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iconic-israel-landscape

FINDING NORTH:

Thirty Days of Discovery & Inspiration in Haifa

Step out of your life. Reflect. Reorient. Return.

iconic-israel-landscape

FINDING NORTH:

Thirty Days of Discovery & Inspiration in Haifa

Step out of your life. Reflect. Reorient. Return.

Logistical support for Finding North in Israel is provided by

Dekel Tours logo

Step out of your life. Reflect. Reorient. Return.

An immersive learning adventure integrating Jewish wisdom, slow travel and the power of midrash – Jewish storytelling.

Locales from Haifa to selected cities around the world serve as lens and landscape for exploration and introspection in a quest that is part summer camp, part retreat, part creative workshop for people 55+.

 Discover personal insight and forge ties in a vibrant intentional community as we explore different expressions and practices of Jewish identity. 

Join a cohort of 15-25 participants. Encounter inspirational individuals and intriguing faith-based communities. Engage with local innovators and artists. Delve into guided text study. Experience local cuisine. Weave your personal midrash – narrate stories from within your rich life experience.

Embark on a journey of reflection and reorientation in an open and welcoming Jewish context.

“There was no agenda, just exploration. FN has such a strong structure that I feel completely free.”

— Shelley P

“I retired twice and lost my identity. Participating in Finding North made sure it didn’t happen again.”

— Alan K

“I am so grateful for FN because I feel a door opening and I see there’s light streaming in from all directions.”

“The ripples from FN are still coming for me. . .and I am finding myself personally more settled and comfortable in my skin than ever.”

— Chana S

“Perfectly named because I am finding my way.”

— Nina M

The Team

Rabbi Golan Ben-Chorin, Ed.D.

Spiritual Director and Finding North co-founder, Golan is a third-generation Israeli Reform spiritual leader. A lifelong educator, his focus is engaging people in Jewish living and guiding the construction of Jewish identities.


Johanna Ginsberg

Finding North’s other co-founder and narrative coach, Johanna is a journalist and attorney who believes everyone has a story to tell and that our narratives connect us to what really matters.


Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, DHL

Consulting Advisor and mentor, Kerry is a leader in the development of innovative Jewish education, particularly for adults. He is the author of over 75 books and hundreds of articles and was named one of the 50 Leading Rabbis in North America by Newsweek.

Thirty days to step out of your life, reflect, reorient, and return.

February 14, 2023 – March 15, 2023

Discover wisdom for life’s transitions in sacred caves. Bring age-old Jewish texts to life in a boutique winery, examine questions of identity in an outdoor nature workshop, craft stories in an artist hub, rummage through our past in a flea market, search for new perspectives from a rooftop tower.

Craft personal midrash by capturing small moments from our lives that speak volumes. Grounded in the Jewish concept of midrash, we examine these vignettes seeking new sources of understanding. 

Encounter Jewish wisdom in texts that reveal truths about our own lives. We study for intellectual nourishment, to integrate Jewish wisdom into our lives, and to connect our stories to the larger Jewish narrative.

Meeting Haifa’s varied faith communities while exploring its unique vision of shared society is an integral part of the experience. Expand our view into the rich tapestry of communities in the Galilee with weekly day trips. 

Slow travel means you’ll become an integral part of the neighborhood and get to know its shopkeepers, artisans, and secret gems. Settle into your own rhythm of life, spending time in your favorite coffee shop, kebab joint, or bakery. Live the local life with ample free time in our downtown Haifa home. This 30-day immersive program offers an opportunity to immerse ourselves in Haifa and engage in reflection and meaning making, assess life’s journey, and reorient toward life’s next chapter.

Sample Weekly Schedule:

While it reflects the rhythm of the week, note that not every week or every day will follow this pattern exactly.


Immersive Programming (4 days per week)

Breakfast on your own. We meet at 8:45 am, share an intention for the day, and head out for an immersive experience of 5-6 hours. The sites and environs of Haifa will serve as our classroom as we weave together three activities:
Engaging with the sites and people of Haifa
Studying text to gain insight from within Jewish wisdom
Crafting and sharing our stories
Each day has a theme that provides the context for our deeper understanding of Haifa’s complex reality, our personal narratives, and the meanings we glean from Jewish texts:
We may find ourselves rummaging through our past in Haifa’s flea market or visualizing Jewish texts in the artistic hub of Wadi Salib.
We might examine what we choose to display in our life while wandering the Hecht Museum, explore our path in the Carmel Forest, even search for new perspectives from Haifa University’s rooftop tower.
Meeting artists and innovators along the way offers inspiration to envision our own way forward.
After a full day of programming, return to the apart-hotel. Dinner and evening time are yours to enjoy your own way.

Day Trips (1 day per week)

Weekly day trips are designed to enrich the reflective process, provide inspiration, and bring fresh perspectives. They may include a riverbed hike with lunch at a boutique winery; a creative sound workshop followed by a silent hike to an underground chanting hall, even an off-road jeep trek.

Friday and Shabbat

Friday is a free day for you to prepare for Shabbat as you please. We’ll provide suggestions and meet together in the late afternoon to set the tone for this unique moment in the week.
Shabbat is time for spiritual elevation, celebration, and relaxation. A Finding North Shabbat balances time in sacred community with unstructured free time. We will welcome Shabbat with dinner and services together. Experience the Reform and Conservative communities, Israeli style, and partake in our own creative worship option on Shabbat mornings. Celebrate with a joyful communal lunch; then spend the afternoon relaxing. We gather again late in the day for study, and together we bid farewell to the sanctity of Shabbat with a musical Havdalah.
Finding North includes four Shabbatot. Two of these are programmed and two are free to use as you wish. The free Shabbatot will be Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 23-26 and March 9-12. Activities will resume at 4:00 pm on those Sundays. We offer an optional add-on in Jerusalem for the first free Shabbat. It includes transportation, hotel, some meals, and selected services.

PROGRAM COST

Double Occupancy — $7500 per person

Single Occupancy — $9500 per person

Reasonable efforts will be made to room singles together upon request.

Two weeks to step out of your life, reflect, reorient, and return.

October 23, 2022 – November 6, 2022

Discover wisdom for life’s transitions in sacred caves. Bring age-old Jewish texts to life in a boutique winery, examine questions of identity in an outdoor nature workshop, craft stories in an artist hub, rummage through our past in a flea market, find connection in Shabbat celebration, search for new perspectives from a rooftop tower.

Craft personal midrash by capturing small moments from our lives that speak volumes. Grounded in the Jewish concept of midrash, we examine these vignettes seeking new sources of understanding. 

Encounter Jewish wisdom in texts that reveal truths about our own lives. We study for intellectual nourishment, to integrate Jewish wisdom into our lives, and to connect our stories to the larger Jewish narrative.

Meeting Haifa’s varied faith communities while exploring its unique vision of shared society and expanding our view into the rich tapestry of communities in the Galilee are integral parts of the experience. 

This two-week intensive program provides tools for reflection and meaning making.

Sample Schedule:

While it reflects the rhythm of the program, note that not every day will follow this pattern exactly.


Immersive Programming

Breakfast on your own. We meet at 8:45 am, share an intention for the day, and head out for an immersive experience. The sites and environs of Haifa and the Galilee will serve as our classroom as we weave together three activities:
Engaging with the sites and people of Haifa
Studying text to gain insight from within Jewish wisdom
Crafting and sharing our stories
Each day has a theme that provides the context for our deeper understanding of Haifa’s complex reality, our personal narratives, and the meanings we glean from Jewish texts:
We may find ourselves rummaging through our past in Haifa’s flea market or visualizing Jewish texts in the artistic hub of Wadi Salib.
We might examine what we choose to display in the Hecht Museum, explore our path in the Carmel Forest, even search for new perspectives from Haifa University’s rooftop tower.
Meeting artists and innovators along the way offers inspiration to envision our own way forward.
Dinner together most nights with evening programming enhances the Finding North experience.

Friday and Shabbat

Friday is a free day for you to prepare for Shabbat as you please. We’ll provide suggestions and meet together in the late afternoon to set the tone for this unique moment in the week.
Shabbat is time for spiritual elevation, celebration, and relaxation. A Finding North Shabbat balances time in sacred community with unstructured free time. We will welcome Shabbat with services and dinner together. Experience the Reform and Conservative communities, Israeli style, and join our own creative worship options on Shabbat mornings. Celebrate with a joyful communal lunch; then spend the afternoon relaxing. We gather again late in the day for study, and together, we bid farewell to the sanctity of Shabbat with a musical Havdalah.

PROGRAM COST

Double Occupancy — $4250 per person

Single Occupancy — $5500 per person

Reasonable efforts will be made to room singles together upon request.

The Diana Seaport Apartments

Community takes root organically under a shared roof with common space. At the Diana Seaport Apartments, each fully furnished room has everything you’ll need to feel at home: comfortable bed, sitting area, kitchenette, private bathroom and shower, flat screen tv, heat & air conditioning, and much more.

Located in Haifa’s lively downtown, a cultural and culinary hub in the vibrant Lower City, the Diana is right in the center of one of Haifa’s most interesting and diverse neighborhoods.

Haifa is a special place

the kind of place that keeps its magic under wraps.

Haifa is a model of a shared society and one of Israel’s most culturally diverse cities.
Haifa offers endless opportunities for cultural exchange and amazing food.
Located on the Mediterranean coast, Haifa sits on the northern slopes of Mt. Carmel, only a 50-minute train ride from Tel Aviv.
The gateway to the North, Haifa is within easy driving distance to many of Israel’s natural and cultural treasures: Tzfat, the Kinneret, Akko, the Hula Valley, and much more.
Built into the slopes of the mountain, the city is filled with nature trails, secret staircases, and intricate passageways just waiting to be explored.
February and March weather in Haifa is mostly pleasant, with average daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s, with evenings dipping into the 40s. Occasional rain and hot spells are possible.
In late October and November, the weather is mostly pleasant, with average daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s, with evenings dipping into the 50s. Occasional rain and hot spells are possible.

Program Costs: 30-DAY JOURNEY

Double Occupancy$7500 per person

Single Occupancy $9500 per person

Reasonable efforts will be made to room singles together upon request.

Program Cost Includes:

All workshops, experiences, and study sessions.
Fully furnished apart-hotel accommodations with kitchenette.
Lunch on program days; dinner on programmed Shabbatot.
Transportation and touring services for all programmed activities.

Program Cost Excludes:

Airfare to and from Israel.
Transportation to and from Haifa on arrival and departure days, which can be arranged through Dekel Tours.
Breakfast and dinner (except where specifically noted otherwise).
Add-ons, privately arranged tours, weekend getaways, trip extensions, and non-program-related transportation.
Insurance for trip cancellation/interruption; lost/damaged items; medical treatment, etc.
All out-of-pocket and personal expenses.
$200 per person for gratuities, to be collected in cash at the beginning of the program.

Payment and Cancellation Policy:

A deposit of 15% is required in order to confirm participation. The deposit is non-refundable.
Payment in full is required by January 10, 2023.
Full refund (except for deposit) available until January 10, 2023.
Because of the intimate nature of our program, refunds will not be given after January 10. For this reason, we strongly advise purchasing trip insurance.
Payments may be made by credit card (Visa, MC, Amex) or bank transfer. (Credit card payments will incur a 3% processing fee.) No other forms of payment will be accepted.

Talk to Dekel Tours about travel logistics or for questions about making a payment.

Program Costs: TWO WEEK JOURNEY

Double Occupancy$4250 per person

Single Occupancy $5500 per person

Reasonable efforts will be made to room singles together upon request.

Program Cost Includes:

All workshops, experiences, and study sessions.
Fully furnished accommodations with kitchenette.
Lunch and dinner most days except where noted.
Transportation and touring services for all programmed activities.

Program Cost Excludes:

Airfare to and from Israel.
Transportation to and from Haifa on arrival and departure days, which can be arranged through Dekel Tours.
Breakfast (except where specifically noted otherwise).
Add-ons, privately arranged tours, weekend getaways, trip extensions, and non-program-related transportation.
Insurance for trip cancellation/interruption; lost/damaged items; medical treatment, etc.
All out-of-pocket and personal expenses.
$100 per person for gratuities, to be collected in cash at the beginning of the program.

Payment and Cancellation Policy:

A deposit of 15% is required in order to confirm participation. The deposit is non-refundable.
Payment in full is required by September 15, 2022.
Because of the intimate nature of our program, refunds will not be given after September 15. For this reason, we strongly advise purchasing trip insurance.
Payments may be made by credit card (Visa, MC, Amex) or bank transfer. (Credit card payments will incur a 3% processing fee.) No other forms of payment will be accepted.

Talk to Dekel Tours about travel logistics or for questions about making a payment.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the physical requirements of the program?

Participants should be reasonably fit. We won’t be running marathons or engaging in prolonged fitness regimens, but note that Haifa is a hilly city, and participants must be able to climb stairs. We have several short hikes planned over the course of the trip. (Keep in mind that Israel does not have the same accommodations that we are used to in the United States.)

What kind of lodging can I expect?

We will be staying in The Diana Seaport Apartments, an apart-hotel. Each fully furnished room is equipped with a private bathroom, kitchenette, sleeping area, and much more. The apart-hotel is recently renovated, clean, and includes a lounge area and 24-hour concierge service.

What happens if I need to cancel?

For the two-week program, a full refund minus the deposit (15% of program cost) will be given until October 1, 2022. Due to the intimate nature of our program, no refunds will be possible after October 1, 2022.

For the 30-day program, a full refund, minus the deposit (15% of program cost) will be given until January 10, 2023. Due to the intimate nature of our program, no refunds will be possible after January 10, 2023.

Is there an exception for cancellations due to COVID-19?

If the entire program must be cancelled due to COVID-19, participants will be given a full refund.

In order to protect yourself in the event that you are personally unable to participate due to COVID-19, it is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance that includes coverage for COVID-19 related cancellations or expenses.

Will there be time for touring around Israel or visiting family?

Finding North is not a tourist trip and doesn’t include visits to places like Jerusalem, Masada, Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, etc. If you are interested in these, on the two-week program, we encourage you to make time for these trips before or after Finding North.

The 30-day program includes two free Shabbatot to use any way you’d like, including visiting other parts of the country. The free Shabbatot on the 30-day program are Thursday-Sunday, February 23-26, and March 9-12. Free time begins in the late afternoon/early evening on Thursdays and the program resumes at 4:00 pm on Sundays.

Dekel Tours will be happy to help you set up tours or other leisure day activities, as well as private transportation, lodging when you’re away from Haifa, and more.

What kind of studying will we be doing?

Finding North is not a traditional course of study. The sites and environs of Haifa will serve as our classroom. We may find ourselves examining Jewish texts and sharing our stories in an artist colony, rummaging through our past in a flea market, examining what we choose to display in a museum, exploring our path in a forest, even searching for new perspectives from a university rooftop tower.

Is Finding North a mission to Israel?

Finding North is not a mission. Our days consist of immersive learning experiences in Haifa’s diverse settings, engaging with local communities, crafting stories, and enjoying meals together. Participants step out of their lives, reflect, reorient, and return with renewed energy and focus. Finding North offers a mix of vacation and reflection, study and exploration, a time out from life’s routines.

Will meals be provided?

On the two-week program most meals are provided.

On the 30-day program, we will eat lunch together on programmed days and dinner together as noted and during our Shabbatot together.

Because we understand that everyone has their own particular eating styles, preferences, and habits, we have chosen to stay in apartments that have kitchenettes, so participants will have the flexibility to prepare what they like. (And it’s fun to go grocery shopping while living abroad!) The apartments are equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, an electric burner, and basic kitchen equipment.

Options for dining out in the neighborhood and around Haifa are plentiful.

What will the weather in Haifa be like?

Average daytime temperatures in Haifa during October/November are in the 60s and 70s, and it typically dips into the 50s at night. Sporadic rain and brief hot spells aren’t unheard of.

Average daytime temperatures in Haifa during February/March are in the 50s and 60s and it can dip into the 40s at night. Sporadic rain and brief hot spells aren’t unheard of.

On the first free Shabbat of the 30-Day Journey in Haifa, Dekel offers a Jerusalem group add-on. This includes transportation to and from Jerusalem and accommodations. Dekel will also be happy to suggest other activities.

Optional Touring, Travel, and Logistics
provided by Dekel Tours

Culinary tour spice market in Tel Aviv

Private Day Tours

Take advantage of your Fridays and/or free Shabbatot to explore another part of the country. History, archaeology, art, politics, wine, and more, Dekel Tours can put together the perfect day trip for your interests. And, of course, they’ll take care of all the arrangements, so all you have to do is enjoy yourself.

Weekend Getaways

Plan a one- or two-night trip anywhere in the country to see the sights or just take it easy. Take off for Tel Aviv’s beach and culture, Jerusalem’s history and tradition, Mitzpe Ramon’s desert landscapes, the Dead Sea’s healing waters, or anywhere else you’d like. Dekel Tours has got weekend ideas all wrapped up.

Transportation, etc.

Dekel Tours is happy to help you arrange private transportation or other logistics for your free days and leisure time. That includes airport transportation on arrival and departure days, private transfers to go visit friends and family outside of Haifa, or just about anything you might want help with.

Take some time to explore the country
on a comprehensive private Israel tour!

Tailor-Made Private Israel Tours

Work with one of Dekel Tours’ friendly Tour Specialists to custom design an Israel tour around your needs, interests, and budget. Whether it’s your first trip to Israel or you’ve been here before, every tour comes with the full backing of Dekel Tours and their Uncompromising Quality, Uncomplicated Travel promise.

Talk to Dekel Tours about a private Israel tour!

Discover Israel on a luxury Private Signature Tour:

Best of Israel:
Culinary & Wine Tour

10 Days/9 Nights in luxury hotels.

Pricing based on number of guests and dates of travel, starting as low as $5720 USD per guest.

For complete pricing details, please click the button below and go to the Dates & Pricing tab.

Jewish Roots:
Heritage Tour

10 Days/9 Nights in luxury hotels.

Pricing based on number of guests and dates of travel, starting as low as $4420 USD per guest.

For complete pricing details, please click the button below and go to the Dates & Pricing tab.

This is Israel:
The Highlights Tour

10 Days/9 Nights in luxury hotels.

Pricing based on number of guests and dates of travel, starting as low as $4760 USD per guest.

For complete pricing details, please click the button below and go to the Dates & Pricing tab.

You’re coming all this way…

Choose from one of these amazing trip extensions to add either before or after (or both!) your Finding North experience.
All extensions offer comprehensive private touring packages in high-end luxury accommodations.

Egyptian

Wonders

Cairo, Pyramids & More!

Private luxury tour of Egypt’s amazing historical, cultural, and archaeological sites. Choose a 6-day land-only tour or a 10-day tour that includes a spectacular 4-night Nile cruise.

Talk to Dekel Tours about trip extensions!

Enjoy the

Emirates

Dubai, Abu Dhabi & More!

Private luxury tour of the stunning UAE. Choose a 7-day tour for a chance to explore the whole beautiful country or a 5-day tour focusing on Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Talk to Dekel Tours about trip extensions!

Incredible

Jordan

Petra, Wadi Rum & More!

Private luxury tour through Jordan’s gorgeous desert landscapes and archaeological sites. Choose a 6-day or a 5-day tour for an unforgettable adventure!

Talk to Dekel Tours about trip extensions!

Ready to learn more?

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(973) 665-4750
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