Pictures from the Holy Land

In the Footsteps of Jesus and David, Abraham and Sarah

A Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Led by:

The Rev. Pamela Bakal
Grace Church Nutley
Nutley, NJ


The Rev. Robert Morris
Interweave Center
South Orange, NJ

February 27 – March 11, 2011

Trip map

What is “Pilgrimage?”  You are invited to be more than a tourist, more than an observer, more than a student of ancient history.  Since early Christian times people have gone as pilgrims to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and the ancient people of Israel before Him, to enter into the power and richness of the Biblical saga, and to pray and meditate at the Holy places.  Each day will begin with brief prayer and meditation on the bus, and our clergy leaders will supplement our expert guide’s information with their own reflections and time given in major sites for your own prayer or pondering.

DAY 1, Sunday, February 27, 2011 - We depart from Newark Liberty International Airport on Continental Airlines for a non-stop trans-Atlantic flight to Tel Aviv.  Please report to the airport no later than 1 p.m. Meals on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Monday, February 28, 2011 - Entering the Holy Land.  Early morning arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv where we meet our guide and transfer to our waiting motor-coach and tour up the coast and across the Galilee.  We see Herod’s City-Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province.  Here we see the Roman and Crusader remains and the harbor from which St. Paul was taken prisoner to Rome.  We continue to Nof Ginnosar, our kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.  Meals on aircraft plus lunch and dinner. BLD

DAY 3: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - In the Neighborhood of Jesus.  We visit the fertile valley known as the plain of Megiddo which has been the scene of horrible carnage and almost constant strife.  Legend portrays this area as the stage for the final battle of history:  Armageddon (Rev. 16:16).  The excavations at Megiddo have uncovered a fortified city built by Solomon (1 Kgs. 9:15).  We continue to the Roman city of Sepphoris where Jesus would have spent much of his early life and then to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We will return to our kibbutz where you can stroll around the tranquil grounds.  Dinner and overnight Sea of Galilee. BD

DAY 4: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - “Jesus came into Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”  We trace the early days of Jesus’ ministry, beginning at Capernaum, his base of operation, where we shall walk in the ancient synagogue and see St. Peter’s house.  We continue to Korazin (Mt. 11:21) before traveling to Tabgha where we will see the mosaics of the Loaves and Fishes.  From Tabgha we will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, all the way back to Tiberias.  Afterwards, we will journey to the Mount of Beatitudes to rehear the Sermon on the Mount and then we will hike down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee as Jesus and his disciples would have done.  Dinner and overnight at our kibbutz. BD

DAY 5: Thursday, March 3, 2011 - The upper Galilee:  We travel to the Golan Heights for a great view of the Upper Galilee and Mount Hermon, the sacred mountain of the Canaanites and Amorites.  Then on to Caesarea Phillippi, once the largest city in northern Israel.  Here Jesus said to Simon, “and upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16: 13-20).  Near the foot of Mt. Hermon, we walk along the Jordan River to the Springs of Banias.  After a St. Peter’s Fish lunch we visit the Museum of the Boat to view an authentic 1st century Galilean fishing boat.  The latter part of the afternoon will be free for relaxation and packing for the trip south tomorrow.  Dinner and overnight at the kibbutz. BD

DAY 6: Friday, March 4, 2011 - “Galilee of the Gentiles” and the Dead Sea.  Today we travel to Mt. Tabor, the traditional spot of the Transfiguration.  The Church of the Transfiguration incorporates two chapels; one of Moses and one of Elijah.  We continue to Beth Shean, one of the Gentile cities of the “Decapolis/Ten Towns” in the Galilee, to see the best preserved Roman-Byzantine town in Israel.  Beth Shean was located on the old trade routes between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean.  We travel down the Jordan Valley to visit the Tel and have dinner and overnight in Jericho. BD

DAY 7: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - The Judean Wilderness:  Early morning departure for a drive along the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountain-top fortress about 440m above the banks of the Sea.  Masada was first fortified as early as the 1st or 2nd century BC and then enlarged by Herod the Great as a refuge and summer palace.  Now “go up to Jerusalem”,stopping on our way at Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  As we travel into Jerusalem, we will find a site on Mt. Zion or the Mount of Olives in order to see the city and orient ourselves.  Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 8: Sunday, March 6, 2011 - Morning free. You can choose to go to the Anglican Cathedral in East Jerusalem, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City, or elsewhere to services if you wish.  West Jerusalem is also open for shopping as is the Muslim section of the Old City.  Late afternoon walking tour with Bob Morris for orientation to the city and group Eucharist at the hotel for those who wish.  Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 9: Monday, March 7, 2011 - The Two Cities of David; Jerusalem and Bethlehem:  Through St. Stephen’s Gate to the Holy City, we study the model of ancient Jerusalem to orient ourselves to the city.  We walk to St. Anne’s Church, traditional site of the birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Once inside we find ourselves singing (the acoustics are glorious).  Nearby, we visit excavations of Bethesda, the “pool with the five porticos” site of a healing by Jesus (John 5).  We walk together to the Temple Mount to the Dome of the Rock, built on the site of Solomon’s Temple, pray at the Western Wall, holiest place in Judaism (the foundations of Herod’s rebuilt Temple), and explore the excavations of the Temple Mount Dig.  We will visit the restored Jewish Quarter.  We will visit the ancient excavated cisterns that were found under the Old City and then travel toward Bethlehem on a route traveled since the time of Abraham and Sarah.  Lunch at a wonderful Arab restaurant called Two Moustaches.  After lunch, we visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field and have some time for shopping before returning to Jerusalem for a visit to The House of Caiaphas, site of the imprisonment of Jesus prior to his crucifixion.  We will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 10: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - The Passion:  Palm Sunday Walk; Dominus Flevit; Church of the Agony; Garden of Gethsemane; Cave of the Olive Press; Kidron Valley to the House of Caiaphas.  We walk down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane.  From here we shall move on to walk the Via Dolorosa, winding through the busy markets of the Old City.  We end our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, scene of the Crucifixion, site of the Tomb and the Resurrection.  After lunch we visit Modern Jewish Jerusalem, going to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Children’s Memorial, Knesset, and the Israel Museum which houses the Shrine of the Book.  After dinner, we visit the Scottish Hospice where a consortium of Arab women sell their handmade wares.  Overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 11: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - The day is free. Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 12: Thursday, March 10, 2011 - The morning is free for last-minute explorations.  Check out by 1 p.m.  The bus will pick us (and our luggage) up for a tour to visit Ein Kerem, just west of Jerusalem.  It is here that, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born and lived.  We visit the Church of St. John the Baptist which dates from the 17th century but is built over older Byzantine and Crusader structures. We also visit the Church of the Visitation which commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, mother of John.  We will join together for a “farewell to the Holy Land” dinner and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure on a non-stop flight to NewarkMeals on the aircraft. BD

DAY 13: Friday, March 11, 2011 - We are scheduled to arrive in the early morning hours, having flown through the night, spiritually fulfilled having walked in the footsteps of Jesus and his spiritual forebears. BD

Price: $3,350.00.  Price is based on double occupancy with airline taxes and fuel surcharges included.  Roundtrip air on Continental Airlines from Newark, NJ Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $949.00

Final payment due November 15, 2010

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until November 14, 2010:  $100 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After November 15, 2010 :  NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, S Snack

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.

Note that Israel is a physically demanding destination. Good shoes and some preparing for the trip on the stair master are invaluable aids to a healthy and happy pilgrimage.