Kol Emeth Trip to Russia and Israel, Nov. 2002

Russia from Nov. 3 through Nov. 10 Click here to view Russia Itinerary
Israel from Nov. 11 through Nov. 21 Click here to view Israel Itinerary
To read reports from trip participants click here.
To view a page about the Torah which we took to Russia click Torah page
To view pictures as they are added Russia Trip Pictures
(Israel pictures will be added with a different link, soon.)

The highlight of the Russia trip was delievering a Torah scroll to the Jewish Community of Pskov



Soon to be added: More trip reports and pictures taken by the participants.

Kol Emeth Discovery Journey to Russia and Israel
Led by Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, Pnina Levermore (in Russia) and David Meir-Levi (in Israel)
Program in Russia by the Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue & Renewal BACJRR and the Kol Emeth Social Action Committee
Program in Israel by Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel Keshet

Russia Itinerary

Sunday November 3

Departure from SFO on Luftansa
Monday, November 4 Arrival in FSU
Arrival in Frankfurt and transfer to flight to St. Petersburg. Arrival in St. Petersburg at 6:30pm. Overnight at the Moskova Hotel.

Tuesday, November 5 Jewish Tour of St. Petersburg

Orientation meeting at Harold and Selma Light Center for Human Rights Advocacy, Leonid Lvov, Executive Director, on Nevsky Prospekt nearby hotel, visit to Jewish Arts and Crafts Center; Association of Jews- WWII veteran, visit to Jewish School, Valery Stolov, director, with lunch, tour of Jewish St. Petersburg, Fund "EVA" for Holocaust exhibit, visits, view activities, girls choir, community dinner. Overnight at the Moskova Hotel.

Wednesday, November 6 St. Petersburg City Tour

(Last minute change due to traffic in St. Petersburg) Finish touring Jewish St. Petersburg including Coral Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery. Very brief visit to Russian Museum. Kosher lunch in Jewish school "Shamir"... Evening bus to Pskov. Overnight at the Rizhskaya Hotel.

Thursday, November 7 Pskov City Tour

City tour including Kremlin, Holocaust Memorial, visit to Izbursk. Ceremonial presenting of the Torah to the Jewish Community of Pskov followed by a gala dinner. Overnight at the Rizhskaya Hotel.

Friday, November 8 Shabbat in Pskov

Continue touring Pskov and visiting Jewish organizations. Joyous services and Shabbat dinner with the Jewish Community. Overnight at the Rizhskaya Hotel.

Saturday, November 9 Shabbat in Pskov

Shabbat services and meals. Walking tour of the Pskov Kremlin. Evening bus back to St. Petersburg. Overnight at the Moskova Hotel.

Sunday, November 10 St. Petersburg

Tour of the Hermitage with art historian/guide. Free time in the City. Gala Concert in honor of 90th birthday of Natalia Mikhailovna Dudinskay at the Kirov. Overnight at the Moskova Hotel.
For those traveling on to Israel: 11:55 pm Departure of Train #1, the Red Arrow from St. Petersburg, Glavnij Station

Monday, November 11 Depart St. Petersburg

For those traveling on to Israel 7:55 am Arrival of Train #1 at Leningradsky Station, Moscow Transfer to minivan for quick tour of Moscow
1:20 pm Departure of El Al LY612 to Tel Aviv. pm Arrival in TLV.

For those returning to the US, depart on bus at 5am Monday morning.


Israel Itinerary


Monday, November 11 To Israel

Arrive in Israel (4:15 pm for group from US, 4:35 pm for group from Russia). Welcome dinner in the Yemenite Quarter of Tel Aviv. Overnight at Renaissance, Tel Aviv

Tuesday, November 12 Eastern Galilee

Orientation sessions and preparation for archaeological units in the North. Departure for Tel Megiddo (also known as Armageddon), whose location next to ancient and modern crossroads made it a popular battlefield. Packed lunch. Continue to the fortress at Yokneam (Yodfat). Check-in and dinner at Shorashim B'Galil. Evening program: Meeting with an Arab-Israeli from the nearby village of Sha'ab. Overnight at Shorashim B'Galil.

Wednesday, November 13 Canaanite and Israelites in the North

Travel to Tel Hazor, the largest tel in Israel to see the water-system and other remains from King Solomon's time. Visit the excavation's museum at Kibbutz Ayellet Hashachar. Lunch stop (on own) in Kiryat Shenona. Enjoy a beautiful nature hike as we make our way to the Israelite gate at Tel Dan. Visit Nimrod's Castle, a Mameluke fortress over the Banias (time permitting). Continue to Zefat. Gourmet private dinner in the artist colony followed by a private concert with "Simply Zefat". Overnight at Rimon Inn, Zefat.

Thursday, November 14 Golan Heights

Walking tour of Zefat's synagogues and Jewish Quarter. Ascend the Golan Heights. See the audio/visual presentation about Gamla, a bastion of Jewish rebellion during the Great Revolt. Lunch stop (on own) in modern Katzrin followed by a visit to the Talmudic Village of Katzrin. Overlook of the Gamla ruins. Visit Korazim (time permitting) on the way back to Zefat. Dinner (on own). Evening "Art and Kabbalah" program with David Friedman. Overnight at Rimon Inn, Zefat.

Friday, November 15 Roman and Byzantine Periods

Walk through the impressive ancient city of Bet She'an. See the bath house complex, main streets, shopping center, and theater. See the audio/viudsal presentation about the Byzantine synagogue at Bet Alpha. Continue to Jerusalem. Prepare for Shabbat. Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel. Festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Mt. Zion Hotel.

Saturday, November 16 Shabbat in Jerusalem

Enjoy Shabbat morning services at the "egal minyan", a grassroots egalitarian traditional minyan in Katamon, Conservative Movement's synagogue or other options. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon rest. Seudah Shlishit with Samara Meir-Levi followed by Havdalah. Evening meeting with Shania Carlrebach Berkowitz of Terror Victims Association followed by performance of Kol Emeth's Sharon Bernstein. Overnight Mt. Zion Hotel.

Sunday, November 17

Breakfast speaker: Strategic Briefing by Col. (Res.) David Chacham, Advisor for Arab Affairs, Ministry of Defense. Visit the new Davison's Center at the Southern Wall Excavations including the audio/visual presentation about the Temple Mont. See how Jerusalem's elite lived 2,000 years ago at the Herodian Mansions. Lunch stop (on own) in the Jewish Quarter. Visit the Cardo and Broad Wall. Travel to Ramla to visit Bayit Patuach. Continue to Beersheva. Dinner and meeting with Rabbi Baruch Gold who will speak about his continuing romance with the land and people of Israel. Overnight at Paradise Hotel, Beersheva.

Monday, November 18 The Negev

Learn about the lives of the patriarchs and matriarchs at Tel Sheva. Lunch stop (on own) at Pundak Sdeh Boker. Continue to the Nabatean city of Avdat to see how these desert nomads became sedentary agriculturists before being absorbed into the Roman Empire. Sunset at Maktesh Ramon. Learn how this geological wonder was created at the Visitor's Center. Return to Beersheva. Evening Free. Overnight Paradise Hotel, Beersheva.

Tuesday, November 19 The Dead Sea Region

See the Israelite fortress at Tel Arad before traveling to the lowest point on earth. See the beautiful mosaic at the Ein Gedi synagogue which contains the secret to this community's prosperity. Ascend to Tel Goren and the Chalcolitich temple (time permitting). Learn about the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls where they were found at Qumran. Continue to Jerusalem. Dinner (on own). Evening Palo Alto olim including Rabbi Benjamin Segal, former Kol Emeth rabbi. Overnight at Mt. Zion Hotel.

Wednesday, November 20 Bashana Haba'ah

Visit the Israel Museum including the Shrine of the Book. Dedication ceremony at the Goldstein Youth Village with light lunch.. Free time. In late afternoon, we reconvene for a summary and conclusions. Final Banquet. Those flying on Continental transfer to the airport for departure at 11:55pm. Others return to hotel for Overnight.

Thursday, November 21 Return home

Leave hotel at 2:30 am for 5:30 am flight on Luftansa.

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