Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beautiful Israel

This past winter's break, we traveled to Israel for my nephew Max's Bar Mitzvah. It was the first time I had been back to Israel in December (we usually go in the summer), and the weather was spectacular! (this was my 7th trip). Israel has so much to enjoy and we kicked off our trip with an "Israel Extreme" adventure in the North of Israel. Keshet Cave: known as the most beautiful view in Israel, it is the highest point in the Western Galilee, with a vista that extends from the sparkling Mediterranean Sea to Akko, Haifa, Nahariya, the entire Galilee, and well into Lebanon. Once a real cave, the ceiling of the cave eroded away millennia in the past, leaving only an arch which gives the site its name. We rappeled off the mammoth natural stone arch bridging the mountains. The mountain was peppered with mountain goats - the kind I only thought existed in cartoons, lol. Daniel Lamdan was our tour guide and we highly recommend you request him if this is your kind of adventure when in Israel.

stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

On the 7th night of Hannukah, we did a special tour of an old Jewish quarter outside of Jerusalem at night to watch the residents light their ornately detailed menorahs. It was so nice. Each family came out and lit the candles, sang songs, and made the celebration truly meaningful. Our kids loved it and took part in the "festival of lights".

stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

On the final night of Hannukah We celebrated Max's Bar Mitzvah at a really fun cocktail/dance party in Tel Aviv hosted by Max's grandparents. What began as a warm evening honoring Max turned into a super fun dance party with all of Max's cousins from both Israel and the United States. It reminded me again how special it is to be part of a big family.

stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Jonah has become quite the skateboard fan, and we took him to the Galit Skatepark in Tel Aviv for some high flying action. The Galit skatepark was nominated as one of the top 10 skateparks in the word. When I saw the graffiti walls, the day turned into a full-blown photo shoot! Had the best time! My Edy, as always, was the star in front of the camera with her younger cousins enjoying their turn in front of the lens too!

stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

We finished our trip with a family adventure to the Midras ruins where the kids were able to crawl through caves carved under the earth by the people in 200 AC. The ruins are part of the Adulam Grove Nature Reserve with stunning views during our hike. The day ended with a gorgeous sunset on a nearby farm enjoying the freshest hummus and goat cheese you could imagine (from the goats you see below) and served to us by the cutest pee-wee sized daughter of the farmer. Amazing day!

stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Israel has so much to offer and we love to give the kids a rich experience each visit to the holy land. The kids ended their vacation with a sunset surf in Tel Aviv and they felt it was one of the most beautiful and zen-like sporting moments of their life. Goodbye Israel see you in 2016.

stunning photos of Israel by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

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