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Israel/Holy Land

Tour the Holy Land
May 7th - 17th 2018

Church Sermon on the Mount - Mount of Beatitudes
Roman aqueduct at Caesarea
Beit Shean stadium
Cobbled streets of Jewish Quarter
Via Delorosa

Tour the Holy Land

SHALOM AND WELCOME TO ISRAEL!

We begin our tour of the Holy Land in Netanya where we will check-in for dinner and overnight and prepare to walk where Jesus walked in a land that uniquely contrasts modern life with the ancient world. The first full day of our tour, we will depart for the Galilee, visiting Biblical sites at Caesarea, Megiddo, and Mt. Carmel.  We will then arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  Nothing beats watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee! We will begin our tour today at Tabgha and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. We will then spend time reflecting and worshiping at the Mt. of Beatitudes. Then we drive to the site of the Gadarenes, where the Lord sent the demons into the herd of swine. Next, we will make our way to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry, before boarding a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” to set sail on the Sea of Galilee. We continue to Nazareth and visit the “Nazareth Village” with a detailed explanation of what life was like during the time of Jesus. We then visit Cana and the Mt. of Precipice.

Shabbat Of A Lifetime

The following morning of our tour, we will travel north for the Golan Heights to view a beautiful landscape of northern Israel. We’ll sit on the Plain of Bethsaida where Jesus multiplied the fish and the loaves. Then we will head to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”. Time permitting, we will have a stop at Gideon Springs. Then we visit Magdala to see the recent excavations of a synagogue from the time of Jesus. Next, we will visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. We will then ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem to join together for a special time with a local family for a Shabbat dinner.  “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem”.

Don't forget! Be sure to bring a flashlight and good water shoes with you, as you will get wet walking through the tunnel. (Those who prefer to stay dry can walk through the shaft).

ITT Character

In the Footsteps of Jesus

We begin this day of our tour on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage proceeds down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, to walk the Via Dolorosa – including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pool of Bethesda, the Pavement, Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo.  We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We conclude our sightseeing today with a visit to Bethlehem. We pass by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts, and visit the Church of the Nativity, Shepherd’s Field, and the cave of Jerome. We will also have a visit to a local Baptist Church.  The next morning of our tour, we will enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western (Wailing) Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands El-Aksa Mosque, and the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in Islam). Conditions permitting, we will include a visit to the Temple Mount. Then we walk along the Rabbi’s Tunnel and come as close as is possible to the Holy of Holies. We continue our tour of Jerusalem, the City of Gold, to the Jewish Quarter for a unique visit of the Temple Institute. Here, we will see some of the preparations being made for the Third Temple. Then we make our way to the Southern Steps, the archaeological reconstruction of the Temple Steps where Jesus walked so often. Next, we drive to the incredible archaeological find, the City of David. Here we take a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting).  If time permits, we will briefly visit the new excavations of the Pool of Siloam.

The Judean Wilderness

The tour continues the next morning as we join in a sifting project at Emek Zurim. Afterwards, we will visit the city outside the walls. We will pass by the Supreme Court House, the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) and the famous Rose Garden on the way to the Yad Vashem Museum. We will enjoy the world-renowned Israel Museum, recently renovated and enhanced. It includes the Second Temple Model and the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. We conclude the tour with communion at the Garden Tomb.  The next morning, we depart from Jerusalem and drive to the Jordan River for an optional time of baptisms at the traditional site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at Qsar El-Yahud. Then we make our way to the Judean Wilderness. The road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea region is a decent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. The first stop of our tour will be at Qumran, the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Afterwards, a short drive takes us to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul.From here we drive to Masada, where we will take a cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. This morning of our tour we will have leisure time at the Dead Sea to enjoy floating in the water and the hotel spa (some services not included). In early afternoon, we depart the Dead Sea area and begin our sightseeing with a relaxing drive to the Elah Valley and the brook where David slew Goliath. From here, we continue to Jaffa for a special Farewell Dinner. We transfer to Ben Gurion airport for the flight back to the U.S.A.