Your ten days in Israel
This is just a sample itinerary, so some things may change slightly, but these are the types of experiences you can expect from your free ten-day trip with Birthright Israel: Young Judaea
Day 1: Farewell, North America. Hello, Israel!
Let the energy of Israel revive you after your transatlantic flight. You’ll have the chance to get acquainted with your peers in your group as you travel to the mountain city of Tzfat, the centuries old center of Jewish mysticism. Along the ancient streets of the Old City of Tzfat, you’ll see everything from true believers to artists and outdoor market vendors selling Kabbalah tchotchkes.
- Get a studio tour from a local artist who visualizes ancient Jewish mysteries by running the text and sounds of the Torah through cutting edge computer software.
- Immerse yourself in the mikve, the ritual Jewish bath and experience a spiritual high point of the trip.
- Settle in to your guest room at Kibbutz Dagania, Israel’s very first kibbutz where a phenomenal subculture still thrives amidst beautiful farmland.
Day 2: Expansive landscape. New perspective.
Find out why hiking and experiencing the land is such a huge part of Israeli culture! After breakfast at the kibbutz, you’ll head to the Golan Heights for a hike along the plush Majrassa River in the North of Israel. Climb the summit of Mount Bental to see breathtaking views of Northern Israel as well as parts of Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon!
- Hop over streams and up ambling lagoon trails on your hike through the Heights. Keep an eye out for the turtles and crabs that make this estuary their home.
- Unwind after your hike with a delicious tasting at the Golan Winery.
- Prepare for meeting the Israeli soldiers who will be joining you tomorrow—they’re young people like you in many ways, and they’ll be your travelling companions for the rest of the trip.
Day 3: Art education. Tel Aviv style.
Follow-up your dose of nature and serenity with a visit to Israel’s youthful, energetic, and cosmopolitan center—Tel Aviv! Night clubs, beautiful beaches, and intensely artistic graffiti recognized around the world, Tel Aviv has it all. And you’ll be exploring the city with half a dozen new friends: the Israeli soldiers who will join us today and offer a whole new perspective on the country you’re getting to know.
- The soldiers you’ll meet today enjoy a welcome break after three years of diligent service to their country.
- Take a dip in the Mediterranean at Tel Aviv’s gorgeous Metzitzim Beach!
- Join us on a graffiti tour of Tel Aviv’s up and coming Florentine neighborhood.
- Hit the clubs with us and experience Tel Aviv’s exciting night life!
Day 4: Dawn in Tel Aviv, Dusk in Jerusalem
After a morning on your own exploring Tel Aviv, we’ll head to Jerusalem, where you’ll experience something truly unforgettable—Shabbat at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site in the world. Jews of all types—from Orthodox scholars to flip flopped college students—come together to share in the celebration.
- Take a stroll among the market vendors, fishermen, and Arab food stalls on your tour through the Jaffa Port next to Tel Aviv
- Add your written prayer to the cracks of the Western Wall.
- Dance among Jews of all faiths during the lively celebration at the beginning of Shabbat, an experience unlike any other on earth.
Day 5: A lively trip. A day of rest.
Jerusalem during Shabbat is amazingly quiet, and it’s particularly special to experience it after the frenetic excitement of the night before. On this relaxed day, you’ll get a chance to chat with new friends, explore the neighborhood around your hotel, and take the time to pause and reflect.
- Enjoy a stroll through the stone streets of the Old City of Jerusalem
- Celebrate Havdallah, the end of Shabbat.
- Dine on Ben Yehuda Street, one of the most hip stretches in Jerusalem.
Day 6: Old Jerusalem. New you.
Dive into the two sides of Jerusalem, a home for religion and the heart of the Jewish nation. Chat about the different sides of this country with the Israeli soldiers in your group as you tour the Old City, pay a visit to the National Cemetery at Har Herzl, and finally get the most personal insight of all: share a meal at the home of one of the soldier’s families.
- Take in the view of the Old City from the Haas Promenade.
- Visit the grave of Yitzhak Rabin and other famous state officials
- Have dinner with the family of one of the Israeli soldiers in your group.
Day 7: Remembering the lost. Honoring survivors.
Spend the morning at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem’s Holocaust Museum. Known for its incredibly powerful experience, you’ll see and learn about the tragedy of the Jewish people, and understand Israel in a way you’ve never experienced before. Afterwards, you’ll take the bus into the Negev desert for an evening of star-gazing and reflection.
- Remember and honor the lives of so many who died.
- Find yourself wowed by the sheer beauty of a desert so close to Jerusalem.
- Count the stars in the desert sky.
Day 8: The desert sun. A star-filled night.
In the Negev, the desert truly does bloom—there’s adventure, discovery, and natural wonder. Survey the rocky craters strewn across the landscape, and take a camel ride across the desert. Visit and explore an artist colony before you end the day with an amazing Bedouin experience—enjoy a traditional dinner under a colorful Bedouin tent canopy and a roaring bonfire to warm the chill desert night.
- Take in the drama of Israel’s Grand Canyon, the Ramon Crater
- Visit the grave of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister
- Would it be a true Birthright experience without selfies on your first camel ride?
Day 9: Mountaintop drama. Spa serenity.
You won’t believe the sunrise view from the mountaintop of Masada, where history, quite literally, comes to life. (No joke, your trip guide may very well offer an enthusiastic dramatization of the historic siege here— costume and all!) After breakfast, head to the Dead Sea for a little R&R at the mineral beach. If you still have any troubles by this point, let them simply drift away while you float in the salty and healing waters.
- Get up early for a mountain sunrise hike. Trust us, you won’t mind the hour once you witness the dramatic dawn colors at the top of Masada.
- Take a mineral bath in the Dead Sea.
- Learn how you can return to deepen your connection with Israel through longer-term programs with Young Judaea.
Day 10: Ten-day trip. Inspiration for a lifetime.
Before you head home, swap cell numbers with the new friends you made—you’ve shared something that binds you for life. Yes, it’s been fun, but good times have only heightened just how meaningful the trip has been. So today, we say goodbye, but it’s just the beginning of your journey.