B Mitzvah Israel Trip Hot Spots | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

B Mitzvah Israel Trip Hot Spots

B Mitzvah Israel Trip Hot Spots


Becoming a B Mitzvah is about becoming an adult in the eyes of the Jewish people. With that said, “becoming an adult” has so many meanings, including broadening one’s horizons. I believe one of the best ways to do this is by taking a meaningful trip. Since we are speaking about a B Mitzvah, there is no more meaningful place to go than Israel and more specifically, Jerusalem.

Celebrating A B Mitzvah In Jerusalem

My family of five recently went to Israel for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah trip. Not only did we have a very special ceremony for her under the Kotel but we did so many things to connect her to the land in Jerusalem and her surroundings.

As Jews, we think of Jerusalem as our most holy place. But in fact, once there you learn it is a holy place for many religions. This concept will spark multiple family conversations opening your child’s mind to many things. Because our history is intertwined with countless others it is a great lesson to teach about co-existing peacefully. In addition, it is a terrific opportunity to highlight how most people in Israel live alongside their neighbors without fighting.

Friday evening, we walked to my cousin’s house for Shabbat dinner and slowly saw the city close down. It was fun to seamlessly fall into the flow of people hurrying off with a bottle of wine or a dessert. We were told there is a Shabbat feeling in Jerusalem. We felt it and we loved it.

Kotel Tunnel Tours

Of course, the Western Wall or Kotel is the center of every trip to Jerusalem. This wall is sacred to the Jews and dates to the Second Temple. Under the wall, there are tunnels that you can tour which are incredible. Even better – they are continuously unearthing new ones! This is a really cool way to experience history firsthand. This tour was one of the highlights of our trip. My kids thought it was amazing that they were walking in the actual steps of their ancestors.

Yad Vashem

Next, we made our way to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial. Since my boys were too young to visit the museum (they suggest 10+) we enjoyed the grounds while my daughter and husband toured inside with a museum-appointed private tour guide. The grounds were so big and beautiful that we had plenty to see. Plus, we were able to visit some of the exhibits and then have an age-appropriate conversation.

Touring Jerusalem’s Old City

On Sunday we met a private tour guide who took us on a walking tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. He explained what we saw in the context of history, the present, as well as the different city quarters and famous sites. We loved the Tower of David Museum, the Rampart’s Walk, and of course all of the colors and galleries of the Cardo. It was great to have a private guide who could tailor our tour to our interests.

Mount Herzl

On Monday we visited Mount Herzl cemetery to pay our respects to the founders and fighters who made Israel a reality. There are so many stories to tell there, and it was simply incredible to learn of the bravery of so many. I was grateful to have a guide for this as well since he brought the narratives to life.

Machane Yehuda Market

We hopped on the light rail to the Machane Yehuda market, also called The Shuk where our eyes and bellies overflowed with the most beautiful sights. One of my favorite parts was the variety of food from all diverse cultures. We had bread from so many different countries, it created a whole debate on how as much as people are different, they are fundamentally the same. From spices to dried fruit, to halvah (my favorite), to fruits, to nuts, everywhere you looked colors were just popping.

Public Art Scavenger Hunt

One of my favorite parts of Jerusalem was all the street art, murals, fountains, sculptures, and signs. It became a scavenger hunt to find the most interesting thing as we walked along. We especially liked seeing how the city transformed at night with the monuments lit up.

Food, Food, and More Food!

Finally, as foodies, we experienced Jerusalem through our taste buds. This was one of the most fun ways to learn about the culture. Of course, each day began with a famous Israeli breakfast which means mile-high plates of cucumbers, tomatoes, pesto, chocolate spread, halva and so much more. The good news was we ate so much each morning we did not need to waste time stopping for lunch!

For dinner each night we had a feast. Partly because after walking so much we were starving and partly because passing all the delicious-looking food everywhere made your mouths water. We had a meat-tasting dinner one night, and a hummus-tasting dinner the next (do you see a theme). In fact, dinner became as much fun as sightseeing. Some of our favorite memories from our trip had to do with dinner.

Ein Gedi, Masada & The Dead Sea

Jerusalem is filled with history, museums, attractions, activities, and delicious food. It is also a fantastic and centrally located place to stay while visiting things outside of the city for the day. Since Saturday is Shabbat, we are not observant, and most things in Jerusalem were closed, we opted to take a day trip to Ein Gedi, Masada, and the Dead Sea. Ein Gedi is an exceptionally beautiful oasis filled with gorgeous waterfalls and a relatively easy hike. Masada is a key place in Jewish history and a great family conversation starter. The Dead Sea is incredibly unique and something very special to experience. It was easy to do all three in one day.


Caliber 3

Caliber 3 is a counter-terrorism training academy, where one gets trained by ex-IDF officers. My kids LOVED it. Not only do they teach you what to do in an emergency but also how to shoot a gun (paintball for kids, real guns for adults). It was quite an adventure!

Dig For A Day

Dig For A Day was without a doubt the highlight of our whole trip. Here you go into one of the ten thousand caves they discovered from the time of The Maccabees and help their team of archaeologists uncover artifacts. It is all real, and things found here have ended up in museums around the world! In the brief time we were there we found bones, oven tiles, and additional stairs. This activity is a must

Leave Time To Get Lost Within Jerusalem

With all of this said, one of the best parts of traveling to a foreign country is walking around and getting lost in the vibe of the city. Jerusalem is no different. With so many neighborhoods, colors, tastes, and cultures, taking some time to just enjoy it is tantamount. This too is a life lesson for your kids. You can plan and plan but sometimes the best things in life come out in unexpected spaces.

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting, lifestyle, and travel blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at themintchipmama.com and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama.

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