Trip of a Lifetime to Israel
$3902 from JFK, optional Rome extension $708
December 27, 2013 - January 6 or 9, 2014
Dear Friends: Would you like to have a life-changing and never-to-be forgotten experience? It is our joy to invite you to join us on a trip to the Holy Land where you will find a new dimension in understanding the Bible, history, and the life of Jesus. We will walk where Jesus lived, ministered, died, and rose again. Some of the more memorable activities include a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, communion at the Garden Tomb, baptisms in the Jordan River, plus much more. Please join us for the trip of a lifetime!
Rev. David Esptein, Senior Pastor
Calvary Baptist ChurchRegistration Form
(PDF)Brochure Back with Terms and Conditions
Optional Rome Extension
DAY 1 – Friday, December 27: Depart from New York’s JFK airport on our Alitalia flight to Tel Aviv with brief connecting stop in Rome. Meals and overnight onboard our comfortable Boeing 777 aircraft with personal entertainment center at each seat. After dinner, relax and enjoy the on-board entertainment.
DAY 2 – Saturday, December 28: Early-afternoon scheduled arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to meet our guide and friend Susan Marcus who will welcome us to the Land of the Bible and escort us throughout our stay in Israel. Israeli guides are legendary for their knowledge and dedication. Susan will instruct us on the many sites we will visit and their relationship to the religion, history, archaeology, culture, and modern life in Israel. Our first site will be Old Jaffa, the traditional home of Simon the Tanner, where Peter received the vision and instruction from the Lord to take the Gospel to Cornelius, and from where Jonah sailed. Our hotel for the evening is the four-star Dan Panorama Tel Aviv, right on the Mediterranean seacoast. Full hot breakfast and dinner buffets are included daily in our Israel hotels.
DAY 3 – Sunday, December 29: Depart for the Dead Sea. We will stop at Beer Sheva, famous for being the birthplace of Isaac and Jacob. Proceed, if time permits, to Arad to see the partially reconstructed 5,000 year old Canaanite town. Arrive at our hotel next to the Dead Sea and enjoy a mud bath, spa treatments (cost is extra) or take a swim, rather a “float” in the Dead Sea. Hotel for the evening is the Leonardo Privilege Dead Sea spa hotel (formerly Novotel).
DAY 4 – Monday, December 30: Depart for Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea, where we ascend by cable car to visit the remnants of Herod’s Palace and where from A.D. 70 to 73 the Zealots made their last stand against the Roman Legions. Proceed to Ein Gedi, fabled Spring of David, and then on to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. Later we “go up to Jerusalem” (Psalm 122). Our hotel in The Holy City is the superior Grand Court.
DAY 5 – Tuesday, December 31: This morning we begin with a view of the Old City from the top of the Mount of Olives. Walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, and drive across the Kidron Valley. Enter the Old City through St. Stephen’s Gate (Lion’s Gate) to the Moslem Quarter, visit the beautiful Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, and the Ecce Homo Arch (ecce homo is Latin for “Behold the man”). Then we visit the archaeological park at the City of David. Continue our visit to Warren’s Shaft before heading to the Gihon Spring and the Pool of Siloam located where the Valley of Himmom runs into the Kidron Valley. New Year’s Eve dinner and celebrations in our hotel.
DAY 6 – Wednesday, January 1: We will begin the day (and the New Year!) with a visit to the Israel Museum, highlighted by a detailed outdoor scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the 2nd Temple period (circa A.D. 68), much the same as it was in Jesus’ time. Visit the reconstructed Jewish Quarter, walk through the Cardo, the original Roman main street, and see the amazing Israelite wall. Proceed to view the Burnt House, remaining from the fire in A.D. 70 which destroyed Jerusalem. See the important excavations taking place at the Western Wall and the Southern Temple Staircase.
DAY 7 – Thursday, January 2: Today’s political situation permitting, we will visit the Temple Mount; where once the temples of Solomon, Ezra and Nehemiah, and Herod the Great stood now sits a Muslim mosque. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, into the Christian Quarter. Proceed to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, possible site of Calvary and the tomb. End the afternoon at Golgotha (Gordon’s Calvary) and the Garden’s Empty Tomb. Special time is planned for worship, communion, meditation, and inspiration.
DAY 8 – Friday, January 3: Drive north along the Jordan Valley to Beit She’an to see the expansive excavations taking place at this ancient Roman Decapolis city. Travel to the Jezreel Valley to see Harrod Spring at the foot of Mt. Gilboa where Gideon gathered the people of Israel to fight against Midian. Continue through the rolling hills of the Galilee to Nazareth and visit a 1st-century village reconstructed at Nazareth Village. Proceed to the Jordon River for a baptismal service at Yardenit. If time permits, climb Mt. Arbel to have a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee before arriving in Tiberias. Dinner and overnight at our hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the four-star Caesar Tiberias.
DAY 9 – Saturday, January 4: We begin the day with a visit to the site of the Sermon on the Mount, the Mount of Beatitudes. Proceed up north to Caesarea Phillip (Banias Spring) where Peter confessed Jesus is the Christ. Next we visit Tel Dan, a Canaanite town where Joshua led the Israelites over 3,000 years ago. Today the tel is part of the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. Many springs form the Dan River, one of the three principal sources of the Jordan River. On our way back to the Sea of Galilee, we will have an opportunity if you choose for a lunch of St. Peter’s fish. In the afternoon we visit Hazor, the main northern Canaanite city that Israel conquered and destroyed when they entered the Promised Land. Jesus would have stopped at its water springs in His travels in northern Israel. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
DAY 10 – Sunday, January 5: This day is worth the trip! We are now literally walking in the footsteps of Jesus. We will take a most memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, in a replica of the ancient wooden boats used in Jesus’ day. We will see the remains of a 1st-century boat on display at Nof Ginosar. We walk into old Capernaum with the ancient synagogue and then on to Tabgha where Peter is restored for his earlier three denials. It’s on to Megiddo, inspiration for James Michener’s The Source and prophesied site of Armageddon. Archaeological digs reveal 20 layers of civilization, including fortifications of King Solomon and the water tunnel of King Ahab. Megiddo provides a magnificent view of the fertile Jezreel Valley, at the crossroads of the ancient Via Maris. Then we travel to Mount Carmel where Elijah triumphed over the prophets of Baal. We end our visit at Caesarea Maritima where the Gospel first comes to the Gentiles, when Peter brings the Good News to the Roman centurion, Cornelius. From this port city, Paul sailed in and out for his missionary tours. Here Paul appealed to Caesar. We will see the Roman theater, Herod’s palace, and the aqueduct. We end the day and complete our tour at our hotel in Tel Aviv with a farewell dinner. Each tour participant will receive a Certificate of Pilgrimage.
Day 11 – Monday, January 6: Everyone goes to the airport for an early-morning flight to Rome. Those going on back to the USA arrive back this same afternoon, while those staying for the Rome extension travel to their hotel and a day of discovery.
PLEASE NOTE: Day-to-day itinerary may change for the good of the group at the discretion and best judgment of Pastor Epstein and input of our guide Susan Marcus.
For more information and to register with a $300 deposit per person (check made out to “Escorted Travel Concepts”), please contact Billy Nelson, New York School of the Bible, 123 W 57th Street, New York NY 10019, 212-975-0170 x 123, firstname.lastname@example.org
May this journey be a blessing!