Pre- and Post-Ride Tours

Pre- and Post-Ride Tours & Activities

Arriving a few days before the Ride, or staying in Israel after the Ride? Enhance your Israel Ride experience with one of our tours. While most of these tours are organized by third-party operators, they are custom made for our Israel Ride participants and their guests only, and you’ll need to book through us.

For those of you who have been to Israel, these programs are perfect ways to deepen your connection and understanding of the region. For those of you who are visiting Israel for the first time, this is a unique opportunity to look past the tourist sites and see a glimpse of what the country has to offer.

These can all be booked through your Forms Portal.

All itineraries noted below are subject to change.

Pre-Ride Options

Registered Participants

Lynn and Stephen Baum
Bernice and Sam Behar
Arlene and Hal Bryer
David Eisenberg
Jeremy Kranowitz
Paula and Azzy Reckess
Mark Segal
Jim and Moira Taubenfeld

Culinary Tour of Northern Israel

Leave from Tel Aviv at 8:00 AM on Sunday, October 21st
Return to Ramat Rachel the evening of Monday, October 22nd

Two Day Tour, double occupancy: $595
Two Day Tour, single upgrade: $100

They say that “food has a story to tell”, and nowhere is that more the case than in Israel. This 2-day experiential tour, designed exclusively for the Israel Ride by ViaSabra in conjunction with Hazon, explores Israel’s sustainable cuisine landscape in the most scrumptious of ways. You will visit fields and orchards and organic olive groves, gather produce, shop in local markets, and create regional meals. You will explore small sustainable family wineries, volunteer at leading organizations tackling hunger in the region, and learn about some of the creative agricultural innovations Israel is famous for.

This is a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes and experience Israel’s delicacies while learning about the importance of sustainable food sources. Whether olive picking, preparing Shakshuka, sampling exceptional homemade spices, or creating a traditional Druze feast, this tour will leave you with a new appreciation for food, sustainability, and the diverse cultures behind what we call “Israeli cuisine”.

All food served on the tour is certified as Kosher.

Sunday, October 21:

Hamotzi Lehem min Haaretz- The abundance of the Land
8:00 am: Depart from meeting point at 65 Rothchild in Tel Aviv

Drive to the Bird Mosaic in the Caesarea area, a lesser-known relic of the area. Near the mosaic enjoy an incredible ‘prisa’ (‘spread’) of breads, sweets, cheeses, and spreads from a special small bakery nearby, Elhanan Tarbut Lehem. While you eat, Avihai Tsabari, Culinary Expert and owner of Via Sabra will talk about “Is There an Israeli Cuisine”?
Beit Lehem HaGlilit Beit Bahd (Olive Press) -The Galili family’s organic olive groves are set by an old oak forest with beautiful scenery. Take a tour in the olive groves and oak forests and since you’ll be there during the olive picking season, pick olives! Next to the groves is the family’s boutique olive press. See how olives are pressed into oil and have an olive oil tasting workshop.
Make lunch at Kibbutz Harduf’s Organic farm and learn about the Kibbutz’ organic food business and therapeutic programs. You’ll gather eggs and make pita, and pick vegetables.
Wine Tasting at Kishor Winery located in Kishorit, a village for adults with special needs. The members of the community enjoy a full life, including meaningful employment. In conjunction with the professional staff, the members take an active part in the grape cultivation, bottling, and marketing of the wines. The Visitors’ Center also employs Kishorit members who host guests, interact with members of the general community, and give guided tours.
Check into the hotel, rest, relax.
Galilean Dinner prepared by the hotel’s Chef in the beautiful dining room
overlooking the Galilee all the way to the Kinneret.
Overnight: Amirey HaGalil

Monday, October 22:

A Culinary Tapestry in the Galilee
Leisurely breakfast at the hotel
Comfortable hike in the area around the hotel
Bedouin cooking workshop in Sallame, hosted by Ziad talk about northern Bedouin life and culture. Together with your hosts, learn to prepare traditional Galilean dishes. Your reward-a true feast and the true tastes of the Galilee.
Culinary Tour of Nazareth’s spices and sweets– walk the narrow streets of the Nazareth market while sampling and learning about coffee, spices, and sweets. Make a stop to visit one of the new women-run coffee houses and bookstores.
Visit El Babour Spice Store in the heart of the holy city of Nazareth, the 120-year-old, family-run mill is renowned for its range of exceptional homemade spices.
On the way to Jerusalem stop in Abu Ghosh at Al Yasmeen Halva and Tahina heaven to taste some of Israel’s best!
Drop off at Ramat Rachel Hotel

To get a taste of our delicious two day tour, check out the trailer for “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” where Avihai Tsabari, founder of ViaSabra, is the culinary guide.

Registered Participants

David Adler
Joel Brill & Amy Goldman
Kay and Steven Dixon
David Diskin
Andrew Fischer
Mark Glick
Steve and Vickie Greenzang
Steven Kantorowitz
Amy Lieberman
Helen and Larry Light
Steve Masters
Howie Rodenstein
Steve Sanderson
Jennifer Weiss & Daniel Lyons

Seeking Partners for Peace: A Dual Narratives Tour

Meet at Ramat Rachel at 8:00 PM on Saturday, October 20th for Orientation
Leave very early Sunday morning for a day of touring, education, and speakers. Stay overnight in Beit Jala.
Return to Ramat Rachel the evening of Monday, October 22nd

Two Day Tour, double occupancy: $595
Two Day Tour, single upgrade: $60


Experience the complex Israeli-Palestinian relationships in Jerusalem and the West Bank, organized through Mejdi Tours. This exclusive, hands-on tour will expose you to the many narratives, personal stories, historical perspectives in the region. You will gain valuable insight into the efforts underway by the Pursuers of Peace, Rodef Shalom.

Saturday, October 20: Orientation at Hotel Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem
8:00 PM: In the evening, after Shabbat is out, meet your group and your two guides, one Israeli and one Palestinian, at Hotel Ramat Rachel for an orientation.

Sunday, October 21: Northern West Bank and Beit Jala
8:00 AM: Check out, have breakfast at the hotel and meet your guides.
9:00 AM: Meet with Machsom Watch, a volunteer organization of Israeli women who are peace activists from all sectors of society, in monitoring activity at a West Bank checkpoint at its peak activity hours.
11:00 AM: Spend a couple of hours with Palestinian farmers and volunteers from Rabbis for Human Rights in a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank. If olives are ready for harvest, we will also help with the harvesting.
1:30 PM: Have lunch in Ramallah. Invite a Palestinian business leader to join the group for lunch.
3:00 PM: Meet with Hanan Taha-Rayyan, CEO of Paltrade, to discuss challenges facing the Palestinian economy.
4:30 PM: In the afternoon visit the controversial new Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah and discuss and debate Arafat’s complex legacy from multiple perspectives as both an unrepentant terrorist and a national freedom fighter, as both a revered Palestinian statesman and a politician tainted by corruption, and as both a deserving and undeserving Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Travel to Beit Jala, check into the Taybeh hotel.
6:30 PM: Have dinner at the hotel.
7:30 PM: After dinner, meet up with Israeli and Palestinian members of Combatants for Peace, an egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots organization that is committed to non-violent civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation and all forms of violence between the two sides in the state of Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Get a private screening of the Combatants for Peace’s film Disturbing the Peace, followed by a discussion with a CfP leader.

Monday, October 22: Southern West Bank
8:00 AM: Check out of the hotel after breakfast
9:00 AM: Head south to Hebron. Walk down Shuahada Street in the Old City. Visit the Women in Hebron Cooperative shop. See the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Speak with local Palestinians, Israeli settlers, and possibly Israeli soldiers serving in the city.
12:30 PM: Have lunch in Hebron.
2:30 PM: Then meet with settler peacemaker involved in the Abrahamic Reunion movement [NOTE: This would likely be Hadassah Froman or Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen. Hadassah is an Orthodox Jewish woman peacemaker, from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa. She is the wife of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, who was a pioneer in Jewish-Muslim peacemaking in the West Bank settlements. Rav Nagen is a leading Orthodox rabbinical figure in interfaith encounters in the Holy Land. He organizes prayer vigils bringing together Israelis and Palestinians against religiously motivated violence. He lives with his family in the West Bank settlement of Otni’el].
4:00 PM: Return north to Bethlehem to tour the separation barrier up close and discuss both its impact on Israelis and Palestinians and the images you see painted on the wall. Visit the Walled Off Hotel, set up and financed by world-renowned Street Artist Banksy, to see their museum and art gallery
6:00 PM: Return to Jerusalem and check back into Ramat Rachel. Have dinner at the hotel. 7:30 PM: After dinner, have a learning session with Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth, Director of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution (if available). He and the guides will help the group process their experiences from the previous two days.

This overnight, two-day tour includes time exploring Jerusalem, the West Bank as well as an overnight stay in Beit Jala. Click here to watch a TED Talk with the founder of Mejdi Tours, Aziz Abu Sarah.

Registered Participants

Debra Aaron
Jeffrey Axelrod
Robin and Craig Beden
Lenny Cohen
Sallie Deans Lake & Kevin Lake
Robin and Ted Diamond
Lori and Bruce Dorman
Aklilu Dunlap
Sharon Eckstein
Jack and Jo Faer
Morgan Faer
Linda Jerome Herman
Miriam May
Martha & Richard Pastcan
Beth Peck
Brian Ruyle
Judith Souweine
Robert Spivack
Amy Voorhes
Susan Zarchin

Monday One- Day Tour: East/West Jerusalem… It’s Just Not Simple

Monday, October 22nd, $50

Experience the complexity of life on the visible and invisible border of Arab East and Israeli West Jerusalem. Share conversations that will enlighten, challenge, and deepen your understanding of the complexities of day-to-day life and the two state discussion.

Dr. Tareq Abu-Hamed, Academic Director of the Arava Institute, will guide us as we visit places and meet with Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side, who see the same vistas from two sides, and experience vast differences in quality of life.

Our time together will include conversations with Fuad Abu-Hamed, a social activist in East Jerusalem; Eliezer Yaari, former Head of the New Israel Fund in Israel; Dr. Laura Wharton, member of Jerusalem’s City Council for Meretz; and Dr. Jawad Hassan, water expert and faculty member at the Arava Institute and Al Quds University.

08:30 Meet in front of the hotel, after breakfast

09:00 Travel to Hasovlanut Garden, meet Fuad Abu Hamed, Social activist from East Jerusalem: “Gaps in life quality in East and West Jerusalem.” From this Park we will be able to see both East and West Jerusalem

10:00 Travel to Sur Baher through East Jerusalem passing few Jewish settlements: meet with Dr Jawad Hassan, wastewater expert and AIES faculty member: “Cross border wastewater issues in East Jerusalem.”

12:00 Lunch at the community center in Sur Baher

13:00 Travel to Park Hazaytim, meet Eliezer Yaari and Dr Laura Wharton is a member of Jerusalem’s City Council as a representative of Meretz: “Municipal plans for closing the gaps between West and East Jerusalem.”

15:00 Return to Ramat Rachel hotel

Post-Ride Options

Registered Participants

Lester Blumberg
Beryl Brodsky & Thomas Fritz
Neal Epstein
Amy Goldman & Joel Brill
Jon Harris-Shapiro
Brenda and David Jaffe
Max Klein
Barbara Lamont
Amy Letteney
Miriam May
Howie Rodenstein
Mark Segal

Immersive Experience at the Arava Institute

New! Exclusive Program for Israel Ride Participants

Leave Eilat at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, October 30th
Return to Eilat at about 4:00 PM on Wednesday, October 31st for flights from Eilat to Ben Gurion

Two Day Tour, double occupancy: $325
Two Day Tour, single upgrade: $60

Led by Rabbi Michael Cohen, this is an exclusive opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture, academics, and peace-building curriculum of the Arava Institute. Participants will spend time with the Institute’s academic director, Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed and other Arava Institute faculty, participate first hand in a peacebuilding and environmental leadership exercise, meet with heads of the Institute’s research centers, meet students, attend classes, and learn about the practical projects students have created to address the region’s environmental challenges.

This unique program offers unparalleled access to the Arava Institute. It was developed exclusively for Israel Ride participants.

About the Alumni College leader, Rabbi Michael Cohen: Rabbi Michael is a founding faculty member of the  Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. He is affiliated with Bennington College, the Alliance for Middle East Peace, and Jerusalem Peacebuilders. He is a frequent contributor to the Jerusalem Post and a frequent speaker on “Dual Narrative” and opportunities for Israelis and Palestinians to work together for a better future.

Tuesday, October 30th

8:00am Breakfast at hotel
9:00am Minibus to Ketura
9:30am Arrive leave suitcases at KK or Machon
10:00am Meet Dr. Elaine Solowey and Yair Wahle, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, hear Elaine’s personal story as a Kibbutz Ketura founder and award-winning researcher, visit Methuselah and his friends.
11:00am Join class of Dr. Yael Teff-Seker, “Environmental Mediation and Conflict Resolution.”
12:30pm Check into rooms & lunch with staff and/or students
2:00pm Shira Kornish on Track II
3:00pm  Walk with Rabbi Michael through the sand dunes to the Jordanian border, the backyard of the Arava Institute, past the 40 megawatt solar field and the experimental orchard (2.5 miles round trip)
5:00pm Rest Time
6:00pm Dinner with interns
7:30pm Go out back of Kibbutz with Yoram Hoffman and look for scorpions using black light


Wednesday, October 31st

8:00am Breakfast
8:30am  Tour of Off-Grid village with Nadav Solowey
9:00am Peacebuilding Exercise with Michael Alexander
10:30am check out of rooms
11:00am Abby Lutman on MASHAV
11:30am Meet with Cathie Granit, Program Director
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm David Lehrer on the New Campus and other Arava Institute topics
3:30pm Leave for Eilat

Registered Participants

Sam & Bernice Behar
Caren & Michael Bianco
David Biggs & Faye Morin
Sofia Blanco
Carolyn & Jim Bondarovich
David Brenner
Susan Brooks
Janice Cohen & Byron Fisher
Larry & Suzanne Cohen
Arlene & Leah Cullen
David Diskin
Lori & Bruce Dorman
Jamie Edwards
Lee & Stanley Ellenberg
Jack & Jo Faer
Morgan Faer
Carl Fertman & Barb Murock
Howard Fishman
Allan Friedman
Tom Gillespie
Richard Goldman
Steve & Vickie Greenzang
Kenneth Hankin
Larry Hausman-Cohen & Amy McNamara
Joe & Margie Hoffman
Maralee Joseph
Jeremy Kranowitz
Mike & Patty Krigel
Kevin Lake & Sallie Deans Lake
Miriam Leeser & Robert Cooper
Andy Levin
Stephen Meyers
Miranda Miller
Jill Minneman
Wayne Pastel
Sheila Paxton
Robert Pincus
Stephen Rabb
David Raffel
Adina Riggins
Michael Roon
Brian Ruyle
Myles Shaftel
Laurie Silverman
Judith Souweine
Robert Spivack
Jeremy Treatman
Amy Voorhes
Annie Weiss
Jennifer Weiss & Daniel Lyons
Marion Weiss
Abbe Wolfson
Susan Zarchin

Tours to Petra and Wadi Rum

We are offering two options to visit Jordan, contracted with Desert Eco Tours. The one-day options visit Petra, while the two-day trip includes more time in Petra and the tour of Wadi Rum the following day.

One Day tour: $230
Two Day Tour, double occupancy: $460
Two Day Tour, single upgrade: $60

All participants will leave early in the morning from the hotel and cross into Jordan for a 2-hour drive to Petra. We start with a guided tour of the main entrance to Petra, followed by lunch. Those on the one-day trip will have limited time to explore before heading back to the bus to return to Eilat.

Those on the two-day trip have more time to explore the famous Nabatean tomb carvings, extensive Roman excavations, and even a climb to the “Monastery” carving overlooking the Arava valley. We will spend the night at the newly renovated Hyatt Zaman Resort, which used to be an ancient village called Taybeh, near Petra. On Wednesday, we explore the majestic Wadi Rum, a vast desert full of rock forms, open spaces, and Bedouin encampments, and return to Israel in time for evening flights from Eilat to Tel Aviv.

Note regarding return flights:
The one-day tour 
will return to Eilat late at night on Tuesday after the final flights north have departed. You must book an extra night in Eilat, either at the Ride hotel or elsewhere.
The two-day option is scheduled to return in time to catch 6:30 pm flights from Eilat on Wednesday. However, the Israel Ride cannot take responsibility in the event of a border closure or flight cancellation.