Academic Study Tour

This tour is designed for students traveling on international studies programs and wanting to add a full experience to their own.

The program is tailored to be lead by faculty members with assignments and direct interaction on multiple levers that would allow students to gain knowledge and understanding of a variety of issues related to the Holy Land.

 

Day 1: Your Journey starts

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport and completing formalities, transfer by coach to your hotel for check-in.  at the hotel you will have a group dinner, followed by an orientation meeting.

Day 2: Settling in!

After breakfast and some rest to recover from your journey, depart by coach to the Israeli Museum to have an overview of history in a day and visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, a local guide as part of the International School for Holocaust Studies will escort you. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3:  A view from above.

The magnificent Old City wall surrounding ancient Jerusalem will be your attraction of the day. It was build in 1535, extends 4018 meters with 8 gates and 34 watchtowers and the Ramparts walk. The walk will allow you to see the old city from a different angle. Continue to the Western Wall before returning to your hotel for dinner and evening class for group discussion.

Day 4: Rise and Shine

Gather your breakfast boxes at 3 AM for early departure by coach for a guided sunrise hike up the fortress of Masada. Continue to the nature reserve of Ein Gedi for a short wilderness hike. Continue to the Dead Sea for a float/swim/mud-bath. Continue to a Bedouin camp for a different experience that will allow you to explore the life, culture, food, music and hardships of the Nomadic people of the Holy Land. Sleep under the stars after a feast prepared by the Bedouins.

Day 5: Ship of the desert

After a Bedouin breakfast you will have the opportunity to form a caravan of camels to explore the desert on a guided tour. After returning to camp, depart by coach to visit the Hermits caves and monastery of St. George at Wadi Kelt, continue to the site of the Good Samaritan before arriving at your hotel in Jerusalem for dinner, overnight and class meeting.

Day 6: It’s about contrast

After breakfast,  a class introductory session by a representative of the Israel Committee Against House Demolition (ICHAD) will take place followed by a representative  of Rabbis for Human Rights. Independent reflections until 3 pm followed by departure by coach to visit with an ultra orthodox Zionist in a Neighborhoods/Settlements in Jerusalem.  Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Christianity in the city

After breakfast, departure by coach to the Mount of Olives to get a panoramic view of Jerusalem, visit the churches atop the mount and descent to the Garden of Gethsemane, Visit the Tomb of the Virgin then enter through St Stephens gate. Visit the Basilica of St. Anne with the ability to view Jerusalem at the time of the Romans and all the layers that followed. Walk the Stations of the Cross reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Return to your hotel for guest lecture by a local Christian representative.

Day 8: The Birth of Christianity

After breakfast and checkout, depart by coach to Bethlehem. Enter the city through the massive separation wall and continue to the Church of nativity to visit the Grotto, and Church of St. Catherine, then continue to the neighboring Mosque of Omar on Manger Square. Check in at your hotel for dinner, followed by class meeting for discussing contemporary realities with local community members. .

Day 9: Experiencing Christianity

After breakfast depart by coach to the Christmas Lutheran Church of Bethlehem for participation in worship service.  Continue to Dar Al Kalima for a meeting with its director, Rev. Mitri Raheb. Return to your hotel for guest lecturer and lunch.  Free time in the evening for reflection and journaling.

Day 10: About Education in Palestine

After breakfast, depart by coach to Bethlehem University. You will have a guided tour of the campus followed by a lecture sit-in for a specific subject followed by a group discussion with Palestinian students. Group lunch is also arranged. Return to hotel for discussion followed by dinner and overnight.

Day 11: Abrahamic insight

After breakfast, depart by coach to Hebron for a guided tour of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the burial place of patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives. Visit the once flourishing Old City Market with a representative of the Hebron rehabilitation committee. Have a visit and Lunch with local families, followed by a guided tour of Hebron University.  Visit a Hebron glass factory and learn to blow glass by an expert. Return to your hotel in Bethlehem for dinner.

Day 12: Realities of Bethlehem

After breakfast, depart by coach to study the environs of Bethlehem starting with Erfrat Settlement and meet with a local settler then continue to Aida Refugee Camp to meet a refugee.  Continue to Al-Khader (St. George) village to meet with locals and listen to the difficulties of life under occupation. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 13: The Jewish Jerusalem

After breakfast, depart to the old market of mahne Yehuda for a tour and some free time, continue to visit and attend prayers at a synagogue and participate in a traditional Jewish meal. Return to the hotel for overnight.

Day 14: The Islamic Jerusalem

After breakfast and checkout, depart by coach for a private tour of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and Islamic Museum. Continue to visit the Moroccan community and African community in the Old City.

Day 15: I AM FREE

To be spent at your leisure in Jerusalem. Men may be able to choose to visit St. Sava monastery, one of the oldest in the world (women are not allowed) but women will have a leisure day going to some of the malls of they wish or get a full treatment at a spa.   

Day 16: The center of the World - Jerusalem

After breakfast and checkout, depart by coach through Jerusalem to highlight the major issues concerning the city today. View the separation wall, settlements, checkpoints/terminals etc. In the afternoon, Sabeel Theology Center to observe a “Wave of Prayer”.  Continue to Ramallah and arrive at hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 17: The Palestinian Struggle

After breakfast, depart and visit the burial place and mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the leader who lead the Palestinian struggle.  Meet with the Ministry of Planning on the current political situation in Palestine. Meet with the Friends of the Quakers for a conversation about history and work of work of the Quakers in the Holy Land. Return hotel for evening dinner at hotel with local representative of the Palestinian Authority.

Day 18: Enjoying a local brew

After breakfast, depart by coach to the Christian city of Taybeh and have a tour of its church and the only Brewery in Palestine. Continue to the New Palestinian city of Al-Rawabi, a city design featured as a case study at Harvard. Continue to the Edward Said National Music Conservatory. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 19: The Samaritans and others

After breakfast, depart to the Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim for guided tour by Mr. Husney W. Kohen.  Continue on to Nablus for a visit to Joseph’s Tomb. Group lunch at a local restaurant in the old city. Continue to visit the Melkite Church of Nablus, followed by guided walking tour of Old Nablus, including Jacob’s well.  Arrive at hotel for class reflection, dinner and overnight.

Day 20: Exploring the Borders

After breakfast and checkout, depart by coach to the Druze village of Majdal Shams for a visit and lecture with a community leader about the occupied Golan Heights then have a visit of the Valley of Tears.  Continue to the Sea of Galilee and arrive at your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 21: The Diverse Galilee

After breakfast, start the morning with a boat ride in tiberias and a visit to Capernaum before continuing to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation.  Meet with a Sufi Sheikh for discussion on Sufism in the Holy Land. Arrive at the Nazareth Academic Institute for a lecture.  Return to hotel for dinner, class reflections and overnight.

Day 22: Ancient Cities at the Coast

After breakfast and checkout, depart by coach and head to the Fortress city of Acre, visit sites of several historical periods including Crusader and Islamic. Continue to the cily of Haifa and visit the Baha’i memorial to the Bab and surrounding gardens with Baha’i local guide.  Continue to Dalyet Al Karmel to meet with the a community leader in this Druze village. Arrive at your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 23: The Sun and The Sea

After breakfast, depart by coach for the Roman city and ancient capital of Caesarea to view the ruins of a once flourishing coastal city. Spend the afternoon at the Sea, then return to the hotel for dinner, class reflection and overnight.

Day 24: A stroll at Haifa University

After breakfast, depart for a campus visit of Haifa University; meet with faculty and students from the International studies program. Continue to Tel Aviv and arrive at you hotel for dinner and overnight

Day 25: Modern Tel Aviv Meets Ancient Jaffa

After breakfast, depart by coach on a short tour of the modern City of Tel Aviv and meet with Social rights groups before arriving at the Bazaar at the Ancient port city of Jaffa then onto Lydda, both Palestinian towns whose inhabitants were displaced. Return to hotel for class reflections, dinner and overnight.

Day 26: Reflecting and departing

After breakfast, have morning class reflections and evaluation. Depart by coach to the airport.

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