A Journey to the Holy Land
DAY 1: Depart for Israel
You will book your own air transportation into the Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion (TLV) Airport, which will arrive on DAY 2.
DAY 2: Arrive in the Holy Land
After passing through customs and retrieving your luggage in baggage claim, you will grab a taxi and make your way to our hotel. You will gather and get acquainted with others from your group over dinner in the hotel dining room.
1 night in a hotel like the Prima City Tel Aviv, Mapu St 9, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
DAY 3: Caesarea and Mount Arbel
After breakfast and checking out of your hotel, you 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 stop in Haifa to see the beautiful Baha’i Gardens.
3 nights in a hotel like Caesar Premier Tiberias Hotel, The Promenade 103, Tiberias, Israel
DAY 4: Galilee and Nazareth
We’ll begin this day with a stop at the Church of Peter's Primacy along the serene shores of the Sea of Galilee. followed by a visit to 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 head to Mount Arbel that overlooks the Sea of Galilee, which is the likely location of the Jesus' Great Commission, followed by lunch at the Pagoda Restaurant where you will have the opportunity to eat St. Peter's Fish. We will then make our way to the Nazareth Village for a guided tour of this recreation of a 1st century Galilean community. If time allows we will stop to see the Church of the Annunciation and the Mount Precipice overlook. Back at our hotel we will learn about and celebrate Shabbat before enjoying dinner together.
DAY 5: Galilee and Capernaum
This morning you'll enjoy 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 our touring with stops at Capernaum, which was "base camp" for Jesus and his disciples, followed by the traditional site of the Mount of Beatitudes, where we will read Jesus' famous sermon. We'll then make our way to the Northern Galilee to see the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi and the Tel Dan Nature Preserve.
DAY 6: Galilee 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 waters of the Jordan River. We’ll then travel to Bet She’an, site of spectacular archaeological excavations dating back to biblical times. If time allows we'll visit Ma'ayan Harod (also known as Gideon’s Spring) and Bet Alpha, the remains of a 6th century synagogue at the foot of Mount Gilboa. 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 a hotel like the Leonardo Plaza Hotel Dead Sea, Neve Zohar
DAY 7: Northern Dead Sea and Judean Wilderness
This day begins with a cable car ride to the top of Masada, 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 and see the remains of a cave where David and his mighty men hid from King Saul. We will then have lunch with "Abraham" in a Bedouin tent in the Judean Wilderness at Genesis Land, along with a camel ride, before stopping in Qumran, the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will then ascend to Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives to take in the panoramic view of the city and valley below.
5 nights in a hotel like the Ibis City Center Hotel, 4 Elisar St, Jerusalem, Israel or the
DAY 8: Jerusalem
This morning we will visit Yad Vashem, a powerful and somber museum and memorial to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We will then visit the Israel Museum, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other amazing historical artifacts dating back to the time of the Canaanites.
DAY 9: 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 have a self-guided tour at the Temple Institute, 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.
DAY 10: 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 meet our host from Shabbat of a Lifetime to enjoy a traditional Shabbat dinner in their home.
DAY 11: Jerusalem
Our last day in the Holy Land begins with a visit to the Jerusalem overlook on the Mount of Olives before walking down the Palm Sunday path to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here we will have time to reflect and pray in their private garden. We will then visit the Church of Saint Peter, possible site of the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where Jesus was falsely accused and held captive the night before his crucifixion. We will then visit Christ Church, the oldest Protestant church in the Middle East, and then share Communion together at the Garden Tomb—a possible site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus. At our last dinner together, you will have the opportunity to share your highlights and give thanks to God for a meaningful and memorable journey to the Holy Land.
DAY 12: 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!
Participants are welcome to sit out certain activities they are not physically able to do.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on events and circumstances on the ground.