Planning a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Trip to Israel — Top 10 Places to Visit

Israel Sunset

Do you have a favorite place to visit in the Holy Land or elsewhere in the world? What makes it special?

Historical & Cultural Sites:

  1. The Old City of Jerusalem – Experience centuries of history as you walk through the cobblestone streets of this ancient city that is sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. While here, visit the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock, and many more religious and historical sites.
  2. Yad Va’Shem, Jerusalem – Make an introspective visit to one of the most powerful Holocaust Remembrance Centers in the world, located in the modern city of Jerusalem. Here you will learn about the rich and vibrant life of European Jewry before the Shoah (“Catastrophe”), as well as the horrors of Nazism and anti-Semitism.
  3. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem – Founded in 1965, this world class museum, with ancient and modern exhibits, is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of the new city, near the Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  4. Masada – This ancient fortress in southern Israel’s Judean Desert is a massive plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. Take a cable car or hike up the winding paths to view ruins from the reign of King Herod, learn about the Jewish rebellion against the Roman empire, and behold beautiful panoramic views.
  5. T’zfat (or Safed) – This mountaintop city in the Galilee has been a center of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) since the 16th century. Today it is home to a mixture of Hasidic Jews, religious artists and craftspeople, and spiritual seekers. Among the sites in the old city are the synagogues of the great rabbinic figures Isaac Luria and Joseph Caro, as well as the gravesites of these and other legendary mystical figures.
  6. Baha’i Gardens – Travel northward to the Mediterranean coastal city of Haifa and discover the stunning Baha’i Gardens and Temple on Mount Carmel. The Bahai faith tradition is relatively new, started under 200 years ago by a Persian figure named Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, known to his followers as the prophet Bab (“Gate” in Arabic). Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the exquisite Gardens in Haifa and nearby Acre.

    Family Fun:
  7. The Dead Sea (or “Salt Sea”) – Descend to the lowest place on earth—417 meters below sea level—to float in the salty Sea water and cover yourself in the nutrient-rich mud while enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding Jordanian and the Judean deserts. While at the Sea, visit the beautiful oasis and nature preserve Ein Gedi (“Spring of the Kid Goat”), located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the Qumran Caves.
  8. Tel Aviv – Located on the country’s Mediterranean coast, this vibrant modern city is home to beautiful beaches, outstanding restaurants and shopping, and an array of cultural activities. Tel Aviv is the financial center and the technology hub of Israel. Walk southward through the city to the quaint port of Jaffa—dating all the way back to the Bible—with its famous bazaar and flea market.
  9. Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon) – Located about an hour south of Beersheba in Israel’s Negev Desert, this geological wonder is 40 km long and 2-10 km wide. This is the deepest crater in the world, sinking some 500m at its lowest point, and forms Israel’s largest national park, The Ramon Nature Reserve. The Crater is located at the peak of Mount Negev and is shaped like a stretched out heart.
  10. Eilat – Relax in this Red Sea resort city and enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and various sports activities. Eilat is the southernmost town in Israel, secluded from the rest of the country by the Negev desert. Situated between the borders of Egypt and Jordan, it offers spectacular views of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Hiring a guide is a wonderful way to tour Israel.

Rent-a-Guide: Professional Guide Services