Youth & Teens

Since 1999, we at Israel Experts have been developing high quality, high-impact Israel experience programs for schools and youth groups of all kinds. Israel Experts’ goal is to provide substantive and fun educational experiences that will remain with the youth for the rest of their lives. We provide a highly contextualized and interactive curriculum that offers students the opportunity to study, learn, and experience Israel.

Our Tour Educators come with years of experience in the field of youth travel and Israel engagement, and they will collaborate closely with your staff to appropriately adapt curriculum. The curriculum generally emphasizes such components as: formation of Jewish identity, engagement with Israel, and understanding of Israeli society. This is accomplished not only through highly nuanced touring, but also through encounters with a diverse range of Israelis.

Here is a sample of our programming recommendations:

  • Leadership development workshop through sheepherding.
  • Sand dune surfing in the Negev Desert.
  • Encounters with Druse youth.
  • Participation in an interactive Tel Aviv-based street performance.
  • Training as a medical clown and opportunity to interact with hospitalized children.

Contact Us

Call us: 1-800-218-9851

Sample itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Israel

Arrival in Israel.
Shehechiyanu on Haas Promenade.
Orientation.

Overnight: Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem

Day 2: Discover – Explore!

The summer is about exploration, discovery. It is about understanding our heritage and identity, and how that fits into our lives. On this day, we will look at ways of experiencing the past and understanding their relevancy to our modern lives. Through putting ourselves in the role of an ancient shepherd, digging for actual archeological remains, and watching a “bird’s-eye” view of Jerusalem’s history, we will begin our path of exploration and discover.
Participate in the Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape Reserve unique program on leadership in biblical times. Try your hand at herding sheep and note the leadership lessons inherent in the task.
Enjoy a biblically-themed lunch at Neot Kedumim. Better understand the significance of the seven species, and other biblical foods, by eating them!
Travel to the Beit Guvrin National Park and participate in a real archeological dig.
Watch the story of Jerusalem . . . as projected on the Old City Walls.

Overnight: Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem

Day 3: The Beginnings

As a people, we trace our origins to the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Today, we will walk in their footsteps, along the very trails that they walked, recounting their stories and struggles. We will also look at the inspiration they provided for modern Israelis and, in the very same place, ride one of the longest ziplines in the world.
Walk the Path of the Patriarchs in Gush Etzion
Hear about the modern settlement in the biblical land at the Kfar Etzion Sound and Light Show.
Ride the zipline at Deerland.
Travel through the Ela Valley to Tel Azeka. Climb the tel and watch the battle of David and Goliath played out before you.

Overnight: Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem

Day 4: Jewish Rule in Israel

About 500 years passed from the time of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs until Israel fell under the rule of their descendants. Discover First and Second Temple Period Jerusalem – the impressive structures that remain and the civilizations that were lost. How does what we see impact our lives today?
Tour the City of David, including refreshing, wet walk through Hezekiya’s Tunnel,
See the Southern Excavations of the Temple Mount, concrete evidence of Jewish life in the first century CE.
Visit the Kotel, retaining wall from the Second Temple period, and journey underground through the Kotel Tunnels.
Get to know the Jewish Quarter through a scavenger hunt through its alleys and courtyards.
Kabbalat Shabbat on the Southern Steps.
Return to hotel for Shabbat.
Shabbat Dinner and Oneg.

Overnight: Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem

Day 5: Shabbat in Jerusalem

Shabbat programming.
Night out in Jerusalem.

Overnight: Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem

Day 6: Meeting the Neighbors

Part of Jerusalem’s beauty lies in its holy place in the three major monotheistic faiths. On this day, we will meet some of non-Jewish residents for whom Jerusalem is special.
Meet with representatives from Jerusalem’s Christian community. Hear from them why Jerusalem is important to them and what their life is like in the Holy City.
Survey the Old City from the Rampart Walks. Learn about the different populations that exist and co-exist there.
Tour the four quarters of the Old City
Jewish-Arab Coexistence Program (with Yad b’Yad or Kids for Peace).
Experience Helen Gottstein’s Four Faces of Israel Program.

Overnight: Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem

Day 7: Earthly Jerusalem

Having explored the historical and spiritual Jerusalem, we cannot say goodbye to the city without examining modern life there.
Tour the boundaries of modern Jerusalem. Understand the political and security disputes, and future options for resolution.
Walk through the Nachlaot neighborhood. Hear the stories of its colorful and influential residents.
Explore the Machane Yehuda Market. Enjoy lunch while there.
Travel to Dead Sea.
Float (not swim) in the Dead Sea.
Hike Nahal David (time permitting).

Overnight: Ein Gedi Field School

Day 8: Into the Wilderness

Like the 1st Century zealots, we too will flee the Holy City and seek refuge in the Judean Desert, learning how people survived the inhospitable terrain and exploring its beauty.
Ascend Masada before day break to take in the beauty of the sunrise. Hear the story of Masada’s construction and its fall, and the place it has in the Zionist story.
Enjoy a beautiful, wet hike through the Ein Bokek reserve.
Ride camels in the Negev Desert and learn about the “camel culture” of the desert.
Break bread at a Bedouin hafla (feast)
Gaze at the starts in the vast, open desert sky.

Overnight: Camping in the Negev

Day 9: The Negev desert

Long known a place of prophets and visions, the desert is also the place of the actualization of dreams. Explore the role of the desert in the development of the Jewish People and the realization of the State of Israel.
Visit Ben Gurion’s desert home in Sde Boker. Hear about his vision for making the Negev bloom. See one of the most spectacular views in Israel from Ben Gurion’s grave.
OTD/Rapelling/Alpaca Farm Rotation
The Mitzpe Ramon Visitors’ Center showcases both the natural beauty of this vast wilderness, and the achievements of the explorer of another universe. The story of Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, unfolds in the center.
Drive to Ketura.

Overnight: Kibbutz Ketura

Day 10: Solar Power

In this most ambitious “Jewish experiment” of the past 2000 years, Israel has endeavored to create a modern state while retaining traditional values. One of these values is concern for the word that was created.
Participate in the Kibbutz Lotan Ecology Seminar.
Enjoy beach time in Eilat.
Join a sunset cruise on the Red Sea.

Overnight: Kibbutz Ketura

Day 11: Exploring the “Deep South”

Eilat offers far more than sand and sea. It’s mountains are among the most majestic in the area and its history, stretching back to biblical times, is engaging.
Early morning hike in the mountains outside of Eilat (Mt. Shlomo, Red Canyon?)
Snorkeling in the Red Sea.
Travel along the border with Egypt. Discuss relations with the other neighboring countries and the challenges of sharing borders with unfriendly neighbors.
Kabbalat Shabbat.

Overnight: Kibbutz Ketura

Day 12: Shabbat in the Arava

Shabbat programming.
Tour Kibbutz.
Havdala.
Post-Shabbat ice cream treat at Kibbutz Yotvata.
Karioke night.

Overnight: Kibbutz Ketura

Day 13: The Israeli Mosaic

Israel is less a melting pot than a complex stew, whose various flavors maintain their distinction, while blending to create a unique taste. Today, we will experience some of the cultures in Israeli society.
Early departure from Ketura.
Visit an “Ethiopian village” in the heart of Israel. Hear about life in Ethiopia and the adjustment to life in Israel.
In the heights of Israel live an Arab population that is fiercely loyal to the State and serves valiantly in the IDF. The Druze also have a fascinating culture and delicious food. Learn about the Druze and eat an authentic Druze meal in Usefiya.
View from Kinneret from Mount Arbel.

Overnight: Kfar Kinneret

Day 14: Electives

Gadna Volunteering.
Sea to Sea hike.

Day 15: Electives

Gadna Volunteering.
Sea to Sea hike.

Day 16: Electives

Gadna Volunteering.
Sea to Sea hike.

Day 17: Regrouping

Time for the group to share experiences from the last three days and reunify
Conclude elective activities
Enjoy a wet and wild adventure while kayaking down the Hatzbani.
Beach party at Hamat Gadar

Overnight: Kfar Kinneret

Day 18: Discovering the North

Tour the mystical city of Tzfat.
From Mt. Bental look into Syria and discuss challenges on Israel’s northern borders
Tour the De Karina Chocolate, one of Israel’s finest.
Travel to the Banias Nature Reserve. Visit the ancient ruins and enjoy the natural beauty.
Kabbalat Shabbat.

Overnight: Kfar Kinneret

Day 19: Hospitality Shabbat

Shabbat programming.
Opportunity for guests/family members to visit.
Havdala.
Mesibat Ozniot.

Overnight: Kfar Kinneret

Day 20: The Power of Partnership

Partnership activities with Central Galilee – Emek Yizrael/Migdal, to be coordinated together with region.

Overnight: Kfar Kinneret

Day 21: Struggle for Statehood

Thanks to thousands of people with conviction, determination, idealism, and vision, the Jewish People now have a state. Today, we will better understand the sacrifices necessary to make that happen.
Explore Zippori, former seat of the Sanhedrin, and birthplace of the Mishna. Hear about the first rebirth of the Jewish People.
Be “inducted” into the Palmach, the strike force of the Hagana. Proceed through an obstacle course simulating key events in the Palmach’s history. Learn the Palmach’s culture, songs, ethical code, and legends.
Tour the Herodian city of Caesarea. “Meet” Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues, who struggled to reinvent Judaism in the wake of the destruction of the Second Temple.
Travel to Jerusalem.
Prepare for Yad Vashem visit.

Overnight: Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 22: Our Past, Our Future

To understand our future as a state and people, we must confront our past. Today’s sites will draw on the darkest period of Jewish history, while showing the inspiration it provided for building the State.
Tour Yad Vashem, the museum and Children’s Memorial.
“Meet” the visionaries, soldiers, and statesmen behind the State of Israel at Mt. Herzl Cemetery.
Tour the Knesset. Hear about Israel’s legislative system and the symbolism behind the building.
Say goodbye to the Kotel.
Free time for shopping and night out on Ben Yehuda.

Overnight: Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 23: Nation Building

What does it take to build a nation from (almost) scratch? How do you prepare and what values guide you?
Tour the Ayalon Institute, the secret, underground munitions factory that supplied the new state’s army with bullets.
Visit Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where the dream of a homeland for the Jewish People became a reality.
Walk through the Carmel Market. Get lunch on the way.
Explore Israel’s success as the “start-up nation” by participating in a start-up scavenger hunt through the streets of Tel Aviv.
Tour the ancient city of Jaffa.

Overnight: Yehuda Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 24: Taking it Home

The history, the people, and the uniqueness of the country are among the “packages” we take back with us to America. The impact and difference we can make on the lives of people through Tzedaka reflects the contributions made by own Detroit community and the Federation. Today we will focus on building that personal connection to Israel.
(Note: not all buses will be able to participate in all programs listed below).
TLV Show: Walk the streets of Neve Tzedek solving riddles and interacting with the actors who are, inconspicuously, all around you.
Experience life without light at “Dialogue in the Dark,” simulating the challenges encountered by the visually impaired.
Guide Dog Training Center (JFMD supported program).
Surf in the Mediterranean Sea with Hagal Sheli, an organization that empowers youth at risk through surfing. (JFMD supported program).
Visit “Save a Child’s Heart,” a unique Israeli initiative that serves sick children from around the world.
Sit down and join a basketball game. Sit in a wheelchair, that is, as you play in a real basketball court with chairs designed to provide disabled people with the ability to participate in sports. (JFMD supported program – Partner organization with JFMD)
Final Banquet.
Transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport.

Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association
Israel Ministry of Tourism
National Tour Association for travelers