Come with us to THE HOLY LAND

When we take groups to the Holy Land, we combine pilgrimage and learning. We don’t choose between past and present, between then and now. You may be drawn to the Land to encounter Jesus in his neighborhood or to read the Bible on location. We are too. But that zeal for sacred history and personal growth need not exclude a zeal to understand modern realities in the Land.

If you come with us you will meet Jews, Christians and Muslims who will enrich (and complicate) your understanding of God, history, and the modern conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. You will hear their stories, probably shed tears, and learn why simplistic “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestine” narratives don’t advance the cause of peace.

The sites we visit will illuminate the world of Jesus, Judaism and early Christianity. They will also open our eyes, and hearts, to life in the Land today.

The Holy Land is full of history, full of memory, full of gods, you might say. Whether you are following ancient trails, listening to local experts, or just sipping coffee with friends, something will surprise you. Alessandra‘s grandparents came from the town of Beit Jala (next to Bethlehem), so the Land is in her soul. She graduated from Hebrew University (Jerusalem) with a Masters degree in Conflict Studies, and knows both local languages. Bruce‘s academic training and research in New Testament stoked a fire in him to understand the world of Jesus, which led to writing a book about it and leading eight undergraduate study-abroad programs in the region. Both have dear friends there — Jews, Muslims and Christians — who are rooted in the Land and caught up in its troubles. We’d love for you to meet them.

PROGRAM DETAILS

Program length: 11 full days on the ground (not including arrival and departure days)

Size of group: 15 participants maximum. The perfect size for easy travel, personal encounters, flexibility, and full participation.  

Price includes accommodations, tips, private ground transport (with AC), group transfer from airport to Bethlehem and to airport from Nazareth, carbon offset payment for ground transport, site entrance fees, local briefings and guides, optional activities, all breakfasts and lunches, five group dinners including an Iftar dinner with a  Muslim family, a dinner with live Oud music, a shabbat dinner with a Jewish family, and a dinner and sunset cruise on the Sea of Galilee.

Price does not include round-trip airfare to Tel Aviv (participants arrange own flights and are encouraged to offset carbon), traveler’s insurance, six meals, and alcoholic beverages.

What to bring: walking shoes, hat, swimsuit, water shoes or flip flops, refillable water bottle, day pack, passport pouch, small flashlight, Bible, notebook, adapter plug for recharging (like this).

Holy Land Itinerary

Sunday
Airport transfer, check in
Welcome dinner & program notes

Monday
Walking tour of Manger Square
Group lunch at Afteem
The Wall, Walled Off Hotel
Aida Refugee Camp
Rev. Munther Isaac
Nativity Church and grotto
Dinner at Casa Nova

Tuesday
Herodion: Herod the Great fortress
Efrat encounter with Ardie Geldman
Tent of Nations with Daoud Nassar
Free time in Old City
Holy Land Trust with Sami Awad
Deheisheh refugee camp with Ayed Arafah

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Wednesday
Checkpoint 300, Green Line, US Embassy, Hinnom Valley, Mt. Zion, Jerusalem Old City walk
Lunch in Christian Quarter
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Muslim Quarter
Dinner In East Jerusalem
Drinks at American Colony

Thursday

Jewish Quarter, Hurva Square, Western Wall, Temple Mount,
Pool of Pool of Bethesda, St. Anne’s Crusader church
Afternoon free
Dinner in West Jerusalem

Friday
Holocaust in contemporary Israel with Ophir Yarden
Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
Village of Ein Kerem lunch and Church of John the Baptist
Via Dolorosa procession with the Franciscans
Western Wall for Shabbat (Sabbath)
Shabbat dinner in Abu Tor with friends

Saturday
Jordan Valley
Masada (ascend by cable car)
Qumran (community of the Dead Sea Scrolls)
Dead Sea float

Sunday
Church of the Redeemer Lutheran and encounter with Rev. Ballenger Smith
City of David / Silwan / Hezekiah’s tunnel / Pool of Siloam
Kidron Valley
Garden of Gethsemane
Dominus Flevit church
Sunset dinner (prepared by local family) and (optional) Communion on the Mt of Olives

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Monday
Qalandia checkpoint into the West Bank
Nablus, Jacob’s Well with Father Ioustinos
Balata refugee camp
Mt. Gerizim and the Samaritans with
Dinner and Oud concert at Liwan, Nazareth

Tuesday
Roman Sepphoris 
Ruins of Zippori (1948 village) with Jonathan Cook
Afternoon and evening free

Wednesday
Church of the Annunciation
Guided tour of Nazareth Village
Cana Guesthouse and Wedding Church
Galilee Boat at Kibbutz Ginosar
Tour and dinner at (Orthodox) Kibbutz Lavi

Thursday
Arbel cliffs and Sea of Galilee overlook
Capernaum (home of St. Peter)
Tabgha (Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves)
Mount of Beatitudes
Magdala (home of Mary Magdalene)
Free time in Tiberias 
Sunset cruise on the Sea of Galilee

Friday
Bahai Gardens, Haifa
Jaffa Old City
Group transfers to Tel Aviv airport

For advance reading, see Bruce’s book: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus.

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