B’nai Mitzvah Tour of Israel

A 10 day trip to Israel 
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Pass down the traditions of generations while in the presence of the Temple Mount, watching your children declare their adulthood through the recitation of the Torah portion of their B’nai Mitzvah. Listen to the Mediterranean waves splash along Tel Aviv’s silky sands. Bask in the hidden, shimmering pools of the Golan Heights and celebrate life by sipping freshly made grape juice produced on a vineyard outside Jerusalem. From the splendors of the ancient world to the pleasures of contemporary luxury, the entire family can rejoice in the golden hues of history and the unique adventures of the desert landscape. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Galilee, Golan Heights

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Jerusalem – A Celebration in Jerusalem

Jerusalem has beckoned to pilgrims of the world’s three major monotheistic religions for over 2,000 years. Minarets and gilded domes glint in the sunlight. Spires and the golden hues of Jerusalem stones sweep across the hills. Cypress trees and date palm trees adorn the skyline. Narrow cobblestone lanes wind between historical structures and the locals maintain a deep connection to culture and heritage. The family lands at Ben Gurion International Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon your arrival.

You make the brief journey south to the “City on the Hill,” passing the desert ridges for a vibrant panorama of Jerusalem’s ancient, vibrant streets. After settling into the comforts of your hotel, your guide meets the family in the lobby. Your introduction into the city begins at the City of David, taking you deep into the underwater systems erected three millennia ago. The stone remains cool to the touch as you travel through the 1,750-foot long tunnel carved into the mountain. You can hear the continuing rush of water traveling through the subterranean network.

You continue to the five-acre limestone quarry of Zedekiah’s Cave, running beneath the Muslim Quarter and Old City. Your footsteps echo through the 300-foot long chamber that contains resounding clarity, similar to a concert hall. Drops of water trickle down from the ceiling. Ancient stonecutters crafted unique patterns and formations unto the quarry. Your guide points to chisel marks and engravings written in Arabic, Greek, Armenian, and English. Your connection to the ancient roots of the city grows deeper with every step you take through the historic chambers.

What’s Included: airport transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 2: Jerusalem – Shabbat In the City on the Hill

On Shabbat, the ambiance of Jerusalem changes from a city of abundant, living history, to a city of celebration and serenity. Life in the Muslim and Christian Quarters continue as usual, and the cafes along the city streets open their doors at a slower pace. The scent of date palms blends with the aroma of freshly brewed Arabica coffee. Orthodox families venture to the Western Wall to worship in traditional services beneath the spreading sunlight. You make your way along the Haas Promenade to bask in the beauty of the city inside the Talpiot neighborhood.

A plaque on the viewing platforms demarcates where Abraham left his servants before descending into the valley towards Mount Moriah with Isaac. The ancient lanes of the city reveal themselves, and offer tremendous panoramas of the gilded hues of Jerusalem and bleached white stones peppering the rolling hills. The aroma of pine fills the air. The Israel Museum offers displays of the Dead Sea Scrolls and detailed exhibits on the state’s thousands of years of history.

The family makes their way to the chocolate boutiques of the city, which celebrates the emerging trend of decadent handcrafted treats crafted along the streets of Jerusalem. You enter a sweets shop, located in the bohemian neighborhood of Ein Karem. The confectionary uses cocoa beans from around the world to reinvent the familiar chocolate flavors. The aroma of bittersweet dark chocolate fills the room, accentuated by the zesty scent of passion fruit. Spiced chai masala offers a zip to your palate, and the familiar flavor of vanilla helps soothe the lingering exotic taste. 

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 3: Jerusalem – Sifting Through the Past

The soaring palm trees shade the white stone of Safra Square. The Biblical heart of the city reveals the royal acropolis and preserved walls of a Canaanite fortress. History encircles the city and stands beneath the meandering cobblestone streets. After breakfast, you make your way to the Emek Tzurim National Park to witness the work of archeologists and volunteers searching for the past through hidden treasures. The park is located on the western slopes of the Mount of Olives, just outside the Old City walls.

A sifting project takes place around the base of the hill encompassing nearly two million square feet. Buckets of soil stand at the center of a large, wide tent. You pass along the troughs filled with dirt taken from the dig site and help sift through the rocks and sand in search of artifacts pertaining to the Temple Period. An archeologist guide explains the importance of history and how it pertains to the present, especially considering Jewish tradition. Pottery shards and coins from the era of the Second Temple are unearthed almost daily.

The family can dig their hands into the soil to feel the grainy texture of the past and present landscape. Outside the encampment winds a blue and white marked trail set beneath the oak and olive trees. Red poppies blossom above the lush grass.  In the distance, you can see East Jerusalem and the glinting golden cupola of the Dome of the Rock. You continue into the hills overlooking the Mount of Olives to find ancient tombs, including that of Absalom, the rebellious son of King David, carved out of the colorful rocks.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Jerusalem – A Step into Adulthood

In the morning, the cafes open their doors to the bustling cobblestone streets of the city. Before dawn, the echoing call to prayer sounded from the minarets of the Muslim Quarter. After sunrise, groups of men and women make their way to the Western Wall for morning prayers. The aroma of dates and pomegranates blend with the earthen scent of the ancient stone walls. The family has an early morning appointment at the Southern Wall for your child to make the fascinating journey into adulthood.

The family gathers around the Temple Mount, eager to witness the ceremony performed alongside the holy edges of the Southern Wall. The tranquil atmosphere heightens the excitement, and the ceremony is performed in accordance with the family’s traditions. On this most special of B’nai Mitzvahs, your children recite their Torah portion amongst views looking out to the Judean Hills and over the lush canopy of the Mount of Olives. You sit on ancient stones that were once the original stairs that led to the Second Temple. The excitement doesn’t wane and instead continues long into the afternoon, filling the family with cheer.

After making celebratory ice cream at the Clore Garden of Science, you travel to a vineyard near the edges of the city to help harvest the grapes dangling from the vines. The family enjoys the waxy texture of the peel and the shading leaves on the vines. The real celebration arrives after experiencing the harvest, as the family steps into barrels filled with the harvest grapes and stomps on the fruit. The juice bursts from the skin. The squishy texture slides around your toes as you indulge in the festive spirit of the day. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Galilee – Adventures in the Galilee

In the morning, the churches of the Armenian Quarter open their doors to a quiet ambiance set beneath the stone archways. The aroma of crackling filo dough soaked in honey emanates from a local bakery in the Old City, which has been crafting delicious sweets since the 1860s. After breakfast, your private transfer meets the family at the hotel and escorts you to Mount Tabor, located in the Lower Galilee. The hillside rises to a summit at 1,640 feet above sea level, overlooking the Jezreel Valley. Jewish tradition says the prophetess Deborah led the Israelites to victory over the Canaanite army from upon the foothills. The landscape has been the object of contestation for millennia, including during the Crusades. Thrill seekers use the summit to launch hang-gliders. You can see winged silhouettes circling the sky.

The view over the valley reveals farms and greenery. The 13th-century walls adorn the summit, dividing the neighborhoods into Greek Orthodox and Latin Catholic. The family continues into the Upper Galilee on a thrilling four-wheel-drive tour, boarding the all-terrain vehicle to view the magnificent canyons, mountains, and forts decorating the landscape, leading you eventually to the Golan Heights. The mountainous northern region contains nesting eagles and remnants of settlements dating back to more than 5,000 years ago. Pass by ripe cherry and raspberry orchards before reaching the summit of Mount Bental.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Galilee – The Depths of Golan

In the morning, the aroma of cherries and grapes fills the air. The wake along the Sea of Galilee cast small ripples over the water and lapping against the lakeshores. Your private guide meets you in the morning, ready to take you out into the landscape of Upper Galilee once again, this time leading the family into the Golan Heights for an immersive view of the unforgettable landscape. In the hilltop town of Safed, workers demonstrate how to braid Shabbat and Havdalah candles. The expert craftspeople display the largest Havdalah candle ever made, containing 180 strands. You venture into the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve to discover the Hexagon Pool. Water from the Meshushim Stream cascades into the rippling pond below.

Basalt pillars form the walls and frame the small waterfalls. Each column reaches a height of 16 feet tall with five or six sides. The wall looks manmade but was carved out of lava flow and the constant rush of water. You can dip your toes into the refreshing pool to feel the fresh water on your skin. The temperature averages 64 degrees year round, which provides a rejuvenating quality in the summer months. You continue to Manara Cliff for an exciting journey rappelling down the rock face.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Tel Aviv – Stories for the Ages

Today you travel through the gorgeous scenery of Galilee, passing vineyards and orchards to reach the coastal plains and the ruins of ancient Caesarea. The city was first established in the 4th century BCE when the Phoenicians built a harbor along the water. Stretches of dark patches off the coast represent the remaining foundations of breakwaters erected under Herod’s rule. The Mediterranean Sea laps at the shoreline. The 19th-century minaret still stands beside the coastline, glistening with Jerusalem stone.

The northern gate represents Crusader City and the ramparts used to protect the harbor. The southern gate leads to the Herodian Amphitheatre. At its peak, the theater held 10,000 seats and offered captivating gladiatorial battles. A plaza connects the harbor the former palace. Geometrical mosaics decorate the adjacent remains of the bathhouse, offering insight into the elegant designs of the Roman architecture. Before reaching Tel Aviv, the family stops at Kibbutz Sdot Yam to visit the house of Hannah Senesh. The legacy of the World War II Special Operations Executive paratrooper offers inspiration to visitors through the heroic story of her choices.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 8: Tel Aviv – Banks of Shores of Tel Aviv

The skyline of Tel Aviv soars above the golden sands of the elegant shoreline. Locals stroll, jog, and cycle along the beachside promenade. The ancient harbor of Old Jaffa glints with Jerusalem stone beneath the spreading sunlight. For a unique view of the city and its surroundings, the family ventures out on a cycling tour of the Yarkon River. The body of water stretches for more than 16 miles through Tel Aviv, eventually reaching the Mediterranean Sea. The scent of pine and olive trees fills the air. Boats glide along the sea and locals picnic along the verdant grasses of Yarkon National Park.

The gentle breeze brushes against your cheeks as you pass the climbing wall. You follow the path connected to the 375-mile long Israel National Trail, connecting the Golan to the Negev. Ripe pomelos and oranges provide a sweet citrus in the air. You return to the center of the city, embracing the urban ambiance of popular cafes and boutique shops. The historical homes on Bialik Street glow with vibrant colors alongside rustling palm trees. The original Tel Aviv Town Hall contains documents relating to the city’s history before and after Israel’s status as a contemporary state.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Tel Aviv – Shabbat in the Beachside City

Tel Aviv remains active at all hours of the day; however, on Shabbat, the city takes its time to wake up. Morning waves lap against the empty beaches. The locals enjoy leisurely strolls along the promenade, taking the time to embrace the serene ambiance. Cafes open their doors later in the day before filling the streets with the scent of pastries and freshly brewed coffee. You immediately notice the contrast of Shabbat in ancient Jerusalem versus the vibrant atmosphere of Tel Aviv. The day is for the family to relax and indulge in the splendors of the city, still reveling in the excitement of your children's’ B’nai Mitzvahs. Murals decorate buildings with political and social messages.

The art represents a sub-culture that has gained popularity over the last decade, beautifying the streets that would otherwise look barren. The Great Mosque of Jaffa was erected in the 19th century under the rule of the Ottoman governor. The minaret overlooks the turquoise hues of the Mediterranean Sea and contains embellishments from stones taken from the ancient cities of Ashqelon and Caesarea. The leisurely pace of the day returns to a vivacious night after the city lights the Havdalah candles.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 10: Tel Aviv – At the Heart of B’nai Mitzvah

The family has come together to celebrate the movement from childhood into adulthood amidst the beauty of Israel. Enjoy a final breakfast amongst the soothing waves, gold sands, and charming ambiance of Tel Aviv. Locals fill the cafes while sipping strong Arabica coffee. The aroma of honey-soaked baklava lingers in the air around the bustling Carmel Market. Jewelers flash gold and silver necklaces in the window, each adorned with a Hamsa or Star of David. The Flea Market in Jaffa fills with antique goods and colorful vintage clothing, celebrating the bohemian charm of the restored ancient city. When the family is ready, your private transfer meets you at the hotel. You make your way out of Tel Aviv and to Ben Gurion International Airport for the flight home.   

What’s Included: breakfast, airport transfer 

Price

Starting Price 

$3,995
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.