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Shalom and welcome to Israel! Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, you will be met by your personal tour operator who has been assisting in the planning for your tour and will ensure that you have a smooth transfer by special motor coach to your hotel in Tel Aviv or Natanya. Time permitting we shall stop for a visit to ancient Jaffa (New Testament Joppa) to the House of Simon the Tanner on the rooftop of which the Apostle Peter had a vision and received God’s command to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. You will end the evening with dinner and good rest to prepare you for the exiting journey ahead.
After breakfast we begin this first day of the tour driving northwards to the ruins of the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima, a city built by King Herod which later became the seat of government of the Roman Governors the most prominent of whom was Pontius Pilate who sat in judgement on Jesus the Messiah. We shall visit the extensive excavations there including the Crusader City, the Amphitheater, the Hippodrome and the Roman Aquaduct. Then we continue our drive over the crest
of Mount Carmel and visit the site where the Prophet Elijah had his encounter with the Priests of Baal. Next we drive on along one of the great highways of the ancient world called the ” Via Maris” to Emek Yezreel, a large fertile plain bounded by the hills of Samaria, of Lower Galilee and the Carmel to visit the necropolis city of Beit Shearim . It was once the seat of the Sanhedrin whose head was Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who compiled the Mishna (the oral law) and was a great center of Torah Study in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Then we drive on through the beautiful landscape of Lower Galilee, the home of many of Jesus’ disciples, to Nazareth, a town in the hill country of Galilee, which is best known as the childhood home of Jesus and the place of the annunciation where Mary received the message that she would give birth to the Messiah. It was also in Nazareth that Jesus began his ministry in a synagogue after which an angry mob attempted to throw him off a cliff. After the visit we shall make another stop at Cana in Galilee where Jesus and his disciples were present at wedding feast we read about in John’s Gospel chapter 2, the scene of his first miracle, the transformation of water into wine. We arrive at our hotel at Tiberias by the Sea of Galilee in the later afternoon. Dinner and overnight.
The Sea of Galilee is rich in memories of Jesus’ ministry around its shores and we start the tour today on Mount Arbel a high hill overlooking the Sea and from this spot you can see where the majority of the events of the Gospels occurred. It is believed by many to be the mountain where Jesus issued his great commission to his disciples (Matth. 28:16-20). Our next visit is to Magdala, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene followed by a visit to see the ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD which has become known as the “Jesus Boat”. Then starting with the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, we visit the pilgrim shrines on the NW shores of the Sea of Galilee including Tabgha with the Church of the Feeding of the 5000, the Chapel of the Primacy and Capernaum, which became known as Jesus’own city because of the many signs and wonders he did there. There we visit the House of Peter and the ancient white synagogue. Next we drive on around the eastern shores of the Sea through the Land of the Gardarenes to Kibbutz Ein Gev. A lunch of St. Peters Fish is possible here followed by a boat ride over the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias. Before returning to our hotel we shall visit a baptismal site on the banks of the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight.
Today after breakfast we depart the Sea of Galilee and our first destination is Beit Shean, a major Biblical city located in the center of crossroads between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the 11th century BC King Saul’s body was hung on its walls after his defeat by the Phillistines. During New Testament times the city was one of the cities of the Decapolis named Skythopolis. After the visit we drive on through the Jordan Valley passing the ancient site of Gilgal, where the Children of Israel, under Joshua, encamped after crossing the Jordan River to enter the Promissed Land. In Jericho we see the Mount of Temptation and visit the Fountain of Elisha the Prophet and stop under a sycamore tree of the kind which Zachaeus, the tax collector, climbed in order to see Jesus. Next we drive past Qmran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written over 2000 years ago and take a dip in the mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea before driving up through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem, the “city of God”. We take a first glimpse of the Holy City from one of the Heights surrounding Jerusalem before checking into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This day begins with a visit to the Israel Museum with the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are preserved, and the model of the 2nd Temple period Jerusalem. Passing the Knesset we drive to the Yad Vashem Museum of the Holocaust which preserves the memory of the 6 million victims of the Shoah. After the visit we drive on to a city of Juda which today is named Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus the Messiah. The Chapel of the Visitation recalls the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and stands upon the location of the House of Zechariah. Then we follow this visit with a drive to Bethlehem, the royal city of David where Jesus was born. The Church of the Nativity is reputed to be one of the oldest surviving Christian Churches. Before leaving Bethlehem we shall stop at the Shepherd’s Field where some shepherds watching their flocks were the first to whom Angels announced the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. Lastly we shall visit the Museum of the Friends of Zion. Then we return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight
After breakfast this day we shall visit the Temple Mount where so many of the events we read about in the Bible took place and where Jesus taught so often. Then we drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives, from which Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection. From the top of the Mount there is a magnificent view over all of ancient and modern Jerusalem, the center of the biblical world. We visit the holy shrines on the Mount and walk on down the “Palm Sunday Road” visiting the Chapel of Dominus Flevit (Jesus wept) enroute to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations where Christ prayed on the night of his betrayal (Lk. 22:40-46). Next we shall enter within the old walled city of Jerusalem and walk in the footsteps of our Lord as he bore the burden of our sins to the Cross at Golgotha. We visit the Pools of Bethesda and walk on along the Via Dolorosa, following the 14 Stations of the Cross from Pilate’s Judgement Hall to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon we shall visit the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple at the Western (Wailing) Wall. Next we shall visit the Mt. Zion with the Upper Room and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu which is built over the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, before whom Jesus was brought for trial and sentenced to death. Beside the Church we shall see the “Roman Steps” which were probably used by Jesus and his disciples on the day of his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. A visit to the Temple Institute is next on our program and we end the day at the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Golgotha before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
We begin this last day of our tour with a visit to the “City of David”, the archaeological site where we can see the remains of the Palace of King David, go through the Tunnel of Hezekiah and see the Pool of Siloam where Jesus gave sight to the man born blind. We walk through the Herodian Water Channel to the Western Wall and the Davidson Center, the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, where we can climb the 2000-year-old steps, named after the Prophetess Hulda, which led to the Temple Mount during the 2nd Temple period. The afternoon is at leisure for private activities. On a Friday evening we shall walk down to the Western Wall to observe or take part in the recitation of special evening prayers known as Kabalat Shabbat, the Jewish ritual of welcoming the Shabbat. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we say farewell to Jerusalem, the city of God, and set off for the drive to Ben Gurion Airport and the homebound flight when we hope you will relax and recount your life changing journey to the Holy Land.
* Due to a continuous influx of visitors to Israel over the past years, road work and traffic congestion, as well as other variables outside of Immanuel Tours’ control, itineraries are subject to change and number of site visits possible in each day may be limited. Every effort is made by Immanuel Tours staff to maximize scheduling in order for your tour to be comprehensive and enjoyable.
I must tell you I give both Immanuel Tours and Mordi my highest recommendation – Donna and I had an amazing trip. The personal service, hotels, attention to detail and most of all the flexibility of Mordi (he learned I like frozen coffees – so there was always a stop somewhere) to change up the itinerary when timing/location deemed necessary.
Now a special word about Mordi – his knowledge and passion for Israel is so evident in his spirit it is a joy to spend time with him. He has a great sense of humor (which I’m sure he needed with us) and loved sharing his Jewish faith and Israeli heritage during our unending questions.
Yoav – a note of thanks for all your help with our pilgrimage – I know you did all the legwork for the sites, hotels and details. It was flawless and we appreciate all your hard work. You’re the best!
Again, thank you Immanuel Tours – it was a life changing experience and you made it happen.
Next year, in Jerusalem!
- David Chavers
Immanuel Tours provided very personalized service to us. Two of our group flew in from Egypt ahead of the others by about 8 hours. The two were settled into the hotel, picked up by car by Susan herself and driven to the airport to meet the rest of the incoming group and ride the bus back to the hotel as a group. No extra charge, ''just part of it'' they told us. There were six employees on hand to meet us at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly.
I could continue, but this email cannot do justice to the service and accommodations Immanuel Tours provided us. I guess the strongest statement I can make is that we are returning with another group this coming year. The thought of using someone else has not even crossed our minds. These people took care of business, and became our friends in the process.
- Linda Arnold
My first pilgrimage to The Promised Land was with Immanuel Tours and the entire trip exceeded my expectations. I liked it so much that my husband and I signed up for another tour the following year and took 5 family members with us! Okay, so if that wasn’t enough we signed up again this year and took 4 more friends! Yes, that is three years in a row!
When I go back to Israel, I will only travel with Immanuel Tours. Outstanding guides, exceptional drivers, and first rate service. Immanuel Tours is truly excited to be a part of your incredible, experience in the Holy Land and care about every little detail.
- Greg and Katie Holloway
Our first experience with Immanuel Tours was over 10 years ago in 2006. We have been using them ever since and can say the service level has never wavered. They offer impeccable customer service, with such personal attention given to every detail. We consider them not just our tour company but they have become our Israeli family. We have been so blessed through them and highly recommend them.
- Lina OliverThank you so much for a very well organized tour/pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our guide, Asher, and our driver, David, were very nice & they were so great. Very knowledgeable too! It was a wonderful experience. We hope to visit the Holy Land again with Immanuel Tours.
- Matt Stone
Just got back from a Zola Levitt Israel tour and my wife and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Dror was our guide and Charlie was the driver. They both performed above expectations. We couldn't get enough of Dror's observations and knowledge. Charlie made the transportation logistics seem effortless, he was applauded multiple times navigating us around. A++
- Pastor Doug Byrum
My wife, Glenna and I have traveled to Israel 13 times, 11 of those with Immanuel Tours. They are simply the best. Reasons, they are family, they care about every aspect of your tour. If someone is hurt they will sit at the hospital. I consider everything they do to be first class. It truly is if you ask and it is possible they will make it happen. It is the only group my tours will travel with, I have used others, none this good. Give them a try, you won't be sorry, I promise...
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