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Monday, May 4: We begin our time together in Tel Aviv, and stroll along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea on the way to the Port City of Jaffa, while getting oriented for the journey of a lifetime. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at Maganda, a Yemenite Middle Eastern restaurant.
Tuesday, May 5: Learn about the early defense and daring that was required to establish the State of Israel during visits to the Palmach Museum, Rabin Square and Independence Hall. The afternoon will be a cultural extravaganza of sights, sounds and great art, as you experience the Carmel Market and the trendy Neve Tzedek neighbourhood.
Wednesday, May 6: Connect with Israeli soldiers and experience a special guided Boot Camp, and then volunteer hands-on and help Israel’s National Food Bank. Enjoy unique and warm Druze hospitality, and cap off the day with an invigorating boat ride on the Mediterranean Sea to the Achziv Sea Reserve.
Thursday, May 7: Visit Ottawa’s partner region and meet some of the people that make our Partnership special. See first-hand the programs that our community dollars support. Sample some of the finest wines that Israel’s burgeoning wine industry has to offer at the Bazelet HaGolan and Odem Mountain Wineries. Conclude the day with a kayak adventure down the Jordan River.
Friday, May 8: Travel south along the Jordan Valley and visit Bet She’an archaeological park. Then ascend up the Judean Mountains towards Jerusalem. Just before Shabbat starts, join the excitement at Machane Yehuda Market for the traditional pre-Shabbat shopping rush, then Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel. Shabbat dinner with guest speaker, Neil Lazarus, internationally acclaimed expert in the field of Middle East Politics.
Saturday, May 9: Enjoy a walking tour of the old city, through the Jewish Quarter and on to the Western Wall – the "Kotel". Visit the Christian quarter and the Arab Bazaar. In the evening enjoy the special Sound and Light Show at Migdal David.
Sunday, May 10: Your choice of a trip to Massada and the Dead Sea area, or participate in an archeological dig and exploration of caves at Tel Maresha. Meet back together in the evening for a relaxing group dinner.
Monday, May 11: Take a “hilltop tour” of Jerusalem’s seam line with Col. (Ret) Danny Tirza, who planned the security fence between Israel and the West Bank. Quick stop at the Israeli Knesset and then on to Yad Vashem, considered the primary memorial and museum of the Holocaust.
Tuesday, May 12: Travel south to the Negev Desert and visit Ben Gurion’s desert home in Kibbutz Sde Boker. Hike at the Ein Avdat Oasis and then experience an exciting Jeep tour of the Ramon Crater. Wind down and enjoy a Farewell Dinner in Tel Aviv.
Wednesday, May 13: Return to Canada!