Tel Aviv Night Run

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, thousands of Israelis will be coming together at 8:00pm.  Not for a political event, or a concert.  It is for the non-stop city of Tel Aviv’s Night Run.  The urban 10K course goes through the main streets and attractions of the city.  The course includes:

Rabin Square: This is named after Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, who was assassinated in this square in 1995.  It is the location for numerous political rallies, parades, and other public events, including the Tel Aviv Night Run!
IMPORTANT NOTE: No, Rabin did not ironically get assassinated at a Square named for him.  Prior to his assassination, it was known as the Kings of Israel Square.  

Ibn Gabirol Street: This is a popular street filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants.  It is named after a medieval Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher.  His writings are included in versions of today’s Jewish prayer book.

Rothschild Boulevard: This street is easily identifiable because of the wide, tree-lined pedestrian and bike lanes placed in the center of the road.  Independence Hall (where Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed) is located here.

The Orchestra Plaza: This plaza is where several cultural institutions are located including a theatre and pavilion for contemporary art.  The idea to have this central location for culture was proposed in the 1920s and was complete in 1945.  This is also known as Habima Square.

Dizengoff: This street is named after the first mayor of Tel Aviv, Meir Dizengoff.  Located on this street is the popular Dizengoff Center mall.

Hayarkon Park: This urban park is the central place for outdoor concerts and includes spacious lawns, sports facilities, gardens, and a water park! It has been recorded that annually, this park has on average 16 million visitors.

Information about registration for the Night Run Tel  Aviv can be found HERE.

Additionally, there are runners who want to participate in a running event that is not commercialized.  Therefore, on Thursday, Oct. 30, there will be an open night run event.  Below is the background for why this event is happening and more information can be found HERE.

Note: Most of the information on the websites are in Hebrew.  No worries, though, just copy and paste the text you want translated into translate.google.com 

 

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Categories: events

Planning to take a Holy Land tour over Christmas? This year why not take our Bethlehem Christmas market tour on December 19. Experience Bethlehem like a local and enjoy the special Christmas festivities found in the city known worldwide as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. This year visit Bethlehem, peruse the city’s unique Christmas market, visit the Church of Nativity in all its holiday glory. Our expert guide will take you behind the scenes, through the market alleyways and into the city’s many important sites as well as into the home of a local Palestinian Christian family where you will break bread and enjoy a traditional home cooked lunch and warm hospitality.

Cost is $120 per person and space is limited so reserve today.

The Price (excluding tips) includes:
– Roundtrip bus transportation from and to Herzliya and Jerusalem
– Traditional Lunch and Hospitality
– Professional Tour Guide
– Visit Shepherd’s Fields
– Visit the Nativity Museum in Old City of Bethlehem
– Visit Church of Nativity, the Milk Grotto, the Cave of St. Jerome
– Free Time inside the Christmas Market at Manger Square

Space is limited so reserve today. All participants must be non-Israelis and must bring a valid international passport with them.

08:00 AM Departure from Herzliya
17:00 PM Return to Herzliya

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Categories: BEthlehem, Christmas, Culture, Food

Olive picking season is just days away and to celebrate the harvest we are planning two day tours to Battir, a UNESCO World Heritage Landscape situated adjacent to Bethlehem.

Tour dates – October 26 and November 2, 2014. Space is limited so sign up now. Registration closes on October 23, 2014

Highlights include:

• Meet with an expert on ancient landscape conservation who prepared the UNESCO application on Battir
• Explore the Old City of Battir including the Seven Widow’s Quarter , the main Water Spring ( Ein el Balad), and the Roman Aqueduct System
• See the irrigated terraces and enjoy a lovely walk through this extraordinary reserve
• Participate with a local family and join in olive picking
• Learn about the manufacturing and olive pressing process by visiting the local plant
• Enjoy a traditional Palestinian home-cooked lunch
• Opportunity to purchase locally produced Battir olive oil (payable in cash)

Cost of Tour: 385.- NIS per adult, 300.- NIS per child under 10 years (or $105 pp for adult – $75 per child under 8)

Participants must be foreign (non-Israeli) residents. Please bring your passports, good hiking shoes, hats, modest dress, sunscreen and your water bottles. Space is limited so reserve today.

07:00 AM Departure from Jerusalem
17:00 PM Return to Jerusalem

Required:
Water
Passport
comfortable walking shoes
Hat

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Categories: Tours

You might be wondering what Sukkot is and how can it possibly make sense to say “Celebrating Sukkot in Sukkot.”  This post will clear up that confusion.

Currently throughout the Holy Land and world, Jews are celebrating the holiday of Sukkot.  Sukkot is an easily identifiable holiday because it is the holiday when Jews are commanded to live in temporary outdoor booths.  A single booth is called a sukkah, and multiple booths are called sukkot, hence the name of the holiday. [Note: for the rest of this post “sukkot” refers to booths and “Sukkot” refers to the name of the holiday.]

This holiday lasts for a week and is one of the three pilgrimage festivals. During a pilgrimage festival, biblical Israelites would make their pilgrimage with their fresh crops to sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem.

The purpose of building and essentially living in a sukkah for the week is to remember that biblical Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years after the exodus from Egypt.  While they wandered they, too, lived in temporary booths.  Additionally, since a sukkah is a basic structure, this holiday is an opportunity to reflect on what in your life is superficial.  It is a time to differentiate between your “wants” and “needs.”

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children play between sukkahs, temporary structures built for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, in Jerusalem. [original picture and caption from Haaretz.com]

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children play between sukkahs, temporary structures built for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, in Jerusalem. [original picture and caption from Haaretz.com]

It is amazing to be on a Holy Land tour during Sukkot.  Specifically in Jerusalem you will see sukkot wherever you go.  Some are on balconies and others are on the sidewalk.  Most restaurants build sukkot for their customers to eat in.  It is a social holiday where neighbors and even strangers interact with each other.

There are many Jewish Laws regarding the structure of a sukkah. A fun, interactive way to learn about these laws is at the life-size sukkah exhibit Neot Kedumim park.  This exhibit is great for adults and children and is located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.  Throughout the Neot Kedumim park there are dozens of examples of correct and incorrect sukkot accompanied with a sign containing the Jewish Law.

Additionally, there are many events and festivals happening throughout the Holy Land during Sukkot.  Click HERE to see a compiled list.

 

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Categories: Culture, events

This Friday evening, both Jews and Muslims will be welcoming important holidays.  Jews will begin Yom Kippur, and Muslims will start Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Adha is translated to “Feast of the Sacrifice” and directly correlates to the biblical story of Abraham sacrificing a nearby sheep, instead of his son, Ishmael.  This is a major holiday and Muslim families celebrate that they do not need to sacrifice their first born son in order to show their devotion to God.  It is traditional to sacrifice a sheep, goat, or a camel and then share it amongst family, friends, and people who are poor.  This holiday lasts at least 3 days, although certain cultures have the holiday last longer.

Similar to other holidays in Islam, Muslims celebrate by eating a big meal with their family and then everyone goes from house-to-house drinking coffee and eating sweets–like cookies with dates and nuts.

8046408b10a25af989bfd831e1efa188However, before the feast, Muslims go to pray at a Mosque, wearing their best clothes.

Therefore, if you are in the Holy Land and are looking somewhere to go to celebrate Eid al-Adha, look for a nearby Mosque.  Once the sun sets it is easy to spot Mosques because of the green light near the top of it.

Additionally, if you will be in Jerusalem not celebrating either the Eid or Yom Kippur, there will be a group of like-minded people hanging out.  Click HERE to find out details of the event.  I found out about this get-together from the Facebook group Secret Al Quds- East Jerusalem.  To learn more about these usual Facebook groups, check out THIS previous blog post.

For all who are celebrating Yom Kippur–gamer chatima tova, May you be inscribed in the Book of Life; and for all who are celebrating Eid al-Adha–Eid Mubarak, Happy holidays!

 

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Categories: Culture, events

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