And Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus
February 13 – 23, 2019

Day 1 ~ February 13, Wednesday – DEPART CANADA

2pm Meet in the Air Canada departure area at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, to check in for your flight. Depart for Tel Aviv on a direct, nonstop Air Canada overnight flight from Toronto at 4:55 pm; meals served en route.

Day 2 ~ February 14, Thursday – WELCOME TO ISRAEL

10:15am Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, clear customs and immigration, and meet your guide. Travel north to visit Caesarea, the Roman capital and port. Here Pontius Pilate had his seat; Cornelius lived and was baptized (Acts 10); Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) and Philip preached (Acts 8:40). Tour the historical site and enjoy an audio visual presentation showing the history of how Caesarea was built and operated as a port city. Continue North, view the Muhraka, the summit of Mt Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal en route to your hotel on the Sea of Galilee. 4 nights: Kinar hotel Sea of Galilee [Dinner]

Day 3 ~ February 15, Friday – GALILEE

Travel to Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home (Luke 2:51), and visit Nazareth Village, describing village life from the time of Jesus; circumstances permitting visit the ancient homes adjacent to the Church of Annunciation. Proceed to Ancient Zippori – Sephorris first mentioned by Josephus Flavius as the most important city in the Galilee, also known as the “glory of the entire Galilee.” Only a few miles away from Nazareth, this was the largest construction project in the Galilee during Jesus’ time in Nazareth. Stop at Mt Arbel for a unique view of the area of Jesus’ ministry, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. Continue to Magdala, the village of Mary Magdalene where you visit the archeological discovery of the very synagogue that Mary would have worshipped in. [Breakfast & dinner]

Day 4 ~ February 16, Saturday – GALILEE – MINISTRY TRIANGLE

Visit the Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered “The Sermon On the Mount” (Matt.5). Continue to Tabgha to visit the Church of the Loaves and the Fish and the Primacy of Peter. Continue along the path of Jesus and the disciples to Kfar Nahum, Capernaum centre of Jesus’ Ministry in the Galilee and site of many of his miracles (Mark 2:4; Matt.8:5; 14-7; 9; 1-7; 17: 18) including the remains of St Peter’s house and the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught and worshipped. Enjoy a ‘Saint Peter’s Fish’ lunch. Then stop to visit the famous ancient boat from Jesus’ time at Ginnosar (Gennasereth) on the Sea of Galilee. Following the tradition of the “fishermen” disciples sail on the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). [Breakfast, lunch & dinner]

Day 5 ~ February 17, Sunday – GALILEE

Start the day in prayer at the unique remains of a fine Byzantine monastery in Kursi, possibly marking the nearby site of the Demonic man and the swine. Travel north along the Jordan Valley en route to ancient Hazor to visit the intriguing biblical site of Joshua and Deborah fame (Joshua 11:10 & Judges 4 & 5), including a level of destruction from Joshua’s day, a series of gates, walls and towers and the ancient water system. Continue to Banias to visit Caesarea Philippi, site of the confession of faith, where Jesus asked, “Who do men say I am?” View Kalat Nimrod, a formidable Moslem and Crusader fortress en route to lunch on the Golan Heights. Travel via the Golan Heights back to the Sea of Galilee. For those up to it, take a mildly challenging walk to Sussita to visit the fascinating excavations of Hippos, one of the cities of the Decapolis. [Breakfast, lunch & dinner]

Day 6 ~ February 18, Monday – GALILEE – DEAD SEA

Follow the pilgrimage route that Jesus and the Galileans took down the Jordan Valley through the homeland of Prophet Elisha, where the desert now blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2). Stop at Qasr El Yahud, on the Jordan River where John baptised Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17). Continue south to visit Qumran, the possible home of the Essenes, where a shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947) in a nearby cave. Drive South to the hotel on the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth (417 meters below sea level). Enjoy the hotel facilities and the unique experience of “floating” in the Dead Sea — you cannot sink! 1 night: Isrotel Ganim Hotel & Spa – Dead Sea [Breakfast & dinner]

Day 7 ~ February 19, Tuesday – DEAD SEA – JERUSALEM

Get an early start visiting Masada, where you tour King Herod the Great’s mountaintop fortress, later the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome, 73 C.E. Continue north to view the oasis at Ein Gedi – famous from David fleeing the wrath of King Saul (1 Sam 24). Then ascend through the Judean Desert, stopping at Wadi Kelt for a unique desert vista; proceed to the Good Samaritan Inn stopping to read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Follow the pilgrimage route that Jesus and the Galileans took through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem. Visit Herodium, a monumental fortress, palace and burial place built by Herod the Great in the Judean desert south of Jerusalem. Continue to Bethlehem, visit the Church of the Nativity, which marks the birthplace of Jesus; view Shepherds Field and shop for olivewood carvings. End the day in Jerusalem the Holy City. 4 nights: Prima Kings hotel – Jerusalem. [Breakfast & dinner]

Day 8 ~ February 20, Wednesday – JERUSALEM – OLD & NEW

Start the day at the Israel Museum to visit the Model of Jerusalem describing the city from the time of Jesus and the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Pay respect to the victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, National Memorial and Museum of the Shoah (Holocaust) including the New Museum and the Children’s Memorial. Explore the fascinating ongoing excavations in David’s City including Warren’s shaft, the Canaanite tunnel and the pool of Siloam. Continue to the Southern Wall Archaeological Park where one can stand on the original ancient steps which Jesus walked on up to the Holy Temple. Proceed to the Western Wall; stop for reflection at the venerated Jewish site. Then walk back in time under the city through the fascinating Western Wall tunnels. [Breakfast & dinner]

Day 9 ~ February 21, Thursday – JERUSALEM – OLD CITY

Start this powerful day on the Mount of Olives for a wonderful view of the Old and New Cities. Following the route of Palm Sunday, walk down to Gethsemane to visit the church marking the site of the betrayal of Jesus and spend some time in an adjacent Olive Grove with time for prayer and reflection. Continue across the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the Kidron valley), enter the Old City through St Stephen’s (the Lions) Gate and stop at the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic man. Enjoy the stellar acoustics of St Anne’s church. Then walk along the Via Dolorosa – the Stations of the Cross, through the Suk (market) to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Proceed through the ancient alleyways of the Old City via the Cardo (Roman Main Street), the Jewish quarter and Armenian quarter. Exit via Zion Gate to Mt Zion. Stop to visit the Church of the Last Supper, site of the Pentecost above King David’s Tomb. Proceed to St Peter in Gallicantu Church built on the site of Caiaphas’ home, where Jesus was imprisoned and Simon Peter denied Jesus. [Breakfast & dinner]

Day 10 ~ February 22, Friday – JERUSALEM AT LEISURE

Spend the day at leisure in this fascinating city, with time to re-visit the Old City to shop in the bazaars or walk through the new city for shopping along Jaffa Road and Ben Yehuda Street. Visit one of the many Museums that Jerusalem has to offer (modest entrance fee required), or simply relax at the hotel. You might want to go to the Western Wall at sunset to witness the blessing of the Sabbath Bride. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel. [Breakfast & dinner]

Day 11 ~ February 23, Saturday – RETURN TO CANADA

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Canada. Leave Tel Aviv for Toronto at 11:55am, meals served on board. Arrive in Toronto at 4:55pm.