There are several opportunities to visit Palestine/Israel and get a first hand experience of life in the land. We encourage people to visit and get involved in various study and volunteering opportunities available.

KAIROS Palestine

Provides information and periodic international gatherings. Visit www.kairospalestine.ps/

HOLY LAND TRUST

This Bethlehem based group led by Sami Awad offers many local visits with organizations in Palestine and Israel, with over 10 years experience in hosting groups from around the world – including the Palestine Summer Encounter program. Visit www.holylandtrust.org

The Siraj Center

Bethlehem based center coordinates tours and offers a Summertime Celebration program, an Abraham’s Children program, and also coordinate participants on the Nativity Trail – a hike from Nazareth to Bethlehem, featuring a combination of home stays, monasteries, Bedouin camps, etc.   www.siraj.center.org

Friends of Sabeel North America

Offers witness trips which are outstanding. For more information please visit –  http://www.fosna.org/content/upcoming-events

Interfaith Peace Builders

Offers tours and trips with excellent orientation and post-trip strategic training. Includes an annual African Heritage pilgrimage:www.ifpb.org

Alternative Tourism Group (ATG)

They sponsors olive harvest (October) and olive tree planting (February) programs (teaming with JAI below). The programs are about 10 days long and offer either home stays or hotel accommodations. Included in the program are many educational presentations and visits to relevant Palestinian sites and features. ATG also arranges other tours, visits, hikes and opportunities. www.atg.ps

Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)

This is a partnership project of the YMCA of East Jerusalem and the YWCA of Palestine. It also teams with ATG (above) to make arrangements for the olive harvest and tree planting programs. Additionally, the JAI offers an annual summertime program (Journey for Justice) aimed at people aged 18-25. International young adults are joined by Palestinian young adults for this program. www.jai-pal.org

Tree of Life

They offer outstanding witness trips.   tolef.org

The Compassionate Listening Project

They offer their 31st Compassionate Listening delegation to Palestine and Israel, November 2-13, 2015. This trip will focus on listening to and supporting the Arab and Israeli peacemakers who will be met.  For more information and registration, as well as 2016 options visit: www.compassionatelistening.org/journeys/is-palhref=”http://www.tolef.org”>tolef.org

The Pilgrims of Ibillin

Regular trips to Israel and Palestine with a focus on the Mar Elias Educational System, the school that Archbishop Elias Chacour started in the Galilee. (Author of “Blood Brothers”) www.pilgrimsofibillin.org/

Pax Christi

An ecumenical Roman Catholic oriented network — for general info see: http://paxchristiusa.org/category/israel-palestine/ and for annual meeting May 11-15, 2015 in Bethlehem see: http://paxchristi2015.net/

Footsteps of Jesus’ journey

Led by Disciples of Christ members Jeff (retired minister) and Janet Wright (therapist) . Holy sites, local families, peacemakers/church people/Muslims/Israelis.   footstepsofjesustour.org

ELCA Peace Not Walls

The Lutheran campaign offers educational material http://www.elca.org/Resources/Peace-Not-Walls and travel opportunities http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Peace-Not-Walls

Presbyterian Church, USA’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network

israelpalestinemissionnetwork.org

United Methodist Israel-Palestine

http://umc-gbcs.org/issues/israel-palestine Especially see http://umc-gbcs.org/resolutions/holy-land-tours-6031-2008-bor and https://www.kairosresponse.org/Tours.html

Episcopal Pilgrimages to the Holy Land

http://www.episcopalpilgrimage.org/

Plan to stop and pray at ‘Church of the Checkpoint’

kairosusa.org/traveling-to-the-holy-land-plan-to-stop-and-pray-at-church-of-the-checkpoint/

United Presbyterian Church travel

March 2016 UPC Holy Land trip

Tent of Nations

With the motto “Refuse to be Enemies”, the Nassar fanily welcomes global volunteers from a day to a month or more at an ecumenical site SW of Bethlehem- see Palestinian site www.tentofnations.org and USA site: www.fotonna.org

EAPPI

A World Council of Churches three-month ecumenical accompaniment/witness program. www.eappi.org

Christian Peacemaker Teams

“Getting in the Way”Palestine team based in Hebron www.cpt.org/work/palestine

Canaan Fair Trade

Welcomes volunteer interns and tours —   www.canaanfairtrade.com

Palestine Summer Encounter

www.palestinesummer.org/ A Holy Land Trust summer program offering options of one, two or three month stays in Bethlehem, with a combination of Arabic study, home stays with local Palestinian families and service-learning with local organizations — plus weekend outings to meet various organizations and visit sites in the West Bank and Israel.

University Presbyterian Church Holy Land Trip March 2016 Itinerary*

(*Subject to change as necessary)

Option 1: Full 13 Day Tour (Including conference)

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference – Saturday, March 5 – Saturday, March 19, 2016 = 13 full days on the ground in Palestine/Israel

Depart Seattle Area – Saturday, March 5 for arrival in Tel Aviv on Sunday, March 6 and transfer to hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 1: Remainder of Sunday- free time for acclimation/orientation.

[Basic package deal. This portion of the trip includes conference costs including hotels and some home stays.]

Days 2 through 5: Christ at the Checkpoint conference, Bethlehem– Monday, March 7 through Thursday, March 10

NOTE: The CATC participants transfer to Jerusalem to join the newly-arrived team members on the ground in Jerusalem on Thursday evening March 10th; see below for remainder of itinerary.
For further conference details visit: www.bethlehembiblecollege.edu/christ-at-the-checkpoint

 

Option 2: 8 Day Tour (Excluding conference)

‘No Conference option’ – Wednesday, March 9 – Saturday, March 19, 2016

[Those who cannot attend the CATC conference due to time constraints can join the CATC participants in Jerusalem and then the entire group return to Seattle on March 19th. Thursday, March 10 – Friday, March 18 = 8 full days on the ground in Palestine & Israel.]

 

Holy Land Vision Trip Itinerary, March 10th–19th, 2016

This vision trip will begin with an introduction to the vibrant reconciliation ministries going on in the region presented by one of UPC’s ministry partners, Musalaha. After touring Israel and Palestine to visit biblical and holy sites, it will conclude with a short service project with these partners. Cost: Apprx. $3800-4000 – airfare dependent. Registration due Nov. 8th, 2015. Questions? Contact Hillary.holman@gmail.com

  • Departure from Seattle area on Wednesday afternoon/evening March 9th for arrival to Tel Aviv and transfer to Jerusalem on Thursday, March 10th.
  • Thursday, March 10 — Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport and transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem. Enjoy free time to relax and explore Jerusalem on your own. In the evening, the CATC participants will join you to meet tour host Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon & MEJDI representative who will give an overview of your tour over dinner
  • Group Orientation & Security Briefing.
  • Dinner together at hotel (Stay in Jerusalem].

 

Day 1: Friday, March 11

  • OCHA Briefing – Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Lunch at Jerusalem Restaurant (Pasha) w/Sahar Vardi
  • Tour of Jerusalem – Danny Seidemann or ICAHD
  • Attend English speaking Synagogue (Jerusalem) – Is this something MEJDI could set up? (Stay in Bethlehem)

 

Day 2: Saturday, March 12

  • Morning and Lunch w/Musalaha – Meeting with Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians
  • Free afternoon – Transfer to Bethlehem for free time(stay in Bethlehem hotel)

 

Day 3: Sunday, March 13 – West Bank

  • Worship with Palestinian Christian Community in West Bank (possibly Aboud)
  • Attend Evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox church services
  • Briefing by Father Ibrahim at Catholic Church
  • Lunch w/Abouna Immanuel at Orthodox Church (pay cash per person)
  • Afternoon visit to Nabi Saleh w/Tamimi Family

 

Day 4: Monday, March 14 (MEJDI Tour Guide) – Jerusalem

  • Begin the morning with an overview of the religious and historical context of Jerusalem as you take in the city from the vantage of the Mount of Olives. Tour the various quarters of the Old City with one Arab guide and one Jewish guide. Visit the Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Learn about the political significance of these contested sites. In the afternoon, have a facilitated discussion with leading thinkers and activists from the Jewish and Muslim communities.
  • Overview of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.
  • Visit the Holy sites (Al Aqsa mosque, Western Wall, Holy Sepulchre)
  • Lunch on your own (bring money)
  • Meet with the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (or some other afternoon meeting in Jerusalem)
  • Dinner included in your hotel (7pm-11pm) in the restaurant (Stay in Bethlehem)

 

Day 5: Tuesday, March 15 – Hebron

  • Morning visit in South Hebron Hills w/Bedouins – maybe village of Um El Kheir
  • Lunch (Falafel King in Hebron City)
  • Tour of Old City of Hebron – perhaps w/Christian Peacemaker Teams
  • Walk to Ibrahimi Mosque and return on Shuhada Street
  • Dinner at Tent of Nations w/Daoud Nasser
  • Stay in Bethlehem

 

Day 6: Wednesday, March 16 – Jerusalem

  • Morning briefing w/Policy Analyst from US Consulate in Jerusalem
  • Visit with Jewish Settlers (perhaps of the Yesha Council) or other MEJDI relationships.
  • Quick lunch – perhaps falafel sandwiches on the bus
  • Yad Vashem museum – Afternoon Visit w/Guide
  • Stay in Bethlehem

 

Day 7: Thursday, March 17 – Bethlehem

  • (w/MEJDI Guide) – meet with Palestinian Christians
  • Cross the checkpoint into Bethlehem and take a walk along the Separation Wall. Visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. Continue on to Shepherd’s Field to enjoy local cuisine at a Bedouin tent.
  • Walk along the separation wall.
  • Visit Manger Square & Church of the Nativity [visit nearby HLT office]
  • Visit Shepherd’s Field.
  • Afternoon BBQ with Palestinian Christian youth — hosted by Wiam Center (Zhougbi Zhougbi).
  • Stay in Bethlehem

 

Day 8: Friday, March 18 – Day in Galilee, Reflection, Prayer, & Commitment to Action

  • Group debrief. Drive from Jerusalem to Galilee; possible activities include;
  • Blessing at Yardenit, Jordan River
  • Mt. of Beatitudes
  • St. Peter’s Primacy – Capernaum
  • Boat Ride on Sea of Galilee
  • Departure dinner in Jaffa; and then transfers.to Ben Gurion airport (Tel Aviv)

 

Friday evening, March 18 – Departure from Tel Aviv

  • Arrival back to Seattle area on Saturday pm, March 19

 

Contact Person:

Brandon Bleek, Associate Director of Global Ministries
University Presbyterian Church
4540 15th Ave NE | Seattle WA 98105
206.524.7301 ext:214 | www.upc.org