Interestingly, the HOLY LAND has not ever been on my travel “bucket list”, but mostly because I thought it would never be a possibility. Once the opportunity knocked, I realized how much I would like to touch, to see, to hear the history and sacred places in this tiny plot of land called “Holy”.
The idea that I could look over the same valleys, walk the same hills and mountains, step into the same rivers and lakes, feel the same breeze and the same heat of the sun as did Abraham, Moses, King David, Isaiah…and Jesus…is almost beyond belief.
As a lover of history and legend, I am so looking forward to being in the place where three major religions and their subsequent cultures and philosophies were born. And especially, I am thrilled to share this journey of history, art, literature and spirituality with you: friends old and new.
We are all going to have a GOOD time.
We are going to talk about this trip for the rest of our lives, and like all good journeys, it will become a personal heart-changing, mind-expanding, paradigm-shifting moment.
Thank you for being a part of L’CHAIM (Loving Central Homies Acquiring Israel Memories).
Pastor, Central Christian Church of Anderson, Indiana
Israel - August 31-September 9, 2018
TOTAL PRICE: $2,699.00 per person
INCLUDES ALL LODGING 4* HOTELS, TWO MEALS PER DAY (PLUS FOUR LUNCHES), GROUND TRANSPORTATION, GUIDES, VISAS, ENTRANCE FEES TO SITES, TRANSFER TO/FROM AIRPORT, TIPS
NOT INCLUDING: INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE (estimated price $1,100-$1,500), FIVE LUNCHES (estimated total: $10-$20 per lunch), OPTIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE, PASSPORT (if new passport needed)
Day 1 - August 31 - Depart USA for Israel
Tel Aviv and Netanya - Day 2 - September 1
Arrive Tel Aviv. Our Israeli guide will meet your group just outside baggage claim and customs to greet the group and take you via luxury coach to the first hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have a brief walking tour of Tel Aviv and Old Jaffa. We’ll have an easy evening in Netanya to recover from the long flight. Overnight Netanya.
Caesarea and the Galilee - Day 3 - September 2
After a full Israelii breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check out and travel up the coast for a guided visit to Caesarea, an ancient city that gives a brief overview of Israeli history from the times of the Apostle Paul through the Crusaders and more. Afterward, we’ll proceed to Tel Megiddo, the Biblical city overlooking the Jezreel Valley and Mount Carmel, the place where Elijah challenged the pagan prophets. We’ll have a traditional Israeli Falafel lunch and proceed to view Mount Tabor and visit the Nazareth Church of the Nativity, Jesus’ childhood home. Finally, we’ll cross over the northern Sea of Galilee by boat, and overnight at a hotel nestled on the Sea of Galilee. Overnight Galilee.
Galilee and Golan Heights - Day 4 - September 3
Today we’ll visit the Biblical city of Tel Dan and walk along the beautiful Dan River. Afterward, we’ll travel to the Golan region and see Caesarea Phillippi, where Jesus named Peter the “rock upon which I will build my church.” After an Israeli fish lunch, we’ll visit Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, the Synagogue of Korazim, and the new excavations at Magdala, all of which are nearby on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight Galilee.
Galilee and the Dead Sea - Day 5 - September 4
We’ll begin the day today with an opportunity for any passengers to be baptized in the Jordan River, after which we’ll visit the expansive Roman archeological excavations at Beit Shean, the place marking the end of King Saul’s reign. We’ll continue to Jericho and drive by the Ein Gedi nature reserve in the Judean Desert. Finally, we’ll arrive early at our resort situated on the shores of the Dead Sea. Everyone will have the chance to float in the waters of the Dead Sea and/or experience weightlessness at the pools of the hotel, filled with Dead Sea salt water. Overnight Dead Sea.
Masada and Bethlehem - Day 6 - September 5
Early this morning, we’ll drive into the desert and visit Masada, Herod’s mountain palace and the site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Romans. Afterward, the group will be welcomed into a traditional Bedouin camp for lunch and a lesson in Bedouin Hospitality, including a ride on a camel in the desert for the adventurous types. We’ll then head into Bethlehem for a visit to the Church of the Nativity, where it is believed Jesus was born. Finally, we’ll check-in to our hotel in Jerusalem and overnight.
Jerusalem - Day 7 - September 6
Today we’ll enter the Old City of Jerusalem with a visit to the Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temples and the third holiest site in Islam: Harem El Sharif. After the Temple Mount, we’ll move to St. Stephen’s Gate and the Pools of Bethesda. After walking along the Eastern Wall and Gate overlooking the Kidron Valley and Absalom Tomb, we’ll visit excavations at the City of David and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel at the Siloam Pool. We’ll continue to the Davidson Center, which provides a three dimensional model of Jerusalem and will help the group understand how the geography of the city informed the history and significance. Finally, we’ll head back into the Old City to pray at the Western Wall, visit the Jewish Quarter, Caiaphas’ house, Mount Zion, the Upper Room, and King David’s Tomb. After such a busy day, we’ll return to the hotel and overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem - Day 8 - September 7
Yad Vashem, the Jewish National Memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust, will provide an important and sobering beginning to the day. Afterward, we’ll visit the Shuk Mahane Yehuda market to decompress and have some free time to find souvenirs. We’ll then take a break from the busy streets of Jersualem to visit the Herodium, just outside the city that overlooks the Judean Desert and Shepherd’s Fields of Bethlehem. Finally, upon returning to the city, we’ll walk through the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Overnight Jerusalem.
Jerusalem - Day 9 - September 8
Today, we’ll visit the Shrine of the Book, the traditional holding place for the Dead Sea Scrolls. Afterward, we’ll walk the Via Dolorosa toward the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After spending some time in contemplation, we’ll walk to the Garden Tomb, for a communion service. Finally, we’ll go to dinner together for a farewell dinner before heading to the airport for an evening flight home.
Day 10 - September 9
Arrive home in the USA in the late morning or early evening, depending on flight times.