Golan Heights Trip
The Golan Heights is a pivotal region of the country. In our Golan Heights Trip, we will see that people have been living here for thousands of years and see the amazing remains that open a window into the past. We can also see a variety of people and nature sites. The Golan Heights serves as a historical hotspot, and home to a diverse community.
During our three days together, we will see:
- and religions
Gamla is an ancient site of the Jewish Great Revolt against the Romans during the years 66 to 70. At Gamla we see the remains of the Jewish fight to practice their religion in freedom. The Roman powers were making it very difficult to practice Judaism. We found arrowheads left inside the city walls after the fighting.
- hike up to the top of the site
- explore Gamla and its remains,
- and discuss what it means to fight for religious freedoms.
Qatsrin Talmudic Village
We will continue onto the Talmudic Village reconstruction in Qatsrin. While the olive presses and the synagogue is real thousands of years ago, the house is a reconstruction, making a truly remarkable site, based on archeological evidence With that, we will be able to see into the past with a fantastic snapshot of the Talmudic Period.
We wil see:
- the oil presses,
- the reconstructed house,
- and the synagogue.
Golan Winery Tour
We will move onto the Golan Winery, where we will tour the site, and see how the well- known company makes it wines. In addition, we will talk about what it takes for a small winery in the Golan Heights to rise to the international level. Finally, we will end the tour with a wine tasting, some time for shopping some wine, and finding a place to eat lunch.
Our last stop of the day will be Tel Hatzor, the ancient capital of the region. The remains include a palace and huge city walls. King Ahab of the Kingdom of Israel is believed to have connections to this site. We will explore the ancient importance of the region by the remains and history of the Hatzor.
Hula Nature Reserve
We will start our day of our Golan Heights Trip early heading to the Hula Nature Reserve, one of two resting stations for birds migrating north or south between seasons. The second major resting station is Eilat, and there is a minor resting stop in a park across from the Knesset building. With the option to bike or walk:
- we will explore the Nature Reserve and birds,
- talk about why birds rest here,
- discover the strengths and weaknesses of restoration,
- and learn the history and ecological importance of the site
Kfar Gil’adi Cemetery
We will continue our Golan Heights Trip to the Kfar Gil’adi’s cemetery, where many fighters of the pre- state’s Haganah are buried. Well-known Joseph Trempeldor is among them, with a monument remembering his role in the region’s history. Who is Joseph Trempeldor? Leader of the Tel Chai community, and its fight against the neighboring community. Shortly before passing away from an injury he said
It is good to die for one’s country.
We will learn that and his story here!
The events of Tel Hai claimed the life of Joseph Trempeldor. But before the infamous fight, the Arab and Jewish communities in the area go along very well. But slowly Arab- Jewish tensions in the region grew. The fight that occurred was the result of that mounting tensions. The site has been preserved to remember where Trempeldor, the fight, and the goals of the settlement in the beginning. While we are here we will:
- discuss the story and history of the site,
- learn why it is important to preserve a site,
- and think about a figure like Trempeldor’s goals and visions.
We will end the day in Metulla looking over the surrounding area, including Lebanon. We will discuss the past and present relations between Lebanon and Israel, Syria and Israel, and Syria and Lebanon. Finally, we will address what the implications are, and why it is important to understand these things. This will give us an opportunity to put the region in a modern context and see what goes on here today.
We will then head to the hotel for a restful evening and dinner.
We will begin our last day of the Golan Heights Trip at Tel Dan, a site dating back to the Bronze Age (5000 years ago)! There is a Bronze Age town, full with the gate, its chambers, and residential buildings. We can see an alter from that same period. We will not only explore the remains, but also look at the nature aspects of the park. There is a river that flows throughout the year. There are many ponds, trees, and other floral that are wonderful to explore. Because of this water source, the flora of the park is not something to be missed!
Nimrod Fortress National Park
The Nimrod Fortress is a fortress from the Muslim Period, built in order to safeguard the route toward Damascus. However, many think that the fortress is much older because of the figure it is named after.
Nimrod was a giant who got stuck in the swamp that was once in this area. A fly kept buzzing in his ear. So he asked that his head be cut off because it was making him crazy. And when asked if he was sure, he said was absolutely, positively sure, and they cut off his head.
While there we will:
- look at the fortress,
- discuss the Muslim Period in Israel,
- and look around the surrounding area.
This site opens up window into the Muslim Period Israel.
Outlook to Majdal Shams
We will then continue to an outlook of the town of Majdal Shams, one of several Druze towns in the Golan Heights. This town is special in that many of its residents have family living in Syria on the other side of the border fence. They have a unique way of communicating with those family members in Syria. They go to the border and shout to their families with mega phones, resulting in it become
We will discuss the various aspects of this town and what the differences between the Druze of the Galilee and the Druze of the Golan are, as well as the issues the Druze community the Golan Heights face.
We will finish the day, and our Golan Heights Trip, Mount Bental, an outlook of the region and formal IDF base. It was a focal point in both the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. We will discuss:
- the role of this site in those Wars,
- what we see around us,
- and what is happening in the Golan Heights and the surrounding areas in today.
After finishing our trip in the Golan, I hope you will be able to more fully understand the Golan Heights, its complexities, and beauties. If you are interested in the Golan Heights Trips, contact me, and while you’re at it, check out my other trips in the Golan.