By John Pierce
Eight spaces are available to tour Israel, Nov. 6-17, with Tony Cartledge, an excellent Bible scholar and writer of the Nurturing Faith Bible Studies, and Doron Heiliger, one of Israel’s most experienced and sought-after guides.
Historian Bruce Gourley and I will also help host this group of approximately 50 people.
Cost is $3,800 — which covers airfare, lodging, breakfasts and dinners, and travel on a luxury motor coach for the entire trip. (There is a $600 charge for anyone wanting a private room.)
An additional $200 (cash on arrival) will cover lunches and tips. Participants will need a valid passport with an expiration date beyond May 2015.
Space is limited. If interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the itinerary (which could be adjusted):
Day 1 (Thurs., Nov. 6) – Depart from respective airports for Philadelphia, to board US Airways (departing 11:30 PM) for an overnight flight to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Day 2 (Fri., Nov. 7) – Arrive in Tel Aviv midday to meet our guide Doron Heiliger and board our private coach for a drive through the Sharon Valley to the coastal city of Caesaria Maritima, where we will see the remains of Herod’s palace, the majestic theater, the harbor and the aqueduct. From there we go to our lodgings at Nof Ginosar, on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 3 (Sat., Nov. 8) – Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha and Saint Peter’s Primacy. Also visit the cities of Capernaum, Korazim, and Gergesa,and finish the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4 (Sun., Nov. 9) – Visit Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth; drive through Cana to Sepphoris or Beth-She’arim; then view the impressive Tel Megiddo, where 20+ layers of civilization have been uncovered.
Day 5 (Mon., Nov. 10) – To northern Galilee to Tel-Hazor, to visit an ancient temple near the headwaters of the Jordan at Tel Dan, and then Banyas (Caesarea Phillipi) before touring the Golan Heights.
Day 6 (Tues., Nov. 11) – Head toward Jerusalem, first visiting Beth-Shean to see the ancient town and the new excavations of the Roman city. Continue through the Jordan Valley to Jericho and then to the baptismal site of Qasr el Yahud. Drive part of the old Jericho road and view the deep Wadi Qelt, reminiscent of “the valley of the shadow of death.” Overnight at Ramat Rachel, our hotel for rest of our stay.
Day 7 (Wed., Nov. 12) – Start the day with a view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Walk the Palm Sunday Road, pausing for devotions at Dominus Flevit. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane. Then to Bethlehem to visit with Palestinian Christians and have lunch at Bethlehem Bible College. Then visit the Church of the Nativity and drive through the Shepherd’s Fields on our way back to Jerusalem.
Day 8 (Thurs., Nov. 13) – Walk through the Old City of Jerusalem; visit the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Pool of Bethesda, and the Antonia, where we begin our walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the afternoon, visit the City of David, including Warren’s Shaft and a chance to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (or a dry Canaanite tunnel), emerging at the Pool of Siloam.
Day 9 (Fri., Nov. 14) – Visit Tel-Maresha–Beth Guvrin,and go underground to participate in an archeological dig in the caves of Beth Guvrin.Then we visit the Garden Tomb.
Day 10 (Sat., Nov. 15) – Drive south to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We will stop at the oasis of Ein-Gedi on our way to the fortress of Masada, the last stronghold of Jews. At the end of the day, we have an opportunity to visit a spa to float in the Dead Sea.
Day 11 (Sun., Nov. 16) – Walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Cardo, a first-century street, the Broad Wall and Southern Steps, where people in Jesus’ day approached the Temple Mount. In the afternoon we will visit the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then we will go to the unforgettable Holocaust Museum. After a farewell dinner together, we drive to the airport for our overnight flight back to the U.S.
Day 12 (Monday, Nov. 17) – We arrive back in U.S. (early morning) and transfer to our flights back home.