Exploration Sunday Options
On Sunday, July 5, 2015 we are offering a variety of research and touring options. Each tour has a minimum number of participants necessary in order to run. The tours will all leave from the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem at 8:00 and return there (the return depends on the distance traveling). These various tour options are available on the registration form. After June 15, 2015 registration to these tours will only be allowed if spaces are still available. Prices range from $42 to $110 depending on itinerary. All tours will be in English (unless otherwise stated).
A minimum of 15 participants is required for each trip. Several options have already been closed - we are sorry but ask you to choose a different option from among those remaining.
1. Yad Vashem – Explore and research at Yad Vashem in a way you have never done before. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to spend a customized day discovering all that Yad Vashem has to offer as the world’s leading source for Holocaust-era documentation. Their vast archive houses the largest compilation of Holocaust collections in the world – documentation, survivor testimonies, photographs, Shoah victims’ names commemorated on Pages of Testimony, a library with titles in 54 languages and a media center with original footage and Holocaust related films. You are invited to an exclusive visit personalized to suit your needs. You will be able to spend the day conducting assisted research in the archives, join a special guided tour of the Holocaust History Museum and/or additional exhibitions and commemorative sites on the Mount of Remembrance and meet Yad Vashem experts presenting a behind-the-scenes look at collections and stories not as yet released to the public. Those choosing this option will be offered a menu of activities to choose from. There will be an option for Hebrew speakers at Yad Vashem. Lunch can be purchased at one of the cafeterias at Yad Vashem.
2. The Central Archives of the History of the Jewish People and the National Library of Israel - The Central Archives of the History of the Jewish People contains an amazing collection of materials from communities around the world. This is your opportunity to get a glimpse of the unusual materials in their collection. You may request material on your area of research (by April 30, 2015) and they will do their best to have the requested materials on site for you. [Requests should be sent to: email@example.com with subject line 2015 IAJGS Conference Research tour] As the Archive has limited space available, this trip is limited to 15 people. If there is a large request we will have two shifts. The second part of this day will be close by on the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University at the National Library of Israel. They have some very unique collections to present to you and you will also have time for personal research. Lunch can be purchased at the cafeteria on the lower floor of the Library.
3. Central Zionist Archives and the Old Yishuv Court Museum – The Central Zionist Archives holds many materials relating to Israel, from the dream of Herzl for the founding of a homeland to the actuality of the State of Israel. The staff of the Archives will introduce you to many of their unique collections. Much of the holdings of the Archives have now been digitized and are found on their computers. If you have requests for specific documents they will try and have them available for you. Requests must be made by April 30, 2015 to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The forms are available in their Family Research - About section. After a box lunch tour participants will head for the Old Yishuv Court Museum in the Old City. This museum presents a view of life in the Old City of Jerusalem for the Jewish community during the 19th and 20th centuries and until their expulsion in 1948.
4. The Old City of Jerusalem – The Old City of Jerusalem is within the walls built in the 16th century by the Ottomans and is divided into quarters – Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim. The enchanting quality of Jerusalem may come from the colorful markets and narrow alleyways, or from the city’s dynamic history - a history woven with war and peace, love and hate, destruction and resurrection. There are areas important to all religions, archaeological sites, museums and a mixture of sights, sounds and smells unique to Jerusalem. Your day will be unforgettable! (Box lunch included.) [This tour includes a good deal of walking, some on uneven stones.]
5. The New City of Jerusalem – Once the Jews began venturing from the Old City to live outside the walled city, the city grew by leaps and bounds. As the capital of the State of Israel, you can find all of the government offices including the Knesset and the Supreme Court. Culturally there are museums, galleries and parks galore. Each neighborhood has a special flavor and history. We will give you an overview of the city from a variety of vantage points as well as several stops (Ammunition Hill, Mt. Herzl, etc) that will enhance your understanding of this unique city that is the heart of Israel. (Box lunch included.)
6. Caesarea, Zichron Ya’akov and Ein Hod - Caesarea was built by Herod the Great 25-13 BCE as a port city and served as an administrative center for the Roman empire, followed by Byzantine rule, Muslim conquest and before the State of Israel the British mandate. Zichron Ya'akov, a picturesque town began as a moshava, (semi-cooperative village) built at the southern tip of the Carmel mountain range. Streets are paved with stones and it is known for wineries, the most famous of which are Baron Edmund de Rothschild’s Carmel Wines. Two original buildings have been dedicated to the pre-state resistance movement (NILI) and museum of the First Aliya. Close by are the Ramat Hanadiv gardens and burial places of the Rothschild family and famous for their beautiful gardens. Ein Hod one of Israel's most beautiful communities overlooking the sea. It is known as the Artists village, situated in the midst of a lush forest. There will be time for a lunch break with box lunches.
7. Dig For a Day - Archaeological Seminars is currently digging at Tel Maresha, in the area of Beit Guvrin, ancestral home of King Herod. Vast underground labyrinths of man-made rooms are being systematically cleaned and give evidence of underground industrial complexes dating from the Hellenistic period. Remains of olive oil production, weaving installations, water cisterns and baths confirm a high level of material culture. This site offers a wealth of discoveries and practical experience for those who want to "dig" but have limited time. An amazing opportunity to experience the excitement of participating in an archaeological dig. [Box lunch provided.]
8. Masada and Dead Sea area – The Dead Sea is the lowest spot on the earth. Floating in the Dead Sea is an experience you will never forget! In the area of the Dead Sea are many caves and Qumran is known for the caves in which thousands of fragments from hundreds of manuscripts were found including parts of biblical and apocryphal books, biblical commentaries, works on Jewish law, prayers, sectarian texts, tefillin and mezuzot. An ancient Synagogue can be seen in Ein Gedi. After a box lunch we will visit Masada, the ancient fortress built by King Herod atop a high natural plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. At Masada you can see the preservation of a grand first-century Roman villa, the remains of the most complete Roman siege system in the world and more. It tells the story of the tragic events leading to the last chapter of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans (73 CE) - the last stand of those rebels who became a symbol of our struggle for freedom from oppression.
Exploration Sunday Cancellation Policy
Refund of payments made towards Exploration Sunday will be refunded if written notification reaches Ortra Ltd, the Conference Planner as follows:
• Until June 25, 2015 – full refund
• From June 26, 2015 – No refund