AACI Kosher Ireland
May 14-22, 2014
 
It’s not known as the Emerald Isle for nothing – a tour of Ireland’s lush meadows and wild woodlands will treat you to a natural display of every colour green imaginable. You’ll also discover dramatic coastlines and fantastic local produce that only this pristine environment can provide, all the while enjoying the famous Irish hospitality. Our weeklong Ireland travel adventure includes some of the Emerald Isle's most notable places, from sophisticated cities to small towns throughout the quintessential Irish countryside. Explore the County of Wicklow, known as “the Garden of Ireland” see the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and the Book of Kells. Enjoy a beautiful Shabbat in Limerick. Finally, we will have an exclusive tour by the owner of Ireland’s only Jewish owned country estate for morning tea. A week in Ireland is... a week well spent!
 
Day 1: Wednesday May 14 – Israel to Ireland
This morning we depart Israel with British Airways at 07:35am with a connection in London and arrival in Dublin at 14:45pm. Meet with your coach driver and transfer directly to hotel. Time to rest before dinner.
 
Day 2: Thursday May 15 – Dublin to Galway
This morning depart for Galway visiting Clonmacnoise en route. Situated in the wilds, on the banks of the Shannon, sixth century Clonmacnoise is nowadays partly in ruins. You visit the Visitor Centre where the original Celtic crosses are exhibited, followed by a tour of the site where you will see high towers, the eleventh century cathedral and the wonderful reproductions of the High Crosses. Continue and spend some time at leisure in Galway. Galway City is a delight with its narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts. The city has attracted a bohemian crown of musicians and artists, which add so much to the character of the city.
 
A visit can start at Galway’s modern Cathedral, which was built in 1965. The visit can then continue across the Salmon Weir Bridge and along the trout stream to the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas of Myra, which was built in 1320. The Collegiate is close to Nora Barnacle’s house (Mrs. James Joyce) and to the famous Lynch window from which the English language received the word to “lynch” (hang). The visit can then continue along Shop Street to the Kings Head. It is worth a visit to this pub in order to get the true version of how the pub got its name. Along Shop Street there is evidence of the splendor of the rich merchants houses during the time that they controlled the commercial life of the City, Lynch’s house being an excellent example. The visitor will conclude on Eyre Square, the accepted centre of Galway City. On the western side of the square is Browne’s doorway which is all that remains of a mid-17th century merchant’s house. The square also has a statue of Padraic O’Conaire, a noted Irish writer and a curious rusted metal sculpture representing the famous Galway hooker,  a boat which is unique to Galway. Check in to hotel in the area.
 
Day 3: Friday May 16 – Burren and Cliffs of Moher to Kerry
This morning we depart for Limerick. Travel through The Burren, part of which forms the 100 square km Burren National Park, is a unique place. It is a Karst limestone region of approximately 300 sq. km, which lies in the North West corner of Co Clare. It is composed of limestone pavements, which have been eroded to a distinctive pattern. This pavement is crisscrossed by cracks known as grykes in which grow a myriad of wild flora and under which are huge caves and rivers which suddenly flood when it rains. The Burren contains dozens of megalithic tombs and Celtic crosses as well as a ruined Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th century. You will discover small villages abandoned during the famine period and green roads on which you can walk for miles without ever seeing a car. The flora on the Burren is a mixture Arctic and Mediterranean and rare flowers such as gentian, orchids and bloody cranesbill are the rule rather than the exception. The Burren is truly an exceptional part of Ireland. 
 
Continue to the Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Standing 230 meters above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. To the south of the cliffs is Hag's Head and was once the site of a castle. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O' Brien's Tower. Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru (he who defeated the Vikings in battle), built a Tower at the cliffs in order to enjoy some tea with his lady friends. The Tower is adjacent to the sea stack, Breanan Mór, which stands over 70 meters above the foaming waves and is home to some of the Burren’s wildlife.
Drive to Limerick, check into our hotel and prepare for Shabbat.
 
 
Day 4: Shabbat May 17 – Day at leisure
This morning we will gather together for Shabbat services which we will be held at our hotel. In the afternoon we will like to take a leisurely stroll through the town and countryside. Overnight in Limerick.
 
 Day 5: Sunday May 18 – Ring of Kerry 
Today travel along one of the most famous coastal roads in Europe. The Ring of Kerry (166km) is the most famous and panoramic route in Ireland. The astonishing beauty of this large peninsula, Iveragh, comes from the great diversity of its scenery, which offers incessant contrasts. En route around the Ring, take in spectacular scenery mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean - as one travels along the coast road. Leaving Killarney, pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh, where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Continuing to Cahirciveen, you’ll pass the birthplace of our national hero, Daniel O’Connell. Next, continue on through peat bogs to the town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous for its brightly colored houses. The road then continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney.
 
Visit to Muckross Gardens. Muckross is a magnificent Victorian mansion built in 1843 and is one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. Built on the shores of Muckross Lake, it is beautifully situated amidst the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park. The Gardens of Muckross House are famed for their beauty worldwide. In particular, they are noted for their collections of azaleas and rhododendrons. However the extensive water garden, the children’s sunken garden and the outstanding rock garden, hewn out of natural limestone, are just some of the features to be discovered. Overnight, in the Killarney area.
 
 
Day 6: Monday May 19 – Kerry to Kilkenny via Cork
 
This morning depart for Kilkenny via Cork. Cork was designated the European Cultural Capital of Europe for 2005. The city is engagingly small, but it bustles with visitors and students all year round. 
 
Visit Blarney Castle.  Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is situated in Blarney, 8 km from Cork City. An ancient stronghold of the McCarthy's, Lords of Muskerry, it is one of Ireland's oldest and most historic castles, and indeed one of the strongest fortresses in Munster. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney stone. The Stone of Eloquence - which is traditionally believed, to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. Many legends tell the story of the Stone, but why not kiss it and find out the truth behind the legend?
 
Continue to the Rock of Cashel for a photo stop. Travel to Kilkenny the Capital of County Kilkenny. The town of Kilkenny is often referred to as “the Marble City”. It is the most interesting and best preserved of the medieval Irish cities. It owes its immense charm to the various impressive historical monuments. A medieval city of 24,000 people, it is characterized by many beautifully restored buildings and winding slipways. It is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating historical buildings and contemporary shops, design galleries and restaurants. The ancient city of Kilkenny was named after a 6th century monk, St. Canice. A native of the area, St. Canice built a monastic enclave on the site where today we find the beautifully restored 13th St. Candice’s Cathedral. The town is dominated by the 12th century Kilkenny Castle, built by the Normans on their arrival in this part of Ireland. There are a number of other interesting visits to be made while in Kilkenny. No visit of Kilkenny can be considered complete without a visit to the following venues: the Black and Grey Abbeys, Rothe House, the Smithwicks Brewery and the Shee Alms house, which today is used as the local tourist office. Overnight, in the Kilkenny area.
 
 
Day 7: Tuesday May 20– Return to Dublin
This morning early departure from Kilkenny to Dublin.  In route we have been invited to visit a private country house called Rainsford Lodge near Bunclody, County Wexford. This period country house (ca. 1820 with later sympathetic additions) is owned by a fellow AACI member Joey Silver who is also a senator in the County Wexford Senate. His estate also contains a private synagogue with a Sefer Torah. We will tour his property and have a spot of tea (or coffee) before continuing through the Wicklow Mountains to Dublin. Known as “the Garden of Ireland” it is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens.
 
This region features all the various types of scenery that make Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray or Greystones. Discover its romantic and quiet beauty, the deserted mounts where nothing but heather grows, the small forests and the lush prairies illuminated by yellow gorse in spring. Glendalough, a 6th century monastic site, and Powerscourt House and Gardens are a must for any visit to Wicklow. Visit to Powerscourt Gardens. Powerscourt Gardens are a magnificent example of aristocratic gardens from the 19th century. The gardens were initiated around 1745 and restyled in the 19th century. The gardens have many features, including the Triton pool with its 100-ft fountain. There are statues of winged horses (emblems of the Wingfield coat of arms) flanking a grotto by the pool. To the left are American and Italian gardens; while below them is a Japanese garden. The Bamberg Gates to the walled garden are believed to have come from a German Cathedral in Bamberg in Bavaria. There are many rare plants and wonderful views of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.  
 
Continue to Dublin and visit to Trinity College with Book of Kells. Thomas Burgh built the Old Library building in the 18th century. Today it houses one of Ireland’s most illustrious books, the 9th century “Book of Kells”. Before viewing the famous book visitors pass through an excellent exhibition based on the book of Kells and other important books written in monasteries around Ireland from the 9th century. After viewing the book of Kells visitors are invited to visit the long room built in 1745. Once the principal library of the University, it now contains over twenty thousand books and manuscripts of the Trinity’s oldest volumes. Brian Boru’s harp said to be the “ oldest harp in Ireland” and a copy of the 1916 proclamation, one of the most important documents relating to Irish history are also on display in the long room. Overnight in Dublin.
 
Day 8: Wednesday May 21 – Dublin’s Fair City and Farewell
 
Today we begin by visiting James Joyce Centre, James was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. The Centre is housed in a beautifully restored Georgian house and includes an exhibition area with computer installations, videos, re-creations of period rooms, and items relating to the life and work of James Joyce. 
Visit the Irish Jewish Museum. The Irish Jewish Museum stands on the site of Dublin’s Walworth Road Synagogue, which was once in the heartland of “Little Jerusalem”.
 
The former Synagogue, which could accommodate approximately 150 men and women, consisted of two adjoining terraced houses built in the 1870’s. The Synagogue fell into disuse and ceased to function in the early 70′s.  The Museum was opened by the Irish born former President of Israel Dr. Chaim Herzog on the 20th June 1985 during his State visit to Ireland. The Museum contains a substantial collection of memorabilia relating to the Irish Jewish communities and their various associations and contributions to present day Ireland. The Museum is the only centre on the island of Ireland where people of all faiths can come to learn about Judaism, about Jewish History and the lessons of the Holocaust.
 
This evening we transfer to the airport for our flight from Dublin at 19:20pm with a connection in London and arriving in Israel at 05:30am on Thursday May 22.
 
 
 
Price:
AACI members 2334 Euro per person in a double room
Non-members  2409 Euro per person in a double room
Single room supplement 410 Euro
 
 
Your Tour price includes:
  • flights on British Airways from Israel
  • 7 nights hotel in 4-star accommodations
  • Kosher full board (sandwiches for lunch)
  • Daily guided sightseeing (except Shabbat)
  • Fully escorted & hosted by AACI group leader
  • All tips
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until April 13, 2014:150 Euro per person
  • April 14-29, 2014: 50%
  • Less than 15 days prior to departure: 100%
Not included:
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases. The itinerary may vary. Minimum number of participants is needed.
 
Payment:
Deposit of 250 Euro per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by April 13,2014 
 
Click here for Registration Forms             
 
For reservations and information please call Livia Berman at Ophir Tours
Tel: 09-777-7100
Email: livia@ophirtours.co.il Fax: 09-777-7101
 
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AACI Kosher Scandinavia
June 11-24, 2014
Experience the magnificent beauty of the rugged Fjords and rainbow-hued Waterfalls. Or, it may happen, as you discover a wonderland of villages so charming that they look as if they came straight from the pages of children’s storybooks. Scandinavia offers you a world of romantic contrasts… from Viking culture to modern folklore entertainment. The highlight is without doubt the three full days spent in the Norwegian Fjord Country and the sailings on the Geirangerfjord.
 
Day 1: Wednesday- June 11- Israel to Stockholm
We meet at the airport for our morning departure to Stockholm, capital Of Sweden and often called “the Venice of the North”. Our tour escort will welcome you at the Airport and take you for a sightseeing tour that will acquaint us with the city.  Drottningholm, Sweden's best preserved Royal Palace and permanent residence of the royal family. The Palace was constructed in the 17th Century as a Baroque summer palace and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The palace is surrounded by stunning Baroque gardens, including the French formal garden and the great English Park. It is also home to famous buildings such as the Court Theatre, the Castle Church and the Chinese Pavilion. Proceed to our hotel for check in.  Overnight Stockholm
 
Day 2: Thursday June 12 Stockholm
This morning we will visit the island of Djurgården and see the 17th century frigate Wasa which sank in 1628, was surfaced in 1961, and displayed in a special museum. We will visit the beautiful gardens of CarlMilles, Sweden's most famous sculptor (1875-1955). The Millesgården were created especially to exhibit the artwork Carl Milles and his wife Olga. Balance of the day at leisure for further discovering the treasures of this amazing town. Overnight Stockholm
 
Day 3: Friday June 13 Stockholm
This morning will be dedicated to a guided sightseeing of the amazing sites of Stockholm. We start with a walking tour of Gamla Stan – the Old Town, where the city began and the oldest buildings are located. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways, and envision life as it was in the Middle Ages. See the Royal Palace premises; visit the magnificent Town Hall, considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings constructed in the 20th century, with its famous blue and golden halls in which the Noble Prize Banquets are held. We will visit the Jewish Museum founded in 1987. Rest of day free for own activities. Evening services followed by Shabbat dinner. Overnight Stockholm
 
Day 4: Shabbat June 14 21 Stockholm
After morning service and Shabbat lunch, enjoy a stroll in the area of the hotel. Overnight Stockholm
 
 Day 5: Sunday June 15 Stockholm, Orbero, Hamar
This morning our first stop will be at the medieval city of Orebro. We will view the famous Orbero Castle built on a small island in the Svartan River in the city center. From here we continue through unspoiled Varmland and alongside the Glomma River, before a late afternoon arrival at our hotel in the pleasant surroundings of lakeside Hamar for the night. Hamar is situated on the banks of Mjøsa Lake, Norway's largest inland lakes. Overnight Hamar
 
Day 6: Monday June 16 Hamar, Geiranger Fjord, Hornindal
Today we continue our spectacular day driving through the famous dramatic Trollstigweg winding through mountain to Andalsnes and down to Linge. We will take a ferry from Linge to Eidsdal continuing on to the Eagle Road and Geiranger. Welcome to Geirangerfjord, known as the real jewel of the Norwegian fjords. With high waterfalls and abandoned mountain farms, the fjord landscape is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Here we will take a mini cruise on the fjord to Hellesylt. Overnight Hornindal
 
 
Day 7: Tuesday June 17 Hornindal, Stalheim
Today we visit Briksdal Glacier: For more than 100 years the farmers in Oldedalen have transported tourists with horse and carriage. After several accidents it was discontinued in 2004. They now bring guests up and down in the "Troll car".   You will have a nice walk to the glacier, into the Jostedal Glacier national park, before the troll car takes you back to the starting point. We then drive to Gudvangen, for a scenic fjord cruise through Nærøyfjord, the narrowest fjord in Europe, for a ferry crossing to Kaupanger and continue our drive to Stalheim. Overnight Stalheim
 
 Day 8: Wednesday June 18 Stalheim, Bergen
Our fjord adventure first takes us to Flam located at the head of the Aurlandsfjord.  You will depart for one of the most spectacular train rides in Norway. We then continue on to Bergen and sightseeing of the city’s picturesque wooden buildings and narrow, planked alleyways of medieval times which make up the old Hanseatic quarter of the Merchant’s Quay and the famous Fish Market. We will drive through the quaint old quarters of the port and its garden suburbs and visit Troldhaugen, home of the famous composer Edvard Grieg.  We will take a journey up on the Floibanen a funicular railway that will take you up the mountain side in order to enjoy the most amazing views of Bergen. Overnight Bergen
 
Day 9: Thursday June 19 Bergen, Geilo Area
This morning we depart Bergen and head towards Geilo. The drive will take you past the Hardangervidda National Park to the inner parts of the beautiful Hardangerfjord, with its spectacular views. On your way, you will pass such highlights as the impressive waterfall, Vøringfossen —the highest in Norway, with a 182-metre cascade—and the dramatic and narrow Måbødalen valley, along Eidfjord. Overnight Geilo. 
 
Day 10: Friday June 20 Geilo Area, Oslo
Today we drive to Oslo, the Norwegian Capital. After the long days drive we prepare for Shabbat. Overnight Oslo
 
Day 11: Shabbat June 21 Oslo
After morning Services and Shabbat lunch you can enjoy a walk in the city center. Overnight Oslo

Day 12: Sunday June 22 Oslo overnight ferry to Copenhagen
Oslo, sightseeing tour of the city’s highlights, the Norwegian Capital. We will visit the City Hall, the Kontiki Raft, Viking Ship Museum, and Frogner Park where the renowned sculptor Gustav Vigeland worked 40 years to create the Vigeland Sculpture Park which features 212 bronze and granite sculptures. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight cruise on DFDS Seaways.*
 
Day 13: Monday June 23 Copenhagen
Copenhagen sightseeing: The White and Gold Synagogue on Krystalgade, considered the masterwork of famous Danish architect, Gustav Friedrich Hetsch (1788-1864). The Israel Plads, a striking boulder from Eilat, erected in 1975 as a gift to Denmark and inscribed with a thank you note from the State of Israel and the new Jewish Museum opened in 2004 and designed by world famous architect Daniel Libeskind .The Museum presents Danish-Jewish life through 400 years, including the rescue of the Danish Jews during WWII. We will visit Rosenborg Castle, a renaissance castle located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects. Late afternoon flight from Copenhagen airport to Israel. 
 
*DFDS Seaways- Seaview cabins with 2 single beds
22.Jun At 16.30 Arriving: 23.Jun At 9.45
Seaways Class - lower berths & seaview
Cabin with window and lower berths. If you order this cabin you can be sure of beds on the floor and a beautiful sea view. The cabin can be booked for 1 or 2 people.
 
Facilities in the cabin include: Bedding Towels, en-suite room with Shower, Basin and Toilet Table ,Hanging area for clothing, Mirror, Continental plug point
Please note facilities and decor vary from ship to ship.
 
Airline schedule with Lufthansa Airlines
#691 11JUN from Tel Aviv at 05:00 arrival Frankfurt 0835 connects with                   
#802 11JUN from Frankfurt at 09:35 arrival Stockholm 1135                   
#829 23JUN from Copenhagen at 16:50 arrival Frankfurt 1820 connects with                   
#690 23JUN from Frankfurt at 1925 arrival Tel Aviv  0035+1 June 24th         
Price: Euro 3599 per person in a double for AACI Members
Euro 3649 per person in a double for Non AACI Members
Single supplement: Euro 750
 
 Included in the price:
  • Flights from Israel with Lufthansa
  • 11 nights in good tourist class hotels  and first class hotels
  • 1 night overnight cruise on the DFDS Seaways Seaview cabin
  • Full board including provisions to make sandwiches for lunch
  • Sightseeing, activities and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • English speaking escort from Israel
  • AACI escort
 Not included in the price:
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not mentioned in above itinerary
Payment:
  • Deposit of Euro 500 per person at time of registration
  • Balance Due 2 months prior to departure by April 11, 2014
Cancellation Policy:
  • Up to 60 days before departure: Euro 300
  • 59-30 days - 35% cxl fees
  • 29-15 days – 75% cxl fees
  • Less then 14 days to departure 100% cxl fees
Minimum number of participants required. Itinerary is subject to change without notice.
Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
 
 
For reservation and information call:
Livia at Ophir Tours Raanana 09-777-7100
 
AACI Fun & Kosher Cruise. Back by popular demand! Sailing round trip from Haifa
June 29-July 4, 2014
5 NIGHTS!
Rhodes & Kos
 
Enjoy Rhodes, the largest, and most popular of the Dodecanese Islands. Legend has it that Apollo blessed this isle with sunshine and beauty. True to the myths, the "Island of Roses" is rich in magnificent scenery and umbrella-lined beaches this is a perfect combination of sea, sun and beautiful architecture….. Kos is known as the home of Hippocrates, father of medical science. The town is an archeological repository of Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman ruins.
 
We will be sailing on the “Royal Iris" - a hotel at sea, enjoying delicious, freshly prepared, kosher meals (3+) daily. Entertainment programs are offered throughout the day, including 2 pools, jacuzzi, gym, cinema, casino, disco, Duty Free shopping, and more. You will enjoy the company of a warm and diverse English-speaking group from Israel and around and the world.
 
The all Inclusive Package Price Includes:
  • All of the above…..PLUS!
  • Round trip transfers from central points in Israel
  • 2 Shore Excursions –pre arranged in English & exclusive for AACI
  • AACI cocktail party
  • All Tips
  • Interesting and varied Lectures
For information and reservations call:
Livia at 09-777-7100 
 
**ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGE PRICE IN EURO:
DECK
CABIN
CATEGORY
Double
Cabin
Single
Cabin
Triple
Cabin
Quad
Cabin
2 inside
STANDARD
 
582
805
544
526
3 inside
STANDARD PLUS
589
810
550
531
2 outside
STANDARD
 
589
810
550
531
4 inside
PREMIUM
 
640
902
585
562
3 outside
STANDARD PLUS
615
851
564
543
5 inside
PREMIUM PLUS
 
649
919
592
569
4 outside
PREMIUM
 
657
936
599
575
7 Suite
SUITE
720
1041
655
X
5 Deluxe
Suite
PREMIUM
SUITE
745
1092
676
X
(Add 50 Euro per person for Non- AACI members or call today and take out a membership: 02-5661181 ext.302)
 
** All Inclusive Cruise package price includes your 5 night cruise, port taxes, transfers from central locations in Israel to Haifa port, all tips for  land tours, Dining Room and Cabin Staff, 2 shore excursions pre arranged in English , pre-cruise orientation, fully escorted by AACI staff. 
 
 
DON’T MISS THE BOAT!
AACI Kosher Tour - Moscow & St. Petersburg
June 22-July 03, 2014
 
 
 Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg these two cities that define Russia’s past, present, and future.
 
Moscow is unlike any other city on earth. It is the wealthy economic center for one sixth of the world's land mass and has over 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. A diverse and vibrant city with a strange combination of traditional Russian architecture and newer Soviet tastelessness, Moscow is an adventure waiting to happen!
St. Petersburg is one of the world's most beautiful cities.  St. Petersburg has all the ingredients, necessary for an unforgettable travel experience: high art, lavish architecture, wild nightlife, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured many of the modern world greatest literature, music, and visual art. From the mysterious twilight of White Nights to world-beating opera and ballet productions, St. Petersburg charms and entices everybody.
 
We will enjoy these special cities, rich with Jewish Heritage, whose turbulent history will be fascinating to encounter!
 
Tour Highlights:
  • In Moscow: Red Square, Manege Square, St Basil Cathedral, Kremlin & Armory Chamber, Tretyakov Gallery & The Metro
  • Entrance to the Diamond Fund in the Kremlin to see the Crown Jewels
  • Folklore show at the Cosmos in Moscow
  • High speed train , Sapsan, from Moscow to St. Petersburg
  • In St Petersburg: Choral Synagogue, Peter’s & Paul’s Fortress, Peterhof by Hydrofoil, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Summer Gardens & Yusupov Palace
  • 2 days to visit the Hermitage
  • Cruise along the canals of St. Petersburg
DAY 1, Sunday, June 22- Israel/ Moscow
Early departure from Ben Gurion on our EL AL flight at 05:50am arrival in Moscow 10:50am

Welcome to Moscow.
On arrival we will be met by our local guide and start our touring. We begin with Victory Park which was only completed in the mid-nineties, and is something of a last gasp for the Soviet tradition of monumental triumphal art. Located on and around the Poklonnaya Gora - the hill where Napoleon waited in vain to be given the keys to the city when his troops were surrounding Moscow in 1812 - the park is set in an area steeped in Russian military history.
We then proceed to the Old Choral Synagogue. This synagogue recently celebrated 100 year anniversary. It is a very impressive building, constructed by renowned Moscow architect Roman Klein. This synagogue was the only one that continued to operate throughout the Soviet years. 
One of the most interesting sites in Moscow is located deep beneath the surface. On Stalin’s order, the Moscow Subway was built to display the advantages of socialism. Today the Soviet Union is gone, but the beautiful underground city is still active and carries millions of passengers each day.

The Moscow Subway was constructed not only to streamline the city's transportation, but also to celebrate the accomplishments of the Soviets. The entire subway is works of socialist realism, making passengers feel as though they are entering various underground palaces, not merely riding the subway to work. On top of immense cultural value, Moscow's subway is a highly efficient transportation system that carries three million passengers daily and spans the entire city in a star-like fashion. Interestingly, the subway can also serve as a nuclear shelter in case of war.
 
Late afternoon check in to our hotel followed by a short rest and dinner. This evening enjoy a panaromic Moscow by night tour. 

DAY 2, Monday, June 23: Moscow
Today, our guide will meet us at the hotel lobby and we will go on one of the most interesting tours in the world as we explore Moscow's most amazing sites. We will visit the famous Red Square and go inside St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was built by Ivan the Terrible in the 15th century.
Our next stop is beside the Kremlin Walls. After a thorough tour of Moscow highlights and spending some time in the middle of the most famous square in the world, Red Square, that you have seen so many times on TV and in the movies, we will proceed to the St. Basil's Cathedral (the colorful church that stands on the Red Square that you are also very familiar with) and then to the Kremlin.

A visitor unsteeped in Russia's history could not even venture to guess that the beautiful basilicas and edifices comprising the Kremlin once comprised part of a royal fortress shielding Moscow from centuries of fierce Mongol invasions.  A beauty so deep imbibes the Kremlin that Stalin himself did not dare to disturb this crowning treasure, which astounds with an eclectic mixture of playful colors and architectural bravado and eerier sternness of structure and function in the form of Lenin's Mausoleum.

The Kremlin of Moscow is one of the most recognizable symbols of Russia and, as you will experience yourself, it is marvelous inside. Half of its territory is reserved for the government and the other half is open to the public. You will explore the Kremlin with our guide in Moscow who will tell you many interesting stories that have took place inside the walls of Kremlin since 1147! 

After strolling inside the Kremlin walls you will proceed to the highlight of the Kremlin grounds - the Armory Chamber museum revealing the most unique and precious artifacts from different times in Russian history. This is where you have a chance to look at the famous Faberge Eggs and Catherine's the Great imperial dresses giving you the feel as you traveled back in time.

DAY 3, Tuesday, June 24 Moscow
Moscow's most famous collection of art and one of the world's top galleries, The Tretyakov Picture Gallery. It began as the private collection of a wealthy Muscovite merchant, Tretyakov, who lived in the 19th century and donated his collection to the city. The State Tretyakov Gallery possesses a unique collection of Russian art which includes masterpieces which span a period of a thousand years. 
 
This afternoon we will visit the Museum of the Jewish History in Russia, the first Jewish museum in Moscow after a long interval, was opened in Moscow in May 18, 2011.
On display are rare documents, photographs and pictures dating back to the 18th century. You'll learn about traditional Jewish professions and crafts, and about their relationship with the government before and after the Revolution. Several rooms are devoted to the life of Jewish community in the Soviet times. The museum was founded by   Sergey Ustinov, vice-president of the Russian Jewish Congress. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have enough of room to accommodate all its exhibits (only 1000 items are on display, more than 3000 exhibits are kept in storage).
 
Day 4, Wednesday, June 25 Moscow to St. Petersburg
Free time this morning for some shopping before we depart by high speed Sapsan train from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
  
Welcome to St. Petersburg, Russia’s most beautiful city! St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia until the Revolution of 1917, but remains Russia's most dynamic and amazing city. With the canals of Venice, the palaces of Paris, and the churches of Rome, you will not be disappointed by its beauty and culture. Our driver will be waiting for us at the train station and will take us to the Grand Choral Synagogue. Consecrated in 1893 with thanks to the gracious patronage of Lily and Edmond Safra, this Moorish-style masterpiece of architecture has recently been restored to its former glory, and now contains a thriving Jewish day school. We then will enjoy a peek into the world of Jewish St. Petersburg as you enjoy your first day of sightseeing.
 
Boat Ride on Rivers and Canals of St Petersburg: To visit St. Petersburg without sailing across its rivers and channels means having not seen "the Venice of the North"! Starting your trip from the very heart of the city - Admiralteyskaya Embankment –We  will enter the Neva water area viewing one of the historical city sights, Strelka of Vasilievsky Island, famous for its Rastrelli Columns, admire panorama of majestic Hermitage and Peter and Paul's Fortress, going on along the Moyka River under the widest bridge of St. Petersburg - the Blue Bridge, enjoy the magnificent sight of St. Isaac's Cathedral, turn to the Fontanka River and the Kryukov Channel, catch a glimpse of the Mariinsky Theatre and return back to the moorage. Having seen the main historical sights of the Russian Northern Capital you will at the same time have the most romantic trip you could ever imagine!
 
DAY 5, Thursday, June 26- St. Petersburg
The culmination of the world’s best capitals, St. Petersburg is the crown jewel of travel destinations. Our guide will take us to the Peter and Paul Fortress and St Isaac's Cathedral. In the afternnon, you will have the chance to explore the city on your own.
 
Peter and Paul Fortress was designed to defend the city from naval attacks, but was used as a political prison for dissidents of the tsarist regime and as a museum during the soviet era. The fortress now stands as the tomb for the Russian imperial family.
St Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Because of its rich decorations, gigantic golden cupolas, and sprawling observation deck, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in St. Petersburg.
 
During this city tour we will also visit St. Isaac's Square and observe these from the outside: the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage, the Winter Palace, the Palace Square, the Spit of Vasilievskiy Island, the Bronze Horseman Statue, Peter's Log Cabin, Cruiser Aurora, Smolny Palace, the Nevsky Prospect, the Square of Arts, and more.

DAY 6, Friday, June 27 St. Petersburg
The Hermitage
Today we have our first of two visits to the Hermitage Museum, which is to St. Petersburg what Kremlin is to Moscow. St Petersburg has dozens of beautiful palaces, but the Winter Palace stands above them all. First of all, it is one of the best collections of art in the world. Secondly, this collection is located in the very building where Russian emperors lived. It is here that they rose to power and it’s as if from these walls that they ruled 1/5 of the world's territories. It was also here that the Bolsheviks overthrew their reign. The Bolsheviks were tempted to destroy the palace, the symbol of tsars, but its artistic value was so immense that they transformed it into the museum. They say that if you were to spend three minutes by each of the exhibits in the Hermitage, it would've taken you three years to see the Hermitage. But don't worry - you will have an experienced guide, who will show you the best rooms and halls.
 
DAY 7, Shabbat, June 28 - St. Petersburg
On Shabbat we can attend services at the lovely Choral Synagogue. After Shabbat lunch, join us for a walking tour of the area.
 
DAY 8, Sunday, June 29-St. Petersburg
Our second day excursion to the Hermitage. The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts of the world culture. Among them are paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.
 
The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage situated in the centre of St Petersburg consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old (Great) and New Hermitages, the Hermitage Theatre and the Auxiliary House. The museum complex also includes the Menshikov Palace and the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building, the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Centre and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
 
DAY 9, Monday, June 30 –St. Petersburg-Pushkin-Pavlovsk-St. Petersburg
Catherine's Palace was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, whom he loved very much, ironically he build the palace on the other side of the city. Catherine's Palace is located in the town of Pushkin (also known as Tsarskoe Selo). Experience the wonder of the Summer Palace, where gold and marble statutes adorn the beaming sea entrance from the cold stormy waters of the Baltic to this sun-drenched gold-dripped masterpiece. Enter into the Amber Room, a beauteous room built of pure amber that disappeared during German occupation in World War II to be restored to its original magnificence for your viewing pleasure.

The park and palace of Pavlovsk deserve as much attention as the Catherine Palace. The park is designed in a concept of a classic English landscape garden, an idealized landscape filled with picturesque pieces of classical architecture. It features elements of different European parks of the 18th century Paul I and his wife had seen when traveling incognito through Europe. Like the English landscape garden, it took much its inspiration from the romanticized landscape paintings of Hubert Robert and twelve of his paintings are now displayed in the gallery of Pavlovsk.
 
DAY 10, Monday, July 1 Peterhof
Today we will venture to the outskirts of St. Petersburg to visit Peterhof Palace, the summer residence of Russia’s royalty. Stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 glorious fountains of various forms and styles, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, including the famous Samson Fountain. Visit magnificent, beige and white Grand Summer Palace, lavishly decorated with the two white pavilions with gilded cupolas. While walking through its lavish parks and elegant rooms, be careful not to forget that you haven’t been transported to Versailles.
 
DAY 11, Sunday, July 2- The Yusupov Palace / St. Petersburg -Israel
 
The Yusupov Palace located on Moika Embankment is one of the most beautiful examples of classicism style constructions in Saint Petersburg. Decorated with six-column portico, the Palace delights with harmony of proportions and silhouette elegancy. It is best known as the Palace on the Moika River where Grigory Rasputin was murdered in 1916. Grigory Rasputin was one of the most controversial figures in Russian history. After the demise of the royal family to which he himself had greatly contributed, he was on the run. Prince Felix Yusupov lured Rasputin to the Palace and finished him off. Nowadays, the cellar where the dramatic events took place houses the exhibition “Grigory Rasputin: Pages of Life and Death”. The visitors can see the wax figures of Rasputin and plotters as well as other interesting exhibits.
This evening we bid Russia a farewell and transfer to the airport for our return flight home with EL AL at 01:05 the morning of July 3rd arriving in Israel 04:35 on July 3rd .

Sapsan high-speed train
Modern and fast, Sapsan train departs and arrives to the city center and is, perhaps, the most convenient way to travel between Russia's two capitals. Named for the mythical Russian firebird, the Sapsan Trains travel at a top speed of 200km/hr. German engineers from Siemens unveiled this traveling marvel in 2009, offering to the world the smoothness of an airport tram with the speed of a commercial jet in the neat package of a stable train. It is fast without being too fast, never being uncomfortable in its pace. 4 hours from one city to the other.
 
Price: AACI members $3999 per person in a double
Non - AACI members $4099 per person in a double
Single supplement $1170
 
Price Includes:
  • Flights on EL AL airlines  from Israel
  • 10  night’s first class hotel accommodations
  • Meals: breakfast and dinner daily  including seudah Shilishit on Shabbat  and provisions for making lunches daily
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Tour leader from Israel
  • Porterage of one bag per person at hotels and train
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Visa fee for Russia
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases. The itinerary may vary. Minimum number of participants needed for this tour to operate.
 
Payment:
  • Deposit of $500 per person at time of reservation.
  • Final payment due by March 29, 2014
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until March 29, 2014 : $100 per person
  • Cancellation between March 29 – May 25: 50% of total package
  • Less then 28 days prior to departure: 100%
 
For reservations and information please contact
Livia Berman at Ophir Tours:
Telephone: 09-777-7100/ Fax: 09-777-7101
 
 
AACI's  2nd Kosher Verona Opera Festival & Shabbat in Turin
July 06-14, 2014
 
 
Verona, besides setting the scene for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is also home to the "Arena di Verona" where you will enjoy three world famous operas: Aida, Carmen & Turandot performed in the magnificent ancient Roman Amphitheatre. The ambience of the arena and the sheer joy of experiencing these great performances will make your heart soar and take you to new heights in the world of opera. 
 
During the day we will also tour in and around Verona visiting the Ghetto, Lake Garda as well as other beautiful and interesting Italian sites. We then head for Turin where we will tour this beautiful city and spend a restful Shabbat. We end our magical visit in the region of Piedmont with all it’s Jewish History.
 
Day 1: Sunday July 06 Flight from Tel Aviv to Milan 7:30am-10:45. Transfer with bus to our hotel in Verona. Afternoon free time to rest before our first performance this evening.  Evening at the Arena Opera- Aida
 
Day 2: Monday July 07 – Padua for a guided tour of the Jewish district with its narrow streets, which once was surrounded by 4 doors, and the only synagogue preserved, the Italian rite one. During the visit you will also admire the art beauties of the city, such as Piazza delle Erbe and the incomparable Scrovegni Chapel. Return to Verona.  Evening free.
 
Day 3: Tuesday July 08- drive to Modena for a guided visit to the city, including the artisans ‘shops, the ghetto, the synagogue, and the renowned Estense Library which features a collection of illuminated Jewish manuscripts. In Modena you will have the opportunity to visit the shops of ceramists and silversmiths who use traditional techniques. Visit to a kosher balsamic vinegar factory. Return to Verona. Evening free.
 
Day 4: Wednesday July 09-day tour on Lake Garda & Sirmione. Evening at the Arena Opera- Turandot, Conductor Daniel Oren, Director Franco Zeffirelli
 
Day 5: Thursday July 10- Verona sightseeing tour including the Arena Muse Opera and leisure time.  Evening at the Arena Opera Carmen, Conductor Julian Kovatchev, Director and sets designer Franco Zeffirelli
 
Day 6: Friday July 11- Today we take our bus to Turin via Parma. Sightseeing. Getting ready to welcome in Shabbat
 
Day 7: Shabbat July 12- Shabbat services and walking tour in Turin with our guide. 
 
Day 8: Sunday July 13- We depart Turin for Cherasco and a guided visit to the Synagogue and at the Jewish Cemetery. An 18th Century jewel is a typical Piedmont “Ghetto Synagogue” located on the top floor of a 17th Century building. This small synagogue has a late baroque-style central Bimah, influenced by the arrival of French humanism. In the afternoon we drive to Saluzzo and a guided visit to the Synagogue. Jewish presence in Saluzzo dates back to the end of the 15th Century and the current Synagogue was built in the 18th Century. The Synagogue is particularly interesting for its frescos: a rarity for Jewish religious places. Return to Turin for our overnight
 
Day 9: Monday July 14- Today we visit Alessandria with a guided visit to the Synagogue. With its beautiful eclectic style façade is a typical post-emancipation Synagogue (built after 1848, when Piedmont Jews obtained equal and civil rights). Jewish presence in town dates back to 15th Century and the current Synagogue was opened in 1870 on the same site of an older one. We continue to Casale Monferrato and a visit to Portinaro Bakery, in the centre of the town, with tasting of the famous “Krumiri Rossi”, typical biscuits Kosher certificated. We will then visit one of the oldest Synagogues in Piedmont which was opened in 1595 and enriched in the 18th Century with precious woods and gold. Partially located in the former women gallery of the Synagogue, the Jewish Art and History Museum hosts an extraordinary collection of Judaica, particularly silver ceremonial objects and embroideries. The visit will also include the “Museum of lights”: a collection of contemporary art Chanukkiot produced by Jewish and non-Jewish artists. Today we have lunch in Ottiglio Monferrato: tasting of locally produced kosher wines in the beautiful farm house and cellar “Risorse Agricole”, not too far from Casale, in the fascinating landscape of Monferrato hills. In the afternoon we will visit – Vercelli and its Synagogue. A typical example of post-emancipation architecture, the Synagogue opened in 1878 and is located in the centre of the town. Continue to Malpense Airport in Milan for our return evening flight to Israel, departing at 22:35 arriving at 03:25 on July 15th
 
For more information or early registration please contact Livia Berman at:09-7777100
Price:
  • AACI members’ 2849 euro per person in a double
  • Non- AACI members’2899 euro per person in a double
  • Single supplement 495 euro
The trip includes:
  • Round trip air on EL AL from Israel
  • 5 nights first class Verona hotel CTC Best Western
  • 3 night’s at the first class  Victoria Hotel Turin
  • Kosher full board including preparations for making lunch
  • Transportation by deluxe air conditioned coach
  • Entrance fee as per the itinerary
  • 3 Operas per the itinerary with seats on the centered steps numbered (see below)
  • Tour leader from Israel
  • AACI escort
  • Tips & porterage for hotels , driver, local guide and waiters
Not Included:
  • Medical insurance
  • Items of personal nature
  • Items not mentioned above
  • Upgraded seats for the Opera
Itinerary and Operas are subject to change without notice 
Minimum number of 30 participants required
 
Payment:
  • Deposit of euro 500 per person at time of reservation
  • Final payment due by April 29, 2014
Cancellation:
  • Cancellation from time of registration until March 22 euro 200
  • From March 23-April 29 euro 500
  • April 30-June 22– 50%
  • Less than 14 days prior to departure- 100%
Insurance:
  • We strongly suggest everyone takes medical insurance
 Tour Orientation:
  • There will be an orientation session for all participants date to be announced
 
Opera at the Verona Arena:
 
Tickets included in the price: Central Numbered Seats on the Steps: These are on the lower half of the Arena steps in the center of the Arena. They have a fairly direct view of the stage, with a view of the whole arena, good acoustics and a seat which is a specific reserved place and plastic seat. The cushions, which are available on the door, for a fee, are highly recommended for additional comfort. These tickets (and all below) allow you to enter the Arena just before the performance, so you can have dinner before the performance which starts at 21.00 or 21.15.
 
Poltrona: Second sector stalls supplement price: euro 69 for all three operas, on the floor of the arena, with normal Theatre style seats.
 
Poltronissima: First sector stalls supplement price: euro 180 for all three operas, on the floor of the arena, with normal Theatre style seats.
 
Poltronissima Gold: First few rows of the first sector stalls supplement price: euro 270 for all three operas – we do not recommend these as you do not have enough distance to appreciate the scale of the production and the conductor so close can be a distraction.
 
Important information about the Arena performances:
Cancellation/suspension in case of bad weather
In the event of bad weather the performance is never cancelled before its scheduled starting time. Should weather conditions prevent the normal running of the performance, FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA may postpone its beginning for up to 150 (one hundred fifty) minutes, before announcing the cancellation of the performance, if it is necessary. In case of permanent suspension of the performance after its beginning, there is no right to refund of the ticket.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For more
information or for reservations please contact:
Livia Berman at Ophir Tours: 09-777-7100 email: livia@ophirtours.co.il
 
*Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases. The itinerary & Operas may vary. Minimum number of participants needed in order for this tour to operate.
 
AACI’s Kosher Tour of France -In the Footsteps of the French Impressionist
September 2-10, 2014
 
With scholar in residence Dr. Shula Laderman
Academic Advisor of: Judaism and the Arts at Bar Ilan University & Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies
 
Far more Impressionist paintings can be seen in the region covered by this tour than in any other territory of comparable size. This should be no surprise, as this is the region where Impressionism was born and where it was most practiced. Our AACI tour visits some of the key sites and for the first time offered to the Kosher consumer.
 
As it was for mainstream artists, so it was for rebels and innovators: throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, Paris was the center of the art world. All the French Impressionists spent time here; many lived here for most of their lives.
 
Yet the essence of their art – the recording of the world about them as it presented itself to their eyes in its immediate, transitory aspect – required them to spend time in the countryside. And the countryside they frequented most was in the north and north-west of Paris, the broad valley of the meandering Seine and of its tributaries the Oise and the Epte, and on to the coast.
 
Impressionism was developing at the same time as seaside tourism on France’s northern coast and the relationship between the two is fascinating. Water, fresh or salt, was an important ingredient of Impressionist pictures, its fleeting, changing, evanescent qualities similar to the characteristics of light they sought to capture on canvas. In the 1870’s the Impressionists gathered in the cafés and cabarets. But by the last decades of the 19th century they had disbanded and were searching for new directions for their art. Their fascination with light and pure colour brought them south; away from the grey light of Paris to what were then the simple villages of Provence and the Côte d’Azur.
 
DAY 1 Sep 2, Tuesday
 
We depart Israel on our EL AL morning flight. On arrival to Paris we continue directly to Auvers-sur-Oise, once a popular artists’ colony, frequented by Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. See sights associated with Van Gogh, who spent the last few weeks of his life here, and the studio of Daubignyon. Continue to Rouen in Normandy where three nights are spent.
 
Honfleur, Le Havre. Honfleur is an utterly delightful fishing village at the mouth of the Seine, now crammed with art galleries and antique shops. In the museum are many works by Eugène Boudin, a major influence on the Impressionists. Cross the Seine estuary to Le Havre. After a recent donation and refurbishment, the Musée André Malraux has become the second largest collection of Impressionists in France. Overnight Rouen area.
 
DAY 3 Thursday, Sep 4 Lecture/Talk
Rouen, Fécamp, Étretat. Spend the morning in Rouen at the Musée des Beaux Arts, which will host the exhibition Reflected colour, Impressionism and the water’s surface. Paintings depicting the river Seine, rowing boats, bridges, floods and Venice, all such fascinating subjects for the Impressionists, are to be displayed. Drive in the afternoon to Fécamp, site of the dramatic coastline that Monet loved to paint for the exhibition The cliffs of Monet. Continue to Étretat to see the Porte d’Amont and the Porte d’Aval. Overnight Rouen area.
 
AY 4 Friday, Sep 5 Lecture/Talk
Giverny. The morning is devoted to the premier site in the history of Impressionism, Monet’s house and garden at Giverny where he lived from 1883 until his death in 1926, designing and tending the gardens which grew in size as his prosperity increased. Also at Giverny is the newly reconstituted Musée des Impressionismes (formerly Le Musée d’Art Américain) displaying the exhibition Signac, the colors of water. In the afternoon return to Paris and visit the Musée des Beaux Arts in the Petit Palais, an under-appreciated collection for which space has recently been expanded. Check into our hotel with time to prepare for Shabbat in magnificent Paris brimming with a vibrant Jewish population. We will spend the next three nights in Paris
 
DAY 5 Shabbat, Sep 6
Paris. Beautiful Shabbat is spent in Paris.  Services at the local Shul followed by an afternoon lecture The Jews of Medieval France seen through Art” by Prof. Laderman and a walking tour in the area of the hotel.
 
DAY 6 Sunday, Sep 7
Paris. Walk through the Tuileries Gardens to the Orangerie where an excellent collection of Impressionists, Monet’s famous water-lilies and 20th-century paintings are housed. Cross the river to the Musée d’Orsay; here, in newly renovated galleries, are displayed not only the world’s finest collection of Impressionism but also masterpieces by important precursors such as Courbet and Millet. We also will visit the Musée Marmottan which, through a donation by Monet’s son, has one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionists paintings.
 
DAY 7- Monday, Sep 8 Lecture/Talk
Avignon. This morning we board an early train and relax in your seats aboard a TGV high speed train as you travel at up to 170mph through the beautiful countryside into Provence.  This afternoon visit the evocative Musée Calvet whose 19th century art collection contains works by Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir.  Visit to the Palais Des Papes the residence of the sovereign pontiffs in the 14th century is the largest Gothic Palace in the world and ranked as UNESCO world heritage site. Continue on to the 19th-century synagogue, built on the site of a much older one that had been destroyed by a fire, reflects the ancient roots of Jewish culture in Avignon.  Afterwards drive to the old Roman town of Arles, where Van Gogh lived and worked, harassed by the locals and increasingly desperate and destitute. Walk through the streets he staggered down, invariably drunk, and which have hardly changed from when he knew them, and visit the Place du Forum in which he painted “Café at Night”. Afterwards drive out into the fields he painted furiously, at night wearing a straw hat with candles attached around it. You will also be able to visit the asylum of St-Paul-de-Mausolée where Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself and spent hours in silence painting the cloisters and nearby orchards. We spend the next two nights in Avignon.
 
Day 8, Tuesday Sep 9 Lecture/Talk
Avignon - Cézanne’s Aix-en-Provence - Avignon
Travel across country to lovely Aix-en-Provence, considered by many to be the most graceful town in Provence, and home of the painter Paul Cézanne. A walking tour of the delightful pedestrian streets showcases the Cathedral, the colourful Provencal market, the designer shops and the bustling cafés. Drive to the base of the great Montagne Ste Victoire, which so obsessed Cézanne that he painted it continuously throughout his life.  Back in Aix; visit the studio of Cézanne in which he worked, and which remains exactly as he left it at the time of his death in 1906. Continue to Les Baux de Provence for time at leisure and a stroll along the medieval streets of this perched village. Overnight Avignon.
 
DAY 9 Wednesday, Sep 10
Today we say au revoir to France and travel home on a direct EL AL flight from Marseille to Israel.
 
Price:
AACI members 3115 Euro per person in a double room
Non-members 3190 Euro per person in a double room
Single room supplement 650 Euro
Your tour price includes:
  • EL AL  flight from Tel Aviv to Paris and return flight from Marseille to Tel Aviv
  • 3 nights in Normandy
  • 3 nights in Paris
  • 2 nights in Provence
  • Kosher full board (sandwiches for lunch)
  • Daily guided sightseeing
  • Entrance to all museums mentioned in the tour
  • TGV (High Speed Train) from Paris to Avignon
  • Fully escorted
  • Scholar-in-Residence Prof. Shula Laderman
  • All tips
Cancellation fees:
  • From time of registration until August 1, 2014: 250 Euro  per person
  • August 2-12, 2014: 50%
  • Less than 21 days prior to departure: 100%
Not included:
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
 
Payment:
Deposit of 350 Euro per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by August 1, 2014
 
For reservations and information please call Ophir Tours
Livia Berman 09-777-7100 or email livia@ophirtours.co.il
 
AACI’s Kosher and Friendly Italy Tour Exploring Tuscany with a Jewish Flavor
spending Shabbat in Beautiful Florence
September 7-16, 2014
 
Florence, Siena, Pisa, Livorno, Lucca, Volterra, Monte San Savino, San Gimignano & Pitigliano

Florence; Imagine spending three enchanting nights in Florence at the deluxe 5* Regency Hotel, including Shabbat services at the magnificent Florence Synagogue. In other cities you visit museums. In Florence, the city itself is a museum, a dazzling indoor-outdoor exhibition of some of the greatest masterpieces ever created. Linger in a café, wander into an artisan's shop or stop to listen to a lone violinist playing on a bridge over the Arno River. These may be the memories you savor most.  Don’t worry, we have also included the absolute must-see’s, such as Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" at the Uffizi and Michelangelo's David in the Accademia.
 
Italy’s Tuscany region is full of Jewish sights to see and experience. Pisa and Livorno were two cities established by the Medici families to complement each other and which offered special economic advantages to the Jewish community including never forcing them to live in ghettos. In Monte San Savino you will discover the remains of a small ancient Jewish Community and will participate in a wine tasting at the Kosher Castelnuovo Berardenga Winery.  Siena's pre-emancipation synagogue was built in 1786 and gives visitors special insight into worship during the time of the ghetto.  On our final day we will explore the town of Pitigliano, “Little Jerusalem”, a real jewel in the heart of Italy filled with a rich Jewish history and medieval atmosphere.
 
Sunday Sept. 7- departure from Israel on our EL AL flight direct to Milan, 07:45am arriving at 11:00am.  On arrival we will be met and start our tour with a drive through Modena and a visit to a kosher balsamic vinegar factory including a light lunch.  We then continue on to Tavarnelle Val di Pesa in the heart of Tuscany for our next 5 nights. Dinner at our hotel in Tavarnelle.  
 
Monday Sept. 8- Pisa & Lucca- Breakfast. Pisa is one of the most famous Italian cities for visitors in search of its leaning tower. It has a long and unique Jewish history, as it is one of two cities in Tuscany, along with Livorno, which never had a ghetto.  Visitors to this historical city can view the neoclassical synagogue which was built in 1594, restructured in 1863 and remodeled in 1885. Neighborhoods where Jews once lived and worked are still visible in the city's historical landscape which takes visitors to former and present places of worship. We continue on to Lucca, the birthplace of Puccini, and will enjoy the elegant piazzas and boulevards. A bicycle ride along the walls provides spectacular views of the countryside.  Dinner and overnight in Tavarnelle.
 
Tuesday Sept. 9- Siena- Breakfast. Another stop on our tour of Tuscany, Siena is famous for the cultural contribution of its scholars and rabbis as well as the mix of rites that made up the community here. While the ghetto has changed over time, we can still visit the synagogue which dates back to 1786. Its anonymous façade is typical of synagogues built before the Emancipation. The Jewish cemetery in Siena is also an interesting site as its tombs date back to the 16th century! Dinner and overnight in Tavernelle.
 
Wednesday Sept. 10- Monte San Savino & San Gimignano -Breakfast. Drive to Monte San Savino where you will discover the remains of a small ancient Jewish Community. We will visit the Castelnuovo Berardenga Winery for a kosher wine tasting and sampling of the delicious Tuscany products.  We continue on to the medieval town of San Gimignano and visit its beautiful city center. The town’s claim to fame is its series of striking towers. In medieval times, rich people fortified their homes by building towers, which provided a handy refuge when ruffians and rival city-states would sack the town. Pointy skylines like San Gimignano’s used to be the norm in Tuscany. Dinner and overnight in Tavernelle.
 
Thursday Sept. 11- & Volterra- Breakfast. We will make a morning visit to Livorno, known as the "city without a ghetto," and have a guided tour including a boat ride on the canals encompassing the Jewish sites.  We continue on to the hill town of Volterra, a key trading center and one of the most important Etruscan cities. Alabaster has long been a big industry in Volterra. Softer and easier to work than marble, this translucent mineral was traditionally sliced thin to provide windows for Italy’s medieval churches. Because of its alabaster heritage, Volterra attracted other types of artists, who brought with them a rich variety of crafts. On Via Porta all ‘Arco, or “Artisan Lane,” you’ll find book binderies and paperies, jewelry stores, and leather and bronze shops. Dinner and overnight in Tavernelle.
 
Friday Sept. 12- Florence-Breakfast. We travel to Florence, the famous city of arts, where you will enjoy a full day guided tour, including the synagogue, the Jewish Museum and the Accademia.  We check into the wonderful 5*Regency Hotel in Florence for the next 3 nights.  Prepare for Shabbat.  Shabbat meals with Chabad.
 
Shabbat Sept. 13- Florence-Breakfast. This morning we will gather together for Shabbat services at the beautiful synagogue in Florence followed by a community Kiddush. In the afternoon perhaps you would like to take a leisurely stroll through the city or a chance to rest. Dinner
 
Sunday Sept. 14Florence-Breakfast. This morning we visit the majestic Uffizi, designed by Vasari in the 16th century as the seat of the Medici Chancellery; it is joined to Palazzo Vecchio and is now one of the most important museums in the world. In the Gallery there are works from all periods from primitive artists (Cimabue, Giotto), as well as a compendium of Italian Renaissance painting with works by Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, Paolo Uccello, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. In the afternoon we will visit the most famous landmarks such as Ponte Vecchio, Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. Dinner.
 
Monday Sept. 15- Pitigliano- Breakfast- Today we bid Florence arrivederci and travel south through the rolling countryside of Tuscany to the picturesque town of Pitigliano. This extraordinary town has been called "Little Jerusalem" because of its large and active Jewish population which settled there in the beginning of the 15th century. Today the Synagogue is once again open to the public, both for worship and a visit, after extensive restoration.  In addition to visiting the synagogue we will also visit the interesting Jewish Cemetery, the matza oven, the cellar carved into the rock where kosher wine is produced, the kosher butcher and the mikvah. We continue on to the Rome Airport for our EL AL evening flight home, departure at 21:40 arriving in Israel at 02:05am Sep 16th.  
 
*itinerary is subject to change.
 
Price:
AACI members 2998 Euro per person in a double room
Non-members 3073 Euro per person in a double room
Single room supplement 850 Euro
Supplement for Junior Suite in Florence- 200 Euro per person in a double
Supplement for Suite in Florence-400 Euro per person in a double
 
Your tour price includes:
  • EL AL  flight from Tel Aviv to Milan and return flight from Rome to Tel Aviv
  • 5 nights in Tuscany
  • 3 nights in Florence at the 5* deluxe Hotel Regency
  • Kosher full board (sandwiches for lunch)
  • Daily guided sightseeing (except Shabbat)
  • Fully escorted & hosted by AACI group leader
  • All tips
ellation fees:
  • From time of registration until August 1, 2014: 250 Euro  per person
  • August 2-17, 2014: 50%
  • Less than 21 days prior to departure: 100%
Not included:
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
 
Payment:
Deposit of 350 Euro per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by August 1, 2014
 
 
For reservations and information please call Ophir Tours
Livia Berman 09-777-7100 or email livia@ophirtours.co.il

 
AACI Kosher & Friendly Adriatic Cruise
October 19-31, 2014
6 Amazing ports of call
Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Chania, Corfu & Agios Nikolaos
 
Scholar-in-residence Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
 
Venice with her romantic canals and Gothic-Renaissance architecture. Kotor - Montenegro's most stunning bay and best preserved medieval town. Dubrovnik - the 'Pearl of the Adriatic’ with her enduring strength and beauty. Mythological Greece, visiting the breathtaking islands of Corfu, Chania and Agios Nikolaos. Our captivating land tours with rich Jewish history are combined with stimulating and varied lectures by our scholar Rabbi Shlom Riskin.
 
We will be sailing on the wonderful “Golden Iris" - a hotel at sea, enjoying delicious, freshly prepared, Kosher meals (4+) daily. Entertainment programs are offered throughout the day, Jacuzzi, gym, a casino, Duty Free shopping, and more. Escorted by Executive Director David London, you will enjoy the company of a warm and diverse English-speaking group from Israel and around and the world with days at sea where you can relax with new and old friends.
 
Day 1 19/10/14 Haifa 08:00 16:00
2 20/10/14 Sea    
3 21/10/14 Chania 08:00 13:00
4 22/10/14 Corfu 14:00 21:00
5 23/10/14 Sea    
6 24/10/14 Venice 08:00 18:30
7 25/10/14 Sea    
1 26/10/14 Dubrovnik 08:00 01:00 (day 2)
2 27/10/14 Kotor 08:00 18:00
3 28/10/14 Sea    
4 29/10/14 Agios Nikolaos 14:00 20:00
5 30/10/14 Sea    
6 31/10/14 Haifa 08:00  
 
Price Includes:
* 12 Nights, Full board + Midnight Snacks (Kosher Cuisine Freshly Prepared) and more!
* Lectures and Land Tours in English with a Jewish flavor. 
* AACI Scholar in residence.
* Kashrut and Religious Services supervised by Rabbi Jay Karzen.
* All Tips; land tours (Bus Drivers, Guides, Staff), Dining Room and Cabin Staff.
* Fully Escorted by AACI Staff.
* All Port Charges, Taxes and Security Fees.
* Round Trip Bus Transport from Central points in Israel to Haifa.
* Pre-cruise Orientation.
*ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE PRICE LIST 
 
CABIN CATEGORY 
DECK
EURO PRICE PER PERSON IN A DOUBLE CABIN
EURO
SINGLE CABIN
A
INSIDE DECK 2
1895
2551
B
INSIDE DECK 3
2091
2919
C
OUTSIDE DECK 2
1963
2663
D
INSIDE DECK 4
2275
3287
E
OUTSIDE DECK 3
2147
3031
F
INSIDE DECK 5 & 6
2367
3471
G
OUTSIDE DECK 4
2331
3399
H
OUTSIDE DECK 5
2459
3655
I
SUITE DECK 5 , 6 & 7
2551
3839
J
DELUXE SUITE DECK 5
2643
4023

(Add Euro 50 per person for Non-AACI Members)
 
*The program and itinerary is subject to change without notice and minimum participation required. Please note that some land tours may include strenuous walking. Price does not include Insurance or Personal Expenses.
Prices are subject to change due to fuel increases or brochure price fluctuation.
 
For more information, please call Carole Kremer at AACI: 02-5600910
 
For reservations, please call Livia Berman at Ophir Tours: 09 7777100. livia@ophirtours.co.il
 
AACI Kosher China, Beijing, Xian & Shanghai
October 27  -November 07, 2014
 
 
This itinerary includes the country’s two major cities of Beijing and Shanghai and a detour to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors. In Beijing, try to absorb the enormity of Tiananmen Square, the largest in the world, before exploring the Forbidden City on foot. Ride a rickshaw through the neighborhood maze of old Hutongs, watch a Golden Mask Performance and visit the fabulous pearl market. Climb the Great Wall of China and see the Olympic sites. Fly to Xian where ancient history comes alive with its army of warriors, often regarded as the greatest archaeological discovery of our time. We then fly on to Shanghai where there’s time to discover the old town, stroll along the grand colonial waterfront promenade, the Bund, the Jewish Quarter,  get lost among Chinese art and antiquities in the Shanghai Museum and see a vibrant acrobatic performance.
 
Day 1 Monday, Oct 27:  Depart for Beijing – we leave Israel on our EL AL evening flight to Beijing at 21:40. 
 
Day 2: Tuesday, Oct 28:  Arrival in Beijing at 13:25. Meet our local guide at the airport and embark on a scenic tour of Beijing. Then take an exciting tour of Beijing’s Hutongs (old neighborhoods) on a private and exciting Rickshaw ride.   Get familiar with the local atmosphere and rest up before our welcome dinner.  Evening: Introduction to China.  Dinner at Chabad House.
 
Day 3: Wednesday: Oct 29: Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by deluxe coach to the Great Wall initially built in 221 BC by the first emperor of China as a defense against nomadic tribes and has been renowned as one of the 7 wonders of the world. It extends over 10000 kilometers in the northern part of China from the eastern Pacific Ocean to the western Gobi Desert. Visit the Jade Friendship Store while enjoying the magnificent work done by elite Chinese jade experts on the spot.  Later in the day, visit the Ming Tombs and learn about Chinese Feng Shui as mostly reflected by the layout of the Ming Dynasty Tombs. Return to the city for our Chinese Banquet dinner at the Chabad House.  This evening enjoy the daring Kung Fu Show
 
Day 4: Thursday, Oct 30: Breakfast in the hotel.  Visit the largest city square in the world-Tiananmen Square, which can hold as many as 3 million people. We proceed through the Tiananmen Rostrum to the imperial enclosure - the famed Forbidden City, also named the Palace Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. It houses more than 9999 rooms.  Five of the rooms had 24 emperors living successively inside them from 1420 until 1911 both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Climb up the Scenery Hill and have a bird’s eye view of the modern Beijing City as well as the glistening Forbidden City spread out in front of you. Drive to the Olympic Site for a breathtaking view of Bird Nest Stadium and the inspiring Water Cubic Stadium from outside.
Dinner at the Chabad House followed by the amazing Golden Mask performance.
 
Day 5: Friday, Oct 31:  Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to the Temple of Heaven and traditional Chinese Park. The Temple is the sacred praying site for Chinese emperors (1420-1911) to pray for a good harvest. Then experience in the park the lives of the everyday Chines citizens through dance and culture. Explore the Pearl Market and learn to how to find the best quality pearls and various pearl products which has been part of the Chinese culture.  Visit the Tibetan style Lamasery housing the world largest single white sandal tree Buddhist carving.  Stop for traditional Chinese foot massage and lecture on Chinese medicine and treatment.  Hotel rest before Shabbat with the Beijing Jewish Community at Chabad.  Evening: Shabbat with Chabad of Beijing.
 
Day 6: Saturday, Nov 01:   Breakfast at the hotel.  Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch at the Chabad House.  After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the unique Flower Market featuring beautiful Asian plants and flowers. Walk back to hotel for Shabbat rest.  Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishit and Maariv.
Evening: visit to the exotic Food Market.
 
Day 7: Sunday, Nov 02: Breakfast box on our early morning flight to Xian.  Stop at a Ming Furniture Center. Representing the zenith of Chinese furniture, Ming furniture is treasured for its precious wood, comfortable design, simple decoration and superb craftsmanship. For lunch we will have an authentic Buddhist vegetarian luncheon. In the afternoon we will visit Muslim Street and museum which is a fantastic place to wander around. All shops and restaurants in the street are operated by Muslims. The stalls line the narrow alleys selling almost everything. If you are good at bargaining, you can get some amazing buys.  Dinner will be in the hotel with a delicious kosher fish dinner.  After dinner we will attend our evening show the Tang Dynasty Costume Show.
 
Day 8: Monday, Nov 03: Breakfast in the hotel.   Excursion to the world famous Terra Cotta Warrior Museum, including special visit to panorama movie, Pit1, Pit2, Pit3 and the Bronze Chariot. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. Given time, we will take a glimpse of the warrior duplication site where molds are created to show the original way of creating them. En route back to the city, stop at the local cave dwelling village, a primitive way of living in harsh dry lands.  Early afternoon flight to Shanghai. Dinner at Kosher restaurant in Shanghai.  Night cruise in the harbour over the neon lit Huangpu River, with a spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline.
 
Day 9: Tuesday, Nov 04: Breakfast in the hotel. Morning tour to Jewish Shanghai: the former home of Shanghai's Jewish community, the Hongkou Ghetto and nearby, the former Ohel-Moishe Synagogue. See the Memorial to Stateless Refugees within the ghetto and visit Ohel Rachel Synagogue, also built by the Sassoon family. Drive through the French Concession, where many of Shanghai's fine Jewish estates were once located. Within the French Concession, visit the Arts and Crafts Institute, a historic home and former estate of one of Shanghai's officials. See some of the local crafts designed and created here. Then visit the Sir Elie Kadoorie Mansion (the Marble Mansion), today a Children's Palace, to watch gifted children dance, sing, and play traditional Chinese instruments.  Return to your hotel.  Dinner at the Chabad restaurant Shanghai. Evening: Spectacular Acrobatic Show.
 
Day 10: Wednesday, Nov 05: Breakfast in the hotel.   Our guide will meet us this morning for a 1 1/2 hours' drive to the ancient water town – Zhouzhuang which is known as the Venice of China.  Famed as China's No.1 water town, Zhouzhuang reveals its beauty with various Ming and Qing Dynasty residences and dozens of classic bridges while the two most famous residences are Shen House and Zhang House. A cruise along the canal will give you a view of a unique waterside lifestyle. Return to Shanghai in late afternoon.  Dinner at the Chabad restaurant Shanghai.  This evening enjoy free shopping time on Nanjing Road.
 
Day 11: Thursday, Nov 06: Breakfast in the hotel. Tour of Shanghai Museum. Also known as the Museum of Ancient Chinese Art, the Shanghai Museum was established in 1952 and relocated twice before finding a permanent home at its present location, south of the centrally located People's Plaza, in 1996. More than 120,000 precious and rare works of art in 21 categories make the Shanghai Museum the most remarkable cultural institution in the city. Stroll around the People's Square outside the museum overlooking the stylistic buildings including the City Hall, the City Planning Museum and the Shanghai Opera House.  Visit an Embroidery Gallery at the city center given time. Afternoon departure from Shanghai at 16:20 on Dragon Air to Hong Kong arriving at 19:05 and connect with EL AL at 20:55 back to Israel arriving at 03:15am.
 
 
Price: AACI members $3893 per person in a double
Non- AACI members $3968 per person in a double
Single supplement $540
Price Includes:
  • Flights on EL AL  from Israel and Dragon Air from Shanghai to Hong Kong
  • 2 domestic flights Beijing/Xian-Xian/Shanghai
  • 9 night’s good 4 star  hotel accommodation- as mentioned or similar                  
  • Beijing (5 nights)       Metro Park Lido     
  • Xian      (1 nights)     Titan Times Hotel
  • Shanghai (3 nights)  Salvo Hotel
  • Kosher Meals: daily breakfasts in hotels + 7 lunch boxes.  Dinners in Beijing and Shanghai at kosher resturants. Freshly prepared  vegetarian / fish dinner at hotel in Xian + authentic Buddhist Vegetarian lunch and specially prepared Chinese banquet dinner
  • Transportation in air conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees   
  • Israeli English speaking tour leader
  • Porterage at hotels and all tips
  • 4 varied evening Chinese shows
  • River cruise in Shanghai
  • AACI staff escort   
Not included:
  • Chinese Visa
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in included
  • Travel/Medical insurance
Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary.
 
Payment:
Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by September 10, 2014
 
Cancellation:
Cancellation from time of registration until September 10, 2014: $250 per person
Cancellation between September 11-October 01, 2014: 50% of total package
Cancellation from October 02 to day of departure: 100%
 
          
For reservations and information please call Ophir Tours
Livia Berman 09-777-7100 or email livia@ophirtours.co.il
 
AACI Moroccan Kosher Tour with a Jewish Flavor
November 16-26, 2014
 
Experience the exotic and little-known Kingdom of Morocco. Populated by the fierce and indigenous Berbers and conquered by the Arabs 1300 years ago, Morocco is the bridge between Europe and Africa, the gate to Black Africa, a country where Jews and Muslims have flourished side by side for over 1,000 years. You might find yourself buying fresh spices in the labyrinthine souks of Fez as you stroll through the Mellah (Jewish Quarter). Or you could discover the fabulous gardens, winding alleys and mysterious doorways of Marrakech; Visit historic Rabat, with its 12th century walled MEDINA.  Travel through time in Morocco’s ancient cities and experience its modern sensibilities and exotic atmosphere.  Let the magic mesmerize you!
 
Day 1 – Nov 16 Sunday Casablanca / Rabat (60 Miles)
Morning departure with Alitalia Airlines from Israel at 5:50am via Rome and arrival in Casablanca Mohammed V airport at 12:00noon.   Orientation tour of Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco. Casablanca is home to the largest Jewish community in Morocco and has numerous congregations, active communal institutions, and many highly recommended kosher restaurants. Early dinner in Casablanca before proceeding for our overnight in Rabat.
 
Day 2 – Nov 17 Monday Rabat / Meknès / Fès (150 Miles)
Visit to the Chellah and Kasbah of Oudayas located next to the Medina within the ramparts of the old city. The Mellah (Jewish Quarter), with its narrow lanes and colorful courtyards, is now the home to only a few Jewish families. Departure to Meknès (the Moroccan Versailles), which was founded at the end of the 17th century by Moulay Ismail, where Hebraic epitaphs dating from the Christian era evidence the Jewish presence, and Greek inscriptions still appear in local Synagogues. It’s a place of pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi David Benmidan; “The Patron of Meknès” is located. The crowded old Mellah, known for its historic Jewish street names is not to be missed. Highlights will also include Bab El Mansour, the Hedim square and the mosque of Moulay Ismail. Continue to Fès. Check-in at the hotel for our two night stay.
Day 3 – Nov 18 Tues day Fès
Fès is among the best known cities in medieval Jewish history. Indeed, it was once the home of one of the most influential Talmudic scholars of all times, Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, as well as of Maimonides in the years 1160 to 1165. Highlights will also include the Mellah with all its Synagogues and old Jewish Cemetery. Return to the hotel in Fès for overnight stay.
 
Day 4 –Nov 19 Wednesday Fès / Midelt / Erfoud (336 Miles)
Morning departure to Erfoud via Azrou and Ifrane. It is said that Ifrane was the capital of a Jewish Kingdom in the distant past. Not to be missed: the village’s only Synagogue and the cemetery has been a centre of pilgrimage for Moroccan Jews for centuries. Stop in Midelt and continuation to Erfoud. Overnight stay in Erfoud at the hotel.
 
Day 5 – Nov 20 Thursday Erfoud / Ouarzazate (181 Miles)
We start our day with a very early departure from the hotel by jeeps and then camels to watch the sunrise over the Merzouga Hills.  We then return to the hotel for breakfast.  Before leaving Erfoud we visit the tomb of the Baba Sali-Rabbi Abu Hatzeira.   Continue to Tineghir and visit its Mellah gateway and the ancient and colorful Jewish quarter. Continue on to Ouarzazate via El Kelaa Des M’Gouna and visit of Tiliit (5 miles from El Kelaa Des M’Gouna), known as the ancient city of the Jews of the Dades. The fortress of Tiliit has been the centre of a Jewish region ruled by the Spanish-Jewish family of Perez from the end of the 15th century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672. Continue to Ouarzazate, check-in and overnight stay.
Day 6 – Nov 21 Friday Ouarzazate / Marrakech (126 Miles)
Morning departure to Marrakech with a visit at Ait-ben Haddouvia and continue through the Tiz-in-Tichka pass (2260m) and Taddert. In the afternoon, sightseeing tour of Marrakech. The Saadian dynasty made Marrakech their capital and converted the El Badii Palace to a Mellah, which became home of a thriving community of native and Spanish Jews, famed for their rabbinical schools and scholars. Prepare to welcome in Shabbat.
 
Day 7 – Nov 22 Shabbat Marrakech
This morning we will gather together for Shabbat services.  In the afternoon perhaps you will like to take a leisurely stroll through the city.  After dinner experience the party atmosphere at Djma El Fna Square, one of the most colorful and mysterious sites in all of Africa with its snake charmers, street vendors, musicians, jugglers, fortune-tellers and storytellers.
 
Day 8 – Nov 23 Sunday Marrakech
This day will be devoted to the sightseeing of Marrakech, the second oldest imperial city known as the “Pearl of the South” and home to the Saadian tombs, the Koutoubia Mosque, the Bahia Palace and the Menara Garden. Return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, exploration of the souks and the world’s famous Djamaa El Fna place, this offers various entertainments such as storytellers, acrobats, snake-charmers and magicians.  Afternoon excursion to the Ourika valley, the site of the famous tomb of Rabbi Salomon Bel Hens.  Evening Fantasia “Chez Ali” show. 
 
Day 9 – Nov 24 Marrakech/Casablanca (148 Miles)
This morning we drive to Casablanca and on arrival we have a guided tour of the city including visit of the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) with its temples and synagogues such as Beth-El, Em Habanim and Neve Chalom, the Jewish Museum, the Great Mosque.  Overnight in Casablanca.
 
Day 10 – Nov 25 Casablanca/Israel
We will visit the Habbous quarter, the United Nations square, the exterior of the Royal Palace and an interior visit of the Hassan II mosque, one of the Islamic world’s greatest and stunning monuments.   Afternoon departure from Casablanca airport at 14:400pm with a connection in Rome arriving in Israel at 02:10am on Nov 26th.
AACI Group picture, Morocco 2012
Price: AACI Members $2772 per person in a double room
Price: Non Members $2847 per person in a double room
Single Supplement: $365
 
The trip includes:
  • Round trip flights via Europe with Alitalia Airlines
  • Good 4 star Hotels
  • Meals: half board plus provisions for making sandwiches for lunch
  • Transportation by deluxe coach as per itinerary
  • English speaking  local guide
  • Entrance fees: as per the itinerary
  • Tour Leader from Israel
  • AACI escort
  • Porterage Hotels and tips  for driver, local guides, waiters & Israeli tour guide
Not included:
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Any items of personal nature
  • Items not mentioned above
  • Medical insurance
**Itinerary and Airline are subject to change without notice
**Minimum number of participants required
 
PAYMENT:
Deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by Oct 22, 2014
 
CANCELLATION:
Cancellation from time of registration until Oct 22, 2014- $100 per person
Oct 23- Nov 02- $600 per person
Less then 14 days prior to departure- 100%
 
INSURANCE:
WE STRONGLY SUGGEST EVERYONE TAKES MEDICAL INSURANCE
 
TOUR ORIENTATION:
There will be an orientation session for all participants.  Date to be announced
 
 
For reservations and additional information please contact:
Livia Berman Ophir Tours Raanana Telephone: 09-777-7100
 
 
 
AACI Kosher & Friendly Tour - ROME with a Jewish Flavor
 
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can expect Italy’s most popular destination to charm you in one. Rome is a fascinating fusion of old and new, from the lost empires and historical places to its modern treasures and mouth-watering Italian cuisine. The staggering range of landmarks in Rome and glories of Renaissance architecture make it one of the most visited cities in the world.  The Jewish presence in Rome is very very old.  We will show you the Jewish quarter with its charming narrow streets, the Synagogue in Ostia Antica with the surrounding archaeological area, The Arch of Titus and The Moses by Michelangelo and so much more.

Nov 9th Sunday

EL AL flight departs Tel Aviv at 06:05 arriving Rome at 08:55
We begin our journey of Rome with a panoramic tour of the eternal city. Lunch at a kosher restaurant followed by checking into our hotel for a rest. Before dinner we will have a walking tour of our area in Ancient Roma. 
 
Nov 10th Monday
After breakfast we will start our morning tour by foot.
Jewish Rome has the oldest uninterrupted Jewish community on earth!
You’ll hear about its 23 centuries of history.  We’ll visit the Jewish museum, walk through the longest lasting ghetto in Europe and marvel at one of the most spectacular synagogues on earth.  Lunch at local restaurant for authentic Italian kosher pizza.
Afternoon Rome- Ancient City tour includes the Colosseum, Roman Forums, Arch of Constintine and the infamous Arch of Titus. Visit the site of the infamous Temple of Peace where the MENORAH and the KEILIM (sacred vessels), looted by the Romans from the Holy Temple, were on display for four centuries.  The tour also includes a visit to Michelangelo's Capitol Hill with its impressive statues, especially the statue of Antoninus Marcus Aurelius (a very good friend to the Jews). At the end of the tour, we will lead you from Capitol Hill down through the web of medieval lanes and right into the bustling heart of the Jewish Ghetto.  Dinner at a local kosher restaurant
 
ov 11th Tuesday
Breakfast followed by our morning tour.
The Vatican & The Sistine Secrets.   With over 2,000 rooms stuffed with objects on this special tour we will show you the Jewish content and other secrets that most visitors don’t notice.  Your guide will lead you through the maze of halls and chambers, telling you all the while the gossip and great stories from the Renaissance. Figures like Michelangelo, Julius II, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci will come alive at every turn. You will also learn the philosophy behind the artwork, the Renaissance and the Museum itself. Lunch in local kosher restaurant
Afternoon- Let the Eternal City enchant you as you stroll through its picturesque cobblestone alleyways and discover some of the world’s most famous sites. Our walking tour starts at The Spanish Steps, one of the most atmospheric spots in Rome. From there we trace a path through the cobbled streets of the city to the colossal Trevi Fountain – part water feature, part magnificent sculpture.  You’re in the very heart of Rome now, where narrow streets snake out in every direction.  We make our way to the Rome Pantheon. Here you’ll see Raphael’s tomb and learn the real cause of the famous artist’s death. Perhaps the most beautiful square in all of Rome, Piazza Navona is home to spectacular Renaissance buildings and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s beautiful 'Fountain of Four Rivers', the sculpture that saved his reputation after he almost tore St. Peter’s Basilica in half.
Our tour ends in Campo dei Fiori, a favorite hangout among locals.  Either return to the hotel for a rest or enjoy the piazza. Dinner in a local kosher restaurant
 
Nov 12th Wednesday
Breakfast followed by a morning tour of the Extraordinary Tour of the Castel Sant' Angelo - Private Fortress of the Popes! Forget all the hot, overcrowded tours of the usual tourist sites.  This unique tour is such a fantastic opportunity, that you will notice many of the other visitors around us will be Italians and even Romans! What makes this visit so amazing? The Castle was first built by the mad Emperor Hadrian (in the Talmud, known as Adrianus) to be his own tomb – a gigantic round mortuary with an entire artificial forest on top of it! Then, after the fall of Rome, it was ravaged by the barbarians and remodeled by the Popes to be their private fortress when the Vatican was under enemy attack. In peaceful times, the Popes had it decorated and re-decorated according to their very elaborate tastes. So, the huge structure is a sort of time machine – starting in the bottom at 18 centuries ago, and then working our way up through different styles and transformations. On the rooftop is the greatest view of Rome. For opera fans, this is where the last act of Puccini’s Tosca takes place – we can even show you where the diva is supposed to have jumped off the roof. For fans of the Dan Brown novel Angels and Demons, we will actually be able to show you the entrance to the forbidden Passetto – the secret escape tunnel of the Popes!  You will hear stories from the Talmud and from the Renaissance, stories of our ancestors and of the scandalous carrying-on of several Popes.
Lunch in a local kosher restaurant
Afternoon drive to Ostia Antica, one of the most beautiful and intriguing sites near the capital. Here you will discover the life of middle-class Jews of the ancient world, who once thrived here as tailors, butchers, blacksmiths and actors.  The synagogue in Ostia is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the 4th century C.E. and its nearby kitchen, dining room and stone benches, once slept on by traveling Jewish merchants, are some of the unique facets of this tour.
Transfer to the airport our EL AL flight departing Rome at 21:35 arriving in Tel Aviv at 02:05 Nov 13th
 
 
Price per person for AACI members in a double Euro €1880
Price per person for non AACI members in a double Euro €1955
Single Supplement Euro €350
 
Price Includes:
  • Round trip air with EL AL airlines 
  • 3 nights’s at the Hotel Fortyseven a 4 star boutique hotel just across from the Temple of Vesta, inside the Roman Forum and a short stroll to Circus Maximus, the Arch of Janus and walking distance from Jewish quarter.
  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 lunches (one will be pizza) in a restaurant
  • 3 dinners in restaurant
  • Wine with both Lunch and Dinner
  • Take away sandwiches on last day for dinner
  • Sightseeing including entrances
  • Special Vatican & Castel Sant’ Angelo with a Jewish perspective  
  • Israeli escort & AACI host
  • Local tour guide for all sightseeing except walking tours
  • All tips
Price Does Not Included
  • Any items of personal nature
  • Insurance
Minimum number of participants required.  Itinerary is subject to change without notice.  Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals
PAYMENT: Deposit of euro 225 per person at time of reservation.
Final payment due by October 5th
CANCELLATION:
Cancellation from time of registration until October 5th - euro 100 per person
 October 5-October 23 Euro 675 per person
 October 23-until day of departure- 100% of total package
 All reservations and cancellations must be sent in writing.
 
There will be an orientation session for all participants.  Date to be announced
For further details or to make your bookings please contact:
Livia Berman Ophir Tours, 68 Ahuza St, Raanana 43209
Telephone: 09-777-7100 or email LIVIA@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL Fax: 09-777-7101
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
AACI 55+/ - Friendship Circle - Activities for Singles & Couples
 
AACI Yard Sale
May 9, 09:00-12:00
 
 AACI Travel Program 2014
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
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