Congregational Israel Trip
February 15-25, 2018 (with optional extension trip to March 1)
with Congregation B’nai Shalom and Congregation B’nai Torah of Sudbury
Traveling with Rabbis Rachel Gurevitz, Lisa Eiduson and Joe Eiduson, and Puzzle Israel
Jerusalem: Old city, Yad Vashem, Israel Museum, Chagall windows
Masada & Dead Sea: Bedouin hospitality experience
Galilee & the Golan Heights
Tel Aviv & Haifa
Experiences: Meet with Lone Soldiers, Israeli artisans, visit a winery, discuss the geo-political issues, meet with Women of the Wall, Israeli dancing, Kibbutz life, 4×4 Jeep Tour, and amazing food!
Land Price in Israel:
Double occupancy: $3,299
Single occupancy: $3,899
inclusive of almost all experiences and meals
(see itinerary for full details)
Group Flight: $1425
Direct flight from Boston to Tel Aviv return
(see detailed info below about flight pricing and options)
OPTIONAL 3 DAY EXTENSION:
Our tour company has mapped out a 3 day extension that includes a day in Petra, Jordan (see attached itinerary for full details). The additional cost of this extension will be approx. $1500-$2000/person. Flight price may change too (see further information below).
We need a minimum of 6 people to take the extension to offer it.
PLEASE INDICATE YOUR DESIRE TO GO ON THE EXTENSION BY AUGUST 14 ON YOUR REGISTRATION FORM SO THAT WE CAN FINALIZE PRICING.
TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE, PLEASE CAREFULLY READ ALL INFO BELOW AND IN LINKED FILES.
$450/PERSON DEPOSIT ALONG WITH REGISTRATION FORM REQUIRED BY SEPTEMBER 15
Airfare El Al Nonstop Boston~Tel Aviv~Boston
Boston to Tel Aviv: Thursday, February 15, 2018
El Al #16 from Boston at 8:15pm arrives in Tel Aviv on Friday, February 16, 1:40pm Israel-Time (Israel is 7 hours ahead of Boston).
Tel Aviv to Boston: Sunday, February 25, 2018:
El Al #15 from Tel Aviv at 12:05am arrives on the same day Sunday, February 25) in Boston at 5:30am EST time.
Price per person based on nonstop, roundtrip GROUP fare on El Al
$1425 per person
(This group fare has specific rules that are outlined below!)
*For those who choose the Optional Extension to Be’ersheva, Sde Boker, Eilat (Israel) And Petra (Jordan)
Return to Boston March 1, 2018:
Price per person for travel February 25 including accommodation for 3 nights
$1500-2000 per person -all travel within Israel and Jordan.
(Does not include airfares Boston-Tel Aviv-Boston)
We anticipate the additional cost for this extension to be approx. $1500-$2000, depending on the number of participants. We will only run the extension if there are 6 or more participants. Note that the final flight price may change for those taking the extension (see below).
PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BOOK THE EXTENSION BY AUGUST 14 SO THAT WE CAN CONFIRM THAT WE HAVE SUFFICIENT NUMBERS AND CAN PROVIDE FINAL PRICING
Airfare El Al Nonstop Boston~Tel Aviv~Boston
Same flight as above on February 15 with all travelers but
Depart Tel Aviv for Boston on March 1, 2018:
Tel Aviv to Boston: Sunday, March 1, 2018: El Al #15 from Tel Aviv at 12:05am arrives on the same day Thursday, March 1) in Boston at 5:30am EST time.
Note: The fare for this return trip may differ from the $1425 price listed above for the core trip; It is dependent on the number of people who opt for this extension and flight availability. In order to secure a group fare for this extension, we will need 10 people traveling back to Boston on March 1, 2018. Otherwise, travel agent will book individual seats on this return flight as they are available.
IMPORTANT DETAILS AND Q & A
Priority Registration for members of Congregation B’nai Shalom and Congregation B’nai Torah. Friends or family members from the wider community are welcome to join us on this trip. However, because our trip is limited to 37 registrants, we are giving priority status to our members until September 15, 2017. Nonmembers who are interested should register and send in their deposit as soon as possible too. However, nonmember deposits will not be cashed and their place on the trip will not be confirmed until September 16, 2017, subject to available space.
Registration Forms: The registration form (download via link above) must be completed in full. We ask that you print them out and complete the documents in hard copy on paper. You will be considered registered upon receipt of a deposit check ($450) and confirmation from our administrator, that your registration materials and accompanying documentation are complete.
VALID Passports: If you are traveling to Israel, you MUST have a passport that does not expire until at least 6 months following the conclusion of your trip. This means that your passports should be valid for travel at least until September 1, 2018. If your passport expires prior to September 1, 2018, you will need to renew it. We will be asking for copies of passports and passport numbers and expiration dates on our Registration Information Forms.
For Single Travelers Looking for a Roommate: Please send in your deposit and your registration materials as soon as possible to secure your place and let us know that you are seeking a roommate. We will do our utmost to find someone for you to room with. If we are not able to find someone, we will inform you by September 7 (1 weeks before the deposit deadline of September 15). At that point you will be able to choose to commit to the trip at the single occupancy rate or request a full refund. After September 15, the deposit cannot be refunded.
Extension to the South of Israel and Petra, Jordan: You will see that we have a description of activities and an itinerary for this extension (see pdf itinerary via link above). The pricing depends on the number of people who are interested in participating. There will be a separate deposit, deposit date, and additional registration forms for those interested. Once we have an idea as to the numbers, Puzzle Israel will book this extension as long as there are at least 6 people from our group who commit to it. Puzzle Israel is happy to price the cost for us and we will ask our airline travel agent to price the return flight on March 1, 2018 on El Al – either as a group (if there are 10 people who would like to take the extension) or individually (if there are less than 10 people who would like to take the extension.). Please let us know by August 14 if you would like to take the extension so that we can confirm we have enough participants and provide final pricing.
Some Questions and Responses about Group Flights: We are currently holding seats on El Al Airlines in the economy section of the plane for the flights on February 15 and February 25. We need a minimum of 10 people flying to be eligible for group travel. Our travel agent has saved us a significant amount of money over the usual single seats. The group fare pricing is enabling us to wait for deposit commitments until our September 15 deadline without worrying about the price rising and/or need for immediate payment to hold seats. In asking about points, upgrades, etc. here are the responses:
- Using Airline Points: If you will be using points you need to contact the airline directly to find out if they are eligible for our flights and make your own booking; however, you cannot upgrade with points on a group ticket.
- Upgrading to Business Class: You cannot upgrade to business class from group seating. But there are two work-arounds with El Al:
- a) AFTER WE ARE ticketedyou can go online to EL AL or call and upgrade to Premium Economy seating. It’s currently $150 each way or they sell exit row seats for $99 each way — but again only after the tickets have been issued and subject to availability.
- b) If there are people who want Business Class and are in the same group our travel agent can ask the airline for the cost in business for those who would like to upgrade. (Our travel agent deals almost exclusively with Israel travel.) These tickets are priced individually per seat – separately from the regular group fare. If there are 10 people interested in upgrading to business class, our travel agent might be able to book a Business Class Group. (So we would have 2 “groups” – 1 in Economy and 1 in Business. The Business fare will be significantly higher than the $1425 we have for the economy group).
Group travel means traveling as a group!!
Please know that the group benefits from as many people as possible using the group flights and fares. We strongly encourage you to select from one of the two options we are offering. The flights that are included in this itinerary are based on round trip group rates. Depending on whether you choose to take the extension trip to Petra, there are TWO round-trip choices only that we are offering, and they are listed again below.
Note: If you wish to book any flights that deviate from the two options below, you may do so, but we will release the seats being held for you, and we (CBT/CBS) cannot be responsible for your reservations, pricing, or airport transfers (which are included in our group travel with Puzzle Israel). You would be responsible for either arriving early and meeting us at Ben Gurion airport or we will let you know where to meet us in Jerusalem on Friday, February 16. Also remember that El Al is the only airline that flies nonstop between Boston and Tel Aviv, and the fares have already gone up since we reserved these flights several weeks ago.
Again, these are the options for flights for our group:
- a) BOS-TLV (for everyone):
Thursday, February 15: Boston to Tel Aviv (everyone in the group will take this flight): El Al flight #16 leaves Boston at 8:15 pm arrives in Tel Aviv the next day – Friday, February 16 at 1:40 pm Israel-time.
- b) TLV-BOS (return option 1)
Sunday, February 25: Tel Aviv to Boston (for those who are doing the Core Trip only and NOT Petra, Jordan) El Al #15 from Tel Aviv leaves at 12:05am (Israel time) arrives on the same day Sunday, February 25) in Boston at 5:30am EST time.
- c) TLV-BOS (return option 2)
Sunday, March 1: Tel Aviv to Boston (for those who ARE doing the extension trip to Petra, Jordan) El Al #15 from Tel Aviv leaves at 12:05am (Israel time) arrives on the same day Sunday, March 1 in Boston at 5:30am EST time.
Deadlines and Deposits:
- Deposit/ Registration of $450 per person: Due by September 15, 2017 by check to CBT or CBS. No refund of deposit after that date.
- Balance Payment of $4,274 (represents total of land and air for core trip), double occupancy per person; and $4874 single occupancy per person: Due November by 30, 2017 by check. Please note that if a written notice of cancellation is received by Congregation B’nai Torah by the end of the day on the above dates – you will receive a refund of the appropriate payment.
- In addition, we will collect $400/person prior to departure to distribute as tips on our group’s behalf as per the gratuity info in the Puzzle documentation linked above.
Puzzle Israel’s Cancellation Policy:
- Full payment is to be made 60 days prior to arrival
- Full refund (other than deposit) up to 30 days prior to arrival
- 80% refund (not including deposit) up to 15 days prior to arrival
- 50% refund (not including deposit) up to 7 days before arrival
- If cancellations are made after 7 days prior to arrival, refunds will only be made for bookings that can be cancelled
- In cases of cancellations due to security reasons in Israel, there will be a full refund (including deposit), even if the trip is cancelled after 7 days prior to arrival.
Travel Insurance: Even with the above cancellation policy, we highly recommend your looking into and purchasing travel insurance. It is up to each individual traveler to secure his/her own travel insurance for this trip. There are a number of companies that you can explore. Please know that different companies offer different benefits and have varying approaches to pre-existing health conditions. You will want to investigate these options PRIOR to making any deposits or payments on the trip.
As always, please be in touch with any questions or concerns. We are looking forward to hearing from you and traveling with you to Israel. It will be a wonderful experience for all of us and hope you are able to join us.
Rabbi Gurevitz and Rabbis Eiduson