United Fairfax Travel 2021, Summer Vacations in Jerusalem, Israel
Everything is Illuminated!
“I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out.” – From the movie “Everything is Illuminated“
Experiencing the beauty and culture of an unfamiliar area of the world is always a remarkable experience. For those who are purposely exploring a culture through the window of their faith, it can be even more remarkable. Embarking on a Jewish heritage tour is one way for Jews, and others interested in Jewish tradition, to see how the tradition has lived, survived and thrived in destinations throughout the world.
By taking a trip that focuses on Jewish heritage, a traveler can visit the places – past and present – that are important to Jews as a people and to the traveler as a person of faith. The Diaspora has a center, but no boundary. Israel, Russia and Poland are important destinations, but many other counties throughout the world that are filled with the rich history of the Jewish people: China, Budapest, Italy, France, the United States, Africa, South America – just about every corner of the world has something of interest for those exploring their Jewish heritage and history.
A Jewish heritage tour involves much more than simply visiting the synagogues or Jewish museums of an area. Educated, informative tour guides will lead travelers to important places rich with Jewish customs, history and culture that a casual traveler may never find without professional, guided assistance.
Travelers on a Jewish heritage tour need not worry about their entire trip being one long history lesson without any fun along the way. Many tours include other aspects of the region, like fine restaurants, first-class hotels, shopping and local recreation. A good tour will balance the traveler’s thirst for knowledge and desire for an enjoyable vacation.
It is important for many Jews to continue to observe their religious customs, even while on vacation. Many tours are able to fully service their needs, offering kosher meals and access to synagogues for worship. They can also accommodate those who want to avoid Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) travel and every type of traveler: families, couples, singles, honeymooners, students, and even non-Jews who are interested in learning about the history and culture of the people can all find a tour that fits their interests.
Popular Jewish Heritage Tour Destinations
While the Jewish people have lived in and contributed to many cultures throughout history, there are certain regions where they have had a concentrated influence, and their stories in these regions are inherent to understanding the heritage of the Jewish people. These destinations are some of the best places to start or include in a tour.
The Jewish race can trace their roots back to Israel, the land of Abraham, father of Israel. A heritage tour of Israel will take travelers through Jerusalem, Masada, Galilee, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the Golan Heights; the whole of Israel is abounding with Jewish heritage and culture. A coordinated heritage tour through the Holy Land helps travelers pinpoint the essential places to visit. Tours will also often include stays at a Kibbutz, a voluntary Israeli commune, where travelers experience first-hand one of the modern aspects of Jewish life in Israel.