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From the Ancient to the Cutting-Edge: Discover Israel

Program No. 22871RJ
From the ancient city of Jerusalem to modern day Tel Aviv, discover a complex land of kings and empires, natural beauty and modern ingenuity with time to explore on your own.

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Nov 5 - Nov 15, 2023
Starting at
Feb 18 - Feb 28, 2024
Starting at
Mar 10 - Mar 20, 2024
Starting at
Sep 15 - Sep 25, 2024
Starting at
Nov 3 - Nov 13, 2024
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DATES & starting prices
Nov 5 - Nov 15, 2023
Starting at
Feb 18 - Feb 28, 2024
Starting at
Mar 10 - Mar 20, 2024
Starting at
Sep 15 - Sep 25, 2024
Starting at
Nov 3 - Nov 13, 2024
Starting at

At a Glance

Thousands of years of history are waiting in the journey from the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, to ancient villages along the shores of the Galilee and the vibrancy of Tel Aviv. Join scholars and experts, artists and farmers as they offer you a hearty “baruch haba!” (welcome) and share the best of their country with you. This learning adventure has plenty of independent time to search for the best falafel or shawarma in the Machaneh Yehuda Shuk, explore one of the many museums of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or walk through one of the unique neighborhoods, each with its own flare and atmosphere.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to two miles per day; some cobblestone streets and stairs. Hot, dry weather in Dead Sea region.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Ascend the ancient fortress of Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by cable car and float in the invigorating waters of the Dead Sea.
  • Visit a local kibbutz to learn how Israel has made the arid countryside bloom with fruits, vegetables and flowers.
  • Enjoy time to explore the remarkable cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on your own.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Yaakov Selavan
Captain (Res.) Yaakov Selavan was recently discharged after serving nearly a decade as an Armored Corps Combat Commander. A Golan resident and an IDF Tactical Command College alumnus, Selavan is an experienced lecturer in Israel and abroad, and an official IDF motivational speaker for soldiers and draftees. He founded Slingshot Israel, which aims to educate and inspire by offering a unique insider’s look into the IDF.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Yaakov Selavan
Yaakov Selavan View biography
Captain (Res.) Yaakov Selavan was recently discharged after serving nearly a decade as an Armored Corps Combat Commander. A Golan resident and an IDF Tactical Command College alumnus, Selavan is an experienced lecturer in Israel and abroad, and an official IDF motivational speaker for soldiers and draftees. He founded Slingshot Israel, which aims to educate and inspire by offering a unique insider’s look into the IDF.
Profile Image of Ian Stern
Ian Stern has been the director of the Archaeological Seminars Institute for 35 years and a government-certified archaeologist at Tel Maresha since 2000. He completed his doctorate in archaeology at Bar Ilan University, has a master’s in Jewish education from Hebrew Union College and a bachelor’s in Near Eastern Studies from Brandeis University. He has an extensive knowledge of ancient sources. Ian made Aliyah in 1978 from New Jersey and served as a medic in the Israel Defense Forces.
Profile Image of Yossi Yeinan
Yossi Yeinan View biography
Yossi Yeinan grew up in Ohio and visited Israel after high school to study at Yeshivot Kerem B'Yavne and Har Etzion. Completing a BA in philosophy at Yeshiva University, he earned a graduate social work degree and served in Jewish community agencies and federations in New York, Cleveland, and Jerusalem. Yossi is the proud parent of seven children and made “aliyah” in 1990. He sees exploring and guiding as a great educational opportunity and believes the most successful educational experiences are also enjoyable and relevant.
Profile Image of Gayle Meyers
Gayle Meyers View biography
Gayle Meyers began her career as a policy analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense, fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and staffing the U.S.-Israel Joint Political Military Group. She directed the Middle East Regional Security program of Search for Common Ground, and worked for civil-society organizations promoting regional peace and a shared society for Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Gayle received a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree from Tufts University.
Profile Image of Neil Lazarus
Neil Lazarus View biography
Neil Lazarus is an internationally acclaimed expert in Middle East politics, public diplomacy, and effective communication training. He is a popular speaker, trainer, and commentator, speaking to more than 30,000 people a year in Israel and internationally. Born in Britain in 1967, he earned a B.A. (Hons) in Politics and Russian Studies from the University of Wales and made Aliyah in 1988. He completed a master’s degree in Political Science from Hebrew University in 1991. Neil has taught and empowered diplomats, spokespeople, and community leaders.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World
by Seth M. Siegel
Let There Be Water illustrates how Israel can serve as a model for the United States and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities. Even with 60 percent of its country made of desert, Israel has not only solved its water problem; it also had an abundance of water. Israel even supplies water to its neighbors-the Palestinians and the Kingdom of Jordan-every day.
My Life
by Golda Meir
A moving autobiography by former Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir.
The Innocents Abroad
by Mark Twain
(Especially Chapters 51-56)
Ancient Israel: A Short History from Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple
by Hershel Shanks, editor
Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
by Yossi Klein Halevi
"Like Dreamers" interweaves the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem, tracing the history of Israel and the divergent ideologies shaping it from the Six-Day War to the present. This book gives insight into where Israel and Israelis are politically, socially, economically, and religiously.
The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem
by Dan Bahat
A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism to Our Time
by Howard M. Sachar
The Prime Ministers
by Yehuda Avner
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
by Ari Shavit
Israeli journalist Ari Shavit illuminates the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing and uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today's global political landscape.
Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle
by Dan Senor and Saul Singer
START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel-- a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources-- produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?
Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor
by Yossi Klein Halevy
Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is one Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians and into the hearts of "the enemy." In a series of letters, Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is committed to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East. This is the first attempt by an Israeli author to directly address his Palestinian neighbors and describe how the conflict appears through Israeli eyes. Halevi untangles the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide.
Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide
by Michael B. Oren
Michael B. Oren’s memoir of his time as Israel’s ambassador to the United States—a period of transformative change for America and a time of violent upheaval throughout the Middle East—provides a frank, fascinating look inside the special relationship between America and its closest ally in the region.
Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East
by Dr. Michael B. Oren
Islam: A Short History
by Karen Armstrong
Walking the Bible: A Journey Through the Five Books of Moses
by Bruce Feiler
Jerusalem: The Biography
by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.