Discover Israel through your taste buds!
If you consider yourself a foodie, then this trip is for you! This special Birthright Israel trip is the first one of its kind and allows you to explore the diversity of Israel and its culture through food.
Food is at the core of many Jewish customs and culture. So, what better way to experience Israel than through a culinary lens?
In addition to all the 'must see' sites, prepare your taste buds for these special activities:
• Visit local markets to learn about seasonal produce and local ingredients.
• Meet influential leaders in Israel’s culinary scene: chefs, food editors, restaurant owners.
• Experience a culinary tour of Jaffa – home to some of the best hummus in Israel.
• Tour a winery and an olive oil press in the north.
• Complete a MasterChef challenge on an organic farm in the desert .
By the end of the trip - you'll be full. But you'll also see that “Jewish” food is not just lox, bagels and cream cheese and that Israeli food is not just falafel.
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Arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport. You will be met and assisted through customs by IsraelExperts staff and will meet your Israeli tour guide and driver who will be with you throughout your tour.
Enjoy an opening breakfast and an introduction to Israeli Culinary by Janna Gur, the chief editor of "Al Hashulchan", the premier Israeli food and wine magazine, and eat at a local restaurant .
Take in the view of Haifa Bay from the top of the beautiful gardens of the Bahai temple in the city of co-existence.
Tour the ancient city of Akko and taste the local produce and spices.
Cool off during the hot summer by kayaking on the Jordan River.
Hike down Mount Arbel, a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberius, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue.
Experience a cultural encounter and a Druze cooking workshop bursting with flavor.
Hike the Nahal Amud Nature Reserve, also known as the Wadi Amud, a stream in the Upper Galilee that spills into the Sea of Galilee.
Explore Tzfat - the ancient and modern home of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Tour ancient synagogues and artists’ quarters.
Visit an Israeli winery in the Galilee.
Participate in a unique coexistence seminar at Givat Haviva.
Mifgash ("Encounter") Begins. Today you will be joined by 8 young Israelis who will be traveling with you for the next 5 days.
You will have the privilege to explore Israel through their eyes (and they through yours) and to forge new and lasting friendships.
Lunch at Shuk Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem and enjoy a culinary Workshop.
Tour the Old City of Jerusalem. Visit the Jewish quarter and be witness to millennia of Jewish history, from the time of biblical kings and prophets to modern celebrations and conflicts. Walk to the Cardo, the street built by the Romans in the sixth century, situated 20 feet below modern street level. One part of the Cardo is a restored arcade of Jewish galleries and shops, while the other part is an open-air reconstructed street. Take time for personal prayer and reflection at the Western Wall (Kotel).
Visit Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the Holocaust. The museum presents the historic events that befell Europe following the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany and the fate of the Jews under Nazi rule in the occupied countries.
Visit Mount Herzl, Israel's military cemetery and the burial place of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and Theodore Herzl.
Take part in a special Kabbalat Shabbat (greeting of Shabbat) at the Western Wall (Kotel), one of the holiest sites in Judaism. Receive an informative introduction to Shabbat in Jerusalem at the Western Wall followed by a home hospitality including a five-course meal. Tickle your taste buds with an authentic Shabbat experience with home-made traditional Jewish foods from nine courtiers around the globe.
Spend Shabbat relaxing with your group with various programming and free time at the hotel
Engage in the “Changing Map of the Middle East” activity which focuses on the political and historical background that led to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and the current geo-political situation in the Middle East.
Take part in the Havdalla ceremony, ending the Shabbat and welcoming the new week.
Enjoy a night out in Jerusalem an area full of restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes and shops.
Explore innovative agricultural and environmental concepts at Shvil Hasalat (the Salad Trail) where you will be able to enjoy fresh organic vegetables of the region and take part in a “Top Chef” style cooking challenge.
Have a Desert Experience. Start the adventure riding camel-back as the sun sets over the desert. Partake in a light taste of Bedouin tradition and culture including a welcome ceremony of coffee and tea followed by a Middle-Eastern dinner served in the traditional style seated on rugs and pillows in a Bedouin style tent. Accommodation is in a mock up of a traditional Bedouin tent. At night, enjoy a group gathering around an Israeli style bonfire and take a night hike.
Climb Masada via the earthen Roman ramp built 2000 years ago to storm this desert fortress and view the remarkable excavations including Herod's Palace and stables, the ancient synagogue and the ancient water system.
Enjoy time relaxing at and floating in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth.
Farewell for Israelis – End of Mifgash.
Enjoy a night out in Tel Aviv in an area full of trendy restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes and shops.
Visit Independence Hall where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's Independence in 1948.
Explore Jaffa, one of the world's ancient ports. Modern Jaffa has a heterogeneous population of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Jaffa is a major tourist site with an exciting combination of old and new. You may have time to explore the local flea market called Shuk Hapishpeshim for all kinds of hidden treasures (and delicious things to eat).
In addition, you’ll be touring Jaffa through a culinary lens and learn about the tasty delights in this ancient port city including what’s arguably Israel’s best hummus and tasting shakshuka at one of the original establishments who put this dish on the map.
There will be other culinary delights waiting for you in Tel Aviv!
Wrap-up session – Reflecting on the Taglit -Birthright Israel experience.
Travel to Ben Gurion International Airport for check-in and flight back home.