Welcome to Lab/Shul, an artist-driven, everybody-friendly, God-optional, pop up, experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings based in NYC and reaching the world.


We’re Going to Israel! Summer ’15

[email protected], (212) 908-2523


August 10-15 2015*

First timer or seasoned travelers?

Join Amichai & the Lab/Shul ritual team for our first journey together as a community, connecting and reconnecting to what’s sacred and meaningful in our lives.

The trip is intended for adults and for families with kids 10 and up.

We will focus on the current Shmita/Sabbatical year, and will explore Israel for the meaning of land and homeland in our lives. We’ll be meeting leaders and locals, artists and activists, with hands-on access to different political, cultural, historical, environmental and spiritual perspectives. As a congregation in the making – this journey will be a milestone in our formation and bond our relationship to each other, to our values, and to our global Jewish reality.

The trip is planned in partnership with MAKOR, a leading tourist agency and will include prime and lesser known locations, local voices and flavors, ritual events, on- site study, tailored educational, athletic, and hands-on programming for all ages, real conversations from across the cultural, religious and political spectrum of current Israeli society, including encounters with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and peace activists. Study sessions, planning meetings and shared preparation will be offered to the group in the months leading up to the trip.

This trip is open to all adults, including families with kids 10 and up, and includes special programming tailored to our young explorers.

*DATES: August 10-15 2015 (+3 optional days August 16-18)

amichai israel 1Registration and Costs

The main trip includes six days and six nights (8/10-8/15), with an optional extension of three more days and two nights (8/16-18).

Estimated Costs – Seven day Trip

$2,395 Per person (double room) $3,105 Per person (single room) $8,528 family of four (one room) $8,920 family of four (two rooms) $10,850 family of five (two rooms)

Estimated Costs – Extension of three additional days

$800 Per person (double room) $1,200 Per person (single room) $3,000 family of four (one room) $3,200 family of four (two rooms) $3,500 family of five (two rooms)

Land Price Includes:

Five Star Hotel Accommodations; private luxury tour bus transportation; all site admissions; touring with the Lab/Shul team, along with Israeli educators, artists, and licensed government tour leaders; meet & assist service at Ben Gurion International Airport; group transfers from and to Ben Gurion Airport; source & study materials; hat, bag, maps; porter assistance at hotels

Meals Included:

Daily breakfast, five dinners, Shabbat dinner and lunch at hotel, three bottles of water on bus daily

Not Included:

Flights and medical Insurance; tips for guides, hostess, and driver; meals on own; out of pocket expenses

This trip is limited to 40 people and pending registration of at least 30.

Registration Ends 2/20/2015
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Lab/Shul Israel Trip Itinerary INITIAL DRAFT

Sunday, August 9, 2014
Departure from the United States.

Monday August 10

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by Makor and light refreshments upon arrival.
  • Drive through the Ayalon Valley to Tel Aviv.
  • Welcome theatrical event in Jaffa’s ancient Port
  • Check in to Tel Aviv hotel.
  • Dinner with Diezengoff: Festive welcome dinner with live music and interactive performance at  the new Tel Aviv Port

Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Tuesday August 11
Tel Aviv: The First Hebrew City

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning meditation and musical prayer on the beach.
  • Bible to Bauhaus:  A walking guided tour from Jaffa’s Peres Center for Peace, through the oldest flea market  to Tel Aviv’s oldest-newest artist quarter, exploring Jewish-Arabic realities of identity and location, architectural gems and unusual graffiti.
  • Lunch at Neve Tzedek  or Carmel Market – with local artists and municipal leaders
  • Afternoon Beach time/optional visit of Bialik House – Israel’s National Poet
    • Depart for Northern Israel.
  • Sunset BBQ dinner on the beach – Live music with Netanel Goldberg
    • Drive and check in at the Ha’Gosherim Kibbutz Hotel
  • Check-in Circle: Conversation, reflection, live music – our first day together

Overnight: Kibbutz HaGoshrim Hotel, The Upper Galilee

Wednesday, August 12
Northern Exposure

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning meditation and musical prayer in the sculpture garden
  • Pan’s Temple: Nature hike in the Banias Nature Reserve and archeological park
  • Golan Heights: Ascend to Mount Bental for a view into Syria and an understanding of the geo-political situation on the Israeli-Syrian border.
  • Lychee farm: Meet the pioneers and pick fresh fruit off the trees
  • Picnic lunch on the Jordan River
  • Drive to Safed
  • Adults: Tour of the old city & Explore the world of Kabbalistic art with David Friedman

Youth: Lost in Safed – An interactive web-based scavenger hunt through the

labyrinth of Safed.

  • Circus Dinner! Conclude the day with dinner and a performance by the Makom BaGalil Jewish – Arab Galilee Circus+ circus workshop with circus participants (Jewish and Arab high school students from the Galilee.)

Overnight: Kibbutz Hotel, HaGoshrim

Thursday, August 13
Pioneers and Pilgrims: The path to Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning meditation and musical prayer on the kibbutz grounds
  • Prehistoric Museum of Upper Galil- meet with the curator to learn of the earliest art of the region
  • Pioneers: Visit the Kinneret Farm, the cornerstones of the early Zionist movement – interactive educational programs for different age groups
  • Pilgrims: Stop at Qasr El Yahud, seen by Christians as the possible site of Jesus’ baptism and by Jews as the possible site where Joshua crossed into Canaan.
  • Lunch in Jordan Valley
  • Outlook over Jerusalem: Reach Mount Scopus for an overview of the city and a welcome ritual.
  • Check into the Inbal Hotel.
  • Dinner at the Old Train Station
  • Optional late night visit to a Jerusalem Challa Bakery.

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, August 14
Remembrance and Ritual

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning meditation and prayer at Mount Herzl
    • Option 1 (first timers) : Visit Yad Vashem, the National Memorial to the Holocaust
    • Option 2: (returning visitors and kids) Israel Museum – tour, activities in youth wing, and meeting with the curator of the archeological collection.
    • Lunch and walk in Machane Yehudah Open Air Market and nearby areas including Mea Shearim
    • Free time to relax, shop and prepare for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat the Old Train Station –  Labshul community & Israeli friends
  • Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel with special guest – David Broza
  • Private Musical Concert with David Broza and Palestinian-Israeli musicians from the East-West Project

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Shabbat, August 15

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Shabbat Morning prayer and meditation at Yemin Moshe Park
  • Three Faiths – One heart: guided tour of the Old City, led by Amichai along with Christian and Muslim local friends and co-existence activists.

Lunch in the Old City and return to the hotel for rest and swim or continued tour of Old City

  • Museum on the Edge: Closing Circle and Festive farewell dinner followed by Havdalah overlooking the Old City.

Depart for Ben Gurion Airport or Night on the town

Overnight: Flight or Inbal Hotel Jerusalem

Sunday, August 16 – Tuesday August 18
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ella Valley

Sunday August 16
Jerusalem on the Edge

  • Guided visit to Haram El Sharif – Temple Mount
  • Tunnel tour or City of David tour
  • Seam Zone Barrier around Jerusalem – Security Wall/Separation Barrier, guided Geo Political visit around the boundaries of Jerusalem, exploring the complexities of Israelis and Palestinians living in one urban center.
  • Dinner in homes – East/West Jerusalem hosts

Overnight: Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

Monday August 17
West Bank – both stories and more

  • Tantur – Ecumincal College
  • Herodion – Herod’s Fortress and Burial Ground
  • Bethlehem – meet with local leaders, tour the city and the Church of Nativity
  • Alon Shevut/Efrat – meet with settlers at the Har Etzion Yeshiva
  • Tent of Nations/Eretz Shalom – meet with peace-co-existence activists
  • Or: Visit to Rawabi, the new Palestinian city north of Ramallah.

Tuesday August 18
Full Circle

    • Morning Hike in Park Canada (UK Forest in memory of Amichai’s grandparents)
    • Caves of Beit Guvrin
    • Local cheese farm – meet shmita farmers in action
    • Closing Circle of Reflections in Tel Aviv
  • Farewell Dinner in Jaffa
Please Note:
This itinerary is only a suggestion and can be altered and adjusted in any number of different ways. The budget at the moment is based on one night in Tel Aviv, two nights in the North and three nights in Jerusalem, but this may be subject to change as well.