Eshet Incentives & Conferences

Cradle of civilization

 

 

CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION

Incentive program for Israel & Jordan

Background

This is an outline of a unique incentive travel program that took place in Israel and Jordan from May 31 uniil June 8. 2000 and was organized for a group of 160 American insurance agents.

The program was designed, executed and managed by Eshet Incentives & Conferences.

Right at the inception of the prize trip, the client provided several key factors that served as guidelines for preparing the program.

■ This was the client's first trip to Israel and the destination had been chosen to celebrate the new Millenium and to coincide with Elar's 10 years of partnership.

■ The agents were demanding and experienced travelers who had already participated in numerous incentive trips, including some exciting destinations like China. Australia or Russia to mention a few. However, they worked very hard and made every effort to be pan of the incentive trips organized by the client, because of their excellent reputation.

■ The program should be creative, inventive. The guests were to be rewarded with absolute!) unique, original events, and exciting experiences.

■ Last but not least. Elar wished to confirm again their reputation as the preferred agents' incentive trip!

The Millenium celebration has opened the gates to the past and to the future. The program created a journey through the different cultures that co-existed in this land throughout the milleniums. And from this historical and cultural background a new vision of the future has been shaping up From 2000 B.C. to 2000 A.D. and beyond. Let us discover it together.

DAY 1

Welcome to Jerusalem

A "cultural shock"

 

The group arrived after a long transatlantic flight. The welcome dinner took place in the cool and luxuriant garden of the world-famous King David Hotel, facing the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem! What a better introduction to this country and its diversified and rich cultures than a "Taste of Israel" dinner.

The 12 tribes of Israel had been dispersed all over the world. The last two centuries have witnessed their return to the Holy Land, bringing with them millenium old traditions and well-guarded secret recipes, creating a unique indigenous cuisine based on a multi-cultural culinary heritage.

A large Yemenite musical ensemble led the guests to the venue, designed as a typical Israeli market with food merchants presenting a colorful array of food from distant lands, beautifully and originally displayed on wooden trolleys from the Old City bazaar, each trolley representing a different culture. The merchants proudly introduced their lavish food display. While getting acquainted with a variety of typical dishes from the Moroccan. Persian. Lebanese. Georgian. Yemenite and Hungarian traditional kitchens, the guests were entertained by folklore dancers and singers. Enjoying the Jerusalem evening cool breeze, the guests relaxed in this very lively atmosphere. Then a circle of drummers suddenly produced a completely different rhythm, inviting the guests to join in a superb and exciting performance.

As a memento of this tasty and fascinating evening, a "Taste of Israel" cookbook was presented to each guest.

Day 2: Discovery

 

Divided in small groups, the guests started on their discovery of the Old City of Jerusalem and its most important religious sites: The Wailing Wall, the Via Dolorosa with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock. The Old City has always fascinated visitors, attracted by its long and rich history and the incredible variety of its inhabitants. This was reflected at lunchtimc: The meal was served in an Arabic restaurant serving Armenian and Middle-eastern specialties.

Similarly, the carefully selected list of dinner restaurants provided a wide choice of menus combining the various influences of the different Jewish culinary traditions. In preparation for the following evening, each guest received a beautiful "Dreidl". painted with Chagall themes by a Russian-Israeli artist. The Yiddish name relates to a spinning-top, a very popular gift in the European Jewish religious tradition.

Jerusalem

Day 3: Ecology, art and tradition

 

The day started with greetings from the Mayor of Jerusalem. Mr. Ehud Olmert. who especially came to meet with this important group on "Jerusalem Day", the 33rd anniversary of the reunification of the city.

To participate in the countrywide effort of reforestation and to strengthen the bonds with the Land, the guests were invited lo an official tree planting ceremony in the Judean Hills. 160 trees were individually planted

and commemorated by personal tree certificates.

This effort was rewarded by a very pleasant lunch at the sculpture garden of the Israel Museum.

A jazz band and world-famous modern sculptures created the atmosphere. A private visit of the

museum provided a quick walk through milleniums of Jewish history: From the Dead Sea scrolls.

a 2000 years biblical manuscript which made history when discovered some 50 years ago. to

the rich and unique Judaica exhibit and the Yemenite Jewish heritage.

Shabbat Shalom!

Every religious Jewish family in the world celebrates the beginning of the Shabbat with a festive meal embellished with prayers and songs. On that Friday night, the guests were invited to a typical Shabbat dinner served in a Jewish home of the beginning of the century.

The venue was designed as a real "Ashkenaze" family home in Central Europe, decorated with antique, original furniture. Table lace, silver candelabra and vases of roses recreated the special festive atmosphere of the Shabbat dinner.

Two masters of ceremony who led the prayers, presenting and explaining the religious aspects, telling stories and jokes about life in the "Shtetl". conducted the whole evening. A 16-children Choir concluded the dinner with a recital of traditional Jewish songs, inviting the guests to sine along.

A desert survival kit had been carefully prepared for the following day program. The guests were ready for the Desert Experience!