Welcome in Shabbat in the Golan Heights, relaxing, making new friends and learning about how our experiences with science and technology connect with stories and teachings of the Torah.
Travel through the North, exploring the Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, Tzfat, and Haifa. We will hike through the Golan and raft down the Jordan river as we observe this region’s natural landscape and unique topography. Wind through the blue-painted alleys to discover the mystical city of Tzfat and then learn about the science behind ice cream at Buza Ice Cream Factory, an innovative startup where industry and coexistence is demonstrated first-hand through a partnership between a Jewish Israeli and a Muslim Arab Israeli. Meeting with doctors at the Western Galilee Hospital, the group will learn about Israel’s role in providing medical assistance to Syrian refugees. Israel’s innovations have provided numerous advances in the medical world, including the development of the PillCam, a capsule containing a tiny camera used to examine the GI tract, and the Emergency Bandage, an elasticized bandage with a pressure bar to stop fatal bleeding.
Next, off to Haifa, the group will work with entrepreneurs learn about and develop ideas and products that create technological solutions to social problems. Through this experience you will begin to understand how our people arrived in Israel and became innovators, as they had to address many new challenges. Wade into the Mediterranean Sea, collecting samples and observing marine organisms with scientists from the National Institute Oceanography. During visit to the world famous Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, the group will visit the formula race car labs and meet with students and professors. This will be the first of many opportunities to engage in Mifgash, combined learning and relationship building with peers in Israel. As the oldest university in the country, established 35 years prior to creation of the State of Israel, the Technion exhibits long standing commitment to the study and innovation of science and technology.
Experience diversity in Israel, a country made up of many faiths, with a visit to the Bahai Gardens, where we will learn about how different faiths connect with and value biodiversity and the environment.
Celebrate Shabbat in the hills over looking Jerusalem and learn with entrepreneurs who are members of the Reform Movement in Israel.
Jerusalem is not just an ancient city, but also filled with emerging start up companies and accelerators. Tour Machane Yehuda market with a start-up accelerator and test next generation products at OrCam.
We then take a trip to the Negev, to learn about how Israeli innovators have turned the desert into thriving farmland and a hub of renewable energy. Ride a camel and feast with Bedouin hospitality, while learning about green energy in the desert. Follow in the footsteps of the Zealots running from the Romans after the destruction of the second Temple, as the fled to the mountain fortress of Masada. Ascend Masada for an unforgettable sunrise, before heading down to float in the hypersaline waters of the Dead Sea and learn about how increased temperatures in the region are causing the sea to shrink and brainstorm what Israel can do to protect it. Discover the minerals that compose the famous black mud of the Dead Sea on a visit to the mineral factory, and test their use in many skincare products.
During a visit to the Arava Valley and Desert, the group will learn about how researchers and technicians from different cultures use science and technology to build bridges and make the desert bloom. We will visit a solar farm and observe the vast potential for solar and other renewable energy in the desert. Snorkel in the Red Sea and experience the magnificent marine creatures in Eilat. Get your hands dirty mixing compost, and building sustainable domes and arches out of mud bricks at Kibbutz Lotan.
We will spend our last Shabbat on a kibbutz in the desert, as we reflect on our connection to Israel and Jewish identity through the unique lens of science and technology that we have been experiencing.
Finishing up our journey, we will travel back up north to Tel Aviv, the place where “Start Up Nation” was born. Visit Independence Hall and start up companies on Rothschild Boulevard and experience hi-tech entrepreneurship, collaboration, and innovation. Take a break from learning and working with expert innovators with a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Tel Aviv. Learn how we, as scientists, innovators and Reform Jews, can carry on the legacy of our ancestors whose vision for the State of Israel led to the booming hub of innovation that exists there today.
We are working with our partners in Israel to create an exciting and engaging experience for our teens. The itinerary above is subject to change and a final itinerary will be confirmed and sent to our families in the Spring. Our experienced partners on the ground in Israel are experts in both Jewish and Israel education, creating a meaningful and rich Jewish experience, where teens will arrive home with an increased sense of connection to and pride for the land and people of Israel and its story as a global innovator.