For starters, guests will finally have the chance to say, “L’Shanah HAZOT B’Yerushalayim,” “THIS year in Jerusalem.”
As the newest Pesach program on the scene, the “Pesach in Jerusalem” program might just be a lot more special than all the others. The program takes place at the beautiful and newly renovated Cassia Hotel (formerly known as The King Solomon Hotel) which is located in the heart of Jerusalem, within a short walk from the Old City, Machane Yehuda, First Station, Ben Yehuda Street, and much of what Jerusalem has to offer.
A beloved rebbe and founder of NCSY Impact, Rabbi Rosalimsky has years of experience coordinating Pesach programs and an assortment of other programs for adults, teens, and younger kids alike. Together with Dr. Doron Katz, a well-respected internist, community leader, and frequenter of many Pesach programs as a guest, the two have teamed up with The Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel (AACI), a world leader in kosher travel for over 25 years, to offer a one-of-a-kind Pesach program that can best be described as robust, meaningful, and inspirational.
While offering all of the finest food, amenities, and entertainment, Rabbi Avi Rosalimsky, remarked, “The ultimate goal of the program is to offer people a chance to experience a Pesach with a purpose. In addition to all of the trappings of an amazingly fun and exciting hotel program, our goal is to combine the gashmiyut—the physicality—with incredible ruchniyut—spirituality, meaningfulness, and connection.”
At the Cassia Hotel, all guests will enjoy an impressive choice of tastefully decorated and equipped rooms and suites, all of which have been completely renovated over the last year or two. The hotel has a full array of amenities including a rooftop heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, a very large and professional gym and sauna, a children’s club, Shabbat elevators, and a beautiful and spacious lobby. The hotel has five room types that will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for individuals and families of various ages and sizes.
“A goal of this program is to try and bring more Jews to Israel after COVID and to make it exciting while at the same time, recognizing where home really is,” Dr. Katz explained.
A star-studded group of prominent rebbeim, dignitaries, performers, and pro-athletes have been carefully chosen to join the program in order to ensure that all guests have a meaningful, inspirational, and fun experience.
Among the speakers will be Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, former senior adviser and Chief of Staff to former US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Rabbi Lightstone also served as director of the Abraham Fund which helped improve ties between Israel and other countries in the Gulf region.
Rabbi Moshe Benovitz will be joining the program as well. As the managing director of NCSY, the director of NCSY Kollel, and a world-renowned speaker, Rabbi Benovitz has inspired thousands through his clear, engaging, and charismatic speaking style.
Rav Aharon Pessin has also signed on to join Pesach In Jerusalem this year. Rav Pessin is a brilliant talmid chacham and an engaging speaker who was a close student of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, zt’l. Rav Pessin has authored 27 sefarim, and has thousands of shiurim on his website called Torah24-7.com.
Author and founding director of Momentum, Mrs. Lori Palatnik as well as her husband Rabbi Yakov Palatnik will be joining the Pesach in Jerusalem family as well. The Palatniks have (and continue to) inspire thousands of Jews to help them form a deeper connection to Israel and their Jewish roots.
Rabbi Shalom Rosner, rebbe at Yeshivat Kerem B’yavneh, and camp rabbi and educational director of Camp Kaylie, will also be making his way to the Pesach in Jerusalem program. A rebbe to an international classroom of thousands, he broadcasts daily Daf Yomi shiurim, as well as shiurim on Parashat HaShavua, Nach, and Halacha.
In addition to a wide variety of rabbis and speakers, Pesach in Jerusalem will also be featuring some world-class athletes. Olympic runner and mom of five, Beatie Deutsch will be organizing a running workshop for women and speaking about her Olympic journey. In addition, Tamir Goodman, a pro-basketball star who was dubbed “The Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated, will be joining the program as well. He will be running basketball clinics for adults, teenagers, and kids alike in addition to sharing his powerful story of Kiddush Hashem both on and off the court.
Beyond the world class shiurim, speeches, and sports clinics, the program will also feature a variety of trips and entertainment. Throughout Shabbos and yom tov, there will be free walking tours of different parts of Jerusalem. During chol hamoed, there will also be many options for organized trips for families of all family types, sizes, and interests. There will be fun trips including: Aqua Kef, ATV’ing, rappelling, segwaying, golfing, and more. There will be chesed trip options to help orphans, victims of terror, Ukrainian refugees, and Israeli youth at risk. There will also be more educational trip options such as Yad Vashem, Chevron, the Israel Museum, and more. Beyond the chol hamoed trips, there will also be concerts and entertainment from Ohad Moskowitz as well as Duvi Shapiro, who will be the program’s chazan. Netanel Katz a.k.a. “Simcha on Wheels” will be joining the team of entertainers as well. There will be additional star entertainers to be added in the coming days.
The program will also include a robust kids camp and pre-teen/teen program that will have access to the hotel amenities, rabbis and speakers, sports staff. In addition, during chol ha’moed, there will be separate trips and excursions specifically targeted for teens that will include water sports, ATV tours and ping-pong tournaments. Yom tov and Shabbos will afford teenagers unique opportunities to engage in question and answer sessions with different prominent rebbeim and speakers joining the program, along with games and activities geared towards their specific age group.
Under the B’Datz Mehadrin Hashgacha, the program will be kitniyot-free and will provide three meals a day, featuring the finest cuisine from internationally-acclaimed chefs who will create a unique dining of the highest caliber. The hotel also boasts a newly renovated dining room to ensure a comfortable dining experience for all.
Pesach in Jerusalem is the only program of its kind in Israel that caters to English speakers, many of whom plan to observe a two-day yom tov. “It’s basically an American program that happens to be just minutes from the Kotel,” Rosalimsky remarked.
To ensure everyone’s comfort level, those who hold one day of yom tov will have the ability to act as if it’s not yom tov on the second day. But the hotel program itself is going to be sensitive to those observing two days, offering an option for a second seder, and will not hold any concerts or major activities that would not be appropriate for yom tov.
“We are going to treat it [the second day] in the hotel as yom tov because there will be so many people on the program who will be holding two days in Israel. That said, for those that don’t, they can certainly come and go as they please and still enjoy the amenities of the hotel and the program,” Rosalimsky explained.
Sign up before November 15 and be sure to take advantage of Pesach In Jerusalem’s 10% early bird discount.
To learn more about the Pesach In Jerusalem program or to book your stay visit PesachInJerusalem.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.