yehuda market of Jerusalem, with lunch on own.
  • Return to the hotel with time to relax and prepare for Shabbat.
  • 4:15 p.m. Meet in the lobby to depart by bus for Tzur Hadassah.
  • 5:00 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat services in Tzur Hadassah with Rabbi Stacey Blank, followed by home hospitality Shabbat dinner with local congregants.
  • Return to Jerusalem.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, February 27, 2016


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat services.
  • Meet in the hotel lobby and proceed to the Old City; enter through Jaffa Gate, walking through the alleyways of the Armenian Quarter.
  • Walk along the Rooftops of the Old City for a behind-the-scenes look at the various communities in Jerusalem and how they live alongside each other.
  • Lunch on own in the Old City.
  • 2:00 p.m. Explore the unexpected paths to Mt. Zion, with a visit to the Temple Mount overlook, King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper, and Dormition Abbey. Visit some Christian personalities and institutions with Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish Christian Relations.
  • Walk through Jerusalem’s famous Old City Market (shuk).
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the walls of the old city.
  • Free time in the Mamilla pedestrian arcade, a very contemporary shopping area with a whiff of the past, located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City; dinner on own.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, February 28, 2016


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 9:30a.m. Drive southwards.
  • 11:00a.m. The Resilience of People: Visit Sderot, to understand the challenges faced by residents in the south and there resilience and strength to overcome adversity.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • 2:00 p.m. Living on the Edge: Visit Moshav Netiv Ha’asarah, located on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, for an insight into the security complexities of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza while trying to create a thriving home, including a dialogue with a resident.
  • 4:00 p.m. Visit the Sha’ar Hanegev Reform community and meet with Rabbi Yael Karie to learn about her work and the challenges of working in this area, followed by dinner with Rabbi Yael Karie.
  • Return to Jerusalem.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, February 29, 2016  


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 8:00 a.m. Challenges and Triumphs of Religious Pluralism and Social Justice in Israel: Dialogue with Orly Erez Likovsky, Head of Legal Affairs at the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
  • 10:00 a.m. Living as a Jew in the Modern World: Special double session study program with leading scholars at the Hartman Institute.
  • Israel’s Social Challenges led by Micah Goodman.
  • Break
  • Pluralism led by Leon Weiner Dow.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • 1:30 p.m. East Jerusalem Status Report: Tour of East Jerusalem and the region, joined by Ir Amim
  • Return to the hotel with time to freshen up.
  • 6:00 p.m. Is the Two State Solution Still Viable? Meet with Gershon Baskin, founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) and the person responsible for the secret back channel between Israel and the Hamas that successfully negotiated the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.
  • Free time to explore Downtown Jerusalem, including the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall and the Nachalat Shiva neighbourhood, with dinner on own.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • 9:00 a.m. My Home in Gush Etzion: Dialogue with Oded Ravivi, Mayor of Efrat. Visit a few neighbourhoods and discuss their legal status.
  • Progress in the West Bank? Meet Rami Nazzal in Jerusalem and continue to the city of Ramallah for a tour of the city and dialogue with a local Palestinian. Driving by a Refugee camp and the separation wall.
  • Stop for lunch en route.
  • Continue to the city of Tel Aviv, known as the “city that never sleeps” with its centers of culture and recreation and national history such as the Habima Theater, sprawling beaches, Dizengoff Street and Rabin Square.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • 6:00 p.m. The Reform Jewish World: A glimpse at the Reform Movement in Israel with Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism
  • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

Overnight: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, March 2, 2016  


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 9:00 a.m. Challenge, Question, Engage and Enlighten: Text study at Bina, the Secular Yeshiva, which represents the Secular Jewish Renaissance and Yahadut Hevratit (Jewish Social Activism) in Israel..
  • Drive to Rishon LeZion.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • 1:00 p.m. Study seminar at the College of Management – Coleman College, for insights into Israel Economy, Start Up Nation and Cyber Security.
  • Return to Tel Aviv.
  • 6:30p.m. Dinner at the Middle-Eastern-style restaurant Maganda in Tel Aviv’s Yemenite Quarter, offering a varied menu of traditional salads and grilled meats.
  • Say farewell to Rabbi Nickerson and welcome Cantor Evan Kent.

Overnight: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

Thursday, March 3, 2016


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 9:00 a.m. A Stranger in a Strange Land: Tour of South Tel Aviv with a representative from the Refugee Hotline, meeting refugees from all over the world.
  • Lunch on own.
  • LaDa’at Ethnic Tasting Tour through Tel Aviv’s famous Levinsky Market, where you’ll find a combination of foods and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and hear the unique stories of the individuals who sell them.
  • Visit the Old City of Jaffa and stroll through the renovated artists’ colony and the old port.
  • Walk through the famous Jaffa Flea Market – “Shuk Hapishpishim”.
  • Walk through the museum at the Rabin Center, dedicated to the history of society and democracy in Israel. The life of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin serves as a time-thread connecting the faces and events of modern Israeli history.
  • Dinner on own and evening at leisure, perhaps at the Tachana, Tel Aviv’s renovated old train station and now a center of boutiques and good food, and one of Tel Aviv’s blooming hot spots.

Overnight: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

Friday, March 4, 2016


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • 9:00 a.m. Ethics & Dilemmas in the Field: Presentation and dialogue with Benzi Gruber, Deputy Commander of an Armored Corps brigade, including exclusive videos from previous IDF operations in Gaza depicting day-to-day dilemmas.
  • Visit the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly crafts fair and eateries; alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market and across the way Sheinkin Street, with its hip cafés and funky chic shopping.
  • Lunch on your own, en route.
  • 1:00 p.m. Urban Culture Tours of Tel Aviv, Combining Street Art, Language & Graffiti: Join Niro Taub , a local resident, to explore the urban culture of the city.
  • Time to prepare for Shabbat.
  • 5:30 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat at Kehilat Beit Tefilah Israeli, led by Rabbi Esteban Gottsfried.
  • 7:30 p.m. Shabbat dinner at Kimmel, offering an eclectic taster’s menu in a restored building (once the property of a Turkish Sultan).
  • Walk back to the hotel.

Overnight: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

Saturday, March 5, 2016  


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free Day in Tel Aviv for an opportunity to:
  • Take in the grand art collection at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
  • Meander through the Old City of Jaffa
  • Explore the newly gentrified Neve Zedek neighborhood
  • Visit some of Tel Aviv’s legendary Art Galleries
  • Enjoy the Ganei Yehoshua Park on the Yarkon River
  • Wander through the Tachana, Tel Aviv’s newly renovated old train station, now a center of boutiques and good food, and one of Tel Aviv’s blooming hot spots
  • Walk or bike the Blue Route in Tel Aviv, with its beautiful coastline and Mediterranean atmosphere, from the Jaffa Ridge in the south to Tel Aviv Port in the north, OR take the Green Route, passing through Ganei Yehoshua along the Yarkon River.
  • Walk through the trendy Tel Aviv Port
  • Late check-out from the hotel.
  • 6:00 p.m. Farewell dinner at Goshen, an upscale grill restaurant located on historic Nachalat Binyamin Street.



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