Project Description

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Holy Land Pilgrimage

JULY 10-21, 2020

This is a tour about exploring the spiritual underpinnings of the land, how geography, history, and culture has shaped personal understandings of life and God.

Through this tour you will have the space to engage with the locals in authentic ways to come to a deeper understanding of what the Holy Land has meant to them and how they see God’s role in bringing us together through love.

This series of exploring space, history, and culture is the essential trip for building a deeper faith.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Yes! We will have Masses at holy sites around the Holy Land. This pilgrimage will be a unique experience, allowing you to pray as you walk the footsteps of Jesus beside other Catholics. As Catholics, we believe it is important to see humans through the eyes of Jesus. We do not travel in arrogance, but in humility, seeking to connect with the people in the Holy Land as well as the sites. Therefore, we will also be engaging with the local population to better learn and understand the conflict in Israel and Palestine and seek to become peacemakers in the world.

Yes, all are welcome! Please be respectful to others on the trip and recognize that it will be centered around Catholic beliefs and rituals, including Mass at holy sites.

This Holy Land trip provides two opportunities that you would regularly not get receive through another travel organization. First, you will have full Masses with music at holy sites. Katie will also provide music as we travel the Stations of the Cross, renew our baptismal rites at the Jordan River, and sing carols as we approach the nativity site in Bethlehem. This creates an atmosphere of prayer and meditation as a pilgrim, not just a tourist. Second, we spend multiple days inside the West Bank (Jericho and Bethlehem) and do our best to learn from Palestinian Christians, the living stones, who have kept the faith alive in the Holy Land for thousands of years. We understand that Jesus cared about people, and so we do, too.

Absolutely! You will be paired with another solo traveler for your hotel stays. If you would like to have your own room, you’ll need to pay an additional $800 for the trip. If you or we cannot find another solo traveler for you to be paired with, you will need to pay the additional $800 for a single room.

Yes. The news that you hear about rockets and violence centers around Gaza. We will be staying far away from Gaza. It is more likely that you would be killed in a car accident (or shooting!) here in the United States. If, for some reason, violence spreads outside of Gaza to an area where we are scheduled to visit, we will adjust our trip accordingly.

We’ll travel to Tel Aviv by plane and then will travel by air conditioned bus for the rest of the sites. We will have a licensed tour guide with us for the entire trip, as well as an experienced bus driver.

You’ll experience a mix of Middle Eastern & Western food. Hotel breakfasts and dinners often serve a variety of food, including western selections. Lunches will be on the go and often will be Middle Eastern (think falafel, chicken kabob, pita bread and hummus). Some days you’ll have the opportunity to walk and find a lunch that suits you. On other days, we’ll all eat lunch together. (Lunches are not covered in price) You are NOT forced to eat the meals at the hotels (although they are very tasty!). Feel free to venture out into the cities to eat whatever you like and experience more of the local cuisine.

Quite a bit. You’ll need to be physically fit to attend this trip. The stones in the old cities are uneven and slippery, especially when wet and these old cities are unfortunately not handicap accessible. There will also be long hours of sitting on the bus to travel from city to city.

Please remember: this is a cultural immersion trip, not a luxury resort trip. Every hotel will be different. Some may feel like a vacation spot (e.g. Jericho) while others may feel like you’ve stepped back 1,000 years (e.g. Nazareth).

Sure! We can help them book a flight that meets us in our layover or in Tel Aviv. Alternatively, they can fly to San Diego to fly with us the whole way.

We pay more, so invite your friends!

If they are junior high school age or older, absolutely! You must chaperone them on the trip though.

We are going to Italy in May 2020. Come join us!

A $500 non-refundable deposit is due at registration. The next non-refundable payment of $1,500 is due by April 1st. Final non-refundable payment is due May 15th.

If you find someone to replace you, we can issue a refund of your payment. Alternatively, the person who is going on the trip can pay you directly and then take over your payment from there. However, after we send your information into the airlines and book your plane ticket, we can not issue a refund or transfer your ticket to another person. You are then required to utilize travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance!

This is a multi-parish wide trip based out of San Diego led by Katie Cavallo in cooperation with Holy Land Trust. Katie spent many summers living in Bethlehem and one summer was organized by Holy Land Trust. She seeks to promote their vision of unconditional love to help change communities living in violence and fear.

Security in Israel is tight. Consequently, your passport information will need to be sent via e-mail to hotels. If you are uncomfortable with this, you should not go on the trip. Also, we will be spending many days in the West Bank (Jericho & Bethlehem) interacting with Palestinians. The Christians of the Holy Land are Palestinian and we believe it is important to honor their faith and experiences. If you work for the military or government, please check with your supervisors to make sure you can travel with us. Also, there will be required reading prior to travel.

  • International Focus – Our group make up represents a diverse international community. During your time, you’ll be engaging with multiple world views to further unpack your experience.
  • Authentic Experiences – The pilgrimage tour is designed to connect to the religious history of this land and provide a space where you can grow on your journey of faith.
  • Focus On People – Developing relationships is our main focus, because with deep authentic relationships, we are able to talk about the difficult questions that shape this land.
  • Participant Dedication – With over 20 years of experience, we understand that this space can be difficult to navigate. Our staff and community network works hard to make sure you’re comfortable, yet challenged – but most of all feel supported.
  • Expansive Experience – This is an amazing spiritual journey that will take you the entirity of the historical religious sites to unpack the life and times of Jesus..
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A brief look at the itinerary and the costs

Here is a look at a sample schedule of the Holy Land Pilgrimage Tour.

Holy Land Pilgrimage Tour

Friday, July 10

Saturday, July 11

Travel Day:
Depart from San Diego 7:00pm (British Airways)

Arrive in London: 1:35pm

Depart for Tel Aviv: 4:45pm

Arrive in Tel Aviv: 11:50pm

Overnight in Tel Aviv

Sunday, July 12 Monday, July 13

Mediterranean Coast & Lower Galilee

Caesarea Maritima

Haifa Bahai Gardens

Acre/Akko Crusader Remains (Lunch)

Ibillin, Fr. Chacour Visit

Evening Mass at Church of the Annunciation

Overnight in Nazareth

Nazareth & Sea of Galilee

Morning Mass in Garden at Primacy of St. Peter

Sea of Galilee Boat Ride

Mount of Beatitudes

Capernaum & Peter’s House

Tiberias (Lunch covered)

Overnight in Nazareth

Tuesday, July 14 Wednesday, July 15
Cana & Dead Sea

Mass at Cana (Renewal of Marriage Vows)

Jordan River Baptismal Site (Israel side)

Dead Sea

Jericho

Overnight in Jericho

Jordan Valley & Bethany

Masada

Qumran

Lazarus’ Tomb

Mass at Bethany

Overnight in Bethlehem

Thursday, July 16 Friday, July 17
Bethlehem

Mass at Church of the Nativity

Separation Wall

Aida Refugee Camp Tour

Overnight in Bethlehem

Bethlehem

Shepherd’s Field

Settlement Tour & Meeting with Settler

Meeting with Holy Land Trust

Overnight in Bethlehem

Saturday, July 18

Sunday, July 19

Jerusalem

Mount of Olives

Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross)

Holy Sepulcher

Overnight in Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Temple Mount

Western Wall

Mass at Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Overnight in Jerusalem

Monday, July 20

Sunday, July 21

Jerusalem Free Day

Overnight in Jerusalem

Depart Tel Aviv: 7:10am
Arrive in London: 10:35am
Depart from London: 1:40pm
Arrive in San Diego: 4:55pm

PRICE: $3,620 (for 40+ people)

PRICE: $3,720 (for 30-39 people)

PRICE: $3,999  (for 20-29 people) 

INCLUDES:

• Round trip Economy class air flight ticket from San Diego to Tel Aviv with British airways
• All necessary land transportation during the tour includes airport pick up and transfer.
• Sightseeing in deluxe private air-conditioned motor coach.
• Accommodations for Hotels – double occupancy – 2 per room
• Breakfast and dinner at Hotel daily
• Coffee, tea with breakfast daily
• Service charges, portage and taxes for accommodations.
• 1 Lunch in Sea of Galilee
• 1 Cultural dinner in a Bedouin style restaurant in the Shepherd’s Field
• Services of a licensed English-speaking guide (daily)
• All entrance fees
• 45 minutes Boat ride at Sea of Galilee
• Entry to Dead Sea
• Tips for driver and tour guide
• Admin fees

NOT INCLUDED: 
Travel insurance, daily lunches except for 1 lunch in Sea of Galilee, exit tax from Jordan to Israel (approximately 10 dinar), costs for items not on table, d’hôte menus such as water or other beverages at dinner, laundry, telephone calls, or services other
than those specifically mentioned.

For Single Supplement Room: Add $800 to price
Flight Seat Upgrades available for additional price​

Email Encounter@holylandtrust.org

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Up To Date Curriculum

As the new historical evidence and research emerges, as the political dynamics on the ground and internationally shift, Holy Land Trust continues to update our curriculum to reflect these shifting relaties. We always push ourselves as an organization to shape the contours of the program make it both relevant, but progressive.

Starting from Biblical times,  this program outlines the different historical narratives from religious and secular contexts, exams the cross-sections and discrepancies. From there, we examine how these competing storylines manifest themselves into political realities on the ground for different groups of people and geographical areas.

The Holy Land is a land of diversity. While people oftentimes break this down into binary terms – Israeli/Palestinian – that couldn’t be further from the truth. On this land, we have Palestinian Arabs, which can have a multitude of religious identities – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and all the rest. There is an Armenian diaspora community with their own unique culture and language they have preserved overtime. There are Bedouin communities, Druze communities which have a very complex relationship within the settler colonial system. Within this, we go further into the analysis of complexity of the Jewish communities that live here, who came to settle on the land from far off places like Iran, Ethiopia, different parts of Europe and the former Soviet Union and how that interplay between the groups lead to a very interesting dynamics during the formation of Israeli politics. Understanding the ways these groups of people have preserved their culture and heritage over time is crucial to how nonviolent resistance works and doesn’t work within systems of oppression.

With our strong network to the NGO community, we organize meetings with the most significant humanitarian and political organizations – international, Israeli, and Palestinian – to give you a broader understanding of the system of settler colonialism, the impact on the native communities. Then in return, we look at different implications of international, indigenous resistance movements, and tactics and strategies.

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Additional Tours

Olive Harvest

Join us in the Palestinian communities during this sacred time. Stand in solidarity with the local villages as they harvest their crops. 

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Iktashef

This summer-long journey is specifically geared for those looking for a deeper investment into the dynamics shaping the Holy Land. 

Join Us

House Rebuilding

We are called to be a light. Rebuilding a home for a Palestinian family is a tangible way you can give hope for all future generations. 

Join Us

Christian Pilgrimage

For many, a chance to visit the Holy Land on a pilgrimage and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ represents a turning point in their spiritual journey.

Join Us

Fact-Finding Tour

Our 14-day Fact-Finding Tour gives you a schedule with meeting with religious leaders, politicians, and community activists tools for peacemaking.

Join Us

Meet the staff

 
Elias Deis
Executive Director
Holy Land Trust’s E.D., Elias Deis has worked for over a decade at Holy Land Trust. He was formally the Travel & Encounter Program Director and serves on the Beit Sahour City Council.
Lara Mitri
BLF Director
Lara Mitri is the Bethlehem Live Festival Director, ensuring that the festival creates an inclusive space that promotes a message of social justice on a global scale.
Said Zarzar
Creative Manager
Said Zarzar is the Creative Manager of Holy Land Trust, organizing the event planning for Bet Lahem Live, as well as the lead coordinator for the Travel & Encounter Department.
Sami Awad
Sami Awad
Founder | Programs Developer
Sami Awad, the founder and former executive director of Holy Land Trust, has spent a lifetime working the infield of community development and leadership training.

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