Tyler, Texas Interfaith Journey to Israel
CONGREGATION BETH EL
Interfaith Journey to Israel
Led by Rabbi Neal Katz & Pastor Stuart Baskin
March 5-15, 2023
- Departure from the United States
(First day’s itinerary is subject to change, depending on arrival time)
- Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport with assistance by a Makor Educational Journeys representative.
- Meet your tour educator.
- Proceed to Jerusalem
- Stop at the Haas Promenade for an overview of the city and celebrate your arrival with a special ceremony and blessings of thanksgiving.
- Check into the hotel.
- Welcome dinner and orientation by clergy and tour educator at the hotel.
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Proceed to the Mount of Olives. While enjoying a spectacular view of Jerusalem, explore the deep and diverse religious significance of this mountain, and see the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world.
- Walk from the Mount of Olives towards the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City using the Palm Sunday Road (Matt. 21). Along the way, see places of religious importance including the Dominus Flevit Church.
- In the Garden of Gethsemane, see some of the oldest olive trees in the world and the Church of All Nations.
- Enter the Old City through St. Stephen’s Gate (aka Lions’ Gate).
- Lunch on own in Old City
- Tour the Western Wall Tunnel, the underground continuation of the Kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount).
- Guided walk along Old City rooftops, paying particular attention to the multi-ethnic weave of the City and its complexity.
- Return to the hotel for dinner, group holiday celebration of Purim & nighttime in Jerusalem
- Early breakfast at the hotel
- Drive to the Dead Sea Basin, the lowest place on earth.
- Ride the cable car to the top of Masada with its extraordinary views and fascinating archaeological remains. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an ancient fortress built around 30 BCE that was first fortified by the Hasmoneans, but is best known as Herod the Great’s desert fortress and the 73 CE “siege of Masada,” which gained mythological proportions in Zionist thought.
- Time-permitting, visit Qumran, which dates from the late 2nd BCE and was probably home to members of the Jewish sectarians. It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden…and discovered.
- Proceed to the beach at the Dead Sea for an opportunity to float in its waters and/or enjoy its mud, known for wonderful dermatologic qualities.
- Lunch on own at the Dead Sea.
- Return to Jerusalem for dinner at the hotel.
- New Voices and New Challenges in the Middle East: Meet Elhanan Miller, a journalist who specializes in the Arab world and a fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking, to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East and understand how they impact upon Israel.
- Briefing with educator on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.
- The Identity of the Israeli Settlement: Visit Gush Etzion and meet with Josh Hasten from the Gush Etzion Foundation.
- Visit the Kibbutz Kfar Etzion Visitors’ Center for an explanation and audio-visual program about the heroic defense of the Etzion Bloc in the War of Independence.
- Lunch on own
- Shared Land/Shared Society: Meet with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Noor Awwad, who live in the Bethlehem/Gush Etzion Area and lead the Roots Coexistence Project.
- Visit the city of Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. Walk to the Milk Grotto, the hiding place of Jesus’s family, and through the Old City to the Church of the Nativity
- Return to the hotel for group processing and dinner.
- Enjoy “Hallelujah” – the night show in the City of David.
- Return to hotel
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Your guided tour will include:
- The Avenue of the Righteous, where trees honor The Righteous Among the Nations, brave non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
- The Historical Museum, where the Holocaust is remembered is through survivor testimonies, original artifacts, and personal possessions saved from the ghettos and camps.
- The Children’s Memorial, where memorial candles commemorate the 1.5 million children killed during the Holocaust.
- A concluding memorial ceremony
- Proceed to the Mahane Yehuda open-air market (shuk), where Jerusalemites mingle and shop as they prepare for the Sabbath.
- Lunch on own
- Return to the hotel.
- Time to prepare for Shabbat
- Join Kabbalat Shabbat services at Kehilat Shira Hadasha in the German Colony.
- Home hospitality dinner or dinner at the hotel.
- Breakfast at the hotel
- 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.
- Proceed to the Via Dolorosa.
- The final station of the Via Dolorosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus is believed to have been crucified. Led by Hana Bendcowsky, of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations.
- Lunch on own
- Explore (optional, on own) the Israel Museum, with its eclectic collection, ranging from archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls to Jewish life and art, European art, contemporary Israeli art, and the open-air model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period.
- Havdallah (brief ceremony that separates holy Shabbat and the week) overlooking the Old City.
- Dinner at hotel
- Free evening to enjoy the nightlife in Jerusalem.
- Check-out of the hotel
- Sunday morning services
- Proceed north to Qasser Al Yahud, the site on the Jordan River where Christians believe the baptism of Jesus took place. According to Jewish tradition, it is also the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and Elijah the Prophet ascended to heaven.
- Special worship with Pastor Baskin, at the Qasser Al Yahud Baptismal site.
- Drive north along the Jordan Rift Valley.
- Lunch on own en route
- Arrive to the region of the Sea of Galilee, center of early Christianity and settlement by Jewish pioneers in the late 19th century, with visits to:
- Kinneret Cemetery: The area around the Sea of Galilee was a stronghold for early Zionist experiments in communal living and collective agriculture. Visit the graves of some of the iconic figures of that time
- Capernaum – Often called the “town of Jesus,” this ancient fishing village was a mixed Christian-Jewish area 2000 years ago.
- Explore interfaith relations past and present at Magdala, a major port and a center of both Jewish and early Christian life in the 1st century CE.
- The Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have delivered the “Sermon on the Mount.”
- Check into the hotel.
- Dinner at the hotel.
- Visit Caesarea Philippi (Banias), the site where Jesus revealed his mission to Peter and the other disciples.
- Stop at Tel Faher, an abandoned Syrian outpost that once threatened the northern towns of Israel and follow the footsteps of Israeli soldiers who fought there in the 1967 Six Day War.
- Ascend to the Golan Heights for a glimpse into Israel’s security situation vis-à-vis, Syria, Iran and Russia. Cross the Golan plateau to the border with Syria and view the abandoned city of Kuneitra and the nearby United Nations outpost.
- Lunch on own and enjoy a wine tasting from the family cellar (once a Syrian army bunker) at Bell Ofri Farm and Ein Nashut Winery.
- Travel to Tsfat (Safed), one of the Land of Israel’s 4 Holy Cities. It was home to the renaissance of Jewish mysticism in the 16th
- Visit the Ari and Caro Synagogues
- Walk through the cobbled streets and alleyways to the Artists’ Colony with its galleries, shops, and studios.
- Meet with artist Sheva Chaya in her studio, for an interactive window into the world of Kabbalah, glass blowing, and questions of identity and Judaism.
- Return to the hotel for dinner
- Check-out of the hotel.
- Drive along the coast to Caesarea, one of King Herod’s major projects. Explore its ancient theater, palace, and bathhouse.
- Check into the hotel.
- Lunch on own
- Ascend from the ancient port of Jaffa through the renovated alleyways to the Jaffa Overlook for an introduction to Tel Aviv, where new meets old.
- From Hebrew City to Hebrew State: Walk the Independence Trail and journey from the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
- Enjoy a festive Middle Eastern-style Farewell Dinner and wrap-up discussion.
- Transfer to the Airport.
- Return to the United States.
*Price is based on a minimum of 15 paying participants. Price does not include flights.
- 6 Nights, Leonardo Plaza, Jerusalem
- 2 Nights, Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Hotel, Galilee
- 1 Night, Crowne Plaza, Tel Aviv
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 for one group flight
- 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
- Daily at hotel, except farewell dinner at a restaurant
- Source Materials, Hat, Bag, Map
- Water on bus daily – 3 bottles/person/day
- Registration services
- Credit Card Fee
- App with program and resources
- Tips for Guide and Driver
- Covid Expenses
- Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
- Travel and Medical Insurance*
Additional Important Information
Payment and Refund Schedule
Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant
November 1, 2022— 50% of Total Payment
January 1, 2023 — Full Payment
Cancel Before January 1, 2023 — Full Refund
Cancel between January 1 and February 15, 2023 — 50% Refund
Cancel between February 15- March 1, 2023 — 25% Refund
Cancel after March 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.
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.
- 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: [email protected]
Phone number: 1-402-404-5205 — Mention promo code: IGT-MAKOR
For more information, or with questions about the journey, contact Rabbi Misha Zinkow, Makor Educational Journeys North American Representative, [email protected]