seminar oldnewland ben gurion graveOld-New Land: Herzl's Dream Revisited
Melton Travel Seminar in Israel
Dates: November 9-19, 2020
Our price: $4,410 USD (land only). Single supplement: $1,406 USD.

Scratch below the surface, to uncover the age-old challenges that have to be addressed by a modern Jewish state. Subjects examined include social, religious, ethnic and legal issues, all within the context of ancient and modern texts. The seminar is designed to neatly supplement our "Wrestling With the Angels" seminar but also stands alone for those keen on encountering contemporary Israel.


  • The OldNewLand: Herzl's Dream Revisited Seminar, taking place in Israel, is usually led by Haim Aronovitz, Director of Melton Travel Seminars. The seminar is open to adults who enjoy in-depth Jewish educational travel, including all Melton students and graduates.   

    For more information about this seminar, please click the tab headings in this section or the icon on mobile devices.

    Register Now

  • Tour Includes

    • Accommodations: 10 nights
    • Meals: Breakfast and one additional meal daily
    • Educational Programming: All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton itinerary.
  • NOTE: The seminar starts in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon (DAY ONE) and ends in Jerusalem on the following Thursday (DAY ELEVEN). The last day includes dinner, but ends in time for late-night flights out of Israel.


    Program commences at our hotel in Tel Aviv (in the case of a group flight a transfer will be provided from the airport).

    Introduction to seminar 

    Points of Arrival: Earliest Tel Aviv and the Zionists (Field trip to Jaffa port)

    Opening Dinner

    Overnight: Tel Aviv



    Tel(s) of Spring: 100 Years On… and 3800 Years Back…
    The View From Above (Tel Aviv from the hotel roof)

    Study session: The Place of the City in Zionist Thought

    Field trip to southern Tel Aviv: The New Invisibles and Social Responsibility: Foreign Workers and Other Challenges to Israeli Society
    Lunch at leisure 

    p.m. Leave Greater Tel Aviv for Negev

    Deep Are the Wells of the Past (Field trip to Tel Beer Sheva) 

    Travel to Mitspeh Ramon 

    Group dinner at hotel and debriefing session

    Overnight: Mitzpeh Ramon



    Of Cosmic Beginnings & Visionaries (Day commences before dawn!!)
    Desert Encounters (Pre-dawn overlooking the Ramon Crater; study session) 

    Breakfast at the hotel and rest of morning free

    Lunch at leisure


    At Ben Gurion's Sde Boker home: BG's Vision of the Negev & Israeli Society

    Yeruham: Redeveloping Development Towns - Tour of Yeruham and study with educators from Atid Bamidbar center

    Group Dinner with The Chefs of Yeruham and Summary Discussion

    Overnight: Mitzpeh Ramon



    Taming the Southern Frontier: BG's Dream Visit The Institute for Desert Studies, Midreshet Sde Boker 

    Facing the Challenge: Taming the Desert… or Adapting to it?

    Brief stop at BG's graveside overlooking Nahal Zin 

    Lunch at leisure at Ben Gurion University Campus in Beer Sheva


    Bedouin Education: The Challenges of Integration in Contemporary Israeli Society (Visit a school and discussion OR Meet with Students at Ben Gurion University)

    Proceed to Jerusalem; Check in and group dinner

    Overnight: Jerusalem



    Likrat Shabbat Lechu Ve'Nelcha

    Shabbat Shalom? Jews vs. Jews in Jerusalem and Israel

    (Study session; Self-guided field trip exploring Haredi neighborhoods) 

    (Optional) Exploration of Machaneh Yehuda, Jerusalem's fresh produce market and neighborhood 

    Rest of the afternoon free

    Erev Shabbat

    Meet in the lobby; special pre-Shabbat discussion 

    Shabbat services (optional) and Shabbat dinner

    Overnight: Jerusalem



    Free time (list of synagogues provided)

    Noon Parashat Hashavua study session followed by lunch and afternoon rest


    Neighborhood walk: Exploring Komemiyut

    Snacks and discussion: On Jerusalem, Jews and Shabbat

    Havdalah; Free evening from 6:30 p.m.

    Overnight: Jerusalem



    A Land of Many Voices 

    The Battle to Build a Nation: Field visit to Ayalon Institute, Nes Tsiyona, OR Palmach Museum, Ramat Aviv 

    Travel North along the Coastal Road

    Lunch at leisure in Zichron Yaakov


    Ein Hod vs. Ayn Houd: The Art of Symbols (Tour of the village; study session) 

    Travel to hotel in Haifa

    Dinner at the hotel and debriefing session

    Overnight: Haifa



    Jews and Arabs Together… and Apart

    Study session: Jews and “the Other”: The Portrayal of the Arab in Israeli Literature 

    Haifa: A Mixed City 

    Introduction at Beit Hagefen

    Meeting with Haifa activist and educator and Field Trip in Wadi Nisnas

    Lunch at leisure

    What Role Does the IDF Fulfill in Building the New Israel? Meet with IDF soldiers or with special pre-IDF Mechina program 

    Group Dinner

    Overnight: Galilee



    Building an Ideal Society? A short tour of Kibbutz Lavi

    Field trip: "From Beit Alfa to Nahalal" - Connecting over eighty years
    (1) "Not In My House!!" - The Beit Alfa Synagogue at Kibbutz Heftsiba
    (2) Mt. Gilboa - Site and Text in context: The Deaths of Saul and Jonathan

    Break for lunch 


    (3) Field trip to Nahalal cemetery: Whatever Happened to “The Blue Mountain”?

    Dinner en route to Jerusalem

    Overnight: Jerusalem



    Is Jerusalem "as a city joined together"?

    Study session: Palestine and Israel in Mirror Verses 

    Jerusalem - The View Along the Seam (Field trip)

    Group Lunch 


    Voices in Dialog: An Encounter with Jerusalemites, Jewish, Moslem and Christian

    Debriefing Session and Free Evening

    Overnight: Jerusalem



    The Whole Megilla - What Vision of Zion Does The Declaration of Independence Represent? (Study session in Liberty Bell Garden)

    Justice in Jerusalem: Visit to the Supreme Court of Israel 

    Visit The Hebrew University on Mount Scopus and meet with leading scholar


    Lunch at leisure and free time in city center

    Summary Session: The Old-New Homeland: Modern Israel and the Jewish People

    Festive Farewell Dinner (1 group transfer is offered to Ben Gurion Airport for departing flights).  

    Note: Itinerary subject to change. Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays observed in the destinations being visited.

  • Day 1: Tel Aviv - Carlton

    Days 2-3: South - Pundak Ramon

    Days 4-6: Jerusalem - Leonardo Plaza

    Day 7: Haifa - Dan Carmel

    Day 8: North - Pundak Lavi

    Days 9-10: Jerusalem - Mamilla

    Note: We will do our best to assist you with extensions both before and after the seminar.

  • Flight Arrangements

    We will be pleased to assist you in any and all flight arrangements, including additional travel plans, through our partners at Gil Travel. Please contact Fred Bomze (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 215-568-6655 x 244) with your flight requests.

  • Need to Know

    • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 fully paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we may adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
    • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
    • A non-refundable sum of $500 is required for registration. This sum will be put towards the overall cost of the seminar. If the seminar is cancelled, the registration fee will be refunded.
    • Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private bathrooms. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Two-bed rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are two-bed rooms with a rollaway cot where available and are not recommended when considering the comfort of those in the room. King-size beds are not available in most hotels; what is considered king-size usually consists of two single beds pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard. Some two-bed rooms may have two twin - not full- or queen-size - beds.
    • Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. All meals provided in Israel are kosher. In travel beyond Israel, group meals are kosher unless otherwise specified. Participants can order additional kosher meals at prices set by our local agents.
    • All trips are conducted by a Melton educator who remains with the group throughout the tour.
    • Gratuities Included: All gratuities for restaurant staff are included.
    • Baggage: The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator, shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach, please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.
    • Porterage at hotels. Please note that room service is not included.

    Not Included

    • Flights and personal insurance are not included.
    • Transfers from / to the airport unless as part of an organized group travelling together.
    • Personal Expenses, including meals not mentioned above or drinks during meals, unless specified above, or room service.
    • Travel and health Insurance.

    Additional Information

    • Airline Security Measures: In the U.S., you must provide identification in the form of a passport at the time of airport check-in for travel to international destinations. Your passport name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket or you may be denied boarding.
    • If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S, you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that particular airport.
    • Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the Transportation Security Administration website at to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
    • Holidays and Museum Closures - Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays observed in the destinations being visited.
    • Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer that your photo not be used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.
  • We strongly recommend that comprehensive health coverage and trip cancellation insurance be purchased.

    Gil Travel recommends RoamRight Travel Insurance. Consider travel protection for:

    • Trip Cancellation
    • Trip Interruption
    • Emergency Medical Expenses
    • Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation of Remains
    • Trip Delay
    • Baggage & Personal Effects
    • Baggage Delay and more…


    For more information on the available plans or to enroll, visit RoamRight Travel Insurance or contact RoamRight at 1-866-891-6614 and reference Gil Travel.

    Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 21 days from the time you make your initial trip deposit, the entire non-refundable amount of the trip must be insured, and you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. However, the travel protection plan itself can be purchased any time prior to departure.

  • For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..