Itinerary

THU 04 JAN Depart U.S.
A meaningful journey of learning and discovery begins today. Depart Chicago and connect in Newark with the overnight flight to Tel Aviv via United Airlines. (Meals in-flight)

FRI 05 JAN Arrive Tel Aviv/Bethlehem
Upon mid-morning arrival, meet your guide and driver for the transfer to Bethlehem. Take a brief walking tour to get acquainted with your surroundings including a stop at the Visit Palestine Center where you can have a light lunch. After check-in and time to refresh, gather for a welcome dinner. Abu Gubran Lutheran Guesthouse with overflow to the Grand Hotel (Meals in-flight, D)

SAT 06 JAN Bethlehem
This morning attend the Epiphany Mass at St. Catherine’s Church. We will also witness the entrance of the Greek Patriarch at the Church of the Nativity for the beginning of the Orthodox Christmas celebrations (January 7 is Christmas Day in the
Orthodox calendar). Enjoy a walking tour of Bethlehem’s Old City including Manger Square. After dinner, return to Manger Square for Christmas Eve celebrations. Abu Gubran Lutheran Guesthouse with overflow to the Grand Hotel (B, D)

SUN 07 JAN Bethlehem
Worship and enjoy fellowship with members of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala, where Wartburg graduate Saliba Rishmawi is pastor. Gather for a fellowship lunch (cost not included). Some may choose to remain in Bethlehem and attend worship there at Evangelical Christmas Lutheran Church, where Mitri Raheb is pastor. This afternoon visit the Mosque of Omar and meet for a discussion of Islam. There will also be some time on own for personal reflection and individual pursuits. Abu Gubran Lutheran Guesthouse with overflow to the Grand Hotel (B, D)

MON 08 JAN Bethlehem
This morning visit Efrat for a tour of this Israeli settlement led by one of its residents. Drive to Hebron to visit the Tombs of the Patriarchs (traditional) burial site of Abraham and Sarah) at the Ibrahimi Mosque. Tour this complex Palestinian city with Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC). Visit the hilltop fortress of King Herod (Herodion) en route to Bethlehem. Continue for a visit at
Shepherds Fields and a Bedouin tent dinner. Abu Gubran Lutheran Guesthouse with overflow to the Grand Hotel (B, D)

TUE 09 JAN Bethlehem
Visit Aida Refugee Camp where Palestinians have lived since being forced from their homes in 1949. Also tour the Separation Wall to understand its impact on the Palestinian community. Have conversation over lunch with Zoughbi Zoughbi, Director of the Wi’am Center for Conflict Resolution. Also today, meet with the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb to hear about the role of Palestinian Christians in the
Holy Land. Abu Gubran Lutheran Guesthouse with overflow to the Grand Hotel (B, L, D)

WED 10 JAN Bethlehem
Visit Qasr al Yahud on the Jordan River, a baptismal site near Jericho. Then travel to Masada where, on this rocky plateau, the Zealots held their last resistance against the Roman conquerors. Continue on to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
Later visit Qumran to see the actual caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. On the return to Bethlehem drive by Mar Saba Monastery. Abu Gubran Lutheran Guesthouse with overflow to the Grand Hotel (B, D)

THU 11 JAN Bethlehem/Galilee
Depart for the Mediterranean coast and the site of Caesarea, once the Roman capital of Palestine. See the Crusader fortifications, the Roman amphitheater, aqueduct, and the harbor from where the Apostle Paul was taken to Rome. Meet with former Archbishop Elias Chacour in Ibilin. Abuna Chacour was Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the Galilee, an ambassador for
non-violence, and noted for promoting reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis. Continue to the Sea of Galilee to check in at your hotel for dinnerand overnight. Pilger Haus (B, D)

FRI 12 JAN Galilee
This morning see the first century “Jesus Boat” at Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, followed by a boat ride on the peaceful waters of the Galilee. Visit the Ancient Synagogue and St. Peter’s House at Capernaum. Drive along the north shore to Tabgha to visit the Church of the Multiplication and the Chapel of the Primacy of Peter. Pilger Haus (B, D)

SAT 13 JAN Galilee
Begin the day at the Church of the Beatitudes, one of the most beautiful in the Galilee region. Then visit the excavations at Chorazim before driving north, near the Lebanon border. Visit Tel Dan and Banias Springs (Caesarea Philippi), a source of the
Jordan River. Pilger Haus (B, D)

SUN 14 JAN Galilee/Jerusalem
Drive to Nazareth. Celebrate this Sunday with a service of Holy Communion in the beautiful chapel at the International Mary of Nazareth Center overlooking the Basilica of the Annunciation. Visit the Basilica and excavations there, followed by a visit to the Church of St. Joseph. Continue to Jerusalem and check into your accommodations located in the Old City. Gloria Hotel (B,D)

MON 15 JAN Jerusalem
Stop at the top of the Mount of Olives for a glorious view of Jerusalem and walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane. During lunch meet with Rev. Mark Brown, Middle East Director of Lutheran World Federation, located on the grounds of LWR-funded Augusta Victoria Hospital. Tour the only hospital that serves Palestinian refugees. This afternoon journey along the
Stations of the Cross concluding with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the sites commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Gloria Hotel (B, L, D) 

TUE 16 JAN Jerusalem
Visit the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate and the church there. Meet with a representative of B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Proceed to Mt. Sion to visit St. Peter in Gallicantu, the church that commemorates Peter’s betrayal of Christ, and its model of Byzantine Jerusalem. Continue to the Coenaculum, also called the Upper Room (Mk 14/Lk 22), the traditional site of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. Gloria Hotel (B, D)

WED 17 JAN Jerusalem
Today visit Yad Vashem, the moving memorial tothe Holocaust. At the Israel Museum study the model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple period and see the original Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book. Meet with Ophir Yarden to learn about the Jewish people in the land of Israel and his perspective on what will make for a resolution of conflict. Gloria Hotel (B, D)

THU 18 JAN Jerusalem
Begin the day at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The Western Wall is the holiest site in Jerusalem for Jews, and the Temple Mount, or Haram al Sharif, with the Al Aqsa Mosque, is equally sacred for Muslims, second only to Mecca (no inside
visits to the mosques available). See the Church of St. Anne, a 12th-century Crusader church, and the Pool of Bethesda. Meet with the English-language pastor at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Gather for a farewell dinner at the Philadelphia Restaurant this evening. Gloria Hotel (B, D)

FRI 19 JAN Jerusalem/Departure
This day is entirely free for individual pursuits – dinner is on your own, too. Hotel rooms will be available until evening departure for the airport. You may wish to walk the ramparts, climb the tower of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, explore the Citadel Museum, attend vespers at the Armenian Cathedral of St. James, join the daily 4pm procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, or spend some time in the Old City shops. You may wish to welcome Shabbat at the Western Wall. Transfer this evening for flight check-in and departure at 11:10 p.m. Those travelers going to Jordan will remain overnight at the hotel. Gloria Hotel (B)

SAT 20 JAN Return to U.S.
Connect in Newark this morning with the continuing flight to Chicago. Arrive home enriched with a new understanding of the ancient world, the land of the Bible, and the peoples of Israel and Palestine. (B, Meals in-flight)and coach.

Code: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Itinerary subject to change
Speakers subject to availability

Israel
Israel
Bethlehem