Jewish Africa and Safari


Synagogue Solutions USA is pleased to announce our first Mission and Safari in Tanzania, November 11-19, 2020.

Click here to download brochure and application.   Africa-2020-application.docx 
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Participants will have the opportunity to tour the regional capital city of Arusha including visiting a working coffee plantation, the Maasai market and the Tanzania Cultural Center. The group will spend Shabbat with the small Jewish community in Arusha and share Shabbat evening services and dinner as well as Shabbat morning services and lunch. After this meaningful Shabbat, we will spend 5 days on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Lake Manyara.

In 1971 the Jewish community of Arusha, Tanzania, beset by Christian missionaries determined to convert them, lost their only Sefer Torah in a fire related to the conflict with the missionaries. That Torah had been brought over the mountains from Ethiopia on a donkey.The Tanzanian government had nationalized their synagogue leaving them homeless and without a Torah. The population dispersed throughout the city and concealed evidence of their Jewish identities. Yehudah Amir Kahalani, son of the late rabbi of Arusha, now leads the Jewish community. Kahalani is a lawyer by profession and, along with his partner Efrat, he has dedicated himself to rebuilding Jewish life in Arusha. Yehuda studies daily by skype with Rabbi Meyer Landy in New Jersey, and the community meets every Shabbat for prayers.

When the Tanzanian government offered land to the Jews of Arusha in restitution for the seizures of the 1970's, Kahalani obtained a portion of the site where another synagogue previously stood. There, he built a tiny chapel with an amud, an ark and plush seating for 14. Yet the ark sat empty, waiting for a sefer Torah. Kahalani built a fine house adjacent to the synagogue, where he and Efrat are raising their five children in the Jewish tradition he inherited from his late father, Amir Kahalani, the last rabbi of Arusha. A number of people from the Jewish community also live nearby and attend services on Shabbat. Other Jews in Arusha live too far away to walk to the shul.

Adjacent to the chapel, there is a covered courtyard with room for up to 50 people. This expansion is a work in progress. They also plan to build a mikveh and a guest house for volunteers who may wish to come and help the community. The Jews of Arusha are looking for ways to teach the younger generation Hebrew, as well as Jewish customs and laws. It is a huge challenge, to which Kahalani has dedicated his time and efforts.

On Nov 7, 2019, Harry Silverman, founder of Synagogue Solutions USA, was privileged to be part of a group of 38 pilgrims from North America who brought a Torah from Kehillat Beth Israel in Ottawa and celebrated with Yehudah and the Jewish community of Arusha, the inauguration of their new Torah scroll. A procession of several dozen people marched with the Torah into the synagogue and placed the Torah in the ark. A few minutes later, the Torah was removed from the ark and read for the first time in its new home.

The Jewish community in Arusha has been quietly coping with its problems on its own for decades, without the help or even the knowledge of the broader Jewish world. The contact by remote communication with Rabbi Landy provided them with a lifeline, and the visit by the group from Kehillat Beth Israel has hopefully demonstrated that engagement with the wider Jewish world will enrich them and bolster them in their struggle to survive as a Jewish community.

Now you can be a part of the revitalization of this small Jewish community by joining our 2020 Mission and Safari to Tanzania. We will spend quality time with the Jewish community in prayer and Shabbat meals and have the opportunity to bring them much needed books and other religious articles.

ITINERARY

Day 1, Wednesday November 11, 2020 (D)
Kilimanjaro International Airport - Arusha
Air travel is on your own. On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by one of our driver/guides who will transfer you to our hotel in Arusha.
Mission and safari briefing at the hotel.
Dinner and overnight at African Tulip Hotel.

Day 2, Thursday, November 12, 2020 (B,L)
ARUSHA
Breakfast at hotel.
Arusha cultural tour.  Visit a working coffee plantation see how coffee is grown and processed.  Lunch will be served in the beautiful guest house on the plantation.
Dinner and evening are on your own.  We will provide recommendations. Relax at the hotel pool.
Overnight at African Tulip Hotel.

Day 3, Friday, November 13, 2020 (B.L.D)
ARUSHA
Breakfast at hotel.
Tour of the city of Arusha and its environs.  Activities will include the Central Market, Shanga, (a series of creative workshops focusing on recycling and employing people with disabilities) 
and the Arusha Cultural Heritage Center.  Lunch is included.
In the evening, we will proceed to the synagogue for services and dinner with the Jewish community.
Overnight at African Tulip Hotel.

Day 4, Shabbat, November 14, 2020 (B,L)
ARUSHA
Breakfast at hotel.
After breakfast we will again join the Jewish community for Shabbat services and lunch.
After lunch, we will return to the hotel for a free afternoon and evening. Dinner is on your own.
Overnight at African Tulip Hotel.

Day 5, Sunday, November 15, 2020 (B,L,D)
MAASAI VILLAGE and NGORONGORO CRATER
Our driver/guides will pick us up at the African Tulip at 8:00 AM and drive us to a remote Maasai village where we will experience African tribal life.
From the village, we will drive to Ngorongoro Crater floor for a game drive.  We will drive along the rim of the crater, then descend 600 meters into the crater to view wildlife. 
Ngorongoro is home to one of the highest densities of lions in Africa.  Also, this is perhaps the best place to see Black Rhino. 
If you're itching to see the Big 5, in Ngorongoro you're likely to spot all 5.
Picnic lunch will be provided during the drive.
After ascending from the crater floor, we will proceed to our lodge for dinner and an evening at leisure.
Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.



Day 6, Monday, November 16, 2020  (B,L,D)
NGORONGORO - SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast at the lodge.
After breakfast, our driver/guides will drive us 145 kms (3.3 hours) to the Serengeti National Park for a game drive.
Heading towards the Serengeti National Park via the beautiful high lying farmland of Kratu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  
Leaving the highlands behind, we enter the heart of wild Africa - the Serengeti National Park - with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see.  The Seronera Valley
has resident herds of buffalo, topi, hartbeest and impala, waterbuck, reedbuck and dik dik, giraffe, warthog, and bird life of all colors and sizes.  It is famous for its abundant lions and leopards.
Lunch will be provided during the day.
Early afternoon we will proceed to our lodge for dinner and an evening at leisure.
Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Serena Lodge.

Day 7, Tuesday, November 17, 2020  (B,L,D)
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast at the lodge.
After breakfast, our driver/guides will pick us up for a full day game drive.
We continue to focus on this area of the Serengeti.  The Seronera Valley has resident herds of buffalo, topi, hartbeest and impala, waterbuck, reedbuk and dik dik, giraffe, 
warthog and abundant bird life. The large prides of lion are renowned in this area.  
Rolling southern plains down to the Naabi Gate is the area in which we are most likely to encounter cheetah.  
The lines of sausage trees along the Seronera riverbanks provide the perfect environment for leopards to camouflage themselves on the sun-draped branches.
Lunch will be provided during the day.
Early afternoon we will proceed to our lodge for dinner and an evening at leisure.
Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Serena Lodge.

Day 8, Wednesday, November 18, 2020  (B,L,D)
SERENGETI - LAKE MANYARA 












Breakfast at the lodge.
After breakfast, our driver/guides will pick us up for a final morning game drive.
The exciting sounds of Africa will rouse you from your sleep. We make the most of the day with an early morning start, heading off on our final game drive in the Serengeti. 
Later, our adventure will continue when we travel to Lake Manyara National Park.
Lunch will be provided during the day.
Early evening drive to our lodge outside the park for dinner and an evening at leisure.
Dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge.


Day 9, Thursday, November 19, 2020 (B,L)
LAKE MANYARA - KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Breakfast at the lodge.
After breakfast, our driver/guides will pick us up for a game drive in Lake Manyara National Park.
Drive to Lake Manyara National Park for another round of excellent game viewing and birdlife.  Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, breathtaking views and 
incredible ecological variety in a small area rich in wildlife and an amazing number of birds.Lake Manyara's game includes buffalo and wildebeest, giraffe,zebra, warthog, impala, 
Kirk's dik dik, waterbuck near some of the springs and klipspringer on the slopes of the escarpment and tree climbing lions.
Lunch will be provided during the day.
After the game drive, you will leave the park and head to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your onward flight (or extended visit)

COST OF THE MISSION AND SAFARI

US$3,290.00 per person/double occupancy.  Single supplement $375.00.

PACKAGE INCLUDES
  • 4x4 vehicles with English speaking driver/guide.
  • Accommodations and meals as per itinerary. Meals with the Jewish community will be kosher. All other meals will have ample vegetarian options available.
  • Airport transfer as per itinerary - one way on arrival and departure.
  • All sightseeing and game viewing as per itinerary.
  • VAT (All government taxes).
  • Park and crater service fees.
  • Sort drinks, tea/coffee and water during game drives.
  • Flying Doctors.
PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE
  • International and domestic flights.
  • Tipping for the driver guide
  • Insurance
  • Visa (available on-line in advance or at the airport on arrival. Cost is US$100 per person for US citizens.  Other nationalities are US$50 per person.)

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Harry Silverman,
Dec 22, 2019, 8:02 AM
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