Category Archives: Debra Tours

Essential Tips for Your Israel Trip

  1. Do not throw out the little slip of paper that they give you at the airport. This is your entry visa and entitles you to exemption of the 17% VAT tax on rental cars, hotels and certain shopping venues.
  2. All the children (and adults) need a hat with a brim. I cannot stress this enough. It really keeps you cool. It is very hot and everyone needs one. A baseball cap is ok, but one with a full brim is better to prevent sunburned necks.
  3. Bring your sunscreen favorites (spray, lotion, etc) reapply throughout the day. You will need to use insect repellent as well. We have lots here but if you have a favorite brand that you use on kids at home, you should bring it. It is most useful in desert areas.
  4. Bring water shoes for the City of David tunnels, rafting and Ein Gedi. No flip flops
  5. Buy water for your apartment and Air B and B. Make sure people start drinking water BEFORE you leave for the day. Buy some of the hand water bottle cooling things. They hold a liter or liter and a half of water. You can refrigerate your water the night before and place them in those things to keep chilled.
  6. Make sure you know all your passwords for your ATM cards and call all credit card companies and tell them you are going to Israel, so charges are not denied.
  7. You should have a good data plan on at least one cell phone because if you are driving in a rental car you will definitely need to be able to access WAZE and What’s App.
  8. Buy a driving map of Israel. The rental car companies are not so good about giving one. It is great for the kids to see where they are going and the outline of the country as you guys drive around.
  9. Shop for snacks and bring daily. Best to have at least one or two persons carry a regular backpack. That way, it will fit water, snacks and souvenirs if you buy
  10. Take good pictures of the rental car before you head out.
  11. Bring medication for everyone and if needed, bring a prescription from your doctor if you run out. Bring your favorite over the counter meds in small quantities. You need a prescription here for neosporin!
  12. Buy travel insurance and also check your insurance policies to see what is covered overseas.
  13. Buy a Rav Kav card at the airport for bus travel. If going to parks, that can be purchased there too.
  14. If you need gluten free or any other special foods, have a letter written in Hebrew with you to present to the management of the restaurant or hotel
  15. Download Moovit, and other pertinent apps for your phone. Check charges daily from Pango and Gett.
  16. Do not bring Traveler’s checks, nobody uses them. Bring cash with you as well as a few ATM cards. Just in case the ATM machines do not work in the neighborhood that you are in, a money changer can change American cash and Euros. Do not change money at your hotel or a bank, they give terrible rates. Only a money changer.
  17. Bring good footwear. A good walking shoe or good walking sandals. Your feet will thank you.
  18. Learn a few words in Hebrew. Todah means thank you and it goes a long way.
  19. If your child is a super picky eater, bring favorite snacks from home for the flight and the first few days here. Some kids wind up eating nothing here.
  20. Adjust to jet lag by being outside for the first day. Try to keep everyone up until regular bedtime. Do not overschedule the first day.
  21. Pack lightly, hand wash and hang up to dry. We are a casual country in terms of dress/attire.
  22. Bring an open mind, a sense of humor and a smile. Don’t compare to your home country. You are in ISRAEL!!!

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The Flowering of the Gilboa Iris

Right now is the perfect time to see the gorgeous, purple flower, the Gilboa Iris on Mt. Gilboa in Israel. This splendid flower blooms from February to late March and is also known as Iris Haynei or Hayne’s Iris. This is a “protected” flower in that it is there for you to see and photograph, but not to pick for your spring bouquet. The Gilboa Iris is so popular, that it was made the logo for the Society of the Protection of Nature in Israel.

The Gilboa is a mountain range in between the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan Valley to the east. Looking down from the mountain range you can see the Jezreel Valley, also known as “Israel’s breadbasket” and see the fields of wheat, cotton, sunflowers and the Israel’s famous fish ponds.

A visit to this part of Israel is alive with stories from the Bible. We have the story of Saul, the first king of Israel and his troubles with the Philistines. In the Book of Samuel 1 28:4 he consults with his local necromancer, the witch of Ein Dor, ( a kibbutz nearby) to ask for her help. She raises up the soul of the prophet Samuel, but things don’t go well for Saul and he commits suicide on his own sword (Samuel 1 31:4).

Also at the foot of the Gilboa is the spring of Ein Hod. This is where Gideon chose his best men to fight the famous battle against the Midianites. (Judges 7:4-6).

Debra Tours is here to offer you stories from the Bible and flower trippin’Gilboa Iris

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Art and Architecture of the Four Quarters of the Old City

New Walking Tour at Debra Tours-Art and Architecture of the Four Quarters of the Old City. This new 2.5 hours walking tour will highlight art and architecture both ancient and modern in all the four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. We will visit the iconic Imperial Hotel, the choice of hotels for General Allenby and Kaiser Wilhelm. We will have a chance to see the beautiful Mamluk architecture of the Muslim quarter and see the houses of those that have been on the Hajj pilgrimage. Learn why certain colors are used in Islamic architecture. Included in the tour is a special rooftop view and a visit to an Armenian Pottery workshop. Our tour starts just outside Jaffa Gate at 9:15 in the morning, September 3. Contact me at to make your reservation or call 052-3782900.hajj house

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New Walking Tour-Colorful Courtyards of Jewish Jerusalem

Debra Tours is offering a new tour called “Colorful Courtyards of Jewish Jerusalem“. A courtyard was a focal point for the neighborhoods built outside the Old City Walls of Jerusalem in the 19th Century. In these courtyards you could hear the daily news, cook your food, and draw your water. We will visit several of the neighborhoods built outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem on this unique walking tour. We will hear the stories of Moshe Montifiore, Joseph Rivlin and others who contributed to these neighborhoods. Our tour will end with a visit to Yad LaKashish, a very special courtyard that provides dignity and work opportunities for our aging population of Jerusalem. The walking tour will be on September 1, 2014 and will start at 9:30 in the morning. It will be about two hours long. The fee is 65 shekels per person. Contact: or call 052-378-2900

Beit David

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At the beach–In Jerusalem!!!

Today, Jerusalem folks don’t need to travel all the way to Tel Aviv to go to the beach. We have the beach right here in the Holy City. So grab your towel and head to the refurbished Old Train Station now known as “The First Station”. It is a hot venue for cool restaurants, music and all kinds of cultural events. All summer long, come and enjoy 2,000 square meters of fun including lots of sand and umbrellas, a wave pool where older kids can learn how to surf, our famous “matkot” game and refreshing drinks and ice cream. Don’t miss out. Debra Tours can offer you a tour to the First Station, the historical site of the Jaffa to Jerusalem Train Station as well as other Jerusalem Walking Tours.

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Jason’s Tomb

You will see this on my Rendezvous in Rehavia Tour

Unique Tours of Israel

In the heart of one of Jerusalem’s most affluent neighborhoods we discover a fully reconstructed Maccabean-era tomb. The tomb even has its own address, 10 Alfasi Street. Who’s buried here and why would they be buried in the middle of a residential neighborhood?

(Photo Credit: Dror Avi/Wikpedia) (Photo Credit: Dror Avi/Wikpedia)

Visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City quickly notice the graveyards that surround it, especially from the East. What most are not aware of is that during the Second Temple period the Old City was surrounded by graves from the west as well. Today, many of Jerusalem’s most upscale neighborhoods were part of an elaborate “City of the Dead” (Necropolis). Our tomb sits at the heart of this ancient city.

After the 1948 war, when Jerusalem was divided into two parts, Israeli Western Jerusalem was built up as a residential area. In 1956, construction was done on Alfassi Street in the Rehavia neighborhood to make…

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