Tour dates: April 15-25, 2024
Hosted by: Rev Karoline Lewis, Ph.D.
Karoline M. Lewis is the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, where she has taught since 2007.
Lewis is the author of a number of books including: Preaching the Word: Contemporary Approaches to the Bible For The Pulpit; Belonging: Five Keys to Unlocking Your Potential as a Disciple; A Lay Preacher’s Guide: How to Craft a Faithful Sermon; Embody: Five Steps to Leading With Integrity; SHE: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry and John: Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries, as well as numerous articles and book chapters.
Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Lewis holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.A.), Luther Seminary (M.Div.), and Emory University (Ph.D., New Testament Studies and Homiletics). She is the Program Director for the Festival of Homiletics, a contributing writer for Working Preacher, and co-host of the site’s weekly podcast, Sermon Brainwave. Lewis leads conferences, workshops, and retreats internationally on the Gospel of John, the New Testament, interpreting the Bible, preaching, leadership, and women in ministry. This tour will be her fifth time leading a group to the Holy Land.
MON April 15 Depart U.S.
Depart Chicago on the overnight transatlantic flight to Tel Aviv (Meals in-flight)
TUE April 16 Arrive Tel Aviv/Dead Sea
Upon arrival, your guide and driver will be waiting to greet you. Transfer to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. David Tower Dead Sea Resort & Spa (Meals in-flight)
WED April 17 Dead Sea
Awaken to a full day for relaxation, spiritual grounding, and group connection – float in the briny waters of the Dead Sea if you wish. Gather for a welcome dinner this evening. David Tower Dead Sea Resort & Spa (B D)
THU April 18 Dead Sea/Galilee
This morning ride the cable car up to the rocky plateau of Masada where the Zealots held their last resistance against the Roman conquerors. Next, we travel north along the Dead Sea Coast arriving at the Baptismal site of Qasr al Yahud on the Jordan River. From here, we make our way north along the Jordan Valley stopping at Bet Shean to visit one of the country’s largest archaeological sites which includes the amphitheatre, the ancient wall that surrounded the city, public baths, and other well-preserved structures. Finally, before arriving at Tiberias, we will continue to the Wedding Chapel at Cana. Later this afternoon arrive in Tiberias and check in at our hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Ron Beach Hotel (B, D).
FRI April 19 Galilee
We begin the day at Magdala, where contemporary efforts by the Catholic Church have unearthed a fishing village in Jesus’ time – the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. As well as archaeological remains, there is a Women’s Atrium devoted to the women of the Bible and women of faith across all time. Next is the Church of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount. Continue to Capernaum to see the remains of a first century synagogue where Jesus preached and the remains of what is most certainly Peter’s house. In this contextual setting, we explore the story of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law. Continue to Tabgha and visit the site of the Multiplication of the Fish and Loaves and the Primacy of St. Peter. End the day with a sunset sail across the Sea of Galilee. Ron Beach Hotel (B, D)
Note: Communion kit will be provided on the boat ride.
SAT April 20 Galilee/Bethlehem
After hotel check-out, drive to Nazareth where Mary lived with her husband Joseph and raised their son Jesus. Visit the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Travel to Bethany on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives where the sisters Mary and Martha lived and hosted Jesus on several occasions. See the tomb of their brother Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. Continue to Bethlehem for check-in, dinner, and overnight. Sunrise Hotel (B, D)
SUN April 21 Bethlehem
This morning attend worship at Evangelical Christmas Lutheran Church (in Arabic) and enjoy fellowship with the congregation following the service. After lunch on own, we will take a walking tour of Bethlehem including the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square. The balance of the day is at leisure for study, reflection, or exploration in Jesus’ birthplace. Sunrise Hotel (B, D)
Optional visit to Banksy Hotel and short tour of the Separation Wall
MON April 22 Bethlehem/Jerusalem
This morning meet with The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb and Palestinian women (Vera Baboun, former mayor of Bethlehem; both subject to availability) who hold places of leadership in the community; discuss the role of women in Palestine. Depart for Jerusalem and the top of the Mount of Olives for a glorious view of the Golden City. Then walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane. Check in at our hotel inside the Old City walls. Gloria Hotel (B, D)
TUE April 23 Jerusalem
Spend the morning on a memorable guided tour of the Old City. Begin at St. Anne’s Church which was built on what was believed to be the home site of Mary’s parents, Anne and Joachim. Adjacent are the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed a man of his 38-year infirmity (John 5:1-9). Walk along the Via Dolorosa through the Old City to experience the Stations of the Cross; see the last few Stations located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. See the ancient Western Wall, considered to be one of the holiest sites in the Jewish tradition and visit the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock). In the course of the day, meet with representatives of one or two Jewish women’s activist groups. Gloria Hotel (B, D)
WED April 24 Jerusalem
This morning spend time in the tranquil surroundings of the Garden Tomb. Next drive to Ein Karem and visit the site believed to be the location of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s summer house, where Mary came to visit her cousin. Return to Jerusalem and enjoy the balance of the day on your own for individual exploration. Gather for a farewell dinner at Roots Restaurant. Gloria Hotel (B, D)
THU April 25 Return to U.S.
Transfer this morning for flight check-in and departure. Connect in Vienna with the continuing flight to Chicago. Arrive home today enriched with your discoveries of women in Jesus’ life and women of the Holy Land today.
Code: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Itinerary subject to change.
Speakers subject to availability.
AIRFARE: Round-trip economy class airfare from Chicago O’Hare on an ARC/IATA approved scheduled carrier
ACCOMMODATION: Nine (09) nights’ accommodation in superior tourist class hotels, double occupancy, with private facilities. Hotels as listed or similar.
MEALS: Breakfast and dinner daily except on last day.
GROUND TRANSPORT: Transfers and transportation by deluxe motor coach throughout.
SIGHTSEEING: Extensive sightseeing throughout; entrance fees included as per program.
PORTERAGE: Luggage handling of one piece per person.
EXPERT GUIDES: An experienced English-speaking tour guide from arrival in Tel Aviv through departure from Tel Aviv.
WHISPER SETS: Individual guide whisper sets throughout the tour.
SPEAKER HONORARIUMS: All honorariums for special speakers are included and will be provided to the Tour Leader on arrival ($1,150 allocated from group’s budget).
Farewell Dinner: Special dinner outside hotel in Jerusalem
TAXES: Airport/foreign departure taxes
ALL THE INFO YOU NEED: Comprehensive documentation including travel accessory, bag tags, name badges, flight and land itineraries, destination literature, customs information, travel tips and more.
Fuel surcharges and/or tax increases levied since the pricing of this tour.
Beverages other than coffee/tea at breakfast.
Any meal or sightseeing item not listed in the itinerary.
Items of a personal nature.
Gratuities to guide, driver, hotel and restaurant staff (we recommend a budget of $150 per person for gratuities for guide, driver and hotel staff).
Optional Travel Protection: trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay/loss, emergency accident and sickness medical expense, and emergency evacuation/repatriation. Please refer to the Travel Protection section.
Passport fees. A passport valid six months beyond date of re-entry to the U.S. is required.
No entry visa is required for U.S. citizens; non-U.S. citizens may require an entry visa.
Main Tour Base price : $ Starting at 3,750 per person sharing a double
Single Room Supplement: $870
Costs: The tour cost is per person based on current airfare from Chicago O’Hare (other cities available upon request), double occupancy, tariffs and currency valuations as of March 2023, a minimum of 25 travellers, and subject to confirmation. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed price and/or itinerary, they are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control. Single room supplements may have limited availability and are on a request basis only.
These tour conditions are subject to confirmation of space and may change until contracts applicable to actual dates have been received and accepted by all parties involved.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Your reservation and deposit of $500 per person are requested immediately to fulfil the group deadline requirements. Note that space is limited and reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis. A second payment of $1000 is due on December 20, 2023. Final payment is due no later than February 10, 2024. The fee for late payment is $50 per traveler. For credit cards, STT accepts Visa and MasterCard (add 1.5% credit card fees). PayPal is also an options in needed (add 4% service fees)
REFUND POLICY: All cancellations must be in writing. There is no refund for partial or unused land arrangements. Note: Airline tickets will be issued well in advance of departure and may be non-refundable. The following penalties will apply: Up to December 19, 2023 – $100 per person administrative fee plus any unrecoverable deposits; December 20, 2023 through March 04, 2024 – Deposit plus any unrecoverable payments to hotels, tour operators or airlines; March 05, 2024 or after– No refund.
CHANGES TO GROUP FLIGHTS: The group airfare contract for this tour may not allow travellers to make any date or itinerary changes. If you are considering other dates or cities, please submit your request in writing well in advance to secure the best rates and schedule, but no later than February 10, 2023. A minimum fee of $100 per person will apply for changes to group flights in addition to a possible airfare increase.
LATE BOOKINGS: Passengers registering within thirty days of tour departure will be charged a $50 per person fee. Tour payment in full is required before we can request and confirm space. This fee does not cover any additional airline or ground service charges.
Note to Travelers:
Be assured that STT & TRAVEL (STT) continually monitors travel industry developments (strikes, etc.) as well as world events. If any such matters affect your tour, you will be notified. At the time this tour was developed the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory for this destination was Level 2 (Exercise Increased Caution); refer to the following website for current information or call STT & Travel. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html
Travel protection is optional, but we encourage all travellers to purchase a plan. STT offers an extensive and competitively priced plan from Seven Corners Insurance. Travel protection can help provide coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay/loss, emergency accident and sickness medical expense, and emergency evacuation/repatriation. If you decline coverage at the time of reservation, you may purchase it later, but the Pre-existing Conditions Waiver is available only if the plan is purchased within 20 days of the initial trip deposit. To review the full plan, get a quote and purchase please visit: https://purchase.sevencorners.com/policygroup/HW7C6WH/HGP5DXM/
You can also contact our Sales Agent at Seven Corners Travel Insurance for further information and assistance before making your decision.
Digital Sales Agent – Seven Corners Travel Insurance
Direct Phone: (317) 582 2627
TRAVEL PROTECTION INCLUSIONS:
Travel Delay (6 hours):
Missed Connection (3 hours):
Emergency Dental Expense
Medical Evacuation $ Repatriation of remains
Political Emergency Evacuation
ID Theft Resolution Services
Note: If you prefer to purchase your travel insurance from a different company, please make sure that the Policy includes coverage for any COVID related illness as this is now a prerequisite for entry into Israel.
Conditions and Responsibility: Shepherds Tours and Travel (STT) provides customized travel planning services to Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt for group travelers who have a variety of reasons and goals for travel. The goals and/or opinions of these groups do not reflect or imply the position of STT in any matter. Brochure contents may not be duplicated without permission from STT. In offering these travel arrangements, (STT) acts solely as an agent for the sale of air transportation and other travel related services. STT maintains no control over the personnel, equipment or operations of any entity furnishing services, products or accommodations. STT assumes no responsibility or liability for, and shall not be expected, asked or required to pay for any injury, damage, expense, personal injury, property damage, inconvenience or any other loss experienced by reason of: (1) any intentional, wrongful, negligent or unauthorized act or omission on the part of any supplier, its agents or employees; (2) any defect, breakdown or other failure of any vehicle, equipment, service, product or other instrumentality which is owned, operated or otherwise used by a supplier; (3) any intentional, wrongful, negligent, or unauthorized act or omission on the part of any other party not under the direct control of STT; (4) financial problems causing nonperformance by any supplier; or (5) any other cause, condition or event whatsoever beyond the direct control of STT. STT cannot guarantee any rates, bookings or reservations of any supplier. Your retention of tickets, reservations or bookings after issuance shall constitute a consent to the foregoing provisions. All prices quoted are subject to change if airlines or ground operators increase their prices, the U.S. dollar is devalued significantly against foreign currencies, the group falls below minimum numbers, or a fuel surcharge, government tax or user’s fee is imposed. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. STT reserves the right to withdraw from any tour any tour member whose conduct is incompatible with the interests of the group as a whole. The above Conditions and Responsibility also covers the group leader(s) and their respective organizations.