Israel Family Journey

Israel Family Journey

Treat your family to Israel’s rich history, modern culture and natural beauty on an 8-12 day multi-generational tour with guaranteed dates offered during the summer and winter vacation seasons.

8-10 DAYS


You're invited to experience the very best of Israel on a pluralistic Jewish travel experience designed for everyone in the family.

Choose from a core 8-day or 10-day itinerary – both of which can be combined with a 2-day extension to Eilat and Petra. Dates are offered throughout the summer and winter vacation seasons.

Israel Family Journey is a joint program of BBYO and Authentic Israel. The program is organized in-house by our own staff and led by our own elite guides and counselors – which means we're able to provide you with a higher level of service, a truly educational experience and an excellent value.

Learn more about opportunities to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on your Israel Family Journey.

Dates  |  Cost & Package  |  Itinerary  |  FAQs  |  Register

More Than a Tour

  • Hands-on educational touring with a focus on more "experiences" and fewer museums
  • Fantastic food! – Enjoy more genuine local flavor and fewer hotel meals
  • Programming designed for a wide range of ages with activity options offered
  • Absolutely no hidden costs, no surprises, and a near all-inclusive package
  • A thoughtful itinerary through the lens of Jewish history and life welcoming of all
  • Staffed by passionate Israeli guide and an engaging youth counselor (groups of 25+)
  • Backed by a real organization you can count on at every step of the way
  • A focus on creating a sense of community and connection as part of a shared journey
  • Centrally located hotels with exceptional facilities, including outdoor pools
  • Options to customize your experience, before or after the core program
Early Bird Discount + Risk Free Registration = Act Now!
Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are absolutely risk free.

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary
Retrace the footsteps of history in the Old City, explore a water tunnel in the City of David and experience the quiet of Shabbat in Jerusalem
Descend to the lowest place on earth to float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada in the Judean Desert
Navigate the Negev Desert wilderness the old-fashioned way on camels and enjoy a delicious desert tent dinner feast
Experience Israel's pioneering heritage at an authentic kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee shores, and ascend the Golan Heights on an off-road jeep trek
Travel to the Mediterranean coastal city of Haifa and discover the stunning Bahà'í Gardens and Temple on Mount Carmel
Soak up the cultural riches, browse colorful street festivals and enjoy the always lively beach culture of Tel Aviv
Make a solemn visit to the Yad VaShem World Holocaust Remembrance Center and celebrate modern Israel's establishment at Independence Hall
Get your hands dirty on the Dig-for-a-Day Archeological Seminar and cool down on a relaxed rafting trip down the upper Jordan River
Sample Israel's diverse cuisine at gourmet restaurants, in a Druze village and in open-air marketplaces

Optional Add-Ons

Descend into the ocean caves of Rosh Hanikrah and explore the Crusader era history in the ancient seaport of Acco (only available added to the 10-day core experience)
Luxuriate at the Red Sea resort city of Eilat and enjoy a guided day tour of Petra in Jordan


Choose from tour dates scheduled throughout the summer and winter break seasons. All posted program dates are 100% guaranteed but subject to limited availability. Private groups may be organized by special request.

2018 Tour Dates

Tour Arrival Date

Program begins Thursday evening

8-Day End Date

Program concludes Thursday evening

10-Day End Date

Program concludes Saturday evening

Eilat Ext. End Date

Add-on to the 8-day or 10-day program

June 14, 2018
June 21, 2018June 23, 2018June 23, 2018 or June 25, 2018
June 21, 2018
June 28, 2018June 30, 2018June 30, 2018 or July 2, 2018
June 28, 2018
July 5, 2018July 7, 2018July 7, 2018 or July 9, 2018
July 12, 2018
limited space
July 19, 2018July 21, 2018July 21, 2018 or July 23, 2018
August 2, 2018
August 9, 2018August 11, 2018August 11, 2018 or August 13, 2018
August 16, 2018
August 23, 2018August 25, 2018August 25, 2018 or August 27, 2018
December 20, 2018
limited space
December 27, 2018December 29, 2018December 29, 2018 or December 31, 2018
December 27, 2018
limited space
January 3, 2019January 5, 2019January 5, 2019 or January 7, 2018
NOTE: Availability notes by tour date are not updated in real time online


2019 Tour Dates

Lock in this year's prices for next year's tour dates for a limited time
Tour Arrival Date

Program begins Thursday evening

8-Day End Date

Program concludes Thursday evening

10-Day End Date

Program concludes Saturday evening

Eilat Ext. End Date

Program concludes Monday evening

June 13, 2019
June 20, 2019June 22, 2019June 24, 2019
June 20, 2019
June 27, 2019June 29, 2019July 1, 2019
June 27, 2019
July 4, 2019July 6, 2019July 8, 2019
July 4, 2019
July 11, 2019July 13, 2019July 15, 2019
July 25, 2019
August 1, 2019August 3, 2019August 5, 2019
August 15, 2019
August 22, 2019August 24, 2019August 26, 2019
December 19, 2019
December 26, 2019December 28, 2019December 30, 2019
December 26, 2019
January 2, 2020January 4, 2020January 6, 2020
NOTE: Starting in 2019, the Eilat Extension is only available following the 10-day tour


What it Costs

Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are absolutely risk free.

8-Day Core Program



Base cost with double room hotel occupancy$2,250/p $2,455/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy$685/p  $760/p
Discount for ages 12 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room*-$250/p -$300/p
Discount for ages 13-17 sharing a triple occupancy hotel room*-$125/p -$150/p

10-Day Core Program

Base cost with double room hotel occupancy$2,600/p  $2,850/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy$885/p  $990/p
Discount for ages 12 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room*-$400/p -$500/p
Discount for ages 13-17 sharing a triple occupancy hotel room*-$200/p -$250/p

Eilat Add-On Package

Base cost with double room hotel occupancy Does not include the Petra Day Tour $585/p  $585/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy$260/p  $260/p
Discount for ages 2-17 sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room*-$50/p  -$50/p
Supplement for guided Petra day tour from Eilat Includes Jordanian visa cost, border crossing fees and all tips $375/p $375/p

Acco & Rosh Hanikrah Excursion

Day tour from Tel Aviv on Day #10 $100/p $100/p


Israeli hotels follow specific rules regarding how many people and what ages can be accommodated in a given room. Israel Family Journey room sharing discounts reflect these hotel polices. Read these notes carefully when making your selections:
  • Adjoining rooms will be requested for families booking more than one room. Interconnecting rooms can be requested but can not be guaranteed in advance.
  • For families booking a triple occupancy room:
    • At least one full paying participant is required in the room for the children's sharing discount to apply.
    • Triple rooms are standard size and can be configured with either two twin beds and a roll-away bed or one queen-style bed and a roll-away bed.
  • For families booking a quad occupancy room:
    • At least two full paying participants are required in the room for the children's sharing discount to apply.
    • Quad rooms are slightly larger than standard rooms, and they are subject to limited availability which will be confirmed following receipt of your registration. Typical quad rooms can be configured with either two twin beds and a two-person sofa bed or one queen-style bed and a sofa bed.
    • For families selecting a quad room with two children ages 12 or under, a quad room will be provided in Jerusalem, the Galilee, Tel Aviv and Eilat. At the Dead Sea, two adjoining double rooms will be provided (no change in discount).
    • For families selecting a quad room with one child age 12 or under and one child age 13-17, a quad room will be provided in the Galilee and on a limited basis in Jerusalem. At all other hotels two adjoining double rooms will be provided (no change in discount).
    • Quad rooms are not available for families with two children, age 13-17. Two adjoining double rooms will be provided instead, and no discount applies.

What's Included

Benefit from our no-hidden-costs approach so that you can enjoy your experience to the fullest. 
Airport Transfer A VIP airport greeting and a private transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is complimentary for anyone arriving to Ben Gurion Airport between 6:00am and 4:15pm on the first day of the program (view travel tips)
Deluxe Hotels 4-star and centrally located accommodations with porterage included
Guide and Youth Counselor A licensed Israeli guide accompanies the program 24 x 7, and an additional youth counselor joins groups of at least 25 participants
Touring Bus Luxury touring bus with air conditioning and a dedicated Israeli driver Saturdays in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are walking tour days without a bus
Two Meals Daily Including tax and tips at restaurant meals For those adding the Eilat Extension, only breakfast is included in Eilat
All Programming Site entrance fees and all touring experiences noted in the itinerary
All Applicable Taxes An additional VAT (tax) applies for Israeli citizens at group hotels

What's Not Included

Flights to/from Israel
Local medical insurance (optional)
Travel insurance (optional)
Meals not marked as included in itinerary
Hotel incidentals
Israeli staff gratuities (suggested $100/adult traveler)

Travel Insurance

travel-insured-internationalWe have partnered with Travel Insured International to provide an optional discounted travel insurance package where children under the age of 18 traveling with parent(s) are covered for FREE. The policy includes coverage for medical-related cancellations, travel delays and luggage loss, trip interruption, and medical care. Cancel for any reason coverage is available as an add-on. View the policy for coverage details. The cost of the policy is a function of the total cost of your trip, including airfare booked on your own. The policy must be issued before final payment is made for the program, and some benefits are only available within 21 days of registration. Take advantage of it!

Local Health Insurance

harelGet peace of mind in Israel with a local medical insurance policy. Through a partnership with a leading Israeli insurance provider, Harel, travelers from abroad can obtain local health insurance in Israel that covers treatment and medication for non pre-existing conditions. This short term medical-only policy carries no deductibles or co-pays, and there are no claims or paperwork to submit for care. Even if you have coverage at home that extends abroad, you would still need to pay out of pocket in Israel, and then file a claim with your home insurance provider once you return. The same is true for travel insurance policies that include a medical benefit. In other words, the Harel local medical insurance policy is a convenient way to receive medical care in Israel without hidden costs or paperwork headaches. Learn More: Summary Policy | Detailed Policy
  • Up to age 49 – $2.50/Day
  • Ages 50-59 – $4.00/Day
  • Ages 60-65 – $5.50/Day
  • Ages 66-69 – $7.00/Day
  • Ages 70-79 – $8.00/Day
  • Ages 80-85 – $10.00/Day
HOW TO GET COVERED To include a medical insurance policy as part of your travels, contact us at least 14 days in advance of your arrival date. For travelers age 66+, a health declarations form is required for coverage.

Additional Hotel Nights

Arriving to Israel early or extending your stay after the tour? Take advantage of our group rates at the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eilat hotels. Rates include breakfast and are based on our standard cancellation terms. Hotel extensions are subject to availability and can only be booked contiguous to the program itinerary.
Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem
  • Double Room: $260/night
  • Single Room: $235/night
  • Triple Room: $345/night
  • Triple Room (at least 1 child age 12 or under): $300/night
  • Quad Room (must have 2 children age 12 or under): $420/night
Herods Tel Aviv
  • Double Room: $250/night
  • Single Room: $225/night
  • Triple Room: $330/night
  • Triple Room (at least 1 child age 13 or under): $275/night
  • Quad Room (must have 2 children age 13 or under): $300/night
Herods Palace Hotel, Eilat*
  • Double Room: $285/night
  • Single Room: $255/night
  • Triple Room: $390/night
  • Triple Room (at least one 1 child under 13): $360/night
  • Quad Room (must have 2 children under 13): $460/night


Israel Family Journey tells the story of Israel through the lens of Jewish history. We begin where it started in Jerusalem, we follow the path of the Exile to Masada and Galilee, and then we conclude in Tel Aviv celebrating the establishment of modern Israel.
Actual itineraries and final hotels may vary only slightly and will be re-confirmed about two months prior.

Summer Experiences in Israel


June, July & August Dates

Summers in Israel tend to run hot, and our itinerary features more opportunities for swimming, a hands-on archeological dig activity, rafting on the Jordan River, and a longer stay in the Galilee.


Print this Itinerary
DAY 1 > THURSDAY: Baruch HaBah Welcome to Israel!
  • Arrive at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on your self-booked flight All travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport by 4:15pm this day are entitled to a VIP greeting and complimentary transfer to our Jerusalem hotel
  • A complimentary "pre-tour" is available for travelers already in Israel from the night before* or travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport by 9:30am today. Notify us at least a month in advance if you plan to participate in the pre-tour.
    • Pick-up at 12:30pm from the Mount Zion Hotel and travel to the open-air Mahane Yehuda Marketplace
    • Discover the foundations of Jerusalem at the City of David archaeological park and navigate the Hezekiah water tunnel, fed by a natural spring (pack water shoes, and prepare to get wet!)
  • Evening: Get oriented over a welcome dinner at J'oy Restaurant in the Mamilla Complex followed by the Tower of David Night Spectacular in the Old City
Mount Zion Hotel, JerusalemDinner
  *To best acclimate for the journey ahead, travelers are encouraged to arrive at least a day early. Group rates are available at the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem. Note: The complimentary airport transfer is only offered on the arrival day.

DAY 2 > FRIDAY: The Old City of Jerusalem
  • Experience a panoramic introduction to Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade
  • Enter the Old City via Zion Gate – Explore the rooftops, alleys and squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Free time for shopping and lunch in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall — and go deep under the Old City in the Kotel Tunnels
  • Return to our accommodations – Freshen up, relax, and experience the quiet that descends on Jerusalem before the start of Shabbat
  • Option to attend a Kabbalat Shabbat experience at a local synagogue or at the Western Wall
  • Evening: Enjoy a festive Shabbat dinner as a group at our hotel
Mount Zion Hotel, JerusalemBreakfast & Dinner

DAY 3 > SATURDAY: Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Morning Option: Return to the Old City for a tour of the Christian Quarter and Arab Shuk (bazaar)
  • Shabbat lunch is included at our hotel
  • Afternoon Option: Jerusalem Beyond the Walls – Montefiore's Windmill, Yemin Moshe, Mishkenot Sheananim, and the First Jerusalem Train Station Market
  • Evening: Discover Jerusalem nightlife at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall, the German Colony, the Russian Compound and beyond (on own)
Mount Zion Hotel, JerusalemBreakfast & Lunch

DAY 4 > SUNDAY: Loss & Renewal in Israel
  • Docent-led tour of the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center Children's alternative: Tour of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
  • Visit the grounds of the Knesset – Israel's Parliament Building — and stop for a photo-op at the famous National Menorah
  • Pick up new skills on Dig-for-a-Day – A hands-on archaeological workshop at Beit Guvrin National Park Less active alternative: Tour of Tel Maresha and the Bell Caves
  • Travel deep into the Judean Desert for a camel riding adventure and a memorable desert tent dinner feast at Kfar Hanokdim encampment
  • Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and check-in to our resort accommodations at Ein Bokek Beach
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea Resort HotelBreakfast & Dinner

DAY 5 > MONDAY: Adventures in the Judean Desert
  • Rise early and summit Masada — Hike the Snake Path or take the cable cars
  • Explore and recount the story of Masada - Herod's desert mountaintop fortress and the bastion of an ancient Jewish rebellion
  • Descend Masada via the cable cars and return to our accommodations
  • Experience the wonder of effortless floating on the Dead Sea while enjoying our deluxe resort hotel facilities (hotel spa access is available for ages 16+)
  • Take a short nature walk to the desert oasis at Ein Gedi National Park and view wild ibex in their natural habitat (time permitting)
  • Travel northwards to the Galilee via the Jordan River Valley, part of the vast Syrian-African Rift
  • Check-in and dinner at our kibbutz-based hotel accommodations located on shores of the Sea of Galilee
Nof Ginnosar Hotel, GalileeBreakfast & Dinner

DAY 6 > TUESDAY: Mystics in the Galilee
  • Walking tour of ancient Tsfat – The historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Lunch on own and personal exploration time in the Tsfat artists' colony
  • Cool off with relaxed rafting down the upper Jordan River Less active alternative: Tel Dan archaeological complex
  • View across Israel's lush Upper Galilee and Golan regions from the Mitzpe Liran lookout point
  • Cruise on the Sea of Galilee followed by a gourmet dinner at Decks Restaurant in Tiberias on the waterfront
Nof Ginnosar Hotel, GalileeBreakfast & Dinner

DAY 7 > WEDNESDAY: Perspectives from the Golan Heights
  • Ascend the Golan Heights, and explore this strategic region on a historical off-road jeep trek
  • View Israel's neighbors and navigate former IDF bunkers at the summit of Mount Ben-Tal, a dormant volcano in the northeast corner of the Golan
  • Travel to Ein Kinya village to learn about Druze culture over a traditional lunch
  • Free time and/or swimming in the Sea of Galilee and hotel pool Participants celebrating a B'nai Mitzvah have the opportunity to take part in a brief ceremony here on the banks of the Sea of Galilee
  • Evening: Dinner on own and personal exploration time in the Galilee village of Rosh Pina
Nof Ginnosar Hotel, GalileeBreakfast & Lunch

DAY 8 > THURSDAY: Along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Travel westward from the Galilee toward the Mediterranean Coast
  • Take in the views of Haifa from the Bahai Temple Gardens on the slopes of Mount Carmel
  • Tasting, tour & lunch at Binyamina Winery with a separate activity for kids at the solar garden
  • Explore Caesarea – Herod's Roman-era amphitheater and grand palace ruins along the rugged Mediterranean Coast
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv, and enjoy a sunset walking tour of the ancient Jaffa seaport*
  • Check-in to our resort hotel on the Tel Aviv beachfront (10-day tour only)
Herods Tel AvivBreakfast & Lunch
*The 8-day option ends this evening with a transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for overnight return flights or a transfer to Sde Dov Airport for a domestic flight to Eilat for those including the Eilat Package (no hotel is included in Tel Aviv).

DAY 9 > FRIDAY: Building Modern Israel
  • Visit the Ayalon Institute – Learn about the story of the Haganah and the quest to create a modern Jewish State at this secret munitions factory
  • Independence Hall – Recount the creation of modern Israel where it happened and learn about the Jewish State's founding values
  • Celebrate the spirit of Tel Aviv at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Afternoon walking tour of Tel Aviv's historic Neve Tzedek neighborhood and trendy Rothschild Boulevard
  • Program wrap-up and farewells on the beach
  • Option to attend an outdoor Kabbalat Shabbat (pluralistic) at the Tel Aviv Port
  • Evening: Enjoy a festive Shabbat dinner experience as a group at our hotel
Herods Tel AvivBreakfast & Dinner

DAY 10 > SATURDAY: Shabbat on the Beach An optional day tour of Acco & Rosh Hanikrah is also offered this day
  • Relaxed morning to explore Tel Aviv on your own or enjoy the city's Mediterranean beach culture
  • Shabbat lunch is included at our hotel along with late check-out till 2:00pm*
  • Walking Tour — Rabin Square Memorial, HaBimah Theater Grounds, and the classic Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv
  • Evening: Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for overnight return flights or a transfer to Sde Dov Airport for a domestic flight to Eilat for those including the Eilat Package (no hotel is included in Tel Aviv this evening).
Breakfast & Lunch
  *Travelers wishing to stay an additional night(s) in Tel Aviv using our group hotel rates may do so with prior arrangements.
REGISTERMap of Israel Travel Itinerary Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Featuring a dramatic view of the Old City and in close walking distance to the city's main cultural attractions, the Mount Zion Hotel truly embodies a feeling of being in Jerusalem. The hotel dates back to the 19th century Ottoman-era and reflects an eclectic combination of cultural styles with a lush private garden and one of the best outdoor pools in Jerusalem. WEBSITE | MAP Crowne Plaza Dead Sea

Crowne Plaza Dead Sea

Nestled between the mountains of the Judean Desert and the shores of the Dead Sea, the Crowne Plaza is a resort hotel with extensive spa and pool facilities. The hotel features a private beach at the Dead Sea, and your early morning ascent to Masada is conveniently just 15 minutes away. WEBSITE | MAP Nof Ginnosar Hotel, Galilee

Nof Ginnosar Hotel, Galilee

Situated on Sea of the Galilee beachfront, Nof Ginnosar is located within the grounds of an active (and lush) kibbutz. This 4-star equivalent hotel features a lovely pool during the summer, an accessible beach and plenty of room to explore the uniquely Israeli phenomenon of modern kibbutz life. WEBSITE | MAP Crowne Plaza Beach, Tel Aviv

Herods Tel Aviv

Tap into the vibrant spirit of Tel Aviv at this beachfront hotel with direct access to the Mediterranean promenade and adjoining the Tel Aviv Marina. Take advantage of the hotel's outdoor pool (May-October) and deluxe amenities. It's the perfect way to enjoy Tel Aviv — with late checkout included on Saturday! WEBSITE | MAP

Acco (Acre) & Rosh Hanikrah Day Tour (Optional)

Rosh Hanrika
A day tour of the Western Galilee is offered as an alternate to the final Saturday in Tel Aviv. This optional tour covers the Rosh Hanikrah ocean caves and the ancient seaport of Acco – including the Templar Tunnels and Crusader-era castle. The tour starts in the morning at our Tel Aviv hotel and returns to Tel Aviv that evening in time for connecting flights back to North America or on to Eilat. The cost of the Acco & Rosh Hanikrah Day Tour is $100 per person, and it covers all transportation and touring costs. Lunch is not included.

Eilat & Petra Extension (Optional)

Conclude your stay at the Red Sea resort city of Eilat – with the option to visit Petra, Jordan's wonder of the world. The package includes two nights of hotel with breakfast daily, round trip domestic flights and all airport transfers. The Eilat extension is designed as a vacation package and is not guided. The guided day tour of Petra in Jordan costs an additional $375 per person. It includes round-trip transfers, entrance fees, border/visa fees (subject to change), tips, and lunch (not kosher).
DAY 8 OR 10 > Thursday or Saturday: Depart for Eilat
  • Evening: Travel on domestic flight to Eilat
  • Arrive at Eilat Airport and transfer to our resort accommodations on the Red Sea
Herods Palace Hotel, EilatBreakfast & Lunch

DAY 9 OR 11 > Friday or Sunday: Optional Petra Tour Red Sea Relaxation
  • Option #1: Relaxed day to enjoy Eilat and the Red Sea
  • Option #2: Guided day tour of Petra including lunch (not kosher)
Herods Palace Hotel, EilatBreakfast & Lunch

DAY 10 OR 12 > Saturday or Monday: Red Sea Relaxation
  • Relaxed day to enjoy Eilat and the Red Sea*
  • Evening: Domestic flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv**
  *Check-out is at 2:00pm (if Day #10) or 11:00am (if Day #12), however, guests will retain access to hotel facilities throughout the day. Travelers wishing to stay an additional night(s) in Eilat using our group hotel rates may do so with prior arrangements. **Return flights from Eilat Airport to Ben Gurion Airport will be booked according to the traveler's return international flight. Depending on the flight schedule, the domestic flight from Eilat will be booked to Sde Dov Airport (Tel Aviv's local airport), in which case a transfer will be provided to Ben Gurion Airport at no additional cost. Travelers booked on an early morning departure from Ben Gurion Airport (e.g. 5am-10am departure) are encouraged to fly to Tel Aviv the night before and overnight at a local hotel in the city of near the airport (ground transportation is not included).

Herods Palace Hotel, Eilat

Close out your experience in Israel at resort accommodations located directly on the Red Sea beachfront of Eilat. The Herods Palace Hotel is one of Eilat's classic luxury hotels and provides ample opportunities for relaxation and leisure. WEBSITE | MAP

Winter Experiences in Israel


December Dates

Winters in Israel range from cool to mild, and our itinerary features extra time exploring Haifa, additional experiences in Jerusalem, and a 'safari tour' in the Hula migratory bird reserve.



You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions are answered below, and you can access the official Pre-Trip Prep Guide for even more background about the tour. Contact us if you have additional questions.

How do the 8, 10 or 12-day options work?

The core program is offered as an 8- or 10-day experience. The 8-day experience ends as we arrive to Tel Aviv on Thursday evening (no overnight in Tel Aviv is included). The 10-day core experience includes touring in the Tel Aviv region on the final Friday and Saturday, including two overnights at a beach-side hotel in Tel Aviv*. An optional two-day Eilat & Petra Extension is offered at the end of both the 8- or 10-day program for 2018 tour dates. However, starting in 2019, the Eilat & Petra Extension will only be offered following the 10-day program. *Although not formally offered, a 9-day core program is possible including a full day of touring in Tel Aviv on Friday. Contact us for additional details.

Who staffs the tour?

The program is led by an experienced, licensed Israeli guide who is with the group on a 24/7 basis. Your guide will be fluent in English and deeply knowledgeable about the history, culture, environment and landscapes of Israel. Our guides are charismatic educators with an expertise in informal education -- many of them also guide our BBYO teen groups. If your group has over 25 travelers, your tour will also be accompanied by an Israeli counselor who focuses on the experience of younger participants and provides additional support to the group in general. Finally, our travel takes place on a large, comfortable, air conditioned bus with a dedicated driver NOTE: The Eilat Extension is generally not escorted.

How active is the touring?

Because we want you to get the most out of your time in Israel, our touring days are full, and there is quite a bit of travel by foot. While none of the walks are strenuous, you will find at the end of the day that you have taken a large number of steps! Be prepared for an average of 3-4 hours of walking a day over all manner of surfaces (cobblestones paths, nature trails, and uneven walkways, etc.). Additionally, the weather in Israel is warm, particularly from April to September, and the sun is more intense than you may be used to at home. Where necessary, we will adjust the itinerary for your comfort.Where necessary, we will adjust the itinerary for your comfort, and you'll find that most days have opportunities to cool down with swimming or getting wet in general. NOTE: Travelers who wish to take a break can opt-out as needed after coordinating with the guide, and in some cases we offer less active programming alternatives for those who wish.

How can I incorporate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah as part of the experience?

Traveling to Israel as a family is an especially meaningful way to mark a child’s coming of age. There will be a brief ceremony led by our staff in the Galilee to mark the occasion for those who wish to participate (scheduled during free time). No preparation is required before the tour, and there is no extra cost. If you are interested in organizing a more involved ceremony, there are opportunities to do so before, during or after the tour. Contact us for planning advice and if you wish to be referred to a local rabbi who can design and lead a ceremony that fits your own family’s vision. Finally, keep in mind that becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is simply about reaching this milestone age. No ceremony is required by Jewish law, and for many families the mere act of traveling through the Land of Israel together is the most appropriate way to celebrate this happy occasion. Mazal tov!

What's the age composition of the group?

Groups are comprised of couples traveling without children, solo adults and families traveling with children. Because of the active nature of the program, children traveling with their parents are typically age 8 or older. Group sizes typically range from 15-40, and average group size is 25-30 travelers.

How is this a Jewish experience?

Israel Family Journey is a pluralistic Jewish travel experience open to all. Group meals are kosher, and there is no bus-based touring on Shabbat. The program is unaffiliated with any specific religious organization or approach. Travelers on Israel Family Journey arrive with varying degrees of Jewish affiliation, and non-Jewish family members and friends are welcomed. Our goal is to provide a complete first-time experience in Israel through the lens of Jewish history and identity.

How much of a group experience is this?

Our goal for the program is to create a sense of community among individual travelers – with participants gaining lasting new friendships and a richer experience as a result. There are also ample opportunities for personal exploration during the tour. In particular, Saturdays are designed to be less structured, and no programming is mandatory on any day. Participants are encouraged to arrive in Jerusalem earlier or stay in Tel Aviv longer to explore even more on their own. Group hotel reservations can be extended accordingly.

How all-inclusive is the experience?

In short, you're responsible for arranging your own flights to and from Israel, and we take care of most everything else! The program covers two meals a day, all touring, a fantastic staff team, accommodations including luggage porterage, deluxe motorcoach transportation, and round trip airport transfers on the arrival day and on the last night of the program (see below for details). You'll be responsible for one meal a day, any specialty beverages at group meals and staff gratuities.

How are special dietary needs accommodated?

Be sure to note any special dietary needs as part of your registration. We will coordinate with our hotel and restaurant meal providers to arrange special accommodations as necessary. We make a good faith effort to accommodate food allergy considerations, however, we can not make absolute guarantees on behalf of our meal providing partners.

What's the suggested staff gratuities?

It is customary in Israel to tip the Israeli guide and driver at the end of the program. As a rule of thumb, $100 per adult traveler is appropriate – or in the shekel equivalent. We recommend splitting that amount – 1/3 for the driver (~$35) and 2/3 for the guide (~$65). Although not customary, foyou may also provide a gratuity to the Israeli counselor who joins groups of at least 25 travelers. Gratuities for hotel staff and wait staff at group meals are already included in the cost of the program.

How do I get ready for the trip?

Take a moment to review our Prep-Trip Prep Guide. Luggage tags are distributed approximately a month prior to arrival, and you'll also be invited to a program Facebook group to connect with fellow travelers before the program and stay in touch afterwards.

How should I arrange my travel to and from Israel?

Basic guidelines for planning your travel to/from Israel are summarized below. More detailed advice is contained in the Prep-Trip Prep Guide. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or for advice on booking flights. TRAVEL TO ISRAEL
  • Participants are responsible for arranging their own air travel to/from Israel
  • All travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport between 6:00am and 4:15pm on the first day of the program are entitled to a VIP greeting and complimentary transfer to our Jerusalem hotel
  • Those travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport by 12:00pm on the first day of the program can take part in a guided tour of the City of David archeological complex
  • Those travelers arriving before the first day or after 4:15pm on the first day can receive the same greeting and airport transfer service for an additional fee depending on the size of the party (note: the cost off a standard taxi to Jerusalem is $80-$100)
  • Travelers arriving to Ben Gurion Airport after 4:15pm on the first day of the program will likely miss the welcome dinner and programming this evening and will be responsible for their own transportation to the restaurant
  • Those travelers arriving to Israel early (which we recommend for acclimating in advance) can be accommodated by prior arrangement at the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem based on our group rates.
  • At the end of the core program (Thursday or Saturday night), participants will be escorted back to Ben Gurion Airport in time for overnight flights departing between 10:30pm and 1:00am the next day. No hotel is included this evening unless arranged separately.
  • Participants booked on return flights outside of this window can be accommodated with an airport transfer by special arrangement, and additional fees will apply (note: taxis from Tel Aviv to Ben Gurion Airport are inexpensive, ubiquitous, and reliable).
  • Those travelers extending their stay in Tel Aviv can be accommodated at the Crowne Plaza Beach Hotel based on our group rates.

What about arranging flights after the Eilat Extension?

For those taking part in the Eilat Extension, we will arrange your connecting domestic flight from Eilat back to Tel Aviv according to your international departure time from Ben Gurion Airport. In some cases the flight from Eilat will be to Ben Gurion Airport and in other cases it will be to Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv. If the latter is the case, your transfer from Sde Dov to Ben Gurion Airport is included. We encourage you to book an international flight that departs between 10:30pm and 1:00am the next day. If you are booked on a flight that departs Ben Gurion Airport after 1:00am you will likely need to spend the night at an airport hotel (additional cost applies) or make separate arrangements. Those travelers extending their stay in Eilat can be accommodated at the Herods Palace Hotel based on our group rates. Contact us for additional details.

What are the passport and visa rules for Israel?

Check to make sure that you know where your passport is and that it is not expired or about to expire. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you arrive in Israel. If your passport expires within this period, please start the renewal process today. Many airlines will deny you boarding if your passport is not valid according to this policy. If you are traveling to Israel on a USA, Canadian, or European Union member country passport, a visa is not needed to enter Israel. If you are traveling on a passport from another country, you may need a visa to enter Israel. Our office is able to provide you with an official ticket confirmation if needed. NOTE: If you're including Petra, a Jordanian visa and all border crossing fees are included as part of the day tour package.

How do we approach safe travel in Israel?

Safe travel in Israel has been our guiding consideration for decades. We appreciate the responsibility that travelers entrust in us, and we care about your well-being in like family. Key security-related protocols that we follow include:
  • Traveling on private transportation only
  • Traveling with a licensed Israeli guide at all times who has been trained in security response
  • Avoiding travel to areas of heightened concern
  • Use of hotels with a guard and a secure area
  • 24/7 support from our headquarters office in Israel
  • Close coordination with the Israeli security services via the "Situation Room"
  • Willingness to modify our programming, staffing structure, and/or overall protocols as needed based on actual conditions where we travel in Israel.
Finally, in the rare event of an acute security event in Israel we have issued full refunds at our own discretion in the past, and we will continue to do so in the future should we deem the situation appropriate. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about our approach to providing travel experiences which are safe, meaningful and joyous.
Page - My Turn - FAQ


To sign up, complete the online REGISTRATION FORM

Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are absolutely risk free.

Enrollment Terms

Be sure to review these simple enrollment steps and terms 
  • To reserve your spot, a $250/person deposit is due at the time of your registration
  • The deposit is fully refundable up to four months in advance of the program start date, after which it is non-refundable
  • The balance is due no later than two months in advance of the program start date, after which it is non-refundable
  • Cancellations must be made in writing, and we encourage you to obtain travel insurance. Two policy options are available;
  • Travelers cancelling the Rosh Hanikrah/Acco Day Tour or the Petra Day Tour will receive a 50% refund if we are notified at least 72 hours in advance
  • A late registration fee of $50/person applies for enrollments within two months of the program start date
  • Payment for the deposit may be made by check or credit card, and no credit card fees apply
  • Payment for the balance of program costs may be made by check or credit/debit card, however, a 3.5% processing fee applies for credit/debit card payments, and credit card fees are not refundable
  • All program dates are guaranteed, however, participation is subject to limited availability
  • Authentic Israel and BBYO reserve the right to deny acceptance on the tour according to their discretion
*Our travel insurance policy must be issued before final payment is made. Some benefits are only available if the policy is purchased within 21 days of your initial registration.

Statement of Understanding

I have voluntarily applied to participate in Israel Family Journey (the “Program”) organized by Authentic Israel and BBYO Passport LLC, along with their affiliated entities, partners, and other representatives (collectively known as the “Organizer”).

Travel Associated Risk

I understand that there are risks associated with my participation in such a Program, including without limitation risks associated with general touring activities, outdoors activities, sporting activities, overnight stays, transportation, and travel as well as increased security and safety risks in Israel due to the prevalence of crime, political conflict, and limited availability of medical facilities that meet standards to which I am accustomed. I acknowledge that the nature of the Program may expose me to hazards or risks that may result in my illness, personal injury or death, and I understand and appreciate the nature of such hazards and risks.

I hereby accept all risk that may result from my participation in the Program, and I hereby fully and unconditionally release and forever discharge the Organizer from any and all liability to me, all members of my family, my personal representatives, estate, executors, administrators, heirs, next of kin and successors and assigns for any and all claims and causes of action for loss of or damage to my property (either owned or rented by me) and for any and all illness or injury to my person, including my death, that may result from or occur during and/or related to my participation in the Program, whether caused by the intentional acts, negligence or carelessness of any person or entity, including but not limited to any claims for negligence, negligent supervision and/or negligent provision of medical care and/or medication. This release extends and applies to, and covers and includes, all unknown, unforeseen, unanticipated, and unsuspected injuries, damages, loss and liability, and the consequences thereof, occurring in connection with and/or in any way related to my participation in the Program at any time after the execution of this Waiver and Release.

Right to Participate

I understand that acceptance to the Program is conditioned upon submission of payment and all required travel information according to the posted deadline. Completion of these steps does not guarantee acceptance to the program, and I understand that the Organizer reserves the right to deny or revoke acceptance, in its sole discretion, at any point.

Modifications to the Program

I understand that the Organizer reserves the right to consolidate and/or cancel specific trips and/or trip dates, in its sole discretion, without prior notice. I further understand that the published sample itinerary and/or program description included in any marketing material is subject to change at the sole discretion of the Organizer. I further understand that any itinerary documentation distributed as part of pre-trip preparation materials is also subject to reasonable change at the sole discretion of the Organizer.

Property and Financial Responsibility

I understand that I will be required to pay for any damage I cause to property of others. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Organizer from any financial liability or obligation which I personally incur, or for any injury or damage to the person or property of others which I cause or contribute to, while participating in the Program. I understand that the Organizer shall not be liable for any of my property (whether owned or rented) which is damaged, lost or stolen throughout the duration of the Program, including property contained in my luggage or within my hotel/accommodations – regardless of the circumstances.

Food Allergies, Medical Contingencies and Consent to Treat

I understand that I am solely responsible for providing the Organizer with all relevant dietary and medical considerations pertaining to my well-being through the designated forms. I understand that Program staff will make a good faith effort to ensure that food is available on the Program that is consistent with any special dietary considerations I have specified but that I am nonetheless solely responsible for food that I consume. Further, I understand that the Organizer cannot guarantee an environment accommodating me if I have an airborne food allergy.

I understand that participation in the Program can be physically challenging and can involve irregular sleeping and eating schedules. I have consulted with a physician and have been advised that I am in good health. I do not suffer from any illnesses, conditions or disabilities that would make participation in the Program unwise, harmful or dangerous to myself or others.

Further, I agree that, if I become ill or incapacitated, the Organizer may take any action it deems necessary for my safety and well-being, including securing medical treatment (at my own expense) and making arrangements for transporting me home. I understand that in such instances I will not be entitled to any refund of paid Program fees or costs and that all travel arrangements, costs and liabilities associated with being returned home, including the cost of an escort if necessary, will be my sole responsibility.

I understand that the provision of available healthcare services in Israel may not meet the standards to which I am accustomed. I further understand that in the event I need medical care, I may be taken to and receive care from local clinics at the sole discretion of Program staff. In some instances, healthcare facilities expect upfront payment. I understand that I am responsible for all such payments, whether upfront or otherwise, and I have been advised that I should have access to travelers’ checks or a credit card at all times while in such countries in case of a medical emergency.

Dispute Resolution

Any and all disputes between the parties arising out of or relating to this agreement, whether grounded in contract, tort or statutory law, shall be resolved exclusively by arbitration in Washington, DC. The arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Rules of JAMS. The prevailing party in the arbitration shall be entitled to its attorneys’ fees and costs plus any fees and costs incurred in connection with confirming the arbitrator’s award.


If any provision of this Waiver and Release shall be found to be unenforceable, then a court making such determination shall have the authority to narrow the provision, which shall be enforceable in its narrowed form. Moreover, each provision is independent and severable from each other, so in the event any portion is found unenforceable and not modified, then the remainder of the Waiver and Release shall remain in full force and effect.

I hereby acknowledge that I have fully read, understood, and accepted each of the above provisions. I have had the opportunity to consult with an attorney at my own expense to discuss and review the terms of this Waiver and Release. I acknowledge that this Waiver and Release includes a release of liability which legally prevents me or any other person from filing suit, or making other claims for damages, in the event of death, personal injury, or property damage.

I understand and agree that this Waiver and Release is binding on me and members of my family, my heirs, estate, executors, administrators, personal representatives and next-of-kin and their successors and assigns. My acceptance of the Waiver and Release and participation in the Program signifies my understanding of and agreement with these statements and their implications.

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