Heart of New Jersey

Clergy Interfaith Mission to Israel

February 24—March 4, 2016 

DRAFT ITINERARY – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

                    

Wednesday, February 24 ,2016

Departure

  • Depart the U.S.A bound for Israel.

 

      Overnight: Flight

 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Arrival Welcome to Israel

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by our representative and light refreshments upon arrival.

  • Ascend to Jerusalem via the Judean Hills.

  • Stop at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem for an Ecumenical Arrival Worship Ceremony.

  • Enter the Old City through the Jaffa Gate of the Old City and walk along the marketplace Rooftoops, exploring the multi-ethnic weave of the city, with a birds eye view of the walled city, continuing to the Western Wall.

  • Exit the Old city through the Dung Gate and drive to the hotel for check-in.

  • Festive Welcome Dinner and orientation.

 

Overnight: Jerusalem

 

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Multilayered Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Heavenly and Earthly Jerusalem – Two Faiths on the Ground, Two Faiths in the Heavens, text study with Rabbi Levy Wieman Kelman, and Very Revd. Hosam E. Naoum , Dean of the Episcopalian  Inter-religious discussion on Jerusalem’s role in Judaism and Christianity.

  • Ascend to the Mount of Olives for an introduction to the city while overlooking the Temple Mount – Harem A Sharif.

  • Visit the Western Wall for glimpse into what has become the “Jerusalem Magnet” for Jews for thousands of years.

  • Continue to the Jewish Quarter Walk through the Old City to today’s Jewish Quarter for a guided visit through the Upper City of 2000 years ago.

  • Visit the Machane Yehudah Market as residents prepare for the Sabbath.

  • Free time to explore Jerusalem on your own.

  • Welcome in the Sabbath at the Western Wall with thousands of Jerusalemites and guests.

  • Festive Sabbath Dinner at the hotel.

 

Overnight: Jerusalem

 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Sabbath in Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • A “shul hop” visiting early morning Sabbath services.

  • Guided visit through the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem for a walk along the Via Delarosa and a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, including a dialogue with Christian theologians.

  • Lunch at the hotel.

  • The Multi-Ethnic Weave of Jerusalem, a guided walking tour through the neighborhoods of West Jerusalem exploring the interrelationships between Jews and Christians.

  • Home Hospitality: Seuda Shlishit (the 3rd Shabbat meal) and Havdalah at the home of Rabbi Bill and Batya Berk—a chance for discussion and presentation “Recovering Shabbat in a Post-Modern World.” 

  • Free night and dinner on your own.

 

Overnight: Jerusalem

 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Memory and Renewal

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Optional Christian Worship Services in English at St. Georges Cathedral (Episcopalian) or Notre Dame Cathedral (Catholic)

  • Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Memorial to the six million victims of the Holocaust

  • Memorial Service

  • Understanding the Holocaust in the Context of Jewish- Christian Relations, with Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee..

  • Lunch on your own en route.

  • Drive South to Gush Etzion to the Roots Project, a unique endeavor by Israeli settlers and Palestinians to try and develop a culture of co-existence and reconciliation.

  • Return to the hotel.

  • Free time for personal exploration and an optional walking tour of Mount Zion, with Dormition Abbey, the Room of the Last Supper and King David’s Tomb.

  • Dinner, followed by Creating Dialogue in the Context of Interfaith Belief, with Jewish, Christian and Muslim Theologians.

 

Overnight: Jerusalem

 

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Jordan Rift Valley

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Geo-Political drive around Jerusalem, exploring the realities on the ground along the boundaries between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods and their influence on international diplomatic dialogue.    

  • Depart Jerusalem for the Jordan Valley.

  • Stop at Qasr el Yahud, according the some Christian traditions, the site of Jesus’s baptism and some Jewish traditions, where Joshua crossed the Jordan River into the Land of Israel.

  • Drive through the Jordan Valley.

  • Stop at Beit Shean, remains of the Byzantine city of Scytopolis, for a guided visit through the massive archaeological remains from the Roman and Byzantine periods and the Biblical Tel.

  • Drive to the Sea of Galilee and check in to hotel.

  • Continue to the Sea of Galilee.

  • Check in to hotel.

  • Dinner at the hotel.

  • Text study and dialogue with Rabbi Marc Rosenstien of the Galilee Foundation for Value Education and Ghassan Manasra, Director of the Anwar il Islam Peace and Dialogue Center and an educator from the Mar Elias School in I’blin.

 

Overnight: North

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Nature, Theology and Security

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Guided visit through Capernaum, where Jesus taught during the days of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, including the ancient synagogue and church, with time for personal worship.

  • Continue to Tabaha, traditional site of the multiplication of loaves and fish and conclude the visit around the Sea of Galilee with an overlook on to the Sea from atop the Mount of Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount took place.

  • Drive to the Upper Galilee.

  • Walk through the Tel Dan reserve, along one of the tributaries of the Jordan River, concluding at the Biblical  site of Tel Dan, exploring a combination of geopolitics, nature and archaeology.

  • Lunch on your own en route.

  • Ascend the Golan Heights.

  • Visit the Druse village of Bukata and meet with students and teachers at the local school for a dialogue on their relationship to Israel and Syria.

  • Ascend to the Golan Heights and  Mount Bental, overlooking Syria to gain a better understanding of the events of Israel’s wars of 1967 and 1973, and the current realities facing Israel in the wake of the Syrian Civil War.

  • Return to the hotel, followed by dinner.

  • Group processing session.

 

Overnight: North
 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Religious and Political Narratives

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  •  A Mosque and a Church—Guided visit through Nazareth, including visits to the Church of the Annunciation and Jacob’s Well, followed by a dialogue with Muslim and Christian leaders involved in resolving the dispute between the Christian and Muslim communities over the construction of a mosque in front of the Church of the Annunciation.

  • Art and Identity, Drive along Wadi Ara to the city of Umm el Fahem and visit the Um el Fahem Art Gallery, hosted by Israeli Arab artist and founder Said Abu Shakra.

  • Drive along the Trans-Israel Highway, the Seam Zone Barrier between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, stopping at the Israeli community of Matan, located on the Western side of Barrier for an overview of the Palestinian community of Hable, on the Eastern side and a dialogue with residents.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv.

  • Check in to Tel Aviv hotel.

  • Free time and dinner on your own.

 

Overnight: Tel Aviv

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tel Aviv: the First Hebrew City

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Visit Independence Hall, site of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence,

  • Guided walk along Rothschild Boulevard, where the Tel Aviv began, exploring the old and new, including the UNESCO Bauhaus White City and a visit to one of Israel’s leading hi tech companies.

  • Lunch on your own in the Carmel Market (or Levinsky Market).

  • Understanding a Multi-Ethnic Israel, with scholar Rachel Korazim.

  • Free time for personal exploration.

  • Wrap up and processing session.

  • Festive Farewell Dinner.

 

  • Drive to Tel Aviv.

  • Check in to Tel Aviv hotel.

  • Free time and dinner on your own.

 

Overnight: Tel Aviv

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tel Aviv: the First Hebrew City

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Visit Independence Hall, site of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence,

  • Guided walk along Rothschild Boulevard, where the Tel Aviv began, exploring the old and new, including the UNESCO Bauhaus White City and a visit to one of Israel’s leading hi tech companies.

  • Lunch on your own in the Carmel Market (or Levinsky Market).

  • Understanding a Multi-Ethnic Israel, with scholar Rachel Korazim.

  • Free time for personal exploration.

  • Wrap up and processing session.

  • Festive Farewell Dinner.

 

Overnight: Flight