June 08, 2023

Preparing for Israel trip

An entire month has gone by since my previous post. Thatís because Iíve been occupied with final preparations for a custom, private family Israel bar mitzvah tour. My daughter Emilyís middle child had his American bar mitzvah at Temple Akiba back in December. He didnít want a fancy (i.e. expensive) reception though; he wanted a trip to Israel. I agreed to finance it, but his family had to plan it. Luckily one of Emilyís friends had done a similar private trip for their son last year and recommended Pomegranate Travel.

We chose to adapt their Bar Mitzvah North itinerary to meet our specific needs. Emily had been to Israel twice before and this would be my fifth trip, so we nixed the basic novice tour. Avid hikers traveling in mid-June, we decided to divide our trip into two parts: first week in Jerusalem so the first-timers could experience the traditional sites. During the second week we would concentrate on the cooler areas in the Golan and Galilee, which abound in national parks.

When my son Ari had a group bar mitzvah trip back in 1994, the choices for service location were a choice between Masada or the Western Wall. Already a feminist, I insisted on the egalitarian service at Masada. While those two options were still available in June 2023, there was also a larger choice that included many of the ancient synagogues in the North, with a service led by a Reform rabbi. We decided on a weekday afternoon service at the 3rd-century Zippori synagogue with its beautiful mosaic floor. Not only was it historic, Zippori being when Rav Judah haNasi redacted the Mishnah, but it was also air conditioned.

Posted by maggie at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)