For our first trip to Israel, we thought we would spend the first 5 days based in Jersualem, and 5 days based in Tel Aviv (with at least a day trip to Haifa). We are interested in major historical sites, but also current culture and want to see a lot but don't want to be crazed with checking in and out of different hotels and cities. We are arriving on a Friday evening in late May. Due to our interests in having an authentic experience and the apparent high price of hotels in Jerusalem, we are considering staying in the old city (Lutheran Guest House?) but are getting overwhelmed with all of the factors to consider. Will arriving on Friday night, with our first day being Saturday, be problematic because everything we want to see will be closed? Will staying in the old city be too far to walk to restaurants (more than 10-15 minute walk)? We were thinking of spending at least 2 full days in the old and center of the city, then spend one day on a tour to the Dead Sea/Masada/Ein Gedi, and another day on a tour to see Bethelem, Jericho, Nazareth and/or somewhere in the Palestinian area for a cultural contrast. Any thoughts on hotel, hotel locations, challenges associated with things being closed on religious holidays, or itinerary would be greatly appreciated!