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When Jesus walked here, he called for love of neighbor and enemy.

When you walk here, you get to practice.

Jerusalem Then & Now – April 21 to May 3, 2023

When you come with us to the Holy Land, you combine pilgrimage and learning. You don’t have to 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 Jesus, history, God, and the challenges facing Israelis and Palestinians today. You will hear their stories, 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 programs, and multiple adult programs in the region. Both Bruce and Alessandra 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.

Jerusalem Then & Now – Program Details

Program length: 12 days on the ground (not including arrival day)

Size of group: 11-16 participants. The perfect size for easy travel, personal encounters, flexibility, and full participation.

Price: $3,450, includes accommodations, tips, private ground transport (with AC), group transfer from airport to Bethlehem and to airport from Nazareth, site entrance fees, local briefings, lectures and guides, all breakfasts, 9 lunches and 8 dinners. You’ll have 6 meals on your own. (Group meals include lunches with Palestinian families, a dinner with live Oud music, a shabbat dinner with a Jewish family, and dinner and a sunset cruise on the Sea of Galilee.)

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

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

Jerusalem Then & Now – Itinerary – April 21 to May 3, 2023

Bethlehem - 3 nights

Arrival Day
Airport transfer, Ben Gurion airport
Transfer to Bethlehem, check in
Welcome dinner & program notes

1 Day 1
Manger Square, Mosque of Omar, Nativity Church and grotto, Lunch in Manger Square
The Wall, Walled Off Hotel, Banksy Museum, Aida Refugee Camp
Dinner and Conversation at Casa Nova

2 Day 2
Worship at Christmas Lutheran Church
Tent of Nations with Daoud Nassar
Free time in Bethlehem Old City
Dinner and conversation with Mitri Raheb 

Jerusalem – 5 nights

3 Day 3
Checkpoint 300, Herodion (Herod the Great), Green Line, US embassy, Jerusalem Old City, Damascus Gate, Muslim Quarter, Via Dolorosa, American Colony Hotel and bookstore, Dinner in East Jerusalem

4 Day 4
Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif, Pool of Bethesda and St. Anne’s Crusader church, Ecce Homo: Lithostrotos, Hadrian’s arch, terrace, Lunch on Via Dolorosa, Christian Quarter walk, Holy Sepulchre Church, Jaffa Gate, Dinner at First Station

5 Day 5
Jordan Valley, Masada summit (ascend by cable car), Qumran (community of the Dead Sea Scrolls), Dead Sea swim

6 Day 6
Holocaust in contemporary Israel with Ophir Yarden, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
Lunch in Ein Kerem and Church of John the Baptist
Mahane Yehuda market, Mea Shearim encounter with the Orthodox

7 Day 7
Jewish Quarter walk, Christ Church museum, Roman Cardo, Kotel (Western Wall)
Lunch in Silwan with Palestian family, Pool of Siloam pool, Mount of Olives, Dominus Flevit (Jesus Wept) Church, Garden of Gethsemane, Kidron Valley
Shabbat dinner with Jewish family

Nazareth – 4 nights

Accomodation: Al Hakim Guest House 

8 Day 8
Garden Tomb, Qalandia checkpoint to West Bank, Nablus Old City, Jacob’s Well, Balata refugee camp Qalandia checkpoint into the West Bank

9 Day 9
Church of the Annunciation, Mary’s Well, Roman Sepphoris excavations and Zippori ruins,
Conversation with Yohanna Katanacho, Dinner and Oud concert at Liwan Cafe

10 Day 10
Nazareth Village, Lunch with family at Cana, Cana Wedding church, Arbel Park and cliffs,
Dinner and presentation at Sindyana

11 Day 11
Capernaum (home of Peter), Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha (Multiplication of the Loaves), “Jesus Boat” at Kibbutz Ginosar, Magdala (home of Mary Magdalene),
Dinner in Tiberias, Sunset cruise on the Sea of Galilee

12Day 12 and Departure
Acco Old City (Crusader town), Jaffa Old City, Simon the Tanner’s house, beach, port
Group transfer to Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv

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