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Congregation Kol Ami’s Culinary, Wine and Agriculture Trip to Israel

November 5, 2017 - November 15, 2017

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From Melting Pot to Fusion Cuisine
Congregation Kol Ami’s Culinary, Wine and Agriculture Trip to Israel

Registration is now open through May 1st

Our Culinary, Wine and Agriculture trip of a lifetime is now open to Kol Ami Adult members and their family and friends.  Reaction to this incredible itinerary has been extremely positive and now is the time to review the itinerary and register as there is a limit of about 40 travelers for the trip. Registration is made directly with Keshet by clinking on the link provided above.  When you register, simply enter the group name “Congregation Kol Ami Culinary, Wine and Agriculture Trip to Israel” and leave group leader blank.

The land package pricing ranges from $3700-$4050 per person dependent on the number of participating individuals (i.e. the cost will be on the lower end if at least 40 individuals participate).  Please note that airfare is not included.  Travelers are booking airfare on their own as this is the way to get the least expensive fare.  The target flights for the group are on no-stops on El Al, departing Newark International on Flight LY26, November 4th at 11:30PM, arriving Tel Aviv at 4:05PM and returning to Newark on flight LY 27, departing Tel Aviv Ben November 16th at 12:30AM, arriving Newark at 6AM.

If you have general questions about the trip, please contact Jeff Cohen ( or Ronit Sugar (  

If you have questions about the registration or trip logistics go to Esti Ochana (

The itinerary, inspired by the movie, In Search of Israeli Cuisine, has been built with great input from our tour guide Kobi Cooper and operator Keshet, all of whom did an amazing job on our 2014 adult
trip. Take this unique opportunity to join with other Kol Ami adults to explore Israel’s much
celebrated and vibrant culinary scene with all of its cultural richness and diversity. Meet top Israeli
chefs and participate in preparing meals and workshops in private homes of Israeli chefs and domestic

Saturday, November 4 Departure

•  Overnight: Flight

Sunday November 5 Welcome to Israel

• Welcome to Israel! Arrive an Ben Gurion airport at 16:05
• Travel to the New Sarona Market, a restored German Templar Colony and one of the most
appealing culinary destinations in Tel Aviv, have and a l’chaim at the Tasting Room, the best
wine bar in the Middle East.
• Check into the Royal Beach Hotel
• Opening Dinner at West Side, the Royal Beach hotel’s gourmet restaurant, by Chef Amir
Halfon or Dinner at the acclaimed Chef Meir Adoni’s restaurant, Blue Sky at the Carlton
hotel on own. (This meal is Kosher)
• Wine tasting from the hotel’s collection.
Overnight: Royal Beach, Tel Aviv

Monday November 6 Tel Aviv: the First Hebrew City

• Enjoy a tour of Tel Aviv’s open-air markets. Taste authentic dishes and meet with local
vendors. Learn about the rise in the Shuk (market) scene in Israel, as many return to it
seeking fresh produce and fair prices. This trend has changed the nature of many markets in
Israel which now house trendy cafes and boutique fashion studios. Taste the various foods
and smell the unique spices as you explore these unique markets.
• Visit the bustling Carmel Market, the largest of its kind in Tel Aviv and a perfect place for
exciting bargain shopping on everything from fresh produce and exotic spices to clothing
and toys.
• Head to the Hatikvah neighborhood of Tel Aviv to the incredible Saluf bakery which
specializes in Yemenite delicacies such as lahuh, kubaneh and malawach as well as a special
dish of their own – hamshuka – shakshuka on top of hummus. Around the corner is the
“Mercaz HaKubbeh” (the Kubbeh Center) where we will taste the national dish of Iraq
• Visit iconic Rothschild Boulevard. This was the first street in Tel Aviv, founded on sand
dunes a little over 100 years ago, and is today a commercial, cultural and financial center.
• Relive the dramatic historical moment when David Ben Gurion declared the establishment
of the State of Israel at Independence Hall on May 14, 1948. Discuss the challenges of
creating a Jewish and democratic state.
• OR
• Learn about Tel Aviv’s evolving cycle culture, ride a bike through the city’s new bike share
program for a guided tour on the cycle pathways throughout the city (separated from
traffic), including Alma Beach, Frishman-Gordon Beach and the Tel Aviv Port, we will
continue via bike through the verdant Park Hayarkon. Enjoy the city’s green oasis and stroll
along the walking paths past picturesque ponds, sculptures and hidden forests.
• OR
• Visit the Milk & Honey Distillery to learn about the whisky-making process, the history and
process of distillation, walk through the various stages of spirit making – from grain to glass
– and finish with a guided tasting of our creations.
• Dinner at BlackOut, a restaurant that offers a totally unique culinary experience that will
challenge your senses. You will be served various dishes in total darkness, escorted by blind
waiters. When the eyes do not engage in the eating process, one’s ability to taste and smell
food sharpens. There is so much to be “seen” when eyes are closed… (This meal is Kosher)
Overnight: Royal Beach, Tel Aviv

Tuesday November 7 Jezreel Valley – Galilee

• We will check out of our hotel and travel via the Jezreel Valley to Ganei Ramat HaNadiv to
explore its beautifully groomed gardens. Walk through the garden’s herb and spice trail.
• Tour of the vineyards, wine tasting and lunch at the Carmel Winery which was founded in
1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. In 2010 the Carmel Winery won the prestigious
Decanter World Wine Award for its Shiraz Kayumi wine.
• OR
• Wine and social justice: Visit the Meir Shfeya Youth Village, accompanied by Sommelier
Ruti Ben Yisrael. The village provides a warm home for new immigrants as well as for kids
from underprivileged backgrounds. On September 2005, the village opened its own Shfeya
winery. The winery is run by a staff of 11th and 12th grade students under the supervision
of Ruti Ben Yisrael and village staff and provides students with extensive knowledge and
experience that will enable them to take part in Israel’s fast growing wine industry. The
winery now produces 5,000 bottles of premium wine annually.
• Lunch at the original El Barbour restaurant in Um El-Fahm on own. (This meal is not Kosher
and there are fish and vegetarian options)
• After lunch it is off to Bethlehem of the Galilee for a spice farm tour and lecture
• Stop off at Nazareth to visit the incredible Basilica of the Annunciation. Learn about the
complex identity issues they are facing as an Arab minority living amongst the Jewish
majority in Israel and as a Christian minority living amongst the Muslim majority in
• OR in the Circassian village of Kfar Kama where we can have tea and a snack, learn about
this interesting minority group and watch a presentation of the best folk dancing in Israel
• We will then head to the Bayit Bagalil spa in Rosh Pina where we will check in and can have
dinner at the hotels Chef restaurant. (This meal is Kosher)
• Free time to enjoy spa facilities
Overnight: Bayit Bagalil Boutique Spa Hotel

Wednesday November 8 Golan Heights

• Travel to the Golan Heights
• Mount jeeps for a guided tour of the Golan Vineyards. Ascend “Tel Asnia” for an overlook
of the entire region. Continue through the vineyards of Kibbutz Ein Zivan to the “Wind
Vineyard” of Kibbutz Merom Golan. Enjoy a glass of wine, savories and herbal tea before
arriving at the acclaimed Golan Heights Winery in Katzrin for a VIP tour and wine tastings.
• Visit the “Olea Essence” Olive Oil Press a unique place in the ancient city of Katzrin
To taste one of the world’s best extra virgin olive oils and to tryout the Natural Skin Care
Products, all based on this olive oil.
• Enjoy a delicious, hands-on chocolate making workshop at the De Karina boutique
chocolate factory.
• Descend underground to the Meiri Dairy workshop. Hameiri is the first dairy to be
established in Israel, producing gourmet cheeses of only the purest of sheep and goat milk
for 170 years!
• For dinner, we will be the guests of Roni and Genine Bar-El for a special Al Fresco dining
experience on the rooftop of their Zefat home, including a desert cocktail workshop. (This
meal is Kosher)
Overnight: Bayit Bagalil Boutique Spa Hotel

Thursday November 9 Upper Galilee

• Early morning hike of the Mount Meron summit enjoying the overlooks on the
Mediterranean shores on the west, the Golan Heights with its volcanic peaks on the east,
the entire Lower Galilee from Mount Carmel to the Sea of Galilee on the south and the
Upper Galilee and southern Lebanon on the north.
• Stop off for great ice cream at Bouza in Maalot-Tarshicha which is jointly run by a Jew and
an Arab.
• Visit Hanoked dairy a boutique dairy owned by Danny Barzilay which specializes in French,
Spanish and Italian style sheep and goats cheeses
• Continue to the Crusader city of Akko check into one of the boutique hotels in the Old City.
• Explore the Crusader Halls built nearly 900 years ago by Crusader knights.
• Dinner at the best fish restaurant in Israel – Uri Buri – meet with the famous chef “Uri Buri”
himself on own. (This meal is not Kosher and there are fish and vegetarian options)
• OR dinner at Maadali, Inside the Turkish Bazaar on own (This meal is not Kosher and there
are fish and vegetarian options)
Overnight: Akkotel Boutique Hotel or Palm beach Acco, Akko

Friday November 10 The Old City of Jerusalem

• Visit the Al-Jazzar Mosque, Israel’s largest mosque outside of Jerusalem. Learn about the
challenges and successes of life in one of Israel’s largest mixed Arab-Jewish cities.
• Travel to Beit She’an for a 3 course lunch in three different homes. Hear the moving stories
of the women who open their homes, hearts and kitchens for you as you taste their
Ethiopian, Hungarian and Moroccan delicacies. (This meal is Kosher)
• Travel to Jerusalem.
• Free time in Jerusalem to prepare for Shabbat
• Usher in the Sabbath at the Kotel (Western Wall) and join thousands of visitors and
worshipers welcoming the Sabbath with prayer, song and dance.
• Shabbat of a Lifetime. Experience the Sabbath as you share a meal with a Jerusalem family
that will open their home and explain the customs and ceremonies of Shabbat over a
traditional Shabbat dinner in the different ethnic communities of Israel. (This meal is
Overnight: Mamila Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday November 11 Shabbat in Jerusalem

• Breakfast at the hotel
• Free time to visit the local synagogues in Jerusalem or leisure time at hotel
• Optional walking tours of Jerusalem:
* An East-West Jerusalem Border Tour
* The development of the New City from 1860 to today and Jerusalem
* I Love You – engaging love stories which took place in the city.
* Guided tour of the Israel Museum (especially useful for the archaeological section and
the Dead Sea Scrolls).
* On your own the Tower of David Museum (including the new exhibit at the Kishle).
* On own Dead Sea/Masada day.
• Join Rabbi Bill Berk for a text study session on: “We Are Cooking…The Jewish Tradition’s
Focus on Food”
• Dinner at Eucalyptus Restaurant which serves a modern interpretation of Biblical cuisine on
own (This meal is Kosher)
• Free evening in Jerusalem
Overnight: Mamila hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday November 12 Jerusalem Old and New

• Examine the life of the Old City through the ages, feel the unique atmosphere of the area,
and get a glimpse of the complex weave of traditions and perspectives between the Jewish,
Muslim, Armenian and Christian Quarters.
• Eat the best hummus in Jerusalem at Abu Shukri (visited by Ottolenghi and Bourdain),
Continue with apple strudel with a view at the Austrian Hospice, wash that down with
limonana, visit a backroom tahini shop, have the best knafeh in the world at Jaffar’s sweet
shop and then a pastry called mutabak at Zalatimo’s (praised by Ottolenghi).
• We could visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at this point as well.
• Enjoy a tour of the Machne Yehuda Market absorb the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of
the lively and colorful market while shopping for ingredients then take part in an interactive
cooking workshop on Israeli cuisine followed by dinner on a breezy rooftop, overlooking
Machne Yehuda and all of Jerusalem. (This meal is Kosher)
• Walk around the shuk at night to see how it comes to life and the incredible street art
display on the closed shutters.
Overnight: Mamila Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday November 13 Emek Ha’ela and the Jerusalem Hills

• Take in the Tuscany-like views of Emek Ha’ela in the Judean Hills where David fought
Goliath. The area has become a major grape growing region, as it was in Biblical times.
• Begin the tour at a nicely preserved off-the-beaten-path 2,100 year old Wine Press.
• Visit the Tzora Boutique Winery considered one of the “top 8” wineries in Israel. In 2013
three of its wines were rewarded above 90 Points from Robert Parker.
• OR
• Travel through the Judean Hills to visit Domaine Du Castel, Israel’s most highly acclaimed
winery in Moshav Ramat Raziel for a tour, wine tasting and light lunch.
• Experience a great intercultural experience while having lunch at a Kurdish home. Enjoy the
homemade ethnic food and learn about the Kurdish culture over a Kosher lunch.
• Travel South
• Hike through the Ein Avdat canyon in the Wilderness of Zin, where the children of Israel
wandered after the Exodus, once inhabited by Nabateans and Catholic monks.
• Check into the breathtaking Bereeshit Hotel in Mitzpeh Ramon, Israel’s newest and most
upscale spa hotel, overlooking the spectacular Ramon Crater.
• Kosher Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpeh Ramon.

Tuesday November 14 Israel’s Negev

• Early morning beautiful walk along the Ramon Crater Cliff’s edge, a unique geological
• Free time to use the hotels spa and facilities.
• Visit the Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center to learn about the natural processes which led to the
creation of the makhtesh and to learn about the plant and animal life there. There is also a
museum and memorial for Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who died in 2003 when the
Shuttle Columbia disintegrated when re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.
• OR
• Exciting jeep ride through the Ramon Crator one of the world’s geological wonders to
experience this unique geological phenomenon up close.
• Meet Agronomist Uri Alon at his Salad Trail farm for a tasty tour of his fields, where acres of
vegetables grow in the sand! Learn about the challenges and triumphs in his quest to make
the desert bloom and of Israeli inventions used in desert areas around the globe, allowing
farmers to grow vegetables in extreme conditions. The tour of the Salad Trail includes indepth
explanations and tastings of this unique produce.
• Depart the Negev for the Judean hills
• Check into the Cramim (vines) wine spa hotel
• Dinner at the hotel (This meal is Kosher)
Overnight: Cramim spa hotel

Wednesday November 15 Farewell Israel

• Free morning to use the hotels spa and facilities.
• Solving the World’s Water Shortage: Visit the Sorek Desalination Plant, the world’s largest
SWRO plant. For a country which is 60% desert, Israel has come a long way in leading the
world in desalination, exporting its technologies to locales as diverse as California, Africa,
and Central America.
• Farewell dinner at at Majda’s Kitchen in Ein Rafa, a picturesque place in the Jerusalem hills
absolutely loved by both Yotam Ottolenghi and Anthony Bourdain, and which feature an
Israeli husband and Palestinian wife cooking team on own. (This meal is not Kosher and
there are fish and vegetarian options)
• Drive to Ben Gurion International Airport- Lehitra’ot! (Farewell!) We hope to see you in
Israel again soon!

Arrival in the US would be early morning on November 16th.

1. Listed activities and speakers are subject to confirmation.
2. Program will be staffed by a Keshet Israel Tour Educator
3. All breakfasts plus underlined meals are included in the package price.
4. This itinerary is proprietary to Keshet and is intended for the promotion of and to inform those considering joining this Keshet trip. It is not to be transmitted to any other party without prior authorization from Keshet