Results for category "Visiting Israel"

Tu BiShvat in Israel

On January 24-25, 2016, we will celebrate Tu BiShvat (In Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט‎), a Jewish holiday occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. It is also called “Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot” (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות‎), literally “The New Year of the Trees.” In contemporary Israel, the day is celebrated from both a religious and ecological perspective.  Trees are planted to develop the land, and the holiday is celebrated religiously with a Tu BiShvat seder where local fruits are eaten.

Modern History of Tu BiShvat in Israel

The custom of planting trees on Tu BiShvat in modern times dates back to the end of the 19th century. Rabbi Ze’ev Yavetz, a scholar and historian, immigrated to Israel in 1887 and managed the local school in Zichron Yaakov. In 1890, on Tu BiShvat, Rabbi Ze’ev Yavetz led his students to plant trees, and the tradition to plant trees on this day was born. The Teachers’ Union and the JNF formalized this practice in 1908, and gave the day an educational focus on developing the land of Israel and improving the landscape.

Zichron Yaakov, Israel

Zichron Yaakov, Israel

Tu BiShvat in the Mishnah

Tu BiShvat appears in the Mishnah in Tractate Rosh Hashanah as one of the four New Years in the Jewish calendar.  Based on this, the 15th of Shevat (Tu Bishvat) became the dat

Tu-Bishvat-Israeli soldiers plants tree in Tu Bishvat in the Western Negev- NES Mobile- EUO

Israeli soldiers plants tree in in the Western Negev

e for calculating the beginning of the agricultural cycle for the purpose of biblical tithes.

Planting Trees in Israel on Tu Bishvat

Israel is the only country in the world to have a net gain of trees in the last 100 years, because of proactive tree planting. Tree planting reverses desertification, not only making the desert greener, but also adding nutrients that nourish the soil, transforming the desert to habitable land.

Israeli and Tourists Visiting in Israel – can join various special activities and plant a tree with the JNF.

Tu Bishvat Seder

In the 16th century, the Kabbalists of Tzfat (Safed) gathered for a Tu BiShvat Seder celebrated by eating fruit, particularly from the species that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land of Israel, including grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On Tu BiShvat we’re meant to evoke the feeling that, “man is a tree of Tu Bishvat - mix of dried fruits - NES Mobile
the field,” (Deuteronomy 20:19) and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue.  This includes discussing philosophical and Kabbalistic concepts associated with the day.

Visiting Israel for Winter Break 2016 – Order now NES Mobile

If you’re coming to Israel this winter break,  January-February 2016, order now to qualify for FREE USA delivery,  as well as our Early Bird Special. NES Mobile is a leading provider of communication services for visitors to Israel, offering NES Mobile pocket WiFi rentals, phones and Israel SIM cards.

Dried Fruit for Tu Bishvat - Mahane Yehuda - Jerusalem - Israel- NES Mobile

Dried Fruit for Tu Bishvat – Mahane Yehuda – Jerusalem – Israel

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Tel Aviv – The White City

In recognition of the 4,000 buildings which were built between the 1920s and 1950s in Tel Aviv, UNESCO declared Tel Aviv to be a World Heritage Site. Since most of the buildings colors are white, gray, beige were, it gave Tel Aviv the nickname, “The White City”.

History of Tel Aviv

Bialik House in Tel Aviv

Bialik House in Tel Aviv

In 1909, approximately 60 families congregated on a sand dune next to Jaffa and decided to build a new city in Israel, to be named: Tel Aviv. Most of the buildings were built in a fusion of Oriental and European styles and during the 1920s, the city began to spread towards what is known as Rothschild Blvd.

Bauhaus Tel Aviv Style

Bike Share, Tel Aviv Israel-NES MobileMany local architects adopted the “Bauhaus” style but with a local twist. Generally, Bauhaus buildings are mostly square, with terraces, narrow long windows, flat roofs, smooth façades, and plain geometric shapes. The colors used mostly are white, gray, beige, or black. The interior design has open space floor plans, and the focus is functional.

Over time, a unique Tel Aviv style emerged from the European/German Bauhaus style mainly due to warm and sunny weather.  Windows sizes were increased to accommodate better air circulation and awnings were positioned above the large windows and pergolas built on the roofs to provide shade. However, the most noticeable change of all was the design of large balconies.

Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv

Rothschild Street in Tel Aviv, IsraelIt is recommended to start your stroll along Rothschild Blvd. and Herzl Street, where you can explore the various historical buildings. For more info about street tours, you can visit the Tel Aviv tourist info site: www.visit-tel-aviv.com

Bike around Tel Aviv

You can also easily bike your way around Tel Aviv using the Tel-o-Fun Bikes for Rent service which can be found all over the city.

Bicycle Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Beach Israel Travel Blog NES MobileLike many other cities around the world such as London, Paris and Barcelona you can rent a bike in Tel Aviv-Yafo. The Tel-O-Fun company offers hundreds of bikes for rent, at rental stations across the city, in a simple, efficient and convenient manner with various pickup and drop off locations. You can conveniently buy a daily or weekly access card which is ideal for tourists visiting Tel Aviv.

You can view the bike routes pick up and drop off locations, as well as other info right here on this link: https://www.tel-o-fun.co.il/Portals/2/shvil_ofan_Eng.pdf

Stay Connected in Tel Aviv with NES Mobile

Lastly, you will likely want to share your strolling and biking memories of your visit to Tel Aviv. So remeber to rent a Pocket Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot with UNLIMITED Internet which you can take with you everywhere you go. Or you can order one of NES Mobile Israel SIM cards. Daily plans are available and we offer FREE delivery in the USA, so you can have your pocket Wi-Fi, and/or Israel SIM card in hand in the USA, prior to your visit to Israel. NES Mobile is a leading provider of communication services for visitors to Israel.

NES Mobile Pocket WiFi Mobile Hotspot - Unlimited Internet -MiFiIsrael SIM Card

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Live Sport Streaming in Israel

Jaffa Street in Jerusalem

Jaffa Street in Jerusalem

Many students spending a year in Israel like to keep up with their favorite NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL or college sports teams and view live sport streaming in Israel. Some watch live sports at one of the restaurants or bars on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, although many choose to watch the games alone or with friends in the comfort of their dorm or hotel room. With the right technology, the internet is their best answer for watching the latest American sports games in Israel – live.

Watching Game with Live Sport Streaming in Israel

What Do I Need in Order to Watch a Live Sport Streaming in Israel?

There are several options one can choose from order to view live stream sports games in Israel. However, there are three basic requirements needed: Internet, Device, and an online venue.

  1. Unlimited High Speed Internet Service in Israel

    NES Mobile Pocket WiFi Mobile Hotspot - Unlimited Internet -MiFi

    NES Mobile Pocket WiFi Mobile Hotspot – Unlimited Internet in Israel

The basic requirement is a reliable, unlimited  high-speed internet service in Israel. The ideal situation is to have a good DSL connection, but most students do not have access to unlimited DSL internet connections in their dorm rooms and they resort to using their mobile device data package for internet. That being said, effectively all of Israel’s cell providers “throttle” (slow down the speed of the download), which interferes with watching a live broadcast. The internet speed after usage of 3-5 GB, is clearly not enough to watch games in addition to the regular data usage. (Some providers do offer packages up to 5 GB or 10 GB of data, which may be enough for some.) NES Mobile offers students and other long-term renters a pocket Wi-Fi device with totally unlimited data.

“We usually see a major surge in data consumption on Sunday nights, carrying over to early Monday morning when we opt to watch NFL games”, says Avigdor Factor, co-founder of NES Mobile.

“During the NBA playoffs, we even had customers whose monthly data consumption was as high as 50 GB, due to the intensity and frequency of the games.”

NES Mobile also offers plans for those who are visiting Israel on a short-term basis, for a few days or weeks.

  1. Device – A PC, Mac, Smartphone or Tablet

israel-pocket-wifiWhether you have a laptop in your dorm room, or a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, (most students in Israel have at least one of these devices), with access to DSL, games can be watched on virtually any device.

  1. Online Site and Venues to Watch Games

Some games are available online for all to watch and enjoy. However, often, due to broadcasting regulations, networks are restricted and are only allowed to show sports content on the internet in the United States and US Territories.

There are a few solutions, which are usually divided into two categories: Viewers who pay for subscription services or solutions for viewers who opt to watch for free. NOTE: We’re only covering the technology aspects and will not address the legal/regulatory issue which is complex and varies greatly depending on content and country.

a. Using a Slingbox in Israel

Slingbox allows you to view cable TV (from the USA) on any device. A Slingbox needs to be located with someone you know who has a residence in the US with a local cable subscription. With a Slingbox, you can watch all the channels the person who has the Slingbox has access to – from anywhere in the world. This applies not only to watching live football games for free, but to any other show or channel your host has access to.

b. A Paid Subscription to Sports LeaguesFootball online live streaming- n Israel

Most websites of major US sports leagues offer a live streaming portal to anyone who wishes to watch online. Prices vary based on your country location, as well as the sport.Special packages are often introduced during the playoffs.

c. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Proxies

Due to broadcasting regulations, some network’s sites are restricted and only allow access to sports content via the internet if you are in the United States and US Territories. They can restrict the content by blocking services for viewers with a foreign IP address. VPN services allow you to obtain an American IP address by routing your connection via an American VPN server. So even from outside the USA you may be able to watch USA-based TV streaming websites in Israel. The technology is similar to virtual private networks that employees often use for remote access to their office computer networks.

About NES Mobile

NES Mobile is a leading provider of Pocket WiFi mobile hotspot rentals with completely UNLIMITED service in Israel. Among the company’s clients are large news networks, American defense contractors based in Israel, as well as students and tourists visiting Israel. Many of NES Mobile‘s customers use the Pocket WiFi or MiFi devices for live sport streaming in Israel.

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The Cost of Free WiFi in Israel

Whether you visit Israel or other countries, people on vacation are always trying to get free WiFi. Unfortunately, some crooks will try to use it to their advantage and use the open public wireless networks to steal information from unsuspecting users. This global trend is affecting unsuspecting surfers across the world.

Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Departure Hall - Free Wifi

Picture Credit Vladislav Bezrukov – Flickr: Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Departure Hall

Free WiFi Open Networks

Free open WiFi allows users to connect to a hotspot which is open and free for all to use. Such open networks are often found in hotels, coffee shops and many other locations. Hacking into another computer on an open free WiFi network is not that easy. In all likelihood, the free wireless router is not under the control of someone with malicious intent and hacking expertise to manipulate it. Most wireless routers have a firewall, as well as password protection to limit those who can access it.

So Am I Protected if the Open Free WiFi Network is Password Protected?

Actually no… Using a password on an open free WiFi network will prevent those who do not have a password from accessing the network and does mitigate the risks. However, that doesn’t mean you’re protected from others who are connected to the same network and have the expertise to hack into your computer. With the right skills and know-how, it is remarkably easy to steal someone’s username and password, or see what they’re doing, just by being on the same network.

The Solutions:

Avoid Open WiFi Networks – Rent a MiFi

NES Mobile MiFi - Unlimited Internet Pocket Wifi

NES Mobile MiFi – Unlimited Internet Pocket Wifi

It’s actually easier than is sounds. There are other solutions out there one can use as an alternative. If you’re visiting Israel, NES Mobile’s MiFi device (AKA pocket WiFi) is a great alternative. The MiFi can provide unlimited and protected WiFi and data reception throughout Israel. If you are visiting friends and family, you can use their home or office network to stay connected. You can also simply rent a NES Mobile SIM cards and use your phone as a hot spot.

Visit Only Encrypted HTTPS Sites

If you’re still confined to using only an open free WiFi network, you can try to make use of HTTPS on an encrypted HTTP as much as possible. Using HTTPS encrypts the data traffic and keep it away from cyber offenders. Also be sure to enable SSL before using it for certain applications that require connection to the internet, such as Outlook. (If you didn’t understand this last paragraph, you are not alone… But you can ask any “techie” and they will explain…)

Enable Firewall and Restrict Sharing

Most laptops come with basic firewalls. Simply go into the settings to ensure that the firewall is indeed enabled and working. You may have settings enabling you to share files, printers or even allow remote logins from other computers on your home or office network. When you’re on a public open WiFi be sure to turn these sharing settings off to prevent sharing with unwanted strangers.

Let NES Mobile keep you connected while visiting Israel. We offer competitive prices, with no hidden fees. You get the best network coverage in Israel with friendly and helpful Customer Service in English.

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Selichot Tours

Selichot Tours – Prepare to be Awed!

"Slichot22" מאת Yael Shilo יעל שילה - נוצר על ידי מעלה היצירה. מתפרסם לפי רישיון Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 דרך ויקישיתוף - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Slichot22.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Slichot22.JPG - Selichot at the Kotel

Selichot (in Hebrew סליחות AKA Slichos or Slichot‎) are Jewish poems and prayers of repentance, recited during the period prior to the High Holidays, in preparation for The Days of Awe from Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur. While Selichot are prayed in every Synagogue according to the local customs, many Israelis as well as tourists make their way to Jerusalem for Selichot Tours, in search of a meaningful way to experience the month of Elul, the time to repent and ask forgiveness and start anew.

The crisp, cool air is a refreshing change from the heat of the past few months and affords the perfect opportunity to open yourself to self-examination.

The Month of Mercy and Forgiveness Has Begun

There are many ways to get into the mindset for the High Holy Days! You can choose from a variety of organized tours in Jerusalem which focus on this special period in the Jewish calendar.

From a nighttime walk through the alleyways of the Old City and Jewish Quarter, to a trek from one synagogue to another in different historically significant neighborhoods, to a show of stories and poems… There are many options, suitable for the whole family…

Bring comfortable shoes and a jacket and choose the tour that suits you best. There are private Selichot tours, tour groups, tour packages – so many options, you’ll be able to find one to suit your spiritual aspirations as well as your budget. Options include programs in Hebrew or English.

There are nighttime tours through the Old City and the Jewish Quarter which end up at the Kotel (Western Wall) for Selichot. For more information, see: http://www.towerofdavid.org.il/english/activities/general_public/selichot_tours_and_the_night_spectacular.

There is a very special program of stories and poems for the whole family. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the program “Longing for Jerusalem” in the Moat at the Citadel. For more information on this unique experience, see: http://www.funinjerusalem.com/event/family-selichot-tour/2014-09-30/

Take a walk through alleys and picturesque neighborhoods of Yemin Moshe and Nachlaot; participate in Selichot services in a unique neighborhood synagogue as well or experience different musical traditions. For more information on this, see: http://en.avrahamtours.co.il/content/selichot-tour-jerusalem.

Other options for nighttime tours can be found at: http://www.itraveljerusalem.com/tour/selichot-tours-of-the-jewish-quarter/.

[jwplayer mediaid=”495″]

Coming to Israel for the Holidays? Get a NES Mobile SIM and Enjoy Access to Travel Apps

Just some of the benefits of ordering a NES Mobile Israeli SIM card with an unlimited data plan include having access to travel apps such as:

  • Waze – can help you find your way to wherever you need to go in the fastest most efficient way – or via a scenic route if you prefer! Waze also provides traffic updates – even police and radar traps.
  • Google Maps – is also an option for planning routes to where you want to go…
  • Trip Advisor – one of the best apps for independent travel, Trip Advisor is a wonderful resource to search for restaurants or hotels in Israel.
  • Google Translate – can help you communicate – even though almost everyone can speak some English… if you want to try to go “native” and speak the local language, this useful app can help.
  • Instagram – taking pictures and posting them to share…
  • Skype – You can make free video calls, show your friends and family where you are – live!
  • Whatsapp – one of the most popular messaging apps.
  • Gettaxi – a great app for grabbing a taxi.

This is just a small sample of apps that can help make your visit more pleasant. See our Early Bird Holiday specials.

Let NES Mobile help you access all of these and more – at competitive prices, with no hidden fees. You get the best network coverage in Israel and friendly and helpful Customer Service in English.

Shana Tova!

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Early Bird Special

NES Mobile Holidays Early Bird Special

If you’re planning on traveling to Israel, take advantage of the NES Mobile Holidays Early Bird Special. Order early and save money on your Israel SIM cards, MiFi rentals or Israel phones.

Order 2 Lines, 2 Weeks in Advance, Save $20!

Presenting the NES Mobile Holidays Early Bird Special – Save $20 – When you order 2 Lines – at least 2 weeks prior to your rental start date. Remember, you only need to pay for the days you’re in Israel, even if you get the SIM cards, Mifi devices or phone ahead of your trip. Added Bonus – Save Another $10 for Each Additional Line.

Sign Up Now! No need for coupon codes, just sign up for 2 lines at least 2 week in advance of the rental, and the discount will be automatically added to your account.

No Deposits!   No Insurance!   No Hidden Fees!

Other Terms & Conditions:

  • No need to return the SIM!   You’re only charged for the days of the rental in Israel, even if you receive the SIMs or Devices several days in advance!
  • Delivery & Pickup across the USA & Israel.
  • Multiple SIMs or Devices in one shipment are considered one shipment.
  • Limited Time Sales Offer.
  • Sale extended until September 30, 2015.
  • Order must be placed for at least 2 lines.
  • Order must be placed at least 14 days prior to start of the rental.
  • Limited availability while supplies last.
  • NES Mobile reserves the right to cancel this special sale at any time.

About NES Mobile

NES Mobile is a provider of cellular services for tourists visiting IsraelNES Mobile provides Israeli SIM cards for all phone models with unlimited call and data packages.

USA Delivery: We can deliver Israeli Phones, SIM cards to your home or office in the USA prior to your departure.

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Jerusalem Day – Yom Yerushalayim

Jerusalem Liberation Day

 

Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel

Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel | Photo: Isaac Shweky Courtesy of פיקיוויקי

Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day, is an Israeli national holiday commemorating and celebrating the June 1967 reunification of Jerusalem and the liberation of its “Old City”. In honor of Jerusalem Liberation Day, we have put together some suggestions for enjoyable and meaningful activities, great for the entire family.

Ammunition Hill and Mount Scopus – Jerusalem, Israel

Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, Israel
Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, Israel | Photo: ד”ר אבישי טייכר | Courtesy of PikiWiki

The British built the Police Academy and Ammunition Hill to consolidate their hold on the country during the British mandate period, from 1920-1948. During the War of Independence In 1948, the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem and the region was divided (until the Six Day War on June 5, 1967). The nearby Mount Scopus remained as an enclave within the Jordanian territory, controlled by Israel after the War of Independence. The Jordanians built a military outpost at the Academy and at Ammunition Hill; one of three outposts built along the road to Mount Scopus.

On June 5, 1967, at the outset of the Six Day War, it was decided by the IDF to take back the north of Jerusalem, including the Jordanian outposts and the road to Mount Scopus, which included Ammunition Hill.

The battle was tough and valiant and cost the lives of many fallen soldiers. The IDF had to disconnect the Jordanians from three Jordanian outposts in order to conquer back and liberate northern Jerusalem. The IDF forces were formed by the Jerusalem Brigade and the Armored Division of Harel. In addition, the paratroopers joined to fight and take back the northern city and the Old City of Jerusalem.

After the liberation of the city of Jerusalem, the IDF cleared mines laid by the Jordanian along the border. New neighborhoods were built on the rocky hills such as Mivtar Hill, Ramat Eshkol, Neve Yaakov and Ramot.

 The Ammunition Hill Memorial Museum

Ammunition Hill Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Ammunition Hill Museum, Jerusalem, Israel| Photo: ד”ר אבישי טייכר | Courtesy of PikiWiki

Several year later, a museum was built at Ammunition Hill in memory of the fallen soldiers who bravely fought for the liberation of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. The site commemorates this miraculous event. The site also commemorates the unpublished writings, poems, pictures and songs left behind by the fallen soldiers which were published after their passing.

The Museum displays a Memorial Wall Monument to the fallen soldiers, as well as documentary videos and photos. There is even a tour of the location and its trenches. Verdant, lush, green manicured lawns surround the museum. Fascinating guided tours are provided. This is highly recommended to those who want to learn about the legacy of the 1967 war in Jerusalem.

Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus:

Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus is associated with the Medical School of Hebrew University – one of the most advanced academic institutions in the world. The Mount Scopus hospital is currently one of the largest and most modern hospitals in Israel. The hospital is part of the Hadassah women’s organization. The site has a great observation point with views of the Mount of Olives, the Old City and the Dead Sea.

Amphitheater Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel
Amphitheater Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel| Photo: ד”ר אבישי טייכר | Courtesy of PikiWiki

 These are sites which can be visited throughout the year. (They’re not just for Independence Day and Yom Yerushalayim!) They are important parts of the “Israel experience” and an interesting and important source of information for anyone who wants to better understand the history of the State of Israel.

 

About NES Mobile

NES Mobile has communication solutions for anyone visiting Israel. NES Mobile can meet your needs when you visit Israel for phones and/or SIM cards to internet access: Data packages for your phone(s) and/or modems to connect your laptops and/or tablets.

 

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Israel Cell Phone Travel Tips

Israel Cell Phone Travel Tips

Plan ahead, order your Israel phone rental in advance

Plan ahead, order your Israel phone rental in advance

If you’re planning to travel to Israel, you have surely taken care of ordering  airline tickets and accommodations. However, many visitors (if not most), forget to arrange for local phone (and data) rentals. When looking for a company which rents out Israel phones and SIM cards, do your homework.

Here are just a few things to look into:

Plan Ahead – But Better Late than Never…

In all likelihood, your local cell provider charges very high rates for roaming. Roaming charges for calls range from $1.99-$3.59 per minute!!!  Data can cost as much as $20 per MB! It is therefore far cheaper to order an Israeli SIM card or phone before your trip. However, if you did not take care of a phone rental for Israel in advance, it’s not too late – we deliver in the USA or Israel.

Advertised Price Does NOT Always Mean Actual Price…

Some companies do a fine job of hiding certain charges in the fine print and you only find out about them at the end of your trip. Here are some examples of what to watch out for:

How many days are you actually paying for?

NES Mobile only charges for the days you’re actually in Israel, even if you receive the phones and SIM cards several days ahead of your trip to Israel. While there’s a 7 day minimum rental,  You only pay for the days you use it in Israel, not for the days the phone is in transit.

 

Other companies, charge you for the days you keep the phone, even if you’re in the USA! NES Mobile also gives you a grace period of one week to return the phone  after your return to the USA. Also remember, NES Mobile does NOT require you to return the SIM card at the end of the trip. Other companies do (and charge a penalty if you don’t do so).

Insurance & Late FeesNES-Mobile-Why-US

NES Mobile does NOT charge any insurance fees. Furthermore, our loss/stolen fees are the lowest in the industry, even when compared to the deductibles some companies charge AFTER charging you an insurance fee…

Deposits

NES Mobile does NOT charge deposits. Other companies do.

VAT (Value Added Tax- similar to sales tax)

We clearly state that there’s an additional VAT. Keep in mind that all Israeli companies are required to charge VAT, even if it’s not advertised, even if they don’t advertise it ahead of time. Read More…

 

What Israeli Mobile Network are they Using?Network-coverage-Israel

Your Israeli cell service is only as good as the network it’s on. There are several network providers in Israel and, just like in the USA, some networks have better coverage than others. NES Mobile uses Cellcom’s network which has the largest network coverage in Israel, and covers the entire country.

Quality of Devices

NES Mobile’s Mifi devices are top quality with a battery life of 4-5 hours and come with unlimited Internet in Israel. You can also use these MiFi devices while they’re charging. Please note: Some companies use Mifi devices that do NOT work while plugged into the wall (charging), so you must charge them first and only then can they be used. You cannot use them and charge them at the same time.

NES Mobile‘s cell phone rentals are usually basic, good quality models of Nokia and Samsung (such as the Nokia 100). They are all in good condition and are usually no older than 6-12 months.

 

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Honoring Israeli Pioneers

In Honor of Israel’s Independence Day

The days between Holocaust Memorial Day, the Memorial Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism and Independence Day, allow us to reflect and commemorate those who have paved the way to the foundation of the State of Israel.

Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present and Future – Ideas for the Yom Ha’atzmaut season, 5775!

Many museums and sites are dedicated to Israeli  pioneers and give us a glimpse into their world and their heritage.

Hashomer Museum – Kfar Giladi:

Tel Hai Hashomer museum

Tel Hai Hashomer Museum courtesy of: goisrael.com

In 1907, a group of Olim who arrived in Israel in the second wave of aliya, Israeli pioneers gathered together in Jaffa and decided to open a small military underground organization called “Bar Giora” (so named for the warriors who fought the Roman Empire during the 2nd Temple Era). Within a couple of years, this group of young people challenged the status quos and brought about a change of thinking. They realized that they need to expand the organization, which lead to the foundation of  “Hashomer” – “The Guard”, in Hebrew. The organization’s purpose was to build a large-scale, institutionalized security organization designed to keep and protect the Land of Israel.

The museum is located in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, just north Kiryat Shmona in the Upper Galilee.  Sitting in the foothills of the Naftali Mountains, there is a breathtaking view of the Hula Valley and on the mountain side, it is overlooked by the Golan Heights and Israel’s tallest mountain, Mount Hermon.

The new permanent exhibition display was renewed in 2008 by the Ministry of Defense in collaboration with museum curators, commemorating 100 years since the founding of the Shomer–-Bar Giyora Organization by Israeli pioneers.

The exhibition is designed in a pioneering manner and is accompanied by an audio-visual show. The exhibition is primarily designed and geared for young adults and includes photographs, a multi-media presentation and videos, as well as art from the pioneers’ time period, depicting the pioneers.

The museum focuses on more than just the security angle of “Hashomer”, but also shows the wider context of the Bar Giora and Hashomer organizations’ actions to settle  and rebuild the Jewish Homeland. It also discusses the transformation of society from one where women who emigrated to Israel from Russia, advocated the equality of women and fought for their place in the organization as combatant.

Hashomer and its pioneer warriors faced enormous challenges. and Visitors stand in awe of the how well the organization was run, and most importantly learn about the bravery and valor of the pioneers whose dream it was to rebuild the Jewish Homeland after 2000 years in the Diaspora. Hashomer laid the foundations upon which the IDF and the State of Israel were built.

Special attention is also give to the hero, Joseph Trumpeldor.The rifle given to him by the Organization Guard to protect Tel-Hai is on display.

Hashomer Museum, Kfar Giladi, DN Upper Galilee

Email: hashomer_museum@mod.gov.il

 

Museum of the Underground Prisoners – Acre (Akko)

The Underground Prisoners Museum, built in the second half of the 18th century is a fortress – including a moat! – located in Old Akko. During the Ottoman rule, it was used as the palace of the

View of the old city of Acre - Akko Israel

Photo: Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of goisrael.com

ruler of the region; during the British Mandate, it served as a prison against the underground Israeli pioneer prisoners of the Irgun, Lehi and Haganah.

In this prison gallows, the British hung nine warriors and nine others died while coming to release their prison comrades in the great prison escape.

Advanced booking is required and the visit takes about 90 minutes.

Address: Hahaganah 10, Old Acre

Email: Hmakko_Museum@mod.gov.il

 

Etzel Museum – Tel Aviv

Etzel Museum

By Ori~ (אני צילמתי) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The museum tells the story of the 17 years of the Irgun-Etzel underground organization through the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel and its integration into the army – the IDF.

The story focuses on the emerging underground defense and its reprisals against the Arab rioters, as well as the fight against the British Mandate which prevented the immigration of Jews to Israel.

The main exhibition profiles the battle for Jaffa during the War of Independence in 1948, accompanied by an audio-visual presentation, views and press clippings, etc. of the period and includes a computerized exhibit.

The museum has a memorial display honoring  41 Irgun fighters who were killed in the campaign to liberate Jaffa.

Nahum Goldmann Street 2, Tel Aviv (Charles Clore Garden)

Email: Etzel_museum@mod.gov.il

 

The Palmach Museum

 

Palmach Museum , Tel Aviv, Israel

Palmach Museum , Tel Aviv, Israel By Ori~ (Own work) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

The Palmach was the striking force of the Haganah: The underground military organization of the Jewish community and the Zionist Movement prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. The Palmach was founded in 1941 (WWII), to help the British defend the country (then, Palestine) against the approaching German army.

The Palmach Museum is an experiential museum, describing the Palmach legacy in an innovative and “live” presentation of the stories of individuals Israeli pioneers and groups.

There are no displays or documents, but rather an account of a fascinating personal story accompanied by three-dimensional decor, films and various effects incorporating documentary materials. The visit correlates with the structure of the presentation, set out as a series of events and symbolizing the Palmach team spirit.

The tour commences and ends in the memorial hall for Palmach warriors who died fighting for establishment of the State of Israel. The tour is by appointment only and lasts about 90 minutes.

Address: Levanon Street 10, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv

Email: palmach_museum@mod.gov.il

 

Museum of the Underground Prisoners – Jerusalem

Museum of the Underground Prisoners – Jerusalem, Israel

Museum of the Underground Prisoners – Jerusalem, Israel By בית השלום (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The museum is in a building originally built for housing Russian pilgrims to Jerusalem.

During the British Mandate in Israel, the building was converted to the central prison of the mandate.

From 1920-1948 this building imprisoned hundreds of inmates from the Haganah, Irgun and Lehi underground defense forces, who were arrested for the “crimes” such as protecting Jews in Israel and fighting for Jewish immigration and statehood.

The museum is actually a reconstruction of the prison and contains: Inmates’ rooms, a dungeon and torture chambers and a room that was converted into the gallows. It has a synagogue that served the prisoners, craft workshops and other rooms for various uses. There is also a display of “hopes and disappointments”, which actually illustrates the struggle of the underground in the White Paper” and the reasons for the struggle. There is also a display of crafts made by prisoners and prisoners in the underground during the British mandate .

The tour and the movies focus on the number of prisoners and prisoners of Etzel, Haganah and Lehi defense undergrounds and tells their story .

Address: Underground Prisoners Museum (Jerusalem ) in the Russian Compound, Jerusalem,

Email: hamachtarot_jerusalem@mod.gov.il

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Bar Mitzvah Trip to Israel

Celebrating a Bat or Bar Mitzvah in Israel

Celebrate a Bar Mitzvah trip in Israel at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Courtesy of: goisrael.com

A Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah is a seminal event in the life of Jewish adolescents, and a Bar Mitzvah trip to Israel is an ideal way to celebrate it. The transition from childhood to adulthood is celebrated as festive Jewish tradition. In recent years, many Jewish families from all denominations, tend to add more ideological content to the event, as opposed to showcasing superficial parties that have little or nothing to do with the wisdom and responsibility associated with this special event. Instead, the youngsters celebrate their tradition, heritage and history with their families in a more meaningful way. This value is amplified when the event takes place in Israel. There is no more significant way to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah than on a trip to the Land of Israel; witnessing firsthand, its landscapes and breathtaking sites.

Themes of Bat Mitzvah or Bar Mitzvah Trip to Israel

A journey to Israel is a symbolic way of marking the transition from childhood to adulthood;  the landscapes of Israel strengthening ties with our homeland and heritage. A Bar Mitzvah trip to Israel can be designed and customized in so many ways, depending on the interests of the family and the adolescents celebrating this very important rite of passage. For example, the journey in Israel can be:

A Bible Tour 

Having the Bible stories that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah youth have learned or read about come to life is a feeling not to be missed! The firsthand experience of walking in the paths of their forefathers  allows them to connect to the history of their people and their land – here and now and in the future.

Historically oriented

Both from the Bible perspective and Modern Israeli History. For the Bar Mitzvah boy or Bat Mitzvah girl who is interested in Jewish history, witnessing Israel ‘s history and major events in the past, through a visit to Masada, Jerusalem or Latrun can be the highlight of the trip.

Adrenaline Challenged

Celebrate a Bat Mitzvah trip in Israel, bonding with your family and hiking around Israel.

Courtesy of: www.BMjourney.com

Find physical  stimulation and excitement with an adrenaline rush: There is rappelling, rock climbing, hang-gliding, zip lining, hiking, scuba diving, ATV riding, horseback riding, camel riding, sailing, surfing, rafting, etc.

Special Projects

Special projects can be prepared in advance by the Bat Mitzvah girl or Bar Mitzvah boywith their parents or independently. They can meet special women and men in Israel. The Bat Mitzvah girl or Bar Mitzvah boy can interview them and film the interviews. War heroes and heroines, leaders in education or social activities, etc. For example, one can create a special itinerary for a Bat Mitzvah girl which combines a tour of places in Israel, following the paths of special women of the Bible such as the prophetess Deborah, or more modern heroines, such as Chana Senesh.

Mother and daughter bonding on a Bat Mitzvah trip in Israel.

Courtesy of: www.BMjourney.com

Family Genealogy

Itineraries can be built around a central idea connected to their family’s history or specific family ancestor(s).

Intellectual Challenges

If you’re looking for intellectual challenges, the entire trip can be built around challenging riddles. For the competitive ones, it can be done in the format of a Treasure Hunt or a competition in the style of the Amazing Race between groups.

 

A Culinary Journey

A Culinary Journey could be ideal for families who enjoy cooking (and eating!). Visiting various sites in Israel focusing on Mediterranean cuisine and of course, sampling an assortment of Israeli restaurants.

 

There are many variations, but virtually all Bar/Bat Mitzvah trips to Israel typically include visits to one or both of the following sites:

  1. The Western Wall
  2. Masada

Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel – The Western Wall

Kotel- The Western Wailing Wall is an ideal place to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah on a trip to Israel.

Photo: Noam Chen – curtesy : goisrael.com

Every Jewish boy who reaches the age of 13 or a girl reaches the age of 12 celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah with family and friends. According to Jewish tradition, becoming a man is celebrated by being called to the Torah where he accepts upon himself the yoke of the commandments of the Jewish religion.

The Western Wall, is the second holiest place of worship for the Jewish nation after the Temple Mount. The Wall is a section of the Western Wall that surrounded the Temple and the Temple courtyard in ancient times, over two thousand years ago.

Many families choose to have the ceremony at the western walls as the highlight of  their  Bar Mitzvah trip to Israel. The Bar Mitzvah ceremony itself often takes place at the Western Wall for both religious and non-religious Jews alike. (Many choose to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah at Masada as well – see below). Such an event is emotional and empowering. The nature of this once-in-a-lifetime experience enables the Bar Mitzvah boy, his family and guests to connect to the roots of the Jewish people, as well as experience the sanctity of the holy place and the occasion.  The Western Wall is a place of historical and religious value that connects the Bar Mitzvah boy to thousands of generations of tradition and history of the Jewish people.

Celebrating the Aliyah LaTorah – Being Called to the Torah – at the Western Wall for a Bar Mitzvah is recommended on Mondays and Thursdays in the mornings, when the Torah is read and Torah scrolls are available to read from. In general, you do not have to reserve a Torah in advance, but it is advisable to arrange it in advance with your guide ensuring that the Torah will be available. If you need assistance for a guide who can arrange such an event, please contact us and we can make introductions to great Israeli guides.

Tips for a Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel – Western Wall:

  • Plan the day, not just the morning event. The Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel will take place in the morning (usually prayers end no later than 9:30 AM). You then need to arrange meals and activities for your guests.
  • Hire a Guide for the day – If you need assistance to find a guide who can arrange such an event, please contact us and we would be happy to recommend some great Israeli guides who specialize in such activities.
  • Plan the event in advance, arrange transportation, drinks, meals, etc. Bring your own prayer shawls (Talit) and of course don’t forget the Tefillin (although, there’s usually a stand at the entrance that provides them for those who need it). Such arrangements can be made at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
  • Take your time, the Kotel can be busy at times and the security lines can take a bit of time. Be patient and plan a time buffer, just in case.
  • Remember to bring cameras to record the event. You can also Skype the event – live – to those relatives who could not come to Israel, using NES Mobile’s Unlimited Data plan for tourists.
  • It is recommended to enter through the Dung Gate as it is the nearest place to the Kotel where a bus can bring the passengers.
  • Some families plan a lively colorful procession of a team of drummers and Shofar that seem to get a smile and lots of attention from tourists and Israelis alike. They accompany the family friends all the way to the Wall.

Bar Mitzvah at Masada

The historic fortress of Masada, located at an altitude of 450 meters above the Dead Sea, has magical desert landscapes and fresh air. It is worth timing your visit so you don’t miss the sunrise or

Celebrate your Israel Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah trip at Masada.

Masada- photo credit: Andrew Shiva

sunset. It is undoubtedly one of the most unique and exciting sites in the world and it can hold a wide variety of private events for any purpose, including unforgettable Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.

To celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Masada, it is advisable to learn the history of the place, to better connect to it. Keep in mind that there are a couple of theories. While virtually all historians believe that there was a great battle and a brave resistance and defiance of the Roman Empire, many tend to doubt the mass suicide narrative.

When you celebrate such an event, you can connect to the astonishing account that happened at Masada and teach the Bar/Bat Mitzvah and your guests a lesson of heroism and sacrifice . It’s also a great chance to teach them that reaching the age of 12 or 13 is more reaching a certain age – it comes with rights as well as obligations. Of course, any event at Masada is an experience in and of  itself, which will never be forgotten.

General Tips for the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah Trip to Israel:

  • Plan ahead and save money.
  • Hire a guide in Israel who can plan and orchestrate the trip. Be sure to check that the guide is licensed by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.
  • Combine several areas of interest remembering to put the boy or girl who is celebrating in the center of the celebration and the trip you plan.
  • Incorporate the Torah portion of the Bar Mitzvah reading during the trip incorporating it into the Israel trip and the ceremony as part of the journey.
  • Book in advance and SAVE money. The same applies to many of the attractions and hotels. Don’t forget to order SIM cards or rent Israeli phones ahead of your trip to avoid high roaming charges.
  • Accommodate participants and make sure they are well prepared for the trip with required equipment, keeping in mind the weather conditions and the level of difficulty of the trip or trails. Some trails may have a high level of difficultly.
  • Relax – allow family members and participant travelers some down-time, and give them the chance to fill the time with their own their own interests and activities.
  • Work with your guide to arrange transportation in advance. Be sure to ensure the quality of the bus, in terms of comfortable seats, air conditioning, etc. so that everything is up to par. You might find some very cheap offers from certain bus companies, which do not meet the standards. Make sure you use a reputable licensed guide who will plan accordingly.
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