Christ Church Pilgrimage to Israel

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Christ Church Trip to Israel
March 18 – 28, 2020
(subject to change)

Wednesday March 18 – Departure
Depart from JFK


Thursday March 19 – Arrival
Land at Ben Gurion Airport; meet your Israeli tour guide, Joel Rosenfeld, and driver and drive to Tel Aviv. After a welcome ceremony on the Tel Aviv beachfront promenade, check in to the Royal Beach Hotel. We will then enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, where we will review the itinerary with group leader, The Rev’d Marek Zabriskie, and Joel. Overnight: Royal Beach Hotel


Friday March 20 – Jaffa, Tel Aviv & Rosh Ha’ayin
After breakfast at the hotel, go on walking tour of the ancient seaport of Jaffa. See the entrance to the house of Simon the Tanner (Tabitha, Acts 9:36) Hear the story of Jonah and the whale (Jonah 1). We will then continue to Rabin Square, where Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995. From there, visit the arts & crafts fair on Nachalat Binyamin Street pedestrian mall. Lunch on own at fair or in the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv's open-air market; time to shop and explore market. Then, return to the hotel on own to rest and freshen up. In the late afternoon we will drive to Rosh Ha'ayin to join Reform Jewish congregation, Kehillat Bavat Ayin, in welcoming the Sabbath and then go to members' homes for dinner. Return to Tel Aviv. Overnight: Royal Beach Hotel


Saturday March 21 – Heading North
Breakfast at hotel and then check out. We then drive to Caesarea National Park, with archaeological ruins spanning over 2000 years including an impressive Roman theater and beautifully preserved aqueduct; site of Cornelius’ baptism; tour park. We continue to Haifa to visit St John’s Church and meet with The Rev’d Canon Hatem Shehadeh on a variety of topics including co-existence education (tentative). We will enjoy a falafel lunch on own in the Christian Arab neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas. Drive to Megiddo National Park, the traditional site of "Armageddon" where the great battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness is to take place according to the Book of Revelation. We then drive to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation. Drive to Sea of Galilee and check in to the Setai Hotel on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Check in followed by dinner at the hotel. Overnight: Setai Hotel


Sunday March 22 – Around the Sea of Galilee
Breakfast at hotel and then drive to Mt of Beatitudes, traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount; study, worship and communion. We then drive down to Tabgha, traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes and continue to Capernaum, Jesus' base during his ministry in the north. We will enjoy St Peter's fish lunch at restaurant on shore of Sea of Galilee and go on a boat ride on Sea of Galilee. After visiting the “Jesus” Boat Museum, we will visit the Magdala Project, site of excavations of 1st Century Jewish fishing village where synagogue from the time of Jesus has been discovered. Return to hotel for dinner and time to process the day. Overnight: Setai Hotel


Monday March 23 - The Golan Heights
Breakfast at hotel and we then drive north to Tel Dan Nature Reserve in Golan Heights, site of Canaanite and Israelite archaeological remains, including Jeroboam’s altar, and springs which serve as a major source of the Jordan River. Continue to Banias National Park, site of Caesarea Philippi. We then drive up into the Golan Heights, visit Mt Bental, overlooking site of decisive tank battle during 1973 Yom Kippur War and view into the Syrian city of Kuneitra from a decommissioned army bunker. Enjoy lunch on own in area and then visit Golan Heights Winery for tour and wine tasting. Return to the hotel and meet with Israeli screenwriter, Galit Roichman, on program on Israeli society through film. Dinner at hotel. Overnight: Setai Hotel        

Tuesday March 24 – The Jordan Valley
After breakfast, check out of hotel. We then visit the remains of the Belvoir Crusader fortress overlooking the Jordan Valley. We continue south and tour ancient Beit She’an, including the Roman theater and bath house. Lunch on own in Beit She’an. We drive via the Jordan Valley past Jericho to Qasr el Yahud, traditional site on the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. We continue past site of Mt of Temptation to the beginning of Wadi Qelt, near St George’s Monastery. Continuing up to Jerusalem, we will visit the Israel Museum, including model of Second-Temple period Jerusalem and the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea scrolls. After checking in to the hotel, we will enjoy dinner there followed by a guest speaker giving an overview of current events in Israel. Overnight: David Citadel Hotel


Wednesday March 25 – Mt Zion, Old City and Bethlehem
After breakfast, drive to Old City and visit the traditional site of the Room of the Last Supper and King David’s Tomb on Mt Zion. We will then walk down through the Jewish Quarter to the Davidson Archaeological Park, with archaeological remains dating back from the First and Second Temple periods. From there we continue to the Kotel (Western Wall) and tour the Kotel Tunnel. We then drive to Bethlehem and begin our visit there with lunch in a local restaurant. Ater visiting Shepherds' Field and the Church of the Nativity, we will meet with Sami Awad, Executive Director of the Holy Land Trust (tentative). Return to hotel for dinner on own in downtown Jerusalem. Overnight: David Citadel Hotel


Thursday March 26 – Old Jerusalem
Breakfast at hotel and then drive to St George’s Cathedral, where we will meet with a representative of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem. Continue to the Mount of Olives, stopping at the Chapel of the Ascension and Pater Noster Church. Walk down mount to Garden of Gethsemane; worship and learning in garden. We then enter the Old City via Lions’ Gate and walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Christian Quarter. Lunch on own in Christian Quarter of Old City followed by a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We then drive to Emmaus Nicopolis, believed to be the site of the meeting between Jesus and the two companions, after his resurrection. We return to Jerusalem and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight: David Citadel Hotel


Friday March 27 – Wrapping Things Up         
After breakfast at the hotel, check out. We then visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Memorial. We conclude the trip with a festive final lunch in a restaurant. Afterwards enjoy free time in downtown Jerusalem or in Christian Quarter of Old City. Following early dinner on own, transfer to Ben Gurion Airport and fly back to US.


Saturday March 28 – Back in US
Land back in US




Friday March 27 – Down to Eilat        
After group lunch, transfer to Ben Gurion Airport and fly down to Ramon Airport, north of Eilat. Transfer to hotel. Dinner on own. Overnight: Queen of Sheba Hotel, Eilat


Saturday March 28 – Petra
After early breakfast, cross border into Jordan. Drive via Wadi Rum to Petra for tour of ancient capital of Nabatean Kingdom. Lunch in Petra. Return to Eilat. Dinner on own. Overnight: Queen of Sheba Hotel, Eilat


Sunday March 29 – Eilat
After breakfast, leisurely morning and lunch on own. In mid-afternoon transfer to Ramon Airport and fly up to Tel Aviv. Transfer to Tel Aviv port for dinner on own. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport and fly back to US.


Monday March 30 – Back in US
Land back in US




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