This Journey of Understanding has a slow & extended flexible itinerary with NEW DATES: November 9-22
ITINERARY'S LATEST UPDATE: October 13, 2019.
Nov 12th, Tuesday
Nov 14th, Thursday
Nov 15th, Friday
Nov 16th, Saturday
Nov 17th, Sunday
Nov 18th, Monday
Nov 19th, Tuesday
Nov 20th, Wednesday
Nov 21st, Thursday
Nov 22nd, Friday
Meet up at 12:15pm at BHM airport and leave BHM Saturday at 2:13 pm and fly to Philadelphia, Paris, and finally arrive in Tel Aviv.
Arrive in Tel Aviv 4:40 PM. Gather luggage, exchange some money and take a sharut (shared taxi) to Jerusalem. Check into our AirBnB, hopefully around 7 PM. Kim to run out to the grocery store to get some breakfast items. All/any welcome to tag along. Get a first glimpse of the Old City at night.
Breakfast at 7, walk to Jaffa Gate--get coffee at Aroma!--Rampart's Walk (on top of the Old City walls of Jerusalem) toward Western Wall, Orientation of the city. Lunch in Cardo area, Rabbinical Tunnels. Saint Anne's Church and Pool of Bethesda. Old City shuk shopping on way back to Jaffa Gate. Dinner in Mamilla. Evening walk back to AirBnB.
Breakfast at 7, Taxi bus to the top of Mount of Olives 8 AM. View the city coming awake from the place Yeshua lamented "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem..." walk down the mountain past the Prophets' Tombs and to Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas's house. Late lunch. City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel (tight squeeze water-walk option). Afternoon free time. Panorama Park for sunset over the city. Couple of hours at Succat Hallel for corporate worship and private intercession. Late dinner at First Station.
Outreach Day: Early service project with Netivyah. Hear about their ministry. Walk to shuk to browse and purchase-lunch experience. Options: Home for free afternoon in New City or coffee stop. Walk back into town for shopping on Ben Yahudah street. Dinner at Rimonim in Ben Yahudah area.
Early trip via light rail system and walk to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial 3 hrs. early lunch at the coffee shop on site. Light rail to Damascus Gate and walk to Garden Tomb for 2:15 appointment with time for journaling & contemplation. Considering optional time for tea at American Colony Hotel. Walk back to AirBnB (last minute shopping en route). Host a home dinner with Holocaust survivor.
Temple Institute, Upper Room, David's Tomb, Zion Gate, (option: walk to Caiaphas' House if we didn't get to it yet). Lunch near the Cardo, Free later afternoon in town or at home. [Kim to make trip back to airport to pick up a van and meet you wherever you decide]. Optional: Return to Western Wall to watch the coming of Shabbat in Jerusalem. Dinner at Foccacia. Evening walk home.
Late Shabbat morning sleep in and time of devotion with the Lord. Ready to check out and load up at 10. Drive southeast out of Jerusalem. To Valley of the Shadow of Death/Mount of Temptation for steep hike. Drive toward Negev Desert region. Qumron (Dead Sea Scrolls). Hike Ein Gedi (where David hid from Saul) can get into waterpools and falls; swim suits & towel a plus. Late check into David Dead Sea Resort and Spa Hotel. Dead Sea float. Nice buffet dinner.
Late leisurely morning and breakfast. Masada tour 10-1:30/2. Afternoon free time for shopping for Dead Sea products or another Dead Sea soak. Optional: Kafar Hanokdim camel tour in the desert (3-4 hrs round trip) or homemade spa-day. Bountiful dinner buffet at the hotel. Team meeting (Abraham & the stars promise) on the Dead Sea shore.
Pack the van and enjoy the breakfast buffet. Check out of hotel by 10:00. Begin drive north toward Galilee. Stop at Bet She'an to explore the ancient ruins up close. Coffee stop at Aroma Coffee. Continue around the east side of Sea of Galilee. Look around Kibbutz Ein Gedi. Dinner on kibbutz. Continue north to hostel, Karei Deshe. Check in and explore property by flashlight. Team meeting on the shore. Wade if you want (or try walking on water!).
Breakfast at 7:30. Christian sites day. Mount of Beatitudes, Jesus Boat museum and boat ride on the Galilee, (Optional: St Peter's Primacy spot), Capurnaum, Magdela for tour and contemplation, Jordan River Baptism. Clean up and wander through Tiberias. Stop for dinner. Drive back to Karei Deshe.
Breakfast at 7, load up van by 8. (big driving day). Drive even further north to the border with Syria at Mount Hermon and Mount Bental. (if war appears dangerous at this time we will reschedule this time, plenty of options). Time of intercession on the border, and coffee or lunch depending on time. View volcanoes, Caesarea Phillipi, perhaps explore/climb in "Nimrod's castle." Waterfall stair-hike near Phillipi. Dinner on road home. Early evening for final team meeting on the shore of Galilee. Pack up.
Check out after breakfast packed for airport. Drive past Nazareth to Armogeddon. Stop at site of Elijah's Mount Carmel. Stop for a falafal lunch at a little mom-n-pop place in the town. Continue west toward Port of Caesarea. Sunset at the Roman Aqueducts. Drive toward Tel Aviv. Finale dinner. Possible stop at Simon the Tanner's house if time. Short check in at a little Airbnb to stretch the kinks out for a couple hours. Leave for the airport around 12:30 AM for a 30-minute drive and airport drop off. [Kim returns van around 1 AM Friday and will meet back up].
Airport security lines begin at 1:45 for our 4:50 AM flight home. We'll go through Frankfurt and then arrive home in US, through entry port at Charlotte. Plan to arrive in BHM 4:21 PM. [If we miss our flight with only 1:45 mins to re-enter and re-check our bags, there's another flight out that puts us home later in the evening.]
Stuff you should know before you go
We will be spending almost two glorious weeks in the Land of Israel. Our Jerusalem days are walking tours, so there is no transportation provided except our feet. This helps us connect with the people and land. You may hire a taxi on your own, back to the AirBnB if needed, but we suggest that you start training your body as you train your heart for this trip so you will be able to fully participate in it with your teammates. Trips include accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, entrance to sites. However, lunches, tips, insurance, and souvenirs are on your own.
This trip is closed, but I'd like to apply for another trip now via google forms! or
Download your PDF application to print below. Mail with down payment to:
Ruth Israel Initiative
9 B Chatham Court
Pelham, AL 35124
Flight priced & billed separately, but generally plan on ~$1300-1500 from Atlanta. You may use frequent flier miles or points and meet us in Tel Aviv if you prefer.
$500 down due with application
$1000 due March 1, 2019
Balance due Sept 1, 2019 (~60 days prior to travel).
This trip is personalized and limited to 9 people. Our small "boutique" size allows great access. There is an aspect of spiritual development, prayer activations, spiritual formation exercises, and "Friendship with Jesus" strengthening and deepening that accompany each Ruth Israel Initiative Journey of Understanding Trip at nearly every location stop in the Land, and the Lord usually shakes some things up in our hearts in a beautiful way. If you are not accustomed to journaling or "listening prayer" Seth Barnes book Listening Prayer is another book you'll want to pick up to prepare your heart and skills for listening for God's voice as you interact together in the Holy Land. It is great to hone listening skills in a daily devotional.
In addition, the volume of information available to you while you are in Israel won't sink in unless you have a proper grid of understanding already formed with which to process all that we will experience, so the book Israel Basics is a prerequisite for preparation. And Teplinsky's book Why Still Care About Israel? will really fill out your foundation so that you can get the most out of your time in Israel. See the Resources Page for even further study.
We will offer several team meetings scattered throughout our time together to build friendship as we share what God is doing in our hearts, but you will also have some evenings free to rest or explore on your own. One of our team meetings will take place on the shores of the Sea of Galilee as we listen to the lapping water at night.
Ready to go? Apply via Google forms, download an application from the top of this page, or request an application via email. We also invite your questions!