Beyond Borders Tour: Transboundary Cross-Cultural Tour of Jordan and Israel

The 2020 Beyond Borders Tour will be May 3 – 12, 2020. Stay tuned for more information, coming soon!


This small group journey through Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank gives participants exclusive access to the culture, politics, and environment of the region.  Led by regional experts, this luxury trip goes beyond borders and takes you off-the-beaten track to delve into the complex environmental realities in the Middle East.


  • Ambassador Daniel Shek, Former Israeli Ambassador to France and Chair of the Public Council for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Academic Director and Director of the Center for Renewable Energy & Energy Conservation at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • David Lehrer, Executive Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Miriam May, Executive Director of the Friends of the Arava Institute
  • Dr. Clive Lipchin, Director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
  • and others!

May 3 – 12, 2020

This information will be available shortly.

Please note, transportation to and from the Middle East is not included in the price of the tour.

  • Transportation during the tour is included in the tour price.
  • Luxury coach buses will be provided for the duration of the trip.
  • Transport to and from the airport with VIP services
  • Transportation to and from the Middle East is not included in the price of the tour.

Throughout the journey through Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank participants will enjoy accommodation in 5-star hotels.

The safety and security of our participants is our primary concern. We consult with Israel’s security services and receive all security alerts posted by the Security Department of Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and its subsidiary company, The Israel Experience.


Below is a sample itinerary:


Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you will be picked up and transported to the deluxe Kempinski Hotel Amman. After settling in, you and your fellow travelers will be joined by Jordanian Arava Institute alumni for a delicious welcome dinner hosted by the Israeli Ambassador to Jordan at the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

Amman & Dead Sea

The first full day of the tour begins by meeting with Jordanian officials, followed by lunch, and sightseeing around Amman at the Rabbath Ammon, the Roman Theatre, the Archaeological Museum, and the Citadel, which contains the remains of the massive Temple of Hercules. In the evening, we will be the guests of a Jordanian entrepreneur at her home at the Dead Sea.


After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we will drive to the World Heritage site of Petra, an ancient Nabatean city and archeological site, where we will eat lunch and spend the afternoon touring and exploring. In the evening, we will head to the hotel in Aqaba to enjoy the seaside resort for free time, relaxation, and dinner.

Aqaba, Crossing into Israel & Kibbutz Ketura

Following breakfast and checking out of our hotel, we will tour the border area, see one of the largest flags in the world, and meet with representatives from the Aqaba Development Corporation. After lunch at the famed Ali Baba Restaurant in Aqaba, we will then cross the border to Israel and drive to Kibbutz Ketura, the home of the Arava Institute, where we will have dinner and stay overnight in the kibbutz guesthouse.

Ketura, Arava Institute & Shabbat

Our day at the Institute starts with breakfast and a tour of the kibbutz. Then we will meet with students, interns, and faculty, and see some of the Institute’s achievements, such as the Off-Grid Technology Village and Methuselah, the date tree sprouted from a 2,000-year-old seed found at Masada. There will then be time to relax at the kibbutz, optional Shabbat services, and a communal Shabbat dinner followed by dessert hosted at the home of Arava Institute Executive Director, David Lehrer.

Kibbutz Ketura & Jericho

This is a free morning on Kibbutz Ketura.  Taxis can be organized for those who wish to tour, go to the beach, or go snorkeling in Eilat for the morning.  We will then head to Jericho to spend the evening and be ready for an early start the next day.

Auja & Dead Sea

Today we will visit al Auja, a Palestinian village near Jericho, to meet with Dr. Clive Lipchin and Mr. Suleiman Halasah to see the greywater and solar projects installed in the community. We will also hear from Auja community members to hear about the cooperative projects and how they have affected the village. After lunch, we will drive to visit Qasr al Yehud, the lower Jordan River baptism site. Then we will eat dinner and spend the night in Jerusalem.

West Bank & East Jerusalem

The day will begin with a trip to the new Palestinian city of Rawabi where we will meet with some of the city’s planners.  Rawabi is the first planned city built for and by Palestinians in the West Bank and residents began moving in in 2015.  We will then travel to Ramallah to meet with representatives from the PLO Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society.  After lunch we will travel to Tsur Baher, a Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem that was once part of Jordan, where we will meet with Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed of the Arava Institute and Eliezer Yaari, author of Beyond the Mountains of Darkness.

Jerusalem & Tel Aviv

For our final day of touring we will go on a guided tour of the Old City of Jerusalem.  After lunch we will travel to Tel Aviv and conclude the day with a final festive dinner with members of the Arava Institute’s Public Council, which brings together prominent Israeli academics, artists, politicians, journalists, and other public figures.


Breakfast at the hotel will be available before departure to Ben Gurion airport for afternoon and evening departures.

Click here to read more about the 2018 Beyond Borders Tour.


The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a leading environmental studies and research program in the Middle East. It houses academic programs in partnership with Ben Gurion University, research centers, and international cooperation initiatives focusing on a range of environmental concerns and challenges.

With a student body comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and students from around the world, the Arava Institute offers students an exceptional opportunity to learn from leading professionals while forming friendships and developing skills that enable them to lead the region and the world in solving today’s most pressing environmental challenges.

All cancellations must be received in writing.

  • Cancellations received up to December 31 forfeit $150 per person
  • Cancellations received between January 1-February 1 forfeit $500 per person
  • Cancellations received after February 1 will not be refunded

Insurance is not included in any tour package.  Insurance for baggage, trip cancellation, and/or medical emergency is highly recommended.

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