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Temple Beth-El and St. Mark's Episcopal Church
2022 Interfaith San Antonio Trip to Israel
Led By Rabbi Mara Nathan & Rev. Beth Knowlton

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  • 8 nights' accommodations at select hotels.
  • 9 touring days with tour educator (guide) and driver. 
  • 9 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • 1 group transfer and assistance from/to the airport.
  • Meals: daily breakfast, 2 lunches & 5 dinners.
  • Portage at the hotels.

Day One: Sunday, February 6, 2022
ON THE WAY TO ISRAEL 

  • Depart the USA. 

Overnight: Flight 

Day Two: Monday, February 7, 2022
THE START OF A SPECIAL JOURNEY 

  • Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. Our representative will be on hand to assist with all formalities and ensure your journey has the smoothest of starts. 
  • Meet your tour educator who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration. 
  • Transfer to Tel Aviv, also known as “the city that never sleeps.” A place of sun and fun, its centers of culture and history are complimented by great beaches, stores, and entertainment. 
  • Check into your hotel. 
  • Welcome dinner at the hotel.  
  • The State of the State of IsraelTalk with Professor Paul Liptz of Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College about the key issues shaping Israeli society today. Find out whether the country is stronger than ever or splitting into separate “tribes.” 

Meals: Dinner 

Overnight: Tel Aviv  

Day Three: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
OLD NEW LAND 

  • Breakfast at an Israeli hotel is an experience in itself. Start the day with a bounteous buffet. 
  • Check out. 
  • Beginnings: Modern Tel Aviv grew out of ancient Jaffa. Gaze out over the Mediterranean Sea; learn why Jaffa, mentioned in the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, is so historically important; and see how its Old City reflects the present as well as the past.  
  • Jaffa Stories and Coffee: You're warmly invited into the home of Doris Hiffawi to hear about her life as a Christian Arab in Jaffa. Over coffee brewed by her family and Arabic sweets, she'll talk about whether the area's Jewish, Muslim, and Christian population mix or merely make do. We'll also find out how female entrepreneurs like Doris are bringing change to this socio-economically deprived neighborhood.  
  • From Hebrew City to Hebrew State: Walk along the newly opened Independence Trail and embark on a remarkable journey that begins with the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 and ends with the establishment of Israel in 1948. 
  • Calling Boutique-Loving HipstersBrowse your way through Nahalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv's arts and crafts market, before we check out the hustle and bustle at the Carmel Market.  
  • Drive along the coast to Caesarea, one of the Land of Israel's most important cities during the Roman Period. Explore life 2,000 years ago with its ancient amphitheaters, palaces, and bathhouses. 
  • Continue to the Galilee and check into your hotel. 
  • Dinner at the hotel. 

Meals: BreakfastDinner 

Overnight: North 

Day Four: Wednesday, February 9, 2022 
TRADITION, SPIRITUALITY AND SECURITY IN THE NORTH  

  • The beautiful area around the Sea of Galilee is rich with history and holy sites. A center of early Christianity, this is where Jesus is said to have walked on water. We'll visit:  
    • Tabgha where tradition holds that Jesus miraculously turned a few fish and loaves into a meal for thousands. See the restored 5th- century Church of the Multiplication and its mosaics of fish and bread.  
    • The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter marks where it is believed that Jesus tested Peter before declaring him preeminent among the Twelve Apostles (John 21). Located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, this 20th-century church still contains elements from the original church built here in the 4th century.   
    • The Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have delivered one of his most influential sermons: the “Sermon on the Mount.”  
    • Capernaum. Often called the “town of Jesus,” this ancient fishing village was a mixed Christian-Jewish area where Jesus and his disciple Peter were based. Explore the church and synagogue that have been discovered here and see the many pilgrims who flock to the area.  
  • View the extraordinary 2,000-year-old fishing boat at the Yigal Allon Center which is similar to the vessels that Jesus and his disciples would have used in this fishing area. 
  • Cruise the Sea of Galilee on a boat inspired by the fishing vessels used here 2,000 years ago. Don't worry, the safety precautions and comfort levels will be modern rather than ancient!  
  • 60 Minutes - Israel's Security Challenges Along Its Syrian Border: Meet with a research expert and reserve IDF officer from the Alma Research and Education Center for a security briefing at observation points along Israel's border with Syria. Find out about the security implications of Syria's civil war, Iran and the Shi'ite axis on the border, Operation "Good Neighbor," United Nations (UNDOF) activity in Syria, and security challenges on the Syrian border.  
  • Return to the hotel. 
  • Dinner at the hotel.  
  • Israeli Society Through Dance - Rokdim Israel: Participate in an invigorating and fun dance session with Dance Israel, a unique initiative that offers exciting educational encounters and multi-faceted experiences through Jewish and Israeli folk dance. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner  

Overnight: North  

Day Five: Thursday, February 10, 2022
A MOSAIC OF ISRAELI SOCIETY  

  • Check out.  
  • A Way Forward in the North: Visit Sindyanna of Galilee and sample some of their award-winning olive oil. We'll learn how this non-profit organization is producing fine, fair-trade products and creating economic opportunities for Arab women, one of Israel's most underemployed sectors. The tour will include:  
    • Talking with one of the basket weavers about her life and work. We'll see how she uses traditional and modern weaving techniques and find out how Arab and Jewish women are coming together to learn and revitalize this long-established local craft.  
  • Visit Nazareth and walk through the colorful marketplace to the Church of the Annunciation. 
  • Drive to the city of Nazareth and stop at Mt. Precipice for a grand view of the Jezreel Valley (and its many Biblical stories) and of Jesus' own home town. 
  • As we drive south on the Trans-Israel Highway, there will be an opportunity to see the Security Barrier which runs along the seam zone between Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and to learn about the barrier's effects on Israeli security and Palestinian communities.   
  • Welcome to Jerusalem: Enter the vibrant and colorful ancient city of Jerusalem, and experience the convergence of the old and the new. 
  • Check into your hotel.  
  • High Times in the Holy City: Jerusalem at night provides a very different vision of the Holy City. Check out how the locals let their hair down during a free evening and explore Jerusalem nightlife including 
    • The Mamilla Mall, an upscale, open-air food and shopping area located outside the Old City's Jaffa Gate. 
    • The First Station. Jerusalem's rail link from the late 19th century has been transformed into a center of restaurants, shops, and culture. 
    • Joining the crowds strolling through the Ben Yehuda and Nahalat Shiva Pedestrian Malls. 

Meals: Breakfast 

Overnight: Jerusalem   

Day Six: Friday, February 11, 2022
THE LAYERS OF JERUSALEM  

  • Return to the Old City 
  • A Mountain Holy to ManyExperience the complexity of inter-religious relations on Mount Zion. We'll first visit the Upper Room. It is venerated by Christians as the location of Jesus' Last Supper but was, for a period, converted into a mosque. In a room directly below, Jews pray at the place believed to be King David's Tomb. We'll also see the nearby Abbey of the Dormitionmarking the place where the Virgin Mary is believed to have died, and learn about the Abbey's long and not always easy relationship with the other faiths of Jerusalem.  
  • Take a walking tour through Jerusalem's Old City and the Jewish Quarter and experience the center of Jewish life, history, and holiness. Among the highlights will be: 
    • A climb to the rooftops to see and discuss the ties and tensions between the different faith groups and communities of the Old City. From this one spot, we'll look out over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated by Christian groups as the burial place of Jesus; the golden Dome of the Rock, which is sacred to Islam; and the Jewish Quarter's famous Hurva Synagogue.  
    • The Cardo, the main street of Roman-controlled Jerusalem and its spectacular Byzantine-era columns. 
    • King Hezekiah's Broad Wall, a massive wall built to protect Jerusalem from invasion 2,700 years ago. 
    • Hurva Square, the center of modern-day life in the Jewish Quarter. 
  • The Jerusalem Archaeological Park is a large-scale excavation that has uncovered vital parts of ancient Jerusalem. A particular highlight is to walk on the Southern Wall steps used by Jewish pilgrims to enter the Temple, 2,000 years ago. But there is much else to see, including Robinson's Arch, the remains of a major Second Temple-period street, and drainage tunnels used by Jewish fighters hiding from the Roman invaders. A museum, including movies and a 3-D model of ancient Jerusalem, add to the experience.   
  • No visit to Israel is complete without experiencing the Kotel (Western Wall), widely considered Judaism's holiest site. Each year, over one million notes containing prayers and wishes are placed in the cracks of the wall. We'll discuss the wall's historical and contemporary importance and experience its unique atmosphere. 
  • Return to the hotel.  
  • The City of Shabbat: Join Jerusalem in welcoming the Sabbath, the high point of the Jewish week, with Kabbalat Shabbat services.
  • Shabbat dinner at the hotel. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner  

Overnight: Jerusalem   

Day Seven: Saturday, February 12, 2022
INTO THE DESERT: MASADA & THE DEAD SEA  

  • Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the Dead Sea region. 
  • As Low as It Goes: We'll drive to the Dead Sea Basin, 1412 feet below sea level and the lowest place on earth. The desert, the landscape, and the views are breathtaking. 
  • Borders, Water, and Traditions: Visit Kasser Al Yahud, the spot where Christians believe the baptism of Jesus took place. According to Jewish tradition, it is where the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River and Elijah the Prophet ascended to heaven.  
  • The Last Stand: Take the cable car to the top of Masada with its extraordinary views and fascinating archaeological remains. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is where Jewish rebels are believed to have made their final attempt to resist Roman invaders (c 74 CE). We'll learn about Masada's importance as a symbol of Jewish defense and discuss its influence on modern Israel. 
  • The Sea of Salt: Float into happiness at the Dead Sea. Not much can live or swim in what is the saltiest piece of water in the world, nine times saltier than the ocean, but the weightless feeling of floating is great fun. 
  • Muddy Good Fun: Coat yourself in the famous Dead Sea mud, a time-honored tradition enjoyed by all ages. For thousands of years, it has been believed that the mud and minerals of the Dead Sea have special healing and beauty qualities. See and feel for yourself. 
  • We'll drive by Qumran, where a separatist Jewish sect from the Second Temple period created an isolated community and where the Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the most ancient and important religious manuscripts in existence, were discovered. 
  • Return to Jerusalem. 
  • Three Stars in the Israel SkyAt nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony.  
  • Evening at leisure in Jerusalem.  

Meals: Breakfast  

Overnight: Jerusalem   

Day Eight: Sunday, February 13, 2022
MEMORY & RENEWAL 

  • Holy Eucharist service St. George's Cathedral, followed by a dialogue with the college's dean, The Very Revd. Canon Richard SewellSt. George's College is the Anglican study pilgrimage center in Jerusalem welcoming English-speakers from across the world. The College is part of the complex that includes the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr, St George's School, the Pilgrim Guest House, and the offices of the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem. 
  • Visit Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, an essential emotional and educational experience. Your guided tour will include:  
    • The Avenue of the Righteous, where trees symbolic of the renewal of life have been planted along with plaques honoring brave non-Jews who saved Jews during the Shoah. 
    • The Historical Museum, a state-of-the-art interactive display reflecting decades of research and educational expertise. The story of the Holocaust, with an emphasis on individual victims, is told through survivor testimonies, original artifacts, and personal possessions saved from the ghettos and camps. 
    • The Children's Memorial, commemorating the 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust. 
    • memorial service where we will pay tribute to those who were lost.  
  • Take a multi-cultural tasting journey through the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem's Mahane Yehudah open-air market: Enjoy the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of this vibrant area where Jerusalemites shop. 
  • Making Our MarkFeel the land and help it flourish with a tree planting ceremony. After the ceremony, explore the Gazelle Valley Park, a 250-acre haven of nature in urban Jerusalem with wildlife, including 30 gazelles, roaming through the park. 
  • Return to the hotel.  

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch  

Overnight: Jerusalem   

Day Nine: Monday, February 14, 2022
BEYOND BORDERS  

  • Is Religion the Way Forward or an Obstacle to Peace? We'll go beyond the Green Line to meet with Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Shaul Judelman from Shorashim (Roots), a program bringing West Bank Palestinians and their Jewish neighbors together despite their fears and suspicions. 
  • Bethlehem - Holy Sites, Modern Realities: Explore Bethlehema Palestinian town on the West Bank and, as the birthplace of Jesus, one of Christianity's great places of pilgrimage.  
    • Our first stop will be the Church of the Nativitywhich since it was built around 339 has been one of the holiest sites in Christendom. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is especially famous for its grotto (cave) where Jesus is said to have been born. We'll see the devotion of modern-day pilgrims and learn about the fierce arguments and complicated agreements” between different Christian groups over control of Bethlehem's religious sites. 
    • We'll also visit the Church of Saint Catherine, built on the site where Jesus is believed to have told Catherine that she would soon be martyred.  Each Christmas Eve, millions watch on television as the midnight mass is performed in this church.   
    • The Cave of Saint Jerome is where Jerome worked and was buried. In Bethlehem in the 4th century, he produced one of the most important of all translations, a Latin version of the Bible that would be used by Roman Catholics for many hundreds of years. 
    • Continuing the Craft: See Palestinian craftsmen in action at the Olive Wood Factory. For generations, this local Christian family has carved wooden religious figures and other items to sell to visitors. This will be a good place to discuss the role of tourism in the Bethlehem economy.   
    • The Shepherd's Field Chapel: The Book of Luke records that angels visited Bethlehem's shepherds to announce that Jesus had been born. We'll visit the traditional site of this event and the Catholic church that was built here.  
    • Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Check out Palestinian cuisine and find out why locals like to go “upside down” with their favorite rice dish, the maqluba.  
    • We'll also examine contemporary life in Bethlehem. See how the Palestinian conflict with Israel impacts upon the local population and find out why, in such a religiously significant town, the size of the local Christian community is dwindling.  
    • A Message on the Wall: The famous, if anonymous, British street artist known as Banksy first came to Bethlehem in 2005. See murals and messages that he and other artists have painted on the Security Barrier that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem. We'll discuss how the barrier is impacting the lives and livelihoods of local people.  
    • “The Worst View of Any Hotel in the World”: This is the proud sales pitch of the Walled-Off Hotel, whose rooms all open out onto what Israel calls the security barrier and what Palestinians call the separation wall. Banksy owns and helped design this combined hotel/museum/gallery/place of protest. Explore how it uses humor and anger to present visitors with a vision of Bethlehem under occupation.  
    • The Aida Refugee Camp: Experience the realities of life in the camp established in Bethlehem in 1950 for Palestinian refugees from the Jerusalem and Hebron areas. We'll find out about the poverty and overcrowding in the camp. At the giant “key of return” painting at the camp entrance, we'll discuss the history of resistance among the refugees. 
  • Return to Jerusalem. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch  

Overnight: Jerusalem  

Day Ten: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 
HEAVENLY & EARTHLY JERUSALEM 

  • Check out of the hotel.  
  • Speaking Common Languages of PeaceExamine the role of shared Jewish-Arab education in creating integrated communities and in turning fear into friendship. We'll tour the Yad B'Yad (Hand in Hand) school in Jerusalem, part of a network of bilingual, multicultural educational institutions which aim to show that the two communities can learn and live together.  
  • Jerusalem and the Cross: Hana Bendcowsky, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, will take us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the communities and holy sites of the Old City's Christian quarter. We'll experience the long history and astonishing variety of Christian groups in Jerusalem, meet local personalities and clergy, and contemplate the complex situation facing Christian minority groups living in Israel and the modern-day Middle East.   
  • At the end of the Via Dolorosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus is said to have been crucified. This church is one of Christianity's great pilgrimage sites and a testament to the remarkable diversity of the Christian world. It includes an empty tomb where it is said that Jesus was buried and resurrected. 
  • There will also be time to see the bargains and the bargaining in the Old City Shuk (market) in the Christian quarter. 
  • A Place of Reflection: The tranquil Garden Tomb just outside Jerusalem's Old City is believed by many to have been the site of Jesus' burial and resurrection. The tomb was discovered in 1967 and is a popular place of pilgrimage, particularly for Protestant Christians, while the beautiful gardens are an ideal place for reflection and discussion.  
  • Farewell dinner at Piccolino, an intimate Italian restaurant in Jerusalem's historic city center. Known for its pastas, pizzas, and fish, Piccolino is located in a lovely building of Jerusalem stone and graceful arches that adds to the enjoyment.  
  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your return flight to the USA. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner  

Day Eleven: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN 

  • Return to the USA. 

 

 

Need to Know

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 6, 2021

Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 30 full paying participants. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.

PAYMENT POLICY

Da'at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Notification of any changes will be made explicitly to the participants where relevant.

Initial deposit of $500 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due at the time of reservation unless another amount is indicated for the particular trip or seminar.
Final payment is due 90 days before the scheduled trip begins, or as specified in your invoice.

CANCELATION POLICY
Cancelations need to be made in writing. Cancelation fees will be based on the date that the written cancelation is received.

Cancelation fees:

  • 90 days or more prior to departure: the deposit
  • 89 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of the total trip cost
  • 45 days to the day of departure/no-show: 100% of the total trip cost

Cancelation fees may also include:

  • Hotel or supplier cancelation fees.
  • For trips in Israel only: The cost of the PEACE OF MIND TRAVEL PROTECTION
  • PROGRAM (POM), if this was purchased.
  • Group airfare penalty fee.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date.

 

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

The trip price includes hotel accommodations.
Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort.
We reserve the right to make substitutions with hotels of equal standard. No refunds will be issued for differences between hotel prices.
The standard hotel room in Israel is generally smaller than in the US, comfortably accommodating two people in either one queen-size bed or two single beds. Some hotels offer triple rooms consisting of standard twin beds plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for the third person.
Special requests such as room selections, bed types, and smoking preferences are subject to availability and are strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis.
All hotel rates are non-negotiable and are based on the agreements made between Da'at Educational Expeditions and its suppliers.
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 3:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you are taking a late-night flight, make sure to organize adequate arrangements for accommodation until you are ready to leave for the airport. If a day room is included in the itinerary, check-out time will usually be at 6:00 p.m.

 

MEALS 
are included as specified in the itinerary.

 

TOUR EDUCATOR OR GUIDE
All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.

 

GRATUITIES INCLUDED: 
All gratuities for restaurant staff at group meals are included.

 

PRICE EXCLUDES

     
  • Transportation in evening when dinner is on own.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d'hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • Water or snacks on the bus (unless indicated otherwise)
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Gratuities for Tour Educator (Guide) and Driver. We recommend the following guidelines for tips (amounts indicated in US dollars):

TRIPS TO ISRAEL:

Group of 20 participants and more:

  • Tour Educator: $8 | Driver: $4 - per participant per day


     

 

 
Temple Beth-El and St. Mark's Episcopal Church | 2022 Interfaith San Antonio Trip to Israel
2022Land OnlyStatus 
Feb 6$3160On Sale
 
  
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Important to Know
  • Land-only price does not include arrival/departure transfers unless otherwise indicated.
  • By paying a deposit upon registration, you are agreeing to ARZA World terms.
  • We highly recommend carefully reviewing those terms for full details about conditions and penalties.
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