Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eastern Hills and Atlantic Avenue Travel to Israel

This will be our welcoming sign as we arrive in the Holy Land.  Our pilgrimage to Israel begins Thursday, February 16th and last until Monday, February 27th.  We will be posting pictures and a daily summary on this blog for you to follow.  We will travel overnight directly from New York to Tel Aviv, arriving Friday afternoon local time.  Israel is 7 hours ahead of East Coast time.  Our tour will take us north to the Galilee area for three days; then south to the area of the Dead Sea; and finally we will spend four days in Jerusalem, including a trip to Bethlehem.   Here is our tentative itinerary:

Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! Upon our mid-afternoon arrival in Israel, we will be met and transferred to our hotel for dinner and overnight.  Overnight at the Ramada in Netanya

Saturday, February 18th:

After enjoying a delicious Israeli breakfast, we’ll drive along the Mediterranean Coast to the 5000 year old port city of Jaffa. Here Jonah sought to escape God’s call and Peter had his rooftop vision before his call to Caesarea. We’ll drive northwards up the Mediterranean coast. First we’ll visit ancient Caesarea, site of Paul and Peter’s experiences on the Mediterranean Coast. From there we’ll visit Mount Carmel and Muhraka to witness the location of Elijah’s contest with Jezebel’s false prophets of Ba’al. Here we’ll be able to view the Jezreel Valley. We’ll then travel to Meggido, the site of 21 battles from the Old Testament and where it says in the Book of Revelation the final battle between good and evil will take place. Here we’ll also get to explore Canaanite ruins and the “Chariot Cities” of Kings Solomon and Ahab. Next we’ll visit Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home. We will pass Cana on our way to the Sea of Galilee to our hotel.  Overnight at the Scots Hotel in Tiberias.
Sunday, Feb 19th:            Sea of Galilee/The Foot-Steps of Jesus
         After breakfast we’ll depart for Tiberias where we’ll take a morning Boat Tour of the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. We’ll visit Migdal, the home of Mary Magdalene and see the “Jesus Boat” at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar. We’ll then drive the plain of Ginosar to Tabgha where Jesus “multiplied the loaves and fish.” Next on our stop is the Mount of Beatitudes for Sunday Worship. We’ll proceed to the basalt synagogue at Chorazin to see where Jesus taught and see the “Seat of Moses.” We’ll also view the Natural Amphitheater where Jesus also taught, we’ll visit Capernaum, home of the synagogue of Jesus’ ministry and miracles. Next we’ll cross the Jordan River and visit Bethsaida, home of Peter, Andrea, James and John. We’ll also see the Decapolis and Kursi where Jesus cast the demons out of a man into a heard of swine.  Overnight at the Scots Hotel in Tiberias
Monday, Feb 20th:            Northern Galilee
After breakfast we’ll have a full day to tour the lovely North of Israel. First we’ll visit the archeological site of Hazor, mentioned in the Old Testament as one of Solomon’s three main cities where he maintained his famous horse stables. Next will visit the archeological site of Tel Dan before moving onto the famous city of Caesarea Philippi located about 25 miles north-east of the Sea of Galilee. Here, Jesus could be alone with His disciples and pass along His teachings. Next we’ll take a drive through the Golan Heights. Afterwards we’ll return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.  Overnight at the Scots Hotel.
Tuesday, Feb 21st:            Jordan Valley/Dead Sea
After breakfast we’ll drive down the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean, an amazing New Testament Roman city with temples, baths, and a black basalt theater..Drive along the Jordan Valley, with Jordan on our east and the Mountains of Samaria on our west, past the oasis of Old Testament Jericho where Joshua led Israel in the siege of the city, and down to the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on Earth and the site where John was baptized in Jordan at the mouth of the Sea. We will view and discuss the location of ancient Gilgal, Israel’s largest all Jewish city in history; on our right will be the awesome Wilderness of Judea. Skirting the west side of the Dead Sea, we’ll note the cave where archeologist Vendyl Jones is excavating in search of the Ashes of the Red Heifer and Temple Treasures. We will then visit Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin boy. Our guide will share discoveries relating to Essene Qumran and our Jewish/Christian heritage. We’ll overlook the ancient oasis of Ein Gedi (the Goat’s Rocks), where David hid from King Saul in the caves.. Drive south along the Dead Sea to our resort hotel. 
Overnight at the Royal Rimonim Hotel on the Dead Sea
Wednesday, Feb 22nd:             Wilderness of Judea/Massada
This morning we have the option to depart at daybreak and taxi to Masada to hike to the top. The rest of us will take the bus to the cable car and ride to top at 8:00am or stay at the hotel to enjoy the spas. Masada is the most important mountain in Israel’s history. Learn the incredible story of the Jewish Freedom Fighters who held out against the Romans in 73A.D.  The story of the struggle, the excavations, and the view from the top is one unforgettable highlight of our tour. Drive to Beer Sheva to see the excavation of Tel Sheva. A watering hole for Abraham’s sheep. Beer Sheva is the town most closely associated with the Patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob lived here and Abraham gave it its name – The Well of the Oath – for it was here that he made his covenant with Abimelech. We will drive through Gat, Valley of Ellah, up onto the Golden City, Jerusalem.  Overnight at the King Solomon Hotel in Jerusalem.
Thursday, Feb 23rd:            Jerusalem old city
Today we’ll discover more of the Old City of Jerusalem. First we’ll explore the Rabbinical Tunnels behind the Western Wall. We’ll then see the Temple Mount and (if politically possible), the El Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the Dome of the Spirits.
Visit the Lions’ Gate and the Pools of Bethesda We’ll then visit the Tower of Antonia, the Praetorium, and Pilate’s Judgement Hall. Here our Lord was tried by Pilate, beaten by the Roman Cohort, and took up His Cross for Calvary. The Ecce Homo begins the traditional Via Dolorosa leading to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Catholic site of Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection). Here we’ll have time to shop in the Old City. We’ll then reconvene to visit the Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, th the Herodian Quarter, and Nehemiah’s Wall. Afterwards we’ll explore the Southern Wall Excavations and depart the old city by the Dung GateOvernight at the King Solomon Hotel.
Friday, Feb 24th:            Jerusalem-New City- PM Bethlehem
This morning we’ll be exploring the New City of Jerusalem. First we’ll see Yad Vashem the Shoa Museum. Visit the Israel Museum; See the Shrine of the Book, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls We’ll also see the Model of First Century Jerusalem. After Lunch drive to Shepherds Fields and cross over to Bethlehem to visit the Church of Nativity.  Overnight at the King Solomon.
Saturday, Feb. 25th:  Free Day  
Part of the day we will visit with Arab Christians from Pastor Khoury's church in Jerusalem and hear their stories. We will then have lunch with them at their church.  The rest of the day will be free.  
Overnight at the King Solomon Hotel.
Sunday, Feb 26th:            The Holy City of Jerusalem
Mount of Olives our guide will share the geography and history of Jerusalem. This vivid lecture overlooks where it happened, the Kidron Valley, the Temple Area, and The Holy City. Descending the Mount of Olives by the path of Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into the Kidron Valley, we worship in the lovely Garden of Gethsemane discussing Jesus’ suffering and his “Passion Week.” Before us is the Golden Gate of the Temple Area, as when Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24. We’ll then visit the House of Caiphas, the place of Jesus’ early trials when Peter denied him and Jesus was “caned.” We’ll then view the Valley of the Cheesemaker, the Valley of Hinnon, the
                                                Field of Blood, where Judas took his life, Gehennah, and the  Ophel, King David’s capital city. We’ll then visit Mount Zion, to the Upper Room, the traditional site of Jesus’ last Passover meal, or the Lord’s Supper. We will end the tour with a visit to the Garden Tomb.
In the evening a farewell dinner.   Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
Monday, Feb 27th:            En Route
Early am arrival in USA.
 Please be praying for us as we travel and check in to see your loved ones and friends walk where Jesus walked.