Cultural Encounters in Israel

Israel is a diverse country full of people of different cultures and religions. When you plan your family trip in Israel, be sure to take advantage of this diversity! Whether you have a home-cooked meal, or visit a religious site, there are many ways to experience and enjoy all of the many different communities that reside in the small country.

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At Dekel Tours, we plan tours that embrace all of the cultures in Israel, and we would love to help integrate different encounters into your trip. Whether you are coming on a Bat Mitzvah trip in Israel, as a couple, or with a group, Dekel Tours will find the right way for you to meet with different people.

Some options for cultural encounters include:

  • Druze lunch – The Druze faith stems from Islam, and is also a monotheistic religion. It is very secretive, with a close-knit community, but the people are incredibly welcoming. During your visit, you can do a cooking workshop or just eat a home-cooked meal in a Druze home or restaurant. Though they can’t tell you everything, they are happy to explain about their culture and answer any questions they can.
  • Bahai Gardens – Bahai is a faith of equality and the worth of all religions. One of their main prophets was imprisoned in Israel, which became an important site for them. They built their gardens in Haifa, around their temple. While visiting the Temple is forbidden, you can enjoy either a view of the gardens, or a tour through them. If you can, try to speak with one of the groundskeepers, who all must be of Bahai faith.
  • The Old City of Jerusalem – The old city of Jerusalem is split into 4 quarters, the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter. It is an amazing place to see the three main religions and more. Here are some of the many places you can experience in the old city:
    • Visit the Western Wall on a Friday evening – The Western Wall is a unique experience, particularly on Friday evenings. As the Jewish sabbath begins, thousands join at the wall to pray and bring in the day of rest together. You can see Jews with all different practices, and join in the spirit of the evening.
    • Ascend the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock – Important for both Jewish and Muslim faiths, the Temple Mount was once home to the Jewish Holy of Holies, where God was meant to reside, and now houses the Muslim Al-Aqsa mosque, where they believe that Mohammed was transported to Mecca. Though visiting hours are limited, if you go at the right time it is permitted.
    • Church of the Holy Sepulcher – This church houses what is traditionally thought of as the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. Visiting on Easter is a particularly unique experience, joining thousands who come to celebrate.
  • Bedouin Visits – The Bedouins are a wandering tribal people, who do not own land and migrate with their flocks. Though in modern day they are beginning to settle down due to surrounding cultures, many Bedouins still live in tents and move around a lot. During your trip, you can stay over in a Bedouin tent and ride camels with them, as well as being hosted for a meal of traditional Bedouin foods and learn about their culture.

Whether in the north, south, or center of the country, there are many different cultures that you can incorporate into your visit. No matter your interests, Dekel Tours will help find what is best for your trip!