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An Unmatched Community Building Experience

Travel dates: April 18-27, 2023

Whether you're traveling on your own or with a group, have never been, or been more times than you can count, Spark is an experience you just can’t miss. Join the Greater Boston Jewish community for an unforgettable journey to celebrate Israel’s independence while forming connections that will last a lifetime.

350
Days

7
Hours

21
Minutes

12
Seconds

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Everything you need to know

Land cost: $5,499 per person, based on double occupancy.

Limited subsidies for young adults are available. Learn more.

The Spark Community Experience is open to individuals over 21 who are from the Greater Boston area. With options to join with young adults, synagogue groups, organizations, or people in your neighborhood, Spark aims to deliver a sense of community and belonging that begins before you depart, and extends far beyond your time in Israel. Choose from several specialized tracks to customize your itinerary on specific days, and consider joining us for an optional trip extension to The United Arab Emirates (for an additional fee).

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Explore Israel in 8 days and 7 nights
Spend a week focused on arts and culture, food and wine, outdoor adventures, social justice, business, medicine, technology, and so much more!

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Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut
Get ready for the party of three quarters of a century! We’re taking over one of the hottest nightclubs in Tel Aviv for a Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration with food, fun, and fireworks that you’ll never forget.

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Enjoy spectacular events
Kick off your trip with an opening dinner in Haifa, experience a joyful Shabbat in Jerusalem, and party at an unforgettable Yom Ha’atzmaut event.

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Remember, together
With members of our extended communities around the globe, we will commemorate fallen soldiers and victims of terror during Yom HaZikaron, Israel's remembrance day.

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Customize your trip
Select tours and activities on specific days that relate to the following themes:

  • Arts/Culture/Food/Wine
  • Outdoors/Adventure
  • Business/Medicine/Innovation
  • Geopolitics & Shared Society
  • First-timers
  • and more
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Extend your trip
The fun doesn’t have to end in Israel! Travel with The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), to the United Arab Emirates for a unique and historic opportunity.

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Community Experience at-a-Glance

From exciting excursions and tours to community-building activities, your days will be jam-packed with fun, learning, and exploration.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Day 01

Tue, April 18, 2023

Day 02

Wed, April 19, 2023

Day 03

Thu, April 20, 2023

Day 04

Fri, April 21, 2023

Day 05

Sat, April 22, 2023

Day 06

Sun, April 23, 2023

Day 07

Mon, April 24, 2023

Day 08

Tue, April 25, 2023

Day 09

Wed, April 26, 2023

Day 10

Thurs, April 27, 2023
Day 1: Departure

Leading up to the trip, you’ll meet and mingle with your small Spark group, make new friends and connections, learn and share, and prepare for the trip of a lifetime. You’ll book your own flight(s) to Israel and CJP will take care of all of the details from the moment you touch down in Tel Aviv.

  • Depart from Boston on various flights

✈️ Traveling to Israel has never been easier: Delta Air Lines and El Al Airlines have nonstop flights from Boston to Tel Aviv.

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Day 2: Welcome to Israel
  • Welcome to Israel! You made it!
  • Meet the staff, grab an iced coffee, and begin to make your way to Haifa
  • En route, stop at the ruins in Caesarea or have lunch on the beach in Herzliya
  • Arriving early? Consider tasting your way through the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood in Haifa before our opening event. Or, visit the trendy Talpiot neighborhood for shopping and people watching.
  • Check in to our 5-star hotels and have a cocktail in the hotel lobby before departing for the unforgettable evening that awaits
  • Let’s go! We open our week together at a joyful dinner event with special guests, VIPs, dignitaries, partners, friends, food, and entertainment.
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Day 3
  • Boker tov! (Good morning!) It’s our first full day and we begin in Haifa.
  • Breakfast is served followed by a special guest speaker. We will discuss the latest updates and current events in Israel.
  • Spend the morning learning about Boston’s connection with Haifa, and get to know the people and places within this partnership port city
  • After lunch, explore Israel’s Northern region, where you’ll have selections from which to choose. Thematic options will be curated for first-timers and young adults. Other tracks include outdoors and adventure; business, medicine, and innovation; arts, culture, food, and wine; shared society and dialogue; and social justice and impact.
  • Rappel, sip, meet, discover, explore, eat, and much more in your selected activity tracks
  • Enjoy dinner and a wine tasting at a vineyard, forage for edible plants and cook with a Druze family, enjoy a boat ride followed by dinner in a fish restaurant in Akko, or perhaps dine with artists in the mystical city of Tzfat
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Day 4
  • We’ll make our way to Jerusalem for a day filled with wondering and wandering, with surprises and special guests around every corner
  • Enjoy exclusive tours and meetings only available to our group
  • See the Knesset, visit the new Museum of Tolerance, and make a stop for truffles at a boutique chocolatier
  • Venture through the Machane Yehuda open-air market for a tasting tour and explore the flavors, smells, and personalities that make this unique market one of Jerusalem's jewels
  • Tours and visits continue before we check into our 5-star hotels
  • Enjoy a special Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the Southern Wall followed by a memorable Shabbat dinner with special guests and music
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Day 5: Optional Shabbat activities:
  • Attend Tefilot, Shabbat Services, at one of the many synagogues in Jerusalem. You will be accompanied to the synagogue of your choice from the offered options.
  • Join a walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem and surrounding neighborhoods of this holy city
  • Wake up early and head to Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea: Begin the day at Masada, ascending via a cable car and touring the fortress which dates to King Herod’s time, taking in incredible views across the Dead Sea region and the Judean Desert. Next, we will head to Ein Gedi, where you will be able to walk through the oasis that sits in the middle of the desert. Continue to the Dead Sea, where there will be a chance to bathe in the muds and float in the waters of this salty lake which is the lowest point on Earth.
  • Visit Gan HaShlosha, the “Sachne,” undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Israel. Located in Lower Galilee, some believe that Gan Hashlosha is the real-world location of the garden of Eden, and, once you visit, you might understand why!
  • See ancient artifacts at the Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel that is ranked among the world's leading art and archaeology museums. Or visit the museum’s Jewish Ethnography Wing and learn about Jewish communities from all over the world that make up the mosaic of Israel society.
  • Conclude Shabbat with a musical community Havdalah service overlooking the city of Jerusalem
  • Enjoy a free evening on your own in Jerusalem – visit Ben Yehuda Street, dine at a local restaurant, and more
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Day 6:
  • Experience Jerusalem and Israel at 75 your way. Choose from a menu of exciting options ranging from adventure to food and wine to social justice to arts and culture, and more! Tracks may include:
    • Outdoors and Adventure – Spend the morning at Caliber 3, the leading counterterrorism and security training academy in Israel, followed by an ATV ride through the Jerusalem hills
    • Arts and Culture, Food and Wine – View the bustling art scene in Jerusalem, meet famed painter David Gerstein, and enjoy a cooking class with a celebrity chef
    • Shared Society and Dialogue – We will visit sites along the seamline to gain a better understanding of this land and its impact on the political situation
    • Business, Medicine, and Innovation – Tour Hadassah Hospital and learn about the lifesaving techniques used for all patients no matter their background and see the magnificent Marc Chagall stained-glass windows
    • First timers – Spend time in the Old City as you walk along the ramparts, view some of the world’s most sacred religious sites, and explore the City of David
  • Get ready to tailgate…Israeli style! A late afternoon of football, food, and fun awaits at the Kraft Family Sports Campus!
  • Proceed to Tel Aviv, check into our 5-star beachfront hotels, and enjoy a free evening to discover Israel’s incredible dining and nightlife
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Day 7:
  • Israel is known as “Startup Nation.” Today, you’ll learn why!
  • Be amazed on a private tour of The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation
  • Meet with young entrepreneurs and Israeli startups
  • L’chaim! Take a tour of the Milk and Honey Distillery, Israel’s first whiskey distillery. Tasting is, of course, included!
  • Learn about Israeli inventions that changed the world
  • Explore the connection between food, history, and sustainability at the Asif Culinary Institute and tour the rooftop garden
  • OR join JFNA’s Leadership Lab for a day of learning at Tel Aviv University
  • Commemorate Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day, as we remember those lost fighting for the state of Israel at Latrun, Israel’s official memorial for soldiers from the Armored Corps who fell in combat, which also happens to be one of the largest and most diverse tank museums in the world
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Day 8:
  • Early risers, take a surf lesson in the warm Mediterranean Sea or meet up at breakfast for shakshuka, an Israeli specialty of eggs in spicy tomato sauce
  • Yom HaZikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut – From sadness to celebration. Today we explore the people of this great land – their stories, their achievements, and their dreams.
  • Spend the day exploring modern Tel Aviv. Throughout the day, you’ll meet, taste, smell, see, and experience the bustling city and all it has to offer.
  • Take a tasting journey through either the Carmel Market or Levinsky Market, two of Tel Aviv’s famous shuks, where you'll find a combination of food and sweets from all over the Mediterranean and hear the unique stories of the individuals who sell them
  • Walk through the streets of southern Tel Aviv admiring and learning about the city’s vibrant street art and graffiti as you hear compelling stories behind the artwork
  • Visit performers and go backstage at the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre
  • Explore Nachalat Binyamin Market. Located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, it’s one of the best places in the city to find original, handmade items and different arts and craft products.
  • Tour of Jaffa (also known as Yaffo), the ancient port city from which Tel Aviv has now grown. Gain a better understanding of the fragility of this city's daily life, a city that is challenged by gentrification and extremists from both sides of the political map. Peruse the wonderful flea market, art, and museums in Jaffa as well as the bustling market and scene at the Tel Aviv port. Taste fresh knafeh and the best coffee in town.
  • Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for the party of the year! We’re taking over one of the hottest nightclubs in Tel Aviv for an amazing Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration with food, fun, and fireworks you’ll never forget.
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Day 9:
  • Our final day together – let’s start with morning yoga or a stroll on the beach
  • Don’t forget, it’s Yom Ha’atzmaut – this is a day of celebration
  • Tour the incredible ANU Museum – the Museum of the Jewish People, the largest Jewish museum in the world portraying the story of the Jewish people throughout the generations up to present day
  • Hear from surprise guest speakers who will share their stories and their love for Israel
  • Or, spend time in the lively streets of Tel Aviv where you could visit the fashionable Neve Tzedek area, walk around the Port’s farmers market, or view a rare exhibit at a local museum
  • We’ll make our way to a gorgeous outdoor location and join friends from around North America for a Yom Ha’atzmaut BBQ, including live music, food, friends, and a memorable closing party
  • Pack your bags, hug your friends, and make one final stop for souvenirs
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport for various departure flights to the U.S.
  • L’hitraot! (Until we see each other again!)
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Day 10:
  • Arrive in Boston…
  • OR, depart for Dubai
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Optional Extension:
Dubai & Abu Dhabi

Thursday, April 27-Monday, May 1, 2023

The Jewish community of the Emirates has seen exponential growth in recent years, particularly following the signing of the 2020 Abraham Accords which normalized relations between Israel and the UAE. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the leading Jewish humanitarian organization working in 70 countries around the world and is CJP's longtime global partner. Traveling with the JDC to the United Arab Emirates and visiting the local Jewish community is a unique and historic opportunity.

The JDC is working alongside the emerging Jewish community of the Emirates to support its development. These efforts are being carried out through a JDC Entwine Jewish Service Corps Fellow. The Fellow is working with the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) to better serve the needs of the Dubai Jewish community as it grows and evolves, strengthen the JCE’s community engagement and communication methods, and design and execute a suite of cultural, social, and educational programming alongside community leaders. This work is part of JDC’s historic work bolstering Jews and Jewish communities in the Arab world including ongoing efforts in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.

During the trip, you’ll interact with the local Jewish community to understand the challenges and opportunities of establishing an emerging Jewish community, the first in the Arab world in centuries. You will learn how JDC is helping to support these community-building efforts, and you’ll also visit the newly opened Abraham's Miracles Centre for Learning, the first of its kind in the Arab world, to learn about the cultural and social programming and events offered for the Jewish community of Dubai.

And of course, there will be plenty of time to see the sounds and sights of Dubai, like the Burj Khalifa, the famous Dubai Mall, and the gorgeous beaches at The Palm. We will spend time visiting Abu Dhabi and even have a chance to sandboard during our desert safari adventure.

For Dubai/UAE itinerary and details, visit hereFor pricing and other information, please contact spark@cjp.org

 

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Pricing Details

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Community Experience

April 18-27, 2023

* Pricing is per person based on double occupancy. Single rooms are subject to availability and will be charged an additional fee of $1,850. Generous subsidies are available for young adults, bringing the total land cost experience to $499. Learn more.

What’s included:

Pre- and post-trip programming

  • 4-6 sessions before the trip with others in your experience
  • Optional events and unique opportunities

Israel experience

  • 5-star hotel accommodations
  • Touring in a coach bus (with AC and Wi-Fi)
  • Licensed English-speaking tour guides
  • Daily breakfast and most meals
  • Mega-events and parties
  • Airport assistance, transfers, and porterage (on trip dates)
  • All entrance fees, tracks, speakers, and site visits (as per itinerary)
  • Gratuities

What's not included:

  • Airfare and incidental travel services
  • Pre- and post-trip arrangements
  • Travel and health insurance
  • COVID-related expenses, including (but not limited to) medical care, quarantine requirements, and testing (PCR, Serological, or other)
  • VAT at hotels for Israeli passport/ID holders
  • Some meals
  • Souvenirs
  • Credit card processing fee (other payment methods are available)