Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April - October) and generally mild winters (November - March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is concentrated to the winter season, relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible further south.
Israel's official languages are Hebrew, and Arabic. English is the main language for purposes of external relations. Most Israelis speak English, and most of the signposts are also in English.
Israel is two hours ahead of GMT and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
If you plan to bring small electrical appliances to Israel, keep in mind that Israel uses a 220 volt electrical current and the outlet types are different as well (two circular prongs). In order to avoid “frying” any electrical items, bring a voltage converter (note: this is already built into most laptop computers). You will also need a simple adapter to plug your items into the wall.
Free Time & Rest
The Lipkin Tours program is jam packed with touring…and you will find that 10 days is a very short time to be in Israel. There will certainly be some down time on the trip, and we suggest that you use that time to relax and re-energize. If you would like to visit with friends or family members while you are in Israel, your best option is to extend your ticket and meet up after the program. If you can only meet during the program, the best time for visiting with family is on Saturday afternoon which is typically a relaxed time during the trip.
Kashrut & Special Dietary Needs
All group meals, including meals on the plane, are kosher as certified under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. There is usually one meal per day that you will be purchasing on your own (typically a light lunch), and you are perfectly free to eat whatever you wish. People with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, etc.) should contact us in advance to make proper arrangements for the flight and during the program itself.
Medication & Contact Lenses
If you are taking medication, we recommend that you bring enough medication to last for the entire time that you expect to be in Israel. We also recommend that you pack your medication as part of your carry-on luggage in case your main luggage is delayed. If you have a notable medical condition, please inform us in advance; no one likes surprises, and just remember that this is all for your safety (note: all medical records will be kept confidential by our staff).
The trip is only 10-12 days, and we are constantly on the move. We highly recommend leaving your expensive electronics at home. Your personal property is exclusively your responsibility at all times. Although theft is not common in Israel, it does happen, and if you do bring electronics, be very careful about keeping track of them. Most importantly, this program is an experience more than a tour. Unplugging your communication technology in Israel is the best possible way to connect to the actual experience.
Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest, and it is a perfect time to reflect on the experiences that you have had so far and to rest and re-charge for the experiences ahead.
No special vaccinations are required in necessary in Israel. However we recommend that you come to Israel with an up to date Tetanus shot.
Israeli tap water is perfectly safe to drink. If you prefer bottled water, it is widely available and is quite inexpensive. We recommend buying a bottle of water when you arrive and refilling it with tap water for the rest of the program…or just buying bottle of tap water throughout the trip. It’s sold everywhere.