Rabbi Peter Levy and Reverend Ray Bonin

Derry Interfaith Explore Israel Tour Led by

Rabbi Peter Levy and Reverend Ray Bonin

March 13 – 22, 2017
Optional: Eilat/Petra Extension – March 23 – 26, 2017


Monday, March 13

Depart USA on an over night flight to Israel

Tuesday, March 14

Entering the Land

Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative. Ascend to Jerusalem through the biblical Ayalon Valley. Shehekianu/Welcome Ceremony overlooking the Old City and Temple Mount and City of David from the top of the Mt. of Olives – Jerusalem’s most iconic view. Check in to Prima Kings Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem. Welcome Dinner at hotel. Orientation session.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, March 15

Exploring Ancient Jerusalem

Enter the Old City through the Dung Gate.
Early morning tour of the Temple Mount – Islam’s holiest site in Jerusalem to see the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa Mosque. Follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Lunch on own
Tour of the Jewish Quarter including the Cardo and Broad Wall and rooftop panoramic view of Old City’s Four Quarters, each with its distinct form. Visit the Western Wall and then discover its archaeological story and episodes of Jewish life 2,000 years ago at Robinson’s Arch and the Southern Wall Excavations. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent his last night of freedom and adjacent Church of All Nations/Church of the Agony. Dinner on own.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, March 16

Into the Desert: Masada and the Dead Sea

Set out across the Judean Desert on the Good Samaritan Route. Then travel along the Dead Sea Coast passing Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Ascend Masada by cable car to tour the ruins of Herod’s palace and last outpost of Jewish independence 2,000 years ago. Lunch on own
Walk in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve opportunity to bath in waterfalls and hear how David hid there from King Saul. Swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at Kalya Beach. Return to Jerusalem. Dinner on own. Free evening.Recommendation – Visit the First Station Compound, Jerusalem’s restored Ottoman railway station turned restaurant – cafe area.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, March 17

City of Faith and Remembrance

Tour of Yad Vashem – Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Holocaust History Museum and Children’s Memorial. Lunch on own. Explore the raucous Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites prepare for the Sabbath. Visit the picturesque village of Ein Karem, site of the Visitation and birthplace of John the Baptist. Friday/Sabbath evening options: Take in Jerusalem’s special atmosphere by joining worshipers Greeting the Sabbath at the Western Wall. Option to pray together in the egalitarian section, where men and women can stand together. OR: Attend Friday night services at a local Jerusalem Reform synagogue. OR: Enjoy leisure time and relax before dinner. Traditional Shabbat Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday/Shabbat, March 18

And on the Seventh Day… in Jerusalem

Optional Shabbat morning services at a local Reform synagogue. OR: Morning at leisure. Lunch on own. Visit to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Free time to explore additional exhibitions on own – Recommendations: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing. Travel to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square. Tour Mt. Zion to visit David’s Tomb and the Cenacle (Last Supper room) – All under the same roof, crowned with a Minaret. Havdallah with Rabbi Levy. Dinner on own. Recommendation for the evening: Check out the lively Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall for fun, food and shopping.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, March 19

Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee

Option of attending Sunday morning worship service in Jerusalem. Alternately Sunday evening church services (6:00 pm) are held at the Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Tiberias.
Visit to Nazareth, site of the Annunciation, and meet with a local Christian Arab to hear his perspective on ethnic relations in the city. Lunch on own. Explore Jesus’ Ministry in the Galilee at Capernaum and at the Mt. of the Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. Check in to Kibbutz Lavi Hotel on Kibbutz Lavi in the Galilee. Dinner at hotel.

Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi Hotel, Galilee

Monday, March 20

The Sources of the Jordan and the Strategic Golan Heights

Tour the mystical city of Tzfat to see its quaint alleyways and ancient synagogues of the city where Kabbala (Jewish mysticism) flourished in the 16th century. Walk in the lush Tel Dan Nature Reserve, one of the sources of the Jordan River, where you’ll discover biblical intrigue and one of the oldest arches in the world. Lunch on own. Ascend to Golan Heights and lookout over pre 1967 Israel as Syrian soldiers once did. Then continue to Mt. Bental to look over Israel’s current border with Syria and appreciate the region’s strategic significance. Return to Lavi. Dinner at hotel. Encounter with a kibbutz member to learn about kibbutz life.

Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi Hotel, Galilee

Tuesday, March 21

Along the Mediterranean Coast

Visit the Bahai Shrine and Gardens in Haifa to learn about the Bahai Faith. Program about coexistence in multi-ethnic Haifa with Rabbi Dubi Hayoun of the Haifa Conservative Jewish community and Imam Ahmed Odeh Sharif of the Ahmedia Moslem community. Tour the Roman ruins of Caesarea, where Peter accepted Cornelius as the “first gentile adherent to Christianity”. Explore its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome and Promontory Palace. Ponder a rabbinic debate over Jews attending gladiator games. Then on to Tel Aviv – “The City that never stops”. Check in to Metropolitan Hotel or Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv. Dinner on own. Free evening.

Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, March 22

Jaffa: Separate, Together and Diverse

Meet with representatives of the Jaffa’s joint Arab Jewish Community Center to hear about their efforts to bring communities together. Tour of Old Jaffa – The ancient port city once known as Zion Gate. Hear about Peter’s vision in Jaffa and its impact on Jewish – Christian relations. Remainder of afternoon free to enjoy beach and get in last minute shopping. Late check-out. Farewell dinner at Maganda Restaurant in Tel Aviv’s old Yemenite Quarter.

Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon.

Thursday, March 23

Arrive in USA

Costs and Reductions

Land Package $2415 Per person in a double room.

Land and Air Package $3315. Single room Supplement $860

Reduction for 3rd in a triple room $100

Optional Eilot Petra: 4 People $1130, 6 People $1115 ,8 People $1075

Added to above pricing are tip for guide and driver $165 Tour is priced on 20 paying participants.

Israel Phone

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