I came across this quote the other day from the late, great Anthony Bourdain, about his visit to Israel in 2013:
"Whatever you may think, and whatever baggage you bring to this place, you should see this."
And I thought - exactly.
Israel is a place that
be seen - not only to try and understand the politics, the draw and deep desire of so many people to be there, but to see how much beauty can fit into a country the size of New Jersey!
The vastness of the desert and the sea, the sumptuous beauty of the mountains and forests, the richness of the culture and the people, the diversity of the food and art, the ancient and the modern - you simply must see it to believe it!
The land is steeped in a mysterious spirituality that touches just about everyone.
Join my husband Larry and me on this trip of a lifetime. We will be guided by Jared Goldfarb, whose expertise in Israel includes a multi-cultural viewpoint, which makes this trip different from most others. As you will see by the itinerary, you don't need to be Jewish to take this trip. We will explore all facets of this marvelous country through open eyes and an open heart. I want to help you, not only to see the beauty, but to understand the difficulties as well. And at the same time, to bask in the immensity of this sacred space.
I lived in Israel from 1985 - 1996, with a few years in Washington DC at the Israeli Embassy. I have a unique perspective of Israel that can only come from living there, and I will share that with you.
Email me at
or call me at 410-979-2096 if you have any questions. The tour is carefully curated to offer the best accommodations, the most interesting sites, time for rest and relaxation, and, or course, time to shop and eat!
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Much love to you and to the world!
Eyes and Heart Wide Open Tour
Israel and Jordan
December 8 - December
Joining us to lead this tour is Jared Goldfarb, a multi-cultural educator and licensed tour guide based in Jerusalem with nearly 20 years experience in the field.
|Tour Guide Jared Goldfard
||Susan and Larry in
see the country through the eyes of all its inhabitants, and come away richer in every sense. Please click on the links in the itinerary to learn more about the places we will visit.
Our Itinerary: We will leave the US (Dulles or Newark) on Tuesday, December 8, 2018.
Sunday, December 9
- Arrive in Israel and meet Jared at
Ben Gurion Airport. We will take the Mediterranean Coastal highway to Caesarea, and Mt. Carmel and check into the beautiful at the heart of mystical Israel to begin our journey, the home of Kabalah - Tzfat.
Monday, December 10
- After breakfast and yoga at
The Way Inn,
we will explore Tzfat, including historical walking
tour, a kabbala
lesson, and encounter with local artists. As time permits, we will visit the Mt. of the Beatitudes. At sunset we will
have a guided meditation over looking
the Golan Heights.
In the evening, the owners of The Way Inn will give us a private cooking class.
Tuesday, December 11 - We will make our way a bit north
of Tzaft for a nature walk on the Golan Heights, followed by lunch at a l
ocal winery. As we will be literally on the border with Syria, we will talk geopolitics on the border, then visit the home of a local Druze family for dinner.
Wednesday, December 12
- After breakfast we will drive to the beautiful Arab city of Um el-Fahm and meet with the
founder of the
Arab Art Gallery.
We will also visit a bi-cultural school, and, as time permits,
The Freedom Farm
, an animal sanctuary, and
an ancient Herodian port city. In the evening we will arrive to the heart of Israel - Jerusalem.
Thursday, December 13
- Jerusalem is home to nearly every major religion and many minor religions of the world. The entire city is constructed from lime stone giving it an iridescent, other-worldly glow. After breakfast, we'll explore
the nooks and crannies of the Old City of Jerusalem, including Jewish, Christian & Muslim narratives. The Arab Market has four different "quarters" including an
Armenian Quarter ,
and the Christian Quarter, which is the home of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Each quarter has its own feel, culture, crafts, art and food. We will be able to shop and eat and learn all the while meandering through the serpentine ancient alleys, talking with locals and enjoying the "scene". In the evening we attend a special cultural event.
Friday, December 14
- Today we will move on to visit modern Jerusalem, a marvel of creativity, architecture and activity. First we will go to
Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum)
. This incredibly moving museum, designed by
world-renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie,
is also an example of a living sanctuary as a rememberence of those killed in the Holocaust. In addition to the incredible memorial, the grounds feature gardens and special exhibit spaces, incorporating the surrounding land as part of the picture of the Holocaust and how it stays with us to this day. Afterwards, we will visit Machane Yehuda - a vibrant
Jerusalem marketplace. In the evening, we will welcome in the Shabat (Sabath) with a Kabbalat Shabbat dinner with local families.
Saturday, December 15
- Those choosing to keep the Sabbath can use this day as a day of rest, (we can arrange to visit a Synagogue) or you can join a day trip to Bethlehem,
just six miles from Jerusalem. We will explore the many cultural sites of this ancient Palestinian city, which was settled in 5000 BCE, with a local guide. We'll visit historic & religious sites, and learn more modern Palestinian society & politics.
Sunday, December 16 - After breakfast, we will leave Jerusalem and make our way south, to explore the Judean Desert. Along the way we visit the ancient fortress of
Masada in Judea.
The complex was built by King Herod, who reigned between 37 BCE and 4 CE. It was here that became a last stand for Jews fighting the Roman empire. In the
revolt, the Jewish tribe chose death rather than slavery when the Roman's broke through their defenses. It is also an archaeological site of great significance. The remains of Herod's palaces are outstanding and help to illustrate the lives of the Jews and their harrowing choice. Masada overlooks Kibbutz Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Monday, December 17
- We will explore the roots of early
Zionism in Old Jaffa and Neve Tzedek, and enjoy some free time exploring the expansive Shuk Hapishpushim
the Flea Market! Later we will visit a vegetable and fruit market with chef and author (and my dear friend!)
to choose goodies
to prepare in
Phyllis' Kitchen for a cooking class, featuring Israeli vegetarian delights.
Tuesday, December 18
- We will embark on a tour of the city, including the fabulous Bauhaus
Buildings that can be found all over the heart of the city. Later we will walk around the Old city of Jaffa and Neve Tzedek, and learn about the early Zionist movement. We will have free time to explore and visit Tel Aviv's
Nachalat Binayamni Arts and Crafts marketplace
. Overnight in Jaffa.
Wednesday, December 19
- We will leave Tel Aviv in the morning and travel down south
towards the desert - the Negev. Along the way we will visit various sites and in the late
afternoon we will arrive at our tent hotel in the desert -
. Here we will experience the immense solitude of the desert - a welcome respite from the busy city. We will see the entire galaxy laid out before us a
s we slow down and settle into this magical landscape.
Thursday, December 20
million years ago when oceans covered the area. From here we will make our way to the resort town of Eilat, on the Red Sea, surrounded by the Sinai Desert in Egypt. Overnight in Eilat.
- Today we will continue exploring the Negev, including learning biblical history,visiting a Bedouin community, visit
a crater created
Friday, December 21 - From Eilat you can either fly back to Tel Aviv to depart for the US, or join our excursion into the ancient
Nabatian City of Petra
, in Jordan, just over the border. (If you chose not to travel to Jor
dan, we will deduct that portion of the trip from your final cost). We will leave for Petra crossing over
the Red Sea to the Jordanian town of Aqaba
and enter the Kingdom of Jordan. Here we will be met by a Jordanian tour guide who will lead us on our tour.
The city of Petra, capital of the Nabataean Arabs, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.
It is not known precisely when Petra was built, but the city began to prosper as the capital of the Nabataean Empire from the 1st century BC, which grew rich through
trade in frankincense, myrrh, and spices. Petra was later annexed to the Roman Empire and continued to thrive until a large earthquake in 363 AD destroyed much of the city in the 4th century AD. After a full day tour we will retire to
our Tent Hotel in Petra
Saturday, December 22
- After breakfast in the desert, we'll take a jeep tour of
a protected desert wilderness in southern Jordan. It features dramatic sandstone mountains like the many-domed Jebel Um Ishrin, and natural arches such as Burdah Rock Bridge. Many prehistoric inscriptions and carvings line rocky caverns and steep chasms.
The natural watering hole of Lawrence's Spring is named after British soldier Lawrence of Arabia, who allegedly washed there. In late afternoon we will
return to Eilat, and catch an evening flight to Ben Gurion Airport, and depart Israel for home.
Tour Cost: $5994 for shared room*;
$7494 single room
*If you sign up without a roommate but would like one, I will do everything I can to pair you up with someone. If that does happen, you will be responsible to pay the single supplement.
- Accommodation in double room (or single with supplement) bed and breakfast basis for 12 nights at the hotels below.
- Expert tour guidance in English.
- Yoga and guided meditation sessions with Susan.
- Two Middle-Eastern vegetarian cooking classes.
- Special dinner with local families.
- Dowsing lesson at an ancient site with Larry.
- Guided star-gazing in the desert with Larry (former NASA rocket scientist).
- Tour and accommodations in Petra, Jordan.
- Tips and gratuities for driver and hotels.
- All currently applicable Govt. taxes.
- Assistance on arrival/departure at airport/hotels.
- All transportation using one air-conditioned Coach.
- All currently applicable entrance fees to the monuments covered.
Cost do not include:
- Meals other than breakfast and as specified above.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Tip for dedicated guide Jared Goldfarb.
- Medical & Travel Insurance.
- Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, beverages, telephone calls etc.
- Any other services not listed above.
- Flight to Israel and return.
- Flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv (TBA) .
To reserve your place on the trip, please send a
$600 deposit to:
20 Clarks Lane
Reisterstown, MD 21136
Once the initial deposit is made, the balance can be paid in increments, if desired. Final payment is due by September 1, 2018. A final invoice will be sent to you by email shortly before the due date. Checks or cash are preferred. Credit Card and PayPal payments are possible, with an additional 3% service fee.
Early Bird discount: $150 off tour cost if paid in full by July 1, 2018.
Cancellation fees come into effect at time of deposit. I recommend that you consider purchasing cancellation insurance. This will cover you if you need to cancel unexpectedly. Please note that insurance companies may differ in what they consider a insurable risk. I recommend
Insure My Trip
If you cancel your booking, it will result in the following charges:
- More than 90 days prior to departure: $300
- 61 - 89 days prior to departure: Full deposit
- 60 - 30 days prior to departure: 50% of total price
- Less than 50 days prior to departure: 100% of total price
Ready to Go?
Remember that you must have a valid passport and that the expiration date is six months beyond the trip dates.
No Visa is needed for US Citizens to travel to Israel. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least six months before the first day of the trip.
I will advise you on the airline tickets. The round trip price range is usually around $1200 for coach, $3000 + for business class. I will email you flight details and suggestions and you will purchase your own ticket. Most likely we will meet at Newark International Airport and fly direct from here to Tel Aviv. Flight time is around 12 hours.
As we get closer to the trip I will advise on packing, offer travel tips and arrange a get-together for those of us in the area, so we can meet before we travel together!
Call or email me any time: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-979-2096.
|Breathe Ayurveda & Susan's Kitchen
20 Clarks Lane
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136