Pickup from Airport (can be arranged for $120 USD)
Lunch on Arrival & Departure Day
This tour invites you to see firsthand what is going on in Palestine and Israel. You will wake up to the smell of freshly brewed Arabic Coffee being prepared daily by your host family before visiting religious and historical sites in the Holy Land. As you travel through the region, you will hear stories from the people who live here and taste the incredible food and cuisine of Palestine. You will meet politicians, clergy, and community leaders, as well as members of peace organizations and activists representing the different sides in this unique Holy Land experience.
Holy Land Trust continues to update its curriculum to reflect the shifting realities on-the-ground. The political situation continues to change, and new research continues to shed light on the culture and history of the region. As an organization, we push ourselves to keep the program relevant to the realities of the present-day.
Starting from Biblical times, the Encounter & Study Program charts out the historical moments that have shaped current realities on the ground. We will explore the rise of anti-Semitism, how those acts of violence spurred the Zionist movement, and the resulting development of a program of settler colonialism that displaced some 750,000 Palestinians in 1948. From there, we will examine different resistance movements, examining both violent trajectories and various forms of nonviolent resistance, and how that has led to the current political stalemate.
The Holy Land is a land of diversity. While people oftentimes break this down into binary terms – Israeli/Palestinian – nothing could be further from the truth. On this land, we have Palestinian Arabs who belong to a multitude of religious identities – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and others. There is an Armenian diaspora community with their own unique culture and language they have preserved overtime. There are Bedouin communities and Druze communities that have a very complex relationship within the settler colonial system. We also explore the complexity of the Jewish communities that 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 these groups leads to interesting dynamics within the Israeli political system. Understanding the ways these groups of people have preserved their culture and heritage over time is crucial to how nonviolent resistance works within systems of oppression.
We organize meetings with the most significant humanitarian and political organizations in the region, including international, Israeli, and Palestinian NGOs. By doing so, we offer participants a broader understanding of the system of settler colonialism and its impact on the native communities. We also analyze the histories and tactics of both international and indigenous resistance movements seeking a just peace.
One of the unique features of the Encounter & Study tour is our integrative “homestay” program. By staying the night with families, you have an opportunity to have your own open space to talk about difficult questions that you might not otherwise ask in group settings. Our host families have been working with us for decades and fully understand that it is only through open and honest conversations that people truly grow and invest themselves in peacemaking.
Day 1: Arrival Day & Welcome Activity
Day 2: Nazareth & Haifa
Day 3: Golan Heights & Galilee Region
Day 4: Geo-Political tour of Bethlehem ( Wall & Refugee Camp)
Day 5: Bethlehem
Day 6: Jerusalem
Day 7: Jerusalem
Day 8: Hebron
Day 9: Ramallah
Day 10: Jordan Valley, Dead Sea & Jericho
Day 11: Departure
The information provided on your tour will also provide a better understanding of Israel’s program of settler colonialism and indigenous resistance to domination. You will tour with other international participants, visit NGOs, and meet civic leaders on-the-ground in places like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ramallah. This sets the table for you to build a network of other individuals dedicated to a just peace and to stay fully immersed in the program 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 leading NGOs 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 the construction of Jewish identity.
Eat all the authentic Palestinian and Israeli dishes you can handle!