Israel Adventure Information April 23-May 3

Join us for a special trip to Israel where we will participate in two of Israel's greatest observance days. First, Yom Hazikaron, Israel Memorial Day and Yom Haatzmaut, Israel's Independence Day
We don’t see Israel from a bus, we take in the pulse of the region by experiences… hiking amazing landscapes from lush mountains to desert, indulging in authentic food from dozens of ethnic backgrounds; discovering the arts and crafts of the communities, and climbing or walking through historical sites, and even partaking in a service project that will put you in closer touch with the people and how they live their daily lives. And all this with the camaraderie of old and new friends.
If you're a first time Israel visitor... this is the way to see it. You'll see all the Must-Sees, plus so much more. If you've been to Israel before, we can guarantee you've never experienced an itinerary like this

OPTION TO ADD 2 DAYS UP NORTH-- based on demand

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    TENTATIVE ITINERARY

    Sunday, 23 April, 2017 Arrive at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on self-booked flight An airport VIP greeting and complimentary transfer to our hotel in Haifa Stop at ZIchron Yaakov for wine tasting, and short walk Meals included: Dinner Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Haifa Monday, 24 April, 2017 As we go along the Mediterranean coast, we stop in Haifa for a panoramic view of the city, the bay and the Bahai Gardens. Haifa, Israel's third-largest city. This ancient seaport on the slopes of Mount Carmel is invested with both the historical weight of Jerusalem and the modern ambiance and tempo of Tel Aviv. It is in some senses Israel's model city, rich with history, replete with a stew of cultures and religions working side by side, and evolving rapidly into the modern world. We'll head to Mount Carmel for a panoramic view of the terraced Baha'i Gardens, as they flow down its slopes toward the busy harbor Possible tour of Technion or meeting with high tech company Drive along the coastal plain to Caesarea, where Herod the Great built a remarkable artificial port—an engineering marvel in its time. Here we'll explore Roman ruins, many of which were transformed into a walled Crusader's city in later times. (short time) A water activities lesson - SAP, surfing etc. with kids from broken houses that found their hope in this program Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 Rabin or Diaspora Lunch on own and exploration time at at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival Encounter art from a new perspective on a Hebrew graffiti art walking tour of Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood Free afternoon to enjoy Tel Aviv and its Mediterranean beachfront Evening: Experience a dinner with new senses at Blackout followed by a show at Nalagaat, Israel’s renowned theater troupe comprised of deaf and blind actors Meals included: Breakfast + Dinner Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv Wednesday, 26 April, 2017 Leket – Take part in a harvesting project in support of the hungry of Israel Discover the wonders of Israeli innovation at the Weitzman Institute, one of Israel’s premiere science academies Depart from the Tel Aviv region and travel south to the Negev Desert Experience life on Israel’s frontier with a visit to Sderot, including its underground JNF playground Then we continue our drive into the Negev area- deep in the desert for a sunset Jeep tour around Mitzpe Ramon before we had to camp out. We’ll partake in desert orienteering exercise and camp out dinner where we will spend a night under crystal clear stars in the Tzin Valley. where we will set up camp and have a camp cookout. Late night desert Astronomy lesson Overnight in Mitzpe Rimon, camping Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Overnight: Mitzpe Ramon Thursday, 27 April, 2017 We wake up to our remote campsite and begin our amazing full day desert hike experience. We travel through the desert as our ancestors traveled for 40 years, all we can see is the beautiful landscape, hidden oasis’ and abundant animal life. Before leaving the area, we’ll stop by Carmei Avdat - a fine winery that bring the old teracces to life in modern agriculture If time, we’ll stop by Ben Gurion’s tomb Dinner making working in Tzabarei Orly farm Meals included: Breakfast, dinner Overnight: Leonardo Beer Sheva Friday, 28 April, 2017 Drive to Jerusalem We head to the famous Mahane Yehuda Market (shuk) with its authentic and colorful stands with opportunities to learn about the foods and taste some favorites. Nothing defines Jerusalem modernity more than the Machane Yehuda "shuk" or marketplace. Everything edible is for sale at Machane Yehuda, including super fresh produce and plenty of local delicacies. Being Friday morning, there should be a bustle as people get ready for shabbat Return to hotel to freshen up. Then we will walk to the Kotel and celebrate the welcoming of Shabbat at the wall. Very moving experience. Festive Shabbat dinner with Israeli singles. Meals included: Breakfast, dinner Overnight: Dan Panorama Jerusalem Saturday, 29 April, 2017 Wake up long before the sun comes up for your pre-sunrise ascent to Masada via the Roman Ramp (it’s worth the early hours). Explore the desert mountaintop fortress, visit the remains of the walls, palaces, synagogue, the bathhouses etc. and hear the history. We’ll come back for breakfast before heading to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve/Nachal David for hike and explore the lush oasis filled with waterfalls, vegetation and rare wildlife. Lunch on own in the hotel's area & dip in Dead Sea Stop en route to tour a vast desert greenhouse complex and to view the Qumran Caves, hiding place of the Dead Sea Scrolls Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner Overnight: Dan Panorama Jerusalem Sunday, 30 April, 2017 We then step backwards in time as we enter the Old City via the Zion Gate. In the Jewish Quarter, we will begin to make our way through alleys, rooftops, and courtyards, the ancient history and modern revival of Jerusalem will comes alive before our eyes. The Old City tour culminates with a visit to the Western Wall and going back to the original “Old City” that dates back to the time of King David well before the Common Era. To access the original "City of David" you need to go underground a bit...including a walk through King Hezekiah's water tunnel. The tunnel was built in order to move water from a natural spring source to a place where it could be used by the people. When the city was defending itself from the approaching Assyrian army in the 8th century bce, King Hezekiah decided to protect the water by diverting its flow deep into the city with an impressive tunnel system. "Hezekiah also plugged the upper watercourse of the Gihon waters and brought it straight down to the west side of the City of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works." (Chronicles II, 32:30). This engineering feat was accomplished by digging a 1,750-foot (533 meter) tunnel into the mountain. An ancient stone carving found near the entrance describes this incredible operation. Today, we can walk through the pitch dark tunnel filled with knee deep (and sometimes waist deep) water. Think of it as Jerusalem's version of a water park. Evening; Take part in a solemn Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) ceremony at Latrun Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem Monday, 1 May, 2017 Morning: Celebrate the unification of Jerusalem in 1967 at Ammunition Hill Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem – The Seam, the Wall, and the Future Today we travel to Yad Vashem, the stirring “everlasting memorial” to the more than six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. With the world's largest archives of material relating to the Holocaust—more than 50 million documents and artifacts—this museum and memorial complex, while built on the Mount of Remembrance, aims not only to remember, but to educate. We'll spend the morning at this solemn site, where we'll hear a moving first-person account of the horrors of Hitler's “Final Solution” from a Holocaust survivor Celebrate the start of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) on Ben Yehuda Street! Meals included: Breakfast + Lunch Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem Tuesday, 2 May, 2017 Return to the Old City and explore the restored Hurva Shul, the Herodian Mansions, the Burnt House, and the Aish Rooftop Celebrate Independence Day the Israel way with a BBQ lunch in the Jerusalem hills Visit to an active Israel Defense Forces army base Return to Jerusalem for an evening on own Meals included: Breakfast + Lunch Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem Wednesday, 3 May, 2017 Learn how Israel’s democratic values are safeguarded visiting the Supreme Court. Enjoy a relaxed lunch on own and exploration time at First Train Station. Optional try a new Segway tour Evening: Closing dinner and closing session at Darna Restaurant – Jerusalem’s famous Moroccan-style restaurant Evening: Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for overnight flights back to North America Meals included: Breakfast + Dinner

    THINGS TO KNOW: TRIP DETAILS

    TRIP LENGTH 11 days, 10 nights (shorter version- 10 nights DATES OF TRIP: April 23- May 3 Option to add 2 days up North based on demand COST: $3850 double occupancy (based on a minimum of 20) Single Supplement Add $960 (not sharing a room) MEETING PLACE: Ben Gurion airport (TLV), by noon day 1 (depending on majority of group arrivals) DEPART FROM: Ben Gurion airport (TLV) , anytime on the last day GETTING THERE: You can find decent airfares with only one stop in Europe from most of the European airlines. Shoshana Segal, a travel agent is often able to get consolidated fares. First try on-line, or www.kayak.com , and then tell her the best that you were able to find and see if she can do better. Her email is shoshana.segal@comcast.net and her phone is 847.470-0441. PRICE INCLUDES Hotel accommodation based on double rooms in hotels as listed, All breakfasts, 4 dinners, 2 lunches and entrance fees as listed in itinerary guide and minibus/driver daily, PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE - International and domestic airfare - Hotel the night before or after trip starts, approx. $200 a night. - The itinerary includes Travel insurance is not included but strongly recommended. - Alcoholic drinks and souvenirs are not included. - Optional Tours: For those who would like to experience another region - Gratuities GROUP TRAVELLING: Our groups are small in order to be flexible and spontaneous at times. Small groups allow more interaction with the communities as well as the ability to keep an active itinerary. Singles and Couples are welcome! TRIP FITNESS LEVEL: Level of Physical Activity: Access to some accommodation and sites might require climbing and rocky footpaths. Most of our hikes are a few hours, longer one in the desert (but so worth it!) . It’s all for novices, but it is a rigorous schedule with little down time. We try to fit in breaks for people to relax during the heat of the afternoon, and often that is why dinner is not included, so you can be on your own schedule. But we also want to show you as much of the country as possible. PASSPORT INFO A valid passport is required for travel. Please make sure that your passport expiration date is at least six months beyond the date of return. If you do not have a passport, you will need to acquire one for international travel. United States citizens can usually apply for a passport at a number of facilities including many Federal, state and probate courts, many local post offices, some libraries and many county and municipal offices. Apply early! Depending on the agency used, you will receive your passport within 5-6 weeks. If expedited service is necessary, you must apply in person at one of 13 passport agencies found in most major cities. You must present your airline tickets or airline generated itinerary and the other required items for the application. You need to make an appointment with your passport agency for expedited service. If you do not live near a passport agency, you can use an overnight delivery service and your local passport acceptance facility. An additional $35 is charged for expedited service per application. Further information and your local passport processing facility can be found on the website of the U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/index.cfm VISA: A passport is required, but no visa is needed for tourist or business stays of up to three months. Also, if you plan to travel to Israel on a US or Canadian passport, you do NOT need a visa to enter Israel. If you are traveling on a passport from another country (e.g. Russia, Ukraine, etc.) you may need to obtain a visa to enter Israel (see Israel Visa Requirement List). If you will be traveling to Israel on a US Travel Document, you will definitely need a visa. IMMUNIZATIONS • No special vaccinations are required in necessary in Israel. However we recommend that you come to Israel with an up to date Tetanus shot. • Check with your health care provider, and/or visit a travel immunization clinic. • If possible, get a prescription for a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Weather and Preparation: Average Temperatures The Israeli climate is temperate, and temperatures all year round are reasonable. Israel has two main seasons: Winter from November to March, is cold and rainy in most parts of the country; Summer from April to October is hot and dry with little or no rainfall. The desert areas can be extremely hot in summer time. The best time to visit is March-June or October-November, although climate shouldn't be a major consideration in choosing a time to visit. CURRENCY How to bring it... The best money solution in Israel is to bring a credit card and/or ATM card. In terms of credit cards, Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere in Israel. It's a good idea to call your credit card company before you leave to let them know that you are travelling to Israel (otherwise they may think it's fraud and suspend your account). In terms of ATM cards, most will work in Israel, but you should definitely call your bank ahead of time just to make sure the card will work in Israel (note: Any ATM card with a Visa or Mastercard logo will work for sure). ACCOMMODATIONS Our accommodations are simple and convenient. We are staying in simple hotels, where you will feel quite at home and comfortable as well as getting a sense of what the people of Israel are like. ELECTRICITYIf you plan to bring small electrical appliances to Israel, keep in mind that Israel uses a 220 volt electrical current and the outlet types are different as well (two circular prongs). In order to avoid "frying" any electrical items, bring a voltage converter (note: this is already built into most laptop computers). You will also need a simple adapter to plug your items into the wall. COMMUNICATION: To call Israel from the states you would dial 011-972 and then the city code. There are a lot of places with wifi so you can imessage, facetime and use internet most of the time. I use the app Whatsapp and have my family, friends and vendors use it as well and then I can call them or text them whenever I am in wifi area. You can also call your phone service and ask them what they recommend for your phone. Verizon charges $40 for 100 minutes of talk time and data. I think the other services have better packages. CELL PHONE RENTALS Renting a cell phone is the easiest way to keep in touch with your friends and family while you are in Israel. We have negotiated a discount with a local Israeli cell phone provider named "Israel Phones". It's cheap and easy. Incoming calls are completely FREE, and there are NO daily usage fees if you order in advance. It does cost money to make outgoing calls (see below). The phones can be rented for the duration of the 10-day trip and can be extended for as long as you stay in Israel. Also, once you rent the phone, you will receive the phone number before you depart, and the actual phone and charger will be personally delivered to you immediately after you land in Israel. it's very convenient. We will set up a link with a code for you. FOOD AND WATER Israeli tap water is perfectly safe to drink, and Israel's fresh fruits and vegetables are world-class. They are outstanding and you’ll be spoiled when you return to the states. Bottled water is available everywhere too. If you prefer bottled water, it is widely available and is quite inexpensive. We recommend buying a bottle of water when you arrive and refilling it with tap water for the rest of the program. ABOUT THE COUNTRY Everyone has their own perception of what Israel is about: it's a travel-agency package of beaches and sun; it's the Promised Land of the Jews; it's a ticking time bomb. And while it is all of these things, it's much more besides. So be sure to look beyond the larger-than-life figures of the past. Israel is a bustling, noisy, modern country. It's best not to arrive with preconceptions of spiritual epiphany. If you do, you'll almost certainly have them confirmed, but in doing so you run the risk of missing the best this fascinating place has to offer. LANGUAGE The language of the country is Hebrew, but most people do know some English. Remember, If you're visiting another place, whether at home or abroad, you're visiting someone else's home. That's the fact. And the more you remember that, the easier it'll be for you to make friends and contacts. So learn some expressions in the local language. You don't need to be fluent. But there's no doubt that your trip will be far more exciting, and people you meet will be far more interested in you, if you speak some of their language. SAFETY We work with the outfitter that is hired by the school system to take school groups out on field trips. Each group's itinerary is approved two weeks before the trip and re-approved each morning of the trip by a special "Situation Room" that is operated by the Israeli Defense Forces on behalf of birthright Israel. Our overnights will always be outside of the major cities, either in small towns, agricultural communities, or in the wilderness. The program itinerary does not include visits or travel anywhere near or inside of the within the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While the program does make visits to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, our travel within the major cities is generally confined to closed areas with special protection (e.g. the Western Wall, Yad VaShem, etc.). We never travel in crowded public areas, and we always travel on our own private busses. Because we provide primarily an "outdoors" experience, we will spend most of our touring time in the kinds of regions in Israel where security concerns are very, very limited. Cancellation policy is as follows: • Prior to 120 days to the departure date: $125 administrative fee will apply. • 120-90 Days prior to departure date: 50% of the full land fee will be returned. 90 days on prior to departure date: No refunds. If ticket has been purchased, you will receive the ticket.

    ABOUT US

    Steppin' Out Adventures is a 23 year company well-known for hosting amazing group travel adventures all over the world. We have trips for various markets, special beach and ski trips for Jewish singles, and adventure trips for Jewish adults. We also have volunteer trips across the globe for singles and families. We are also planning Memorial Day Weekend in Riviera Maya and October in Bhutan. Check out the websites: www.steppinoutadventures.com or email us at info@steppinoutadventures.com for information about other trips..

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    WAIVER & RESPONSIBILITY

    All tickets and vouchers covering ground transportation, hotel accommodations, or other items in the package are issued by Steppin’ Out only as an agent for such companies furnishing such services. Neither they nor their subagents shall be held liable for loss or damage to property or injury to person caused by reason of any defect by any transportation company,lodging company, car company, resort area, agent or any service/item in the package outside their direct control. Steppin’ Out reserves the right to make changes and alterations in the itinerary that are found necessary for proper handling of tours.In such an event, substitute services or equal or greater value will be furnished, or refunded, but the alternate services will still fall under the liability statements above. Steppin Out shall not be liable for any loss, damage, injury, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason, defect, or through acts of omissions of any person or company described in the confirmation. Should a dispute arise, venue shall be in the State of Illinois.
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