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Getting to Know Israel Through Volunteering: Your 2 Week Travel Itinerary - PART 1

Nov 22, 2018

Whether you're with friends, family, or traveling alone, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available that will make your trip that much more meaningful

Israel is a popular travel destination and draws tourists from all across the globe. Some people come to explore the vast number of historical and religious sites, while others are drawn to the vibrant metropolis of Tel Aviv. Whether you are traveling to experience the diverse and dynamic culture, to lay back on one of Israel’s beautiful beaches, or to eat some extremely delicious food, Israel has something for everyone to enjoy!


Now that your destination is picked out, it’s time to start planning- but how do you even begin to plan a trip when there is so much to do, see and take part in?

 

Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered! Below is a two-week guided travel itinerary that will give you a chance to connect to the country, from north to south, in a unique and meaningful way- with a fun philanthropic twist!

 

Our trip will be split into two. The first half will consist of 8 days and will take place in northern Israel and the Tel Aviv area. The second half will be in southern and central Israel and will last 6 days. The trip is divided by sections of the country so that you can choose exactly what part of it you would like to participate in if you can not join us for the entire time.

 

This special trip allows you the opportunity to not only see, but experience each city through a hands-on approach: volunteering! Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity to learn and connect to a cause that you feel strongly about and this same mentality can also be applied to the way we travel.

 

Before we begin our adventure, please keep in mind that this itinerary is just one idea for a travel route and volunteer opportunities - there are hundreds of nonprofits, organizations, community centers, animals shelters, etc. that would love your help. Check out our Ruach Tova or email efratc@ruachtova.org.il for one-on-one assistance planning your volunteer experience in Israel.

 

We will begin our trip in the north at Rosh Hanikra and will be ending in Jerusalem 12 days later.

 

Let’s get started!

 

NORTHERN ISRAEL - 4 days

 

Day one: Sunday


Rosh Hanikra is a popular tourist spot located just before the Israeli-Lebanese border. It is the only point in the country where the sea meets the mountains and is known for its beautiful marine caves. It is a natural phenomenon that you don’t want to miss out on! Guided tours are given every 90 minutes beginning at 11 a.m, so you won’t have a problem if you like to sleep in. you can read more about it on their official site.   

 

Following the tour of the caves, we will take a Tornado Cruise - be warned this is not for those who easily get motion sickness. Flying through the wind on a speedboat we not only get to enjoy the adrenaline rush but learn a little more about the history of the area we’re in, and how the Israeli army operates here today.

 

When we are finally back on land, the rest of the day can be spent soaking in some sun at the beach near the Tornado Cruise site.

 

Our first day will end with a delicious dinner at one of our favorite spots, the Cliff Restaurant, overlooking the open sea.

 

 

Day two: Monday


Get ready for a jammed packed day of touring one of the north’s most well- known cities, Acre also commonly spelled Akko!

 

Old Acre is one of the few cities in the world whose walls have remained standing over the years (think thousands!) despite the fact that they were attacked and overtaken by large, powerful armies several times. To get a chance to really see all the city’s history we will take a tour named the Walls & Wars Route which surrounds the old city.

 

The city’s history isn’t built only by the wars that occurred there but also by the art that was made in it. The Okashi Art Museum Displays amazing artwork from the 1950s.

 

The day will end with a tour of the Knights Kingdom, a museum that tells the story of the Crusades and offers vast historical information regarding the various eras.

 

Make sure to have an early night to be ready for another full day tomorrow, when we start volunteering.

 

 

Day three: Tuesday

This morning we have a bit of an early start as we begin the volunteer segment of our trip!

 

We will visit Kiryat Bialik Municipality, located 20 minutes south of Acre, and help package food for the needy. The packages we make between 8-12 a.m. will later be distributed to needy families all over the city. This wonderful initiative happens every Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

 

 

Once we’ve finished packaging we will head back to Acre for a special ferry ride across the bay to Haifa where we will continue our day. Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and is home to a range of religious faiths, great restaurants, and some truly beautiful sights. The best view of this incredible city can be seen from the top of Mount Carmel, so that is where we are heading!

 

After docking, we will make our way to the cable car that runs from the Bat Galim Promenade to the Stella Maris lookout point on top of Mount Carmel- be sure to have your cameras out and ready.

 

Wrap up your evening with dinner and a stroll along Louis Promenade. The panoramic view of the Haifa Bay, the Kryot suburbs, Acre, Nahariya, Mt. Hermon and Rosh Hanikra is stunning and there are also numerous museums and shops along the walk for you to explore.

 

 

Day four: Wednesday

One of the most known tourist spots in Haifa are the gorgeous Bahai Gardens and we just can’t leave without visiting first, so today you get to sleep in a bit and get up at your own pace because the English tours begin at 10:00am and 12:00pm. The gardens have a unique and beautiful look with their combination of flowers, small trees, small sculptures, water fountains and pools. Don't forget your seeing glasses because you won’t want to miss any part of it.

 

After a relaxing morning at the gardens, we’re gonna spend some time chasing kids at the Neve David community center. We get to run fun activities such as painting, dancing, storytelling and more so make sure to come with lots of energy and creativity. The Neve David Community Center is a multi-service organization providing social, cultural, and educational activities for the benefit of at-risk youth and children. This place will definitely give us that warm and fuzzy feeling inside you get when you know you did something good.

 

 

Thursday will be an early morning so to make sure we get a good night’s sleep and don’t have to start our day with a long commute, we’ll drive to Hadera when we finish at the center.

We’ll make sure to eat dinner before we go and get some snacks to eat on the way, and load up a good playlist for the ride.

 

 

Day five: Thursday

The Mass is a home for adults with special needs. We have a chance to get our hands dirty at this volunteering experience as we help the residents maintain their garden. Our gardening work will continue until the afternoon.

 

 

Following that hard but enjoyable work, we will take a break at the Hadera river park. You’ll probably build up quite an appetite so on our way we’ll have to pick up some food and have a nice picnic at the park. Then continue this chilled out mode at Sironit Beach in Netanya. The beach is located below the Rishonim Promenade, accessible by a transparent sea elevator. This elevator is one of a kind and can not be found anywhere else.

 

TEL AVIV - 3 days

 

Day six: Friday

In Tel Aviv, our weekend will begin with walking cute dogs, that are just waiting for visitors, to the park and give them much needed attention at SPCA (an animal shelter). This association works to prevent the cruelty and suffering of animals and promotes their rights and welfare. Who doesn't love puppies?!

 

 

The next two days will be completely dedicated to touring the Tel Aviv area so make sure your camera is charged and you have comfortable shoes on...let's get started! St. Archangel Michael Monastery is a historic, European-style Catholic church, and marks our first stop. It is a beautiful church with lots of history and a great place to visit no matter your religion.

 

Next, we will enjoy a walk through the Carmel Market. Friday is the signature day to go to the market as several independent artists and vendors sell unique crafts, art, and jewelry.

 

We will then continue to the mesmerizing Tel Aviv Museum of Art. If you start feeling adrenaline withdrawal don’t worry we are now going off dancing at the Havana club. It is the number 1 salsa club in Israel so we hope your ready to have some fun!

 

 

Day seven: Saturday

Continuing our tour of the Tel Aviv area, our day will start at the Tel Aviv promenade by the port.

 

The early risers can come here to watch the sunrise but we won’t actually start touring until a bit later in the day, ~10:00 am, for the few of us that like our beds.

 

Visiting the port is a nice and calm way to kick off today's tour. From there we will continue to the Yarkon Park. The park gets about sixteen million visitors per year thanks to the beautiful scenery the Yarkon river provides by running right through it.

 

Considering the Tel Aviv port was just a starting point, we will now head to the Jaffa port which is both bigger and has more variety to offer then the Tel Aviv port. After seeing the fishermen at work we are going to eat lunch at a restaurant that serves fresh fish and seafood. Don’t worry, they don’t cut up the fish right in front of you, and if that is not to your liking, they also have other food on the menu.

 

We will go learn a bit of history at the Jaffa clock tower, because it's not a successful day unless you learn something new. It’s not the Big Ben but is still pretty cool to see.

 

Just like yesterday, we will finish the day with a drink. Hanging out at the Anna Loulou bar we get to relax and prepare ourselves to continue volunteering Sunday morning.

 

 

Day eight: Sunday

Starting the new week at the Association for the Blind in Ramat Gan we'll talk, help and interact with the blind. This is a good opportunity for us to appreciate the basic stuff we have, like sight, and understand life from a different perspective.

 

Back in Tel Aviv, we continue to understand how lucky we are as we spend the afternoon playing with special needs kids in the HaTzuri Clubhouse. These kids are always so happy and I'm sure we’ll soak up some of their energy.

 

Our last stop will be at the Markid club in central Tel Aviv. It is the perfect place to have some fun and let loose after an action packed day!

 




 

We finished our first week tired but satisfied. We visited 8 different cities and areas and volunteered in various places with a variety of people including adults and kids with special needs, dogs and more. Fun and educational!

Now we will make sure to rest up and get re-energized because we still have 6 more days to go.

Continue reading about this unique and wonderful trip in ‘Getting to Know Israel Through Volunteering - PART 2’.

 

Interested in volunteering in Israel? Contact us at info@ruachtova.org or call *9093 (international: +972-3-5436866) to find the perfect volunteering opportunity for you.

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