We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program will vary. A confirmed itinerary is distributed no later than two weeks prior to the start of the program.
DAY 1 | DEPARTURE FLIGHT
Meet your staff and teens at the airport before traveling together to Israel on an overnight flight. Once we land, your trip officially begins! We’ll break the ice with some fun and engaging activities so that you get to know everyone in the group. To learn more about how we organize travel to and from the program, click here.
DAY 2–5 | DEGANIA
Our journey begins with a drive north. First, we’ll stop at the Nahal Brigade Memorial, which honors fallen soldiers of one of the IDF’s main infantry brigades. Once we make it to Degania, we’ll have some chofesh (free time) for the group to get to know one another.
Teens will walk through the Kinneret Courtyard and pay their respects at the Kinneret Cemetery. Then, we’ll raft down the Jordan River before heading to the Golan Heights. There, we’ll encounter with Druze culture at Nuseiba in Boukata, share a traditional meal, and learn about Druze leadership. Travel to Mount Bental, a dormant volcano, and view Israel’s neighbors from the summit. End the day learning about the history of the Valley of Tears in the Golan Heights.
Hike Mount Meron to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. We’ll spend a day touring the markets, synagogues, and unique art galleries of mystical Tsfat, the historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement and Jewish life during the exile period. See the awe-inspiring work of Kabbalistic artists in the artists’ colony and hear their story about how the movement inspires their designs. Drive to Tzemach Beach in Tiberias and swim in the Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, before returning to Degania and preparing for our first Kabbalat Shabbat together in Israel. We’ll sing and play music under the stars to bring in the Sabbath.
The rest of Shabbat will be spent relaxing before we tour Degania Alef—founded in 1910, this is thought to be the earliest socialist Zionist farming commune in Israel. We’ll also hear from speaker Noach Faran, IDF Military Advisor for the Israeli TV miniseries “Valley of Tears."
DAY 6–7 | TEL AVIV
Our time in Degania has come to an end and our trek to Tel Aviv begins. We’ll learn about the history of the Exodus at Immigration Camp Atlit before hitting up the hotspots of Tel Aviv, such as Independence Hall, Rothschild, and Rabin Square.
Head to Tel Aviv University (TAU) and speak with students on campus about college life in Israel. Visit ANU Museum of the Jewish People and reflect on this as you tour TAU’s campus. Experience various Tel Aviv tracks about architecture, sports, and graffiti art. Enjoy a workshop with Na’laagat Center, a one-of-a-kind non-profit arts and cultural center that represents a meeting place between dead, blind, and deaf-blind individuals. End the night with an evening tour of Old Jaffa.
DAY 8–9 | SDE BOKER
Before leaving leaving Tel Aviv, we’ll surf on the Mediterranean Coast with HaGal Sheli, an organization that uses surfing as an educational tool while providing at-risk youth the chance to ‘ride the wave’ and succeed. On our way to Sde Boker, we’ll stop for a volunteer opportunity with Leket, the National Food Bank and leading food rescue organization in Israel. After we check into our accommodations, teens will hear from a speaker on ethnic diversity and then reflect on the activity as a group before enjoying chofesh with their peers.
Learn more about David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, at his modest desert hut. Enjoy the afternoon walking through En Avdat National Park, rappelling in Makhtesh Ramon, trekking the desert on a camel, visiting Mitzpe Ramon to see the Ramon Crater—the world’s largest erosion crater—or seeing the stunning colors of the rocks at Makhtesh Ramon. Teens will love taking a moonlit hike in Nachal Havarim that evening.
DAY 10–12 | JERUSALEM
We’ll begin our drive to Jerusalem with a stop at Black Arrow Memorial, commemorating the battle heritage of the Paratroop Brigade and enjoying the Assaf Siboni Scenic Lookout. Then, we’ll meet with Gaza border teens and have lunch as we discuss their connection to Israel. Once we’re settled in Jerusalem, we’ll make another pit stop to Tel Aviv for free time to explore the Shuk and Nachalat Binyamin Market. Teens will also hear from social justice speakers in the SOSA neighborhood and enjoy some relaxation time on Tel Aviv Beach before returning to Jerusalem.
Our second Shabbat will be spent with special guest speakers, music in the courtyard, and time to hang with your peers. We’ll also learn how Israel became the “Startup Nation” at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Jaffa. Teens will relax by the pool and play sports to pass the time during Shabbat before ending our time in Jerusalem with an evening out on Ben Yehuda Street.
DAY 13–14 | NAZARETH
Prior to leaving Jerusalem and driving to Nazareth, we’ll spend time with Kids4Peace in Sheikh Jarrah, a global movement of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim youth dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in divided societies around the world. After, we’ll take a geopolitical tour of Jerusalem, learning about the security fence, walls, West Bank, and Green Line.
Once we arrive in Nazareth, teens will take a tour to gain context on Arab society in Israel, Christianity history, and the Basilica of the Annunciation. Then, we’ll dive deeper into the conflict between Israel and Palestine and talk about this in small group reflections.
We’ll drive to Shtula, stopping to see the mesmerizing artwork of the Talking Walls at the Lebanon border. Then, you’ll descend to the ocean caves at Rosh HaNikra on Israel’s far northern border. Teens will also have an opportunity to explore Nahal Kaziv and Monfort Fortress, a Crusader castle in the Upper Galilee region. We’ll end our time in Nazareth with a conversation with high-tech exec and author, Michael Bassin.
DAY 15–18 | MASADA
Take a walking tour of the ancient seaport city of Akko, Ulamot HaAvirim, the Underground Prisoners’ Museum, and Ramchal Synagogue. Then, enjoy a wilderness therapy activity with teens at the Nirim Youth Village. As we make our way to Masada, we’ll spend time in Haifa experiencing the beauty of the Bahai Temple Gardens on Mount Carmel.
Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, then crawl through Qumran Caves. The group will spend the afternoon effortlessly floating in the salt water at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Reflect on your trip with your peers as you gaze at the stars. One of the most anticipated moments of the trip, the group will take a pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail and arrive just as the sun starts to peek over the horizon. Tour Herod’s desert mountaintop fortress and the bastion of an ancient Jewish rebellion, then descend via the Snake Path or cable cars.
As we head back towards Jerusalem, we’ll stop at the observation point on the Mount of Olives. Our trip ends in a familiar city, but the experience will be completely different. Teens will have almost three weeks of travel under their belt and a completely different perspective on Israel. We’ll explore Mahane Yehuda’s open-air marketplace before making our way to the Kotel—also known as the Western Wall—for our final Kabbalat Shabbat service as a group.
DAY 19–21 | JERUSALEM
This Shabbat is different than the rest. Celebrate your new friends’ B’nai Mitzvot from the Old City (and maybe yours, too!) before a tour of Jerusalem where we’ll walk along the ramparts of the Old City walls from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate and explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter. View the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures at the Israel Museum. Enjoy a group night out at First Station Market, followed by a Western Wall tunnel tour.
Pay your respects at Yad Vashem—The World Holocaust Remembrance Center—and hear from speaker Avram Infeld, who has dedicated his life to helping Jews find meaning in their Jewish identities. Teens will also engage with Anat Hoffman, an Israeli activist who serves as Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and is the director and founding member of Women of the Wall.
Tour the Knesset—Israel’s supreme state body—and learn about their parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions. Visit the Theodor Herzl Museum and explore the grounds of Mount Herzl National Cemetery, honoring Israel's founders, national leaders, and fallen soldiers. We’ll explore a few additional spots before celebrating the end of our time in Israel at the Jerusalem Overlook.
DAY 22–24 | DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Head to Ben Gurion airport in Israel and take a transfer flight to the United Arab Emirates. Meet your guide and take a tour of Old City Dubai. Stroll through Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, a historic district in Dubai with preserved infrastructure that dates back to the 1890s.
We’ll cross the creek in an Abra Water Taxi before visiting the Gold and Spice Souk, an infamous market area in Dubai, and bargaining for goods at this treasured site in the city. Stop by the Textile Souk to discover vibrant fabrics and sift through an endless selection of raw silk, cotton, and embroidered materials at the bazaar. After our shopping spree, hop in a 4x4 SUV and drive to the Dubai Dunes, passing by Camel Farms on the way. Once we arrive, you’ll have time to go sand boarding and take photos of the beautiful sunset. We’ll also be welcomed at camp with Arabian tea, coffee, and sweet treats. Indulge in these refreshments, take a camel ride through the desert, and try Henna painting with your friends. We’ll end the day with a BBQ as well as a full light and sound display and fire show.
Take an early morning swim in the Persian Gulf as we relax at JBR Beach. Then, visit the Palm Islands, artificial islands that resemble the shape of a palm tree. We’ll travel by monorail to the Atlantis Hotel and peer into the Persian Gulf, then stop at “The Pointe,” a manmade beach in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Dubai. Take a few photos in front of Zabeel Palace—the ruler of Dubai’s residence—on the way to visit the Dubai JCC for a meeting with local Jewish leaders who will discuss Jewish life in the UAE. The group will spend some time at Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall that has one of the largest aquariums known to man. After this, we’ll ascend to floor 124 of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. End your time in Dubai watching the Dancing Water Fountains, a choreographed water show with music and lights that will dazzle and captivate you.
DAY 25 | ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | RETURN FLIGHT
Make your way to Abu Dhabi for a day in the UAE’s capital. Visit the Grand Mosque, the largest in the country and a key place of worship for daily prayers. Take a breathtaking tour of Qasr Al Watan—the Presidential Palace—that will give your more insight on the culture, knowledge, and journey of the UAE. Enjoy a final group activity and dinner before we head to the Abu Dhabi airport for our overnight flight back to the U.S.
It’s never goodbye, just see you later. Give your friends one last hug and part ways once your flight arrives at the airport. While your summer trip with us is over, the memories you’ve made will last a lifetime!