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History in the Making

Posted by Rebecca Stern on December 1, 2020

Last month Gil Travel hosted a program called "Kosherati – A Kosher Spin on Gulf Food" with Dr. Elli Kriel, who started the first kosher kitchen in the UAE and the Gulf region. Before she ‘got down and dirty’ on teaching the virtual group on how to make her unique challah based on an emirate bread recipe including saffron, cardamom and, of course, dates, Elli talked about her experience of being a Jewish woman, and a Jewish mother, in Dubai. Her business venture, Elli’s Kosher Kitchen, was a result of her own kosher lifestyle that she and her family maintain, even in Dubai. Elli described Dubai as an International community – even the Jewish community is made up of ex-patriates from all over the world. There isn’t an indigenous Emirate Jewish community. Up until the Abraham Accords, with the normalization of relations with Israel, the members of the Jewish community were not necessarily comfortable about displaying their Jewish identity –   they weren’t always sure how open they could be with their peers or colleagues or what response they would receive from their emirate acquaintances once their identity was made public. What I learned from Elli – is that today post Abraham Accords – in addition to 28 direct flights to Israel weekly, visa entry to Israeli’s and Americans upon entry into the UAE, to Kosher kitchens being created in many of the luxury hotels, to integrative business prospects, potential collaborative ventures in medicine, agronomy, water and perhaps even defense - being Jewish in the UAE 2020 is an altogether different experience. One of openness, opportunity and freedom in one’s Jewish Identity; allowing the Jewish community to ‘come out’ and begin to assess its needs, develop goals and create strategy and planning to develop a strong future in this part of the world.

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Topics: Culture and Heritage, Fun stuff, Gil Travel, Jewish Heritage, World Travel

Dig Into History With VFI Plus Archaeology

Posted by Ellen Warren on September 10, 2020


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Topics: Fun stuff, Gil Travel, group travel, guest posting & travel experience, Israel Travel, Jewish Heritage, Senior Travel, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, escorted tours, volunteering

Volunteering for a cause!

Posted by Ilana Blumental on August 17, 2020

You COULD just write a check. You COULD just attend an IDF-themed gala. OR you could pack your bags, fly to Israel, and work arm-in-arm with Israeli soldiers. Sweat with them, laugh with them, support their work with yours, tell them why you are there, and show them that you are also all-in in supporting the State of Israel. And when they look at you and ask, “You paid to be here? You paid to come and help?” you can smile and say “yes.”

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Topics: Culture and Heritage, Custom Programs, group travel, Israel Travel, Jewish Heritage, Jerusalem, escorted tours, volunteering

A unique Cycling Mission in Hungary

Posted by Gil Travel on April 7, 2020

JDC On Wheels to Hungary and Romania, June 2019

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Topics: Jewish Heritage, World Travel

A Memorable Druze Experience

Posted by Gil Travel on March 31, 2020

The Druze are a minority group in Israel with a rich culture, history and culinary repertoire .  We’ll tell you more about the history, culture, villages, and amazing food so that we can meet these people and get to know their story through this written ‘journey’ across Israel.

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Topics: Jewish Heritage

A Mission destination that hasn’t been done before

Posted by Gil Travel on March 30, 2020

Delight your members with a Women’s mission to Amsterdam

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Topics: Jewish Heritage, World Travel

Easter in Israel

Posted by Gil Travel on March 24, 2020

For numerous Christian pilgrims across the globe, there is no better place on the entire planet to observe Easter than Israel. Thousands of believers walk the footsteps of Jesus, relive his last days, and join together to remember his resurrection in this country, particularly in one of its most special cities – Jerusalem. What’s more, at the same time Christians celebrate Holy Week, Jews celebrate Passover, so this is a very exciting and special time for countless people who live and who come here. 

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Topics: Arts and Culture in Israel, Israel Travel, Jewish Heritage

3 Ideas For an Unforgettable Bat/Bar Mitzvah Tour

Posted by Gil Travel on February 12, 2020

How wonderful would it be to spend one of the most memorable moments in a young Jewish person’s life in the country of Jewish history and tradition? How amazing would it be to have a bat or bar mitzvah tour in the land where so many have gone through this important ceremony, and in some of the most special places for Jews all around the world? Israel has such massive significance for generations upon generations of youth who’ve had their Bar/Bat Mitzvah here, surrounded by the people they love, together creating the most special of memories.

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Topics: Arts and Culture in Israel, Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah, Jewish Heritage

Herod's Israel: An Architectural Genius

Posted by Gil Travel on February 7, 2020

Herod the Great is a king known for many things, good and bad, but he had a great gift for architecture. 

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Topics: Facts about Israel, Israel Travel, Jewish Heritage

Israel's Culinary Hotspots For Every Gourmand

Posted by Gil Travel on February 4, 2020

Here’s a tour option for those who want to ‘taste’ the culture! All across Israel, you’ll find a myriad of cuisines, each with a great number of tasty dishes that speak of the country’s culture and history. It’s really easy finding popular spots with hearty meals that you simply must try, as they’re on every turn in every city, town, and village in Israel, but here are some of our recommendations for culinary hotspots to visit.

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Topics: Facts about Israel, Israel Travel, Jewish Heritage