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Connecticut Interfaith Pilgrimage

May 1, 2023 - May 12, 2023

A Journey of Learning and Understanding

Led by:
Rabbi Michael Friedman (Temple Israel, Westport)
Rev. Dr. Bernard R. Wilson (Norfield Congregational Church, Weston)
• Experience Israel and the Holy Land through the eyes of our peers and friends
• Deepen our own faith through the hearts of our peers and friends
• Enhance our understanding of the world through sharing with one another
• Christian & Jewish worship experiences daily
• Delve into four layers of experience:
1. Ancient Jewish history
2. Life of Jesus, the Gospels and the Early Church
3. Contemporary State of Israel
4. Contemporary Life of Christians and Muslims in Today’s Holy Land

Note: This journey is limited to participants 16 years of age and older.
Monday, May 1, 2023
  • Departure from the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Day 1
Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Note: The first day’s program is subject to change depending on arrival times.

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor Educational Journeys representative.
  • Begin the journey at Ne’ot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve, which is a living museum of the biblical the Land of Israel. Step back in time with an interactive ecological tour to raise awareness of the “land flowing with milk and honey.”
  • Proceed to Jerusalem.
  • Stop at the Haas Promenade: From Abraham to Today: The Story of Jerusalem, an introduction to the concept of “Jerusalem of Many Faiths.”   Interfaith service of Welcome and Gratitude, with recitation of the Shehecheyanu prayer, customarily said upon entering Jerusalem, and traditional bread and wine.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Festive welcome dinner and orientation at Eucalyptus Restaurant, which serves “Eretz Yisrael/Land of Israel” cuisine using local ingredients and recipes.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
Day 2
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit through the City of David, with Bible in hand, for a glimpse at daily life in Jerusalem from the days of the Bible through the end of the Second Temple, exploring Jerusalem’s textual and physical sources and some of its newest excavations.
    • Ecumenical worship in the City of David
  • Continue to the Southern Wall Excavations and the Davidson Archaeological Park, with its archaeological remains that date back 3,000 years to the days of the First Temple.
  • Continue to the Western Wall with time for personal meditation.
  • Enter the Western Wall Tunnel complex for a guided wall along the 2,000 year old street at the base of the Temple Mount.
  • Ascend to the Jewish Quarter, beginning with lunch on your own and continuing for a guided visit through the Biblical and Hasmonean remains in the open Cardo, the Broad Wall, Herodian Quarter and the Hurva synagogue.
    • Visit the Karaite (B’nai Mikra) Heritage Center’s presentation of comprehensive historical materials that show the contribution of the B’nai Mikra community, which adheres to recognition of the written Torah alone as its supreme authority in Jewish religious law and theology. (time permitting)
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
Day 3
Thursday, May 4, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Ascend to the top of the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam, with the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, which is also the site of the First and Second Temples.
  • Discussion led by Rabbi Friedman and Rev. Wilson using Genesis 22, and Quranic stories of the Sacrifice of Abraham’s son, as well as the Christian interpretations. The discussion will also include a look at how each faith sees its place in a political/religious context.
    • Ecumenical worship
  • Proceed to Bethlehem with a brief stop at Rachel’s Tomb.
  • Drive to Bethlehem in the Palestinian Authority for a visit to the Church of the Nativity and the Manger, followed by an interfaith dialogue with Bethlehem Christian and Muslim Clergy, exploring the role of religions in geopolitical realities.
  • Lunch on own en route
  • Return to Jerusalem.
  • Religion in the Holy Land: The Role of Faith in Peace & Conflict, with interfaith educator, Marcie Lenk.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
Day 4
Friday, May 5, 2023
  • 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.
  • Edumenical worship in the Valley of the Communities
  • Proceed to the Nachla’ot neighborhood, an older section of “new Jerusalem,” a cluster of 23 courtyard neighborhoods first built in the 1870’s and known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues.
  • Continue to Machane Yehuda, the open-air market, where Jerusalemites are doing their grocery-shopping and preparations for the Sabbath.
  • Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat (Sabbath services) at a Jerusalem synagogue.
  • Shabbat evening home hospitality or dinner at hotel
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
Day 5
Saturday, May 6, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning at leisure or time for prayer.
  • Information will be provided on synagogues of different types
  • Baptist Jerusalem Center or Seventh-Day Adventist Advent House
  • Lunch on own.
  • Proceed to Mount Zion, the Hill of Three Religions, for a guided walk with poetry, stories and texts.
  • Room of the Last Supper: Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover Seder, the meal that would be called, “the Last Supper.”
  • King David’s Tomb: a place of pilgrimage for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, which according to a medieval tradition, is where the Biblical warrior-king David is buried.
  • Oskar Schindler’s grave: Oskar Schindler saved the lives of some 1,200 Jews by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories in German-occupied Poland, Moravia and Bohemia during WWII. He is the only member of the Nazi party to be buried in Israel.
  • Dormition Abbey: the location is identified in Christian tradition as the place where the Virgin Mary died — or “fell asleep,” as the name suggests.
  • Overlook from Mt. Zion: between 1948 and 1967, when Jerusalem’s Old City was under Jordanian rule, the closest that Israelis could come to the Temple Mount was Mount Zion
  • Optional Christian services (leadership to choose one place from a list to be provided)
  • Havdalah overlooking the Old City walls.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
Day 6
Sunday, May 7, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • By bus, ascend to the summit of the of Olives which has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years, making it central in the Jewish tradition. Due to the hill’s association with events in the lives of both Jesus and Mary, the Mt. of Olives is a major site of Christian pilgrimage.
  • Chapel of the Ascension, sacred to both Christians and Muslims as the place where Jesus ascended into heaven
  • Church of Pater Noster, built on the site in Jerusalem where Jesus was thought to have taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Dominus Flevit, fashioned in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ
  • The Garden of Gethsemane that includes the Church of All Nations, standing on the Rock of Agony, where Jesus was betrayed by Judas.
  • Enter the Old City via St. Stephens Gate (Lions Gate) and begin the visit to the Old City at the pools of Bethesda and St. Ann Church.
  • Continue along the Via Dolorosa beginning at the first station and following the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, containing the last 5 Stations of the Cross, traditionally believed to be the site of Golgotha “the place of the skull,” where Jesus was crucified and buried.
  • Return to the hotel for rest and relaxation
  • Dinner on own
Overnight: Dan Panorama, Jerusalem
Day 7
Monday, May 8, 2023; EREV LAG BA'OMER
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out.
  • Travel south.



  • Visit Masada to explore the ancient fortress and learn the story of the Jewish Zealots and exploration of the symbolism and questions that arise from the Masada story.
  • Continue to Qumran, the administrative center of an ancient ascetic Jewish community whose members were mostly scribes responsible for the copying and preservation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Many scholars associate the Essene sect of Qumran with John the Baptist.
  • Proceed to Neve Midbar Beach to float in the waters of the Dead Sea, with lunch on own.
  • Continue along the Great Rift Valley to Qasr el-Yahud, located on the Jordan River, viewed by many Christians as the site where Jesus was baptized and by some Jews as the site where Joshua crossed into the Land of Israel, with an opportunity for baptism in the Jordan River.
  • Ecumenical worship along the shores of the Jordan River
  • Travel north.



  • Visit Qumran, the administrative center of an ancient ascetic Jewish community whose members were mostly scribes responsible for the copying and preservation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Many scholars associate the Essene sect of Qumran with John the Baptist.
  • Visit the town of Jericho, including Zacharias’ tree and Hisham Palace and ride the cable car to Qarantal Monastery.
  • Continue along the Great Rift Valley to Qasr el-Yahud, located on the Jordan River, viewed by many Christians as the site where Jesus was baptized and by some Jews as the site where Joshua crossed into the Land of Israel, with an opportunity for baptism in the Jordan River.
  • Ecumenical worship along the shores of the Jordan River
  • Travel north
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Kibbutz Ein Gev, North
Day 8
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit through Capernaum, where Jesus taught during the days of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, including the ancient synagogue and church.
    • Ecumenical worship at Capernaum
  • Continue to Tabgha, traditional site of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish, and conclude the visit around the Sea of Galilee with an overlook on to the Sea from atop the Mount of Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered.
  • Drive to the Upper Galilee.
  • Walk through the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, along one of the tributaries of the Jordan River, concluding at the Biblical site of Tel Dan, exploring a combination of geopolitics, nature and archaeology.
  • Lunch on own en route.
  • Continue to Mount Bental to gain a better understanding of the events of Israel’s wars in 1967 and 1973 and the current realities facing Israel in the wake of the Syrian Civil War.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Kibbutz Ein Gev, North
Day 9
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check-out.
  • Proceed to Nazareth.
  • Guided visit through Nazareth, including visits to the Church of the Annunciation and Jacob’s Well.
    • Discussions with Christian and Muslim community leaders
  • Proceed to the Carmelite Monastery at Mukhraka, the site where Elijah is believed to have defeated the false prophets of Ba’al. The Arabic name refers to the sacrifice (“burning”) that Elijah offered God from an altar here.
  • Druze hospitality lunch at Nurah’s Kitchen in Daliyat al Karmel.
  • Proceed along the Trans-Israel Highway Mediterranean coastline.
  • Guided visit through the archaeological remains of Caesarea, a Roman city which figures significantly in both Christian and Jewish sources.
    • Ecumenical worship service
  • Continue to Tel Aviv.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 10
Thursday, May 11, 2023
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Israel Today, with social historian, Paul Liptz.
  • Guided visit through Jaffa, including the home of Simon the Tanner and a reading of the story of Jonah and the Whale.
  • Free time in the Jaffa Flea Market.
  • Lunch on own “Tel Aviv style” at a seaside open air café.
  • Visit the Independence Hall Visitors Center that tells the story of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
  • Walk along Rothschild Boulevard, where Tel Aviv began, exploring the old and new, including the UNESCO Bauhaus White City.
  • Festive farewell dinner at a Tel Aviv restaurant.
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport for return flights home.
Overnight: In flight
Day 11
Friday, May 12, 2023
  • Arrivals to the United States.

*Program is subject to change, pending confirmations.

Price per person, based on double-occupancy
Single occupancy supplement

* Based on 25 full-paying participants.  Prices do not include flights.


6 nights Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem
2 nights Ein Gev, North
1 night Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv


Land Price Includes:

  • Group assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport
  • One group transfer from and one group transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 10 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 9 days
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • 1 lunch
    • 5 dinners
  • Source Materials, Hat, Map
  • Water on bus daily – 3 bottles per person per day
  • Porterage at hotels

Not Included:

  •    Tips for Guide and Driver
  •    Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  •    Travel and Medical Insurance
  •    Flights


Payment and Refund Schedule

Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

January 15, 2023 — 50% of Total Payment

March 15, 2023 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel Before January 15, 2023 — Full Refund

Cancel between January 15 and February 28, 2023 — 50% Refund

Cancel between February 28 and April 15, 2023 — 25% Refund

Cancel after April 15, 2023 — No Refund


For more information, please contact Rabbi Misha Zinkow at misha@makorjourneys.com

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.
We have 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), write down the amount you do know – and then at a later date, we 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)
Phone number: 1-402-404-5205
Mention promo code: IGT-MAKOR

Participants are asked to purchase their own flights. Recommended flights are posted below.

Flight to Israel
Flight to USA







Flight to USA