2018 Inside Israel: Celebrating 70 Years of Independence

2018 Inside Israel

2018 Inside Israel:

Celebrating 70 Years of Independence


April 9-19, 2017

Celebrating 70 Years of Independence

Connect with the past.

Understand the present.

Be part of the future.

Seventy years ago, the Jewish people rose up like a phoenix from the ashes and declared an independent Jewish State – the State of Israel. Through trials and tribulations, the young country survived and thrived. Today, Israel is in better shape-- both security and economically-speaking--than ever before. Yet, the challenges--some even deemed existential--continue. Join CWB on a once-in-a-lifetime mission to Israel, to see, taste, discuss and learn about what makes the Jewish state tick and what lies ahead for its future.

With the help of experienced guides, participants on this private, by invitation-only seminar will have unprecedented access to the heart of Israel. Lay leaders from the Pittsburgh community will visit the country during three of the most important secular holidays in Israeli society: Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzma'ut. This 11-day journey will dive deep into the history, politics, and culture of this fascinating and complex nation.

On this journey participants will:

  • enjoy top rate accommodations, dining and service
  • meet and learn from locals and officials throughout the tour
  • discover why Israel is dubbed the 'Start Up Nation'
  • stand in the spot where the State of Israel was born
  • see Tel-Aviv through the prism of contemporary Israeli art, including graffiti & gallery tours led by an active Israeli artist
  • shop and dine in Tel-Aviv's trendiest neighborhoods
  • explore the newest archeological excavation sites and travel back in history to the Jerusalem of Kings David and Solomon-- jump ahead in time with a visit to the first Jewish neighborhoods built outside of Jerusalem's medieval walls in the mid-19th century, and return to a thriving present day Jerusalem with a tour of the colorful and famous Machne Yehuda marketplace
  • participate in Israel's official Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration at Yad Vashem
  • learn about Israel's government as we tour the Knesset and the Supreme Court
  • view the Gaza Strip from an observation point and meet with locals living in the area surrounding the Strip
  • float on the Dead Sea after an inspiring visit to Massada, the ancient desert fortress with a tragic but heroic history (optional)
  • visit a special I.D.F. base that trains special units including an elite canine unit
  • explore the Golan Heights from local wine production to a 1600 year old synagogue and a bird's eye view of the Israeli Syrian border
  • visit an Israeli hospital that has been treating Syrian victims of war for the past four years
  • spend a day weaving through ancient and modern Jewish life around the Sea of Galilee and time permitting, view the now famous Mona Lisa of The Galilee at Tsippori National Park.
  • commemorate Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism in Pittsburgh's partnership community of Misgav
  • witness the transition from mourning to jubilation as we celebrate Israel's 70th birthday

And much more...

Space is very limited! Please contact Dr. Zipora Gur 412-915-9182 ASAP to reseve your spot on this once-in-a-lifetime mission to Israel!


Monday 9.4.18 Day 1 Welcome to Israel!
9:30 - Depart for Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, explore the Old City of Jaffa, its artist colony and flea market. After checking in to the hotel and freshening up, head for Neve Tsedek, the first Jewish neighborhood built outside of Jaffa in the 1880s, one generation before the establishment of Tel-Aviv. Considered Tel-Aviv's "SoHo", the rapidly gentrifying Neve Tsedek boasts many fine boutique shops as well as cafes and restaurants.
12:30 - We will have lunch either in Jaffa or Neve Tsedek
14:00-17:00 - Cyber security
With a population of close to 9 million citizens, Israel punches well above its belt with the number of tech companies listed on NASDAQ making it the "Start-Up Nation". We will visit and meet with some of the Israeli entrepreneurs involved in this revolution and learn about how it came about.
In the early evening we will drive to Sarona – the newest hot-spot in Tel-Aviv.
Overnight – TA – Setai Tel-Aviv

Tuesday 10.4.18 – Tel-Aviv
9:00 - After breakfast we will meet with Sivan Ya'ari from Innovation Africa
10:15 - Depart for Rothschild Blvd and tour around founders street of Tel-Aviv
11:00-12:00 - We will visit the place where on May 14th, 1948, the Jews declared independence after 2000 years without sovereignty. This occurred in the heart of Tel-Aviv in the midst of a war, three years after the end of the biggest disaster of Jewish (and maybe world) history – the Holocaust.
12:15-13:15 - Following our visit at Independence Hall we will have an opportunity to see Tel-Aviv through the prism of contemporary Israeli art, starting with a tour of Tel-Aviv graffiti art led by an active Israeli artist.
13:15-14:15 Lunch
14:30-16:00 After lunch (Levinsky market), the participants will visit art Galleries
16:00-17:00 We will have some free time to walk around the Nachalat Binyamin arts & crafts fair that runs every Tuesday and Friday in Tel-Aviv.
Dinner on your own at the Sheila Restaurant
Overnight – TA – Setai Tel-Aviv

Wednesday 11.4.18 – Jerusalem (Yom Hashoah eve)
8:00 – Depart to Jerusalem
9:30-11:00 - On day three we will make haste to the Holy City of Jerusalem where the first half of the day we shall visit the newest and sexist ancient archaeological sites under excavation today. We will begin at the City of David - The historic nucleus of Jerusalem and the center of political and archaeological controversy, this site is the most intensely excavated place in the country. This is the Jerusalem of Kings David and Solomon located outside of the Old City Walls. 11:00-11:45 - Emerging from a two thousand year old drainage system under the foundations of the Western Wall, we shall continue with an exploration of the Southern Wall Excavations. In the wake of the Six Days War of 1967, Israeli archaeologists began investigating and excavating around the base of the Temple Mount on Mt. Moriah. The result is the magnificent open archaeological park that covers the area due West and South of the holiest site in Judaism. Here we have the place where Jesus turned over the Money changers tables as well as the original access point to the Temple Mount for Jewish pilgrims thousands of years ago.
12:30-13:30 – Lunch in the Jewish Quarter
13:30-14:30 – Brief tour in the Jewish Quarter
15:00 – Check-in to the hotel and get prepared for participating in a ceremony at Yad Vashem that commences Israel's twenty four hour Holocaust Remembrance Day.
17:00 – Light dinner and head to Yad Vashem
Overnight Jerusalem – King David Hotel

Thursday 12.4.18 – Jerusalem - Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day
9:00-12:00 - We will spend the day hosted by Yad Vashem – Israel's premier National Holocaust Remembrance Authority.
12:00-13:00 – Lunch at Yad Vashem
13:30-15:00 - Mt. Herzl
15:30-16:15 - In the early evening we will tour the first Jewish neighborhoods built outside of Jerusalem's medieval walls in the mid-19th century including Mishkenot Sha'ananim, and Yemin Moshe.
18:00 – Dinner at Jerusalem's premier restaurant - Mahaneyehuda
Overnight Jerusalem – King David Hotel

Friday 13.4.18 – Gaza Envelope & Jerusalem
8:00-9:20 On Friday morning we will drive south along Israel's coast to gain insights into the security and social challenges facing the country from the Gaza Strip and Hamas.
9:20-13:00 In addition to peeking into the Strip from an observation point, we will meet with local residents and learn both about their resiliency and the innovations emerging from the Israeli communities in the region.
13:00-14:00 Lunch in the region
14:00-15:15 Return to Jerusalem
18:00 - After freshening up at the hotel we will visit the Western Wall to experience "receiving the Sabbath bride", also known as Kabbalat Shabbat to be followed by a special dinner.
Overnight Jerusalem – King David Hotel

Saturday 14.4.18 – Jerusalem & Judean Desert
Today, on the Jewish Sabbath we would like to give you an opportunity to catch your breath and relax. We are offering an optional tour to the Ancient Desert fortress Masada and an opportunity to dip in the Dead Sea in the morning. Alternatively you can go synagogue hopping or just sleep late.
15:00-17:00 There will also be an optional tour of the Israel Museum in the afternoon (highly recommended) followed by a study session with a well-known local scholar.
Overnight Jerusalem – King David Hotel

Sunday 15.4.18 - Jerusalem
Oketz - Following a short presentation by a political scientist laying out Israel's political system and its workings, we will take a tour of the Supreme Court. - Regarded the most expensive building ever constructed in Israel (at least until 1992), the Supreme Court is one of Jerusalem's architectural gems. Beyond its being a compelling building, the Supreme Court is the bastion of Israeli Democracy, and such has been in the forefront of many of the major political dilemmas facing Israel in recent years. Next we will visit the Knesset – Israel's national assembly. Security Barrier. Not far away is the brand new National Campus for the Archaeology of the Land of Israel where thousands of ancient artifacts new seen before by the public can now be viewed. Our final activity will be a visit to a special I.D.F. base that trains special units including an elite canine unit.

In the evening we will enjoy an Israeli baking workshop and dinner with chef, Atalia.
Overnight Jerusalem – King David Hotel

Monday 16.4.18 - Golan Heights
7:30 – 9:45 – Drive to the Golan Heights
9:45-11:45 – Nir Atir – An officer who fought in one of the toughest battles in the Yom Kippur War will accompany us and tell us his story – in situ (more or less)
11:45-12:15 Chateau Golan Winery
12:40-13:50 – Lunch
14:15-15:15 Mt. Bental – An Israeli philanthropist who has been working to safe Syrian wounded and refugees will be joining us here – at Mt. Bental - where we will get a broad view of the Israeli-Syrian frontier and learn about what has been happening here for the past 6 years.
In the late afternoon we will check into a new beautiful lake-side complex where we will be staying for the night.
Overnight Setai Sea of The Galilee for one night

Tuesday 17.4.18 – The Sea of Galilee and Environs
9:00-12:00 Morning off...or touring classic Christian sites on the banks of the Sea of Galilee as well as a Jewish town from two thousand years ago – Magdala.
12:00-13:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 - Time allowing we will go to Tsippori National Park – containing the most spectacular ancient mosaics in Israel en route to a Memorial Day (eve of) ceremony at Pittsburgh's partnership community of Misgav.
16:00 - Misgav for the Memorial Day (eve of) ceremony.
Overnight Haifa – Dan Carmel
Wednesday 18.4.18 – Haifa & Acre Yom Hazikaron & Erev Yom Ha'atzmaut
Each year, a recurrent conversation re-enters the Israeli national discourse about whether or not Memorial Day and Independence Day should follow each other (back-to-back days). Clearly the latter date cannot be moved since it represents an historical event (Independence). But a choice was made to commemorate Israel's fallen the day preceding Independence celebrations. The debate revolves around how a society can transition so quickly between mourning and celebration...
8:00 - We will begin the day with our participation at the Reali School ceremony in Haifa. Following that we will travel to the city of Acre and explore its fabulous Crusader ruins. Returning to Haifa late in the day we will help celebrate Independence Day there.
Overnight Haifa – Dan Carmel

Thursday 19.4.18 – Independence Day – Flying home
9:30-10:00 – Drive to Caesarea
10:00-11:45 - On our final day we will wrap up the visit with a tour of Caesarea - a large pagan/Roman Port city that was established by King Herod the Great 2000 years ago.
12:00-12:45 - In the modern town of Caesarea we will tour the Ralli museum that commemorates Spanish Jewry and contains two fascinating museums.
13:00-14:00 - Lunch
14:30-15:15 - From there we will continue on to Alfei Menashe – a mid-sized Israeli settlement located just over the "Green Line" – the armistice line that separated Israel and Jordan from 1949-1967 and learn about the issues revolving around the settlement enterprise. We will then head to Tel-Aviv for a final dinner before setting out for the airport and the journey home.


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