Presented by Emily Christensen, PhD
March 5-16, 2014
$2050 per person plus airfare, based on a double room (single room has an added fee)
INCLUDED (price may reduce based on size of group):
· Four and Five Star Hotels
· Heated/Air Conditioned Bus (with free WI-FI)
· All Breakfast and Dinners Included
(Lunches will be as a group – budget less than $20 per person)
· Bus driver
· Local guides
· Holy and Historical Sites (see itinerary below)
· Entrance Fees
· Required Gratuities and Tipping for Hotels, Dining, and Sites included
(collection will be taken up for the guides and driver on the final day of the trip)
· Book on Holy Land, with optional study materials
· LDS perspective talk at each site
Day 1: MARCH 05 – Wednesday – Depart USA to Tel Aviv
Day 2: MARCH 06 – Thursday – Tel Aviv/Jaffa
Welcome to Israel! As you begin your journey in this ancient land, you will notice that the mountains have hidden secrets and the old ruins have legends. For 3,000 years on this small patch of land, men have toiled and battled; prayed and worshiped; and added their own small humanity to the history of this country. Listen and let the land of Israel tell you the stories of its past.
Sitting on the edge of the Mediterranean, Jaffa still stands as one of the world’s oldest ports. Tradition claims that Jaffa was settled by Noah’s youngest son when the Flood receded; and ever since its founding, Jaffa has been a center of commerce, activity and historical events. Located in one of the small alleyways, visit Simon the Tanner’s house that remains a monument to the wonderful revelation Peter the Apostle received to go and preach to the entire world. (D)
Day 3: MARCH 07 –Friday – Caesarea\Mt. Carmel\Megiddo\Cana
“And on the morrow, they entered into Caesarea…Cornelius thy prayer is heard.” Enter Caesarea, remains of a city founded by Herod, residence of Pontius Pilate and a prison for Paul. Sit in the well-preserved amphitheater overlooking the blue sea and hear the story of Paul’s conversion of the Centurion.
The scenery begins to change to the beautiful green pastures and high rolling hills of the Jezreel Valley as we approach Mt Carmel where the prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal contested their faith. Not far away is Megiddo, the tragic site of ancient bloody battles where nations were won and lost. Upon these same tragic fields, the great and terrible last battle of Armageddon will be fought.
As we make our way towards the Sea of Galilee we will stop by the church in Cana that celebrates the 1st miracle performed by Christ when he turned water to wine at the wedding. (B/D)
Day 4: MARCH 08 – Saturday – Mt Tabor\Nazareth\Beit Shean
Shabbot Shalom – This is the offical Jewish greeting on the Sabbath and we have a great day planned.
“And he lifted up his hands and blessed them…while he blessed them; he was carried up into heaven.” Mount Tabor is one of the mountains traditionally claimed to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. You will thrill to the almost hair-raising taxi ride up the mountain, but once at the summit, you will feel the peace and calm of the surrounding valley.
We journey next to Nazareth, the quaint town where Jesus Christ spent his childhood, learned his earthly vocation as a carpenter and “grew and waxed strong in spirit.” We will visit a recreated town from Christ’s time and visit with the villagers to learn what life was like for the Jesus as a boy.
This afternoon we will travel to the ancient tel of Bet She’an, where 6,000 years of civilization seem to unfold among the ruins. It is believed to be the very Bet She’an of the Old Testament where the former King of Israel, Saul, was fastened to the city wall without his head by the conquering Philistines. We will end our day with a visit to the beautiful state park Sahne. (B/L/D)
Day 5: MARCH 09 –Sunday – Banias\Sea of Galilee\Jordan River
Besides a place of great natural beauty Banias is the site of ancient Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus demanded to know of His disciples who people were saying He was. As we make our way back south towards the Sea of Galilee you see to see some of the rich farm land that has made Israel on of the leading agriculture leaders of the world.
This afternoon you will sail upon the Sea of Galilee to view the area of Jesus Christ’s early ministry. As the wind carries your boat, note the halo of mountains that surrounds its shores. Our last visit will be at the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the banks of the Jordan River. It is here that people from around the world, representing diverse denominations, still come to be baptized. (B/L/D)
Day 6: MARCH 10 – Monday – Mount of Beatitudes\Capernaum\Tabgha
The Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount is always a highlight to visitors. Here you can see how it was possible to Jesus to teach the multitude all at the same time. From here we will visit Tabgha, site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. There is a beautiful Byzantine mosaic in the floor of this miracle that you will not want to miss. We will end our day Capernaum, where Jesus lived and recruited his first followers among the fishermen. The well preserved city will amaze you as you sit in the synagogue and imagine Jesus’ teaching and performing miracles for the masses. (B/D)
Day 7: MARCH 11 – Tuesday – Qumran\Dead Sea\Masada\Jerusalem
As we leave the fertile valleys of the Galilee, we enter the strange and barren desert of the Dead Sea. Once the Biblical Lands of Moab and Edom, the Dead Sea basin has been a refuge to prophets, zealots and outcasts throughout time. Buried in the beige limestone bluffs, the ruins of Qumran still tell the story of the essences, a reclusive Jewish sect that buried the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Further south lays Ein Gedi, the oasis where David hid from King Saul.
From the desert floor, ascend by cable car to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, where a community of 960 Jews preferred death at their own hands to the indignity of surrender to the overwhelming Roman forces. While at the Dead Sea, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the buoyant waters and bathe in the wonderful medicinal mud! Even Cleopatra sent her slaves to retrieve this magical mud in order to preserve her legendary beauty. This evening we will journey to the beloved city of Jerusalem. (B/D)
Day 8: MARCH 12 – Wednesday – Western Wall\Dome of the Rock Old City\Old Jerusalem
The Western Wall is the most important site in all of Jewish civilization because these rough massive stones are all that is left of the great Second Temple. Revered and honored, the Jews wait and hope for the day they will rebuild their third and final temple upon these sacred remnants. Above the wall is Mount Moriah where the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is located. Entering the oldest quarter of Jerusalem, follow the winding alleys and crowded streets to the Pools of Bethesda and learn about their importance. We will discover the ancient city beneath the modern streets where the old paving stones are carved with Roman games at Antonia Fortress.
Located in the old quarter of Jerusalem is the site believed to be the Room of the Last Supper. Devoid of gilded statues or ornate chapels, the quiet simplicity and elegance of this room helps one to focus on the words of Christ and the poignant last moments with his beloved disciples. Our last stop will be at the House of Caiaphas, which owns the dark and sad dungeon that once imprisoned the Savior. To experience the cold dismal cells and feel the sorrow and grieving of such a place, brings understanding and gratitude to our hearts. (B/D)
Day 09: MARCH 13 – Thursday – Israel Museum\Yad Vashem\Beit Lehi|Bethlehem
Discover the treasures of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, the site chosen to house the Dead Sea Scrolls. This unique building is shaped like the ancient pottery in which the precious scrolls lay hidden for thousands of year. While we are there we will get to see the Holy Land Model, a unique scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The model visually explains the layout of the ancient city as well as the design and magnitude of the Second Temple. One of the most memorable pages of Jewish history unfolds as we visit Yad Veshem, the official memorial to the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi-wrought Holocaust in Europe.
Music, bells and churches appropriately adorn the little town of Bethlehem for it was here that the Light of the World was given life. Pilgrimages, sacred holidays and festivities occur all year long to celebrate the birth of Christ. Tradition holds that the small humble inn with just a stable for lodging was located where the Church of the Nativity now stands. Shepherds still tend their flocks on the fields overlooking Bethlehem just as they did over 2,000 years ago when the angel appeared bringing them glad tidings of great joy. Gathered on these fields, we sing the beloved hymns and listen to the wondrous story – a moment not to be forgotten. (B/D)
Day 10: MARCH 14 – Friday – Mount of Olives\Gethsemane\The Old City
This morning begins with on the Mount of Olives on whose slopes the Garden of Gethsemane lies nestled. Feel the powerful spirit in the Garden as you envision the momentous events, which took place at this sacred site. After lunch we will stop at the beautiful Garden Tomb, there is a limestone hill, which many revere as Golgotha, site of the crucifixion. Just around that hill is an old cemetery with an ancient tomb that once held the Savior’s mortal body and saw its glorious resurrection. There is a sign on the door of the tomb that says, “Do not look for Him here for He is risen”. You will never forget this moment in your life as you look for Him, not in the tomb but within your own life. (B/D)
Day 11: MARCH 15 – Saturday – Sacrament Services at BYU Jerusalem / Old city\Farewell Dinner
This morning we will have the opportunity to attend Sacrament Meeting at the Beautiful BYU Jerusalem Center. This will be a amazing way to end your tour as you gaze at the Old City through the arches that line the chapel and ponder what this time in the Holyland has meant to each one of us. After lunch we have some free time to go back into the Old City to revisit sites or to finish up shopping for treasures to take home. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner together as we prepare to leave the land we have grown to love to travel back home After clearing immigration and customs, you will transfer to the connecting gate for your flight back to USA (B/D)
Day 12: MARCH 16 – Sunday –
Arrive USA. Welcome Home!!!!