Day 1: Arrive in Israel – Caesarea, Tel Megiddo
Our representatives will meet you and walk you through customs. We’ll then drive you to Caesarea, a Roman city with many archeological findings such as the theater, the public bath, the hippodrome and the city gate. We’ll enjoy the new exhibitions of the city, which date to Roman times. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Baha’i temple garden and Stella Maris Monastery of the Carmelites in Haifa. Overnight stay in Haifa. Dinner will be served at the Druze Village of Isfiya in a local family restaurant. A volunteer project helping those in need can be added today based on arrival time in Israel.
Day 2: Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Caesarea Philippi
On this day we will sail on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus, visit the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha where Jesus performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and visit the Mount of Beatitudes (“The Sermon on the Mount”). We’ll continue to Caesarea Philippi (“Banias”) for a short hike along the beautiful stream. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy kayaking on the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight stay in Tiberius.
Day 4: Western Galilee and Mt. Carmel
On this day visit the Northern Mediterranean coast of Israel. Our first stop will be at “Rosh Hanikra” – where the white chalk stone meets the sea and creates an impressive cave structure. We will exit the caves through old train tunnel for a short hike along the rocky coast. In the early afternoon, we’ll visit Acre (Akko) with its magnificent Crusades and Atman’s buildings. We will walk through the old city and market. The group will do volunteer work with Israeli students at “Leket Israel” organization (perhaps gleaning fruits or vegetables for the hungry). After the volunteer work the students will divided into mixed groups to learn about each others’ lives. Dinner and overnight in Tiberius.
Day 5: Beit She’an, Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
We’ll start our day visiting Beit She’an, upon whose walls the Philistines nailed the head of King Saul after his defeat on Mount Gilboa. As we visit the city’s remains, we’ll not only learn about the dramatic end of the last war between King Saul and the Philistines, but also how the residents of Jabesh bravely removed the corpses of the King and his son from the wall of the city in order to bury them (1 Samuel 31). In the afternoon, we’ll continue along the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. We will visit Ein Gedi, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Israel for short hike. Overnight in “Kfar Hanokdim” – traditional Bedouin tent site. Dinner will be served in the traditional Bedouin style. After the meal, the group will have a lecture by the Sheikh about life in the desert and the Bedouin culture.
Day 6: Judaean Desert, Masada, Dead Sea
Our morning starts with a camel ride in the Judaean Desert. In the afternoon, we’ll climb to Masada through the Roman ramp path to learn the dramatic story of almost one thousand men, women and children, who chose suicide rather than becoming Roman slaves. We’ll visit the archeological finds and enjoy the palaces, bathhouses, walls and the remarkable view of the Dead Sea. We’ll proceed to bathe in the Dead Sea and enjoy the sun and the famous mud. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem. After dinner we will have lecture about the reciprocity between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries.
Day 7: Jerusalem
Our morning starts on the Mount of Olives with a breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem. The day continues with visits to the sites that will help us understand the importance of Jerusalem’s long history. We’ll start with site where much of the Bible was written: the City of King David. It is here that archeologists found King Hezekiah’s 2,700 year old water tunnel, one of the wonders of early engineering, and the seal impression of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, possibly the scribe of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 36:10). We’ll continue to the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed the blind man by sending him to wash his eyes (John 9). In the Jewish Quarter, we’ll explore the Roman Cardo, the Madaba Map, the “Hurva” synagogue, Western Wall and the Davidson Center (with its amazing virtual model of the Second Temple). On the Temple Mount we’ll hear about the traders driven out of the Temple by Jesus (Luke 19:45-48) and explore the Dome of the Rock and other famous buildings. We’ll also visit the Western Wall Tunnels – ancient tunnels and passageways. Our journey through the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) stations will end by visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We’ll walk through the old city market to the Damascus Gate and the Garden Tomb. We’ll visit the Tomb of King David and for those who wish, we’ll have communion in the Upper Room – the site that commemorates Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. We will end by visiting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus. Overnight stay in Jerusalem – dinner will be served at local Jerusalem restaurant.
Day 8: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
We’ll start our day in Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Then continue to new parts of Jerusalem, “Mishkanot Shaananim” and “Yemin Moshe” neighborhood, the first settlement outside the old city walls. We’ll also visit the “multi sensory” market of “Mahane Yehuda”. There will be a late afternoon drive to Tel Aviv and then free time for dinner and exploration of this beautiful city. Overnight stay in Tel Aviv.
Day 9: Tel Aviv, Jaffa
We’ll start our day winding through the charming alleys of the old city of Jaffa and visit the square where the Church and Monastery of Saint Peter reside. Next we’ll continue to adjacent Tel Aviv, the first Israeli city of the modern age. The group will visit the various historical and modern sites that influenced the establishment and the spirit of Israel; NeveTzedek, the White city, Rabin Square, and Nachalat Binyamin. Farewell dinner in Jaffa or Tel Aviv restaurant, overnight Tel Aviv.
Day 10: Return Home
Transfer to airport for flight home. We arrive full of rich and unforgettable memories. A common refrain is heard, is the trip really over? Can we start planning for our return visit?
Possible additional activities depending on the season and final itinerary:
- Additional volunteer opportunities to serve those in need
- Bicycle touring
- When American students are with the Israeli kids, they can cook their own dinner and enjoy the time together
- Additional hiking opportunities
- Kayaking on the Jordan River
- Horseback riding
Interested in this trip? Questions? Send us a message, and one of our representatives will get back to you within 24 hours.