Celebrating Our Strength and Bonds as Women in the Homeland of Our People 

July 14—25, 2019

Great Neck Women’s Journey to Israel led by Rabbi Tara Feldman

Sunday, July 14, 2019: Depart NY for Tel Aviv

Monday, July 15, 2019: Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport

  • Assistance Upon Arrival
  • Drive to the Upper Galilee to Kibbutz Kfar Blum, for a luxurious stay at the kibbutz movement’s flagship guest hotel.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Festive Welcome Dinner at the kibbutz.
  • Welcome to Israel, Trip Orientation, and Opening Ceremony.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, Kfar Blum

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

  • Optional Early Morning Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the kibbutz hotel.
  • Morning hike at the Tel Dan Nature Preserve—walk along one of Tel Dan’s ancient trails, weaving around the waters of the Dan River and nearby bubbling brooks, enjoying the tall treetops, exploring a few of the extraordinary archaeological sites from the time of Abraham through the period of the First Temple. (Do we put in Spa Option for anyone who would like to skip the hike?)
  • Drive to the magical, mystery city of
  • Explore the alleyways, art galleries, ancient synagogues and stories that have made Tsfat the city of secrets, including dialogues with Kabbalistic artist Abraham Lowenthal and writer and artist Jenine Bar El.
  • More secrets revealed with a Tsfat Mikvah Experience.
  • Lunch on your own in Tsfat.
  • Ascend to the top of Bental on the Golan Heights for a view into Syria and a short security seminar for an update on the latest developments. Possible meeting with a female intelligence officer in the IDF.
  • Visit the award winning Golan Winery for wine tasting and a tour of the winery.
  • Dinner at the kibbutz hotel.
  • Free evening.

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, Kfar Blum

Wednesday, July 17, 2018

  • Breakfast at the kibbutz hotel.
  • Begin the trek to Jerusalem.
  • Stop at the Kinneret Cemetery to visit the graves of Zionist pioneer and poet laureate Rachel (There are the Golan Hills…) and modern Israel’s Naomi Shemer (Jerusalem of Gold) for a glimpse at the power of the poem in contemporary Israeli life.
  • Drive into the Carmel Mountains.
  • Visit the Druse town of Daliat a Carmel for lunch at Nura’s Kitchen, hosted by Nura Husaisi, who worked at the Carmel Forest Spa with some of Israel’s leading chefs until she opened her home to guests.
  • Continue south to Caesarea, with its excavated Roman Theatre, Hippodrome and Bath House, including a walk on the sores of the Mediterranean to the renovated Crusader city with its cafes and galleries.
  • Drive to Jerusalem.
  • Ascend to Jerusalem with a stop at Tayelet for an overview of the city and an opportunity to recite the traditional Shehechianu blessing upon arrival in Jerusalem.
  • Dinner at the Tachana, the refurbished Turkish Railroad Station.
  • Free evening in Jerusalem.

Overnight: Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, July 18, 2019

  • Optional: Morning Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided walk through the Old City of Jerusalem with a chance to explore the Jewish, Christian, Armenian, and Muslim Quarters.  See the archaeological remains that date back 3,000 years ago to the days of the First Temple, including the Nea Church, the Biblical, Hasmonean, and Roman remains in the open Cardo and the Broad Wall.
  • Western Wall Tunnel Tour
  • Lunch on your own in the Old City.
  • Drive just south of Jerusalem to Kever Rachel in Beit Lechem (Bethleham), where our mother Rachel is buried. Rabbi Tara will share prayers, texts, and insights into the life and impact of Rachel Imaynu.
  • Dinner with Zohar scholar Melila Helner, Rabbi Yael Karrie, and Rabbi Chen Zfoni who join in conversation on the subject “The Birth of Israeli Judaism.”
  • Optional: Late night visit to a Jerusalem Challa Bakery.

Overnight: Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, July 19, 2019

  • Optional: Morning Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the six million.
  • Hike in the Jerusalem Hills, followed by lunch at one of the wineries that celebrate the return to wine making after a several thousand year pause.
  • Return to the hotel for free time and a chance to get ready for Shabbat.
  • Meet Rabbi Bill Berk who will help create a transition to Shabbat, teaching, The Magic of Jerusalem’s Shabbat Culture.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat, followed by Shabbat Dinner and an evening of sharing with a few women from Rabbi Chen Zfoni’s community in Raananah. (or—Shabbat of a Lifetime—get a taste of Jerusalem Shabbat culture in the homes of families that volunteer for “Shabbat of a Life-time” hosting of groups, including the home of Rabbi Bill and Batya Berk)

Overnight: Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat (Saturday), July 20, 2019

  • Morning Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • “Trail to Tefilah”—walking meditation, reflection, singing, silence, Torah learning—all in preparation for morning prayer at the Azarat Yisrael Plaza next to the Kotel.
  • Shabbat Morning Prayers and Torah Reading.
  • Shabbat Lunch at the hotel. (or Shabbat of a Life-time at one or two Jerusalem homes)
  • Free time to enjoy Shabbat afternoon.
  • Shabbat Afternoon Options (Choose one for the Group):
  • Agnon in Jerusalem—Walk the streets of Central Jerusalem, using the writings of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel’s first Nobel Laureate as a guide, exploring the Jerusalem of over 100 years ago, its differences and similarities to today.
  • The Poet and the Windmill—Guided walk through Yemin Moshe using the poetry of Yehudah Amichai as a guide.
  •   The German Colony of Jerusalem—Walk through the German Colony, built by the German Templars in the late 1800’s, with their unique buildings and stories that have become part of Jerusalem’s lore.
  • Jerusalem: A City of Many Traditions—Tour of Mt. Zion, walk along the ramparts and free time in the Old City Market—the Shuk.
  • Seudah Shlishit—a time for singing and a third Shabbat meal.
  • Night time program to be planned by Rabbi Tara and Rabbi Chen Zfoni, Understanding Each Other Across the American/Israeli Divide.

Overnight: Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, July 21, 2019

  • Morning Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided walking tour of the ancient City of David, including the story of the women who helped shape ancient Judaism.
  • Lunch in the Old City.
  • The View from Inside the Government—meet MK Rachel Azaria of the Kulanu Party.
  • The View from the Other Side of the Mechitza—Orthodox women making waves and fending for a feminist spiritual Judaism—meet two of the following: Mish Kosoy (Pardes), Rachel Berkowitz (Pardes), Racheli Frankel (Matan), Rabbanit Carmit Fientuch (Ramban Shul), Esti Rosenberg (Roshat Midrasha Migdal Oz), Tehila Friedman (Modern Orthodox activist), Yedidah Koren (Hartman Institute).
  • Following a break, meet Racheli Ibenboim, who works for the empowerment of women in her society, The View from the Haredi World.
  • Free evening and dinner on your own.
  • Optional: Night Visit to Shuk Macheneh Yehudah, one of the most famous markets in the Middle East, with a bustling night scene capturing the attention of Jerusalem’s younger crowd.

Overnight:  Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, July 22, 2019

  • Optional Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Drive to Ein Kerem and spend the morning with Niflaot Ein Kerem, a group of women from across the Middle East who take you into their homes and invite you into their stories, their culture, their music, and on tours of the historical houses they call home. Enjoy their coffee, baked specialties, and early lunch.
  • Short walking tour of beautiful Ein Kerem, with its rich history dating back thousands of years and including its most famous son, John the Baptist.
  • Afternoon Encounter with New Spirit at Beit Alliance—meet CEO Inbar Weiss for a tour and explanation of the efforts of a new generation to breathe life into the old heart of ancient Jerusalem.
  • Drive to Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city built in 2,000 years.
  • Late afternoon meeting with Pnina Falego Agenyahu, an Ethiopian woman who shares her immigrant story.
  • Free evening and dinner on your own.
  • Optional Evening Walks to Rothschild Blvd., Neve Tzedek, the Tachana, old Jaffa, and the promenade along the beach.

Overnight: Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

  • Optional early morning pre-breakfast Bike Ride along the Tel Aviv Promenade.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Encountering Israel’s Toughest IssueThe Settlements. Spend the day in and around Gush Etzion and meet settlers and Palestinians for a chance to hear first hand the dreams and the frustrations of those caught in the middle of one of the most challenging conflicts in the world.  Meet Rabbinit Hadassah Froman from Tekoa who has been intimately involved in the effort to bring Muslims and Jews together around spiritual, religious issues, as well as being a pioneer in Jewish/Muslim peacemaking.  Speak with settlers from Efrat.  Meet Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger who work in an organization called Shorashim (Roots) and are involved in front line co-existence work.
  • Return to Tel Aviv for rest, free time, and then a chance to process the day with Rabbi Tara and Ferry.
  • Dinner on your own and free evening in Tel Aviv.

Overnight: Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

  • Optional Torah Yoga.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Short drive to Alma and a chance to meet Ruth Calderon, founder, and former MK: Taking Back Our Holy Texts.
  • At Alma meet Shirel Horovitz who leads an Art Tour: Art, Jewish Values, and Israeli Public Culture.
  • Lunch at Sarona Market.
  • Time to shop and prepare for the return to the U.S.
  • Concluding Dinner—Sharing Impressions, Sharing Dreams

Overnight: Return Flight to the U.S.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

  • Arrive back in the United States.