ISRAEL 2020 UPDATE

NEW ISRAEL INFORMATION

As you all know this has been a bit crazy with countries and states (Hawaii) refusing people into their territory without a 14 day quarantine. Because of these extraordinary times, we’ve had to reschedule. I’ve heard from a number of you both personally and via email and based on all the feedback, my own knowledge of Israel having done multiple trips at various times and MAINLY because this date is the only date that they can “guarantee” works our new date is September 8-17.

 

As I stated the issue is mainly theirs as one can imagine the details one has to work out in order to switch something like this (reservations at the holy sites, etc. not to mention buses, drivers, Ralph our guide, hotels, flights, etc etc etc). I have been in Israel in September and September is the 3rd most popular month to go (October, April are 1 and 2).  

 

What’s our new itinerary? Well pretty much the same as before. I have to go through the refining process all again but this is what he first draft looks like (though I am working with Ralph to visit a few things off the beaten path).  The main thing is that we’ll be in Jerusalem on a Saturday night which is essential for the cultural experience I’ve spoken of.

 

Regarding travel insurance and finances and special travel requests, as always please contact Imagine as Scott nor I have any expertise in those kinds of things.  We both will be teaching throughout the tour. I will be in the Hotel Lounges after each day to further illuminate what you saw and answer questions, that’s normally a rich time!!  

 

Meeting wise, we will have two detailed Zoom meeting in late August just to touch base. Regarding the Bus for those of you in the SF Bay area...hold tight on that, we’ll get you details when we know them.

 

You know, reality is an interesting thing.  Sometimes one can bend it a little to get a variant result. Other times one can’t do a thing (such as a microbe outbreak). We are going to have such a good time. I am not worried about anything regarding timing, weather, itinerary...this looks like a great second...Mid September!! Let’s hope all of the C-Virus things are lowered by then!!

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Tuesday , September 8, 2020 : Depart USA

Tour members meet for our flight Israel. After our onboard meal is served, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the on-board entertainment to prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime.

 

Day 2 – Wednesday , September 9,2020 : Arrive Tel Aviv

After arrival we will collect our luggage and meet our guide. We board our motor coach and drive to our hotel in Netanya.

 

Day 3 – Thursday , September 10 ,2020 : Caesarea, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Galilee

After Breakfast, we begin our tour of Israel. Our first site is Caesarea Maritima, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion (Acts 10). We also see Megiddo and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Time permitting, we will stop at the Druze Village for a short lunch break (not included). Then we continue on to Nazareth (Jesus’ childhood home), here we visit Nazareth Village, a replica of what Nazareth would have looked like at the time of Christ. We then arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight near the Sea of Galilee.

 

Day 4 – Friday , September 11 , 2020 : Galilee, Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Boat Ride, Bethsaida, Jordan River

Nothing compares to watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee! We begin today at Tabgha (the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000) and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. We then spend time reflecting and worshiping at the Mt. of Beatitudes and then head to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. Afterwards, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” to set sail on the Sea of Galilee. For those interested, our lunch stop includes the option of ordering the special St. Peter’s Fish (not included). After lunch, we head to Gadara and Bethsaida (time permitting) before making our way to the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight are back in Tiberias.

 

Day 5 – Saturday , September 12, 2020: Golan Heights, Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Gideon Springs, Beit Shean, Jerusalem

After breakfast, we travel north to the Golan Heights for a beautiful view of northern Israel’s landscape. Then we head to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16). We embark on a short hike to Tel Dan to see the altar of Jeroboam before heading to Gideon Springs. Next, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best preserved Decapolis Roman cities. This is where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10-12). Finally, we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. “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” (Psalm 122:1-2 NASB). 

 

Day 6 – Sunday , September 13 , 2020 : Qumran, Ein Gedi, Masada, Dead Sea for Swim/Float

After breakfast, we drive to Qumran, the settlement of the Essenes. They were the first century sect who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here, we head to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. We then travel south along the western shore of the Dead Sea toward Masada where we ascend by cable car up to King Herod’s astonishing fortress. Afterwards, we make a special stop at the Dead Sea for a short swim or float. Time and conditions permitting, we’ll include a visit to Qasr El-Yahud, the newly excavated site where tradition holds that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. If possible, we will also include a short visit to Jericho. Dinner and overnight are again in Jerusalem.

 

Day 7 – Monday , September 14 , 2020 : Mt. of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, Western Wall, Temple Mount, Via Dolorosa, Southern Steps, Rabbinical Tunnel

We begin today on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the famous, breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage proceeds down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the ancient olive grove at the Garden of Gethsemane. Then we continue on to the Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations) where tradition says Jesus prayed before his arrest. We enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate and proceed to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel 24:18-25), which is called the Temple Mount. This area is the third holiest shrine in Islam, housing both the El-Aqsa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. From the temple area we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate to walk the Via Dolorosa – including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Pavement (where Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and then conclude our day with a short walk to the original steps that Jesus climbed as he entered the Temple area. Next, we tour the Western Wall tunnel excavations. We have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 8- Tuesday , September 15 ,2020 : Shrine of the Book, Model City, City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, St. Peter Gallicantu, Garden Tomb

After breakfast, we visit the Shrine of the Book Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. Next, we drive to the City of David, and then we go on a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through Hezekiah’s shaft. If time permits, we will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. We end our day in worship at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem.

 

Day 9 -Wednesday , September 16, 2020 : Jerusalem, Elah Valley, Jaffa, Farewell Dinner, Ben Gurion Airport

In the morning, we have leisure time in Jerusalem and then we depart the city late morning/early afternoon for the Elah Valley to see the brook where David slew Goliath. From here, we continue our drive to Jaffa for a special Farewell Dinner. We then transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the U.S.A.

 

Day 10 –Thursday , September 17, 2020 : Arrive USA

At the close of an unforgettable tour, we take home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord.