Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Israel Sample Itinerary

The actual itinerary has just arrived.

And the Philos Project has also provided a nifty journal that explains more about the trip.

Suggested Draft Itinerary
Version 3

 Sunday, Day 1
Tel Aviv – The First Hebrew City
Landing at Ben Gurion Airport. VIP assistance through Passport control and baggage claim

Meet your guide and driver and travel to Tel Aviv
5:00 pm
Begin the visit with a stop outside Independence Hall, the site of the 1948 declaration of the Sate of Israel.

Take a short walk along part of Rothschild Boulevard, one of the main streets of Tel Aviv and hear the stories of the visionaries and dreamers who established the State of Israel, as well as the culture of innovation that have created a Start Up Nation.

6:00 pm
Check in to hotel
7:00 pm
8:00 pm
Opening Speaker on “The Case for Israel” or “Introduction to Israel

9:00 pm
Program orientation; group activities in hotel
Tel Aviv

Monday, Day 2
A View From the South
7:30 -8:30 am
8:30 – 10:00 am
Jaffa – The Gateway to the Land of Israel: Explore the ancient port, the site from which the prophet Jonah fled from God, and where Peter restored Tabitha to life and stayed with Simon the Tanner.

10:00 -11:15 am
Travel to area of Sderot
11:15 -12:00 pm
Tour of Sderot and overlook onto the Gaza Envelope including a briefing on the geopolitics of the area

12:30 – 1:30 pm
Eat lunch in a kibbutz, and meet with a local resident for insight into life along the border

1:30 -2:00 pm
Travel to Beit Guvrin
2:30 -5:00 pm
Dig For a Day at Beit Guvrin - Participate in a hands-on archaeological excavation in the subterranean complexes of the ancient city of Maresha.

5:00 -6:00 pm
Return to Tel Aviv
7:00 pm
8:30 pm
Processing discussion/ Praise and worship
Tel Aviv

Tuesday, Day 3
The Mediterranean Coastline
7:30 – 8:30 am
Breakfast; Check out
9:00 -10:30 am
The Palmach MuseumThe Palmach was the elite striking force of the “Hagana” – the underground military organization of the Jewish community, its national institutions and the Zionist Movement prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. The Palmach Museum is an experiential museum, covering the Palmach legacy through the stories of individuals and groups.

10:30 – 11:30 am
Travel to Caesarea
11:30 -1:00 pm
Caesarea – Herod’s legendary Port City: Herod the Great built Caesarea around 25–13 BC as the port city, Caesarea Maritima. It served as an administrative center of the Judaea Province of the Roman Empire, and later was the capital of the Byzantine Palaestina Prima province during the Classic period. The city was first connected to Christianity according to Acts of The Apostles, when Peter baptized Cornelius the Centurion and his household. Archaeological excavations have uncovered remains from many periods, in particular, a complex of Crusader fortifications and a giant Roman city that boasted the largest harbor on the eastern Mediterranean coast.

1:00 -2:00 pm
Lunch in Caesarea
2:00 -3:00 pm
Travel to Nazareth, passing Megiddo along the way

Megiddo is an archaeologically unparalleled site where one can literally see, touch, and be inspired by monuments from biblical times. It appears in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (Armageddon, Revelation 16:16), and is the only site in the Levant mentioned in all great records of the Ancient Near East: The Old and New Testaments on the one hand, and Egyptian, Assyrian and Hittite sources on the other.

3:30 -5:30
Visit Nazareth Village, reconstructing and reenacting village life in the Galilee at the time of Jesus.

5:30 -6:30 pm
Travel to Galilee; Check in to hotel
7:00 pm
Dinner at hotel
8:00 pm
Processing discussion/Praise and worship

Wednesday, Day 4
The Galilean Ministry of Jesus
7:30 -8:30 am
9:00 – 12:00 pm
Mt. of the Beatitudes – Remembering the verses of Sermon on the Mount; Tabgha, site of Peter’s Primacy (John Chapter 21) Multiplication of Loaves and Fish and calling of the disciples; Capernaum – The Headquarters of Jesus’ movement and his home during his central Galilean Ministry.

Visit the Sea of Galilee Boat, also known as the “Jesus Boat”, a fishing vessel found by two brothers from Kibbutz Ginosar dating to the Second Temple Period

12:15 – 1:15 pm
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Hike in Nahal Amud, in the valley beneath the ancient city of Tzfat.

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Leket – Volunteer alongside IDF soldiers to help pick unneeded fruits and vegetables from the fields of local farmers to be donated to Israel’s hungry.

5:15- 6:00 pm
The synagogue of Magdala, reliving the Gospel – visit the newly discovered synagogue in Mary Magdalene’s home town which offers clues about Judeo-Christian worship from the time of Jesus.

6:30 -7:30 pm
Evening cruise on the Sea of Galilee
7:30 pm
St. Peter’s Fish Dinner

Thursday, Day 5
The Golan Heights – Security in the North
7:30 – 8:30 am
Breakfast; Check out
8:30 – 9:30 am
Travel to the Golan - The Golan Heights form a rocky plateau of great strategic importance with an average altitude of 1,000 meters (3,300 ft.) and an area totaling 1,800 square kilometers (690 sq. mi.). The plateau is located at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains and straddles the borders of Syria and Israel. Elevations range from 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) in the north, to below sea level along the Sea of Galilee and the Yarmuk River in the south.

9:30 – 11:00 am
"Who do people say the son of man is?" Visit the remains of the ancient Roman city, Caesarea Philipi, where Peter made his declaration about Jesus.  Take a walk through a Nature Reserve along the edge of one of the tributaries of the Jordan River at The Banias.

11:00 -11:30
Hezbollah, Lebanon and the Iranian connection. Understanding Israel’s strategic challenges along its northern border. An overview of Israel’s border with Lebanon from the peaks of the Galilee. 

12:00 -12:45 pm
Ascend Mt. Bental, a former IDF outpost, for an overlook onto Kuneitra and Mt. Hermon. From this point it is less than 40 miles to Damascus, and the road where Saul encountered Jesus. In addition to the ancient connection, hear a geo-political update on the current situation in Syria and their relationship with Israel.

12:45 – 2:00 pm
2:00 -4:00 pm
Travel to the Jordan River, stopping at the Baptismal site of Yardenit

4:00 -6:00 pm
Travel to Jerusalem with views of the Eastern Border with Jordan along the way.

6:00- 6:30 pm
Overview and welcome to Jerusalem and from the Mt. of Olives
6:45 pm
Check in to hotel
7:45 pm
8:45 pm
Briefing: The Pulse of Israel Today


Friday, Day 6
Jerusalem – The Center for Three Monotheistic Faiths
7:00 – 8:00 am
8:00 – 8:30 am
Praise and worship
8:30 -9:30 am
Briefing: How Wide the Gap – Negotiations with the Palestinians.

10:00 – 11:30 am
The City of David  - King David’s palace and city, and the place of Jerusalem’s historic nucleus including areas recently opened to the general public and the newly opened tunnel ascending toward the Temple Mount. 

11:00 – 12:00 pm
Explore the Southern Wall Excavations, including the steps leading to the ancient Temple and the site where Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables. End the visit at the Western Wall.

12:00 -1:00 pm
1:00 -4:00 pm
Visit the Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, the main square, and the city wall from the time of Hezekiah.  Continue to Mt Zion, St. Peter in Galicantu (House of Caiaphas), King David’s Tomb, Dormition Abbey and the Room of the Last Supper.

4:00 -6:00 pm
Short break
Welcome the Sabbath at the Western Wall followed by a traditional Shabbat dinner with a Jewish host family.


Saturday, Day 7
Jerusalem – The Holy Basin
7:30 -8:30 am
8:30 – 10:30 am
Join a local Jewish community for Shabbat morning services, including listening to the reading of the Torah.

10:30 -12:30 pm
Visit the Israel Museum - Among the highlights of the Museum’s campus is the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was during the time of Jesus, prior to its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE.

12:30 -1:30 pm
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Walk down the Palm Sunday Road on the Mt. of Olives from Bethpage to the Garden of Gethsemane with a short stop at Dominus Flevit where Jesus stopped and wept over Jerusalem See the ancient olive trees at The Garden of Gethsemane as well as the beautiful Church of All Nations where the stone of the Agony of Christ is on display.

3:30 - 6:00 pm
Continue from the Lion’s Gate (St. Stephens Gate), and from the Monastery of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethesda, Walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of crucifixion and burial of Jesus.

7:30 pm

Sunday, Day 8
Jerusalem – The New City
8:00 -9:00 pm
9:00 -1:00 pm
Yad Vashem – Remembering the Holocaust: a comprehensive tour of the Historical Museum, The Children’s Memorial and the Hall of remembrance. In addition, visit the Valley of Communities.

As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter.

Meet with a Holocaust survivor.

1:00 – 2:00 pm
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Tour of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, as well as meeting with Members of Knesset.

4:00 -5:30 pm
The Quest for Peace – A tour and geo-strategic survey of neighborhoods surrounding Jerusalem with stops at observation points overlooking the security barrier as well as checkpoints to the West Bank. Jerusalem is a microcosm of the Arab Israeli conflict, and its human, political, and territorial dimensions.  The discussion will include possible scenarios for the future of this unique city.

7:00 pm
8:00 pm
Meeting with IDF reserve soldiers
9:30 pm
Praise and worship/Processing Discussion/Evening Activity

Monday, Day 9
Masada and the Dead Sea
7:00 – 7:30 am
7:30 – 9:00 am
Drive along the western shoreline of the Dead Sea. Along the way, pass Qumran, home of the first century sect of the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and believed to be the influence of Baptism for John the Baptist.

9:00 -11:30 am
Take the cable car to the top of Masada to tell the ancient story of the 960 men, women, and children that were the last to resist the Romans during the Great Jewish Revolt almost 2000 years ago. A story that became synonymous with Israel's quest for freedom and independence in modern times

12:30 – 2:30 pm
Lunch and swim at the Dead Sea
3:30 -5:00 pm
Take a short hike to see the hidden waterfalls at the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.

5:00 – 6:30pm
Return to Jerusalem
7:30 pm
8:30 pm
Praise and worship/Processing Discussion/Evening Activity

Tuesday, Day 10
7:30- 8:30 am
9:00 – 11:00 am
Tour of the Garden Tomb, and time for communion, reflection and prayer.

11:00 – 12:00 am
Travel to Holon
12:00 -1:00 pm
1:00 -2:30 pm
Visit the Save a Child’s Heart in Holon and meet the children at their home. This project is dedicated to providing urgently needed pediatric surgery to indigent children from developing countries.

2:30 – 4:30 pm
Discover the Biblical Landscape Preserve of Neot Kedumim, including a walk to an ancient Olive Press.

4:30  - 7:00 pm
Debrief, testimonies, praise and worship at Neot Kedumim
7:00 pm
Festive final dinner at Neot Kedumim
8:30 pm
Transfer to Ben-Gurion International Airport


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