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How to Enjoy a Summer Vacation in Israel

July 29, 2018 | by David Kilimnick

Going on a hike, or “Tiyul”, is a great way to experience what’s called in the Middle East “dehydration.”

Summer is vacation season and what better place to go than to our Holy Land. Here are some ways you can enjoy the Israel summer vacation experience:

See a movie with subtitles

Luna Park

Luna Park is the famous Israel amusement park in Tel Aviv. Amazing. This fun time place has around twelve rides, but the same amount of people as Six Flags. This is perfect for those who love the amusement park experience of standing on lines.

For those who don’t like standing in line, you can wait till they bring the digital ticket numbering system to the amusement park or join me at the post office in Rehavia.

The best ride at the Luna Park is the bumper cars in the parking lot. Boy, did my car get damaged last summer. But it’s all in the name of fun. That’s what the guy told me when he insisted I don’t call the cops.


Must get your watermelon. That is what Israelis do for the summer. Buy watermelon, eat it and sleep. The name for watermelon, ‘avatiach,’ makes it so much more fun to eat than eating a watermelon. Awesome activity. Say it right now. ‘Want to eat some avatiach?’

This also adds to the full Israeli experience, when the guy at the shuk screams at you, showing how excited he is about his avatiach.

Historic Sites

You’re not in America. Have some fun and see what it looks like when a historical landmark is over twenty years old.

Beit She’an

For example, visit this city which is thousands of years old. King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls here. Can you think of a better way to spend some time with your children on vacation?

Go on a Hike

Known as a Tiyul, this is a great way to experience what they call in the Middle East “dehydration.”

Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi is one of the many great places in Israel to walk for 12 hours, so you can get to a waterfall. The three-foot-high waterfall is a site to behold when you are famished and suffering from thirst.

What makes this experience more exciting is jumping into the pool with the sign that says ‘swimming is not allowed,’ with all the local folk. Better yet, bring your kids to any of the city water fountains of Jerusalem for a good swim. It is always more fun when there is a ‘swimming is not allowed’ sign.

Mini Israel

It takes a day to travel from northern Israel to southern Israel and back to northern Israel, then back to southern Israel. Who has time to do that?! Want to really experience Israel, go to the miniature replica of the country and see the entire country and feel like Godzilla at the same time. Haven’t you ever wanted to feel sixty stories high? This is your chance. Feel the fun of being huge. Understand what Donald Trump is talking about.

Want to do real Israel advocacy work upon your return to the diaspora? Take pictures of yourself at Mini Israel and your friends will begin to understand how small Israel really is. And then reenact modern day experiences and throw pebbles on the mini-people at the Western Wall, from the Temple Mount.

Biblical Zoo

A must for every tourist. The only biblical zoo in the world, here you can see biblical animals like penguins. Or kangaroos.

Hotel Israeli Breakfast

Get the full Israeli experience with the full Israeli breakfast. That is correct. Israelis eat twelve different kinds of salads, fruit salad, shakshuka, lasagna,rugelach, babka, cheesecake, pudding, cottage cheese, pomelo, oranges, apples, eight cereals choices, scrambled eggs, omelets, all of France and Italy’s bread, salmon, St. Peter’s fish, burekas, jachnun, any cheese found in the Mediterranean countries, halloumi, dips made from olives, dips made from olives that grow on fig trees and tuna, every morning. That is why it is called the Israeli Breakfast Buffet. That is how Israelis live. And yet somehow they remain thin. And by “they” I mean, not me.

Sit on a Bus

This will give you the full package feel of being with a tour group.

To experience this right, you finish the Israeli breakfast early. Eating the Israeli breakfast fast can be done within three hours. Then you wait a half an hour for Bernie to show up to the bus so that you can go to Tiberias with the guy you know from shul that you don’t really like back home but in Israel you like him a little bit more because you have no choice.

If you are by yourself, take a public bus. You may not have a tour guide on the microphone; even so, hearing the bus driver announce the stops can be a great substitute for historically relevant information.

Kinyon Malls of Israel

This is the perfect way to experience Israel like a North American --hover around air-conditioning. As somebody from Ashkenazi heritage, I can tell you, this is the best way to experience the Middle East. They even sell European H&M clothes there. Better yet, to really enjoy the Middle East, stay in your hotel room.

See a Movie with Hebrew Subtitles

Israel is known for subtitles. All movies and shows have Hebrew subtitles. You too will learn how to read the dialogue on screen thereby laughing before the actor says his line.

Israeli Museums

No reason to see Jerusalem when you are in Jerusalem, when you can see it at the museum in Jerusalem.

Drink Barad

Enjoy one of these Israeli style slushies. Imagine buying a Slurpee and sucking up all the flavor with your first sip. That’s the Barad experience.

Mini Golf

Jerusalem once had a unique mini golf course built on the roof of a building in the Talpioyt neighborhood, closer to the sun. It was unique because it was the only mini golf course in the world, where you were sure to get a sunburn.

I believe they closed it down when the local folk were overshooting the hole and damaging the cars in the parking lot below. I personally miss that experience. Now, I just go to the Luna Park.

Want to really enjoy mini golf in Israel? Bring your putter to Mini Israel and putt into Montefiore’s windmill. Maybe you can get it moving!

Next time, I will take you to the cities, attractions and tourist sites of Israel. Nobody should miss out on the Israel summer experience of getting a sunburn on Masada and then going into the salt water of the Dead Sea with a rash.

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