Wilshire Church Interfaith Trip to Israel 2018

Sunday, October 28, 2018


Departure from the U.S. to Israel


Monday, October 29, 2018


  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport with assistance upon arrival.

  • Meet guide and driver and drive along the Coastal Highway to Haifa.

  • Welcome to Israel overlooking the Mediterranean from atop the Bahai Gardens.

  • Check in to hotel.

  • Free time for rest and relaxation.

  • Festive opening dinner at the hotel.

  • Optional walk along the Louis Promenade along Mont Carmel.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Haifa


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Multicultural Mosaic

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Begin the day with a special program at the Beit HaGefen intercultural community center in the Wadi Nisnas area of Haifa, home to the yearly Holiday of Holiday celebrations, which combines Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions, including a guided walk through Wadi Nisnas

  • Continue to Acre for a guided visit through ancient Acre, including the underground Crusader City and the reconstructed Hamam.

  • Drive to the Lower Galilee to Nazareth with an optional visit to the Church of the Annunciation and a visit to the Nazareth Baptist Church.

  • Conclude the day with a visit to Sephoris, known as the ornament of the Galilee and a vibrant multicultural city at the end of the Roman and during the Byzantine Empire. (Time Permitting)

  • Continue to Kibbutz Kfar Giladi.

  • Check in to the Kfar Giladi hotel, followed by dinner.


Overnight: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Golan Plateau

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive across the Galilee to the Galilee Panhandle for a walk along the Dan River to the Biblical site of Tel Dan, followed by Caesarea Philipi along the Banyas River where according to some traditions Peter made his confession of Jesus as the Messiah and Abraham crossed in to the Land of Israel.

  • Ascend the Golan Heights for home hospitality lunch at the home of Naseeba Samara in the Druse village of Bukahta.

  • Jeep ride along the Golan Plateau with an off road view of the Syrian-Israeli border.

  • Continue to the Byzantine period Um el Kanatir synagogue, which is being reconstructed from a literal pile of stones, using ground-breaking technology.

  • Return to the hotel.

  • Dinner at a Galilean Restaurant.


Overnight: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Along the Shores of the Sea of Galilee

  • Breakfast at hotel.

  • Drive to the Sea of Galilee, and visit the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount, Capernaum, where Jesus taught and site of a Second Temple Jewish community and Tabkha, site of the multiplication of the Loaves and Fish.

  • Continue to Kibbutz Ginnosar in the Valley of Genezerath and view the Fisherman’s Boat which dates from the time of Jesus and was found on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

  • Visit the newly renovated site of Magdala, where a 1st century synagogue and Jewish town were found.

  • Drive along the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias and the ancient Synagogue of Hamat, which dates to the Byzantine period.

  • Conclude the day at the first Kibbutz Degania, including a special conversation with Muki Tzur, former secretary general of the United Kibbutz Movement.

  • Dinner at Kibbutz Ein Gev or Kibbutz Degania.

  • Return to Kfar Giladi.


Overnight: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi


Friday, November 2, 2018

Along the Shores of the Sea of Galilee

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive along the Sea of Galilee Beit Shean.

  • Guided visit through Beit Shean, also known as the Byzantine city of Scytopolis and the Biblical city of Beit Shan.

  • Drive through the Jordan Valley and stop at Qaser el Yahud, traditionally see as the site of Jesus’ baptism and also where Joshua crossed the River Jordan in to the Promised Land.

  • Visit Jericho, including a stop at the Zacheus Sycamore and the Hisham Palace.

  • Ascend to Jerusalem.

  • Short stop at Mount Scopus for a festive welcome to Jerusalem.

  • Drive across the city and check in to hotel.

  • Free time for rest and relaxation.

  • Optional visit to the Western Wall complex, both the orthodox wall and the egalitarian wall, as Jerusalemites and guests welcome in the Sabbath.

  • Festive Sabbath dinner at the hotel.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Jerusalem Sabbath

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Free morning with optional Sabbath services at the Kol Haneshama Synagogue.

  • Visit the Israel Museum, with its wide array of collections, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Model of Jerusalem from the days of the Second Temple.

  • Continue to the Bible Lands Museum, which is focused on the peoples and stories of Biblical lands.

  • Free time for rest and personal exploration.

  • Free evening in Jerusalem, with dinner on your own.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Layers of Jerusalem I

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Ascend to the Mount of Olives for an overview of Jerusalem and an introduction to the multi-faith mosaic of the city.

  • Continue in to the Old City through St. Steven Gate and visit the Church of St. Anne and the Bethesda Pools, continuing along the Crusader Via Delarosa, concluding at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

  • Exit the Old City via the New Gate for a visit to the Garden Tomb.

  • Return to the hotel for free time.

  • Dinner on your own at the Mamilla Mall, followed by a visit to David’s Citadel and Jerusalem Night Spectacular Sound and Light Show.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Jerusalem


Monday, November 5, 2018

The Dead Sea Basin

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart for the Dead Sea Basin.

  • Drive around the Dead Sea to Masada.

  • Ascend Masada via Cable Car for a guided visit through the Herodian Fortress later used by Jewish Zealots in their last stand against the Romans and explore how the story of Masada plays a role in contemporary Israeli society.

  • Stop at a Dead Sea Beach for an opportunity to float in the Sea, followed by lunch.

  • Visit Qumeran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

  • Ascend to Bethlehem and meet with Mitiri Raheb.

  • Return to Jerusalem.

  • Dinner at the hotel, followed by a free evening.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Layers of Jerusalem II

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Early morning visit to the Temple Mount – Harem eh Sharif.

  • Descend to the City of David, where the city of Jerusalem began and walk through the excavated drainage tunnel, under the walls of the Old City to the Davidson Archaeological Park and the Southern Wall Excavations.

  • Continue to the Western Wall.

  • Guided visit through the Jewish Quarter exploring remains from 2,000 years ago through today.

  • Return to the hotel.

  • Dinner on your own followed by a possible text study program at the Shalom Hartman Institute.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Layers of Jerusalem III

  • Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Drive North of Jerusalem to the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, a private initiative by Palestinian developer Bashar el Masri, including a possible meeting with Mr. Masri.

  • Continue to the Coastal Plain and the ancient city of Caesarea Maratima, with a guided visit through the Roman and Crusader ruins, concluding in the re-constructed Crusader city, with its cafes and galleries.

  • Drive to Jaffa on the southern side of Tel Aviv for a guided walk through the alleyways, with stories from the days of the Bible and modern Arab-Jewish life.

  • Final group dinner in Tel Aviv.

  • Return to Jerusalem.


Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem


Those going to Petra – Overnight in Jerusalem

Those returning to the United States, depart for the Ben Gurion Airport