9 days for $2770*
from Minneapolis (MSP)
12 days for $3256*
from San Francisco (SFO)

International Disciple Training Study Tour to Israel

January 2–10, 2009 • Hosted by Dr. Dale & Tara Pederson-McDonnell & Dr. Gale Struthers

Includes airfare, great hotels, transfers and more!

Map of Israel We happily invite you to consider joining us on this wonderful journey. We’ll experience with great pleasure many of the delights of the fascinating land of Israel. In addition, we’ll encounter numerous ancient Biblical sites in ways that will make the Bible come alive like never before.

The educational and spiritual components of this tour will be exceptional. In addition to the insights from our licensed Israeli guide, we and our tour co-hosts will personally be providing resources, teaching, and spiritual insights to make this an outstanding experience for all. As educators, we know that people learn the most when they are enjoying the experience, so you can rest assured that we are going to have a blast! And while the value of experiencing Israel is considered priceless, when you examine all that is included in our tour, you’ll easily see that the price you pay represents very high value for money, even in these days of a weak U.S dollar.

Please accept this as your personal invitation to be a part of this awesome experience. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Dale and Tara Pederson-McDonnell,
Dr. Gale Struthers
Tour hosts

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Friday, Jan 2: Depart USA. Depart on our overnight flight to Israel. Aloft, we will have dinner, time to sleep, breakfast, and the opportunity to praise the Lord for His beautiful creation from the vantage point of 35,000 feet!

Day 2, Saturday, Jan 3: Arrive Tel Aviv, Israel. After arriving at Ben Gurion airport, we begin our Biblical journey in the ancient port city of Jaffa (Joppa), significant in several Old and New Testament accounts. Then, proceed to the Sheraton Moriah Hotel in Tel Aviv for some time to relax and enjoy our first Israeli dinner. Sheraton Moriah Dinner provided..

Aqueduct at Caesarea, Israel Day 3, Sunday, Jan 4: Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Tel Megiddo, Nazareth, Tiberias. This is a huge day in our tour, beginning with a moving presentation at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. We then journey north along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, significant in numerous accounts in the book of Acts. We then travel to Tel Megiddo, overlooking the Valley of Armageddon, and Mt. Carmel, the site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. As our day closes we drive through Nazareth and Tiberias, arriving at our Kibbutz hotel, Nof Ginosar, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, for dinner and overnight. There will be a brief time of reflection and worship after dinner. Nof Ginosar. Breakfast & dinner provided..

Ancient Synagogue at Capernaum
Ancient Synagogue at Capernaum ©Doron Horowitz
Day 4, Monday, Jan 5: Mt. Beatitudes, Mt. Hermon, Banias, Golan Heights, Capernaum, Galilee. Today we start the day early at the Mount of Beatitudes, the location of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Continue north to Mount Hermon and the fascinating ancient sites of Dan and Caesarea Philippi (Banias). We return south through the Golan Heights, back to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus caused the miraculous catch of fish and restored Peter as recorded in John 21. We visit the sites at the ruins of Capernaum, and then take a boat ride on Sea of Galilee back to Nof Ginosar, where we’ll see an authentic Sea of Galilee first century fishing boat before enjoying dinner and a night of rest. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 5, Tuesday, Jan 6: Beit She’an, Qumran, Dead Sea. Our day opens on the Jordan River where members of our group have the opportunity to be baptized. On to Beit She'an and Qumran, the location of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, arriving early at the Daniel Hotel on the Dead Sea in time for leisure and dinner. Daniel Dead Sea Breakfast & dinner provided..

Qumran, site of Dead Sea Scrolls

Day 6, Wednesday, Jan 7: Masada and Jerusalem. Our day begins on top of the fortress of Masada, where Jewish zealots made their last stand against Rome in A.D. 73. We continue along the shore of the Dead Sea to Ein Gedi, where those who wish may hike through a beautiful nature reserve to David’s waterfall. We then ascend to the holy city, Jerusalem, where we’ll follow the path of Christ from the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane. Dan Panorama (B, D)

Western Wall Plaza
Western Wall Plaza ©Willem Proos
Day 7, Thursday, Jan 8: Old City, Jerusalem. Our morning will focus on sites in the old city of Jerusalem, including the southern temple steps in the archaeological park and the hidden rabbinic tunnels behind the Western Wall. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the Shepherds’ fields in nearby Beit Sahour. Here we’ll visit a wonderful olive wood and gift store, operated by a co-op of Palestinian Christian families. (B, D)

Zion Square, Jerusalem
Zion Square, Jerusalem ©IMOT
Day 8, Friday, Jan 9: Jerusalem. Our morning will take us to the Holocaust Memorial Museum at Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, and other sites in Jerusalem’s new city. We return to the old city Christian quarter for lunch, a walk through the Via Dolorosa, and a number of other significant Biblical Jerusalem sites. Members of the tour who would like to, may be able to join our guide for a Shabbat service at his local synagogue and even join Israeli families from the synagogue for Shabbat dinner in their homes. Dinner will be served in our hotel as well. Breakfast & dinner provided..

Day 9, Saturday, Jan 10: Depart Israel. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport and board your return flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.

Eilat Extension (Available from SFO only)

Parasailing On the Red Sea  © IMOT - Albatros
Parasailing On the Red Sea ©IMOT - Albatros
Israel's wonderful Red Sea resort of Eilat is only a one hour flight from Tel Aviv. But you may as well be a whole world away. Here, at the southern tip of Israel, you'll enjoy the warm, calm waters of Israel's most popular vacation destination. One of the world's best coral reefs is located here, and you can scuba dive, snorkel, dive with dolphins and even take an evening camel safari into the desert. The lost city of Petra in Jordan is a short drive from Eilat, and during your stay you'll take part in a full day tour to this fascinating red rose city.

Red Sea beach, Eilat, Israel Day 9, Saturday, Jan 10: Eilat. Transfer from your hotel in Jerusalem to the airport for your flight to Eilat. Upon arrival you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure to explore beautiful Eilat, the location of King Solomon’s quarries. Golden Tulip Privilege Breakfast & dinner provided.

Petra Monastery  © FreeStockPhotos.com
Petra Monastery ©FreeStockPhotos.com
Day 10, Sunday, Jan 11: Petra. Early this morning we'll cross into Jordan at the Arava border and drive to the Nabatean capital ofPetra, a secret and mystical city carved more than 2,000 years ago in pink sandstone. After a tour of the ancient city, including a portion on horseback, we return to Eilat for dinner and overnight. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Eilat, Red Sea
Eilat, Red Sea ©IMOT
Day 11, Monday, Jan 12: Eilat/Tel Aviv. Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore Eilat, swim in the Red Sea, visit the Underwater Observatory and see the extensive and magnificent corals and sea life, or simply relax and enjoy the pool at your hotel. This afternoon, transfer to the Eilat airport for departure flight to Tel Aviv. Breakfast provided.

Day 12, Tuesday, Jan 13: Depart Israel. Early this morning, board your return flight to the USA.

Astonishingly beautiful...spiritually rich. Having traveled the world, this by far is the best trip I have ever taken. There is nothing to compare to the magnificence of Israel, I came back a changed person.

Tish Emrich

This trip to Israel was the best thing that ever happened to me apart from my relationship with the Lord and being a mother.

Debbie McGowan

Our trip to Israel was the trip of a lifetime and we received much more in Spiritual blessings than any cost of the trip. Our group was wonderful and we have even more friends than when we started.

Don and Anneliese Miller

Destination FAQs

Study Tour to Israel Included Features

  • Flights from Minneapolis via scheduled Austrian Airlines flights or flights from San Francisco via Delta Airlines
  • Accommodations in Superior Hotels, in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities
  • Lavish buffet breakfast and table d'hote dinner daily
  • Transfers with meeting, assistance, and porterage
  • Touring by modern, air-conditioned touring coaches, including all entrance fees to places visited in the itinerary
  • Professional, English-speaking tour director
  • Eilat Extension (available from SFO only)
  • Eilat Extension, roundtrip flights between Tel Aviv and Eilat, accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily
  • On Eilat Extension, Lost City of Petra day tour

Study Tour to Israel Prices from Minneapolis (MSP)

Twin: $2770
Single Supplement: add $460
U.S. departure taxes: $139
Tips: $88
Travel Insurance: $129* (optional)

Study Tour to Israel with Eilat Extension Prices from San Francisco (SFO)

Twin: $3256
Single Supplement: add $590
U.S. departure taxes: $139
Tips: $123
Travel Insurance: $129* (optional)


Please download the reservation application and fax or mail it to us, together with your $300 per person deposit. Fax to: 215-572-9803. Mail to 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.

Acrobat PDF fileReservation application PDF

For more information, please contact:

Biblical Encounters
1129 Del Vale Ave.
Modesto, CA 95350
Tel: 209.545.1156 or 209.404.9527
Email: tours@biblicalencounters.com

About your tour hosts, Dr. Dale & Tara Pederson-McDonnell

Dale and Tara Pederson Dr. Pederson-McDonnell has been in pastoral ministry for 33 years. For ten years he also served on the faculty at Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, Minnesota. He serves as pastor of First Congregational Church in Salida, California, and is founder and president of Biblical Encounters Foundation, a non-profit ministry designed to lead people into authentic encounters with the lands, the words, and the God of the Bible. In partnership with Friendly Planet Travel he has led numerous study tours to the Bible lands over the past 20 years. His life and ministry partner, Tara, a telecommunications broker, is fully engaged with him in teaching, counseling, and pastoral ministries. Together they love to see the Bible come alive for people and look forward with great anticipation to this incredible Biblical encounter in the land of Israel.

About your tour host, Dr. Gale Struthers

Gale Struthers Dr. Gale Struthers is interim academic dean and instructor of Biblical studies and Hebrew at Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her educational background includes living and studying in Israel at Jerusalem University College.