Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alternative travel opportunities - October 2008 update

Alternative Travel Listing for October 15, 2008
This list is available at the website of Friends of Sabeel - North America:

7th International Sabeel Conference
Nov. 12-19, 2008 (Jerusalem)
"Beyond Remembrance: Facing the Challenges of the Future Sixty Years After the Nakba" The conference will focus on the commemoration of 60 years since the Nakba, and the complex issues of memory, narrative, and identity raised by the events of 1948. The event will include: 4 nights in Nazareth, with trips to villages that were destroyed in 1948 and visits with the local Christian community; 4 nights in Jerusalem, with trips to Jaffa, Ramle, and Lidda. Lectures, workshops, discussions, and cultural events focusing on the last 60 years and the future for Christians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories; optional pre-conference travel to holy sites in the Galilee; optional post-conference travel to understand the Occupation including visits to holy sites in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. For more information: or call (972) 2-532-7136.

Middle East Fellowship provides a number of ways to visit Palestine (below). For details check the web page: or email or contact Peter Ryan:
+ Olive Harvest October/November 2008
Olive Tree Harvest trip, working alongside Palestinian families and with international activists from Israel and around the world, we will help pick olives and thus help a local Palestinian family keep their farm from being expropriated by the Israeli government to build settlements, the Wall or military installations. Contact Peter Ryan:

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
October 20 – November 3, 2008
Pilgrimage/Fact Finding Mission: This trip is organized by Fr. Alex Kratz, O.F.M in Detroit, Michigan. This trip will include visiting the holy sites in Jordan, Israel, & Palestine (including daily Mass), meeting Christian leaders, fellowship and Sunday worship with local Christians, and overnight stays with Christian families. See the web page for general information:

Council for the National Interest Foundation
Fall 2008 "Political Pilgrimage"
November 6-22, 2008 A 16-day tour of Israel and her neighbors. We have organized several "political pilgrimages" to the Middle East over the last ten years and would now like to extend the same opportunity to CNI Foundation supporters, friends and family who are interested in learning more about American foreign policy in the Middle East. The trip is limited to 10 people per pilgrimage; therefore, we urge those interested to apply as soon as possible. The trip will last 16 days, and include visits to Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. A more detailed itinerary will be provided in the near future. The cost of the entire trip including all transportation, food, accommodations, meetings, and activities is $6,500. To register please visit the CNI Foundation website at and go to Programs and click Political Pilgrimages, or call Shannon O'Hara at 202-863-2951, x301 with questions.

Global Exchange to Palestine/Israel
As the Israeli military continues to place Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps under siege, Palestinians continue to resist the 39 year occupation of their land. Global Exchange delegations to Palestine/Israel strive to further the US public's understanding of the region's history and realities by giving participants first-hand exposure to the aspirations and frustrations of Palestinians living under occupation, the dimensions of the human rights crisis under Israeli rule, as well as the perspectives of Palestinians and Israelis who are working for a just peace and end to the occupation.
+Fair Olive Harvest
November 06 - 16, 2008
+ Prospects for Peace with Justice
December 06 - 16, 2008
Contact Sanaz with questions about this trip - - or call toll-free 1-800-497-1994 ext. 251. On the Web:
+ Prospects for Peace with Justice
July 25 - August 4, 2009
+ Fair Trade Olive Harvest 2009
November 05 - 15, 2009
+ Prospects for Peace with Justice
December 05 - 15, 2009

Group Travel Directors: Holy Land visits by US church groups 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 “2008,” then “Middle East.” For direct contact: Janet Tollund, 952-885-2133, 800-747-2255,
+ Faces, Spaces, Places in the Holy Land
Nov. 4-16, 2008
Led by Pr. Lowell Knauff of Annandale, VA. $3395, from Washington National. Endorsed by the Middle East Working Group of the ELCA's Metro DC Synod. Contact Pastor Knauff at 703-978-8999 or
+ Bethel Holy Land PilgrimageNov. 6-17, 2008 sponsored by Bethel Lutheran of Willmar, MN; led by Pr. Mari Thorkelson. $3250 from Twin Cities. Optional extension to Jordan, Nov. 17-20.
+ Holy Lands Tour
Nov. 6-19, 2008.
Led by Pr. Nick Doversberger of Zoar Lutheran Church. $3899, Portland OR.
+ World of the Bible: Ancient Sites, Current Struggles
Jan. 6-19, 2009, with optional extension to Egypt, Jordan; sponsored by Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, led by Profs. Barbara Rossing and Esther Menn. $3340 from Chicago.
+ Sights and Sounds of the Holy Land
Feb. 2-11, 2009, with optional 3-day extension to Jordan, led by John Califf and Jeff Clements, $2995 from Chicago.
+ Following Jesus’ Footsteps
Feb. 10-21, 2009, sponsored by Olivet Lutheran, Fargo, led by Pr. Kris Gorden. $3499 from Fargo or MSP.
+ Holy Land Pilgrimage
March 3-14, 2009 with option 3-day extension to Egypt, sponsored by St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, Wayzata, led by Pr. Cheryl Mathson. $3699 from MSP.
+ Holy Land Pilgrimage
March 13-22, 2009, sponsored by Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Phoenix, led by Pr. Brian Erickson. $2995 from Phoenix.
+ Holy Land Faces and Places of Living Hope
April 4-14, 2009 led by Pr. Les Hoffman. $3069 from Phoenix.
+ The Holy Land
April 23-May 6, 2009, sponsored by Central Lutheran, Minneapolis, led by Pr. Rick and Annette Nelson. $3650 from MSP.

Interfaith Peace Builders
Your participation as an eyewitness to the situation in Israel/Palestine will enrich your understanding of the conflict and empower your work back in the United States. These delegations provide an excellent opportunity to meet with ‘ordinary’ Israelis and Palestinians, and people and organizations working for peace and justice. As a delegate 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.
+ Olive Harvest Delegation
November 8 - 22, 2008 Co-Sponsored with the American Friends Service Committee
Delegation Leaders: Jennifer Bing-Canar & Alta SchwartzBrochure:
+ Spring Planting Delegation: Voices of the Peacemakers
March 7-20, 2009
To express interest in this delegation and get updates and more information and so we'll be sure to add you to the March 2009 delegation mailing list, send an email to
+ Three Upcoming Delegations
May/June 2009, July/August 2009, Fall 2009. Information will be provided at

1st Annual Birthright Palestine Tour
December 5-19, 2008
Holy Land Trust invites Palestinian immigrants around the world to re-discover Palestine today through a Palestinian Roots tour. This unique program sheds a new light on the Palestine you hear about in the news and allows you to discover the beauty and pride of Palestine amidst the hardships of the current conflict. You will have an opportunity to visit important cities from Palestinian history, learn about traditional Palestinian culture, discover the dynamics of the current conflict, and return to your historical village to re-connect with your roots. For more information please visit :

Bethlehem Christmas Project 2008
December 5 - 14, 2008
We will be based out of Bethlehem Bible College but will spend a night in Nazareth. We also visit many biblical sites with expert tour guides. Join us in Bethlehem as we deliver gifts to children! We have room for ten individuals to join us, not only to distribute gifts but also to interact with the church within the West Bank and Israel. In addition to the hands-on work, participants will receive lectures from the dean of academics of Bethlehem Bible College on the biblical and historical issues related to Israel and the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians. Spend time in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth visiting biblical sites. Contact us for project details. Space is limited; we are looking for individuals with a heart for the Middle East. If you believe you can make a difference in the region, see

Christmas in Bethlehem with Elisabeth Von Trapp
December 2008
“Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” a pilgrimage to the place of Christ's birth during the Christmas season, singing hymns, bringing the "Sound of Music" to lift hearts and souls along the way. Elisabeth Von Trapp will perform concerts in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Amman, Jordan. Participants who are singers will be invited to lift their voices in song during these Christmas concerts. Pilgrimage leaders are Lutheran Pastors Michael and Susan Thomas, both well acquainted with the region, the holy places, and the situation facing all the people in the land. Meet with local families to experience a true Palestinian Christmas. Lodgings in very comfortable Christian guest houses. Approximate cost $3,300. Group Travel Directors - - is handling all arrangements in cooperation with the International Center of Bethlehem. For specific information e-mail Elisabeth Von Trapp - - or Michael Thomas - Michael.P.Thomas@Dartmouth.EDU

Christmas Pilgrimage for Peace
December 28, 2008 to January 10, 2009
The Christmas Pilgrimage for Peace is an annual program that gives people from all over the world the opportunity to experience oriental Christmas in Bethlehem celebrated with local families. Participants will learn about the Pledge for Justice and Peace. The Christmas Pilgrimage for Peace will enrich participants with the culture of the land, through living and sharing the lives of the people of the land. For more information:

The People of the Holy Land: Then and Now
January 7-25, 2009
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary offers a cross-cultural immersion in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. In addition to the biblical sites all the way from Mount Hermon in the north to the Red Sea in the south, we shall meet with Dr. Mitri Raheb of the Lutheran church in Bethlehem, staff of Augusta Victoria Hospital, the pastors of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jerusalem, Archbishop Elias Chacour (author of Blood Brothers) in the Galilee, as well as Druze villagers in the Golan Heights, Jewish settlers, and kibbutzniks. Three hours academic credit are possible at the M.A.R., M.Div., S.T.M., and D.Min. levels. Contact Dr. Monte Luker for details, or (803) 787-0864. Pastors and lay professionals are encouraged to join us for continuing education credit, and lay persons from all walks of life always enrich the dialog that takes place on these study tours. A Jordan pre-tour is optional leaving three days earlier. Please note that this course is physically rigorous and intellectually demanding.

2009 Congressional Accompaniment Project
August 8 - 18, 2009
A hands-on educational experience for members of Congress, their foreign policy aides and their local constituents. The Congressional Accompaniment Project is a educational travel program by which Americans concerned for a just peace in Israel/Palestine can assist their congressional representatives and/or their foreign policy aides to be more informed regarding the “facts on the ground” in Israel/Palestine. Contact Rev. Darrell Yeaney - - or Rev. Robin Kash - - for further information. The 2009 tour, open to all, is scheduled for the congressional summer recess. For more information see the web site:

Five Insight Trips planned by Hands Across the Nile
Join us as we explore the history, religions, culture, and development efforts of one of the world's oldest nations. HANDS' Insight Trips allow visitors to look beyond the famous tourist sites to discover the vibrant, multifaceted Egypt of today. Emphasizing person to person experience across a full cross-section of Egyptian society, Insight Trips provide an intimate, eye opening introduction to a fascinating and unforgettable land. For more information see the web page:

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