WHC Israel Family Trip 2023

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An Israel Adventure

This August, join Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Sue Shankman and Cantor Susan Bortnick for the trip of a lifetime as we spend 11 days exploring the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, the lush beauty of the Sea of Galilee, and of course the sacred history of Jerusalem.

You’ll stay in some of the finest accommodations Israel has to offer and will experience everything from Masada and the Dead Sea to Yad Vashem and the Old City, plus many more along the way.

And if you’ve ever wanted a b’nei mitzvah in the Holy Land, whether you’re 13, 83, or anything in-between, that opportunity is included, at Ezrat Israel in Jerusalem!

The trip is open to everyone, so invite your family and friends (even if they’re not WHC members) to come along.

So sign up today! A $500 per person deposit holds your spot, with final payment due May 31.



Wednesday, August 2: Depart USA

Depart Dulles International Airport to Tel Aviv; United Airlines flight #72 ETD: 10:45 pm.

Thursday, August 3: Welcome to Israel!

Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. UA # 72 ETA: 4:40 pm. Meeting and assistance through customs. Transfer to Tel Aviv. Welcome dinner. Overnight: Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday, August 4: Peres Center – Nachalat Binyamin

Breakfast at hotel. Visit Peres Center for Peace and Innovation; The center, founded by Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Israel Shimon Peres, explores Shimon Peres’ vision for Peace in the Middle East and Israel as a leading start-up nation. Time permitting: Visit the Palmach museum, an interactive museum displaying the legacy of the Elite striking force of the Haganah and Israel battle for Independence. Stroll through Nachlat Binyamin Arts and Crafts market. Join Beit Tefilah Israeli for a musical Kabbalat Shabbat at Tel Aviv beach. Group Shabbat dinner. Overnight: Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv. Shabbat Shalom

Saturday, August 5: Past Meeting the Future

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Giv’at Hakibutzim; Visit the Ayalon Institute to reveal a pre-state secret. Tour of Jaffa’s old port and artist’s colony. Tour of Tel Aviv; Walk through Neve Tzedek to Rothchild Blvd. Afternoon: Visit the newly opened Anu Museum of the Jewish People. Overnight: Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv

Sunday, August 6: Caesarea – Haifa – Acre

Breakfast at hotel. Depart Tel Aviv, traveling via the coastal highway to Caesarea, visit the Roman theater and walk along the Mediterranean coast. Drive to Ussfya Druze village; meet this unique ethnic group that tied its fate with the fate of Israel. Home hospitality followed by traditional lunch. Proceed to Haifa; View the Bahai Shrine and world-famous Bahai gardens. Visit Acre; UNESCO world heritage city; Visit the Crusader’s Halls and underground city. Dinner and overnight: Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz hotel.

Monday, August 7: Hula Valley – Golan Heights – Upper Galilee

Breakfast at hotel. Hike Tel Dan nature reserve and Biblical city. Board your jeep to ascend the Golan Heights for insight into the strategic complexity of Israel’s Northern borders. Continue to Kibbutz Misgav Am for security briefing and meeting with Kibbutz members living on the borderline. Rafting down the Jordan River. Dinner followed by lantern-lit tour of Nimrod fortress. Overnight: Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz hotel

Tuesday, August 8: Sefad-Kfar Kedem-Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Sefad, famous for its role in the development of Talmud and mysticism; visit its exquisite artists’ quarter, cobbled streets, and old synagogues. Visit Kfar Kedem Biblical village; Experience and recreate the day-to-day life of this ancient land. Donkey ride, Biblical activities, and lunch. Drive to Jerusalem. Shehecheyanu ceremony on Mount Scopus overlooking the “Golden City’. Overnight: Orient hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, August 9: Old and New City of Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel. Enter the Old City of Jerusalem – A small city with three great religions. Our visit to the Old City will take us to the Southern Wall excavations, Davidson Center, the Western Wall, the Western Wall Tunnel, the Via Dolorosa, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Walk along the Arab Shuk and the Roman Cardo. View the Knesset and the Supreme Court. Guided tour of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial including the Children Pavilion. Special b’nei mitzvah twinning project followed by a ceremony and certificate presentation. Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, August 10: Mazel Tov B’nei Mitzvah and Families

Breakfast at hotel. Overlooking the Southern Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, Rabbi Sue Shankman and Cantor Susan Bortnick will lead b’nei mitzvah service – a lasting memory you will always treasure. Festive b’nei mitzvah lunch and celebration. Overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, August 11: Digging our Roots

Breakfast at hotel. Drive through Ella valley where David fought Goliath to Tel Maresha for a most fascinating experience; digging our roots at Beit Guvrin with the guidance of the Archeological Seminars Experts, we will learn about past civilizations and visit the Roman Columbarium. Return to Jerusalem. Culinary tour of Machane Yehuda. Kabbalat Shabbat at Western Wall. Shabbat dinner and overnight: Orient Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, August 12: Masada – Dead Sea

Breakfast at hotel. Depart Jerusalem via the Judean Desert and along the Dead Sea shores. View Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls lay hidden. Ascend by cable car to Masada; King Herod’s fortress and Jewish zealots’ last stronghold. Freshen up and have lunch at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Return to Jerusalem. Farewell dinner. Transfer from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport for your departure home. United Airlines flight 73 to IAD. ETD: August 13 at 12:20 am.

Sunday, August 13: Arrival USA

Arrival at Dulles International Airport. ETA: 5:30 am.
Shalom Ulehitra’ot



Tel Aviv skyline from the sea

Peres Center for Peace, Tel Aviv exterior

Jaffa Port at golden hour from the sea

Baha'i Temple in Haifa at night

spiky plant on the Sea of Galilee

crowd of people in the souk in Jerusalem

Western Wall & Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

two people in a cave digging at an archeological site

Man reading a book while floating in the Dead Sea

Air and Land Packages


United Airlines direct flights from Washington Dulles International (IAD) and back to IAD.

Deposit requirements and terms for flights: $200 per person. Deposit is refundable, less $500 airline handling fees until March 31, 2023

  • Economy seats: $1,880 per person (Fuel surcharge subject to airlines increase).
  • Premium seats: $5,160 per person
  • Business seats: $9,587 per person
Land-Only Arrangements

Cost is $5,300 per person, sharing double room

Single supplement: $1,788
Child age 2-12 reduction when sharing parent’s room: $950

Land and Air Deposit: To confirm your land and air arrangements, please forward $500 per person deposit. This deposit, less $50 per person handing fees, is refundable until March 31, 2023.


What to Expect

  • Meeting and assistance upon arrival, 10 nights at above-mentioned hotels
  • 10 Israeli buffet breakfasts
  • 6 dinners; 1 Welcome, 2 North, 2 Friday Shabbat dinners, 1 Farewell
  • 4 lunches; 1 Druze, 1 Biblical, 1 Festive B’nei Mitzvah, 1 Dead Sea hotel
  • 9 days touring by deluxe air conditioned bus
  • English speaking guide
  • All program entrance fees
  • Tour highlights as per itinerary
  • Special features:
    • Misgav Am
    • Lantern tour of Nimrod Castle
    • Rafting
    • Jeep tour
    • Hoshaya Biblical activities
    • Archeological dig
    • Yad Vashem b’nei mitzvah twinning program
    • Dead Sea spa
    • B’nei mitzvah ceremony including certificates
    • Transfer from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion airport
    • Airport assistance upon departure
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel personnel, $200 will be collected before trip departure
  • Travel insurance, including Covid coverage: Jeffrey Barr, Israel Travel Insurance expert will contact those interested.

All cancelations must be in writing, effective from the day received. No refunds are issued for cancellations received after the tour departs. Airline penalties could be equal to the total cost of the ticket.

Following cancellation fees will be deducted from your refund or deposit.

  • Now – March 31: $50 per person
  • April 1-30: airline penalty + $500 per person
  • May 1-31: airline penalty + 50% land cost
  • June 1-Departure date: airline penalty + no refund on land



Luggage is the responsibility of the passengers and the airlines. Lost luggage claims are the passenger’s responsibility to notify the airlines directly.

Must be valid six months beyond trip return date. Please email ASAP a copy of your passport with a photo.

The sequence of activities in the itinerary may change or be reversed and some may be omitted due to circumstances beyond our control. Pricing is subject to change until the trip is paid in full.

United Airlines checked luggage: 1 piece up to 50 pounds per person.

Hand luggage (carry-on): 10 pounds per person.

Find answers to frequently asked questions at the Travel Israel website: http://www.sy-israel-tours.com/faq.html