Paretzky Family Trip August 16-August 27, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010: Arrival to Israel
Arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, Transfer to family for some time on your own
Overnight: On your own with family

Tuesday, August 17, 2010: With Family
Spend time with family on your own
Overnight: On your own with family

Wednesday, August 18, 2010: Tel Aviv: Palmach, Independence Hall, Ayalom, Jaffa
Palmach Museum, Independence Museum, Tel Aviv, Ayalon Museum
Overnight: Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv

Thursday, August 19, 2010: Caesarea, Haifa, Rosh HaNikara, Sea of Galilee
Caesarea, Haifa, Rosh HaNikra, Sea of Galilee and Tiberias
Overnight: Rimonim Galei Kinereth Hotel, Tiberias

Friday, August 20, 2010: Safed, Hula Valley, Jordan River
Safed, Bycles around the Hula Valley, Ein Tina hike
Overnight: Rimonim Galei Kinereth Hotel, Tiberias

Saturday, August 21, 2010: Tel Dan, Banias, Golan Heights
Tel Dan Nature Reserve, Banias Hike, Golan Heights
Overnight: Rimonim Galei Kinereth Hotel, Tiberias

Sunday, August 22, 2010: Archeological dig, Mt. Scopus, Old City Jerusalem
Drive to Jerusalem, Archeological dig in Beit Guvrin, Mt. Scopus, Old City Jerusalem including Jewish Quarter, Arab and Christian Quarters, Western Wall
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, August 23, 2010: City of David, Israel Museum, Tad Vashem
City of David and water tunnel, Model of Jerusalem from second temple period, Israel Museum, Yad Vashem
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, August 24, 2010: Ein Gedi, Massada, Dead Sea, Mitzpe Ramon
Ein Gedi, Masada, Dead Sea, Mitzpe Ramon
Overnight: Ramon Inn Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Wednesday, August 25, 2010: Jeep Tour in Ramon Crater, Eilat
Sunrise Jeep Tour in the Ramon Crater, Drive to Eilat, Underwater Observatory in Eilat
Overnight: Herods Hotel, Eilat

Thursday, August 26, 2010: Petra Jordan
Day trip to Petra Jordan
Overnight: Herods Hotel, Eilat

Friday, August 27, 2010: Leisure day in Eilat, Departure
Day at leisure in Eilat, Flight to Sed Dov, Pick up, time in Jaffa with family, Transfer to Ben Gurion for your departure
Departure back to the US

Weinfield Family Trip July 25-August 4, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010: Arrival to Israel, Haifa
Arrival to Ben Gurion Airport. Meeting and assistance. Transfer to your hotel in Haifa.
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Haifa

Monday, July 26, 2010: Akko, Rosh ha’nikra, Haifa, Bahai Gardens, Technion
Akko (Acre), Rosh Ha’nikra, Bahai Gardens and Mount Carmel, German Colony, Technion
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Haifa

Tuesday, July 27, 2010: Zippori, Safed, Hula Valley
Tzippori, Safed, Firing Range Ayelet Ha’Shahar, Hulla Valley nature reserve or Agamon HaHulla
Overnight: Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Hotel, Sea of Galilee

Wednesday, July 28, 2010: Banias or el Dan, Golan Heights, Wineries, Rafting, Jeep
Tel Dan or Banias, Golan Heights, border with Syria, Golan Wineries, Rafting down the Jordan River and Jeep Tour in the Golan
Overnight: Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Hotel, Sea of Galilee

Thursday, July 29, 2010: Sea of Galilee, Beith Shean, Megido, Caesarea
Around the Sea of Galilee, Beith Shean, Beith Alpha, Megido, Caesarea
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Friday, July 30, 2010: Independence Hall, Diaspora Museum, Palmach Museum
Independence Hall, Diaspora Museum, Palmach Museum, Nachalat Binyamin, Carmel Market
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Saturday, July 31, 2010: Zichron Yaacov, Jaffa, Tel Aviv
Zichron Yaacov for Bar Mitzvah, Jaffa, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv Harbor
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Sunday, August 1, 2010: Latrun, Mount Scopus, Mount Olives, Old City Jerusalem
Drive to Jerusalem, Latrun Tank Museum, Mount Scopus Panoramic View, Mount Olives, Old City walking tour from Mount Zion to Jewish, Arab and Christian Quarters
Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday, August 2, 2010: Ein Gedi, Massada, Dead Sea
Ein Gedi, Massada, Dead Sea
Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, August 3, 2010: Israel Museum, Mount Hertzel, Yad Vashem, Tunnels
Knesset, Israel Museum, Mount Hertzel and Hertzel Museum, Yad Vashem, Western Wall Tunnels
Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, August 4, 2010:
Departure back to the US


Israel is the center of three major religions, the cross point of cultures and habits, the place where the ancient history, tradition and archaeology all come together, creating a melting pot of humanity. Predominantly Jewish, the population of Israel can trace their roots to the Eastern and Western Europe, the Americas, North Africa, India and the Mediterranean. Thrown together, the Jews and the Arabs (Moslem and Christian alike), Bedouins and the Druze represent a unique variety of ethnicities and traditions, making Israel an inspiring and exiting destination for the people eager to experience the multicultural nature of the land and the people.

The diversity, and consequently the eating habits, attract individuals, food savvy enough to try something not ordinary, relax in a warm, friendly and easygoing atmosphere of their hosts, and explore the historic sites, going back thousands of years.

Since the declaration of the State Israel in 1948, the ancient dietary law, Kashrut, has been imposed in public supermarkets, bakeries, and majority of the hotels, to emphasize the Jewish identity of the country and to facilitate the observant citizens and guests alike. You will learn about these laws and experience them in your cooking session. This intense diversity, as well as the controversy, attracts the very curious culinary professionals, who wish to understand the experiment and creativity, with the ever-present Mediterranean flavor, thrown for good measure.

Wine is another matter. Growing and enjoying wine has been essential for the Jews since the biblical times. Modern grape planting started only in the late 19th century by the East European Jews and by the baron de Rothschild. The international recognition of the country’s superb wine came much later. Like Australia and South Africa, Israel is taking its place among the best in the winemaking industry. Several wineries have won their prestigious international awards and have become well known and thought after in the world.

There is another, very small and exclusive industry – goat cheese producing-well on the rise, and marked as excellent by some cheese producers in Europe. And of course, the olive oil, widely used in the Mediterranean cooking as such, and among the population of Israel in particular.

Our tour will give you only the taste of what can be found and experienced in Israel. We hope to make your trip an unforgettable one.

A week of an unforgettable and tasty experience awaits you.

Day 1, Sunday

Arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Meeting and assistance through customs by our representative and transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem. After checking in and refreshing up, join us for a cocktail followed by dinner and wine to start out culinary experience and introduce you to the herbs and spaces of Israel.

Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 2, Monday

After a full Israeli style breakfast, at your hotel, meet Chef Moshe Basson, famous for his specifically “Jerusalemite” food (kosher). Accompany him to Machaneh Yehudah market, for a brief explanation of the produce displayed there. Under the Chef’s guidance and instructions, cook your own lunch and enjoy it, accompanied by an excellent Israeli wine. After lunch drive to Mt. Olives for a breathtaking panoramic view of the City of Jerusalem. Enter the Old City through the Lion’s Gate, walk along the Via Dolorosa with its 14 Stations of the Cross and arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the holiest shrine in the Christendom. Return to your hotel for a short break and in the evening drive to the home of Hila Solomon, an establishment called Spoon, for the exquisite dinner served in the dining room of the house built over 120 years ago. It is only by private booking and is quite unique. After dinner return to your hotel for overnight.

Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 3, Tuesday

After breakfast, enter the Old City again, this time from the Zion gate and into the Jewish Quarter. Walk through the Cardo, the old Roman road of Jerusalem, leading into the Wailing Wall, the holiest place for the Jewish people. After a visit to the wall, continue to Ben Yehuda Street, the main artery of Jerusalem shops with the souvenirs you can take with you home and nice trendy coffee shops. This area was built by Teddy Kolek, the late legendary Mayor of Jerusalem, as a tiny replica of his native Vienna. Continue to the Zeltzer goat farm in Sataf. There are over 200 goats in the farm, supervised by a few employees, servicing them and the goat cheese production. The outstanding cheese has received many international awards, some in Italy. Our light lunch will be the cheese tasting with the fresh farm bread. On to the Judean Hills to visit Domain du Castel, one of the most picturesque Israeli wineries; several of its wines, considered to be the finest in Israel. On to kibbutz Harel for a visit to Clos de Gat, one of the finest new estate wineries. There, surrounded by vineyards, stands the building where the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister itzhak Rabin, commanded the Harel Brigade in 1948. Return to the hotel for a short break, and leave again to Arcadia, one of the finest restaurants in Jerusalem where the Iraqi-born chef Kedem, who studied in France and the US, will host a very imaginative, contemporary dinner, prepared with local vegetables and herb, grown not farther than 10 – 15km from Jerusalem. After dinner return to your hotel for overnight.

Overnight: Hotel in Jerusalem

Day 4, Wednesday

After breakfast, depart to Tel Aviv to the Carmel market. The Chef and owner of Carmela bistro, one of the most picturesque places in the country situated in the midst of the Carmel market, will take you on a tour of the market and serve brunch. After the market tour and brunch, drive along the shores of the Mediterranean towards the Tishbi Winery, a short distance away from Binyamina. Tishbi is a family of the vineyard growers since 1880, who decided to built their own winery in 1985. Taste the excellent wine and the local cheese there. Do not miss visiting the Alambic Still producing high quality brandy, the only one of its kind in Israel. Continue to Tiberias and arrive to your hotel for overnight. Free evening in Tiberias to experience the street food and enjoy street life by the lake.

Overnight: Hotel in Tiberias

Day 5, Thursday

Start our day in the Galilee with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Continue towards the Golan Heights area. Visit Chateau Golan winery, one of the unique boutique wineries in the area. Continue on to Rosh Pina in the Upper Galilee. Arrive at Muskat restaurant at Mizpe Hayamim, Israel’s famous resort, well known for its locally grown and served organic vegetable, herbs and fruit. A small dairy on the premises is known for the very good cheese. Lunch at Muskat, hosted by chef Haim Tibi. After lunch depart to your Tel Aviv hotel. Dinner at the Deda, an unpretentious little restaurant featuring the the most incredible Georgian food with its Chef Timur.

Overnight: Hotel in Tel Aviv

Day 6, Friday

After breakfast drive along the coast to the old city if Jaffa. This was the most famous port of Israel for thousands of years and the export port for the well known Jaffa Oranges. Continue walking the streets of Tel Aviv, Israel’s Metropolitan, with its samples of the bygone era of the 30s of the last century, the Bauhaus. Proceed to the Chloelys, reputably one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in Israel. Have the cooking class there with Chef Victor Gloger, the Argentine born, who studied and worked in Paris for over 15 years. You will cook your lunch and enjoy it with the excellent wine, followed by exquisite desert. After lunch, drive to visit Caesarea, the ancient Roman Theatre, the Aqueduct and the Hippodrome. Drive back to Tel Aviv and make a short stop at the old port of Tel Aviv, now an area of restaurants, clubs and shopping including an amazing Chocolate factory called Max Brener. Drive back to your hotel for a short break and go out for dinner at Yo’ezer wine Bar, a very romantic place in Tel Aviv. Return to your hotel for overnight.

Overnight: Hotel in Tel Aviv

Day 7, Saturday

After breakfast, drive to Nazareth, in the Northern part of Israel. Visit the Church of the Annunciation and continue to Diana, probably the most authentic Arab restaurant in Israel. Together with the chef and owner Dokhol Safadi you will prepare your lunch and an excellent meal accompanied by local wine and followed knafa, a well known Arab sweet delicacy and coffee. After lunch, near Kfar Tabor, visit the olive oil facility of the Jahshans, believed to be one of the best in Israel. Experience the Druze hospitality and the olive oil tasting will be quite enjoyable.  Return to your hotel in Tel Aviv and leave again for the Farewell dinner. It will be hosted by Chef Jonathan Roshfeld, probably, one of the most talented Israeli chefs, at his newly opened restaurant Herbert Samuel. Overnight at your hotel.

Overnight: Hotel in Tel Aviv

Day 8, Sunday

After breakfast departure to the airport for your flight back home.

The program sequence is subject to change due to days of operation. Please note the cooking session with Victor of Chloelys can be done only on Friday – prerogative of the Chef…

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)