The program is filled with visits and events that are not published or mentioned in the itinerary, and will be provided to vetted participants only.
Depart on an overnight flight to Israel. For those who wish to come earlier (or not travel on Saturday), please inquire about our special hotel rates in Tel Aviv.
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport. Assistance through customs by our airport representative. Transfer to the hotel in Tel Aviv. Check in to your hotel. Dinner will be served 7:00 PM in the main dining room of hotel.
After breakfast, we will have our orientation meeting with our tour host, Ron Wexler, as well as our guides and staff.
Today we will spend the day in the Gaza Strip region. We will visit the cities and places that were most affected by the Hamas aggression. Our visits will include Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot, and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. These cities and towns are in the 15-30 second warning zone (maximum time to get shelter at time of "Red" siren alerts). We will also visit a border military installation and the Erez crossing (the border crossing between Gaza and Israel). We will listen to expert analyses on Israeli military doctrine, new tactical issues (Iron Dome, drones, tunnels, the closure of Ben-Gurion Airport), and lessons learned.
On our way back to Tel Aviv, continue to Latrun, which is the official Israel Defense Force Commemoration Center and armament display. Latrun is the fortress that was strategically built on Israel's main crossroads and throughout history protected the City of Jerusalem. The program here will include laying a wreath at the Wall of Names.
After breakfast, we depart from Tel Aviv but before doing so we stop to visit the historic Independence Hall in which David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. From here we begin our journey to the community of Alfei Menashe. Our focus is the security and defense of this stronghold in the so-called West Bank, overlooking the heart of Israel. You will be amazed when you set foot on the expansive campus of the Ariel University, in Samaria (West Bank) and listen to a security briefing on the absurdity of the “Two-State,” solution. Then, after a short visit to Caesarea, the ancient Roman capital in the region, we continue north along the coastal road to the beautiful city of Haifa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. From the Carmel mountaintop we enjoy a picturesque panoramic view of the port and gulf beneath.
A neighborhood in Alfei Menashe
Ariel University, in Samaria (West Bank)
Breakfast at our hotel. This morning we will visit a Military Installation (pending confirmation) in or around Haifa. Drive to Acre and begin our tour with a visit to the underground crusaders city and halls. We will walk through the narrow passages and alleyways and emerge at the old port of Acre (Akko). Continuing further north, we will arrive at Rosh Hanikra to visit the spectacular limestone grottos at the Mediterranean. This is situated at the most northern seashore border with Lebanon. We will then continue to the northern border towards the east, the line of defense where Israel faces Hezbollah. Here are the spots that triggered both the first and second Lebanese wars. We will view the border and see the border patrol IDF soldiers.
We will then make our way in-land to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee.
Port of Acre (Akko)
Dinner followed by a panel discussion.
Breakfast at our hotel. This morning we will visit some of the biblical sites around the Sea of Galilee. We will then drive to the northern border of Israel. Here we will visit with members of one of the kibbutzim that are on the front line and meet with soldiers that are stationed at the border.
Here we will get a first hand account of the current situation in this volatile region - the border of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Next we will drive up to the Golan Heights, where we will visit Har Ben Tal and the Kunaitra border crossing between Israel and Syria. This border crossing was fought for and changed hands a number of times between the Asad army and the Syrian rebels. This place was also the site of the most heroic fight between the IDF and the Syrian army during the Yom Kippur war. If time permits, we will view the film Oz 77 about the Yom Kippur War, and discuss the security issues that persist 44 years since that war.
We make our way back to Tiberias, stopping for a view of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley from the Mount of Beatitudes.
Return to our hotel for dinner followed by a panel discussion: "Israel - Western society's last line of defense"
After breakfast, we will leave the Galilee region making our way up to Jerusalem. Our first stop will be Mt. of Precipice (Nazareth), a sheer cliff, 397 meters high, and one of the best observation points over the Jezreel Valley and the surrounding mountains: Carmel, Moreh, Gilboa and Mt. Tabor. We will continue our journey south to see the excavations at Beit Shean which houses some of Israel's most spectacular archaeological finds. We will continue along the Jordan Valley (and the Jordanian border with Israel), making our way to visit Jericho (pending security clearance) located in the Palestinian Authority. Continue to Jerusalem stopping atop Mt. Scopus for our first view of Jerusalem, the City of Gold.
Proceed to our hotel for check in.
This evening we are all invited to a Kabalat Shabbat, the receiving of the Sabbath service. This is a unique and heartfelt service at the Western Wall with many local Jewish worshippers. This service will be followed by a traditional Shabbat Dinner with Ron Wexler.
Mt. of Precipice (Nazareth)
Excavations at Beit Shean
We will start our touring program today on the Mt. of Olives where we will have a view of the entire city spread out before us.
We will then continue to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. Driving along the coastal line we make our way to Masada. This was the last pocket of insurrection in the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire where 960 men, women and children defied the might of Rome and fought for three years after the destruction of Jerusalem. We will visit King Herod's Palace, the Synagogue, and a very sophisticated water and irrigation system that is 2000 years old. On top of the rock we will hear a presentation by Ron Wexler - Never Again.
Later in the day a special treat awaits us as we go bathing in the "heavy water" of the Dead Sea.
After a fun time at the Dead Sea we will return to our hotel in Jerusalem.
This is the evening of the Jerusalem Day celebrations, and we will be there!!
Evening celebrations, 2017 Jerusalem Day
King Herod's Palace
Breakfast at our hotel. The highlight of today is participation in the Jerusalem Day Parade celebrating the 51st year of unification, 1967 - 2018 (Six Day War with men and women who took part in liberating Jerusalem). This is a major event for the whole country, but especially in Jerusalem - not to be missed! Our activities will be in conjunction with the Jerusalem Day celebrations, including the amazing Jerusalem Day Parade.
Jerusalem celebrates. Black & white image: Moshe Dayan and the Generals entering Jerusalem in the Six Day War (Lions Gate)
Paratroopers at the Western Wall in 1967 and 2017
We will start our touring program today on the Temple Mount, the site of El Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. We will see some of the southern wall excavations - this southern side of the temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher western side. We continue through the Old City where we will trace some of the footsteps of Jesus and continue to the reconstructed Jewish Quarter. We will walk through the Cardo, the original Roman street and see the remains of the massive wall built by King Hezekiah. We will exit the city and make our way to the Israeli Parliament-Knesset for a special tour and meeting with Knesset members. Return to our hotel for dinner (Time permitting, we visit to the Israel Museum, where we will view the famous Jerusalem models of the Second Temple era (King Herod era) and the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept).
Our program this evening:
OPTIONAL PRIVATE DINNER WITH JUDGE JEANINE AND INVITED GUEST. PRIME MINISTER BIBI NETANYAHU.(If PM Netanyahu’s schedule has a last minute change, other Israeli political leaders will be in attendance.)
COST: $500 includes picture with Judge Jeanine and Prime Minister Netanyahu
Church of the Holy Sepulchre