Nava Rosenbloom, a newly licensed tour guide in Israel, asked The Big Felafel to share her upcoming Chanukah tours in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. She is a great storyteller and super fun to hang out with.
With sufganiot tempting us from every local bakery window, it’s clear that Chanukah is already in the air, and… in our stomach. While most of us have caved and prematurely indulged in these Chanukah treats, there is still something special we can save to enhance our Chanukah experience.
Its easy to forget that much of the Chanukah story played out right here in our own Israeli backyards and we can just go out and see where all the magic happened.
Israel Explorations, a new Israel-based tour company specializing in innovative tours of Israel, is offering a series of Chanukah themed group tours allowing you to rediscover this 2,100 year old tradition.
The complete Chanukah experience from Maccabees to olive oil. This tour will literally follow in the footsteps of our Chanukah heroes by visiting ancient Modi’in, the home of the Maccabees, and Kever HaMacabim, their possible burial site. We’ll take a trip to a nearby organic goat farm in the spirit of our Chanukah heroine, Judith, who saved her village by feeding cheese to the enemy’s general. The whole family can get involved milking the goats, learning how cheese is made, and experiencing olive oil production with an olive press, the way they used to do it in the days of the Maccabees.
Chanukah is all about our big win in the Temple, so we planned an interactive day on the Mount of Olives, right outside the Temple Mount. This tour will reveal the true story of Chanukah as you explore the Mount of Olives from its peak overlooking the Temple Mount to its ancient treasures in the Kidron Valley below. A hands-on experience at the Temple Mount Sifting project will give you the chance to sift through earth taken from the Temple Mount and find ancient remains – you may even find a coin from the time of the Maccabees! Although I’m not sure they’ll accept it when you try to get on a bus.
To get the full ambiance of Chanukah in Jerusalem, you gotta get out to where the real people are celebrating – so we would love to take you on our evening walking tours as the glow of hundreds of Chanukah menorahs light your path. Choose between exploring the quaint, historical and eclectic neighborhood of Nachlaot on the Magical Nachlaot Candle Lit Tour or the ancient, spellbinding sites of Jerusalem’s Old City on the Mystical Old City Candle Lit Tour.
To sign up for a tour, go to IsraelExplorations. Discounts available for Israeli residents.
Whatever you choose to do this Chanukah , make it special, caloric and filled with light. Happy Chanukah!