Within Borders Tel Sakhi 375Within Borders Travel Seminar in Israel
Dates: TBA
Melton's popular and acclaimed Scholars Curriculum, Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab Israeli Conflict, forms the basis for our Israel Seminar, Within Borders, taking us to sites and areas pivotal to our understanding of the emergence and development of the conflict. Texts all take on new meaning from the insights gained through on-site encounters. Over the course of 10 days we go "From Dan unto Beer Sheva" – and many places in between – exploring the background to the establishment of the State of Israel and the challenges faced with her neighbors. Note: Almost all sites chosen are not included in our other Israel Seminars.


  • The Within Borders Seminar in Israel will be 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.

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    • Accommodations: 9 nights
    • Meals: Breakfast and one additional meal daily
    • Educational Programming: All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton itinerary.

    • Meet in Tel Aviv at the hotel: Registration and Introductions
    • Introductory Session: A  Place Under the Sun
    • Visit to Jaffa: An Encounter With its Narratives Through Life Stories 
    • Opening Dinner
    • Presentation and Discussion after dinner:
      War Between the Peaces? Peace Between the Wars?
      140+ Years of Conflict Unresolved

    Overnight: Dan Panorama (Tel Aviv)

    The drive to the Upper Galilee enables us to follow historical developments in this area from the start of modern Zionism (Zichron Yaakov and Ramat Hanadiv) and the earliest organized Arab resistance (Tel Hai, to be discussed at Kfar Giladi).

    • Travel from Tel Aviv to Ramat Hanadiv
    • Introduction to the day, with a birds' eye view of the land and its contested narratives
    • Walk through the magnificent Ramat Hanadiv Nature Reserve, learning about the place of the Rothschilds in our story
    • Explore Zichron Yaakov and the First Aliyah (walking tour and study session in the Synagogue)
    • Lunch in Zichron Yaakov
    • Travel to Metulla; overview of region, including into Lebanon's Beka'a)
    • The Place of Defense in the Zionist ethos (Kfar Giladi cemetery for the Shomer and Tel Hai memorials)
    • Summary of day

    Overnight: Ruth Rimonim Safed

    We will focus our narrative on the '30s and '40s, right into the War of Independence. Parallel narratives will be examined, and the interaction between Jews and Arabs before and during the War of Independence will be a focus, through case studies on the Northern Border.  The case of Iqrit, one of two Christian border towns whose populations were evacuated and never allowed to return home, will be discussed. 

    • Introduction to the day: Palestine Triangle (Arabs, Jews and British)
    • HanitaZionist Epic ("Homa umigdal" - Stockade and Tower; determining borders; Tigart fortresses)
    • The Yehiam Convoy and the Battle for Control of the Roads in 1948 (Cabri Memorial Site)
    • Lunch on way
    • Iqrit: A Test Case for a Young State dealing with its Arab citizens (Visit to church and encounter with Shadia Sbait)
    • Summary of day at Metsudat Koach, overlooking Hula Valley

    Overnight: Ruth Rimonim Safed

    We will learn about the Syria-Israel border historically as well as in its contemporary aspects. The Golan will be the focus for us, learning about the wars of 1967 and 1973 in the morning, while we will also examine the political future of the Druse communities through a visit to Majdal Shams.  
    Note that current events may change the focus of this day.

    • Introduction to the day: What Makes This Area so Important? And so Volatile?
      1967: The Golan as Threat Removed (Go past Kibbutz Dafna and Dan to Tel Fahr battlesite)
      1973: Emek Habakha - The Vale of Tears (El Rom presentation or battle site)
    • Lunch break at Birkat Ram
    • Majdal Shams and the question of the Druse in Israel and the Golan (Meeting and tour with head of local council)
    • Brief stop at Helicopter Memorial site at Shear Yishuv (1997) on way to hotel: The Price of War
    • Dinner options in Kiryat Shemona or back at hotel

    Overnight: Ruth Rimonim Safed

    The journey towards Jerusalem takes us back to the 1947-8 period and the clash over the country's heartland.  Issues regarding Arab population concentrations and access to a besieged Jerusalem will be studied, and the profile of "the Palmach generation" will be examined through texts and memorial sites. (Time permitting, we will also visit the Kiryat Anavim cemetery, a little-known but most moving site.)

    • Check out of the hotel.
    • Introduction to the day to be given en route, with detailed maps available to follow our route and its pertinence
    • Drive via The Island of Peace, along the Jordan River.
    • Cross the Jezreel Valley to Wadi Ara and to Rabin Hiway
    • Follow the Green Line of Samaria, along the "Narrow waist" of pre-1967 Israel
    • Stop at Alexandroni Brigade Memorial alongside Neve Shalom to learn about Lydda/Lod, Ramle and Latrun ("LarLar"/Operation Danny in 1948)
    • Drive through Shaar Hagai (the Gate to the Valley), a critical point for access to Jerusalem in 1948 and follow the Jerusalem Corridor on way to city
    • On arrival in Jerusalem,  free time to prepare for Shabbat
    • Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat dinner together

    Overnight: Dan Panorama (Jerusalem)

    Shabbat offers us a chance to recharge our spiritual and mental batteries, as well as recover from the pace of the last few days. Enjoy a true Day of Rest in a city that encourages a different pace…

    • Morning free to relax or attend Shabbat services.
    • Noon: Reading Parashat Hashavua with the special lens of our seminar (study session)
    • Lunch at the hotel in the main dining room
    • A walk along part of the 1949 "kav ironi" (pre-1967 ceasefire lines in the city) OR Session using Amichai's poetry on "wars and peaces"
    • Havdalah

    Overnight: Dan Panorama (Jerusalem)

    Today we will examine the Western Negev, Gaza and the Egyptian front, both prior to 1948 and post-1967, as well as in terms of the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and its consequences, including through the eyes of the local population.  We will also learn from local residents about the current situation on this front.

    • Introduction to the day: How Does the Southern Front Differ from Our Previous Foci?
    • Nir Am: A Remarkable Story of the Place of Water in Determining a Border (1943-47)
    • Yad Mordechai: Slowing the Egyptian advance (May, 1948)
    • Lunch in Sderot
    • Addressing the Palestinians in Gaza - Gaza: A Review and Update
    • Visit Moshav Netiv Ha'asarah: meeting with residents and discussion
    • Summary and return to Jerusalem

    Overnight: Dan Panorama (Jerusalem)

    The Administered territories have been at the heart of any discussion of the "Matzav" – ("the situation") for the past five decades, and no resolution of the conflict seems feasible without an acceptable solution to the future of these territories.  Today will be devoted to providing an understanding of the issues on the ground in post-1967 Samaria (the northern part of the Administered Territories), allowing for an encounter with different views on the possible future of the Administered Territories from both Jewish/Israeli and Arab/Palestinian perspectives.

    • Introduction to the day: Before 1967 and After - Two Ways of Reading History in the Making  
    • Eretz Binyamin and Samaria –From the narrow waistline of pre-1967 to the current lay of the land: Travel from Jerusalem past Rosh Haayin and Kafr Kassem and on to Hiway 5 (the Trans-Samaria Highway)
    • "5 minutes from Kfar Sabba": The View from Alfei Menashe
    • Meet with representative of the Two-State solution in the field
    • Lunch break
    • Ariel: Meet with settler to discuss ideological settlement
    • Possible visit to Ramallah, Palestinian capital city
    • Visit Rawabi, the first-ever pre-planned Palestinian city
    • Summary session
    • Free evening in Jerusalem

    Overnight: Dan Panorama (Jerusalem)

    The morning will be devoted to the Negev highlands and Beer Sheva in 1948, and the standing of the Bedouin Israeli population since 1948, including contemporary political challenges. In the afternoon, we will turn to the Etzion Bloc in 1948 and then from 1967 until today. This will complement yesterday's encounters, allowing for further understanding of the future of the Administered Territories in general and of each area in particular, from the perspectives of Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs and Jews.

    • (a) The Negev: Between Bedouin and Jewish Claims
    • Stop at the Negev Memorial on the way to Beer Sheva
    • Visit Beer Sheva's Old City and meet with Bedouin community activist: (How) Are the Challenges of the Fastest Growing Population Group in the Country Being Met?
    • Lunch break
    • (b) Alon Shvut – the Oak Tree as Symbol
    • Meet with Palestinian and Settler Voices: Can We Achieve a Form of Co-existence?
    • Summary session

    Overnight: Dan Panorama (Jerusalem)

    The morning of this final day brings us to the heart of the matter: is Jerusalem the problem or the solution?  Certainly, all visions of a resolution depend on a viable answer to the status of Jerusalem.  In the afternoon, we will return to the "big picture": what has happened in this contested land over the past century plus, and what does the future hold, given the current realities?

    • Jerusalem and Al Kuds: Two Capitals or One?
    • Introduction to the day: Meet Jerusalem activist addressing the challenges facing the city in East Jerusalem
    • Visit East Jerusalem community center or school for discussion with local voice
    • What are Our Options Within Our Borders? - Simulation activity and analysis
    • Summary Discussion
    • Closing dinner with special guest speaker

    Individual departures for the airport or alternative plans in the country

    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: Dan Panorama (Tel Aviv)

    Day 2-4: Ruth Rimonim Safed

    Day 5-9: Dan Panorama (Jerusalem)

    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 www.tsa.gov 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.