March 2-12, 2022
with Hope Presbyterian Church, Austin | price TBD
This 11-day journey to the Holy Land will bring you close encounters with the land of ancient Judaism and Christianity. Watch the scriptures come to life as you walk through the wilderness and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Experience modern religious traditions as we celebrate Shabbat with Jewish Israelis and walk down the Mount of Olives. Build deep and lasting relationships with others from your congregation through group reflections and shared worship. At Progressive Pilgrimage, every journey is carefully crafted to meet the interests and ability of the group. This itinerary offers a glance at what you can expect in your 11-day tour. Schedule may be adjusted for efficiency and guide availability.
March 2-12 Daily Itinerary
Your group will arrive late in the evening to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. You will be transported by motorcoach to your hotel in historic Jaffa Port for overnight accommodations.
After last night’s late arrival, enjoy a leisurely morning where you can sleep in and have an unhurried breakfast. Early risers could walk to the nearby Mediterranean beach. In the late morning, we’ll take a walking tour of Old Jaffa, including the site of Simon the Tanner’s house (where Peter received a vision, see Acts 10-11). You’ll also be witness to the modern revitalization that is happening in this diverse city just south of Tel Aviv. After lunch with will transfer to Jerusalem, stopping for a scenic overlook from Mount Scopus. In the evening, share opening worship, orientation, dinner and overnight accommodations for five nights within walking distance of Jerusalem’s Old City.
A Palestinian guide will lead our visits to Bethlehem holy sites beginning with the Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. In the late morning, we visit with a cooperative of Palestinian women who are caring for disabled children. After a tour of their neighborhood, they will lead us in a cooking class that concludes in a delicious lunch. Following lunch, we visit the Shepherd’s Field church and an olive wood workshop. During our time in Bethlehem, you may also spot some original Banksy artwork. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Begin the day by worshiping at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem’s Old City. Following worship, we will meet with Pastor Carrie to learn about Lutheran ministries in Jordan and the Holy Land. After lunch, we will visit the Israel Museum. Here an impressive model of Jerusalem in the first century provides a helpful introduction to the rest of our time in this holy city. The Israel Museum is also the home of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an extensive Judaica collection, and impressive works of classical and modern art. After the museum, we will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Led by an expert local Jewish guide, we will visit the ruins of the ancient Temple built first by Solomon, rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah, expanded by Herod the Great, and destroyed by Rome in 70 CE. In some areas, you are encountering the Temple exactly as it existed in the first century. Today the Temple complex is revered as the third holiest site in Islam as the place where Mohammed began his night journey to heaven. The Dome of the Rock is one of the oldest examples of Muslim architecture. After our time on the Temple Mount, we will visit the Western Wall where Jews still gather to pray. After lunch we will tour the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Return to your Jerusalem hotel for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Begin the day with a visit the site of Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan where pilgrims wishing to do so can renew their own baptismal vows. Our group will travel to the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, built by Herod the Great. After touring Masada, experience the ruins of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. End the day with a relaxing bob in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Begin the day atop the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem’s old city. We will walk down the Palm Sunday Road, pausing to reflect on important moments in Jesus’ ministry, concluding at the Garden of Gethsemane. We continue to remember the events of Holy Week as we walk the Via Dolorosa, updated with prayers from modern Palestinian Christians. The walk ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. In the late afternoon, we transfer to the city of Nazareth for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Enjoy and “off the beaten path” tour of the Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation, commemorating the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary. Visit the historic Synagogue Church and the White Mosque. In the afternoon, visit the Mar Elias Educational Institute in Ibillin, dedicated to educating Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze youth in the ways of peace. Meet with students who are eager to practice their English language skills. Return to Nazareth for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Today we explore Jesus’ adult ministry in Galilee led by a Palestinian Christian guide. Highlights include the Mount of Beatitudes, the churches at Tabgha, the ruins of Capernaum (home of Simon Peter), a lunch of “St. Peter’s Fish,” a museum with a 2,000 year-old boat, and a sunset boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Return to Nazareth for final celebratory group dinner and overnight accommodations.
Today your group will transfer from Nazareth to Tel Aviv by motorcoach for your return flight to Austin.
Hope Austin Extensions
Experience the treasures of Jordan on this exciting private tour of the ancient sites of Petra, Jerash, Madaba, and Mt. Nebo.
On March 12, when the main group departs for the airport, you will travel from from Nazareth to Jordan. Your English speaking guide will meet you at the border and accompany you for the duration of your time in Jordan. En route to Petra, visit the Roman ruins at Jerash. These magnificent ruins are some of the best-preserved outside of Europe. You’ll enjoy a guided tour including the stadium, two theaters, a colonnaded plaza, and more. End the day just outside the gates of Petra with dinner and overnight accommodations.
On March 13, you have a full day for exploring Petra with your guide. This UNESCO World Heritage site is often called one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The city was carved into the canyon walls by the Nabateans in the first centuries BC and AD and served as an important desert trading post. Today visitors can explore over 2,600 acres of buildings, paths, mountaintops, and caves. After a full day in Petra, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight accommodations.
In the morning of March 14, transfer back to Tel Aviv, stopping enroute at Mt. Nebo (traditional place where Moses viewed the Promised Land) and Madaba. Madaba is known for its 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land and the mosaic-rich Church of the Virgin Mary. Arrive in Tel Aviv for dinner and accommodations.
On March 15, transfer to Ben Gurion international airport for your return flight to the USA.
Estimated cost: $975/person (double occupancy)*
This excursion includes transportation between Israel and Jordan and throughout Jordan; overnight accommodations in Petra and Tel Aviv (double occupancy); meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 dinners; entrance fees; licensed guides; border assistance and border fees. Does not include additional meals, beverages, or tips. Single supplement is $220.
*$975/person (double occupancy) for 8+ travelers. With fewer than 8 participants, the cost increases to $1075/person. Final price will be updated in April 2021.
The total cost for this pilgrimage will be announced in April 2021 after airfare from Austin has been contracted. Price will include round-trip airfare from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Other departure cities available upon request and may include a fare increase.
|Round-trip Airfare||All Meals, Including Lunches||Ground Transportation|
|First Class Hotels||Entrance Fees + Local Guides||Pre-trip Educational Resources|
|Gratuity for Drivers and Guides||Hotel Baggage Transfers||Ordained Spiritual Guide|
Single occupancy is available upon request for a surcharge.
A $500/person deposit is due at time of registration, payable online via PayPal or credit card. Full payment is due by December 31, 2021. Participants will be invoiced for the balance due which may be paid by check, ACH, or credit card. Credit card payments of the remaining balance will incur a 3% fee.
Terms and Conditions
Please read the complete Terms and Conditions online. ENROLLMENT IN AND PAYMENT FOR THE TOUR CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONDITIONS AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY.