We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

Boston...
6 posts
Save Topic
August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

We are scheduled to go on the IBMT Bar Mitzvah tour at the beginning of August. Needless to say, we are very concerned about taking our children to Israel now. Safety aside, this will not be the relaxing trip we had hoped for (complete with sirens and bomb shelters). For now the airlines are flying and the tours are going (i.e. we would be cancelling at our own expense!). I am wondering if anyone else on this forum is in this situation? Or if anyone has any experience with IBMT and how they may handle our concerns?

Switzerland
Level Contributor
666 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

Observing the situation in Israel and the threads on tripadvisor I think the following are the main ones to get general and detailed information. I am only putting together the list. Thanks belong to everyone who contributes with updates and travel reports.

Update from a tourist in Israel re: Safety: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Just arrived from the UK - lovely city to visit right now: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293984-i3332-k7…

Is Israel safe now (#60: what is it like to be a tourist in Israel right now? 10.07.2014 / #81: Report Tel Aviv 12.07.2014 / #95: Report Jerusalem 12.07.2014): tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k6…

In your situation the following links could also help:

What do you tell the kids?: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Daughter on Birthright - Safety concerns: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Is it safe to travel to Israel with kids: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Links to other useful sites:

Update informing tourists where shelters are located at various Jerusalem attractions and sites. Translation: miklat is an underground shelter (miklatim = shelters); mamad is a protected area (mamadim = protected areas). "guards will direct you" - remember: You are not alone, you will be directed by security personnel ( who ALWAYS work at these places, nothing to do with the situation now). You will have plenty of Israelis around you so you can follow them. Also, note that she indicated how your hotel will have signs. This too is standard. The biggest danger is NOT that you are going to be hit by a rocket, the danger is that if a rocket was intercepted so place overhead, pieces of the rocket and the iron dome piece fall back to the ground. These can injure you. --and break glass. This is why you are told to wait 10 minutes after a siren before leaving the secure spot. (by IndigoGrrl, Shuffaluff and rdglady): www.funinjerusalem.com/red-alert-tourists/

Home Front Command has comprehensive instructions for finding the best safe space wherever you might be (by avigail9): http://www.oref.org.il/894-en/Pakar.aspx

Older threads that may help you:

Ease of finding a shelter?: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Current status of tours in Israel- safety: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293983-i2582-k7…

Staying in the old city (Jerusalem): tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293983-i2582-k7…

Old City safe for Israeli tourist-Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Is it safe to go to western wall-Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Jerusalem comment from a real tourist, 10.07.2014: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Are el al flights operating as normal?: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Bethlehem - Jerusalem crossing checkpoints: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Buses_and_safety-Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Perspective on safety in Israel -- at least for Americans: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Safety: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Is it still safe to visit?: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293984-i3332-k7…

Safety for travellers in Israel right now-Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Safety-Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Safety post recent conflicts Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

Safety Re Deux-Israel: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k7…

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
36,309 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

viagiatura is doing an A+++ of compiling lists of applicable threads.

Bottom line, it is too early for cancellations re: August. It can be all over by then. The tour group has no desire to take a bus load of tourists into a dangerous situation. They have their reputation to consider. While this may be very hard--sit back, hold tight and lets see what happens.

Boston...
6 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

Wow! Thank you so much for compiling this for me.

Boston...
6 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

You are right - I need to sit and wait.

Thank you for your reply.

israel
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
Level Contributor
14,915 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

If you cancel now you said you will loose the money, so why not wait? You can cancel any day.

NJ
Level Contributor
556 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

Don't cancel

Boston...
6 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

Yes, we will wait the couple of weeks to see how the situation is then. You are correct - there is no financial upside to cancelling now. If we do not wish to go by then, we are hoping that postponing the trip (i.e. getting credit from the airline and the tour operator for a future trip) will be an option. Too soon to know.

Thanks for your reply.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

I was supposed to travel last Sunday but was able to change my flight to this weekend instead. It gave me some time to think it through and adjust my itinerary accordingly. It's Wednesday evening and i'm now sure that I want to go on Sunday. Like all things in life, we plan and hope for the best. One can't anticipate all things that may arise. Keep all your options open until you have to make a decision.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,902 posts
283 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

Mousymouse welcome! Once you are here it will be interesting to read of your experiences, in your own thread.

Enjoy your visit!

Chana

Israel

North Carolina
6 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: August 2014 Bar Mitzvah tour - to go or not to go

We are scheduled for this tour as well. Wondering if you have heard anything from IBMT and if you have made a decision on what to do.