The Itinerary for our Clergy – “FAM” 10 Day Biblical Israel Tour (with Cairo-Luxor, Egypt 4 Day Option)
February 18-27, 2019
All Inclusive Price for this FAM Tour (“Familiarization Tour for Clergy): $1,495 for full time/active pastors from JFK, NY, $1,795 for pastor’s spouses. $1,495 for the optional Egypt tour; $1,795 for pastor’s spouses. (Note: Sorry, but this tour is now sold out/closed. Please consider another tour with us!).
Registration Details for this Israel Tour
On-Line Registration Form
(Note: Sorry, but this tour is now sold out/closed. Please consider another tour with us!).
Price of this Israel Tour includes: $590 US & Intl. departure taxes/fuel & $145 gratuities, all hotels, 2 meals daily, all entry fees, and gratuities. Total price is $1,495 from JFK, NY (additional departure cites available upon request) and $1,795 for pastor’s spouse. The cost of the Egypt optional extension is also $1,495 for pastors and $1,795 for pastor’s spouse. This includes all flights, Egyptian visa, hotels, 2 meals, all entry fees, and gratuities as well). Sign-up deadline: December 18, 2018.
This is a very thorough 10 Day Israel Tour. We first travel to the north, seeing both OT and NT sites related to Jesus. We then uniquely travel south through the Samaritan Hill Country to the Judea Desert and the Dead Sea area. We end in Jerusalem, saving the best to last. The optional trip extension for this trip is a 4 day tour to Egypt. This option includes Luxor & Cairo.
A kind note to all pastors/clergy:
This Clergy Familiarization – FAM trip is designed with you in mind. Our travel agents (imagine Tours & Travel or iTT) have negotiated special discounted, introductory rates to allow you to visit and experience your destination at a significantly lower price before leading your own group. The discounted rates are subsidized by iTT and their overseas partners. FAM trips are offered exclusively to ordained clergy and educators who are interested in hosting a future group tour.
One of the greatest challenges in ministry is to provide meaningful and interesting Christian education for adults. The hunger for Biblical knowledge and understanding, as well as a desire to better understand Christian theology and history, is frequently requested by lay people. One of the best ways to meet this need is to travel to the areas of the world where Christianity developed. Through a biblical tour, travelers get to visit the spiritual sites in Israel, all while receiving an immense understanding of our Christian faith. Before taking your church members to these biblical sites in Israel, why not go there yourself and learn methods and techniques for effective travel leadership, as well as gain first-hand knowledge of the sites to prepare for providing a quality educational tour for your church members? This is what the FAM trips are all about. For a very reasonable cost, you can travel and learn along with other clergy. You will benefit from a deeper understanding of the scriptures, a time of spiritual renewal and development, warm fellowship, and a lifetime of memories.
Our FAM trips are…
• Full tours are designed to help pastors and educators experience a tour and imagine’s quality of service, to receive personal coaching and teaching from Dr. DeLancey, to meet our excellent guides, to check out the accommodations, and to visit the various sites.
• For those intending to host a group on their own or join along and co-lead with Dr. DeLancey on one of his upcoming trips. Kindly know and respect that these trips are not just to be a “cheap trip” to Israel.
• An investment by iTT and its overseas partners to help you promote a tour to your group, with first-hand experience of the destination and imagine’s quality of service.
• Reimbursable, when you return with a group of your own, iTT will provide you with a partial reimbursement cost for your trip, usually excludes air taxes, fees & gratuities.
• Often considered continual education and many churches will pay the fees associated with your trip back to you, as they see the value the trip offers to you the pastor, group organizer.
• Not a vacation, even though we do want you to be fully energized after experiencing one of our trips. Our FAM trips are full programs to ensure that we show you as much as possible of the country you’re visiting in a short amount of time.
The Israel Tour Itinerary:
DAY 1 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18: DEPART U.S.A.
Tour members meet for our evening flight. After dinner is served, sit back and relax, enjoying the on-board entertainment as you prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime.
DAY 2 – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19: TEL AVIV, JAFFA, NETANYA
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, we meet our local Israeli representative who assists us with baggage and transfers us to our motor coach. We take a short drive to our hotel in Netanya for dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. On the way, we make a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories (Jonah 1, Acts 9 & 10).
DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS
After an abundant breakfast buffet, we journey north along the coast to Caesarea, built 2000 years ago by King Herod. We walk through the ancient theater, the Crusader city and the fantastic aqueduct that served as a back drop for the book of Acts. From here we depart to Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18), site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Then we proceed to Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kings 9:15; Rev. 16:16). Across the Jezreel Valley is the precipice of Nazareth (Luke 1 and 4). We end our day here as we are introduced to the life and ministry of Jesus in this area. Driving through Cana (John 2), we finally arrive at the outskirts of Tiberias (John 6:23). We arrive at our “kibbutz-hotel” located right on the Sea of Galilee shoreline. After dinner, we enjoy sitting together for a time of fellowship and worship.
DAY 4 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21: ARBEL, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, MAGDALA, CAPERNAUM, CHORAZIM, BETHSAIDA, MT. OF BEATITUDES
We begin the day by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. We will have the option to hike to the top of this 800-foot cliff (the bus will take others to the top from the other side). The view from the top is the best there is of the whole Sea of Galilee below! From here we will enjoy about an hour-long boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We will read the storm narratives (Mark 4, Matthew 14) about Jesus calming the wind and waves. We will also enjoy a time of worship and reflection. Next, we visit Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. Here we will see a 1st century synagogue where Jesus no doubt taught. After lunch, we visit Capernaum, the home center of ministry for Jesus here in Galilee. Here we read about the many stories related to the ministry of Jesus in the 4th-5th century synagogue. We also spend some reflection time on the shoreline. It was in this area where Jesus called His first disciples. Next we visit Chorazim. Here will will see a 3rd century synagogue made from basaltic stones. We will read from Matthew 23 about the “Moses Seat” that was found here. Following Chorazim, we drive to the NE corner of the Sea of Galilee where we are able to see the area of Bethsaida and the location where the Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6) took place. Conditions permitting, we will actually try and visit the new excavation of El Araj, possibly Bethsaida! We end the day by reading from Matthew 5 on the Mount of Beatitudes. We then provide the opportunity to walk down the pathway, recollecting the transforming words of Jesus shared in this place. We return to our hotel for dinner and an optional gathering once again by the water.
DAY 5 – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22: BETH SHEAN, SHILOH, JERICHO
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley to the site of Beth Shean (1 Sam. 31), an impressive Roman city of the Decapolis. Driving south along the Jordan Valley and then turning west into the area of Samaria, we visit the rather new excavation of Shiloh. This is where the Tabernacle once stood. Here we see impressive archaeological ruins dating to the days of Samuel. Driving past Bethel (Gen. 12, 28) and through the Desert of Pareth (Jeremiah 13), our next stop is Jericho. After a late lunch here (not included), we climb the tel (ancient mound) to see portions of the fortification wall that supported the mud-brick walls that “came tumblin’ down” (Joshua 6). We end the day by driving south along the western shore of the Dead Sea to our hotel. We have dinner together and a free evening.
DAY 6– SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, WILDERNESS OF JUDAH
Prior to breakfast, we enjoy a “float” in the Dead Sea. Following a later breakfast, we begin driving northward to Masada. Here we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. We survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. An optional walk down the snake path will be offered. Our next stop will be Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. We will enjoy a walk back to the waterfalls, hopefully seeing ibex and cooneys along the way. Finally, we visit Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here we ascend 4,000 feet towards Jerusalem. As time permits, we will make a quick stop to enjoy an overview of the Wadi Qelt and the Judean Wilderness and hear the words of Isaiah 40 and Psalm 23 shared in the context of this desolate area! We travel the rest of the way to Jerusalem for dinner and our first optional walk to the Western Wall.
DAY 7– SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24: MT. OF OLIVES, OLD CITY, POOL OF BETHESDA, VIA DOLOROSA, SHORASHIM, ISRAEL MUSEUM
We get our first glimpse of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, beholding a breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. We walk down the “Palm Sunday” route to the Garden of Gethsemane. Next, we enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Lion’s Gate (St. Stephens) and visit the Pool of Bethesda (John 5). We will also enjoy some marvelous singing in St. Anne’s church from the Crusader period. Our walk continues along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (built in 325 AD). We will eat lunch near by (not included). In the afternoon, we walk to the Jewish Quarter and visit with Moshe, an Orthodox Jew. He will share about his Jewish faith and practice. We end the day at the Israel Museum. Here we will see the fascinating Israel Museum and the model of Jerusalem (1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time). We will also walk through the Shrine of the Book to see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well explore some of the highlight artifacts in the archaeological museum. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25: OLD CITY, WESTERN WALL TUNNEL, JEWISH QUARTER, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM, SHEPHELAH – QEIYAFA & ELAH VALLEY, BETH SHEMESH and/or GEZER
We begin the day by entering the Old City through the Dung Gate. We visit the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the most holy place in Judaism. After some time for personal prayer and reflection, we walk 400 yards along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount itself. Upon completing this unique walk, we will drive south of Jerusalem to Herodium. This was yet another palace-fortress of Herod the Great. It was here where Herod was buried in 4 BC. Next, we visit the Shepherds’ Fields outside of Bethlehem. We will enter a cave and consider the redemptive plan of God in sending Jesus. We’ll sing a few Christmas carols too! Entering Bethlehem, we will stop at an olive wood factory and store. In the afternoon we will drive a little west to the Shephelah (Lowlands) of Judah to visit Kh. Qeiyafa and the Elah Valley. Qeiyafa is a relatively new excavation dating to the time of David. It was in the valley where David defeated Goliath (1 Samuel 17). If time permits, we will also visit either Beth Shemesh and/or Gezer, two other Old Testament sites (see I Samuel 6 and I Kings 9). We drive back to Jerusalem to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26: CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, DRAINAGE CHANNEL, SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS, A FEW FREE HOURS, GARDEN TOMB
We begin the day by visiting the City of David and the amazing new excavations here, including David’s palace. Those who want to will take an optional adventurous walk through the water of Hezekiah’s Tunnel(1,720 feet long). We will then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. From here, we will walk up through a newly exposed drainage channel that will take us to “Robinson’s Arch” and the southern wall excavations. We will walk on a Roman street and ascend the Temple steps. After lunch in the Jewish Quarter, we will enjoy a few hours of free time for shopping and exploring. We end the day at the Garden Tomb where we will enjoy a quiet Communion service together. Returning to our hotel to freshen up, we will enjoy our Farewell Dinner. Following dinner, those not going to Egypt will board the bus and transfer to the Ben Gurion Airport for our night flight home. For those doing the Egypt extension, you will return to the hotel for one more overnight here in Jerusalem.
DAY 10 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27: U.S.A.
We arrive back in the U.S.A. after a life-changing “journey of a lifetime,” with our faith inspired in Jesus Christ!
4 DAY OPTIONAL EGYPT TOUR EXTENSION:
DAY 10 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27: JERUSALEM, TEL AVIV FOR FLIGHT TO CAIRO, FLIGHT TO LUXOR, KARNAK
We depart Jerusalem and continue to Ben Gurion Airport for our short flight to Cairo. Upon arrival, we meet our Egyptian representative and tour guide. We then change planes for a short flight to Luxor, which is often referred to as the “Heart of Egypt.” We arrive mid-afternoon and begin our sightseeing tour of classical Luxor, the East Bank, which includes Karnak and Luxor Temples. Dinner and overnight are in Luxor.
DAY 11 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28: LUXOR/VALLEY OF KINGS & QUEENS, FLIGHT TO CAIRO, EGYPTIAN MUSEUM
After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing of the West Bank to see the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Deir El Bahari Hatshepsut Temple and Colossei of Memnon. We enjoy an included lunch at Sonesta Luxor Hotel. We then continue to the Luxor Airport for our return flight to Cairo. Our sightseeing tour begins with a visit to the world famous Egyptian Museum and then a brief visit to the area that contains the treasures of King Tutankhamen. Dinner and overnight are in Cairo.
DAY 12 – FRIDAY, MARCH 1: CAIRO, PYRAMIDS & SPHINX, MEMPHIS & SAKKARA
Following breakfast, we begin our sightseeing with a visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Our sightseeing includes the Citadel and Mohammed Ali-Mosque, called the Alabaster Mosque. There we see a beautiful view of Cairo and the Nile River, the historical dwellings and mosques. Then we continue to Old Cairo to see the Coptic Churches, the site of where Joseph and Mary fled from Herod with the baby Jesus. Next, we continue to see the Alabaster Sphinx, and the statue of Ramses II. If time permits, we’ll include a visit to the Necropolis of Sakkara, containing the funerary monuments from various periods of Egyptian history. We view the Step Pyramid of King Zoser and several mastabas (tombs of nobles), including the tombs of Ti and Ptah, some of the most notable excavations of Egypt. Dinner and overnight are in Cairo.
DAY 13 – SATURDAY, MARCH 2: DEPART CAIRO / ARRIVE BACK IN THE U.S.A.
We transfer early morning to Cairo International airport for our flight home. At the close of an unforgettable tour, we now treasure memories of the Old and New Testament, ancient history and, a renewal of our faith. We’ll have a greater perspective on historicity and truth of God’s Word!
This is a 1:50 scale-model of Jerusalem. It represents what Jerusalem looked like in 70 AD. It is displayed at the Israel Museum. Prior to this, it was at the Holyland Hotel. The model was built through the means of archaeological discoveries and historical (e.g. Mishnah, Josephus, etc…) resources.