Israel - Bar Mitzvah Trip

Old May 4th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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cbr
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Israel - Bar Mitzvah Trip

Our family, 4 adults and two teenagers, will be planning a trip to Israel to celebrate our son's Bar Mitzvah next year. We are looking at June/July 2010 for this trip. We would like to make this a unique experience and have the ceremony somewhere in Israel. I have looked at a variety of tour packages and companies which all seem great, but wanted to know if anyone could recommend one or perhaps a company that specializes in more customized trips.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 10:17 AM
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We used Gil Travel in Philadelphia in 1999. Our family of 13 had our own bus, guide, driver. I didn't do the planning, but it all ran smoothly.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Call Israel Discovery Tours. (800-362-8882)
We had an incredible experience on their Bar Mitzvah tour.
Frank
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Old May 11th, 2009, 11:20 AM
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When did you do the bar mitzvah tour? Also were you part of a large group?
Thank you
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Old May 14th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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We travelled two years ago.
There was one bus on our tour, about 30 people.
It was a very compatible group and we became one big happy family by the end of the tour.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 06:29 AM
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You can also contact Isram Tours (located in NYC, 3rd Avenue), who have doing tours to Israel over 35/years. They have standard itineraries or specific for Bar Mitzvah.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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cbr,

Contact the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (www.amiie.org). This is an extraordinary school and institution, not a travel agency, devoted to creating meaningful and educational experiences and relationships in Israel. They will assist you as much as you want in the planning of your trip right down to the personal guide, restaurants for every meal, etc. Their guides are INCREDIBLE, highly educated, reliable, personable, etc. Our experience exceeded every expectation.
Mazel Tov!
anita
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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:45 AM
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Thank you I will check all this out. The hard part is doing such a complex and expensive trip via the phone and web.
Cari
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Old May 20th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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cbr,

That's why you want to put yourselves in trusted hands. Have an initial phone call where you describe your family members/interests/health concerns etc., detail your trip goals and budget and then let the experts do the work.

We found working with AMIIE to be quite easy. They would email us detailed itineraries. We'd look them over, make any changes, and then either email or phone back. It only took a few back-and-forths before we had a plan. We never questioned their choices for restaurants, kibbutzim, hotels, etc. Why would we?

AMIIE is not a travel agency. It is a renowned, highly respected institute of education. David Mitchell, Dean of Education, customized every aspect of our two week trip right down to the private ceremony - just us, standing amongst newly excavated Temple Mount stones at the southern wall. Truly remarkable.

I've planned many, many trips in my lifetime. But I'm a firm believer in leaving certain holidays to the experts. This was definitely one of those times. It was very expensive and worth every penny!

however you get there, you'll have a wonderful time!
anita
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Old May 24th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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a beautiful place for a ceremony is robinsons arch in jerusalem- it is by the wall, men and women are together, and it is a wonderful place for a bar mitzvah (I think far nicer than massadah, and much easier and more intimate.) we hired a private guide for a 2 week trip for 10 people, and for us that was the way to go for sure. enjoy!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Thank you. I am usually excellent at planning trips too but this one has me more nervous than usual. I have also been in contact with David Bellin, upon recommendation from a friend. Have you heard about his agency. I agree we should use a tour for this trip. My Israeli friends though suggest we use a tour for part and rent a car on our own. What are your thoughts?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 10:48 AM
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A question to my fellow Israel travellers. Have any of you stayed at bed and breakfasts/apartments while there? They seem a lot more reasonable and for longer stay more worthwhile. Any thoughts?
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