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The Jewish Collaborative of Orange County invites you to embrace Israel though a special lens:

MESUBAKH - It's Complicated:
A Textured Journey through Israel, Palestine​ and Jordan

December 29, 2024 - January 6, 2025 | Israel and Palestine
January 7-9, 2025 | Optional extension to Jordan

Led by Julian Resnick, founder of Journeys Making Meaning
Rabbi David Lazar, Or Hamidbar Palm Springs
Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, Jewish Collaborative of Orange County
Lisa Armony, former Director of the Rose Project for Jewish Federation of Orange County

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There are many ways to visit Israel. They are all special. They are all legitimate.


  • For some, a trip to Israel - as the Jewish homeland or the birthplace of all Abrahamic religions - is on their bucket list.
  • For some, it is about experiencing Israel with members of their home community.
  • Some trips are designed to educate and affirm deep feelings, beliefs, and viewpoints about Israel’s role on the world stage.   
  • Some people visit Israel to connect with Judaism and Jewish scholarship.
  • Some people visit Israel to experience its cutting-edge technological advances, special artistic communities and, more recently, culinary wonders. 
  • Some people visit out of concern for and in response to biased media narratives, seeking clarity and understanding.  

Like any democracy, Israel is the totality of the people who live there and contribute to society.  While most tourists visit celebrated historical sights and modern attractions, Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, Rabbi David Lazar, Julian Resnick and Lisa Armony invite you to join a people-focused journey to Israel that will present the complexity, difficult realities, dualities and nuances that make this amazing country what it is today.  

Participants on Mesubakh will hear a multiplicity of voices. We will learn about Israel’s remarkable diversity and multiple narratives through personal meetings and shared meals with an array of speakers and teachers, all of whom consider Israel and Palestine their home.  

Scroll down to view our itinerary in progress.


  • If diverse points of view on challenging issues throw participants off balance at times, this visit will be considered a great success.
  • In addition to enjoying the beauty of the land, we will experience the great beauty that becomes visible through the sharing of ideas, hopes and possibilities.  
  • We will experience the pain of a society in which existential questions are never far away.
  • Every day will contain dedicated time for processing all that we have seen and heard.  Our group discussions will be guided by mutual respect and derech eretz when we disagree with one other.
  • Ultimately, we hope that, in the words T.S. Eliot (The Four Quartets), when you return home, you will feel like you saw Israel “as if for the first time.”

Click here for a downloadable flyer to share.


Current Pricing

Per person in double room - $4,350
Single supplement - $1,420
Jordan extension - $1,340
Jordan single supplement - $120

Airfare not included in pricing.


December 29, 2024 - January 6, 2025 | Israel and Palestine
January 7-9, 2025 | Optional extension to Jordan

We are delighted that you are considering participating in this unique adventure - we are taking reservations now.
The itinerary below offers a framework for this mission using our original dates of travel.
An updated itinerary will be posted by Fall of 2023.

Subject to change - Everyone arrives on their own

Day 1: Arthur Hotel (Snacks, Dinner) 
17.00 Meet at hotel in Jerusalem; Light snacks, introduce Julian
Walk to the entrance to the Jaffa Gate for Shehechiyanu 
Dinner at Tmol Shilshom
Group orientation     

Day 2: Arthur Hotel (Breakfast)
Haviv Rettig-Gur
Tour the Old City of Jerusalem: Jewish, Christian and Muslim sites
Lunch in the Old City on own
Jerusalem through the Eyes of its Palestinian Residents –Tour of East Jerusalem with Ahmed Muna; includes walking tour of Sheikh Jarrah and meeting with local Arab resident.
Processing session in the Educational Bookshop on Sallah Ah Din Street.
Dinner on your own

Day 3: Arthur Hotel (Breakfast and Dinner)
Gilo, Tour of Security Barrier with Ron Schatzberg
Lunch on own at Machaneh Yehudah and free time.
Kabbalat Shabbat starting at the First Station and then to the Kotel
Shabbat Dinner at the Chef Rabbi

Day 4: Arthur Hotel (Breakfast and optional Shabbat lunch)
Optional Shabbat morning service with a local congregation guided by Rabbis Marcia Tilchin and David Lazar.  Optional Shabbat lunch at a host home. 
Optional walking tour of Jerusalem with Julian ending at the First Station - lunch on own
Havdalah at hotel led by Marcia, David and friends
Free night in Jerusalem

Day 5: Arthur Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Palestinian Authority – tour the wall from the Palestinian side and visit to Deheishe Refugee Camp with Mazen Faraj.
Lunch at Hachamamah and meeting in a Jewish community in the West Bank
Coexistence: Roots
Meet with Ittay Flescher of Kids4Peace with some of the young people.
Processing session
Dinner experience at City View restaurant in Jerusalem

Day 6: Challenges at the Northern Border - Nazareth Mutran (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Speaker: Shmuel Rosner – Israeli Jewish identity/Israeli Judaism
Charedim facing modernity – visit the Hadassah Charedi university; meet with administration and students
Lunch at Assaf Winery
Visit Mt. Bental
with the Alma Center for a security field briefing on Israel’s northern borders.
Israel’s Arab Citizens Iksal - Meet with Eman Darawshi and students from Debate for Peace
Check in to hotel, dinner in Tishreen.
Processing session

Day 7: Market House Jaffa (Breakfast and Lunch)
The Basilica of the Annunciation
Breakfast with speaker: Mohammed Wattad, Dean of the Law School at Tzfat College; Israeli democracy
Givat Haviva – lunch, tour and student visits
Drive to Tel Aviv
Free night

Day 8: Market House Jaffa (Breakfast, Dinner)
Visit a Secular Yeshiva – Bina or Alma – Ruth Calderone, etc. – Israeli “secular” Judaism 
African Refugees – Kuchineta; Julie Fisher
Drive south to Gaza Perimeter for local sites
Felafel Lunch at Yad Mordechai Junction
Visits to Yad Mordechai, The Assaf Siboni and Black Hand Memorials, Netiv Ha’asara and meet with a local resident
Dinner at Abed’s in Ramla followed by ice cream in Kibbutz Gezer with Rabbi Miri Gold, David Leischmann, others

Day 9: Market House Jaffa (Breakfast and Dinner)
A morning tour of Jaffa
ANU museum of the Jewish People including time for lunch at Aroma next to the museum.
Exploring the crisis in Israeli Democracy with some of those involved in the ongoing situation.
Processing followed by Farewell Dinner
Those not extending to Jordan depart for airport for return flight.
Those extending to Jordan sleep over and depart to Jordan on the 17th November

Jordan Extension Highlights

Wadi Rum, Petra, Amman, Madaba and Mt Nebo

Day 1 of Jordan - Tuesday, January 7, 2025 - Wadi Rum (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Wadi Rum: We fly a short morning 45-minute flight to the new Ilan and Assaf Ramon airport north of Eilat. We continue to the Jordan border crossing where we meet our Jordanian guide for the coming two days. Head off for one of the most spectacular desert landscapes in the world, Wadi Rum, where in desert vehicles (4x4) we join local Bedouin in an exploration of this wonderful terrain (shades of Lawrence of Arabia mixed with “Martians”, the Ridley Scott movie starring Matt Damon, filmed here). Glamping in Wadi Rum. Erev Shabbat in the Desert!

Day 2 of Jordan - Wednesday, January 8, 2025 - Amman (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Petra: A full and wonderful day. Begin with an early morning desert Shacharit (a Shacharit as never before experienced, unless California is really a desert). After breakfast head off towards Petra. Lunch. Petra, one of the Wonders of the World, both in terms of natural beauty and in terms of human intervention. Continue to Amman.

Day 3 of Jordan - Thursday, January 9, 2025 -  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Amman: In the morning we have a unique opportunity to meet with a senior figure in the Jordanian political/strategic leadership to hear about how Jordan understands its role in the Middle East (TBC). This conversation will be off the record.
Two final sites and one closing conversation: We leave Amman and head for Madaba where we “see” Jerusalem one last time on this journey in the form of one of the more spectacular remains of Byzantine times. Participants will reflect on how today’s challenges in the region have their origins in an ancient past. Last, there can be no better place to connect with the closing lines of Deuteronomy as Moses surveys the land he will not enter. Looking back over our shoulders at Mt Nebo, reading the closing paragraphs of the Torah and imagining the Children of Israel about to enter the “Promised Land,” we look forward and ask ourselves whether something has happened to irrevocably change this “promise.” This final site will set the stage for our closing conversation that will weave together the many narratives shared with us during our eleven days of intense learning and connection.

Cross into Israel via the Allenby Bridge (prepare yourselves for a long wait at the border) and transfer to Ben Gurion airport for late night flights to the US. (B, L, D)

Travel Details

Travel (including Medical) Insurance
Travel and Medical Insurance are obligatory and should be taken out through whichever Insurance company the participants choose. 
All participants must make sure that their passports are valid for at least 6 months after departure date to Israel.
Flight guidelines:
Departure from US – Since our tour begins on 8 November with a meeting at the hotel at 5.00PM, our suggestion is that you reserve a flight departing from US on 7 November arriving in Israel on the 8th in the morning or very early afternoon to allow you to reach the hotel prior to the meeting.
Departure from Israel for those who are doing the Israel section only, and not extending to Jordan.
The Israel section of the tour ends on 18 November at approximately 7.00PM.
Recommended to reserve a flight at 11.00PM (or later) to arrive in the US on 19 November. This will enable you to enjoy the farewell dinner and easily reach the airport in time for the flight.

Departure from Israel for those who are doing the Israel section and who are extending to Jordan.
The Jordan section of the tour ends on 22 November at approximately 7.00PM.
Recommended to reserve a flight at 11.00PM (or later) to arrive in the US on 23 November. This will enable you to enjoy dinner and easily reach the airport in time for the flight.
Jordan Extension
The extension to Jordan is subject to there being a minimum core of participants and therefore by 1 May we will reconfirm that the tour is operating in its current form.


If you’d like to pay by check and save the convenience fees, please make checks out to the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.
Or we can help you do a direct deposit if you prefer. Write to us at

Register here

If you’d like to pay by check and save the convenience fees, please make checks out to the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.
Or we can help you do a direct deposit if you prefer. Write to us at

We look forward to sharing this one-of-a-kind trip with you!
MESUBAKH - It's Complicated: A Textured Journey through Israel, Palestine​ (and Jordan)

Airfare not included.
   Per person in double room ($4,350)
   Single supplement ($1,420)
   Jordan extension ($1,340)
   Jordan extension single supplement ($120)Split payments are available during checkout. The first payment is required upon registration.
Payment in full is required by August 30. 
Thank you!


Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784