*** REGISTRATION IS CLOSED ***
AFSI’S YOM HA’ATZMAUT MISSION
CELEBRATING 70 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
APRIL 17-25, 2018
Tuesday, April 17
Meet at Ben Gurion Airport at 9 AM to board our private bus and leave for an extraordinary visit to the ISRAEL INTELLIGENCE HERITAGE and COMMEMORATION CENTER. The Center was established to provide public recognition and honor to the operatives and achievements provided by the Mossad, the Shabak, the Israeli Intelligence Corps, and Nativ – the Liaison Bureau, which maintained contact with Jews living in the Eastern Bloc during the “Cold War” and encouraged Aliyah to Israel.
Lunch at the KITCHEN restaurant in the trendy Sarona neighborhood of Tel Aviv.
Travel to south Tel Aviv to visit with May Golan, famed crusader against the illegal Sudanese and Eritrean reign of terror now being experienced in the area.
Check into the Dan Panorama Hotel in Yerushalayim. Dinner on our own at the many local restaurants. Together we will attend the official Yom HaZikaron ceremonies at the Kotel.
Wednesday, April 18 – Yom HaZikaron
Morning departure for a very powerful Yom HaZikaron service at Wadi al-Haramiya, near Ofra, where many Israeli lives were lost to Arab sniper fire on March 3, 2002. Our friend, Marc Prowiser, who was present that day, will share his personal experience of this tragedy. This Memorial Day is set aside to remember the fallen heroes of the Israeli Armed Forces.
Later, we’ll visit our friends from Amona, to see the progress on their new community outside of Shilo. Some caravans have been moved to AMICHAI. Hopefully, we will find that all the evacuees have moved from their dormitory accommodations in Ofra, to their new caravans. The plan is to eventually build permanent homes.
In Shilo we’ll go to Tel Shilo to meet with Yisrael Ben Aryeh, an archeological expert who will guide us through the new finds relating to the original Tabernacle located in Shilo.
We return to Jerusalem and dinner at Agas Ve Tapuah in Safra Square. That will leave us in close proximity to the Kotel where the Independence Day celebrations will begin.
Thursday, April 19 – Yom HaAtzmaut
We’ll participate in a tour of the newly excavated discoveries in the Kotel tunnels. We have a 9:30 appointment to view the JERUSALEM JOURNEY. This is a remarkable walk back into history.
At noon we’ll join an IDF unit in Gush Etzion for a special celebration BBQ. IDF Colonel Geva Rapp, founder of Panim el Panim, is the organizer.
Following the BBQ, we’ll travel south to Hebron to visit with Yifat and Shalom Akobi, hopefully in Beit Machpela, unless they have been evacuated. If so, we’ll try to find them in their new home. We’ll also tour with David Wilder who always has new discoveries to show us. We’ll be sure to make time for prayers in the Maarat HaMachpela – the Cave of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs.
After dinner on our own, we’ll meet again for a continuation of the special Independence Day Celebrations. These include a Parade and the Israel Prize Ceremony for Israeli innovations.
Friday, April 20
We begin the day with a visit to Oz V’Gaon, led by the remarkable duo of Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover. Special guest speakers will be announced.
Josh Hasten will arrange our visits to a number of Gush Etzion communities. Of course, we will check with our Netiv Avot friends to see the status there. The community was scheduled for demolition in March, but then was given some extra time. We are campaigning for the total removal of the demolition orders.
Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Great Synagogue, the Kotel, or the synagogue of your choice. Shabbat dinner at the Dan Panorama hotel.
Saturday, April 21
Shabbat services at a synagogue of your choice.
Shabbat Lunch at the Dan Panorama hotel.
Afternoon walking tour of the Old City, arranged by Ateret Cohanim’s Dan Luria. Seudah Shleeshit hospitality in the Old City, followed by havdalah services.
Motzei Shabbat talk with Yehudah HaCohen.
Musical entertainment throughout Yerushalayim.
Sunday, April 22
Early morning visit, 7:30 AM, to the Temple Mount, with Yaakov Hayman, one of our expert guides.
Depart at 10:30 AM for the Shomron. Our stops will include Yitzhar, with Ayelet and Akiva HaCohen, Itamar, with Leah and Moshe Goldsmith, and Chavat Gilad, where we will visit with Ilana Shimoni and Yael Shevach and her family. Our last stop will be Ariel, where Avi Zimmerman will meet us and bring us up to date on events in that controversial city. Dinner will be in a popular restaurant in Ariel.
That evening we’ll visit Boomerang creator, Ezri Tubi.
Overnight at the Ashel HaShomron hotel in Ariel.
Monday, April 23
We’ll travel north to AKKO where Aharon Pulver, head of the Israel Independence Fund, will meet us to guide us through that largely Arab city on the Mediterranean coast. We’ll travel on to Pequin to see the new developments there and then proceed to Kiryat Shemona on the Lebanese border.
Dinner and overnight at Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Galilee.
Tuesday, April 24
Visit the mystical city of Tsfat and browse through the artists’ quarters, stopping at some of the famous ancient synagogues. Drive on to Tiberias where we will savor the old and new aspects of this city on the Kinneret. We’ll enjoy a light lunch and then proceed to Kibbutz S’de Eliyahu with Benny Wiener, a long time resident of the Kibbutz. As an agricultural kibbutz, there was a need to discover organic farming and to establish a way of avoiding the use of pesticides. They have succeeded in doing that and Benny will give us a tour that will explain it all. We’ll then drive the short distance to a restaurant in Beit She’an for a lovely dinner. At 8 PM we will attend the must-see audio-visual presentation in the park. Then, overnight in the Beit Shean area.
Wednesday, April 25
We’ll drive down the Jordan Valley, stopping in Maskiot, home to Gush Katif expellees from Shirat HaYam, Rotem, our favorite place for special salves and creams. Lunch there is always a treat. We’ll continue on to Mitzpe Yericho. Moshe Eyal, of the Legal Forum for Israel, will introduce us to guides who will show us the Bedouin encroachment in the area and how it is impacting on the Jewish residents.
Our gala farewell dinner will be at a recommended restaurant in Maaleh Adumim.
Our next stop will be Ben Gurion airport, about 9 PM, where we will say farewell to those traveling back to the States.
Those not traveling will be driven to Yerushalayim and left at a central location.
Travel Tips – Good walking shoes are absolutely essential. Dress should always be modest. Walking shorts are acceptable. Short/shorts are not. Shabbat attire is usually a white shirt for the men, NO shorts, and the women know what to wear.