Salem Community Tour
to the Holy Land
March 16–29, 2011
Hosted by Pastor Keith Ritter (Oasis Community Church)
& Pastor Greg Hall (Salem First Church of the Nazarene)
Includes airfare, fuel surcharges, great hotels, transfers, most meals, guided touring and more!
Our itinerary is exciting and comprehensive, featuring the most important Biblical sites you came to see plus some special places not usually visited by Christian tour groups.
If you have dreamed of understanding and experiencing more about the origins of our faith and want to visit the land where Jesus walked and ministered, we invite you to join us on this journey of Biblical discovery and spiritual renewal in Israel, Land of the Bible.
Your tour hosts,
Pastor Keith Ritter & Pastor Greg Hall
Itinerary at a Glance
Saturday, March 19: Tel Aviv, Israel. Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Meet your guide who will assist you with customs formalities and escort you to your waiting touring coach. En route to your Tel Aviv hotel, visit Jaffa, ancient seaport and home of Simon the Tanner. Accommodations: Dan Panorama Hotel. Dinner provided.
Sunday, March 20: Caesarea, Megiddo, Nazaerth Village, & Tiberias. After breakfast, drive north along the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea, which King Herod built into the grandest city in Palestine, second only to Jerusalem. View the beautifully restored theater and extensive and ongoing excavations of the ruins of the ancient town, its harbor and aqueduct.
Next, travel inland to Megiddo, Biblical Armageddon, and the inspiration for James Michener's great novel, The Source. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Megiddo's twenty major strata contain the remains of around 30 different cities and holds a central place in the biblical narrative.
On to Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus. For nearly 2,000 years, untold numbers 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 take a tour of the village and experience life as it must have been during the time of Jesus. Then on to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Kibbutz Guest House Breakfast & dinner provided.
Monday, March 21: Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes & Golan Heights. After breakfast we'll visit the first century "Jesus boat, and then set sail on the Sea of Galilee aboard a wooden fishing boat built to represent vessels used during Bible times. Arrive at Capernaum, once a simple fishing village, where Jesus was often a guest of his disciple Peter, and where it is said He performed many miracles. Visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue and house of Peter, then continue to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount.
Ascend the Golan Heights by jeep and visit the former Syrian military fortifications. Then drive along the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee to Kursi, where Christian tradition relates that Jesus cast out the demons from the man of Gedara. We complete the day at Yardenit for a special Baptism service in the Jordan River. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Tuesday, March 22: Jordan Valley, Beit She'an, Dead Sea. Drive south via the Jordan Valley to Beit She'an, an extraordinary excavation of an ancient Greco-Roman city. Located some 30 km. south of the Sea of Galilee, Beit She'an was one of the major cities in the land of Israel, due primarily to its location at the intersection of the road to Jerusalem and the road to Transjordan. Then drive to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by two Bedouin cousins in 1947.
The discovery of the Scrolls represented a turning point in the study of Jewish and early Christian history, and in 1954, the first seven scrolls were returned to Israel to be housed at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. Later, drive to your Dead Sea resort hotel where there will be time to enjoy the wonderful facilities, including a complete spa and an opportunity to float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Accommodations: Daniel Hotel Dead Sea. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Wednesday, March 23: Dead Sea, Masada, & Ein Gedi. Ascend by cable car this morning to experience the historic fortress of Masada where, after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., Jewish resistance continued against Rome. When the Romans completed an assault ramp to the top of Masada and stormed the fortress, they found only dead bodies. Rather than fall into the hands of the Romans and live as slaves, the Zealots died by their own means.
After a tour of the extensive excavations at Masada, continue to Ein Gedi, David's waterfall and a wonderful nature center. Later this afternoon, drive up to Jerusalem, highlight of your tour and check-in at the hotel. Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Hotel Jerusalem. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Thursday, March 24: New City of Jerusalem. Today, visit the new city of Jerusalem, outside the walls, including the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, and the Memorial to the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. Later, visit the Model of the city during the Second Temple period. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Friday, March 25: Old City of Jerusalem. A full day of sightseeing in Jerusalem includes the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Kidron Valley and the Garden of Gethsemane. Continue to the Old City within the walls, including the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (possible site of the crucifixion and resurrection). We'll explore the restored Jewish Quarter, the Rabbinic Tunnels under the Wall, and the Temple Site on Mt. Moriah.
We'll visit the Western (Wailing) Wall, also the area around the Wall including the Southern Wall Steps. We'll tour the City of David of ancient times, located on a narrow ridge south of the present-day Old City. On the east it borders the deep Kidron Valley where the Gihon Spring, the city's water source, is located. This area is not so much a museum as it is an archaeological and historical experience. Within the City of David are many ancient archaeological finds including Hezekiah's Tunnel and Warren's Shaft.
Both the tunnel and the shaft were used as defense mechanisms against potential invaders of the city walls. finishing our day with a walk on the ramparts of the Old City walls. Return to our hotel for a special Shabbat dinner. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Saturday, March 26: Old City of Jerusalem/Depart Israel. A full day of sightseeing in Jerusalem. During our walking tour of the city, we'll explore our Christian heritage and its Jewish roots. We will return to the Old City inside the walls. Touring will include a visit to Mt. Zion and worship in the Upper Room, we'll visit David's Tower and museum and enjoy browsing and shopping in the colorful bazaars. We end our day with a special time of worship, reflection and communion at the lovely Garden Tomb. Return to our hotel to pick up our luggage prior to our transfer to Ben Gurion Airport. We'll board our evening return flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.
Sunday, March 27: USA. This afternoon arrive back in the USA.
- Round trip flights Portland to Tel Aviv via US Airways, including all taxes & fuel surcharges (flight schedule)
- 7 nights hotel accomodation (Dan Panorama Tel Aviv 1 night, Maagan Kibbutz Galilee 2 nights, Daniel Hotel Dead Sea 1 night, Crowne Plaza Hotel Jerusalem 3 nights)
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- 6 full days of sightseeing via modern A/C private motor coach
- Baptism in the Jordan River
- Jeep ride in the Golan Heights
- Services of a Government licesned English speaking tour guide on all sightseeing days
- Entrance Fees to sites visited on the itinerary
- Arrival/departure transfers with assistance at Ben Gurion Airport
Tour Price, Fees & Options
Please download the reservation application below and submit it to us with your $300 per person non-refundable deposit. Fax to 215-572-9803 or mail to Friendly Planet Travel, 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.
Reservation application (PDF)
For more information, please contact the tour hosts:
About your tour host, Greg Hall
Greg is a small business owner (www.legacyre.com), Sunday School teacher, and recent seminary graduate from Faith Seminary in Salem, Oregon. He loves traveling to and experiencing authentic Biblical sites.