Family Thanksgiving in Israel 2015

Multi_level HIking and Camping Trip
Negev and Eilat, Israel
November 20-29, 2015
Thanksgiving 2015

Join us for an Adventure Rabbi Israel trip November 20 – 29, 2015. We will hike the spectacular mountains and canyons of the Negev, explore the mysterious dunes and springs of the Wilderness of Zin and discover the heights and beaches of Eilat.

We will explore some of the most beautiful and remote regions of the country.

We will camp beneath the stars (3 nights) and end our trip on the beach in Eilat where scuba, snorkeling, and swimming await us. From desert to dolphins — what a unique way to visit Israel!

This will be multi-level desert hiking trip, making it perfect for families. Each day we will offer two guided hikes, one for hard-core hikers and another for those wishing to cover less distance and have more time to play. Long hikes will be rugged covering 6-13 miles and short hikes will be 2 – 3 miles with minimal elevation gain.


  • Kibbutz Mashabe-Sade with a great pool and nearby hot springs
  • Eilat Field school Spectacular sea views and directly across from the Coral Reef Nature reserve
  • Camping in Maktesh Ramon (Gear brought in by bus/jeep)
  • Camping in the Wilderness of Zin (Gear brought in by bus/jeep)

The region is visually similar to the Utah desert with its red rock and blue sky and is spiritually powerful because this is the land through which our ancestors traveled as they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land. However, Eilat is drastically different with its stark mountains, coral reefs, and spectacular beaches.

This will not be your typical Israel trip. We will not be doing the tourist stops in Jerusalem although there will free time to explore the dolphin reef, underwater observatory and coral reef in Eilat. Rather, this will be a unique opportunity to go deep into the wilderness of Israel, Adventure Rabbi style, to combine Judaism and nature and thereby discover our connection with this sacred land and each other. (You can add Jerusalem visits on before or after our wilderness adventure.)

Jeff will be bringing his camera, so you’ll be sure to go home with spectacular photos from the trip.


We all know it is the guide that makes the trip. Our guides are truly the best.
Our trip will be led by two Israeli guides and two U.S. guides, Rabbi Jamie Korngold and Jeff Finkelstein.

Yoash Limon, our lead guide, is known as one of Israel’s premier wilderness guides. His knowledge about and passion for the natural environment is unequaled. He is sought after by guide training programs to train their guides. Yoash shares his deep knowledge of Israeli flora, fauna, geology, geography, archeology, and history with an engaging style. His stories bring history to life. His presentation is riveting.

Yoash is a trained Israeli guide and a member of the Har Hanegev search and rescue team. This is Yoash’s second Adventure Rabbi trip. He lives in Mitzpe Ramon where he and his wife Lee own the Green Backpackers hostel.

Yoash will be hiring a second guide to work with our youth and lead our more relaxed hike. This person will be skilled in wilderness travel and emergency medicine and be fabulous with kids. The slower hikes will be filled with games and activities that last as long as the long hikes.


The cost of the trip is $1,995 per adult and $1,795 per under 18 (+$125 for non-members). Includes everything except airfare, activities in Eilat, and a few meals. A $180 deposit holds your spot. Monthly payment plans are available. Click Here to Reserve Your Spot >>

The trip begins in Tel Aviv and ends in Eilat. Please buy plane tickets including a return connection from Eilat. Participants are expected to pitch their own tents and assist with meal preparation and clean-up when camping. 2-person tents, sleeping pads, group cooking gear, food, firewood and water are all provided. Bring your own sleeping bag and personal gear.

The trip is designed for those who are in good physical condition and enjoy camping and being outdoors. Children second grade and older are welcome and the shorter hikes will accommodate kids hiking styles. (i.e. lots of exploring and other activities.)

Details of the itinerary are below.

2015 Israel Itinerary:

Friday, November 20, 2015
Overnight flight to Israel.

Saturday, Nov 21, 2015 –
Area: Judaean Hills

Arrive in Israel Ben Gurion Airport where we are met by our bus and tour guides. We drive to Bar Kochba Caves in Judean hills. In the years 132-136 CE Bar Kochba led the Jews in major revolt against their Romans occupiers. Although the revolt failed, we the Jews survived. Today will celebrate Shabbat as we explore the caves in which the Jewish people survived for many years.

Dinner and Overnight: Kibbutz Mashabe-Sade, where can enjoy the pools and nearby hot springs. We say goodbye to Shabbat with Havdallah and hello to our desert adventure.

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015
Area: Yeruham

Breakfast at hotel.

Today we offer two hikes:

1. Relaxed Hike:
Helmoniyot Yeruham: 2 miles with an 87-foot climb, through a beautiful desert nature preserve. If we are lucky the Large Sternbergia, a beautiful yellow crocus-like flower will be in bloom.

2. Hard-Core Hike:
We tackle the Hazera Ascent, into the Small Maktesh. A maktesh is a unique canyon-like geologic feature only found in Israel. Steep descents wind through the beautiful terrain with breath-taking views. Two possible lengths 13.6 miles or 10 miles.

Dinner: We work together to cook dinner in our campground.

Overnight: Serpentine Campground, under Midreshet Ben Gurion at the entrance to the famous Ein Avdat spring.

Monday, Nov 23, 2015
Area: Sde Boker

After a delightful breakfast in the campground, we pack our lunches and divide for our two hiking groups. Both hikes today explore the wilderness of Zin in the areas of Ein Akev and Ein Avdat. We will seek out swimming holes in which we can cool off. Rock art is common in this area. Let’s see if we can find some!

Dinner: We work together to cook dinner in our campground.

Overnight: Camping under the stars in Maktesh Ramon.

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015
Area: Maktesh Ramon

We explore Maktesh Ramon, the Grand Canyon of Israel. We hike on some of Yoash’s favorite hikes in Israel. We follow an ancient trading route and learn about the early history and culture of Israel. Beautiful rock formations and vegetation abound.

Dinner: We work together to cook dinner in our campground.

Overnight: Camping under the stars in Maktesh Ramon.

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015
Area: Arava

Beautiful rock formations and vegetation abound on today’s hikes. We’ll make our hikes a little shorter today facilitating an early check-in Eilat.

Dinner and Overnight: Eilat Field School Spectacular views, directly across from the Coral Reef Nature reserve.

Thursday, Nov 26, 2015
Area: Eilat

It’s a free day in Eilat. Attractions include:

Hang out on the beach (Relax! You’ve earned it.)
Dolphin Reef – Swim or and dive with dolphins
Under Water Observatory – See over 400 species of sea creatures including sharks and sea turtles. Aquarium, submarines tours and more.
Coral reef – Visit one of the world’s premier coral reefs, snorkeling, scuba
Bird Watching – Eilat is on a major migration route and is famous for its birdwatching.
Dinner and Overnight: Eilat Field School

Friday, Nov 27, 2015
Area: Eilat Mountains

Today we explore the canyons and mountains of Eilat. Har Shlomo, Mapalim Canyon, Nahal Shani (Red Canyon) are all options.

Shabbat Dinner and Overnight:
Eilat Field School

Saturday, Nov 28, 2015
Area: Eilat Mountains

Another day exploring the canyons and mountains of Eilat. Our two groups will meet on top of Amir mountain for Havdallah, as we prepare for our farewells.

Havdallah, Dinner and Farewell program.

Dinner and Overnight: Eilat Field School

Sunday, Nov 29, 2015
Area: Departure

Flights depart Eilat, connecting in Ben Gurion Airport.