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Belmont University Interfaith Clergy in Israel

Jan 6, 2023 - Jan 16, 2023

A Journey of Faith and Understanding
Led by Rabbi Mark Schiftan
Friday, January 6, 2023
  • Departure from the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Saturday, January 7, 2023
Arrival and Welcome to Israel
  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor Educational Journeys representative.
  • Proceed to Tel Aviv
  • Outlook from the Jaffa Slope Park with a view of Tel-Aviv’s shoreline, the Promenade and hotels located along the beach. Introduction to Jaffa-Tel Aviv
  • Check-in to the hotel
  • Opening dinner and introduction to the program at a Tel Aviv restaurant
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Sunday, January 8, 2023
From Ancient Port to Hebrew City to Jewish State

Jaffa-Tel Aviv is the quintessential Israeli experience combining ancient memories with the creation of the modern political state based on the aspirations fostered by those memories which morphed into the contemporary Israeli multi-ethnic cultural, financial, innovation, culinary and transportation center.


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • The Visitor’s Center of Old Jaffa enables the visitor to experience 5000 years of history in one the most ancient port cities in the world with a virtual performance that brings past heroes to life.
  • Proceed to Rothschild Boulevard which offers the perfect Tel Aviv experience.
  • Over the years, Rothschild Boulevard has become the center of a neighborhood where numerous national leaders once lived and many historic events took place, including the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence. Lined with numerous buildings created in the simple, geometric shaped asymmetrical “International” architectural style (Bauhaus) Tel Aviv is nicknamed the “White City”.   Various sculptures and artworks scattered along the boulevard function as a kind of outdoor museum with iconic cultural instructions creating a cultural reservoir. As one of Israel’s most prominent business centers, financial offices and banks as well as representatives of the “Startup Nation” ecology, dot the street.
  • Lunch on own at one of Rothschild Boulevard’s abundance of top-notch culinary institutions…or grab a “nosh” at the first kiosk in Tel Aviv.
  • Interactive tour at the Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center explores the development of the State of Israel as a young democracy in two parallel stories:  the history of the State and Israeli society, and the biography of Yitzhak Rabin
  • Dinner on own
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Monday, January 9, 2023
A Time Tunnel of Tension

When two cultures clash, many types of conflict ensue.  The small strip of land laying between the mighty historical regional powers to the north and the south has been the site of armed and philosophical struggles since the dawn of written history.  Today, the journey will focus on narratives that are more than chronological events.


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Check-out of the hotel
  • Explore the complex relationship between Jewish and pagan civilizations in the ancient Roman capital of Caesarea, a port city built on the Mediterranean Sea by Herod the Great, including a guided walk through the remains of the Roman Theater, Hippodrome, Promenade and Palace, continuing to the galleries and restaurants of the renovated Crusader city
  • Accompanied by a security expert, drive along the Trans-Israel Highway, the Seam Zone Barrier between Israel and the Palestinian AuthorityTour in Wadi Ara region. From a vantage point below the Jewish community of Katzir, overlook the Wadi Ara area, and the divided village of Barta’a, split in half by the Green Line l949-1967 when East Barta’a residents came under Jordanian rule and the residents of West Barta’a became citizens of Israel.
  • Lunch on own en route
  • Guided tour of the Golani Brigade Museum and Memorial is primarily a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Golani Brigade. The museum presents visitors with many artifacts and stories of the Golani Brigade’s heroic and historic contributions made since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
  • Proceed to the hotel and Check-in

Dinner at the hotel

Overnight: Galilee
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Northern Exposures

The Golan Heights has a political and strategic significance which belies its size.  Captured/occupied/liberated in 1967, the Golan had been part of Syria.  Israel has unilaterally declared sovereignty over the Heights although this was not recognized internationally, and Syria continues to demand the return of the territory.  Today is devoted to an in-depth exploration of the issues debated about the Golan Heights.


  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Proceed north along Route #90
  • With today’s scholar-in-residence, Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, CEO of Alma Research and Education Center, walk along the Banias (Hermon Stream), one of the headwaters of the Jordan River, for a discussion of Middle East hydro-politics.
  • Drive along the Israeli-Syrian border by jeep, with Colonel (Res.) Zehavi giving a geopolitical briefing en route, for a glimpse at the complex relationships that have formed in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
  • Visit the site of the planned 150 wind turbines which will certainly “green” Israel but are causing controversy within local Golan Druze residents because the turbines will be located on agricultural spots
  • Visit in the Druze village of Buq’ata and a dialogue with communal leaders on their relationship with Israel and some of the joint projects taking place between the Druze community of the Golan and Jewish Israelis
  • Authentic Druze lunch in the home of Naseeba Samara
  • Ascend Mount Bental, overlooking Syria, to gain a better understanding of the events of Israel’s wars of 1967 and 1973 and the Golan Heights issues
  • At Mitzpe Gadot, former Syrian bunkers on the Golan, get a sweeping view of the Hula Valley and a feeling for the Israelis living there who suffered 19 years of daily Syrian bombardment.
  • Return to the hotel
  • Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Galilee
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
A Galilean Mosaic

A mosaic is defined as:  a surface made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns.  With minor tweaks, “mosaic” that is an excellent definition of the human landscape of the Galilee, colored by various ethnic, religious and cultural groupings.  Today, experience the art behind creating human and decorative mosaics.


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit Christian holy sites around the Kinneret:
  • Visit the Church of the Beatitudes, commemorating Jesus’ sermon on the Mount.
  • The archaeological findings at Capernaum (Kfar Nachum) give testimony to the teachings of Jesus taking place among his fellow Jews.
  • Visit Tabgha, traditional site of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, site of a “Nile mosaic”, depicting feeding of loaves and fishes to the crowd who had come to hear Jesus
  • Continue to Tiberias

All Israel Is Responsible for Each Other —-Sometimes. A large dividing factor between Jews is often the level of religious observance. Tensions between those who strictly conform to Jewish law (halacha) and those who are less stringent create social, political and economic schisms.  Tiberias is a city with a demographic profile that is becoming more “haredi” (ultra-orthodox.  Meet with young people in Tiberias who, despite their different observance levels, are working together to remain in a peaceful and prosperous city where all are welcome.


  • Lunch on own in Tiberias
  • View the remains of several ancient synagogues at Hamat in Tiberias, the most beautiful feature of the synagogue being the mosaic floor, which has three panels, including a large zodiac with Helios, the sun god, at the center steering his celestial chariot towards the sun.
  • Travel south along the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee
  • The Yardenit provides pilgrims and tourists with modern comforts in the biblical setting of the Holy Land, offering a serene and spiritual setting for those wishing to baptize in the Jordan River. Peer back in time into the Founders Museum at Kibbutz Degania(Aleph), Israel’s first kibbutz, settled in 1910.  An original home, a stockyard for the livestock and equipment can still be seen.  Discussion with a kibbutz representative on the changing face of the unique social experiment that formed one of the seminal foundations of modern Israel.
  • At Kfar Kama, learn about the Moslem Circassians whose origins are traced in the mountains of the north-western Caucasus, The Circassian Heritage Museum displays ancient artifacts and costumes of Circassian culture. Tour the village on foot or in a horse-drawn carriage accompanied with stories about the settlement and Circassian heritage.  Meeting with Kfar Kama residents to discuss what it’s like to be a minority within a minority.  In 2020, a 6th c. church with painted floor mosaics showing geometric shapes and blue, black, and red floral patterns was discovered.
  • Return to the hotel
  • Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Galilee
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Inspiration and Innovation

There are many organizations and individuals in Israel who are leading the way toward a true shared society.

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Check-out of the hotel
  • Visit Sindyanna of the Galilee, led by a team of Arab and Jewish women works to create social change through producing high-quality olive oil and other premium food products while enhancing Arab-Jewish cooperation, promoting Fair Trade, creating economic opportunities for Arab women, and assisting local growers and producers.
  • Continue to Jerusalem
  • Lunch on own en route
  • Overview of Jerusalem from the of Olives. Walk down the path from the top of the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations
  • Check-in the hotel
Overnight: Jerusalem
Friday, January 13, 2023
From Destruction to Reconstruction

Needs narrative description


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • The Memory of the Holocaust in Israeli Society Today, a presentation by Holocaust scholar Rachel Korazim, followed by a guided visit through Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center including
  • The Avenue of the Righteous
  • The Holocaust History Museum
  • The Children’s Memorial
  • Guided walk through the Machane Yehudah open air market for a multi-sensory culinary and sensory experience. Lunch on own in the shuk
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Jerusalem
Saturday, January 14, 2023
"Jerusalem Plays Hide and Seek..."

What is the meaning of Jerusalem, in both its temporal and heavenly dimensions, as a shared space in which Jews, Christians, and Muslims sometimes coexist, and sometimes struggle against the Other. Visiting the Old City of Jerusalem is an historical melting pot.


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided visit through the Old City of Jerusalem, exploring the unique weave of various religious and ethnic groups in one square kilometer, while walking through the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Quarters, including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and a view on to the Temple Mount – Haram al Sharif
  • Lunch on own in the souk
  • Visit the sites of Mount Zion: to see the room believed to be where the Last Supper took place, as well as the tomb of King David and the Abbey of the Dormition which traditionally marks the spot where Mary, mother of Jesus was taken up to heaven.
  • Havdalah
  • Dinner and evening on own
Overnight: Jerusalem
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Last Day Options
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • The Dead Sea Basin: Kasr al Yahud, Masada, the Dead Sea
  • Israel Museum including the Dead Sea Scrolls (can be docent led or on own)
  • Walking and Shopping Jerusalem!
  • Concluding Dinner and Conversation
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport for return flight home.
Overnight: In Flight
Monday, January 16, 2023
Arrival to U.S.
Per person, in Double-occupancy
Single-occupancy supplement

*Price is based on a minimum of 20 paying participants.  Price does not include flights.


  • 2 Nights, Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv
  • 3 Nights, Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Hotel, Galilee
  • 3 Nights, David Citadel, Jerusalem

Land Price Includes:

  • Assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport for one group flight
  • One Transfer from and one transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 9 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 8 days
  • Hotel Accommodations** per above (including porterage) ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary


  • Breakfast daily
  • 1 Lunch
  • 6 Dinners
  • Source Materials, Hat, Bag, Map
  • Water on bus daily 3 bottles/person/day
  • Registration services
  • App with program and resources


Not Included

  • Flights
  • Tips for Guide and Driver
  • Covid Related Expenses (eg, testing before leaving Israel)
  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance*
  • Credit Card Fees


Additional Important Information

Payment and Refund Schedule

Payment Schedule
Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant
September 1, 2022— 50% of Total Payment
November 1, 2022 — Full Payment

Refund Schedule
Cancel Before November 1, 2022 — Full Refund
Cancel between November 1 and December 15, 2022 — 50% Refund
Cancel between December 15 – January 1, 2023 — 25% Refund
Cancel after January 1, 2023 — No Refund

Please Note: This cancellation policy is based on supplier refund parameters. Makor Educational Journeys will make every effort to refund as much of the monies paid as possible, no matter when cancellation takes place.

*Travel Insurance
We urge you to purchase cancellation insurance & supplemental medical coverage (which covers pre-existing conditions). This is a smart way to safeguard against life’s surprises. Please consult your insurance provider to choose the best policy for your needs. In addition, we have also made arrangements with SMS-Travel Insurance Center (Israel) of Omaha, Nebraska. SMS has over 25 years of experience as worldwide insurance brokers and can help you choose the policy that best meets your needs. Yonah Engel is our contact person.

Please note:

  • most insurance policies require purchase within 21 days of your first payment in order to receive maximum coverage (pre-existing conditions, bankruptcy insurance, etc).
  • even if you do not yet know the final trip cost (e.g. flights), estimate, and write down the amount you do know – and then at a later date, you can amend the insurance premium.
  • trip dates are for the entire period away from home
  • trip costs are all pre-paid expenses (e.g. airfare + land costs)

Email: yonah@travelinsuranceisrael.com

Phone number: 1-402-404-5205 — Mention promo code: IGT-MAKOR

For more information, or with questions about the journey, contact Rabbi Mark Schiftan (mschiftan@aol.com) or Rabbi Misha Zinkow, Makor Educational Journeys North American Representative, misha@makorjourneys.com

There are no group flights for this trip. Contact Rabbi Schiftan for details about when to arrive to and depart from Israel