A Journey to the Holy Land
November 6-17, 2024
Organized in partnership
with Trans-global Travel
WED, NOV 6: Depart for Israel
You will book your own air transportation arrangements and plan to arrive into the Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion (TLV) Airport on November 7th.
THUR, NOV 7: Arrive in the Holy Land
After passing through customs and retrieving your luggage in baggage claim, you will board our transfer shuttle (if flying with the main group) or grab a taxi to our hotel. After you've checked in, we will have the pleasure of getting better acquainted with the others in our group over dinner in the hotel dining room. If you have time before dinner, you may want to take a walk down the beautiful boardwalk along the Mediterranean Sea to take in the sunset.
FRI, NOV 8: Caesarea, Carmel, Megiddo and Nazareth Village
After breakfast and checking out of our hotel we will head up the coast to Caesarea to see its impressive archaeological remains and consider many of the events we read about in Acts. We will then make our way to Megiddo to explore the remains of multiple civilizations who conquered this strategic city in the Jezreel Valley. After lunch we will ascend the Carmel Mountain Range to the Muhraka Monastery, which commemorates Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal, followed by a visit to Nazareth Village for a guided tour of this re-creation of a 1st century Galilean community. Before dinner at our hotel, we will gather to learn about and bring in the Shabbat.
3 nights at Nof Ginosar Hotel, Ginosar, Israel
SAT, NOV 9: Galilee, Caesarea Philippi and Tel Dan
We will begin our day with a visit to the Church of Peter's Primacy along the serene shores of the Sea of Galilee, followed by a stop at the Church of the Multiplication, which houses an ancient mosaic of the fish and loaves that dates back to the 4th century. We will then visit the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount at the Church of the of Beatitudes, where we will collectively read Jesus' famous sermon before we make our way to the Northern Galilee for lunch at a Lebanese restaurant along the Hermon stream, followed by stops at the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi and the Tel Dan Nature Preserve.
SUN, NOV 10: Galilee, Capernaum, Magdala and Mount Arbel
This morning at the Yigal Allon Centre we will see the remains of a boat from the 1st century, followed by a boat ride on the beautiful Sea of Galilee to reflect on the One who calms the storms and walks on water. We'll then continue with a stop at Capernaum, which was "base camp" for Jesus and his disciples, followed with lunch at the Pagoda Restaurant where you will have the opportunity to eat St. Peter's Fish. We will then stop at Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, and see the remains of a synagogue from the first century where Jesus would have taught. We’ll then end our day atop Mount Arbel, which overlooks the Sea of Galilee and is the likely location of the Jesus' Great Commission.
MON, NOV 11: Jordan River, Bet She'an and the Dead Sea
Before departing the Galilee we’ll visit the Yardenit, a baptismal site where you are welcome to declare or renew your faith in the waters of the Jordan River. We’ll then visit Bet Alpha, the remains of a 6th century synagogue at the foot of Mount Gilboa, followed by a tour of Bet She’an, site of spectacular archaeological excavations dating back to biblical times. We will then make the drive to the southern resort area along the Dead Sea, where you are welcome to enjoy some leisurely floating at the lowest place on earth.
1 night at the The Dead Sea Hotel, Ein Bokek, Israel
TUE, NOV 12: Northern Dead Sea and Judean Wilderness
This day begins with a cable car ride to the top of Masada, the "Alamo of Israel" and the winter fortress of Herod the Great, followed by the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, where those who are able can hike up to a magnificent waterfall in the area where David and his mighty men hid from King Saul. After lunch, we will visit Qumran, the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and an Essene community dating to the era of Jesus. On our ascent to Jerusalem, we will stop at Genesis Land. Here we will mount camels to go and enjoy an early dinner with "Abraham" in a Bedouin tent overlooking the Judean Wilderness. As we continue up to the Holy City, we will stop at the Mount of Olives to take in the panoramic view of the city and valley below before checking into our hotel, which is a 15-minute walk from the popular open-air pedestrian mall located along Ben Yehuda and Yo'el Moshe Salomon Streets.
5 nights at the Prima Kings Hotel, 60 King George
St., Jerusalem, Israel
WED, NOV 13: Jerusalem
This morning we will visit Yad Vashem, a powerful and somber museum and memorial to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. After lunch, we will then visit the Israel Museum, home to a model of 1st century Jerusalem, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other amazing historical artifacts dating back to the time of the Canaanites.
THUR, NOV 14: The Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
On our first day touring the Old City we will stop for a time of individual prayer and reflection at the Western Wall (aka, Kotel), Judaism's holiest site. Afterwards we will visit the Temple Mount where the Dome of Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are located. We then make our way along the traditional Via Dolorosa, which will include a stop at the Church of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethesda, concluding with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After lunch in the Jewish Quarter we will tour the Temple Institute to become familiar with temple worship during biblical times and then conclude our day with a stop at the Jerusalem Archaeological Park Davidson Center where we will visit the remains of the southern steps to the Temple Mount once used by Jesus and his disciples.
FRI, NOV 15: City of David (Jerusalem) and Bethlehem
We will begin our day with a visit to the City of David to learn about the history of the ancient Israelites before we descend to the Gihon Spring and visit the Pool of Siloam via a hike through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. We will then make our way to Bethlehem to have lunch at the Shepherd’s Valley Village Tent Restaurant before stopping at the Shepherd’s Field Monastery and the Church of Nativity to remember the Christmas story. While we're in Bethlehem we will also stop to shop for quality olive wood products made by Palestinian artisans and have an opportunity to get better acquainted with those who live in this community. For dinner this evening, we will enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner in the home of a Jewish family organized by Shabbat of a Lifetime.
SAT, NOV 16: Jerusalem
After checking out of our hotel, our last day will begin with a visit to the Garden Tomb—a possible site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus—where we will receive Communion together. Before backtracking in the Gospel narrative, we will visit Christ Church and learn about the history of the oldest Protestant church in the Middle East. After lunch, we will then visit the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, possible site of the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where Jesus was falsely accused and held captive the night before his crucifixion. From here we will go to the overlook on the Mount of Olives before walking down the Palm Sunday path to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. Here we will have time to reflect and pray in their private garden and to seek God for His will in our lives. In route to our hotel near the Ben Gurion Airport, we will stop for our last meal together and take the opportunity to share with each other our favorite highlights and takeaways from our journey in the Holy Land.
SUN, NOV 17: Return Home
It's now time to continue on to your next destination or return to the U.S. on your scheduled flight from Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV). Shalom!
If you extend your stay and you have extra time in Jerusalem, we highly recommend going to see the Tower of David, Western Wall Tunnel Tour, and the Friends of Zion Museum. You may also want to consider returning to the Israel Museum and going through their extensive archeology exhibit and their special exhibitions.
Participants are welcome to sit out certain activities they are not physically able to do.
The itinerary is subject to change depending on events and circumstances on the ground.