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Ahava Halpern


Tel Aviv Beach



by Ahava Halpern, May 23, 2013

My name is Ahava Halpern and I live in Winnipeg, Canada.  I am co-leading the Jewish National Fund Tour to Paris and Israel between October 6 – 21, 2013.

 I have travelled throughout the world through different styles and modes.  For the most part, there has always been a common theme that runs through all of my travels. Whether it is with a Jewish based tour or not, the theme is the need for me to research and connect with Jewish history and life wherever my travels take me.

One has to be particular when choosing a pre-planned tour of any kind. In my experience, pre-planned tours with Jewish based organizations have been meaningful, comfortable and time well spent.

The JNF Tour this October appeals to me because it is a nice mixture of exploring neighborhoods, seeing major hi-lights of each country while still getting time to relax a little.

The main attraction for me for the October tour is simply "PARIS"! The JNF Parisian-Jewish element is "micro-detailed" and very impressive.  It would be very difficult to put together an agenda like this on one's own.  It takes experience and connections to put together what JNF has done for this tour. This tour caters to people with a "thirst" for history, art, architecture and people watching.

Why am I co-leading this tour? I have canvassed for JNF Winnipeg for the past 13 years.  With the aid of the internet, I have been able to expand my knowledge of the JNF.  It is now time for me to actually see in person some of the JNF projects in Israel. Canvassing for JNF is one way for me to stay connected with Israel and to promote JNF's advancements in making Israel and the world a healthier place to live.

From my experience the pricing of this tour is comparable to any 4 star luxury tour on the market.   JNF Canada chose Paris this year because many people from Canada come on JNF tours every year or other year.  They want tours with the added Jewish perspective and history and JNF Canada has to keep up with this demand.

I look forward to co-leading the tour with Rob Berkowits JNF Executive Director of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  We would like to see between 12-15 people from Manitoba to join us.  There will be an OPEN HOUSE on June 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. The open house will give people a chance to meet each other and ask questions about the tour.   Please R.S.V.P. to JNF Winnipeg  at 204-947-0207  by June 6th if you would like to come to the open house and bring a friend or two!

Mission to Israel including a Jewish heritage visit to Paris  October 6 − October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013
Depart Canada

Monday, October 7, 2013
Arrive in Paris
Drive to hotel
Tour including Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triumph, & Champs d'Elysées
Grande Synagogue of Paris
Explore the Pre Lachaise hauntingly beautiful Cemetery
Hotel check in and overnight: Hotel Lotti

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Discover the rich Jewish heritage of Paris
Ile de la Cite in the centre of Paris
The Palace of Justice and Notre Dame Cathedral
Visit the "Pletzel" the heart of Jewish life in Paris
Synagogue de Tournelles and Agudat Hakhilot
Les Billettes oldest cloister in Paris
Shoa Memorial -which houses the library
Parisian Square, "Place des Voges", built by Henri lV
"Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judasme"
Overnight: Lotti Hotel Paris

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Tour of the Louvre
Explore the area on the Left Bank
Latin Quarter including the medieval streets & scholars, Roman ruins, & the famous Sorbonne University
Saint-Germain neighborhood
Montparnasse Cemetery
Vel' d'Hiv Monument commemorating the mass deportation of the Parisian Jews
Overnight: Lotti Hotel Paris

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Hotel check out
Walking tour of the French resistance trail
Hotel Meurice
Place Vendome
Statue of Charles de Gaulle on the Champs de Elysees
Montmartre Village with its cobblestone streets, shops and artist's studios
Sacre-Coeur Basilica
Nissim de Camondo Museum created by the Jewish banker Moise de Camondo
Belleville Sephardic Quarter with picturesque cafes and small shops
Depart Paris for Tel Aviv

Friday, October 11, 2013
Arrive in Ben Gurion Airport
Transfer to hotel
Ayalon Institute clandestine ammunition factory during the British Mandate
Rubin Museum
Walk through the trendy Bohemian district on Shenkin Street
Nachalot Benjamin
Return to the hotel
Shabbat dinner
Overnight: Dan Hotel Tel Aviv

Saturday, October 12, 2013
4-hour walking tour of the Tel Aviv including Bauhaus areas, Neve Zedek and Jaffa
Evening Free
Overnight: Dan Hotel Tel Aviv

Sunday October 13, 2013
Breakfast Hotel check out Drive to the North
Atlit - Illegal Immigration Detention Camp including the famous ship
Circassian visitors' center in Kfar Kama
Kfar Kedem
Hotel check in
Overnight: Ramot - Chalet Deluxe

Monday, October 14, 2013
Hula Nature Reserve the primary site for birds migrating along the Syrian-African Rift
Kibbutz Misgav Am
Moshav Dishon
Winery gourmet wine tasting lunch in a unique setting
Birya forest
"Village of Four Religions"
Dinner in a gourmet restaurant
Evening: Amazing sound and light experience
Overnight: Ramot - Chalet Deluxe

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Gamla - "Masada of the North"
Mt. Bental
Katzerin -Audio Visual show "Keshem Hagolan"
Lunch at a Brewery
Golan Heights
Mt. Bental
Drive via the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea
Hotel check in
Overnight: Isrotel Dead Sea

Wednesday, October  16, 2013
Early wakeup to ascend Massada and watch the sunrise
Igael Yadin Massada Museum
Relaxing day at the hotel spa, pool or float in the Dead Sea
Optional tour of Ein Gedi nature reserve and cactus walk
Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Isrotel Dead Sea

Thursday, October 17, 2013
KKL day in the South with special visit to an R & D Centre and Pioneer Village
Drive to Jerusalem
Shecheyanu ceremony as you ascend to Jerusalem
Hotel check in
Dinner in a gourmet restaurant
Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem

Friday, October 18, 2013
Guided walking tour of the famous Machane Yehuda market with tastings of a variety of specialties
Yad Vashem
Menachem Begin Museum
Western Wall for Kabbalat Shabbat
Walk back to the hotel for a traditional Shabbat dinner
Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem

Saturday, October  19, 2013
Optional morning services or just sleep and enjoy a late breakfast
4-hour walking tour of the Old City including the Tower of David Museum and the Christians, Muslims, Armenian & Jewish quarters.
Evening free
Overnight: King David Hotel Jerusalem

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Tree planting Experience the biblical commandment and plant trees with your own hands
Israel Museum see the new Herod exhibition
Free time to shop, visit with friends and family
Overnight: King David - Jerusalem
Farewell dinner

Monday, October 21, 2013
Hotel check out
Transfer to airport for flight to Canada

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