Dance With Israel

June 6 – 18, 2017
Tour Israel by day, dance with Israel at night!

Naomi“Israel is home to me. I’ve lived on kibbutz, in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I studied in an Israeli High School, Haifa University and the Wingate Sports Institute where I received my Israeli Dance Certification. I want to share my Israel with you – fun, vibrant, historical Israel, but also the Israel working for social justice and progressive Judaism! For years I dreamed of one day leading a tour to Israel – and dancing the nights away! Come share my dream.” Naomi Taussig                                                                                                                                                                             

• 10 nights hotel accommodation
• daily breakfast & 5 dinners
• multi-faceted tour in a luxury, air-conditioned bus
• licensed, English speaking tour guide
• all entrance fees (includes 8 optional evening dance sessions)
• interesting & educational options for non-dancers

$2749 USD – land only, based on Double occupancy (roommate matching available).

Registration and further details at

Contact Naomi for more info: or 604.568.4771
or contact ARZA WORLD at 1.888.811.2812

Day One: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Depart Canada.
Overnight: Flight

Day Two: Wednesday, June 7, 2017
• Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport.
• Welcome by our representative and assistance with arrival formalities.
• Ascend to Jerusalem along the historic Kvish 1 and upon entering the city stop at Mount Scopus OR the Mount of Olives for an overlook of the Old and New City of Jerusalem and to recite the traditional “shehechiyanu” blessing.
• Check into the hotel.
• Welcome dinner as a group together (on own account).
• Dancers: Join Yaron Ben-Simchon’s dance session at the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University.
• Non-dancers: get a good night’s sleep!

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Three: Thursday, June 8, 2017
• Breakfast at the hotel.
• Proceed to the Old City and begin with a visit to the excavations at the City of David, the very core of ancient Jerusalem. View the Gihon Spring and wade through the 2,700-year-old water tunnel of King Hezekiah (optional dry exit).
• Stop at the Kotel to experience the special holy atmosphere of this site and continue with a tour of the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Temple Mount’s Western Wall, exposed in recent years.
• Lunch on own in the Old City.
• Optional: One Mountain, Three Religions: Mt. Zion and the Religious Challenge: Visit the traditional burial site of King David, a 1948-67 Temple Mount observation point, the Dormition Abbey, a mosque and the Room of the Last Supper.
• Meet with representatives from the Parents’ Circle Families Forum (PCFF), a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis.
• Free time to explore Downtown Jerusalem, including the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall and the Nachalat Shiva neighborhood, with dinner on own, OR enjoy a night out at the Old Train Station Plaza, with its’ fashionable restaurants featuring local and international cuisine. On certain evenings you will enjoy street musicians, Israeli dancing and other attractions. .

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Four: Friday, June 9, 2017
 Breakfast at the hotel.
• Challenges and Triumphs of Religious Pluralism and Social Justice in Israel: Dialogue with Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) (subject to confirmation).
• Visit the Yad Vashem complex, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including:
• The Avenue of the Righteous
• The new Historical Museum
• The Children’s Memorial
• Walking tour in Ohel Moshe and Nachlaot, two of the first neighborhoods built outside of the Old City walls the end of the 19th century; delve into the history of this intriguing area and hear some of the colourful stories about its residents. Continue with the chance to experience the sights, smells, and tastes of Jerusalem while walking through the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market, with lunch on own.
• Free time.
• With any luck and some time you might see folk dancing at the Liberty Bell Garden!
• Depart for Mevasseret Zion for Kabbalat Shabbat service at Kehillat Mevasseret Zion, led by Rabbi Shlomo Fox.
• Home hospitality dinner with congregants.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Five: Saturday, June 10, 2017
• Breakfast at the hotel.
• Optional Shabbat Services.
• Free Shabbat in Jerusalem for an opportunity to explore (on own):
• The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, for a walk through the city’s history – with observation points, an animated film and visual and audio-visual aids – from the time of Abraham to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine.
• The Old City Ramparts for a walk along the ancient walls of the city
• Visit Mt. Zion to view the Room of the Last Supper, the Dormition Abbey and tomb of King David
• Walk through the Jewish Quarter to visit the ancient Byzantine Cardo
• Wander in the Arab bazaar
• Motorcoach tour to Masada and the Dead Sea
• Visit the Garden Tomb, traditional Protestant site of Calvary
• Visit the city of Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
• Visit the renewed and wonderfully creative Israel Museum, with its wide-ranging and eclectic collection, from Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls, to Jewish Life and Art, European art, contemporary Israeli art and the open-air model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.
• Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Old City.
• Free time in the Mamilla pedestrian arcade, a very contemporary shopping area with a whiff of the past, located outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City; dinner on own.
• Non-Dancers : Optional – The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum: The walls of the Citadel serve as a stage for a night-time show – a celebration of sight and sound – that depicts the story of Jerusalem.
• Dancers: dance session with Avner Naim at the YMHA.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day Six: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel.
• Check out of the hotel and depart Jerusalem.
• Judean Desert Lookout – Stop in the area of Ma’aleh Adumim at the “Megadim” Lookout to better understanding the geography and geopolitical reality of the area where events in the Bible took place.
• Drive along the Jordan Valley Rift and stop to explore the Bio-Bee Biological Systems on Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, leading experts in the mass production of beneficial insects and mites for agricultural purposes. There is regional cooperation in this field with Palestinians and Jordanians.
• Lunch on own en route.
• Lada’at Kinneret Cemetery: Enter the world of the early Zionist pioneers and learn about their hopes and dreams, their trials and tribulations and their ultimate success. Pause at the graves of legendary personalities such as Rachel the Poetess, Zionist philosopher Ber Borochov and songwriter Naomi Shemer.
• Drive via Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, numbered among the four Jewish holy cities in the land and visit Capernaum, with its remains of an ancient synagogue.
• Continue to the Upper Galilee and check into the kibbutz hotel.
• Dinner at the hotel.
• Dancers: dance session with Miri Bitton in Kiryat Shmonah, followed by some late night snacks at “Cookia” at Kibbutz Dafna.

Overnight: Kibbutz Guesthouse, Upper Galilee

Day Seven: Monday, June 12, 2017
• Breakfast at the hotel.
• Check out of the hotel.
• Take a Jeep tour off-road up the Golan Heights in the footsteps of Israeli soldiers and their battles in the Six-Day War. Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and gain an insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan.
• Walk through the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, located on the largest tributary of the Jordan River, and explore the ruins of the great Bblical city of Dan, OR enjoy rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River.
• Lunch on own.
• Explore Tsfat, a center of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years and a contemporary artists’ colony, including:
• Guided visit to the Ari, Caro or Abuhav Synagogues with their great stories and mystical messages
• Stroll through the quaint Artists’ Colony and shop in the galleries and crafts shops.
• Drive to Kibbutz Lavi and check in.
• Meet with a kibbutznik to hear about this unique style of communal life and the changes in its structure over the last century.
• Dinner at the hotel.
• Dancers: Dance session with Nadav Natan at Kibbutz Hasolelim.

Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi, Galilee

Day Eight: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel.
• Check out of the hotel.
• Visit the Zippori National Park, known for its extraordinary ancient mosaics and its central role in Jewish life after the destruction of the Temple.
• Visit Kfar Kedem in the Galilee for a hands-on family experience, exploring Jewish life of 2,000 years ago, including donkey rides, costumes, pita baking and more.
• Lunch on own.
• Visit Akko (Acre), a UNESCO Heritage Site, for a multi-layered experience from the days of the Crusades through contemporary Israel, including guided visits to:
• The restored Crusaders’ Fortress.
• The renovated Turkish Bath (Hamam), with its unique audiovisual experience.
• The Ottoman Fortifications around the city.
• The Templar Tunnel to the port of Akko
• The colorful Akko shuk (market)
• Drive to Haifa, Israel’s main port city and check into the hotel with some time to relax.
• Visit a Druze village in the Carmel Mountains for a window into the unique world of the Israeli Druze community, with home-hospitality dinner.
• Non-Dancers: Return to the hotel.
• Dancers: Dance with Yaron Carmel at Hof HaCarmel.

Overnight: Haifa

Day Nine: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel.
• Check out of the hotel and stop at the top of Mount Carmel to view the Haifa Bay.
• Visit the Baha’i Gardens and gold-domed Shrine of the Bab, one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i religion.
• Stop at the Mukhraka (Horn of the Carmel), the monastery of the “place of burning” where according to Jewish, Christian, Druze and Muslim belief, the dramatic battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal took place. The panoramic view in all directions is spectacular.
• Lunch on own.
• Visit Caesarea, one of the Land of Israel’s most important cities in the Roman Period. Visit the Herodian theater and the new excavations along the Mediterranean shore, concluding with a visit to the ruined 900-year-old Crusader town.
• Drive to Tel Aviv, known as the “city that never sleeps,” with its centers of culture, recreation and national history, great beaches and fine stores.
• Stop at Rabin Square, a center of Tel Aviv’s cultural and political life, named for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who was assassinated here. Take a quiet moment at the Rabin Memorial.
• Check into the hotel.
• Dinner on own, perhaps at the Tachana, Tel Aviv’s renovated old train station and now a center of boutiques and good food, and one of Tel Aviv’s blooming hot spots.
• Non-Dancers: free evening in Tel Aviv.
• Dancers: Dance with Elad Shtamer in Ra’anana.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Ten: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel.
• Visit Independence Hall, where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948.
• Walk through the museum at the Rabin Center, dedicated to the history of society and democracy in Israel. The life of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin serves as a time-thread connecting the faces and events of modern Israeli history.
• Lunch on own.
• Visit the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot for an eye-opening tour of a clandestine munitions factory used during the British Mandate.
• Visit the Old City of Jaffa and stroll through the renovated artists’ colony and the old port and walk through the famous Jaffa Flea Market – “Shuk Hapishpishim”.
• Dinner on own.
• Non-dancers: When the Sun Goes Down: Chance to enjoy Tel Aviv’s hot night life, with its boardwalk and cafés, bars, clubs, shows – and more.
• Dancers: dance with Gadi Bitton at Tel Aviv University.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Eleven: Friday, June 16, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel.
• Take part in an archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin Caves and prepare to get your hands dirty uncovering pottery from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago, followed by a crawl through the Maresha Cave Labyrinth (crawling is optional). Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park was recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Lunch on own.
• Return to Tel Aviv and free time to relax by the beach or wander along the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, with its bi-weekly crafts fair and eateries. Alongside is the colorful Carmel open-air market and across the way Sheinkin Street, with its hip cafés and funky chic shopping.
• Kabbalat Shabbat with Beit Hatefila, at their winter home.
• Friday night dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day Twelve: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel.
• Day at leisure to relax and enjoy the Tel Aviv cosmopolitan atmosphere, perhaps renting a bike to ride along the beach promenade to Jaffa, or visiting the avant-garde Tel Aviv Museum of Art,
• Lunch on own.
• Farewell meal on own account 0n the Tel Aviv boardwalk.
• Late check out of the hotel.
• Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah overlooking the Mediterranean.
• Dancers: Enjoy dancing in Herzliya (evening at 6:30 p.m.)
• Transfer to the airport.

Overnight: Flight

Day Thirteen: Sunday, June 18, 2017
Departure flight to Canada, arriving the same day.