11 days for $2100*
from Portland, OR

Salem First Church of the Nazarene Study Tour to Israel

February 20 – March 2, 2006 • Hosted by Pastor Dave & Gerri McGarrah

Includes airfare, great hotels, transfers & more!

Map of Israel Israel is known the world over as The Holy Land. Everywhere you go in this amazing country, you will find yourself walking in the exact places where the events of the Bible unfolded. There is hardly a visitor who has not been moved deeply and personally by the experience of visiting this fascinating and ancient land. Join Pastor Dave & Gerri McGarrah on a very special tour to Israel. If you've been there before and have hoped for a different kind of experience—one that takes you to new places you've never seen, allows you the time to linger and savor favorite places you've come to love, offers you the opportunity to dialogue with other like-minded travelers—this is one tour you won't want to miss. While it isn't a trip for everyone, if you are physically able to walk and climb stairs, are flexible and open to new experiences, we would love to have you join our very special group.

Detailed Itinerary

Monday, February 20: USA/Israel. Departure on the first leg of our overnight trip to Israel. Aloft, we will have dinner, a little sleep time,breakfast, and the opportunity to praise the Lord for His great creation from the vantage point of 35,000 feet!

Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel   © IMOT
Tuesday, February 21: Tel Aviv. We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where we are met by our guide. We'll pass through customs and then board our touring coach and head north, toward Haifa. Dinner and overnight at the Dan Panorama Hotel, Haifa. Dinner provided.

Wednesday, February 22: Mt. Carmel, Sepphoris, Nazareth & Tiberias. This morning, we awake within moments of Mt. Carmel. We begin our tour on the Mount at Mukhraka, the place where Elijah defeated the priests of Ba'al.

Fortress at Sepphoris
Fortress at Sepphoris   © my-holyland.com
We'll continue to Sepphoris. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus described Sepphoris as the "ornament of all Galilee," suggesting that this small city was beautifully laid out and rebuilt under Herod Antipas. Josephus also claims that Sepphoris was the "strongest city in Galilee," and since it was built on a hill, it was visible for miles. This may be the city that Jesus spoke of when he said, "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Nazareth, Israel After our tour, we'll drive to Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus. Modern Nazareth is a busy city with a population of approximately 70,000 people. For nearly 2,000 years hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have found their way to the setting which shaped the Man who changed the course of history. Nazareth Village is located on the last remaining tract of virgin farmland, just 500 meters away from where he grew up. Here we'll have an opportunity to experience life as it must have been during the time of Jesus. Later we'll drive to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. Kibbutz Nof Ginossar, Tiberias. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Mt. of Beatitudes
Mt. of Beatitudes   © my-holyland.com
Thursday, February 23: Mt. of Beatitudes & Capernaum. After breakfast we'll drive to the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, to the place where the land rises from 700 feet below sea level to more than 200 feet above sea level in a conical shape that forms a natural amphitheater. This place, known as the Mt. of Beatitudes, has traditionally been identified as the hillside where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and it's here where we'll spend time to pray and reflect.

Ancient Synagogue at Capernaum
Ancient Synagogue at Capernaum   © Doron Horowitz
Later, we'll walk down to Capernaum, one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith. one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith. Though Jesus grew up in Nazareth, he chose to move His teaching and healing ministry to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, primarily in the village of Capernaum on the shores of the Sea. In this village, Jesus attended synagogue and performed many miracles such as the cure of the man possessed by an evil spirit (Mark 1:23-26); the cure of Peter's mother in law, (Mark 1:29-31); and taking the money for taxes from the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:24). Jesus frequented the village so much that Matthew 9:1 calls it His "own town".

Galilee Boat We'll continue to Kibbutz Nof Ginossar, our home base in the Galilee, where we'll see the first century "Jesus Boat", found by members of Kibbutz Nof Ginossar after a drought in 1985 caused the water level in the Sea of Galilee to fall lower than usual, exposing the remains of an ancient boat. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Baptism at Yardenit
Baptism at Yardenit   © www.yardenit.com
Friday, February 24: Gadera & Baptism. Today we'll explore the area of the ancient city of Gadera, including the hot springs site at Hamat Gader. Gadera was one of the Greek Decapolis cities, and at Hamat Gader, we'll see remains of bath houses, a Roman theater and a 4th century synagogue and learn about the importance of this site as a gathering place for people, even at the time of Christ. Later this afternoon we'll drive to Yardenit, a special site on the Jordan River, for a Baptism service for those who wish. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Ruins at Beit She'an, Israel Saturday, February 25: Beit She'an, Jericho & Jerusalem. Depart from Tiberias and drive north to Beit She'an where we'll discover some of Israel's most spectacular archaeological finds. The site features a large amphitheater (with a capacity of about 7,000), a Byzantine era colonnaded street, ritual baths, a pottery workshop, a basilica, a Roman temple and much more. It was on the walls of Beit Shean that the Philistines hanged the bodies of King Saul and his sons after the crushing defeat on Mt. Gilboa. Continue to Jericho where we'll enjoy a magnificent view of the Jordan Valley and Mt. Nebo, and then, begin the drive up the Jerusalem, highlight of our tour. Grand Court Hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem
Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem   © Willem Proos
Sunday, February 26: Jerusalem. A full day to explore Jerusalem begins this morning at Mt. Zion, in the southern part of the Old City. The mountain was not included in the area surrounded by Jerusalem's Walls, but is nevertheless an integral part of the Old City. Here we find the traditional tomb of King David as well as the "Upper Room", site of the Last Supper. We'll continue to the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque, and the Davidson Center to explore the southern wall excavations. Continue to the Mt. of Olives and later, return to the Old City. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Monday, February 27: Shiloh, Mt. Ebal & Mt. Gerazim. It was at Shilo that the Tabernacle existed for 369 years; where Hana cried out her famous prayer for a child; where Samuel the Prophet heard the word of God; where the smell of incense hung in the air even in the days of the Second Temple. According to the Talmud, the smell of the incense, which represents hesed (acts of kindness), remained in the air in Shilo long after it had vanished from Jerusalem, even though chronologically the burning of incense ended in Shilo far earlier than Jerusalem. We'll visit the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, a full-scale replica of the biblical tabernacle, for a tour, teaching and authentic biblical meal. Later we'll visit Shechem, located between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal . Shechem is preeminent in the biblical record, beginning with God's promise of the land to Abraham. Later Jacob would return here with his family and settle shortly. During the Conquest, the twelve tribes gathered on these two hills to recite God's Law and the blessings and curses that accompanied obedience and disobedience. Return to Jerusalem in the early evening. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Hebron Old City & Settlement Tuesday, February 28: Hebron, Bethlehem & Bethany. Conditions permitting, today we'll visit Hebron, one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world. Its Arabic name, Khalil al-Rahman, means 'The Friend of God'. Hebron is closely identified with Abraham and is regarded as holy by Christians, Muslims, and Jews. According to tradition, Abraham pitched his tent in Hebron's plain of Mamre. When his wife Sarah died, Abraham bought the cave of Machpela from Ephron the Hittite and buried her there. Located in the center of Hebron, the Tomb of the Patriarchs became the tomb of the patriarchs and their wives. Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Leah, and Jacob, were all buried there. We'll continue to Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus as well as David, place where Rachel was buried and the setting for the story of Ruth. Proceed to Bethany, on the Eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, oft en visited by Jesus and the place where He stayed with His friends the last week before his crucifixion. It was also here that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. We'll end our day with a private communion service at the Garden Tomb before returning to our hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Jaffa port, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa port, Tel Aviv, Israel   © IMOT
Wednesday, March 1: Tel Aviv/Frankfurt. We'll say a reluctant goodbye to Jerusalem as we head for Caesarea, where new excavations have made this site a must-see, even for repeat visitors. Time permitting, drive to Jaffa for a stroll around the ancient waterfront, then drive to Ben Gurion Airport to check in for the first leg of our return trip to the USA. Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel for overnight. Hotel TBA. Breakfast provided.

Thursday, March 2: Frankfurt/Portland. Transfer to the airport for our continuing flight to Portland, arriving later today.

Destination FAQs

Included Features

• Flights from Portland via Lufthansa/United Airlines

• Accommodations in First Class Hotels, in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities

• Lavish buffet breakfast and table d'hote dinner daily plus 2 lunches

• Transfers and touring are provided by modern, air-conditioned touring coaches, including all entrance fees to places visited in the itinerary

Israel Tour Prices

From Portland: $2100
Single Occupancy: $360
Personal Tips: $64 (not included)
Airline taxes, fuel surcharges & airport fees: $295 (not included)


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 additional information, please contact:

Pastor Dave & Gerri McGarrah
Salem First Church of the Nazarene
1550 Market St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
Tel: 503-581-3680
Fax: 503-375-2621