Street Food in Israel

Enjoying a Falaffel

It may be that the great weather Israel enjoys most of the year is what makes street food so popular all over the country. The fact that you can walk outside and eat outdoors also fits the Israelis’ temperament, people who are known to be open and candid and not necessarily very polite. Be it as it may, during a culinary tour to Israel or a cooking vacations, you are bound to meet the people outside in markets and stands and experience the huge variety of street food around the country.

The one street food that has developed into a real national dish is of course falafel, balls made of hummus and spices, fried in deep oil. Falafel is an Arab dish which was adopted in Israel in the late 1950s and later on underwent modifications and improvements which made it into a real Zionist street food. Falafel is usually served in a fresh pita with a variety of salads, tahina and pickles. You can order a whole portion of falafel (a whole pita with about 6 balls) or half a portion (half a pita with 4 balls). In most places you can take as much of the salads offered as you like. A portion of falafel costs about 15NIS. Along Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv (which is lined with food stalls all along) you can find dozens of falafel stands. In Jerusalem, for example, we recommend trying “Between Gaza and Berlin” (55 Aza St, Jerusalem), where particularly fresh hummus is served as well as falafel balls, koubbe and additional home-made dishes, all excellent and extra-fresh.

In the typically Israeli family of street-food, falafel is the eldest son, but the family has a daughter as well: shawarma. Cuts of meat (usually turkey, but originally shawarma was made of mutton) which are packed into a laffa (a large Iraqi pitta ,which one fills and rolls like a huge taco), with salads and potato chips. A portion of shawarma costs around 25NIS and you had better take into account that it’s a really large dish. Here too salads are served with no limitation. While on your cooking vacations, it’s a good idea to try out “Shawarma Daboush” at Ibn Gvirol St. on the corner of Zeitlin in Tel-Aviv. The line here is long at all hours of the day and the night, but this also ensures a very fresh product, prepared right there, along with a generous variety of bit spicy salads.

As part of the same family of street-food you can encounter Sabih. There’s an ongoing controversy regarding the origin of the name. Some claim it has to do with sabah, which is the Arabic word for “morning”. Yet others say it’s a Hebrew acronym for “salad, egg and more eggplant”. The most famous Sabih stand is probably “Oved’s Eatery” at 7 Sirkin St in Givatayim. Oved himself is a colorful character whose behavior is reminiscent of the famous Seinfeld character “The Soup Nazi”. Oved has his own language, a huge crowd of devoted customers. Here too you’re bound to encounter a long line, but it’s worth the waiting: the taste is unbeatable.

One can find a great number of other street-food, of course, such as pizza, hamburgers or even stalls selling Mexican tortillas. In addition, you can find stall selling typical dishes of specific communities. A few examples are: Turkish börek (burekas in spoken Hebrew) served with an egg, crushed tomatoes and a pickled cucumber along with ayran (a Turkish yogurt beverage) – you can taste Turkish burekas at “Penso” in Lewinsky Market or at “Burekas Amikam” on Ibn Gvirol St, both in Tel-Aviv. A Tunisian sandwich, called Fricassee, is made of a long bun with pickled lemon, potato, onion, olives, tuna and mayonnaise. Excellent fricassee is to be found on Dizengoff St in Tel-Aviv. You can also taste Hungarian Kürtős (a dessert made of puff-pastry filled with goodies) at Dizengoff St in Tel-Aviv. The French too are represented at the “La Gâterie” on Ben Yehuda St in Tel-Aviv where you will be able to enjoy a thick fresh croissant which is cut along the middle to be stuffed with rich cheeses, fine salamis or both ingredients together with a poached egg. You’ll deal with your guilty conscience later on…

The king of sweet street-food is without doubt ice-cream. Tel-Aviv is packed with ice-cream parlors of various kinds. Some of these have joined the health-food trend and offer yogurt ice-cream with a variety of toppings. Try “Yogo” on Rothschild Avenue in Tel-Aviv or maybe Italian cream-based ice-cream. For this, one of the oldest and most special ice-cream parlors is “Iceberg” (there are two branches in Tel-Aviv, on Ibn Gvirol and on Ben Yehuda). “Iceberg” offer a unique choice of flavors, such as pineapple-vodka sorbet, orange-chocolate, pepper and mint sorbet (no mistake here!) and many other creations. All the ice-cream is made right there using natural ingredients and limitless creativity, making sure the sweet side of your Cooking Vacations is taken care of.

Cooking Vacation: culinary tour of vineyards, wineries, cheese and chocolate

Wine, cheese and chocolate – could there be a better combination? All this we’ll meet in a culinary tour in the green North of Israel, from the Carmel Mountain to the Galilee, which is known nowadays as Israel’s Tuscany.

We will leave on our tour from the center of the country and drive to the Tishbi Winery, where we’ll start the day with a rich breakfast. We will tour the winery and the vineyards and learn about the production process of wine and brandy as well as about the vineyard’s terroir. The Tishbi winery is one of the oldest in Israel. A visit to the winery is in fact an encounter with an unbroken tradition starting in 1882. The name “Tishbi” was given by Israel’s national poet, Bialik, in 1925. Once there, we’ll taste the Tishbi wines which have seen success both in Israel and abroad for quite a number of years.

Our culinary tour will then continue to the “Ha-Noked” dairy farm. “Ha-Noked” is an outstanding boutique dairy farm producing boutique cheeses. Its specialties are organic goat and sheep cheeses. During our visit we will learn about the way cheese is produced at “Ha-Noked” and about the principles of organic dairy production. Naturally, we’ll taste some of the delicacies. And if we’re lucky, we might even see the flocks of sheep and goats gently making their way on the local hillsides.

We’ll have lunch in an Arab restaurant in the Galilee, at Kfar Rama. “Ezba” is a well-established culinary hallmark. The restaurant specializes in the refined dishes of the Arab cuisine of the Galilee. Its cooking makes extensive use of herbs and spices from the area and offers us a unique opportunity to taste the simple and mouth-watering delicacies which are traditionally served on the tables of local Arab families. The dishes vary according to the season and to what Nature has to offer in the immediate surroundings.

After lunch, we shall continue our culinary tour with a visit at the “Rimon” winery where pomegranate “wine” is produced. This is the only place in the world producing pomegranate-wine. The winery uses a special kind of pomegranates which is grown locally and produces a deep-red juice with an especially high content of vitamins. It was a typical Israeli idea to try producing wine from these fabulous pomegranates and within a few years of the experiment, the wine turned out to be an unprecedented hit with the public. Nowadays, the winery produces a number of pomegranate wines all of which sell very nicely.

Not far from there, to the north, we’ll reach the Miles winery and Adir winery at Kerem Ben-Zimra, a high-end boutique winery. Indeed, the Northern Galilee and especially this particular spot is extremely suited not only for growing wonderful pomegranates but for cultivating vine in order to produce wine of the more traditional kind. The Miles winery, a small, very select family business, is known for the great care taken in all the phases of production. The owners believe that the process must start with the proper treatment of the vines, so all the work is done by members of the Miles family themselves, from caring for the vines and the grapes up to the aging of the wine in a specially built cellar.

Nothing can sweeten a culinary tour like having some excellent chocolate on our way back. This we’ll find in Kiryat Tivon, made by “Mishi”. Gourmet chocolate is used for the meticulous preparation of pralines that leave their mark for many hours. Nougat and fruit, marzipan and genache, with alcohol or any number of other fillings, a visit to “Mishi” will no doubt be a perfect conclusion to a culinary tour to Northern Israel.

Neff / Waxman B’not Mitzvah Trip
June 11-20, 2010

This trip to Israel included total of 15 participants from the US, to participate in the Bat Mitzvah celebratiob of Tamar Waxman and Samantha Neff.

We visited Israel from the North to the South, and of course celebrated the Bat Mitzvah on top of Massada, followed by a special night at a Bedouin village near Massada.
Here is the itinerary for this trip, together with few comments participants had about this trip:

Friday, June 11, 2010: Arrival to Israel, Jerusalem, Western Wall for Shabbat

Arrival to Ben Gurion Airport (on Delta flight #152 at 17:00). Meeting and assistance by our representative, transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem. Time permitting, we might stop for a panoramic view of Jerusalem from Mt. Scopus and a traditional entrance for the Holy city with blessings. We will end the day at the Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews, to pray to God’s presence, put a note in the wall and join the people there for Shabbat services.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, June 12, 2010: Old City Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Bethlehem
Full day tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. Starting with a panoramic view from Mt. of Olives, we will then continue pass the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus “often met with his disciples” (John 18:2) and where he spent his last hours in solitude before being captured by the Romans (Luke 22:47-53). Up to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, Cenaculum, the place of the Last Supper (Luke 22:14-22) and the place where the gift of the Holy Spirit came upon believers who were gathered there on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Here is also King David’s Tomb, today an active Jewish Synagogue. Continue to walk the Via Dolorosa, the fourteen stations of the cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchure. We will then continue to visit the Israel Museum, the place where the Dead Sea scrolls are on display and the model of 2nd temple Jerusalem. Time permitting, we will then continue with a visit to Bethlehem.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, June 13, 2010: Western Wall Tunnels, Davidson Center, Ir David

We will start our day today with an early morning visit to the Western Wall Tunnels, walking under the Western Wall plaza to the base of this remarkable wall and along it, all the way up north, to where the Antonia Military Fortress used to stand. Back to the hotel for breakfast, then we leave again to visit the Jewish Quarter. We Walk through the Zion Gate to visit the Jewish Quarters and the Roman Cardo, the main street in the Byzantine period of Jerusalem. On to the Davidson Center to see the Robinson Arch and the excavations of the southern base of the wall. We will end the day in the City of David, Jerusalem of 3000 years ago.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, June 14, 2010: Bat Mitzvah on Massada, Dead Sea, Bedouin reception and dinner
Today is a special day for Tamar Waxman and Samantha Neff, we will celebrate their B’not Mitzvot today at Massada. We will leave early to Massada to have the Bnot Mitzvah together with the Rabbi. We will then continue to enjoy the Dead Sea, where we can experience ‘floating’ on the water. We will then drive down to Kfar Hanokdim, where we will enjoy a festive Bedouin reception, dinner, Camels and many more activities. We will spend the night there in the Desert.
Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim, Arad

Tuesday, June 15, 2010: Air Force Museum, Mitzpe Ramon, Rappeling and Jeep Tour
We will drive today to Beer Sheva to visit the Air Force Museum there before driving to Mitzpe Ramon, via the Crater and Desert. In the Machtesh Ramon, we will enjoy activities such as Rappeling and a Jeep tour at the Crater towards sunset.
Overnight: Ramon Inn Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Wednesday, June 16, 2010: Archeological Dig Beith Guvrin, Sea of Galilee
We leave Mitzpe Ramon today and drive to Beith Guvrin to participate in an Archeological dig at the Tel Maresha caves. We will then continue to the Sea of Galilee, stopping at a very nice and interesting shop in Kibbutz Kineret that has dates, honey, spices, olive oil, wine and lots of other Israeli products. We will then drive to Safed to hotel.
Overnight: Rimonim Hotel, Safed

Thursday, June 17, 2010: Safed, Golan Wineries, Katzrin, Rafting on the Jordan River
We will visit the City of Kabalah today. Safed is considered one of the 4 holly cities in Israel and was the home of many Rabbis in the 16th century. Kabalah was created here, the Shulhan Aruch was written here by Rabbi Joseph Carro and the city is special with its mystical synagogues and allies. We will continue from Safed to visit the Golan Wineries in Katzrin and will finish the day rafting down the Jordan river
Overnight: Rimonim Hotel, Safed

Friday, June 18, 2010: Naot factory, Agamon Hachula, Jeep Tour in the Golan Heights
Our day will start in the NAOT factory shop. We will visit the Nature Reserve Agamon Hachula and ride around the lake. Our day will end with a Jeep Tour in the Golan Heights.
Overnight: Rimonim Hotel, Safed

Saturday, June 19, 2010: Rosh Ha’Nikra, Boat ride and Tiberias at night
This Shabbat we will have the morning to spend it at leisure in Safed, enjoying the special atmosphere of the city on Shabbat. In noon time, we will drive to Rosh Ha’Nikra to visit the famous grottos there. In the evening, we will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and have a festive dinner at Decks in Tiberias
Overnight: Rimonim Hotel, Safed

Sunday, June 20, 2010: Tree planting, Haifa, Bahai Gardens, Caesarea, Tel Aviv
Leaving our hotel in Safed, we will drive to Tel Aviv. We will plant trees in the Lavi forest on our way to Haifa. We will then visit Haifa, see the beautiful Bahai Gardens from the top of Mt. Carmel and walk through the German Colony. We will continue to Caesarea, the port city built by King Herod the great 2000 years ago and the place where Simon Peter shared the gospel with Cornelius, the Roman centurion who became the first Gentile convert (Acts 10: 44-48). The day will be over in Tel Aviv with some free time at the Tel Aviv Harbor before we leave to the airport for your return flight home (on Delta flight #153 at 23:35)

Bat Mitzvah Trip to Israel
14 days suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Departure from the US on your way to Israel

Day 2
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, assistance inside arrival hall, transfer to your hotel
Overnight, Hotel in Caesarea

Day 3
Enjoy a ride in the Tornado Boat in the port of Caesarea an experience of a life time. After lunch visit the special snail museum where you can scuba dive to rescue snails and use the special ink they produce. Of course this activity is nature friendly and the snails are returned safely to the ocean. Continue to Atlit detention camp, where the British housed the refugees smuggled in during and after World War II.
Drive to Dalat El Carmel a Druze village to receive Druze hospitality and learn about this special minority, their secret religion and traditions.
Drive through Haifa, view the Bahai Gardens that form the centerpiece of Haifa.  Haifa is the world center for the Baha’I faith, the shrine being at the center of the manicured gardens.
Continue through the sea side town of Nahariya before arriving at the beautiful grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, The art work of “master nature” The cable car will take you down to the naturally hewn caves in the water on the Israel-Lebanon border. Tour the coastline, watch the amazing sights, hear the whistling wind and feel the sea waves.
Overnight, Deluxe Chalet, Ramat Hagolan

Day 4
We start the morning with a tour of the mystical city of Safed; home to Cabbalists and thriving artist colony. Walk along the beautiful artist’s colony and Visit the ancient Synagogues and the artist quarters. This is one of the Four Holy Cities, according to Kabalistic studies.
Continue to “Bat Yaar Ranch” for some fun and adventure!
Visit to Manara the northern border and take a cable car ride up the mountain top and view the border, down by cable car. The cable car had been destroyed in Lebanon war, and had to be rebuilt.
End the day with kayaking down the Jordan River that combines good exercise with the exquisite beauty of Israel’s north.
Overnight, Deluxe Chalet, Ramat Hagolan

Day 5
MAZELTOV! This morning we will drive to the city of Katzrin, the capital of the Golan. At the ancient Katrin Park, a partially restored 3rd-century Jewish village is the Katrin Synagogue. The Synagogue was used for 400 years until it was partly destroyed, possibly by an earthquake, in 749. Here we will celebrate the Bat Mitzvah.
Take an exciting jeep ride as we learn of the strategic importance and history of the land and its physical beauty.
Visit the Golan Olive Oil Mill for a tour and tasting. This major agricultural center combines modern technology with one of Israel’s oldest Industries.
Drive via Mitzpeh Gadot, here you will have a good vantage point of how the Golan completely overlooks the Kinneret, together with the Moshavim, Kibbutzim and the tour of Tiberius.  Drive down the Jordan River to Jerusalem where you will check into your hotel.
Overnight, Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 6  (Friday)
Go to Emek of Surim and dig through the remains of the Second Temple thrown away by the Waqf, help do your part to preserve Jewish History.  Drive to Machana Yehuda; see the locals buy their produce for Shabbat, and Mei Sharim.  Shabbat dinner at the hotel
Overnight, Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 7  (Saturday)
Free day to rest and enjoy Shabbat in Jerusalem.
Overnight, Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 8
Visit the Knesset, the house of Israel’s parliament. Both the name and the number of seats was taken from Haknesset Hagedolah, the Great Assembly of the Second Temple period. View the Chagall tapestries, subjects of the Creation, the Exodus and Jerusalem.
Across the road from the Knesset is the Menorah, the official symbol of the State of Israel.
Next we’ll visit the Supreme Court of Israel.  This building is one of the most spectacular buildings in all the Middle East. Walk through its halls and learn which each nook is meant to symbolize.
Continue to the Israel Museum, where the domelike Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.
We end our day at Ammunition Hill; learn about the famous battle that saved Jerusalem on 6 days war and the brave soldiers of the hill.  Take a walk into the bunker and feel the atmosphere. Return to your hotel
Overnight,  Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 9
We start our day with the Ramparts Walk around the Old City walls.  We will make our way to the Jewish Quarter, reconstructed after the city was unified after the Six-Day War.
Visit Ir David (“City of David”), the section of Jerusalem that was captured and settled by King David and established as the first capital of an independent Jewish entity, and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. This was the water tunnel dug by King Hezekiah in an attempt to protect the water supply to Jerusalem.
Overnight,  Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 10
Free day to explore Jerusalem on your own
Overnight, Hotel in  Jerusalem

Day 11
We depart the hotel making our way to the Negev. Visit Abraham’s Well, and Tel Beersheba the sight of biblical Beersheba. Amid the eucalyptus trees we will visit Ben Gurion’s simple dwelling. Israel’s first prime minister, his home is known as:”the hut”. Not far from the hut is Ben Gurion’s grave. The sight selected by Ben Gurion himself, overlooks Zin Valley’s geological finery.  Continue to Beersheba, the capital of the Negev. Beersheba is the 4th largest city in Israel, and the home of the Ben Gurion University.
We end our day at Ein Avdat, where Moses led the Children of Israel through the desert, this being one of the water sources that Moses found. Return to Jerusalem
Overnight,Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 12
Drive down the Burma Road, the path that during the War of Independence was opened to Jerusalem in which conveys brought food and supplies to the city under siege.
Continue to the Tavlin Herb Farm, a unique Israeli project in which medical plants and herbs are grown and dried naturally. Additional to this the farm makes dried fruits with no added preservatives.
Continue to Mini Israel; tour the world’s largest miniature city, designed in the shape of the Star of David. The thousands of miniature “residents” have been created to present not only the physical, but also the cultural, religious and social aspects of contemporary Israel. Return to your hotel.
Overnight, Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 13
Free day to explore Jerusalem on your own
Overnight, Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 14
Departure transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your return flight home

Children's Israel Adventure Tour – 12 days

Day 1

Depart USA on your way to Israel

Day 2

Arrival in Israel. Your guide will be waiting for you as soon as you clear passport control, and will escort you to Jerusalem to the Haas promenade for a Shehechianu before arriving at your hotel in Jerusalem.

Prepare for Shabbat

Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel or at the Montefiore shul in Yemin Moshe

Shabbat Dinner and overnight in a Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 3

Shabbat services, followed by lunch at your hotel.

4.00pm Please meet in the lobby for our Shabbat afternoon activity for all the family in Yemin Moshe

Motze Shabbat – try Little Italy, or Olive & Fish, both with kid-friendly options, both within (literally) 3 minutes walking distance of the hotel, or if you really want to head further afield, and the kids are up for a walk, head along Emek Refaim Street in the German Colony…plenty of little restaurants, coffee shops, ice-cream and dessert cafes to choose from…and Ben Yehuda and the Nahlat Shiva neighborhood is a 5-minute taxi ride in the opposite direction…

Overnight Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 4

Please be ready to depart by 9.30am for a visit to Ein Yael,  where we’ll learn the basics of ancient wine-making (in other words, treading grapes!), and we’ll also have a chance to make mosaics, frescoes, and pottery.

Return to hotel for midday break and swim, then meet again at 1.00pm to head out for the Old City of Jerusalem: Har Zion + Cardo + Southern Wall of Temple Mount (the new Davidson Center is airconditioned with loads of visuals!). End the day with a visit to the Biblical Zoo, complete with Noah’s Ark!

Overnight Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 5

Drive through the Jerusalem Mountains to reach the natural wonderland of the Sorek Stalactite Cave, then drive down past Bet Shemesh and the Ela Valley (David and Goliath territory) and take part in an active archeological dig at Tel Maresha  – this is one of the most exciting archeological sites in the country and has turned up many amazing finds over the past few years. After the dig, you need a late lunchbreak – we’ll stop at Mevasseret for kosher KFC/MacDOnalds/Pizza Hut, then head out in the late afternoon for a short drive in to the Judean Desert to receive a patriarchal welcome at Eretz Breishit, as well as learning to ride a camel, and bake pitot…

Overnight Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 6

We’ll begin the day with a drive down to Rehovot, and visit the Clore Science Park, followed by a tour of Machon Ayalon, aka the Bullets Factory, to hear the amazing – and true- story of this underground munitions factory from pre-State days. (We’ll also arrange for a pizza lunch to be brought there!) On the way back to Jerusalem, we’ll stop at Mini Israel for a look at all of Israel’s major landmarks in miniature replicas, and also make this a lunch break. Returning to Jerusalem, we’ll take part in a Chesed project at one of the main centers of Yad Eliezer, where we’ll be helping to pack up food parcels for needy families.

After performing this important mitzvah, we’ll return to the hotel for swimming, and then packing our bags to prepare for tomorrow’s departure to the Galil.

Overnight Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 7 – Jerusalem to Galil

Please have your luggage ready for the bellboys to collect from your rooms.

Drive down to Emek Ayalon and make our first stop at Latrun Fort (this is a 35 minute drive) where you’ll see all the tanks Israel bought/borrowed/captured – plus the Merkavah which we make – all climb-able and make the greatest Kodak moments!, before continuing on the new Trans-Israel highway to the hills of the Carmel (approx. 50 minutes – 1 hour drive) where we’ll visit the beautifully restored 19th century town of  Zichron Yaacov – our first stop will be at “Tut Niyar” where even the youngest can pound the pulp and make paper (from the raw tree!), and whilst our handiwork is drying, we’ll take a lunch break on Zichron’s main street, and also  visit the First Aliyah Experience to see what was happening in this part of the world just over 100 years ago…after we collect our artwork from Tut Niyar, we’ll continue across the Galilee hills to the ancient town of Zippori and neighboring Kfar Kedem (about a 45 minute drive) to experience what it was like to live on a Galilee hillside in the Mishna and Talmud period  – you will all be transformed into shepherds and goatherds for the next hour or so: activities involve getting into appropriate costume, herding the goat and sheep and making cheese from their milk, and of course learning how to use the local means of transport – donkeys…. From here we’ll drive across the hills of the Galil to the Hula Valley (this is where the kids – and adults! – should have their afternoon nap – it’s a good hour’s drive from Kfar Kedem to our hotel)

Dinner and overnight at a Kibbutz Hotel

Day 8 – need swimsuits and water shoes all day…

Walk through Tel Dan – probably one of the best sites in the country for combining nature, water, bible and modern history…then drive up the slopes of Mount Hermon to Nimrod Castle. Return to the banks of the Jordan River for a rafting trip down the river, which brings us back to Kfar Blum.

We’ve scheduled a late afternoon jeep ride (departing at 5.30pm) for an off-road adventure in the Golan (you may get wet here too!).

PLEASE NOTE: Although rafting is restricted to age 5 and up, any age (including babies) can come on the jeep ride; whoever is NOT going rafting because of small children will be brought back to Kfar Blum to enjoy the pool, and we will have the jeeps start out from the Kibbutz so the non-rafters can join the jeep ride.

Dinner and overnight at a Kibbutz Hotel

Day 9 (Friday)

Drive up onto the Golan to Ein Zivan to pick fruit, make and bake your own fruit pie, and ride on the back of a tractor through the kibbutz fields to the border near the old Syrian town of Kuneitra…from here we’ll drive to the top of the extinct volcano of Mount Bental  – great bunker for the kids to go through, and have lunch in a coffee-shop at the top called – what else? – “Koffee Anan” (For the non-Hebrew speakers, that translates to ‘coffee in the clouds’ and gives you an idea of local sentiment vis a vis the leader of the U.N.…)

Back to the hotel for swimming, and prepare for Shabbat.

Kabbalat Shabbat, Dinner and Overnight at our Kibbutz Hotel

 

 

Day 10

Shabbat services and lunch at the Kibbutz

At leisure in the hotel

For dinner, can take the group to a nearby restaurant in Kiryat Shmona, or Dag al HaDan  – highly recommended – the kids can paddle in the Dan River whilst waiting for their pizza/pasta (assuming they don’t want fish?)

Day 11

Cliff Manara can be enjoyed by all ages: cable car to the top, and ‘mountain train’ is suitable for all (from age 2-3), rappelling suitable from age 5-6, omega (“zip-line” I believe you call it), suitable for babes in arms – they are harnessed to mum or dad! – and climbing wall suitable for age 7+.

When you’ve exhausted all possibilities at Cliff Manara, time for the ultimate hands-on experience – join the team at Moshav Bet Hillel for the midday cow-milking (don’t worry if you have no prior experience – they have a wooden simulator with plastic teats for you to practice on…) and a chance to feed the newborn calves (there are ALWAYS newborns – they have a herd of 400 mums)

Return to the hotel, swim, relax, pack.

At 4.00pm, the bus will depart for Neot Mordecai for anyone who wants to visit the Teva Naot shoe factory.

At 5.00pm, the bus will drive up to Zfat (swinging by the kibbutz after Teva Naot for those who want to drop off/join the trip up to Zfat

Dinner & overnight at the Kibbutz Hotel

Day 12

For our last day’s touring together, we’ll make our way back to Jerusalem, stopping first to plant a tree at the Lavi Forest near Golani Junction, then we’ll make our way across the Lower Galilee to Kfar Tavor, stopping at Moshav Shadmot Devora to see how the “Devora” (bee) makes honey, and how the silkworm makes – you guessed it! – silk…Driving down the Jordan River Valley to Bet She’an, we’ll stop for lunch in the little (but fully airconditioned!) mall for kosher McDonalds or pizza; continuing on a little way, we’ll stop at GanGaroo, the only place in the world outside Australia where you can pet kangaroos….across to the shore for a dip in the Mediterranean at Herzlia Pituach where we can also have a fairwell dinner together in the Marina before saying bye to each other and head to Ben Gurion Airport for your return flight home.

Shalom and L’Hitra’ot!