The best of Israel with Temple Shalom and the Sklar family

June 28 – July 7, 2022

Led by the Sklar family



  1. Itinerary
  2. Rates
  3. Accommodation
  4. Featured
  5. Guidelines for Payment & Cancellation
  6. VAT (Value Added Tax)
  7. Travel Protection
  8. Additional Notes Regarding COVID


(Subject to change)

Day 1

Bruchim HaBaim and Welcome to Israel

Tuesday, June 28

Arrive in Israel (Meet at the Airport at a Pre-determined time).

Meet Routes representative for airport assistance.

Meet your Tour Educator in the Arrival’s Hall.

Transfer to Jerusalem.

Enter Jerusalem and drive to the Haas Promenade for an overlook of the City of Jerusalem. We will recite the traditional ‘shehechiyanu’ blessing for new beginnings, as we set our sights on the beauty laid out in front of us, witnessing three thousand years of history, old and new merging, from the days of King David through the very moments in which we begin our wonderful journey together.

Check-in at the hotel.

Festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant.


Overnight: Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 2

The Layers of Jerusalem

Wednesday, June 29

Breakfast at the hotel.

Explore the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem. View the Gihon Spring, the 3000-year-old water source of King David’s capital and that of the Jebusite city before it. Wade through the water of King Hezekiah’s 2700-year-old water tunnel and continue through the 2000-year-old dry drainage system of the Temple Mount.

Enter the Old City of Jerusalem via the Dung Gate.

Explore the Jerusalem Archeological Park, (including the Southern Steps and Robinson’s Arch) for deeper insight into the Second Temple period, the Jewish pilgrims of the time, why it all came to an end- and why it really didn’t! From the Second Temple period pedestrian mall below Robinson’s Arch, we will also have an opportunity to view and speak about the Western Wall Azrat Yisrael, the egalitarian prayer space.

Visit the Kotel (Western Wall) and experience the special atmosphere at this holy site.

Enjoy lunch on own exploring alleyways and markets with anything from hummus & falafel, pizza & shawarma and more as your options.

Continue through the colorful markets and experience the cacophony of the Shuk of the Moslem quarter.

Walk through the Christian quarter, along part of the Via Dolorosa (the Way of Suffering) including a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, according to Christianity, the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Take a walking tour through the Jewish Quarter, for guided visits to some of the sites excavated over the past 50 years, including:

  • A walk along the Rooftops of the Old City for a behind-the-scenes look at its quarters, from where grand vistas can be viewed new perspectives gained.
  • The Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem in the 6th century, replicated today by the modern souvenir, art and Judaica shops that line part of the ancient street.
  • King Hezekiah’s First Temple-period “Broad Wall”.
  • Hurva Square, the central square of the Jewish Quarter.
  • Lunch on own in the Jewish Quarter.

Return to the hotel.

Free time to explore downtown Jerusalem, including the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall the Nachalat Shiva neighborhood, or the newer Mamilla pedestrian mall, with dinner on own.

Night Tour at the Western Wall Tunnels – For a different perspective on the history of Jerusalem, head underneath the Old City’s chaotic maze of buildings to the Western Wall Tunnel. The extension of the retaining wall built 2,000 years ago by Herod the Great to support the massive compound where the Temple stood.


Overnight: Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 3

Searching for Roots

Thursday, June 30

Early Breakfast at the hotel.

8:00 – 9:00 am Celebration! Return to the Old City for a wonderful Bar Mitzvah experience with family and friends at the Herodian Road and Robinson’s Arch.

11:30 am Group and Bar Mitzvah guests’ Festive Brunch at Culinarium restaurant in the Old City.

Depart the Old City for Beit Guvrin and drive via the Judean Hills.

Hands-On History: Take part in an active archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves; prepare to get your hands dirty uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago (and to be the first to touch that pottery in 2300 years!) and brave the Maresha Cave Labyrinth with some cave spelunking (optional).

Return to Jerusalem.

The Geopolitics of Jerusalem: Travel to the edge of the city of Jerusalem, using the powerful vistas to gain insight into some of the complex, complicated and current geopolitical realities of the city and of the State, with an overview of Palestinian controlled areas as well as a close of the Israeli Security Barrier.

Rest & relax. Dinner on own, perhaps at the Old Train Station Plaza, a central neighbourhood hub for food, entertainment, and culture.

Overnight: Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 4

Memory and Renewal

Friday, July 1

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit Yad Vashem, the Jewish National Museum and Memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including:

  • The Avenue of the Righteous Amongst the Nations
  • The Historical Museum
  • The Children’s Memorial
  • An opportunity to share thoughts, feelings and reflect on your experience.

For younger children (under the age of 11 per museum’s guidelines):

Option 1: Join a youth guide for a visit to Ein Yael, an interactive, outdoor, living museum, located on a 2000-year-old archeological site. There are multiple options to experience what life was like in ancient times, such as weaving, pottery making and painting.

Option 2: The Biblical Zoo is one of Jerusalem’s loveliest places. It has a great collection of animals with a special focus on creatures mentioned in the Bible. It includes 62 acres of open areas where the animals live, a zoo train if you don’t feel like walking, a petting zoo, and plenty of other activities to keep all ages enthralled.

Enjoy lunch on your own in the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s colorful and always vibrant multi-cultural Machane Yehuda open air market. Known locally as Shuk Machane Yehuda, this will be the perfect spot from which to join local Jerusalemites in their pre-Shabbat leisurely saunter or chaotic, last-minute surge through the market.

Return to the hotel and prepare for Shabbat.

Kabbalat Shabbat services with Kol Haneshama Reform Congregations in Jerusalem.

“Shalom Aleichem” dinner with congregants.

Yad VaShem
Yad VaShem

Overnight: Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 5

Deep Dive into the Desert

Saturday, July 2

Early breakfast at the hotel and early departure.

Depart Jerusalem and descend towards the Dead Sea Basin, via the Judean Desert.

Ascend by cable-car to Masada, Herod’s mountain-palace and fortress, and the site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Roman Legionnaires 2000 years ago; add yet another layer to the puzzle and discuss Masada’s role as a symbol of Jewish defense and its current significance in modern Israel.

Enjoy Lunch & Swim at the Herbert Samuel Dead Sea beach hotel or similar.

Experience the weightlessness of the Dead Sea as you float in its waters; enjoy the hotel’s spa.

Short hike to the fresh waterfalls of Nahal David in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a lush oasis overlooking the Dead Sea (time permitting).

Return to the hotel.


Dinner on own, perhaps at the Mamilla Promenade or downtown as the city opens up after Shabbat.

The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum – The walls of the ancient citadel serve as a stage and a screen for a night-time show which is a celebration of sight and sound, depicting the story of Jerusalem.


Overnight: Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 6

A Mosaic of Israel on the Drive North

Sunday, July 3

Breakfast at the hotel and check out.

Drive North through the Judean Desert and along the Jordan Valley.

Stop at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu for a short tour and visit to the BioBee eco-startup that recognizes the need for viable working solutions that consider all the unique parameters of the grower in a specific country: from regulatory demands, logistics, climate, growing method to environment issues. BioBee offers tailor made IPM programs, field service support and innovative solutions.

Lunch on own on route.

Option to freshen up in the heat – swim at the Sachne National Park. Gan Hashlosha pools – the park that sits at the foot of mount Gilboa which is a 40-acre paradise. Time Magazine selected Gan Hashlosha as one of twenty sites around the world worthy of a detour.

Continue North and drive by the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee.

View the remains of the Second Temple-period town of Gamla on the Golan Heights, site of one of the fiercest battles fought against the Romans during the Great Walk to the Bird Observatory and enjoy the sight of the vultures for which Gamla is famous, as they effortlessly catch the updrafts where they nest. Conclude your visit to the 150-foot high Gamla Waterfall.

Check in at hotel.

Dinner at Habokrim restaurant in the kibbutz.

Fun evening at the hotel including bonfire and snacks.

Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee

Overnight: Kibbutz Merom Golan Resort, Golan Heights

Day 7

Adventures in the Golan

Monday, July 4

Breakfast at the hotel.

The Balance of Power on Israel’s Northern Border: At Mt. Bental take in the panoramic view overlooking the Syrian border, add to your understanding of Israel’s security situation and gain deeper insight into the regional geopolitical realities that have been occurring across the border for the past decade.

ATV Adventure on the Golan Heights. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan and its perch high above the Hula Valley with vistas deep into Israel’s northern neighbor, Lebanon.

Cross the Golan plateau to the border with Syria and view the abandoned city of Kuneitra and the nearby United Nations outpost, for an insight into the experiences in the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Syria’s ongoing civil war turned world war and the geopolitical challenge and threat along Israel’s northeastern border.

Visit a Druze village for a window into the unique world of the Israeli Druze community, with lunch on your own and some of the best falafel you will eat in the Middle East at Al Sultan Restaurant in the village of Masade, or similar.

End the hot day with Water Hike at the Snir (Hatsbani) National Park – the longest of the Jordan River tributaries. The stream flows all year round, through a well-developed “riverside forest” of plane trees and travertine walls.

Return to the hotel. Enjoy the pool.

Dinner at the hotel.

Mt. Bental

Overnight: Kibbutz Merom Golan Resort, Golan Heights

Day 8

Spirituality and Tradition on the Way to Tel Aviv

Tuesday, July 5

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check out of the hotel and drive to Tsfat.

Drive to Tsfat (Safed), a center of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years and a contemporary artists’ colony, for a walk through the midlevel alleyways, including:

A visit to the Ari, Caro, or Abuhav Synagogue, each with its great stories and mystical messages.

Meet with artist, Sheva Chaya in her studio, for an interactive window into the world of Kabala, glass blowing and questions of identity and Judaism.

A stroll through the quaint Artists’ Colony and shop in the galleries and crafts shops.

Lunch on own in Tsfat or en route.

Visit the Zippori National Park, known for its extraordinary ancient mosaics and its central role in Jewish life after the destruction of the Temple. We’ll see remnants of a Roman theater and a Jewish residential quarter from the times of the Mishna and Talmud, as well as a Crusader castle and a Byzantine-period synagogue. Perhaps the highlight of the park is the Dionysus House, a Roman villa with a mosaic floor that includes the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee.”

Continue South to Tel Aviv.

Welcome to Tel Aviv: Enter the vibrant, multi layered and colorful city of Tel Aviv. Enter the   pulsating metropolis of Tel Aviv, the city the never sleeps, the ‘big orange’ that lies at the center of Israel’s cultural scene and economic heart.

Check in to the hotel.

Evening at leisure. Options on own:

  • Free time along the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly crafts fair and eateries, which lies adjacent to the colorful Carmel open-air market. This is the perfect place to taste Israeli culture first hand, peruse at a leisurely pace or purchase unique gifts from the artists themselves.
  • Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard, with its many cafés and bars.
  • Experience Tel Aviv Port, with its restaurants and clubs.
  • Explore the gentrified Neve Zedek
Tel Aviv

Overnight: Debrah Brown Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 9

Foundations of a City and a State

Wednesday, July 6

Breakfast at the hotel.

The State of the State of Israel: Talk with Professor Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College about the key issues shaping Israeli society today. Find out whether the country is stronger than ever or splitting into separate “tribes.”

Ancient Steps towards New Beginnings: Visit the Old City of Jaffa, ascend from the ancient port, which has served as a gateway to the land of Israel for ions, through the Ottoman period alleyways to the Jaffa Overlook for a view VERY different than the one which greeted the early pioneers. With Tel Aviv sprawled out beneath us, we will explore whether the dreams of the early Zionists have been fulfilled.

Visit Peres Center for Peace and Innovation:

While the center does showcase the latest in Israeli advancements on multiple fronts (through holograms, augmented reality and more), resulting from the deep-seated notion that Israel is the ‘start up nation’, fueled by an ongoing desire for innovation, invention, and creativity, it is the vision of peace and a better tomorrow for the entire region that serves as the motivation that drives it all. 

Enjoy the Culinary Tasting Tour at the Carmel Market or Spices & Flavors Tour at the Levinsky Market.

Urban/ Graffiti Tour of South Tel Aviv. Explore Southern Tel Aviv’s Bohemian neighborhood and encounter the street art and graffiti, serving as the ‘writing on the wall’ to provide deeper insights into contemporary Israeli culture and identity.

(If renovations complete and already re-opened) Visit Independence Hall, where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948.

Time to enjoy the beach or a last-minute shopping.

Closing dinner at Maganda restaurant.

Jaffa Clock Tower

Overnight: Debrah Brown Hotel, Tel Aviv

Day 10

Shalom V’Lhitraot: Until We Meet Again

Wednesday, July 7

Breakfast at the hotel and check out.

Transfer to the airport for departure night flight.

Rates (Land Only)

$ 4,530 USD

Price per person sharing a double room

$ 1,120 USD

Single Supplement for those rooming alone

$ 3,860 USD

Reduced rate for one child (2-11 years old) sharing as 3rd in room


Brown Debrah Hotel, Tel Aviv

2 nights in Classic rooms

Kibbutz Merom Golan, Upper Galilee

2 nights in Cabins

Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

5 nights in Classic rooms



Guidelines for Payment and Cancellation

Payment policy:

  • A non-refundable deposit in the amount of $ 500 per person is due upon registration and is fully applicable to the price of the trip.
  • The balance in full is due two months before the scheduled trip begins (April 28, 2022)

Recommended form of payment is via Bank Wire Transfer. We also accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express.


Cancellation policy:

All cancellations must be made in writing and addressed to Anna: [email protected] . The cancellation fee depends on the date when we receive written notification of your request to cancel your booking. Please note that in all cases the deposit remains non-refundable.

  • Cancellations received no later than 60 days before arrival in Israel are subject to loss of the deposit.
  • Cancellations received less than 60 days but no less than 30 days before arrival in Israel are subject to a cancellation fee equivalent to 50% of the total price of the trip.
  • Cancellations received less than 30 days before arrival in Israel are subject to a cancellation fee equivalent to 100% of the total price of the trip.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

Israeli VAT not applicable to non-Israeli tourists for a variety of services and is therefore not included in our prices. In this connection, please note the following:

  • Should any members of your group be either holders of an Israeli passport or residents of Israel, they are subject by Israeli law to Israeli VAT (Value Added Tax) which is 17%, a tax which is not included in the above prices since non-Israeli tourists are exempt from this tax on key services. If we are informed of the participation of Israeli citizens/residents in advance, we can bill accordingly from the outset. Otherwise, any Israeli passport holders and/or residents regardless of where they reside, will be charged VAT by the hotel reception.
  • With respect to tourists, although current regulations continue to exempt them from VAT on key services, this could change at any time, in which case VAT would have to be added by law to the services provided.

Travel Protection

More than ever, Travel Insurance is a vitally important feature of any planned travel and safeguards against unexpected developments. Comprehensive travel insurance helps to protect you from many otherwise unavoidable financial implications which could result from cancellations, illness, and/or other causes. In view of the Covid pandemic, it is particularly important to cover as many pandemic related events as is possible including the various travel, financial and medical consequences of sickness and/or quarantine prior to, during or following the planned tour. We very strongly urge you to travel with appropriate and comprehensive travel and medical insurance. For more information about travel insurance, please contact us.

Additional Notes Regarding Covid

Throughout the world, human lives have been dramatically impacted by the Covid pandemic, nowhere more so than in the realm of international travel. 

As always, Routes maintains as its highest priority the safety, health, and welfare of its clients. Our tours adhere to all measures instituted by Israeli government authorities and our professional teams go to lengths to ensure as smooth and seamless a travel experience as is possible within the context of ever-changing realities. 

It is important to remember of course, that fluctuations in country policies affect procedures for departure from one’s own country as well as for entry into destination countries. As we have learned over the past two years, the fluidity involved in travel-related situations requires all parties to continue to be aware of circumstances as they develop. At Routes we are in constant touch with all relevant regulatory bodies including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Interior Ministry to comply with any mandated procedures for entry to and travel within Israel. We will of course make you aware of Israeli requirements and limitations which are known prior to your travel so that you can be as fully informed as possible, whether in connection to testing, vaccination, quarantine and so on. Aside from checking any local travel advisories which may be applicable to you, please consult the most current Covid related guidelines for entering Israel on Israel’s Health Ministry Portal

We urge all our clients not only to doublecheck procedures on their end but also to secure comprehensive travel and medical insurance which covers as many pandemic related events as is possible including the various travel, financial and medical consequences of sickness and/or quarantine prior to, during or following the planned tour.