Taking a Bar Mitzvah Tour in IsraelJewish people trace their roots in Israel, the very place where Jesus was born and grew up to be a man of God. For youngsters living in Israel and even those not residing in the country, taking a tour of the country’s traditional sites has become a popular way of celebrating their bar mitzvahs or bat mitzvahs.
While this idea can be costly for those living abroad, parents who have the extra budget can surprise their child with a special trip to Israel in celebration of his coming of age. Israel is a renowned tourist destination that serves as an ideal place to have a unique spiritual experience and a family vacation at the same time.
Currently, there are several event organizers, tour operators, Jewish organizations, Federations, synagogues and specialty travel sponsors that offer bar mitzvah / bat mitzvah tour services for small and large groups. For those who wish to have a private family tour, there are special tour groups that cater exclusively to families for a more intimate tour of Israel. Actual bar mitzvah ceremonies and celebrations in special locations of your choice can even be organized upon the family’s request. Meanwhile, families can always take part in a tour group if they wish to have a more exciting experience.
Tours are normally scheduled during school vacations and include special discounts. Among the famous traditional locations for a bar mitzvah tour are the Massada National Park, the Western Wall or Kotel, Neot Kedumim Biblical Park, Mt. Scopus which is overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City and the ancient synagogues in Galilee or in the Golan.
- Western Wall – This is in Jerusalem and is the last remnant of the Temple destroyed by the Romans.
- Neot Kedumim – A 625-acre nature reserve between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv featuring species mentioned in the Bible and Talmud.
- Massada – A mountain near the Dead Sea where King Herod’s palace was situated. Excavated in 1964, it is one of Israel’s most visited tourist spots.
- Hurva Synagogue – This was destroyed in the 1948 War of Independence and is now a memorial that features a giant arch.
The Israel Tourism Ministry fully supports these tours as a way of encouraging tourists to visit and explore the country’s holy places and vacation spots. It is ready to assist visitors and give a full list of service suppliers upon request. The Ministry can even provide a certificate to bar mitzvah / bat mitzvah celebrants free of charge bearing the child’s name in personalized calligraphy and the signature of the Minister of Tourism.
For party celebrations with family and friends in Israel or from abroad, recommended locations are at your favorite hotel, in the desert, outdoor garden, at the beach, in a cave, ancient synagogue or on a yacht in the Red Sea. A local rabbi can be requested to assist in the religious ceremony.
For this type of bar mitzvah celebration, careful planning is needed. Determine in advance the budget you will need including the cost of airfare, tour, accommodation and food, how many family members are going in the trip and the place you’re going to stay in while in Israel.
Visiting Israel provides a young man or woman a link to his or her Jewish heritage. When traveling with the whole family, the trip becomes more meaningful and creates wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
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