Depart for Israel
Arrive; you are met by our Kenes representative and guide, and transported to Jerusalem. Stop to view sunset from Mount of Olives and an overview of the City. Dinner and overnight.
Jerusalem – Jewish Quarter. We start at the site of the First Temple at Hezekiah’s wall, which was built to keep out Assyrian invaders but eventually fell during the Babylonian period. Proceed to Cardo, once the main business street during the Byzantine and Medieval times, and now restored. The Herodian, a ‘living museum’ underneath modern buildings, with remnants of fine homes and mosaics from before the time of the destruction of the Temple. The Israel Museum – to the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed, and the Miniature model of the Second Temple. The Bible Lands Museum, with remnants of biblical cultures, and The Burnt House, the remains of the Katros family who lived in Jerusalem prior to her destruction in 70 C.E.
The Tower of David Museum at the Jaffa Gate inside the Citadel. The City of David Fortress and ongoing excavations. Proceed to Davidson Visitor Center to see the virtual interactive model and to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park to see Roman destruction, Robinson’s wall, Hulda where’s Gates Steps, and the Southern Wall. Continue to Church of Holy Sepulcher.
Heading southward toward Massada, the Fortress where a small band of Jews made their last stand during the revolt against the and Romans; stop first at Qumran, sight of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. After exploring the ruins of Massada, refresh ourselves at the Ein Gedi waterfalls prior to viewing ancient synagogue mosaic. Proceed to the Dead Sea and experience weightless floating in the highly saline, mineral rich waters.
Enroute Tel Aviv we stop at Beit Govrin national park to see the excavations of caves that once lay under the Hellenistic community’s homes and the Roman Amphitheater. Tel Maresheh – was fortified by King Rehoboam. Once in Tel Aviv at the Museum of Aretz Israel we see antiquities exhibitions. The museum is by Tel Kasila. In the evening we tour “The White City” – the area of the city filled with early 20th century Bauhaus architecture and atmosphere.
Travel up the Mediterranean Coast from Tel Aviv, stopping at Caesaria to see the amphitheater, Byzantine walls, aqueduct, Crusader city, bird mosaic. Continue to Megiddo, Solomon’s regional capital city, with its model and fortifications, water system, palaces and ancient homes. Then to Beit Shearim, where the Sanhedrin was headquartered to see the catacombs, and then to Acre, the capital of the Crusaders after the fall of Jerusalem. 900 years old – with fortified ramparts, Knights’ Halls, Turkish bath museum, bazaar, and ancient water cistern.
Traveling toward the Sea of Galilee, stop en route at Beit Shean to see the biblical mound where the remains of Saul and his three sons were brought by the Philistines and the capital of the Greco-Roman alliance. Under restoration today, Beit Shean boasts remains of temples, fountains, an amphitheater, and cobbled streets. Continuing on to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, to Tiberius. View the dig from the time of Herod and once the headquarters of the Sanhedrin, the remains of a synagogue, and Mount Berenice, the anchor church. Visit the hot springs of Hamei Tiberius. From here we move on to Capernaum, one of the three evangelical triangle cities, to see Roman Byzantine remains of a synagogue and a church. At Bethsaida we see the excavation of the Roman City from the time of Jesus and remains of the biblical city of Geshur. Last stop is at Korazim the mains of a Talmudic era synagogue and the replica of the original Moses Seat ritual bath and other dwellings.
Start at the biblical city that was the capital of the Northern Kingdom, and see the Abraham Gate, the second oldest arch in the world. Also visit the High Place of Jeroboam by the Dan River. Continue to the Golan Heights to the village of Katzrin, with its reconstructed house and synagogue. From here to the Gamla nature reserve to see the earliest synagogue discovered to date, ramparts, and olive groves. (Today there is also the Gamla winery). Umm El Qanatir, also a Talmudic era town is currently also under excavation with synagogue and other discoveries.
Travel south to the Negev (under construction – to be continued).
*Itinerary is subject to change pending circumstances beyond our control*