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.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL
8-10 DAYS

OVERVIEW

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

organized-with-bbyo

Our carefully crafted itinerary covers Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Masada, the Judean Desert, the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and Tel Aviv –with plenty of off-the-beaten-path discoveries and delicious meals your family will cherish along the way. Choose from a core 8-day or 10-day tour with an optional 2-day extension to Eilat and Petra. Guaranteed dates are offered over the summer and winter vacation seasons.

Israel Family Journey is a joint program of BBYO and Authentic Israel (prior involvement with BBYO is not necessary). The program is organized in-house by our staff and led by our elite guides and counselors, allowing us to provide you with a higher level of service, a truly educational experience, and an exceptional value.

Dates  |  Cost  |  Included  |  Itinerary  |  FAQs  |  Register  |  Preparing

Learn more about opportunities to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah in Israel

Celebrating Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

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

More Than a Tour

We understand that traveling to Israel is unlike any other destination, which is why we strive to offer so much more than is expected.
  • 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
  • Led by passionate 24x7 staff and backed by an organization you can count on
  • A focus on creating a sense of community and connection as part of a shared journey
  • Absolutely no hidden costs, no surprises, and a near all-inclusive package
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 a 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 Yad VaShem World Holocaust Remembrance Center and celebrate Israel’s revival 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

Discover the ocean caves of Rosh Hanikrah, and explore Crusader-era history in Acco (available as an add-on to the 10-day experience)
Luxuriate at the Red Sea resort city of Eilat and enjoy a guided day tour of Petra in Jordan

DATES

Choose from tour dates scheduled throughout the summer and winter break seasons. All posted dates are guaranteed but subject to limited availability. Private groups may be organized by special request. NOTE: Availability is not updated in real time online.

2018 Tour Dates

Scroll right for 8, 10, and 12-day end dates.

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
August 16, 2018
WAIT LIST ONLY
August 23, 2018 August 25, 2018 August 25, 2018
or August 27, 2018
REGISTER
December 20, 2018
WAIT LIST ONLY
December 27, 2018 December 29, 2018 December 29, 2018
or December 31, 2018
REGISTER
December 27, 2018
WAIT LIST ONLY
January 3, 2019 January 5, 2019 January 5, 2019
or January 7, 2018
REGISTER

2019 Tour Dates

Scroll right for 8, 10, and 12-day end dates.

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 10-day
program
June 13, 2019
LIMITED SPACE
June 20, 2019 June 22, 2019 June 24, 2019 REGISTER
June 20, 2019
LIMITED SPACE
June 27, 2019 June 29, 2019 July 1, 2019 REGISTER
June 27, 2019
LIMITED SPACE
July 4, 2019 July 6, 2019 July 8, 2019 REGISTER
July 4, 2019
LAST CHANCE!
July 11, 2019 July 13, 2019 July 15, 2019 REGISTER
July 25, 2019
LIMITED SPACE
August 1, 2019 August 3, 2019 August 5, 2019 REGISTER
August 15, 2019
Available
August 22, 2019 August 24, 2019 August 26, 2019 REGISTER
December 19, 2019
Available
December 26, 2019 December 28, 2019 December 30, 2019 REGISTER
December 26, 2019
Available
January 2, 2020 January 4, 2020 January 6, 2020 REGISTER
Lock in 2019 tour prices for 2020 tour dates when you sign up commitment-free for a limited time!

2020 Tour Dates

Scroll right for 8, 10, and 12-day end dates.

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 10-day
program
June 4, 2020
Available
June 11, 2020 June 13, 2020 June 15, 2020 REGISTER
June 11, 2020
Available
June 18, 2020 June 20, 2020 June 22, 2020 REGISTER
June 18, 2020
Available
June 25, 2020 June 27, 2020 June 29, 2020 REGISTER
June 25, 2020
Available
July 2, 2020 July 4, 2020 July 6, 2020 REGISTER
July 2, 2020
Available
July 9, 2020 July 11, 2020 July 13, 2020 REGISTER
July 9, 2020
Available
July 16, 2020 July 18, 2020 July 20, 2020 REGISTER
August 6, 2020
Available
August 13, 2020 August 15, 2020 August 17, 2020 REGISTER
August 13, 2020
Available
August 20, 2020 August 22, 2020 August 24, 2020 REGISTER
August 20, 2020
Available
August 27, 2020 August 29, 2020 August 31, 2020 REGISTER
December 17, 2020
Available
December 24, 2020 December 26, 2020 December 28, 2020 REGISTER
December 24, 2020
Available
December 31, 2020 January 2, 2021 January 4, 2021 REGISTER

COST

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 of the program start date.

8-Day Core Program

GENERAL DATES

AUGUST DATES

Base cost with double room hotel occupancy $2,375/p  $2,575/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy $685/p   $760/p
Discount for children ages 13 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room* Hotel rules require two children 13 and under to qualify for a quad room -$250/p  -$300/p

10-Day Core Program

GENERAL DATES

AUGUST DATES

Base cost with double room hotel occupancy $2,725/p   $2,975/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy $885/p   $990/p
Discount for children ages 13 and under sharing a triple or quad occupancy hotel room* Hotel rules require two children 13 and under to qualify for a quad room -$400/p  -$500/p

Eilat Add-On Package

GENERAL DATES

AUGUST DATES

Base cost with double room hotel occupancy Includes round-trip domestic flights, two nights hotel with breakfast and all airport transfer. Petra Day Tour is separate. $600/p   $600/p
Supplement for single room hotel occupancy $250/p   $250/p
Discount for ages 2-13 sharing a triple hotel or quad room* Hotel rules require two children 13 and under to qualify for a quad room -$100/p   -$100/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

GENERAL DATES

AUGUST DATES

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

*Rooming Notes

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: Triple occupancy rooms:
  • At least one full paying participant is required in the room for the children's discount to apply (ages 13 and under only).
  • Triple rooms are typically standard size rooms and can be configured with either two twin beds and a roll-away bed or one queen-style bed and a roll-away bed.
  • No discount applies for triple rooms without a child who is age 13 and under, but in some cases, the room provided will be a larger-sized room.
Quad occupancy rooms:
  • At least two full paying participants are required in the room for the children's sharing discount to apply (ages 13 and under only).
  • Quad rooms are slightly larger than standard rooms, and they are subject to limited availability. Typical quad rooms have one bathroom and can be configured with either two twin beds and a two-person sofa bed or one queen-style bed and a sofa bed. Families of four who prefer more space or an extra bathroom should opt for two adjoining double rooms, however, no child discounts will apply. 
  • For families selecting a quad room with two children ages 13 and under, a quad room will be provided in Jerusalem*, the Galilee, Eilat, and Tel Aviv. At the Dead Sea, two adjoining double rooms will be provided in lieu of a quad room.
  • According to hotel rules, quad rooms are not available if there is only one child age 13 and under in the room. Two adjoining double rooms will be provided instead, and no child discounts will apply.
Multiple rooms: Adjoining rooms will be requested for families booking more than one room. Interconnecting rooms can be requested but can not be guaranteed in advance. *In some cases the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem may assign two adjoining double rooms in lieu of a 4-person quad room at their own discretion, and our same child discounts will still apply for the two children ages 13 and under.

Additional Hotel Nights

Arriving in Israel early or extending your stay? Take advantage of our group rates at the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eilat hotels. Rates include breakfast and our standard cancellation terms. Hotel extensions are subject to availability and can only be booked contiguous to the program itinerary. Rates below are for 2019 dates only (contact us for 2018 rates if applicable).
Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem
  • Double Room: $275/night
  • Single Room: $255/night
  • Triple Room: $425/night (Citadel Room)
  • Triple Room (at least 1 child age 13 or under): $325/night
  • Quad Room (must have 2 children age 13 or under): $450/night
 
Crowne Plaza Beach Tel Aviv
  • Double Room: $280/night
  • Single Room: $260/night
  • Triple Room: $350/night
  • Triple Room (at least 1 child age 13 or under): $300/night
  • Quad Room (must have 2 children age 13 or under): $330/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

INCLUDED

Benefit from our no-hidden-costs approach so that you can enjoy your experience to the fullest. Review the official Israel Family Journey Prep-Trip Prep Guide for even more program details.

What's Included

Airport Transfer

A VIP greeting and private transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is complimentary for travelers arriving to Tel Aviv Airport as follows:
  • First day of the program (Thursday) from 6:00am to 4:15pm
  • Day before the program (Wednesday) from 6:00am Offered starting in 2019

DELUXE HOTELS

Centrally located, 4-star equivalent accommodations Hotel porterage services are included

GUIDE + YOUTH COUNSELOR

A licensed Israeli guide accompanies the group on 24 x 7 basis An additional youth counselor joins groups with over 25 participants

TOURING BUS

Deluxe motor coach with AC and an experienced Israeli driver Saturdays in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are walking tour days

Two Meals Daily

Including tax and tips at restaurant meals For those adding the Eilat Extension, only breakfast is included

All Programming

Site entrance fees and all touring experiences noted in the itinerary
A tour of Rosh Hanikrah + Acco is offered as an add-on to Day #10 

Applicable Taxes

An additional VAT (tax) applies for Israeli citizens at group hotels

What's Not Included

Local medical insurance (optional) Get peace of mind with a local health insurance policy and receive medical care without any co-pays, deductibles or paperwork. LEARN MORE.
Travel insurance (optional) Insure your investment, and plan ahead for the unexpected with a family travel insurance policy that covers children under age 18 for free when traveling with an insured adult. LEARN MORE
Flights to/from Israel
Meals not included in the itinerary
Hotel incidentals
Israeli staff gratuities Suggested $100 per adult traveler

ITINERARY

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

SUMMER ITINERARY

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
    • 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 Jerusalem hotel.

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 Camel riding is limited to ages 5-67 according to Kfar Hanokdim's rules
  • Descend to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and check-in to our resort accommodations at Ein Bokek Beach
David Dead Sea Resort & SpaBreakfast & 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 (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 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, and lunch at Binyamina Winery with a separate activity for children
  • Explore Caesarea – Herod's Roman-era amphitheater and grand palace ruins along the rugged Mediterranean Coast
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv in the early evening, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital
    • 10-day tour travelers will check-in to our resort hotel on the coast and enjoy a free evening with dinner on own
    • 8-day tour travelers will have limited free time prior to a scheduled transfer to Ben Gurion Airport leaving from our Tel Aviv hotel at 7:30pm Accommodations in Tel Aviv are not included tonight for 8-day travelers unless otherwise requested (group rates available)
Crowne Plaza Beach Tel AvivBreakfast & Lunch

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 ammunition factory
  • Tour the ancient port city of Jaffa and browse the Jaffa Flea Market
  • Continue on to explore Tel Aviv’s trendy Rothschild Boulevard, and view Independence Hall where the modern State of Israel was founded Independence Hall is currently closed for renovations and will re-open in 2020
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon celebrating the Tel Aviv spirit at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market in the historic Neve Tzedek neighborhood
  • 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
Crowne Plaza Beach 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 Accommodations are not included tonight unless otherwise requested (group rates available)
  • Walking Tour — Rabin Square Memorial, HaBimah Theater Grounds, and the classic Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv
  • Included evening airport transfers:
    • Pick-up at 7:30pm for a transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for those traveling home on an overnight return flight
    • Pick-up for a transfer to Sde Dov Airport for those including the Eilat Package Flight schedules vary and typically depart from Tel Aviv between 5:30pm-7:30pm
Breakfast & Lunch
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 (seasonal) outdoor pools in Jerusalem. WEBSITE | MAP David Dead Sea

David Dead Sea Resort & Spa

Nestled between the mountains of the Judean Desert and the shores of the Dead Sea, the David Dead Sea Resort & Spa Hotel features extensive spa and pool facilities along with access to the Ein Bokek beach. Best of all, 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

Crowne Plaza Beach 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)

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.
Acco
Rosh Hanrika

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 at a resort 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).
Eilat
Petra

DAY 10 > SATURDAY: Depart for Eilat
  • Evening: Travel on a domestic flight to Eilat
  • Arrive at Eilat Airport and transfer to our resort accommodations on the Red Sea
Herods Palace Hotel, EilatBreakfast & Lunch

DAY 11 > SUNDAY: Optional Petra Tour
  • 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

DAY 12 > MONDAY: Red Sea Relaxation
  • Relaxed day to enjoy Eilat and the Red Sea Check-out is at 11:00am, however, guests will retain access to hotel facilities all day
  • Transfer from the hotel to the Eilat Airport for a domestic flight to Tel Aviv* Accommodations are not included tonight unless otherwise requested (group rates available)
Breakfast

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

*EILAT FLIGHT LOGISTICS

The Eilat Extension begins with a 50-minute domestic flight from Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov Airport on Saturday in the early evening, and it ends with a return domestic flight on Monday. If you departing from Israel immediately after the Eilat Extension, we encourage you to book an international flight that departs between 10:30pm (Monday) and 1:00am the next day (Tuesday). Unless otherwise requested by the traveler, your domestic flight will be selected by our office according to a schedule that will bring you to Ben Gurion Airport's international terminal 3-5 hours ahead of your scheduled international flight. If no such domestic flight exists we will contact you with alternate options. Domestic flight delays and airport transfer delays are infrequent but can occur. Any such delay resulting in a missed international flight is the responsibility of the traveler alone, and travel insurance is recommended accordingly. If you are considering an international return flight that departs Ben Gurion Airport before 1:00pm, keep in mind that there are limited or no early morning flights from Eilat to Tel Aviv, and you will almost definitely need to spend the night before at a Tel Aviv hotel or at a hotel near the airport such as Sadot. Ground transportation is not provided by the program in such scenarios. We can only book your domestic flights after we first receive your connecting travel plans. Since domestic flight availability is limited, we encourage you to send us your post-Eilat travel plans as soon as possible. If you have any questions about coordinating your international flights, please do not hesitate to contact us. Shortly before the start of the program, we will provide you with a logistics plan based on your personal travel arrangements to and from Eilat.

Winter Experiences in Israel

WINTER ITINERARY

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.

 

FAQ

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 spacious, 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 over the summer, and the sun is more intense than you may be used to at home. When 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 personalized 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 traditional Jewish 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 families spanning three generations and couples traveling without children are welcomed as well! 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 to 40 travelers max, 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 approach to Judaism. 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 and many of the dinners are intentionally left free. 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, hotel accommodations including luggage porterage, and deluxe motorcoach transportation. A VIP airport greeting and roundtrip airport transfers are offered on the arrival day, the day before the arrival day, and on the final evening of the program (see below for full details). You'll be responsible for one meal a day, 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 as follows: 1/3 for the driver (~$35) and 2/3 for the guide (~$65). Although not customary, you may also provide a gratuity to the Israeli counselor who joins groups with over 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 Pre-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 afterward.

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 Pre-Trip Prep Guide. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or for advice on booking flights. TRAVEL TO ISRAEL
  • All participants are expected to make their own air travel arrangements to and from Israel. The only international airport in Israel is "Ben Gurion" (airport code: TLV), located just 40 kilometers from Jerusalem (approx.25 miles) and 15 kilometers (approx. 9 miles) from Tel Aviv. Non-stop flights are available from several major North American cities, including NYC, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newark, Miami, and Toronto. Many connecting flights options are available via Europe.
  • A VIP airport greeting and a private transfer to our Jerusalem hotel is complimentary for anyone arriving to Ben Gurion Airport as follows:
    • The first day of the program (Thursday) between 6:00am and 4:15pm
    • The day before the program begins (Wednesday) as of 6:00am (starting in 2019)
  • NOTE: The transfers are private for Israel Family Journey travelers with a maximum wait time of 20 minutes if travelers on multiple flights are to be accommodated together. 
  • Those travelers arriving outside of these covered times can receive the same VIP airport greeting and transfer service to our hotel in Jerusalem for an additional fee depending on the size of the party (note: the cost of a standard taxi to Jerusalem is $80-$100)
  • Travelers arriving at 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. We do not recommend it!
  • Those travelers arriving in Israel early (which we recommend for acclimating in advance of the tour) can be accommodated by prior arrangement at the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem based on our group rates, which includes breakfast and our standard cancellation terms.

 

TRAVEL FROM ISRAEL
  • 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, which include breakfast and our standard cancellation terms.

 

TRAVEL WITH 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, which include breakfast and our standard cancellation terms

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. If needed, our office is able to provide you with an official ticket confirmation. NOTE: If you're including the Petra in your travels with us, 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 Israel 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

REGISTER

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
  • 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.

Severability

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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REAL REVIEWS FROM REAL TRAVELERS

We know you’ll love the Israel Family Journey experience, but don’t just take our word for it. Check out these real reviews from past travelers who have completed the journey.

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