Trips and Tours

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Throughout the semester and year, your whole group will take overnight trips somewhere in Israel, usually involving hiking and camping. Through these experiences, you'll get a chance to get to know the Israel that exists outside of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and because of the variety of trips, you will be able to say that you really got to know Israel as a whole during the program.

 

On the overnight trips, you will get to enjoy the country's fantastic geographic diversity and breathtaking natural beauty, while also touring fascinating historical and cultural sites. The trips focus primarily on getting to know the land of Israel, with hiking and camping trips that are accessible for all skill levels.  And since most of our participants have already been on Birthright, you'll get to go off the beaten path, to the places where Israelis go to travel.

 

You'll also have monthly day tours.  An extension of the study program, the day tours expose you to a broad range of sectors of Israeli society, and let you see up-close the issues facing them.  You'll learn about many different issues from many different perspectives -- in past years we explored the many faces of Jerusalem; learned abut the experience of Israeli Arabs in the Galilee; we visited a Jewish settlement in the West Bank; visited residents living on the borders with Gaza; heard about the complex issues surrounding Israel's Bedouin populations; and much more. 

 

In addition to the overnight trips and day tours, you'll take part in cultural activities in and around Tel Aviv-Jaffa to get better acquainted with the culture and history of this remarkable city.  Past cultural activities include seeing Israeli films, visiting museums, or seeing an Israeli theatrical or musical performance.


Examples of past overnight trips include:

  • Golan Heights - Hiking through lush valleys and streams in this northern region of Israel

 

  • Ramon Crater - Enjoying the beauty of Israel's one-of-a-kind geological formation, the maktesh, including amazing desert vistas and a swim in a natural desert spring.

 

  • Tzfat - Spending a Shabbat in one of the holy cities of Judaism and the home of Jewish mysticism, located high in the green hills of the upper Galiee.


Examples of past day tours have include:

  • Hebron - Holy to Jews and Muslims, this West Bank city is witness to a great deal of tension between its Palestinian and Jewish inhabitants.  Our tour includes meetings with Jewish settlers in Hebron, Palestinian residents, an Israeli peace activist group, and an IDF representative.

 

  • Bedouin Villages - We meet with members of the Bedouin populations living in recognized and unrecognized villages in the Negev desert to learn about their way of life and the challenges they face.  We also meet with local officials from nearby cities to hear about the issues that the Bedouin's presence pose to their neighbors.

 

  • Jerusalem - On one tour to Jerusalem, we explore the many Jewish faces of the city, meeting with members of the ultra-Orthodox community as well as a representative of the "Women of the Wall" organization, which promotes gender-equality at the Western Wall.  On another tour, we explore the Muslim and Christian sides of the city, as we visit the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and other significant sites.  In addition, we meet with a city official who discusses the challenges in operating a city that is rife with divisions.

 

 

Locations of the trips and tours, as well as their specific contents, are subject to change!