Israel! December 8 – 22, 2018

susan Israel 1985

Susan in Israel, 1985 

I am so excited to take you to Israel. To me, Israel is my second home – for a long time it was my literal home. I emigrated  to  Israel from the US in the 1985 and I lived there for  most of the next 10 years.  I truly feel like I “grew up” in Tel Aviv. Living there formed my spiritual being and taught me so much about life and what it meant to be a citizen of the world, a human being.  I felt like I lived in the center of the world and I was a citizen of the universe. 

Fast forward many years to 2007 when I began leading tours to different corners of the world – India, Bhutan, Peru, England. It took me 10 years of leading tours to realize that Israel is a place I so want to show people. Before you say – well I’m not Jewish, or I’m not Christian – hold on. The land of Israel is so much more than that! It is a land of unsurpassed beauty, of ancient history, of myths and legends, of desires, mysticism and deep spirituality. It is a land that will touch you at the deepest levels because that is what she does. That is why this tiny little slip of a country has been the center of world religions, conflicts and contention, emotions, desires and ambitions, and so much more,  since the beginning of time. 

Jared Goldfarb 5Taking us on this journey is Jared Goldfarb, an independent educator and licensed tour guide based in Jerusalem with nearly 20 years experience in the field.  Born and raised in New Hampshire, he studied at Brandeis University, and has since lived in six different countries.  After working for the Jewish Federation in Boston from 1994-96, Jared decided to spend a year in Israel… and never left. Since 1999 has worked as an independent guide for families, faith communities, and multi-narrative student encounters with Israel/Palestine.

Jared serves as a faculty member at Jerusalem institutions and he teaches Middle Eastern history and the historical context of Judaism, Christianity and Islam for various seminaries and multi-faith missions; and he has served as scholar-in-residence in numerous communities, including Boston, New York, Baltimore, San Francisco, New Orleans, St. Louis and London.

Jared and his partner, Elisa, live in Jerusalem with their three adorable kids. Jared is a passionate environmental activist, avid biker, obsessed genealogist, vegan chef, and proud leader of the movement toward sustainable tourism.
 
I think you can see by Jared’s bio, that this will be an extraordinary exploration of Israel. When we met last year with Jared,  Larry and I  knew immediately  that he “got” us – we knew I found a guide that would  be able to lead us through
susan and Larry Tel Aviv

Susan and Larry, Tel Aviv

Israel with an open mind, an open heart, and open to all experiences this country has to offer. 
 
We will see the country through the eyes of all its inhabitants,  and come away richer in every sense. 
 
Our Itinerary: We will leave the US (from Newark, NJ) on Tuesday, December 8, 2018.
 

Sunday, December 9 - Arrive in Israel and meet Jared at Ben Gurion Airport. We will take the Mediterranean Coastal highway to Caesarea, and Mt. Carmel and check into the beautiful  at the heart of mystical Israel, the home of Kabalah - Tzfat. 

Monday, December 10 - After breakfast and yoga at The Way Inn, we will explore Tzfat, including historical walking tour, a kabbala 

common-portraits-10-815x500lesson, and encounter with local artists. If time permits, we will visit the  Mt. of the Beatitudes. At sunset we will  73726791have a guided meditation over looking the Golan Heights. In the evening the owners of The Way Inn, Ronni and Genine Bar-El, will give us a private cooking class. 

Tuesday, December 11 - We will make our way a bit north of Tzaft for a nature walk on the Golan Heights, followed by lunch at a local winery. As we will be literally on the border with Syria, we will talk geopolitics on the border, then visit the home of a local Druze family for dinner. 

 Wednesday, December 12 – After breakfast we will drive toUmm_al-Fahm_2014 the beautiful Arab city of Um el-Fahm and meet with the founder of the  Arab Art Gallery. We will also visit a bi-cultural school, and, if time permits, the Freedom Farm, an animal sanctuary,  and Caesarea,  an ancient Herodian port city . In the evening we will arrive to the heart of Israel – Jerusalem. 

Thursday, December 13 - Jerusalem is home to nearly every major religion and many minor religions of the world. The entire city is constructed from lime stone giving it an iridescent, other-worldly glow.   After breakfast, we explore the nooks and crannies of the Old City of Jerusalem, including Jewish, Christian & Muslim narratives. The Arab Market has four different “quarters” including an Armenian Quarter , the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Christian Quarter, which is the home of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Each quarter has its own feel, its own culture, crafts, art and food. We will be able to shop and eat and learn all the while meandering through the serpentine ancient alleys, talking with locals and enjoying the “scene”.  In the evening we attend a special cultural event. 

Friday, December 14 – Today we will move on to visit modern Jerusalem, a marvel of modern-jerusalem-shopping-street-shopping-centre-of-mamilla-mall-israel-eymgr1creativity, architecture and activity.   First we will go to  Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum). This incredibly moving museum, designed by the  world-renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, is also an example of a living sanctuary as a rememberence of those killed in the Holocaust. In addition to the incredible memorial, the grounds feature 1 - DSC_0063gardens and special exhibit spaces, incorporating the surrounding land as part of the picture of the Holocaust and how it stays with us to this day.
Afterwards, we will visit Machane Yehuda – a vibrant Jerusalem marketplace. In the evening, we will welcome in the Shabat (Sabath) with a Kabbalat Shabbat dinner with local families.  

Saturday, December 15 – Those choosing to keep the Sabbath can uBethlehemse this day as a day of rest, (we can arrange to visit a Synagogue) or you can join a day trip to Bethlehem, just six miles from Jerusalem.   We will explore the many cultural sites of this ancient Palestinian city, which was settled in 5000 BCE,  with a local guide. We’ll visit historic & religious sites, and learn more modern Palestinian society & politics.

Sunday, December 16 – After breakfast, we will leave Jerusalem and make our way south, to explore the Judean Desert. Along the way we visit the ancient fortress of  

atr-trs-crd-masada-by-air-itamar-grinberg-ministry-of-tourismMasada in Judea. The complex was built by King Herod, who reigned between 37 BCE and 4 CE.  It was here that became a last stand for Jews fighting the Roman empire. In the revolt, the Jewish tribe chose death rather than slavery when the Roman’s  broke through their defenses. It is also an archaeologiEIN GEDI SPA DEAD SEA pool (600 x 399)cal site of great significance. The remains of Herod’s palaces are outstanding and help to illustrate the lives of the Jews and their harrowing choice.  Masada overlooks Kibbutz Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem for overnight. 

 

Monday, December 17 - We will explore the roots of early Zionism in Old Jaffa and Neve Tzedek, and enjoy some free time exploring the expansive Shuk Hapishpushim – literally – the Flea Market! LAter we will visit a vegetable and fruit market with chef and author Phyllis Glazer to choose goodies to prepare in 

Phyllis-Glazer-kitchen-resized-300x266Phyllis’ Kitchen  for a cooking class, featuring Israeli vegetarian delights. 

 

 

Tuesday, December 18 - We will embark on a tour of the city, including the fabulous  Bauhaus Buildings that can be found all over the heart of the city. Later we will bauhauscenterwalk around the Old city of Jaffa and Neve Tzedek, and learn about the early Zionist movement. We will have free time to explore Jaffa and Tel Aviv’s wonderful, eclectic Nachalat Binayamni Arts and Crafts marketplace. Oaernight in JAffa

Wednesday, December 19 - We will leave Tel Aviv in the morning and travel down south 

2succah-in-the-deserttowards the desert – the Negev. Along the way we will visit various sites and in the late afternoon we will arrive at our tent hotel in the desert – Sukkah Bamidbar. Here we will experience the immense solitude of the desert – a welcome respite from the busy city. We will see the entire galaxy laid out before us as we slow down and settle into this magical landscape.  

Thursday, December 20 – Today we will continue exploring the Negev, including learning biblical history, visiting a Bedouin community, visit Makhtesh Ramon a crater created 220 million years ago when oceans covered the area. From here we will make our way to the resort town of Eilat, on the f1582690-city-35098-55b63450Red Sea, surrounded by the Sinai Desert in Egypt. Overnight in Eilat. 

 

 

Friday, December 21 – From Eilat you can either fly back to Tel Aviv to depart for the US, or join our excursion into the ancient Nabatian City of Petra, in Jordan, just over the border. (If you chose not to travel to JoPalestinian-Bedoui_2594808brdan, we will deduct that portion of the trip from your final cost).  We will leave for Petra crossing over to the Red Sea to the Jordanian town of Aqaba and enter the Kingdom of Jordan. Here we will be met by a Jordanian tour guide who will lead us on our tour. 

The Treasury (Al Khazneh), Petra (UNESCO world heritage site), Jordan. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.The city of Petra, capital of the Nabataean Arabs, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It is not known precisely when Petra was built, but the city began to prosper as the capital of the Nabataean Empire from the 1st century BC, which grew rich through trade in frankincense, myrrh, and spices. Petra was later annexed to the Roman Empire and continued to thrive until a large earthquake in 363 AD destroyed much of the city in the 4th century AD. After a full day tour we will retire to our Tent Hotel in Petra, a unique desert experience. 

wadi-rum9Saturday, December 22 – After breakfast in the desert, we’ll take a jeep tour of Wadi Ruma protected desert wilderness in southern Jordan. It features dramatic sandstone mountains atr-trs-crd-masada-by-air-itamar-grinberg-ministry-of-tourism like the many-domed Jebel Um Ishrin, and natural arches such as Burdah Rock Bridge. Many prehistoric inscriptions and carvings line rocky caverns and steep chasms. The natural watering hole of Lawrence’s Spring is named after British soldier Lawrence of Arabia, who allegedly washed there. In late afternoon we will return to Eilat, and catch an evening flight to Ben Gurion Airport, and depart Israel for home. 

Tour Cost: $5994 for shared room; $7494 single room
Price includes:
  • Accommodation in double room (or single with supplement) bed and breakfast basis for 12 nights at the hotels below.
  • Tips and gratuities for driver and hotels.
  • All currently applicable Govt. Taxes.
  • Assistance on arrival/departure at airport/hotels
  • All transportation using one air-conditioned Coach.  
  • All currently applicable entrance fees to the monuments covered.
 Rates do not include:
  • Meals other than breakfast and as specified above.
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tip for dedicated guide Jared Goldfarb
  • Medical & Travel Insurance.
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, beverages, telephone calls etc.
  • Any other services not listed above.
  • Flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv (TBA) 
To reserve your place on the trip, please send a $600 deposit to:
Breathe Ayurveda, 20 Clarks Lane, Reisterstown, MD 21136.
Once the initial deposit is made, the balance can be paid in increments, if desired. Final payment is due by September 1, 2018.  A final invoice will be sent to you, by email, shortly before the due date. Checks or cash are preferred. Credit Card and PayPal payments are possible, with an additional 3% service fee. Early Bird discount: $150 off if paid in full by April 1, 2018. 
 
Cancellation Policy
Cancellation fees come into effect at time of deposit. I recommend that you consider purchasing cancellation insurance. This will cover you if you need to cancel unexpectedly. Please note that insurance companies may differ in what they consider a insurable risk. I recommend Insure My Trip . 
If you cancel your booking, it will result in the following charges:
  • More than 90 days prior to departure: $300
  • 61 – 89 days prior to departure: Full deposit
  • 60 – 30 days prior to departure: 50% of total price
  • Less than 50 days prior to departure: 100% of total price
Ready to Go?
All right! The next step is filling out Full Registration Form ISRAEL 2018. Either email it or mail  to me. All information is on the form. 
Remember that you must have a valid passport and that the expiration date is several months beyond the trip dates. 
 
 No Visa is needed for US Citizens to travel to Israel. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months before the first day of the trip. 
 
I will advise you on the airline tickets. The round trip price range is usually around $900 to $1200 for coach, $2500 + for business class. I will email you flight details and suggestions and you will purchase your own ticket. Most likely we will meet at Newark International Airport and fly direct from here to Tel Aviv. Flight time is around 12 hours. 
 
As we get closer to the trip I will advise on packing, offer travel tips and arrange a get-together for those of us in the area, so we can meet before we travel together! 
Call or email me any time: susan@breatheayurveda.com or 410-979-2096.