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Israel itinerary planning

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DH and I haven't been back to Israel for 15 years, when we went on a congregational typical 1st timers 12 day tour.
I am in the very beginning stages of a trip this fall--have done just enough reading/compiling info to completely overwhelm me.
We can leave the US as early as Oct 6 (so it will be after Sukkot/Simchat Torah) and can leave Israel as late as Nov 8. We're OK with using all of that time, but if the trip ended up being a couple of days shorter that would be fine, too.
I was kind of thinking starting with a week in Jerusalem, renting a car and heading South to Be'er Sheva, Sde Boker, Avdat, Mitzpe Ramon, Timna, Har Bai, Eilat; then heading North (exactly which places we should see, the order and # of days needed are a puzzle to me) to Beit She'an, Megiddo, Belvoir, Mt Tabor, Zippori, Hula Valley, Katzrin, Tel Dan, Nimrod, Gamla, Akko, Haifa (maybe), Ein Hod, Zikron Ya'akov. Return the car and spend a few days (?how many) in Tel Aviv.
Some of the places we visited last time we have no desire to re-visit: Masada, Ein Gedi, Petra, Sfat, in Jerusalem, Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, Mosque, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Hurva Synagogue, Herodian Quarter, Via Dolorosa, Ammunition Hill, Yad Vashem.
The Christian sites hold no appeal to us, other than beautiful architecture or historical interest.
We are in our mid-60s, very active. We enjoy hiking, when there are guides, a brochure, or signs to tell us what we're seeing, as we're pretty dumb. We love history--what makes this bend in the road significant and different from the one further on. We love to learn about a place, its people, history, products, etc.
We're not so smart about art, so like to go to special exhibits, or homes/studios that teach about an artist, but don't need to see every art museum in Israel. That failing is ours--not of the art.
I want to achieve a balance of what we see--don't want to see so many ruins that they start to look like just a pile of rocks, when they're not.
One goal is not to be moving to new accommodations when we are road tripping; we prefer to stay in one place for a little while and do day trips--within reason.
I'm looking for guidance as to how many days we should spend in each place, what our route through the NOrth should be, which ruins/parks/views/museums are really special--although not everything has to be a 5 star attraction to appeal to us.
Thank for VERY much for any and all advice.

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