top of page


Vacation Beyond Belief

Depart to My Promised Land Day

Depart to My Promised Land Day

On Wednesday, October 18,  2023, between 8:30 and 9:30 AM, we meet at the United Club in the New Orleans (MSY) Airport, Concourse C, between gates C5 and C7.

Our flight, UA 3582 (Embraer 175) departs from MSY at 10:46 AM, with a 3 hour layover in EWR.

UA 84 (Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner) arrives in Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV) on Thursday at 9:30 AM local time (1:30 AM NOLA time)

As you will note, the flight duration to Israel from New Orleans is 15 hours.  There is an 8 hour time difference between the two cities (lunch time in NOLA is dinner time in Jerusalem). So we will arrive the next day at Ben Gurion International Airport.

The current cost for round trip Economy on United is around $1000. Visitrael can make the reservations for you, or you can choose to take different flight arrangements, arriving before or leaving after the Tour dates. The All Inclusive Visitrael Tour price includes transport from the Ben Gurion Airport to our Tel Aviv Hotel, and from the Hotel to the Airport at the conclusion of the Tour.


Day 1

Day 1

You are greeted at the airport by your Visitrael representative and shuttled to the 5-star Hotel in Tel Aviv (about 45 minute drive time).

If you are in Tel Aviv around noon, join us on a fascinating tour of the Rabin Center for Peace. The Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center is the first and only museum in Israel to explore the development of the State of Israel as a young democracy.

Be sure to get to the Welcome Meeting at the Hotel at 5:00PM -  get together with your Visitrael tour director, tour guide and fellow travellers to be oriented on what to expect in the days to come.

The private bus takes us to Jaffa port for dinner at the “The Old Man and the Sea” restaurant.

Overnight: Hilton Tel Aviv (or similar)

Tel Aviv

Day 2

Day 2

Tel Aviv is Israel’s cultural and commercial capital. Named “The Mediterranean Capital of Cool”, it’s a city with a savvy attitude and cultural astuteness. “The city which never sleeps” is a center for nightlife, cuisine, culture, and liberalism. Bordered on one side by the Mediterranean and long stretches of sandy beaches, and on the other by glass towers housing technology companies in what is considered to be the world’s second most important hi-tech area, Tel Aviv has it all. Prominent museums, restored neighborhoods such as the ancient Port of Jaffa, Neve Tzedek and the White City of Bauhaus style buildings, and a young and diverse population, make Tel Aviv a city which you can never stop exploring.

After the hearty Israeli breakfast at the hotel we drive over to Peres Center for Peace and Innovation

When residents of Tel Aviv pack narrow Levinsky Street to visit their favorite delicatessens, bakery shops, roasted nut stalls and spice shops in preparation for the Sabbath, we’ll be there to experience it.  Photography buffs take note: Levinsky Market is one of the best places to shoot in Tel Aviv.

In the evening we experience an Alternative Shabbat with TLV Hipsters & Artists

We'll spend the evening in a large home in the heart of Tel Aviv, in a neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, five minutes from Jaffa and the beach. The room is air conditioned and spacious, fitting up to 30 people. We sit on mattresses.

We begin with a general introduction about Shabbat as we young Jewish guys in Israel see it, and the role of “Tikkun Olam” in our day-to-day life (Tikkun Olam is a concept in Judaism of “improving the state of the world”).

We then sing some songs and sometimes play a game or two, before breaking into smaller conversations, which evolve naturally with the (new) friends seated next to you.

The AlternativeShabbat was created by a team of artists and educators with the goal of developing a fun evening program for incoming tourists of all backgrounds to experience an authentic Friday night in the city of sins ;)

Overnight: Hilton Tel Aviv (or similar)

Tel Aviv

Day 3

Day 3

The Sabbath takes on a special feeling in Israel. There is a palpable quiet and tranquility in the air. Commerce and business come to a standstill. Fortunately there is still lots to do.

After the Israeli breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take the Jaffa tour - Enjoy a quick driving tour of Tel Aviv before continuing to historic Jaffa, where we take a walking tour to visit the Old Markets, Simon's House, and the ancient port of the city of Jaffa, out of which modern day Tel Aviv has grown. The port is thought to be one of the oldest ports in the world and, myth has it, this was the point from which Jonah set off in the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale.

In the afternoon we visit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art — Israel’s first art museum, founded in 1932. The museum is a leading and influential institution dedicated to the preservation and display of modern and contemporary art from Israel and abroad. The Museum is a critical agent for the arts and culture in Israel, offering its visitors a multicultural experience. An active part of the vibrant metropolis, it is a must-visit for international and local crowds.

Family Dinner with friends in Rosh HaAyin. The City, half an hour drive from our hotel,  is named after its location at the source of the Yarkon River (rosh = head, ayin = fountain, spring) and is Sister City to New Orleans. Many famous Israelis live in this City, including Gal Gadot of Wonder Woman fame.

Overnight: Hilton Tel Aviv (or similar)

Tel Aviv

Day 4

Day 4

After breakfast we drive northward along the Mediterranean coast towards the Israeli seaport of Haifa.  We stop at Caesarea Maritima.  Herod the Great built this great seaport city, constructed on the coast of the Mediterranean, in honor of Caesar 2026 years ago.

As we approach Israel’s third largest city we stop off at the Google Building. The Google offices were inspired by four themes of Haifa: The Sea, Port, Nature (specifically Mount Carmel) and Neighborhoods. The building is shaped with four distinct wings, with one theme for each wing.

We drive up to the top of Mount Carmel where we commence our tour of the Bahai Gardens. The Bahai Gardens is possibly the most distinct tourist attraction in all of Haifa. This is the most holy site of the Bahai faith. Last year alone, 750,000 people enjoyed the beautiful terraces of the Bahai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Bahai Gardens contains nine concentric circles each filled with flowers, small trees, small sculptures, water fountains and pools. To the sides of the gardens are wooded areas designed to house wildlife and to cut down on urban noise. Truly breathtaking.

Overnight - Dan Carmel Hotel


Day 5

Day 5

After a hearty hotel Israeli breakfast we venture on to Akko (also called Acre) and explore its colourful markets and old city. Traced back to Pharaoh Thutmose III, Akko is thought to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Following the labyrinthine of alleys, explore the traces of the Crusader, Muslim, and Ottoman conquerors. While here, visit the Old Markets, Al Jazzar Mosque, and the unique underground Crusader castle.

An hour drive to the east is Safed. Jewish settlement in Safed (Tzfat) dates back to the Temple period but achieved fame and a reputation as the “City of Kabbalah” during the 16th century when the rabbis, Kabbalistic scholars and other Jews who were fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition made their home in the mountaintop town.   Located at an elevation of 3000 feet, Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and in Israel. Enjoy the cobblestone alleys, the art, the historical sites and the mystical atmosphere of this ancient city.

Half an hour drive southwards is Tiberias. Tiberias sits on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 CE, it was named in honour of the second emperor of the Roman Empire, Tiberias has been held in great respect in Judaism since the mid-2nd century CE and since the 16th century has been considered one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safed.Tiberias, has been known for its hot springs, believed to cure skin and other ailments, for some two thousand years.

Our tour around the Sea of Galilee, includes sites such as the Church of Transfiguration and Capernaum. Capernaum is home to one of the earliest churches in the world, as well as a monumental ancient synagogue. We also visit Tabgha, with its ancient mosaic of the Loaves and Fishes dating back to the original Byzantine church.

On our way back to Haifa, we stop for a Galilee Winery tour and tasting, and then tour the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology -   this  public research university was established in 1912 under the dominion of the Ottoman Empire.

On December 10th, 2004, Technion became home to Israel’s 1st Nobel Prizes in the natural sciences. (Professor Aaron Ciechanover was a classmate of Dov at Hugim High School… just bragging). Since then the Technion Nobel legacy has continued, with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Distinguished Prof. Dan Shechtman, and the 2013 Prize in Chemistry awarded to Technion graduate Prof. Arieh Warshel

Overnight - Dan Carmel Hotel


Day 6

Day 6

From Haifa we drive to Nazareth, a city of religious importance and spirituality. Delve into its rich historic and biblical significance, but also admire its modern culture and Middle Eastern charm. Visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest churches in the Middle East.

On our way to Jerusalem we visit Kibbutz Eyal to learn about this interesting communal lifestyle. Kibbutz Eyal is located in the center of the country, on the banks of the eastern banks of an asphalt “river” of cars (Road 6). At Studio 36, in the Kibbutz,  we’ll learn about the art and science of sculpting.

In the evening we will have a respectful discussion of the Israli-Palastenian conflict from an Israeli Arab scholar from East Jerusalem.

Overnight - Jerusalem -  Waldorf Astoria Hotel


Day 7

Day 7

Today we take a guided walk through the Old City of Jerusalem Starting at the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque courtyard. After, walk along the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Explore the winding alleyways and quarters and continue on to the western wall. Visit the 4 quarters of the Old City: Christian, Jewish, Armenian, and Muslim quarters.

In the afternoon we visit the famed Israel Museum and view the Dead Sea Scrolls, housed in the Shrine of the Book.

Continue on to the Mahane Yehuda Market, often referred to as "The Shuk," a vibrant local market full of the sights, sounds, and flavours of the Middle East. A popular spot for locals and visitors, as Jerusalem's largest market, it features fruits, vegetables, speciality food stalls, and numerous spots for food and drink. Wander through the maze of laneways and sample some local treats. Afterwards, stop in at a local establishment for a tasting of craft beers.

Overnight - Jerusalem -  Waldorf Astoria Hotel


Day 8

Day 8

South of Jerusalem we viisit the fortress of Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and

stunning rock fortress that was the last stronghold of the Jewish in their war against the

Romans. The story of the site reveals the courage of the defenders of Masada and their battle

against the conquering Romans. Visit Herod’s palace, the mikveh, storerooms, watchtowers,

and the synagogue.


After, relax at the Dead Sea, which is actually a lake, without any form of life whatsoever in its

waters, hence its name. The water is so dense that it is practically impossible to sink and it's five

to ten times as salty as regular sea water. While swimming, cover yourself with the sea's mud,

which is reputed to have special healing powers, and don't forget to take a photo of yourself

reading a book while floating! You will notice that the salt penetrates any cuts on your body and

has an unusual smell, but there are showers to wash off under after swimming.

Ein Gedi is a kibbutz on the western shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The kibbutz operates a

25 acre botanical garden housing over 900 plant species from around the world. It is the only

populated botanical garden in the world, with 500 residents.The garden joined the register of the

Botanic Gardens Conservation International in 1994, and today is recognized by the National

Geographic Society as "the 11th wonder of the world.The garden includes date palms and

Arecaceae, tropical and desert flora.

Driving northward we reach the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem. This is

also an opportunity to take a short camel ride. Continue to Mt. Zion and David's Tomb. Enter

the Old City through the Zion Gate. See the Burnt House, the Herodian Quarter, the Western

Wall, the multimedia presentation at Davidson Center and the Western Wall Tunnel.

Overnight - Jerusalem - Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Masada/Dead Sea/Jerusalem

Day 9

Day 9

On our final day in Israel we check out some important sites on the Eastern side of Jerusalem. Some possibilities are:

The Israeli Parlement -  Tour Knesset

Supreme Court,at%2012%20noon%20in%20English.

US Embassy  - - I have a friend from NOLA who works at the Embassy. Perhaps he can arrange for our group to visit.

In the afternoon we drive to Tel Aviv. We have late evening/night flights, but want to be at the airport with plenty of time to spare before our flight home. We’ve got lots to share at our Farewell Dinner.

Our flight departs 25 minutes past midnight, so we will need to be at Ben Gurion Airport at 9:00 PM on Friday.

Once you pass through security you are invited to relax at the Dan VIP Lounge located in Terminal 3 Duty Free Compound on the B concourse .

UA 141 (Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner) TLV to ORD departs at 12:25 AM October 27, 2023.

Jerusalem, Airport

Day 10

Day 10

Arrive in Chicago. We have a 3 hour layover in Chicago, so we can relax at the United Club in Terminal 1, Concourse B, near Gate B18. 

9:00AM: Depart. Chicago, IL, US (ORD) to New Orleans, LA, US (MSY) UA 5466 (Embraer 175) Operated By Skywest Dba United Express

11:26AM: Arrive in New Orleans with memories to last a lifetime! Welcome back home! TIme to start planning your next vacation! SHALOM!

Arrive New Orleans

bottom of page