February 17, 2005
Looking for a getaway with a Jewish twist? With Passover approaching and summer down the road, there are many opportunities for such travel. Here are a few options:
Seders Far and Near
When it comes to celebrating Passover, you can truly be a wandering Jew, thanks to an abundance of tour packages:
Spend Passover in Hollywood -- Florida that is -- or in one of six other Sunshine State resorts, including the Ritz Carlton, Naples.
Lasko Family Kosher Tours' Passover packages include daily services and Torah lectures, glatt kosher gourmet meals, entertainment, private or group seders and activities for adults and children. Phoenix, Arizona and Westchester, N.Y., programs also available.
For information, call (800) 532-9119 or go to www.laskotours.com.
Ciao bella! It's off to Italy's Venice Lido, where you can spend Passover gazing at the Mediterranean from your beachfront resort. With 47 years in the business, Leisure Time Tours is also offering glatt kosher Passover packages in Arizona, Florida or New York's Catskill Mountains.
(800) 223-2624; www.leisuretimetours.com.
Tequila anyone? Le Voyage Travel offers packages at Club Med Ixtapa and the Hilton Los Cabos. Glatt kosher buffets, entertainment, children's programs and, of course, seders are included in these waterfront excursions.
(877) 452-8744; www.levoyage.com.
Sun, sand and seders await at Club Kosher's "Passover in Paradise" at the Hilton Cancun Beach and Golf Resort. Glatt kosher meals, including a special children's menu; family and communal seders; daily Torah lectures; evening entertainment; and children's programs are included.
(866) 567-4372; www.clubkosher.com.
You won't have to jump into the Red Sea, but you can do a 135-foot bungee jump. Israeli tour operator Tal Tour is offering Pesach in Acapulco. It boasts sky-diving, water-skiing and speed-boating among its many activities. The package includes glatt kosher cuisine, youth programs and entertainment, as well as an onsite synagogue and mikvah.
(800) 825-9399; www.pesachinmexico.com.
It's all in the details. Global Tours will help you make your travel arrangements for Passover and year-round. Check out its airfare specials.
(800) 881-9230; www.globaltours.com.
Sometimes paradise is as close as your own backyard.Â World Wide Kosher Tours offersÂ packages at three Southern California luxury resorts:Â The Lodge at Rancho Mirage, Hilton San Diego Del Mar Resort Hotel, and Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Packages include a choice ofÂ group, private or even adult-only seders; lectures and shiurim, children's programs, outdoor activities and Glatt Kosher meals. (323) 525-0015Â www.mypassover.com
Chant and Plant
Jewish National Fund's (JNF) Travel & Tours has developed a bar and bat mitzvah in Israel program that will start this summer. The tour includes a group ceremony at the southern Wall excavations and group dinner reception celebration.
"In the past, we've done private bar and bat mitzvah tours. And now, with the situation having calmed down in Israel, more families want to celebrate their simcha in Israel," said Michelle Blacher, JNF director of Travel & Tours. "It's more affordable for families if they join a tour, and it also gives them more activities for the children."
The packed itinerary includes visits to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Safed, Masada and the Dead Sea. Participants will also explore tunnels beneath the Western Wall, take part in an archeological dig, kayak on the Jordan River and, of course, plant trees in a JNF forest. A three-day optional extension in Eilat is also available.
The first summer excursion departs June 5, and a December trip is also scheduled. (877) 359-4262; www.jnf.org/travel.
North to Alaska
Admire scenic fjords and vast glaciers while kibitzing with new friends during an eight-day Alaska cruise organized by Jewish tour operator Amazing Journeys and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.
The cruise, which departs Aug. 12, is open to singles, couples and families. Packages include accommodations, shipboard meals and entertainment, customized and discounted group tours and Shabbat services. Kosher meals can be arranged upon request.
Participants can extend their trip with an optional precruise land tour in Vancouver or a post-cruise visit to Alaska's interior and Denali National Park.
Amazing Journeys associate Michele Fakiro promises that on every trip the company organizes "even if you don't know anyone on the first day, we can guarantee that you will make new friends for life."