Monday, March 12, 2007

Alternative Travel Opportunities

Alternative Travel Opportunities, a listing courtesy of Friends of Sabeel - North America, was updated March 9, 2007. See the full list on the web page:

Alternative travel in the Holy Land provides an added benefit to pilgrimage by connecting you with the Living Stones of Palestine who live under military occupation. Visit the holy Christian sites, worship in ancient Palestinian Christian churches, walk where Jesus walked and bear witness to the realities of occupation - military checkpoints, refugee camps, Israel's Apartheid Wall, bypass roads, illegal settlements and more. This listing is from Friends of Sabeel--North America's Alternative Travel web page at

If you know of similar upcoming trips, please send details to:

Also, visit for resources on traveling in the Holy Land.

Sabeel International Witness Trip
October 11-20, 2007 (check for program and registration information)

The Society for Biblical Studies offers an extensive list of tours. For details go to the web site:
The Holy Land, the Holy People (departs 10 April 2007)
The Exodus Experience (departs 10 April 2007)
Biblical Survey: The Holy Land, the Holy People (departs 23 April 2007)
Holy Land Pilgrimage (departs 9 June 2007)
The Exodus Experience, departs 7 November 2007
To get updates by paper newsletter or email, call 781-641-4453 or send an email to:

Group Travel Directors: Holy Land visits by US church groups in the first halfof 2007 listed here are arranged by Group Travel Directors, Minneapolis. Meetings with indigenous Christians plus Israeli and Palestinian peace groups, as well as biblical-site visits, are included. Prices are from cities cited (other US departure points available). For details on Group Travel tours, go to - click "Find a Tour," enter "2007," then "Middle East."

March 7-19, "Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Egypt," led by Pastor Jim and Judy Hinkhouse, Kinsmen Lutheran, Houston, $3255 from Houston.

April 19-30, "Walking the Pilgrim's Path," led by Pastor Paul and Sharon Koch, Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Chicago, $2665 from Chicago O'Hare.

May 4-26, "Places, People, and Prayers," led by Dorothy Weaver and Kevin Clark of Eastern Mennonite Seminary, $4112 from Washington Dulles.

May 24-June 6, "Biblical Adventures to Egypt, Jordan, Israel," led by Anna Coyle, medical missionary/minister, and Charles Coyle, $3255 from St. Louis.

June 5-16, "A Journey of Faith: Exploring the Land of Jesus," led by Pastor Tim Hansen of Zion Lutheran, Litchfield, MInn., and Ruth Hansen, Northfield, Minn., $2899 from Twin Cities.

Holy Land Artisans sponsors a Volunteer in Mission (VIM) Study Trip to the Holy Land.
In the Footsteps of Jesus: A Search for Peace, Justice and Understanding
March 4 - 20, 2007 ($2,800 - including airfare)

With this VIM trip it is our hope that participants will have not only have a renewal of their faith but will acquire a true understanding of our Christian heritage and the unique problems faced by Christians in the Holy Land today. We will visit all the major holy sites but most importantly we will also get to know the "Living Stones" and learn of their hardships and their determination to remain in their homeland.

Information and itinerary are on website: or contact Lissa Caldwell at or

Peacemaking Task Force, Presbytery of East Iowa
2007 Congressional Accompaniment Project
April 1 - April 10 - Holy Week
Be part of a group of peacemakers on a 10-day trip to Israel and Palestine, accompanying U.S. congressional senior staff aides on a mission of peacemaking and fact-finding. It is an unparalleled chance to expand your own knowledge of the Holy Land and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You can also help influence the political climate of Washington toward more fair policies that will help bring about a just peace in the region. Join us for the unforgettable celebration of Holy Week in Jerusalem, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Via Dolorosa, and more. For more information or to apply as an "Accompanier" for the 2007 CAP tour to Israel and Palestine, contact us immediately:

Darrell & Sue Yeaney, Coordinators
2007 CAP TourPeacemaking Task Force, Presbytery of East Iowa
319 354-7877

Interfaith Peace-Builders
Your participation as an eyewitness to the situation will enrich your understanding of the conflict and empower your work in the United States.

Delegations are scheduled for:
March 17 - 31, 2007
May 26 - June 9, 2007
July 28 - August 11, 2007
November 3 - November 17, 2007

These delegations put you in contact with 'ordinary' Israelis and Palestinians, and people and organizations working for peace and justice. You will confront and analyze the US role in the conflict and wrestle with ways to translate your experience to others when you return home. You will be an eyewitness to the situation - and your understanding of the conflict will be enriched and transformed.

Interfaith Peace-Builder leaders bring a wide range of knowledge, perspectives, and expertise to our delegations. Since 2001, Interfaith Peace-Builders has led 19 delegations and almost 250 people to Israel and Palestine. Our delegates have returned to undertake speaking, writing, and organizing to educate others about their experiences. Formerly a program of Fellowship of Reconciliation, IFPB continues to work in close partnership with FOR.

The cost of $1850 includes: 15 days, hotel and home stay accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, local transportation, guides, speaker/event fees, basic tips and gratuities. The cost does not include domestic and international airfares.

For more information, contact the Interfaith Peace-Builders office directly by phone (202-244-0821) or e-mail -

Christian Peacemaker Teams 2007 delegations:
March 19 - 31, 2007
May 29 - June 10, 2007
July 30 - August 11, 2007
October 16 - 28, 2007
November 19 - December 1, 2007
Contact Claire Evans, the CPT Coordinator for Delegations at or telephone 773.277.0253

Olive Cooperative Teachers Study Tour
April 4 - 11, 2007
For details, please see web page:

ICAHD/ETT Study Tour Program April 2007
To develop strategic campaigns and advocacy work, one of the most important means to equip the international community is to visit this region, witness the situation on the ground and receive in-depth analysis. ICAHD announces the next study tour, arranged in conjunction with Experience Travel Tours.

The ten-day tour will give participants the opportunity to spend time in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel. Get to know ICAHD staff and meet with organizations such as Breaking the Silence, Zochrot, the Christian Peacemakers Team, Badil, Sabeel and many more. See the Wall and how it cuts through towns and villages, imprisoning the Palestinians. Go through checkpoints, visit settlements and a refugee camps.

In 2007, forty years of Israeli occupation is being commemorated. Mark it by participating in the study tour and stand in solidarity with those who are working for the end of the occupation and a just and sustainable solution for both people groups.

To apply for participation in the study tour, e-mail ICAHD at or

Middle East Fellowship Incarnational Pilgrimage
April 14 - 28, 2007
May 19 - June 2, 2007
For more details, contact Christy Reiners: - Tel. 925-934-1754 - website

PC(USA) and Presbyterian Peace Program Trip
to Palestine and Israel
April 15 - 30, 2007
Presbyterian Church (USA) and Presbyterian Peace Program: contact co-leaders Victor Makari - or Sara Lisherness -

Meeting the Stones & Living Stones Pilgrimage April 15 -25, 2007
Contact Rev. Keith Hill, Douglasville, Ga. - - Tel. 770-942-0710 - or Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel, - Tel. 404-441-2702

Global Exchange, Prospects for Peace with Justice
April 21 - 30, 2007
August 12 - 22, 2007 Dec. 2 - 12, 2007
For details, see

Seeking Understanding in Israel/Palestine:
A Two-Week Fact-Finding Trip
May 12-26, 2007
Organized by Friends of Sabeel - Colorado
For detailed information contact Joy Lapp
303-494-2338 or Email:

Tour Leaders: Joy Lapp, Instructor of Religion and Ethics, Metro State College of Denver and the Rev. Arnie Voigt, retired Lutheran minister. Joy spent three years in the Middle East working with the Mennonite Central Committee. She chair of Friends of Sabeel - Colorado. Arnie has visited Israel and Palestine many times and has led several tour groups.Cost: $2800. Includes round-trip airfare from Denver to Tel Aviv, hotel, 2 meals per day, tour guide and entrance fees, transportation, tips. Travelers must have a passport that is valid six months beyond date of re-entry to U.S. Confirmation needed by March 1, 2007. Contact Joy Lapp 303-494-2338 or Email:

Middle East Fellowship, Palestine Summer Encounter 2007
Middle East Fellowship, in partnership with Holy Land Trust announces the fourth annual Palestine Summer Encounter, a two month Arabic-training and volunteer program, starting on May 24, 2007.

Live with a Palestinian host family· Serve the community by volunteering with a local organization· Study Arabic in an Arabic-speaking country · Meet with Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and activists. Palestine Summer Encounter is a one-to-three-month cultural immersion program in Bethlehem. Participants undertake volunteer service at Palestinian agencies, schools, churches, hospitals and humanitarian organizations. The program emphasizes dialogue between Palestinians and members of the international community. Participants will also meet with Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers and human rights activists. For details please visit

A free packet of information, including a 15-minute DVD with interviews from former participants, is available upon request. The deadline for applications is April 20th 2007.

Contact: Middle East FellowshipP.O. Box 40040, Pasadena, CA 91114E-mail Phone 626 797 7904.

and... Holy Land Trust Travel & Encounter
Manger Street, P.O. Box 737
Bethlehem, Palestine

Pilgrims of Hope and Solidarity Tour
in the Land Where Jesus Walked
June 11-24, 2007 - Approximately $2575
The Middle East Peace Education Project (L. Michael Spath, D.Min., Ph.D., and the Rev. Robert Smith, M.Div)
"We do not look for reasons to hope as much as we seek to create opportunities for hope." - Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb - Christmas Lutheran Church; International Center of Bethlehem

Arab and Palestinian Christians are an oppressed minority facing a mortal crisis in their own land. Because of violence, corrupt governments and occupation, they are emigrating in massive numbers. This is a critical time for Christians in the Holy Land. In our lifetime there may no longer remain any indigenous worshiping, and praying Christian community left in the Holy Land. We visit the important biblical sites, but most important we meet the living stones - Christians, clergy and lay, men and women, struggling for survival, and working for a just Gospel-centered peace through nonviolent conflict resolution and social transformation. We explore ways to express our solidarity with our Christian sisters and brothers in the Holy Land.

Call 260/456-8920 or e-mail

Palestine Summer Celebration 2007
June 20 - August 18th, 2007
Come and celebrate Palestine
Learn Arabic
Study history
Get to know the people and their culture
Share some time with local familiesVolunteer with a local community organization

The Palestinian summer celebration is a unique annual program that gives people from all over the world the chance to encounter the life and culture in Palestine while donating time to a local community organization through voluntary work and internships. Participants will also have the opportunity to listen and question high level speakers of various positions and expertise. The 2007 celebration will be in the Bethlehem area, organized by Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies - - in partnership with Bethlehem University - - and the US-based Society for Biblical Studies -

For more information:
Siraj, Center for Holy Land Studies
Beit Sahour, Palestine
Telefax: +972 2 274 8590

Middle East Fellowship, Damascus Summer Encounter
June 10 - Aug. 11, 2007
Join us for a 9-week summer service program in Damascus, Syria. Participants will live with a host family, study the Arabic language by working with native speakers, serve the local community through volunteer projects and explore the culture and history of Syria through meetings, discussions and excursions to sites of historical, political or religious significance.

For more details, contact Christy Reiners: - Tel. 925-934-1754
Web page

Middle East Task Force of Chicago Presbytery's Traveling Seminar
Oct. 15 - Nov. 4, 2007
This seminar will go to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. For details, contact Pauline Coffman at - tel. 708-524-5444.

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