Below is a brief description of the core curriculum tiyyulim:
Tel Gezer – This tiyyul, the first trip of every session, is to an archaeological site located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Students learn about archaeology and its importance in understanding history. In addition, they also learn about Canaanite civilization and its relationship to the earliest of biblical texts.
Settlement of Israel (1st Day) – On this day, students retrace the footsteps of the Judges of Israel and Saul, the first king of Israel. From the summit of Mt. Gilboa, the students have a good view of the Jezreel Valley and Mt. Tabor and develop a greater appreciation for the tribal settlements of Israel and for the stories of Deborah and Gideon. A hike down the mountain enables the students to retrace King Saul’s final battle against the Philistines in which he lost his life. The hike ends at the beautiful springs and pools of Sakhne where the students stop for lunch and a swim.
Settlement of Israel (2nd Day) and 1st Temple Jerusalem – Students learn how the early Israelites settled the land and made it their own. The focus is on the Sataf spring in the Judean Mountains where the students learn about the ancient water system, terrace farming and the challenges of nation forming. After a dramatic overview of Jerusalem, they go to the City of David to see the archaeological remains of Jerusalem’s water system and David’s palace. They conclude the day with a short visit to the Kotel, the Western Wall – Judaism’s holiest site.
The Second Temple, Jerualem – This trip focuses on the 2nd Temple Period (444 B.C.E. – 73 C.E.) and consists of visiting archaeological sites in Jerusalem from this period. Students will see the model of the Second Temple at the Israel Museum and learn about the Essenes at the Shrine of the Book. They will visit the remains of Saducee homes, today in the Jewish quarter of the Old City, and then learn about the Bet Mikdash at the Davidson Archaeological Gardens in the area of the Temple Mount. This day usually includes time to shop in the Jewish Quarter.
Masada – Students will climb Masada at daybreak, exploring the remains of the mountain fortress and discussing the lessons to be learned from this most dramatic story. The next stop of the day is a recreational float in the Dead Sea.
Bar Kochba – The students will visit caves which were prepared in the last century B.C.E. – 2nd century C.E. and learn about the Bar Kochba Revolt. In Dio Cassius’s description of the revolt, he speaks about how the Judean rebels hid in underground caverns. One of the caves students visit was used by the rebels during the revolt. The second part of the day is spent at a Roman amphitheater in Bet Guvrin. This is one of the many gladiatorial arenas the Romans had in Eretz Yisrael. It was in a theatre like this one that Rabbi Akiva and the other nine rabbis were put to death following the Bar Kochva revolt. Here the students discuss the aftermath of the revolt and choices faced by the Jews of Israel in the face of the Hadrianic Decrees.
Bet Shearim and Tzipori – Bet Shearim is in the Lower Galilee. It was the home of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, editor of the Mishna and Nasi of the Sanhedrin. The site has the ancient synagogue, as well as a famous Jewish Necropolis. Here students delve into the writing of Torah Shebaal Peh and deal with the idea of continual life in Eretz Yisrael.
Tzipori was a thriving mixed town of Jews and non-Jews for many centuries. Students see the coexistence of peoples through exploring the archaeological remains. Tzipori boasts one of the better preserved 4th century mosaic tiled synagogue—zodiac and all, the famous Nile Mosaic, and the “Mona Lisa” of the north mosaic.
Belvoir/Tzfat – On this day, students travel to the Galilee to learn about two major historical episodes of the Middle Ages. They go to a well-preserved Crusader castle to learn about the Crusader period in Israel and its effect upon the Jews. Our next stop is Tzfat where a colorful Jewish community of mystics developed in the 16th century. A nature hike or swim is also usually part of this day.
Rural Day – On this day, students travel to the Galilee to learn of the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel with emphasis being placed on the rural development and resurrection of the land. Students will also visit Tel Hai or the HaShomer Museum at Kfar Giladi to learn about the tradition of defending the land. Throughout the day. the students will learn about the leading ideologists, dreamers and heroes who transformed the barren land and prepared the ground for the founding of the state of Israel.
Yad Vashem – At Yad Vashem, students are guided by specially-trained Yad Vashem docents for three hours. At the museum, they will see choice exhibits with explanations and stories. The students will also learn about some Righteous among the Gentiles and go to the Children’s Memorial. The day ends with a closure discussion about their Holocaust studies.
The Hebrew Resistance Trip – This day deals with the various Jewish underground movements during the period of the British Mandate and the various aspects of the struggle to establish the Jewish State. Students usually start the day at a beach to learn about clandestine immigration and then re-enact the arrival of a boat and capture of its passengers. They then follow the olim (immigrants to Israel) to the Atlit detention camp to see where those captured by the British were held and understand what it must have meant to a Holocaust survivor to again be behind barbed wire. The students will visit the Acco Fortress, once the maximum security British prison where many of the Jewish underground leaders and fighters were held. Here they will learn about the organizations and struggle with moral and ethical questions related to membership in the various groups. The tiyul will also include a visit to Rosh Hanikra, the beautiful grottos on the Mediterranean coast near the border with Lebanon.
Urban Tiyul – Students will visit Tel Aviv to learn about its history as the first Hebrew City. Tel Aviv will enable the students to understand the emerging culture and lifestyle of the modern State of Israel. The students will begin in the ancient city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv. The students will visit the original neighborhoods of what became Tel Aviv to understand the goals and aspirations of these “urban” pioneers and how they affected the history of Israel. They will also visit Independence Hall where Israel’s independence was declared. Then the students go out into the streets of Tel Aviv with the task of interviewing Israelis. At the end of the day, a class is held in which the results of the interviews are shared and processed. This class is usually held at Rabin Square, where the students will learn about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
Negev – As its name implies, this is a field trip to Israel’s most southern region. The day will begin at Kibbutz Revivim, the most southern Jewish settlement in1943 to understand the importance of settling the Negev on the past and the challenges of Israel’s “last frontier.” The day continues with a walk in the desert at Ein Avdat and a visit to the home and grave of David Ben Gurion. Here the students learn of Ben Gurion’s vision of pushing back the desert through reclamation of the land. At the end of the day, the group will arrive at Han Hashayarot for a Bedouin experience, wherein they will ride camels, learn a bit about Bedouin life from a Bedouin who will speak with the group, have a Bedouin-style meal and sleep in a large Bedouin tent. In the morning, they work their way south via Machtesh Ramon, where they will learn about the geological phenomenon in Israel and how the machteshim were formed. This day will also include a hike to and frolic in sand dunes of the Negev and, time permitting, a hike through Red Canyon. The next day will include a hike up a mountain where the group will have a view of the four countries that come together at this point of the Gulf of Eilat: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel. They will also see the geological wonders of two types of stones that make up the surrounding mountains. The hike ends at Coral Beach where the students will have an opportunity to snorkel and see the amazing Red Sea fish close up. There is usually also time to enjoy the beach and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains.
Givat Haviva – This is a seminar during which our students go into greater depth as to the Arab/Jewish issues both within the State and Palestinians in the West Bank. Students also meet and speak with an Arab citizen of Israel and are taken near the borders to see the demographic and cultural issues and concerns for themselves. The day generally ends with a trip to Ussefiyeh, where they learn about the Druze people over dinner.
Modern Israel – This tiyul is designed to introduce our students to issues and challenges facing contemporary Israel. Students will be dealing with two issues on this day. The first issue is that of water. Israel has essentially solved its water problem. One of the ways Israel has done so is by reusing some 85% of its waste water for agriculture. Students will visit the Shefdan water reclamation plant, which purifies the waste water of the Dan Region. Two years after its initial purification, the water is used to irrigate crops in the Negev.
The second issue of the day is life on the border near the Gaza strip. The students will visit the city of Sderot, look at Gaza in the distance, see how Israel has protected homes, schools, and other public places, get a feel for what it must be like to live in the region. They will also go to a huge indoor playground funded by the JNF that enables children to play indoors, without fear, and protected from the surrounding dangers.
Golan – This is a two-day trip to Israel’s north. The theme of the trip is to understand the history of the region and the present security situation of the State of Israel as well as understanding the issues involved in the peace process with Syria. Students visit a border kibbutz and when possible, an Israeli military installation. One or two nature walks are part of the trip. At the end of the second day, we pull together all of what we have learned in a discussion which is held in a pre-1967 Syrian army bunker on Israel’s Golan Heights.
Symbolic Day – Our last field trip is a day spent in Jerusalem saying good-bye in a symbolic way to the country. On the way to Jerusalem, students plant a tree in honor or memory of relatives or friends, usually visit the national cemetery, and have a final session at the Western Wall of the Second Temple.
Final Note: Please note that tiyyulim are dependant on the session. Some sessions may not include all tiyyulim or may include additional tiyyulim not listed.