Project Description

Olive Harvest

17 – 26 October 2020

Holy Land Trust Olive Harvest Program is a response to the Israeli military and Israeli settler movement uprooting, poisoning and setting fire to hundreds and hundreds of olive trees each year. We organize this harvest activity as a means to stand in solidarity with the indigenous communities to stay on their lands. Because of the necessity and importance of the program, the Olive Harvest has been one of Holy Land Trust’s longest-running programs. Whether it is a day trip or a two-week trip, each year we facilitate hundreds of participants to go out with Palestinian farmers to pick their olives from their groves. Join us in the fall for this crucial activity and couple it with one of our fact-finding tours to place the olive harvest in the broader context of the Holy Land.

  • International Focus – Every year we intentionally unfold a broad marketing push to ensure that we have a large representation on the tour, recognizing that diversity is crucial in developing a robust advocacy program to curtail the destruction of indigenous agricultural. Holy Land Trust has had participants from over 45 different countries
  • Authentic Experiences – Our approach to the Olive Harvest Program is emphasizing building relationships with communities, spending time with the families, and learning from their experiences. We find that through several days connecting with the family, this creates the emotional connection to stay committed to the communities.
  • Focus On People – Analysis from the NGO world is crucial, but the vehicle to transport the message home is always through the personal stories you listen to while on this land. It is through the richness of connecting with the local people that you truly grasp the situation here on the ground.
  • Participant Dedication – With over 20 years of experience, we understand that this space can be difficult to navigate. Our staff and community network work hard to make sure you’re comfortable, yet challenged – but most of all feel supported.
  • Career Advancement – The Olive Harvest Program is the perfect program to establish new connections and continue to develop a network in the Holy Land to expand your work and interests in peacebuilding.
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A brief look at the itinerary and the costs

Here is a look at a sample schedule of the Olive Harvest program. These schedules are always built in coordination with th group leader. Some groups put more of an emphasis on working directly in the communities, others invest more time in travelling and meeting with NGO’s. The choice is completely up to you. Because the situation on the ground is always so fluid, with emerging interests shifting from month to month, we customize each program to meet the realities on the ground.


Saturday, Oct 17, Day 1: Arrival. Meeting representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program.

Sunday, Oct 18, Day 2: Half day picking olives at a selected field. After lunch, political tour and sightseeing in Bethlehem, including the visit of a refugee camp and Church of Nativity. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Monday, Oct 19, Day 3: Visit to the Palestine Museum of Natural History with Dr. Mazin Qumsieh. A tour in the old city of Hebron: Visiting the Ibrahimi Mosque. Guided tour in Hebron old city, market, H1/H2 areas, Shuhada street. Visiting a glass factory. Free time. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

• Tuesday, Oct 20, Day 4: Half day picking olives at a selected field in, followed by Presentation on the onging displcamenet, the refugee questions and ongoing displacement with BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees’ Rights. Dinner and Overnight in Bethlehem.

• Wednesday, Oct 21, Day 5: Free day.

• Thursday, Oct 22, Day 6: Half day picking olives at a selected field, followed by lunch. Visiting an olive press. Geopolitical presentation for a presentation on the Apartheid Wall, colonies (settlements) and land confiscation. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

• Friday, Oct 23, Day 7: Full day of picking olives at a selected field, lunch included. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

• Saturday, Oct 24, Day 8: Tour in the Old City of Jerusalem. Lunch, followed by a a tour with Israeli activist around Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

• Sunday, Oct 25, Day 9: Half day picking olives at a field. Lunch. Advocacy session and future planning. Farewell dinner with Palestinian Folklore Dance Peformance. Overnight in Bethlehem.

• Monday, Oct 26, Day 10: Departure.

The price per person sharing a double room is 1000 US$ includes

  • All necessary land transportation during the tour
  • Sightseeing in deluxe private air-conditioned motorcoach
  • Accommodations for 9nights in Bethlehem
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Coffee, tea with breakfast daily
  • Daily Lunches with soft drinks
  • Services of a licensed English-speaking guide for the field trips specified in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Honorarium fees for speakers and organizations

Does not include

Flight ticket , Travel insurance, pick up and transfer from Airport ( but can be arranged for (120 USD) per person for each drive, unless sharing with a group of other participants). lunches on arrival and departure day, services other than those specifically mentioned.

Requesting a single room at the hotel would cost the participant $300 Extra. Any extra night(s) accommodation (before the night of the 17th/18th of October, or after the night of the 25th/26th of October 2020) is beyond the scope of the program and the participant has to pay extra for.

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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. But with the Olive Harvest, we also make sure to put a focus on the regional development of Israeli settlements and how that impacts the local communities.

From ancient times we explore the historical connection between the indigenous people and the olive tree, how it has represented more than just food and commerce, but how it is intimately connected to peace and justice. We then move to exam how olive trees have been systematically destroyed since 1948, and in many cases, replaced with non-indigenous foresty by the Israeli government and the subsequent degradation of the environment.

During your time with the families, you delve deeper into rural life and learn how these communities center their life on the land. You’ll learn customs, historical narratives, and a way of life that in many ways, is very different than living in the urban centers of Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem.

As you get to know more about the role the olive industry plays in the economic development of the Holy Land, you’ll come to understand why Israeli policies specifically target the olive trees as a mechanism for displacement – a key feature in any program of settler-colonialism. From here, you will learn about the different initiatives enacted by Palestinian, Israeli and international NGO’s to change the legal landscape and safeguard the rights of the indigenous people.

You’ll find that working hand-and-hand with these local communities leads to a greater sense of the Palestinian concept of “Sumud,” – steadfastness. Through these experiences of solidarity, our participants come to a deeper understanding of what it means to live under and resist systems of oppression.

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What to expect after your Olive Harvest program?

With the amount of time you spend directly in the communities, the biggest take away is the authentic relationship you gain by living the Palestinian lifestyle. Unlike other tours that focus more ongoing form city to city, the centering of this tour on a handful of communities really creates an environment to connect in intimate ways with the families.

Your tour will result in new information and a deeper understanding of how Israel’s program of settler colonialism has manifested itself, as well as a strong critique on indigenous resistance to domination. The networks that you build through tour with other international participants, the NGO’s you meet and visit with, as well as local civic leaders on the ground in places like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ramallah set the table for you to stay full immersed and engaged in meaningful ways.

  • Explore all the historical sites and political centers of the Holy Land: Ramallah, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Hebron, Bethlehem and more!

  • Develop connections with the leading NGO’s that are working to create a better, sustainable future of peace and justice in the Holy Land.

  • Engage in over a dozen lectures that range from the themes of the Nakba to constructs of Jewish identity.

  • Eat all the authentic Palestinian and Israeli dishes you can handle!

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