VFI-USA.ORG

VFI PLUS Programs for 2023 - Working Draft


Program Schedule for Spring and Fall 2023  

VFI PLUS ADVANCED (17 days) May 5 to 21, 2023 - See Below

VFI PLUS ADVANCED (17 days) November 10 to 26, 2023 - See Below


VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY (14 days) March 12 to 25, 2023 See tinyurl.com/vfi2023ARCH

VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY (14 days) October 15 to 28, 2023 See tinyurl.com/vfi2023ARCH

VFI PLUS ADVANCED

(17 days)  Program 

May 5 to 21, 2023

November 10 to 26, 2023


DETAILED ITINERARY

1/26/2023

Program Scope: This program is suitable for both first-time and experienced visitors to Israel. Intensive custom touring focuses on well-known and less-visited yet compelling historic sites for the limited group size. The first week begins with introductory touring followed by one week of volunteering on an IDF base in uniform. At the end of week one on Thursday, you begin three days of intensive touring. The second IDF volunteer week begins on Sunday and concludes at noon on Thursday. After several days of extensive touring, and a farewell dinner, the program concludes, at the airport. This program provides nine IDF volunteer days, seven private touring days, and one travel day.

PROGRAM COSTS:

Costs in Israel for 2023 are influenced by the current shekel-USD exchange rate where a U.S. dollar buys about 3.3 Israeli shekels. Our long-range price quotes are subject to adjustment should the exchange rate materially change.


The All-Inclusive program fee bundles all major costs including all hotel rooms, all transportation in an A/C bus, most food, all touring, private tour guide, all admission fees, gratuities, etc.

NOTE: Airfare, personal health and trip insurance, Covid tests, are not included. These fees are paid separately: VFI Application fee: $125. and Sar-El fee: $100.


The All-Inclusive fee for the May 2023 program - each person, sharing a double room is $xxx2,969. In addition, a single supplement is available for $xxxx3,900. The fee is based on a group minimum size of 10 and subject to adjustment in the event of fewer participants.


The All-Inclusive fee for the November 2023 program - each person, sharing a double room is $TBA. In addition, a single supplement is available for $TBA. The fee is based on a group minimum size of 10 and subject to adjustment in the event of fewer participants.


DEPOSIT - A $500 refundable deposit holds your reservation on a first-come, first-served basis and applies to the total. A wait-list is maintained. Send your deposit check made out to "Volunteers for Israel" to VFI’s Financial Secretary, Irene Newman at 28814 N 108th Place, Scottsdale AZ 85262

 [email protected]  312-446-9159


Please indicate your program name and date. Other payment options are Venmo to @VFI-USA-2, and Zelled to account number 536307082, routing number 071000013


RESERVATIONS - ON A FIRST-COME BASIS until a group size of 18 is reached. A wait-list is maintained. CONTACT ILANA BLUMENTHAL AT [email protected] 267.294.8425

QUESTIONS: CALL Steve Plotkin at 267.252.0597


You simply need to pack and show up, ready to volunteer.

VFI PLUS ADVANCED (17 days)   

Daily Itinerary

---- Week One

1.      Friday, May 5 Friday, November 10  

Meet at Tel Aviv hotel for group orientation and Shabbat Dinner. Overnight in Tel Aviv hotel.

 

2.     Saturday, May 6 Saturday, November 11   

Breakfast at hotel. All-day touring. Starting with "Talking Walls" - a graffiti tour in Tel Aviv. Drive to the Hula Valley and visit Khirbet Qayafa – a recently discovered archaeological site, possible location of biblical Shaaraim. Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Tel Aviv hotel. 


3.     Sunday, May 7 Sunday, November 12

Breakfast at hotel. Travel to the designated meeting location (Ben Gurion Airport Arrival Lounge) by 10:00 am for transfer to the IDF bus and travel to the base. Lunch on base in kosher Mess Hall. IDF orientation, receive uniforms, room assignments, and volunteer assignments. Dinner in mess hall. Evening educational program.


4.     Monday, May 8 Monday, November 13

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.

 

5.     Tuesday, May 9 Tuesday, November 14

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.


6.     Wednesday, May 10 Wednesday, November 15

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.


7. Thursday, May 11 Thursday, November 16

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer morning assignments. After lunch, pick up at the base or Tel Aviv and board the private bus and begin weekend touring. Drive North and visit the Atlit Detention Camp, which tells the story of the Maapilim - the illegal Jewish immigrants during the British mandate. Jeep ride at Mt. Carmel, the biblical mount associated with prophet Elijah and his victory over the prophets of the Baal. We will enjoy some beautiful views and maybe some surprising archaeology as well. Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Haifa hotel.


8.    Friday, May 12 Friday, November 17

Breakfast at hotel and all-day touring. Visit the Ghetto Fighter's House in kibbitz Lohamel Hagetaot. This is the world's first museum commemorating the Holocaust and Jewish heroism. The museum relates the story of the Jewish people in the 20th century, and particularly during World War II and the Holocaust. At the center of the narrative is the individual, and the many expressions of Jewish resistance in ghettos, concentration camps, and partisan combat.

 

Later today we will visit Acco - we will see the recently opened parts of the KnightsHalls, and the see the recently opened parts of the Knights Halls, and the Ramhal Visitors Center, dedicated to Rabbi Haim Luzzatto, the author of some of the most controversial Judaica books. We will walk through the colorful bazaar of the Old City, walk on the ancient walls which protect Acco from the fierce sea waves, as well as in the mysterious underground Templars tunnel. Shabbat dinner at hotel. Overnight in Haifa hotel.  


9.     Saturday, May 13 Saturday, November 18

Breakfast at hotel followed by all-day touring. The morning will be dedicated to the iconic Baha'i Gardens, also known as "The Hanging Gardens". We will slowly descend from the promenade located at the top of Mt, Carmel, all the way to the beautiful Shrine of the Baab - the burial site of the forerunner of the Baha'i faith. We will explore Galilee: Visit Ztippori, the "mosaics capital" of Israel. Drive to Tiberias, visit Mt. Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and Magdala, where 2 (!!) synagogues from the Second Temple period were recently discovered. Enjoy a relaxed sailing on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Haifa hotel.

10. Sunday, May 14 Sunday, November 19 - Begin IDF Week Two

Breakfast at hotel. Travel to designated location for transfer to IDF base, or transport directly to IDF base. Resume volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.


11.  Monday, May 15 Monday, November 20

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.


12. Tuesday, May 16 Tuesday, November 21

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.

 

13. Wednesday, May 17 Wednesday, November 22

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer assignments on IDF base. Lunch, dinner. Evening educational program. Overnight in barracks.

 

14. Thursday, May 18 Thursday, November 23

Breakfast, flag raising, volunteer morning assignments conclude on IDF base. After lunch, begin your private tour bus and drive to Jerusalem.  Shehecheyanu ceremony in Jerusalem. Tasting tour at the Machane Yehuda market, the most famous and liveliest market in Israel. Time permitting (depends on the location of the base) – Tour the charming neighborhoods of Nachlaot. Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem hotel.


15. Friday, May 19 Friday, November 24

Breakfast at hotel followed by all-day touring.  Drive to the Gaza Strip Envelope to learn more about life within 10 seconds from a possible missile coming from Gaza. Visit Sderot to see the collection of missiles which fell there over the years and the playground with a uniquely camouflaged bomb shelter. Visit moshav Netiv Haasara - the closest Jewish community to Gaza and meet with a local, and more. Shabbat dinner at hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem hotel.


16. Saturday, May 20 Saturday, November 25

Breakfast at hotel followed by all-day touring. Visit Jericho – one of the oldest cities in the world, home to the world's best date palm trees. Ascend by cable car to Mt. of Temptation to visit an ancient monastery overlooking the Plain of Jericho. Visit Tel El Sultan archaeological site – the location of biblical Jericho, the ruins of the Hasmonean palaces and Hisham palace with amazing mosaics, and more.  Drive to the Dead Sea – relax and swim/float. Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem hotel.

  

17.  Sunday, May 21 Sunday, November 26

Breakfast at hotel followed by all-day touring in Old City Jerusalem. Visit the Temple Mount and the City of David. Free time in Jerusalem. Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. Drive to Tel Aviv airport and fly home. 

PROGRAM REFERENCE MATERIALS:


See the VFI videos at www.youtube.com/volunteersforisrael

also

See the VFI EDUCATES clickable index to numerous interesting videos on demand at tinyurl.com/vfieducates2


You simply need to pack and show up, ready to volunteer.

RESERVATIONS ON A FIRST-COME BASIS. A WAIT-LIST IS MAINTAINED.



CONTACT ILANA BLUMENTHAL AT [email protected]

QUESTIONS: CALL Steve Plotkin at 267.252.0597