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 Europe on an overnight flight. This program starts with our Mediterranean Discovery program. 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 2–4 | ROME, ITALY
Our adventure begins walking in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum. Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Then, channel your inner warrior as you take part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training. Afterwards, we’ll settle into our accommodations in Rome.
You’ll spend the next day exploring Vatican City in the heart of Rome and see St. Peter’s Basilica as well as the Sistine Chapel. Stare in awe at Mount Vesuvius—the volcano that led to the ancient city of Pompeii’s untimely demise—and learn about how it remained perfectly preserved through a tour with a local guide. We’ll return to Rome for Shabbat dinner and take part in our first Shabbat service abroad at an Italian Synagogue.
We’ll wrap up our time in the city with a walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter, the oldest continually settled Jewish community outside of Israel. Then, continue exploring Rome on foot, stopping at the Pantheon Temple and Spanish Steps.
DAY 5–6 | FLORENCE, ITALY
Teens will leave Rome and make their way to Florence, stopping to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa en route. Once we arrive and get settled, you’ll learn more about the city of Florence through a sightseeing tour of the city’s most popular landmarks, such as the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo, and Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).
Visit the Grand Synagogue, one of the world’s most beautiful synagogues. See Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. Climb to the top of Giotto’s Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence. Then, enjoy an afternoon visit at the amusement park Gardaland.
DAY 7–8 | KRANJSKA GORA, SLOVENIA
Depart Florence in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry. Raft down the Soča—one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers—before traveling through the Slovenian mountains to Kranjska Gora. Get your safety gear on, because we’re going to Adventure Park in Bled! This natural environment of trees offers dozens of attractions for teens. The group will take a boat ride to the tiny Bled Island in the middle of a crystal blue lake and make a wish before ringing the island’s legendary wishing bell.
DAY 9 | LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA
Though our time in Kranjska Gora is short, you’ll love traveling to Ljubljana—Slovenia’s capital—and taking in the views from a castle towering over the city. Teens will take in a spectacular view from the funicular (a type of cable railway) of the castle prior to their walking tour of the city. Then, we’ll put your Mario Kart skills to the test in real life as we go karting at the Grand Prix. Experience Europe’s state-of-the-art multi-level track and feel the adrenaline rush as you race around.
DAY 10–11 | ZAGREB, CROATIA
The people of Bela Krajina are passionate about sheep. So, naturally, it should come to no surprise that teens will spend some time playing traditional shepherd’s games before we head to Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. We’ll also take some time to canoe on the Kolpa River. Once we arrive in Zagreb, we’ll prepare for our second Shabbat together.
Teens will spend Shabbat relaxing and taking a walking tour of Zagreb, seeing sites like Ban Jelacic—the main square—and Strossmayer promenade, the best spot for a panoramic view of Zagreb’s rooftops. We’ll also stop to view Lotrscak Tower and Saint Mark’s Church!
DAY 12–14 | VENICE, ITALY
Cool off underground as you discover the treasurers of the Postojna Cave, then cross back into Italy and travel towards Venice via the Tuscan countryside. We’ll enter the water-filled streets of Venice on a vaporetto waterbus and take an evening walk through Venice.
Set sail for the island of Murano and visit a traditional Venetian glass-making factory. Then, travel to Lido and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea. Afterwards, we’ll return to the main island of Venice and see the sites of the city on a walking tour. Teens will explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). We can’t end our time in Italy without a private gondola ride through the waterways. We’ll enjoy one final dinner as a group before saying ciao to Europe!
DAY 15–17 | JERUSALEM
Teens will continue to build on this awe-inspiring adventure by connecting into one of our Israel Journey trips. We’ll head to the airport for a transfer flight to Israel. Once we arrive, our journey begins in Jerusalem. We’ll gather at the Haas Promenade—overlooking the unique topography of the city—for a Shehecheyanu blessing, which is a Jewish prayer said to celebrate special occasions. Walk along the ramparts of the Old City walls from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate, explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter, then reflect on your time in Jerusalem at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall. Before departing, your group will splash through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city and enjoy a night out on Ben Yehuda Street, arguably the most famous street in Jerusalem.
DAY 18–23 | NORTHERN ISRAEL
Our adventure north to the Galilee region begins with a quick stop to explore the ancient city of Caesarea. Enjoy a day at the beach before crawling through the catacombs of Beit Shearim, where we’ll learn how the center of Jewish life shifted to the Galilee following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The group will spend their first Shabbat in the Holy Land relaxing on a boat cruise across the Kinneret—or Sea of Galilee—and end the Sabbath with a group night in Tiberias.
Take a walking tour of the mystical Tsfat—the historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement and Jewish life during the exile period—to see awe-inspiring works by Kabbalistic artists in the artists’ colony and hear their story about how the movement inspires their designs. After this, we’ll hike to the waterfalls of the Banias Nature Reserve and finish the day rafting down the Jordan River.
Get wet hiking down Nahal Jilaboun Canyon and step underneath the Devora Waterfalls in the Golan Heights. Encounter with Druze culture and share a traditional meal in the Golan village of Ein Kinya, then view Israel’s neighbors on the summit of Mount Bental, a dormant volcano. Learn the remarkable story about Israeli super-spy Eli Cohen from Mitzpe Gadot, a lookout point in the Golan.
Discover Israel's frontier pioneering history in the Galilee and view Israel's border with Jordan from Old Gesher, overlooking the Island of Peace and its complicated history. Continue south and view the Jezreel Valley from Mount Gilboa. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon swimming in the natural spring pools of the Sachne and learning about the Tower & Stockade tradition of the Galilee pioneers. We’ll travel to the Western Galilee—stopping to view Keshet Arch along the way—before descending to the ocean caves of Rosh HaNikra. Tour the Templars’ Tunnel that date back to Crusader times and immerse yourself in one of Israel’s most diverse communities, Akko. Spend the rest of the afternoon in Haifa and explore the beauty of the Bahai Temple Gardens on Mount Carmel.
DAY 24–26 | TEL AVIV
Travel to Tel Aviv and volunteer at the Jaffa Institute, an innovative charity dedicated to combating poverty in one of Israel's most diverse communities. Then, enjoy a traditional Ethiopian meal while learning about the cultural and historical experience of Ethiopian-Israelis at the Battae Center in Tel Aviv. We’ll spend the rest of the day touring old Jaffa Seaport and browsing the colorful Jaffa Flea Market.
Honor the bravery of the pioneers who helped establish modern Israel at Machon Ayalon, a secret underground ammunition facility. We’ll visit Netiv HaAsara on the frontier of Gaza to learn how this community has adapted to its surroundings while maintaining a hopeful outlook for peace. After that, surf’s up on the Mediterranean Coast as we enjoy a surfing lesson at Palmachim Beach. We’ll welcome our second Shabbat with a joyous, musical experience and spend the rest of the Sabbath relaxing in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
DAY 27–29 | CENTRAL ISRAEL
Take part in an archaeological dig with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the impressive natural wonder of the Bell Caves. Spend some time learning about David Ben Burion—Israel’s first prime minister—in Sde Boker at his modest desert hut. We’ll drive further south to view the world’s largest erosion crater, Makhtesh Ramon. Enjoy running, rolling, or even tumbling down the massive Kassui sand dunes as we make our way to Eilat for a guided snorkeling tour in the Red Sea. See fish and coral of all shapes, sizes, and colors before we take a banana boat ride on the sea. Stop for fresh ice cream at Israel’s famous Yotvata dairy farm.
Learn how kibbutzim—agricultural settlements in Israel—thrive in the desert, protects its ecology, and stay self-sustaining. Experience effortlessly floating in the salt water at the Dead Sea's Ein Bokek beach, the lowest point on Earth. The group will spend one night camping in the desert at a Bedouin encampment. Together, we’ll embark on a camel trek, share a Bedouin feast and stargaze after a unique bonfire experience.
DAY 30 | MASADA
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. Teens will tour Herod’s desert mountaintop fortress and the bastion of an ancient Jewish rebellion before descending via the Snake Path or cable cars. Then, we’ll spend the rest of the day cooling off under the desert waterfalls in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.
DAY 31–34 | JERUSALEM
Our trip ends right where it started, in Jerusalem, but this time is different. Teens will have three weeks of travel under their belt and a completely different perspective on Israel. We’ll start with a visit to the Theodor Herzl Museum and explore the grounds of Mount Herzl National Cemetery, honoring Israel's founders, national leaders, and fallen soldiers. Then, we’ll experience the colorful Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace. 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.
Pay your respects at Yad Vashem—The World Holocaust Remembrance Center—and reflect on your journey in Mifletzet Park. We’ll re-enter the Old City to experience one last Kabbalat Shabbat together at the Kotel, an emotional experience for all after the experiences we’ve had together. Spend Shabbat viewing 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.
Explore the geopolitical complexity of Jerusalem in the Gilo neighborhood and take part in an eye-opening conversation about conflict through the Roots program, a grassroots movement of understanding, nonviolence, and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll explore a few additional spots before celebrating the end of our time in Israel with a tree planting ceremony in Neot Kedumim Park. Afterwards, we’ll make our way to the airport for an overnight flight back to the U.S.
DAY 35 | RETURN FLIGHT
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!