Footsteps of Jesus Tour

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Day 1 – Jericho

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, our guests will be warmly greeted and taken to Ein Karem to visit the Church of John the Baptist. Time permitting we will visit Tel Jericho, the site of the first victory of the Israelites in the Land of Canaan (Joshua 6). We’ll get to know each other over a welcoming dinner.  Overnight in Jericho

Day 2 –Jordan Valley to Bethlehem

After a delicious traditional Israeli breakfast, we will visit the Place of Baptism (Qasr al Yehud) along the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17) . We will then look at monastic life as we visit St. Gerasimus and meet the priest at Deir Hajla Monastery who will introduce us to the art of laying mosaics and iconography. We will then visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and where a community of Essenes lived. (It is also possible that John the Baptist spent some time with the community here.) We will Travel to Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity (Luke 2: 1-7), the birthplace of Jesus, and stroll along Manger Square, then continue to Bet Sahour and visit the Shepherd’s Fields. We will save time for leisure and shopping in Beit Sahour. At the end of the day, we will enjoy an oriental farewell with a folkloric presentation. Dinner and overnight in Jericho

Day 3Jordan Valley – to Samaria

Today we will begin our day by visiting Jacob’s Well and the old city of Nablus, walking through the ancient market, visiting the soap factory and having lunch at a unique setting organized by a local women’s center to learn a bit about their local culture After lunch we will visit Burqin and tour the Church of St. George, where Jesus healed the 10 lepers. We will continue to the Canaan Olive Oil Factory to taste the oils and learn about the successful fair trade cooperative. Dinner and overnight in Jenin

Day 4Samaria – Nazareth- Cana- Galilee.

We will travel north to Jesus’ childhood home, Nazareth, to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and view the Cave where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 1: 26-37) We will tour the Old City and see Mary’s Well and the ancient synagogue as well as the International Center of “Mary’s of Nazareth” where we will rediscover the story of Mary, the mother of Christ. We will have lunch at a local guesthouse and enjoy fellowship with the sister in charge and her staff who will tell the unique story of the guesthouse. We will visit Kfar Kana, or Canathe site of the wedding where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine (John 3:1-12) Our day will end at the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee where Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6) Dinner and overnight in Galilee

Day 5 – Sea of Galilee- Capernaum- Mt Carmel and Caesarea

After breakfast we will start our day by taking a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14:22-23) with the seminarians at Domus Galilee near Korazim. On reaching Capernaum, we will visit the ruins of this old fishing village, often called the hometown of Jesus, with its synagogue church marking the home of Peter, and dwellings from the time of Jesus.  Next, we will stop at the nearby Chapel of the Primacy of Peter, where Jesus appeared to the Apostles after the resurrection. Nearby is the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes at Tabgha, with its famed mosaic depicting the two fishes and the five loaves Jesus multiplied.  Lunch will be at a nearby restaurant for a taste of the famous St. Peter’s Fish.  Then we will continue to Mt. Carmel and see the Muhraka and its connection to the prophet Elijah.  We will stop in Caesarea, the site built by King Herod in honor of his patron Emperor Augustus in the mid-first century BCE, and from where it is believed that Pontius Pilate ruled the country during the trial of Jesus.  It was from this port that Paul set sail to preach in communities all over the Mediterranean, where he was later imprisoned for two years and appeared before Felix, Festus and King Agrippa. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6 – Jerusalem- Mt. of Olives – Old City

We will welcome the day with one of the most magnificent views in the world: ancient Jerusalem as seen from the top of the Mount of Olives. We will then drive down to the Garden of Gethsemane at the base of the mountain, where we will spend time pondering and praying about the time Jesus spent here with his disciples before his arrest. We will then enter the Old City via Lion’s Gate, also known as St. Stephen’s Gate, to the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic. We will continue along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, which tradition says Jesus went with the cross to Calvary. Lunch will be in the Old City along the Via Dolorosa, which passes through the colorful Old City markets to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of the crucifixion of Jesus. In the afternoon, we will continue to the Armenian Quarter to visit the Church of St. James and enjoy fellowship and afternoon hospitality with the Armenian community. We will end the day at Mt. Zion where we will visit the House of the high priest Caiphas, and the room of the Last supper. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem

Day 7 – Jerusalem – Mt. Zion – Jewish Quarter – Israel Museum

After breakfast we will see the excavations at the City of David and then enter the Old City through the Dung Gate and visit the Southern Steps, where Jesus often taught. We will continue to the Western Wall, the holiest site for the Jewish people, and view the Haram el-Shareef where we will see the Dome of the Rock and El-Aqsa Mosque. We will end the day by visiting the Israel Museum, home to the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century – the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will also see an impressive model of Jerusalem from 69 CE, which sets the stage for us as we enter the special shrine that contains the Scrolls.  As our amazing week-long journey draws to a close, we will enjoy a special farewell dinner session with a rabbi scholar from the Center of Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 8 -Departure

Transfer to the airport


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Highlights Include:

  • Be baptized at the authentic site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist
  • Meander through the Old City of Nazareth &the Basilica of the Annunciation–view the cave where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 1:26)
  • Enjoy fellowship with local Christians in Samaria, Nazareth and other villages
  • Take time for prayer at the Mount of Beatitudes–where Jesus gave His sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7 & Luke 6)
  • Enjoy a lively boat ride on the sparkling Sea of Galilee, with its many historical and holy sites situated along the shores
  • Engage in Hebrew bible study with a rabbi scholar from the Center for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation
  • Enjoy a Palestinian folklore show and participate in Dabke dancing
  • Tour the old city of Jerusalem and see the many ancient sites from the Mt. of Olives, to Calvary, the Sharm el  and the Western Wall visit the modern sitesite of the crucifixion of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall–the holiest site for the Jewish people, the Israel Museum to view the Dead Scrolls–the most important archeological find of the 20th century, visit Yad Vashem–the Holocaust Remembrance Musuem