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To the Holy Land

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One of my greatest regrets in life thus far is not having taken the opportunity to travel to Israel for free with the Birthright program - Jews who have completed their Bar and Bat Mitzvah are automatically eligible to apply, travel and explore the holy land in small groups up until age 26. I've missed my chance and am committed to making the trip in 2013. These are some of the highlights.
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Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
While Jerusalem is the official capital of Israel, Tel Aviv is considered to be the capital of style and culture. Enjoy starting your day with a stroll along the beach or a great, rich breakfast in one of many outdoor cafes along some of the...
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Jerusalem
It was Saturday morning after Good Friday in Jerusalem. I was determined to see the sunrise over the Old City. My friends doubted my ability to get up for a headstart on the day. But, under the notion that this would likely be my only opportunity...
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Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Neve Tzedek, the city oldest neighbourhood is a colorful oasis with an atmosphere that evokes an artists’ colony or a small village. Spotted with colored old houses next to remodeled ones. Lots of great restaurants, wine bars and the Suzanne...
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The Dead Sea, which borders Israel and Jordan, is the lowest point on earth, sitting 1,410 feet below sea level, and continuing to drop as both countries divert water from the River Jordan. As one of the world’s most saline bodies of water (almost...
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Olei Zion St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
The ever-colorful Jaffa Flea Market, in operation for more than 100 years, inhabits a portside neighborhood of alleyways, covered walkways, and outdoor verandas. Wander the endless market streets to find restored antiques and handicrafts, Judaica...
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Rabbi Yohanan St 8, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Every time I visit the flea market in Jaffa, I must stop for a cup of coffee or a bite at Pua restaurant. The space looks like a retro apartment my grandparents used to have, filled with furnitures and decorations well collected from the vintage...
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Montefiore St 36, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Though it sits squarely in Tel Aviv’s Lev Ha’ir (the heart of the city), Hotel Montefiore feels almost hidden away, not least because of the fact that greenery shrouds much of the restored 1922 mansion. Gaze out the window of the lobby...
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Neharde'a St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Next time you travel to Israel and interested in an exceptional and different dining experience, I highly recommend to check the new website of EatWith, to book a dinner with locals. EatWith is a global community (started in Israel) that invites...
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Jerusalem
This quickly captured image of a woman sweeping the entrance to Mary's Grotto in Jerusalem, near the Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives, is provocative in the sense that, in Christian theology, Mary was a servant to give birth to God's Son,...
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Jerusalem
The Western Wall (also called the Kotel) is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism, outside the Temple Mount itself. The plaza...
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HaCarmel St 11, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
The Carmel Market is the largest outdoors market in Tel Aviv and sells everything from toiletries, clothes, meat, fruit and vegetables and some delicatessen cheese. Like in a lot of outdoors markets, the fruit and vegetables are displayed in such...
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Beit Eshel St 3, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
While wandering around Jaffa, one of the oldest settlements in the world and now connected to Tel Aviv, I stumbled upon a restaurant called Dr. Shakshuka. The specialty is--wait for it--shakshuka, a concoction of poached eggs, tomato, onion,...
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Yavne St 21, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Located in Alma Boutique Hotel, Alma Lounge is a bohemian chic space with a mix of Georgian inspired furniture blended with local contemporary Art. The chef, Yonatan Roshfeld, is a well known figure in Israel and the restaurant is one of the most...
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Rothschild Blvd, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Rothschild Blvd is a real gem of Bauhaus architecture. A tree-lined boulevard with old trees, lined with benches and dotted with outdoor coffee kiosks and some chess tables. This is one of the most charming places to stroll, bicycle and hang out....
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Kalischer St 25, Yafo, 6516505, Israel
While it’s located mere minutes from Tel Aviv’s trademark beaches, the Brown TLV Urban Hotel is decidedly city-centric. Not coincidentally, it’s also in the center of town, surrounded by an array of distinctive neighborhoods like...
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Yehuda ha-Levi St 79/81, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
“Alon and I are regulars for Friday breakfast. We love their take on the Arab dish shakshuka. In the original, eggs are poached in a sauce of tomatoes and red peppers, but here they use green peppers instead of red, and they add goat...