Chabad of Charleston – Israel Trip – June 2018

Trip Overview

Whether you are a veteran traveler or a first-time visitor to the Holyland, you are invited to discover your personal connection with the Jewish homeland, and join our vibrant and warm Rabbi Yossi Refson in a meaningful journey of Israel.

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  • VIP Meet & Greet at Ben Gurion Airport upon group arrival
  • Jerusalem the heart & soul of the Jewish People
  • The serenity of Ein Gedi, an oasis in the middle of the Judean Desert
  • Explore the lively Machane Yehuda Market before Shabbat
  • Visit the City of the Patriarchs, Hevron
  • The Mystical City of Tzfat
  • Stories of courage in the Golan Heights
  • Encountering the modern, unsung heroes of Israel
  • Luxury air-conditioned vehicle with expert driver
  • Services of top-level guide for all outings
  • Entrance fee into all sites and attractions
  • Full backing Israel Maven support staff to ensure smooth running of the trip
  • Unforgettable, Amazing, Memories for Life
  • And much more!
Day 1

Please note that the itinerary is not final and is subject to change based on time, weather, security and other considerations.


  • Welcome to Israel!!! Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where you will be greeted by our representatives and escorted through passport control, baggage claim and customs
  • Tour the magnificent port city of Caesarea including the Roman Theater, Hippodrome, Palace, multi-media exhibition and more
  • Lunch at Aresto Restaurant in the port - included
  • Transfer to Jerusalem & check-in to your hotel - unpack, rest & relax
  • Enjoy a spectacular lookout over the city from the Haas Promenade with musical accompaniment
  • Time for reflection at the Western Wall
  • Discover the splendor of the Second Temple as you navigate the fascinating Western Wall Tunnels
  • Dinner at Joy Restaurant with Gil Hoffmann, Senior Political Correspondent at the Jerusalem Post - included
  • Overnight: Waldorf Astoria Hotel - Jerusalem


Day 1
Day 2


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Walk in the footsteps of Prophets & Kings in the City of David
  • Wade through Hezekiah’s Water Tunnels dug some 2700 years ago (prepare to get wet - maximum height of the water is +/- 30 inches, bring water shoes)
  • Explore the Southern Excavations & Davidson Center with renowned archeologist Dr. Gabi Barkai
  • Lunch on own in the Jewish Quarter - not included
  • Tour the Security Barrier with its chief Architect - Dr. Danny Tirzah
  • Discover the impressive Israel Museum including the Shrine of the Book, Model of Jerusalem, Archeology Wing, Sculpture Garden & Wing of Jewish Life
  • Dinner on own - suggested Mamilla-Alrov Promenade - not included
  • Overnight: Waldorf Astoria Hotel - Jerusalem


Day 2
Day 3


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure for the Judean Desert (take protection against the sun, bathing suit & water shoes)
  • Ascend the desert fortress of Masada where the Zealots contested the might of the Roman Empire following the destruction of the Second Temple
  • Float in the Dead Sea at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ein Bokek - including lunch
  • Discover the Ein Gedi Oasis where David fled from King Saul & cool off under a waterfall
  • Transport yourselves back in time as you visit Abraham’s Tent in Genesis Land including  camel rides & traditional desert hospitality - included
  • Return to Jerusalem
  • Overnight: Waldorf Astoria Hotel - Jerusalem


Day 3
Day 4


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Tour the Jewish neighborhoods of Hevron including Avraham Avinu, Bet Hadassah & Tel Romeida and meet with local residents - Rabbi Danny & Batsheva Cohen
  • Lunch at the award-winning Gush Etzion Winery with Amos Harel - Senior Defense Correspondent for Ha’aretz - included
  • Explore the Path of the Patriarchs off-road by ATV
  • Meet with grassroots activists from the Shorashim Organization - aimed at promoting understanding between Palestinians & Israelis
  • Return to Jerusalem
  • Enjoy a culinary tour at the bustling Machane Yehudah Outdoor Market
  • Evening at leisure & dinner on own - not included
  • Overnight: Waldorf Astoria Hotel - Jerusalem
Day 4
Day 5


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Pay tribute the memory of the Six Million at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum & Children’s Memorial
  • Visit the Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital - one of Jerusalem’s flagship institutions - and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of providing healthcare in the city
  • Lunch on own on Ben Yehudah Street - not included
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Join thousands of people from around the globe in joyous celebration of Shabbat at the Western Wall
  • Friday night dinner with host family arranged by Shabbat of a Lifetime - included
  • Overnight: Waldorf Astoria Hotel - Jerusalem

Day 5

Day 6


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning at leisure
  • Lunch at the hotel - included
  • Optional walking tour of the Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa, Christian Quarter & Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • Musical havdalla
  • Watch the Sound-and-Light Spectacular at the Tower of David
  • Evening at leisure & dinner on own - not included
  • Overnight: Waldorf Astoria Hotel - Jerusalem
Day 6
Day 7


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Checkout & departure for the North via the Jordan Valley
  • Visit Bio-Bee in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu providing biological solutions to pest control that are helping to feed millions around the globe
  • Lunch on own at the Aniam Artists’ Village - not included
  • Sample the local fare at the organic, boutique Bashan Winery in Avnei Eitan
  • Explore the Golan heights “off road” by jeep
  • Lookout over the border with Syria from Tel Saki & hear the story of the Yom Kippur War 
  • Transfer to hotel, check-in, unpack, rest & relax
  • Dinner at the hotel - included
  • Overnight: The Setai Hotel - Sea of Galilee 
Day 7
Day 8


  • Full Israeli breakfast at hotel
  • Experience the Mystical City of Tzfat including the artists galleries, beautiful synagogues, candle factory & more
  • Watch a live demonstration by Kabbalistic glass-blower Sheva Chaya 
  • Lunch on own on the promenade  - not included
  • Enjoy a beautiful nature walk in the Tel Dan Reserve where history, archeology, spirituality & hydro-politics come together
  • Meet with local residents & IDF combat troops at Kibbutz Malkiya on the border with Lebanon
  • Dinner in Tiberias at Decks Restaurant overlooking the Sea of Galilee - included
  • Overnight:The Setai Hotel - Sea of Galilee
Day 8
Day 9


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Checkout & departure
  • Discover the stunning Rosh Hanikra Grottoes
  • Lunch en-route in Nahariya - included
  • Explore the Crusader City of Akko including the Knights’ Halls, Templar Tunnel, City Walls & more
  • Lookout over the beautiful Bahai Gardens & Bay of Haifa - time permitting
  • Transfer to hotel, check-in, unpack, rest & relax
  • Dinner on own in Tel Aviv - not included
  • Overnight:The Setai Hotel - Tel Aviv
Day 9
Day 10


  • Full Israeli breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning at leisure to relax at the beach or by the pool
  • Lunch on ow - not included
  • Checkout & departure
  • Tour the state-of-the art Palmach Museum and learn about the “striking force” that formed the backbone of the IDF
  • Experience the Old Port of Jaffa with its artists’ galleries, charming alleyways & views of Tel Aviv
  • Visit the Save a Child’s Heart Foundation in Holon & meet with patients from around the world who are being treated free-of-charge in Israel
  • Farewell dinner at local restaurant - included
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport & fly back to USA
Day 10

We are pleased to present to you the tour package for your Israel trip. This have been carefully crafted to provide an experience that is engaging, fun, uplifting, informative and inspirational for both first-timers and repeat visitors. All of our tours adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and you can be sure to expect the friendly, warm & dedicated service that have endeared us to thousands of satisfied clients.


Enjoy your stay in only the most luxurious and comfortable hotels. Deluxe rooms and central locations help you enjoy your trip to it's fullest!

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The Waldorf Astoria, Jerusalem

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is a Conde Nast 2016 Best Hotel in the Middle East and a 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award recipient.

Contemporary style in the heart of the ancient city at Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. Experience outstanding service, luxurious rooms, courtyard refreshments and fine dining, all just steps from the charming Old City.

Discover all of Jerusalem's famed historical sites while enjoying enviable service at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. Designed in a quietly elegant, late 1920s style, our hotel stands 10-floors high at the intersection of King David, Agron and Mamilla Streets, mere minutes from the Jaffa Gate. Spin and take in the stunning open-space atrium. Climb the grand staircase and escape to one of 226 luxury guest rooms or suites.


The Setai Sea of Galilee

The Setai Sea of Galilee is a luxury resort overlooking the magnificent Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. Mere steps from the Sea of Galilee, referred to locally as the Kinneret, and nestled in the peaceful foothills of the Golan Heights,The Setai Sea of Galilee is the perfect hideaway for taking in Northern Israel’s many marvels.

The Setai Sea of Galilee’s 110 refined rooms and luxurious villas look out at the glistening Sea of Galilee, the triumphant Golan Heights and the ancient town of Tiberias. Guests choosing to stay in our “Kinneret” villas will also enjoy a private outdoor pool and hot tub. Our Standard rooms offer exquisite views of the hotel’s lush gardens, with perfectly cozy in-room accommodations.

The Setai Tel Aviv

Situated in Tel Aviv along the Jaffa Coastline, The Setai Tel Aviv is a prestigious luxury hotel with a distinctive contemporary design concept, The Setai Tel Aviv offers sophistication and tranquility in the heart of a historic location. The hotel features 120 rooms and suites that are meticulously designed to provide guests with the utmost luxury and comfort. The hotel also offers a prestigious business lounge, meetings & events space, locally sourced dining options, a luxurious spa, Turkish Hamam and rooftop infinity pool.

Cell Phone

We at Israel Maven work together with NES Mobile and recommend them for all cell phone and SIM card rentals during your trip to Israel.

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NES Mobile provides tourists visiting Israel cell phones and SIM card rentals, as well as NetSticks and other mobile solutions. We chose to work with NES Mobile since they provide our customers with a simple, honest service with no strings attached. There are no hidden costs, tricks or shticks. All information, including the website and bills, are in easy to understand English; and their customer service staff is made up of native English speakers.

A summary of the services and prices for daily rentals are as follows: (More information can be found on the NesMobile site)

  • $6/day UNLIMITED calls to US & Israel (includes FREE phone rental)
  • For those who are bringing their own smartphones and wish to also use Data, the cost is 9.50/day for UNLIMITED calls to US & Israel, UNLIMITED texts in Israel and  UNLIMITED Data. You would need to bring your own unlocked SIM free device with you.
  • You can also rent a NetStick or MiFi Device ($6/day or $7.5/day respectively) which work virtually everywhere in Israel.
  • Most tourists also take a Virtual US number which rings on the Israeli cellphone for just $1/day. This way their friends and family back home can reach them by dialing a local number.

Delivery is FREE and you will receive your phones upon your arrival at the airport.

*Prices do not include VAT.

If you have any questions or comments you can sign up on the link above, call NES Mobile at 1-201-464-2180, or email them at:


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Israel Maven Tours representative by emailing or you may call us toll free on 1-866-317-9307.

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Q: What will I gain out of joining this trip?

Our hope is that by the end of the trip, you will have a stronger connection to the Jewish homeland. It is the job of our terrific guides to make that connection happen through their eyes and their love to the land and its people. The Itinerary has many elements to it including different aspects of Israel: History, religion, Zionism, challenges facing the Israeli society, security and many others. The combination of these elements, make Israel such a unique place to visit- especially for a Synagogue mission.

Q: Will there be free time on the trip?

Yes, we try to balance touring and programming with unstructured free time in different locations around the country so that you are free to shop, explore the local culture, meet with friends and family, sit by the pool or simply relax. Should you wish to “opt out” of any of the activities of the program, you are requested to coordinate this with the group leader and tour operator so that we can plan accordingly.

Q: What are the security issues facing Israel today- should we be concerned?

The security in Israel is always a concern on travelers to Israel. As of today, there are no security warnings or alerts for travelers coming to Israel. Israel Maven is daily contact with the "security room" which is the office of the Ministry of Defense dealing with travelling in Israel. We receive daily updates, and get updated on a regular basis through SMS and phone on any irregularity in the daily routine of Israel. Note, that although what is seen around the world on the media about what goes on in Israel is usually conflict, the reality is different. Millions of visitors come to Israel annually and some of them even feel safer here than in their own country. Changes in itinerary that need to be made due to safety or security concerns are done without hesitation. We are also in close contact with Israeli Police & SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel) to ensure that all safety & security guidelines are updated in real-time based on changing circumstances. Both participants & staff receive detailed guidelines aimed at ensuring that the no one is hurt or harmed in any way. These guidelines range from appropriate footwear on hikes to keeping hydrated, to avoiding certain areas if necessary. Public transportation on busses and/or trains is not utilized at any time during the program. We do not approach or enter the Gaza Strip or any areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

Q: Do you offer travel insurance?

Please note that most insurance policies require purchase within 14-21 days of your date of registration for the trip. Israel Maven Tours has made arrangements with SMS Travel Insurance Center (Israel) of Omaha, Nebraska. SMS has over 25 years of experience as insurance brokers and can help you choose the policy that best meets your needs. Our contact person is Yonah Engel. Please mention this promo code when making your purchase: ISRAELMAVEN. For more information, please send an email to You may also contact Yonah by phone in the USA at (402) 404- 5205 or in Israel at 0522-873-665. Please note that Israel Maven Tours cannot accept responsibility for any losses or expenses which you or any member of your party may incur as a result of failure to secure adequate coverage.

Q: What is policy for those arriving/ departing early/late?

Participants who are not travelling together with the group are asked to coordinate their plans in advance with the group leader and the tour operator. Participants who are not arriving or departing together with the group are responsible for joining/ leaving the group at their own expense. We are happy to assist in arranging additional services such as VIP “meet & greet”, hotel accommodation, transportation, meals and touring as required. These will be billed separately to the participant.

Q: This trip sounds amazing! I am coming, but I want to stay longer to tour on my own. Is it possible to extend my trip?

YES! Please indicate this on your registration form. The team at Israel Maven will work with you to provide a customized experience that will include assistance with choosing hotels, activities, and transportation.

Q: Who do we contact with questions?

Please feel free to contact your Israel Maven Tours representative Zev Jacobson with any questions you may have. He can be reached by email or toll free on 1-866-317-9307.

Contact us about a Chabad of Charleston – Israel Trip – June 2018