Israel Seminar Programs
Program Models - Customized to the Interests and Concerns of Each Group

This program was designed for Christians who wanted to go beyond the headlines, to focus on the experiences, texts, and perspectives that are defining the culture, politics, and religious life of the region today.


Day 1: Arrival in Israel

  • Assistance upon arrival and board bus for Jerusalem.
  • Ascend to Jerusalem via the Judean Hills.
  • Welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City.
  • Festive welcome dinner and program orientation                   

Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 2: Physical and Theological Layers of Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lecture/Discussion: Israel: Peace and Security - led by a member of Israel's peace negotiation team.
  • Morning in the Old City beginning with an introduction to the multi-ethnic weave of the city from atop the Old City Rooftops for a view of Jerusalem’s Four Quarters from above and continuing into the Jewish and Christian Quarters.
  • Lecture/Discussion: Jerusalem: Political and Spiritual Center, text study with Dr. Marcie Lenk, at Ecce Homo on the Via Dolorosa.
  • Afternoon of Interfaith and Interethnic Dialogue with Kids4Peace, an initiative which develops long term immersive educational experiences for Jewish and Arab children for ages 12-18.
  • Return to the hotel for rest and relaxation, followed by dinner on your own in Jerusalem.

Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 3: Deciphering the Jewish Landscape

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lecture/Discussion: Who are the Ultra Orthodox (Haredi) Jews? 
  • Ride the Light Rail from Mt. Herzl to Pisgat Zeev exploring the neighborhoods and people of Jerusalem, with running guided commentary and a stop at the Machane Yehudah open-air market for lunch on own.
  • The Religious Spectrum in Israel – A Personal Exploration, with a local Jewish scholar and educator.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
  • Workshop with Gabi Lev, theater director, and actors in her troupe to experience an original work and discussion of contemporary expressions of Jewish themes.

Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 4: The Holocaust and Israeli society

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The Memory of the Holocaust in Israeli Society, with a scholar of the history of the Shoah.
  • Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial for the Holocaust, including the Avenue of the Righteous, the Holocaust History Museum, and the Children’s Memorial.
  • Sabbath: Text study with Marcie Lenk.
  • Depart the hotel for Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming in the Sabbath) at the Kotel (Western Wall).
  • Sabbath Dinner together, followed by a processing session at the hotel.

Overnight:   Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 5: The Hidden Secrets of Jerusalem

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free morning for personal exploration.
  • Lecture/Discussion: What Does it Mean to be Christian in Israel? with an expert on Christian communities in the Holy Land.
  • Multi Ethnic Walking tour on Mount Zion, exploring the weave of traditions and cross-cultural bonds and divisions, which permeate the neighborhood, and meet with Father Boulos, a Syrian-Orthodox monk.
  • Dinner and evening on own.

Overnight: Mount Zion Hotel, Jerusalem


Day 6: Inside Palestine I

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early morning visit to the Temple Mount – Haram al Sharif.
  • Depart hotel and drive north of Jerusalem to the Qalandiya checkpoint to cross and enter the Palestinian Territories with Palestinian guide.
  • Proceed along the separation barrier on the Palestinian side to visit Al-Ram and Dahayit Al-Barid; learn about the impact the wall has on the local residents and nearby areas.
  • Continue back to the checkpoint on the Palestinian side to observe the procedures of the borders leading in and out of the West Bank.
  • Free time in downtown Ramallah.
  • Meeting with a Palestinian activist: What is Peace to Palestinians under Occupation?
  • Lunch in Jifna
  • Visit Jifna Church for service and meeting with Father John Bahbah.
  • Drive to Bethlehem and check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Jacir Palace Hotel, Bethlehem


Day 7: Inside Palestine II     

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Visit Aida refugee camp, Separation Barrier, Banksy Graffiti and “The Walled Off Hotel”
  • Growing up in Bethlehem - Meeting at Dar al Kalima University College.
  • Lunch in Bethlehem restaurant
  • Visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity.
  • Discussion with Rev. Munther Isaac, Associate Pastor at the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.
  • Dinner at Hotel

Overnight: Jacir Palace Hotel, Bethlehem


Day 8: Coexistence

  • Breakfast at hotel and check-out
  • Roots – Judour – Shorashim, a project of Settlers and Palestinians, attempting to find a common language for living together with seemingly opposing narratives regarding national and religious rights to the land, with Palestinian and Jewish settler representatives.
  • Drive through the Valley of Elah and on toward northern Israel.
  • Meet with an expert on on Arab identity in Israel, at Givat Haviva, the Center for Shared Society.
  • Continue to Nazareth for a visit to the Church of the Annunciation (time permitting)
  • Drive to the hotel and check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Gai Beach Hotel, Tiberius


Day 9: The Galil and The Golan

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Ascend to the Golan Heights and Mount Bental, which overlooks the Israeli-Syrian border, for a look at the complex relationship between Israel and Syria in the wake of the Syrian civil war.
  • Visit Capernaum, Tabkha and the Mount of Beatitudes on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, considering Jesus and the Apostles as Jews of their time.
  • Visit Magdalah
  • Drive to Tel Aviv.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Dinner on your own and free time in Tel Aviv.

Overnight:   Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv


Day 10: Reflections and Conclusions

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free morning for rest, relaxation and shopping.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Guided walk through the Florentine neighborhood of Tel Aviv for a glimpse beneath the surface of Israeli society through street and public art.
  • The Other as a Mirror, an exploration of perception and identity in Hebrew and Arab literature.
  • Concluding conversation and reflection.
  • Festive farewell dinner at Goshen Restaurant.
  • Depart for Ben Gurion Airport.