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Israel: Today and Forever

The Land of the Book

February 20 – March 3, 2018


Some of the unique experiences that tour participants will have while in Israel will be visiting several Jewish communities located in Judea and Samaria. This tour will also introduce people to the geographic areas of the Land from the Golan Heights in the north to the desert in the south.  It will truly be a trip that brings the past into focus with the present, the times from Abraham to modern day Israel. Every day there will be an optional opportunity to meet for a Mass at 7:30 am that will be led by a CCO priest.

As a bonus, we will be staying at Biblical Tamar Park, an ancient Jewish city south of the Dead Sea.  Staying at Tamar Park will provide an opportunity to see how people, from the times of Abraham, Moses, King David, and the Prophets, lived in the Desert and tended the land.  The visit to the Arava Desert Research Center, near Tamar, will give participants a vivid contrast to the ancient agricultural practices and present-day farming at the Moshav and Kibbutzim in Israel.

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Volunteer Experience (Optional)

Everyone who registers for this trip is invited to extend his or her tour experience and become a “Volunteer” at Tamar after the tour. This low cost experience is available for up to a maximum of 90 days. Long term volunteers pay only $20 a day for board and room and short term volunteers, who stay less than 30 days, pay $30 a day. Volunteers are needed in various areas such as, horticulture, cooking, housekeeping, mechanical, carpentry, and beautifying the Park.

Volunteering is a unique and special way to bless the Israeli people and the Land, while being able to experience 5,000 years of history. Presenting this history, and how it relates to our Creator, is the reason Blossoming Rose continues to develop Biblical Tamar Park. We are very thankful for all our volunteers and donations that help make this all possible.


Tour Guides & Hosts


Our tours are led by knowledgeable tour guides and hosts and it’s just one of the many benefits that makes our Israel Tours exceptional. Each tour is a unique experience and all of our tours include a visit to Biblical Tamar Park and have the option to extend your stay as a volunteer.



Fr. Paul Stewart

Fr. Paul Stewart is a founding member of the Community of the Crucified One’s priesthood.  He was commissioned as minister in 1979 and then ordained as a priest in 1983.  After being elected as Prelate, he taught in the CCO seminary for eight years. In 1984, he completed a church building program in Moretown, Vermont, and remained as pastor. He was appointed to the Eldership of the CCO in the late 80s and was dispatched to build mission houses in different cities in the United States.  In 1996, he was sent to Kenya to establish the Holy Cross Church, an international extension of the CCO.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the CCO and Everyone’s Child, Inc.  After making several trips to Israel with Dr. Coxon, his Biblical interests in the Hebraic roots of the church are leading him back to Israel.  His current studies have earned him several certificates in Hebraic roots studies.



Hanoch Young

Hanoch Young is a licensed Israeli tour guide, an Orthodox Jew, who is known for building bridges between people through his personal outreach.  His understanding of the historical relationship between the Jewish people and all who relate to Israel is part of what he shares in his speaking tours in the United States. He is a United States citizen who made Aliyah to Israel and he lives near Jerusalem. People who wish to learn more about the Hebraic roots into Christianity can learn a great deal from his teachings.



Tour Facilitator

Israel: Today and Forever


Day 1: Fly out of USA overnight to Israel.

We will depart on Tuesday, February 20th, flying overnight and arriving in Israel on Wednesday, February 21st. (We must be at the airport three hours prior to international flight departures.)



Day 2: Arrive in Tel Aviv, head to Jerusalem (Dinner, walk to Western Wall and Jewish quarter)

Leaving the Tel Aviv airport we will drive from the Mediterraian coastal plain to the mountains of Jerusalem—2600 feet above Sea Level. Time permitting, we will drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking view of the Temple Mount at sunset. We will check into our Jerusalem hotel (the Gloria) and settle into our rooms within the Old City walls. After a delicious dinner, we will take a nice leisurely stroll through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall where we will offer our prayers.



Day 3: Temple Mount, Western Wall Tunnels, Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulcher

We will begin our day with a tour of the Temple Mount. Here we will discuss the modern reality of the site presently administered by Jordan as well as the past and future Temples. We will then tour the Western Wall Tunnels. The exposed portion of the Western Wall is approximately 200 feet long; the tunnel provides access to an additional 1,591 ft. of ancient wall. Almost 150 ft. into the tunnel we will see a sealed off entrance to a small synagogue known as “The Cave.” This is believed to be the closest point one can get to the Ancient Holy of Holies. We will close the day with a Mass.



Day 4: Mt. Zion Dig, Zion Gate, Upper Room, and Pilate’s judgment seat, Garden Tomb, Mt of Olives, Sea of Galilee, and boat ride

We will begin our day with a walking tour. The tour will include the traditional sites of David’s Tomb and Upper Room. We will also visit the newly discovered authentic site of Pontius Pilate’s Judgement Seat with the Gabbatha Pavement and the Praetorium where Jesus spent the final hours of his life before being crucified. After our walking tour, we will take the bus to the Garden Tomb for a tour and then go to the top of the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking view of the Old City. We then begin our bus ride to the Galilee, stopping at Shiloh time permitting. At sunset we will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and then settle into our rooms at the Leonardo Club on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.



Day 5: Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Golan Heights, and lunch in Druze Village

We begin our tour of the Galilee with a stop at Caesarea Phillipi, mentioned in the synoptic gospels as the place where Jesus ask his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” From here we can see the foot of Mount Hermon and discuss the messianic significance of this place (Psalm 133). Next we will visit the site of Tel Dan, where according to II Kings 10:29 and II Chronicles 13:8, Jeroboam led the northern kingdom of Israel away from the true faith. We then travel to up into the Golan to Katzrine, the Jewish provincial capital and on to the borders of Syria and Lebanon. Time permitting, we will stop at a lovely chocolate shop and then travel back to our Hotel at Tiberias for dinner, a nighttime stroll along the shore and our final night in Tiberias.



Day 6: Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Jericho, Qumran, and Tamar

We begin our day with a journey to the traditional site of the Mount of the Beatitudes where we will discuss some of Jesus’ most cherished and best known teachings. We may have a Mass in one of the lovely Garden meditation areas. We will then travel to Capernaum where Jesus made his HQ and moved his family. Here we will also tour a third Century synagogue, built upon the visible remains of a first century synagogue. As we travel around the Sea of Galilee you will see sites whose names are associated with the Christian New Testament. After our driving tour around the Galilee, we will begin our journey to the south, traveling along the Jordan River. We will take some time to visit the ancient ruins of Jericho where “the walls came tumbling down.” We will visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Here we will see cisterns, a cemetery, ruins of a dining facility and of course the famous caves where nearly 800 ancient scrolls were discovered. We will continue on to the southern Biblical border of Israel, Tamar (Ez. 47-48) and move into our rooms at Biblical Tamar Park. The Park Supervisor and volunteer workers will welcome us with an American style meal in the dining room. After dinner we will relax and visit together before an open fire in the Sukkah next to the dining room. This is a special place that will allow us to experience the wilderness regions of Israel.



Day 7 & 8: Work days at Biblical Tamar Park

On Monday and Tuesday our group will perform service work at the beautiful Biblical Tamar Park. We will begin each day with an early Mass in the Chapel that the Community of the Crucified One built over ten years ago. We will use our talents to provide a valuable service to the Park. We have our bus in the Park and so at 2:30 each day we will board the bus and tour local historic sites.  On Monday we will go to Mt. Hor, the burial mountain of Aaron, and then on Tuesday we will spend the afternoon at the Dead Sea enjoying the healing waters. Those who want to stay in the Park can sit under one of the oldest trees in Israel at Tamar. There will be time in the evening for walking tours of the fascinating archaeological ruins located at the Park as well as discussions about the important and strategic location of this ancient site. There is always time to take a hike up to the top of Prayer Mountain at sunset.



Day 9: Biblical Tamar Tour, Masada, and Ein Gedi

We will begin our day with a visit to the ancient fortress of Masada, known today as the site where 960 revolutionary Jewish holdouts died rather than surrender to the Romans. Some will choose to run or hike the famed “snake path” up the side of Masada, while others will take the cable car to the top. We will learn that Masada was originally built by the Maccabees, and fortified by Herod the Great between 37-31 BCE as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt. From the top of Masada you will be able to look down upon the ruins of Roman encampments. We will visit an ancient “synagogue without walls” atop Masada. We will then continue north to the famous National Park of Ein Gedi where young David hid from King Saul in the caves.  The water falls and the wild animals are beautiful to see. We will then go back to Tamar for dinner and then another peaceful night’s rest.



Day 10: Work day at Biblical Tamar

We
will begin the day with a Mass and then our group will perform its final work day at the beautiful Biblical Tamar Park. We will finish the day by cleaning up our work site and putting away all the tools. We will spend some time relaxing in the Sukkah and talk about our experiences together in the land of Israel. There will be time to take another hike up Prayer Mountain before settling into our rooms.



Day 11: Tel Sheva, Shopping and free time in Jerusalem, flights home

We will depart Biblical Tamar Park by way of Beersheva and stop at Tel Sheva, Abraham’s area of residence, as we journey back to Jerusalem for some final shopping, and to take in, once again the ambiance of the Holy City. At 6:30 pm, we will catch our bus back to the airport for our flights back home.



Day 12: Flight home to the USA

We will arrive back in the USA in the morning, having gained the seven hours back that we lost when we arrived in Israel. We will check through customs and go to our connecting flights home. Shalom!



Tour Dates:

February 20 – March 3, 2018

Price:

$2,095 (airfare not included)

Tours Include:
  • Hotels
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner (except March 2)
  • National Park Pass
  • All tips (except housekeeping)
  • Entry to all listed sites that we visit
  • Bus transfer to and from Ben Gurion Airport
Not Included:
  • Lunches
  • Flight insurance
  • Airline TIcket
  • Dinner March 2