In the Footsteps of Jesus
An Alternative Tour to Palestine and Israel
Hosted by Jeff & Janet Wright
January 21 - February 2, 2022
We will be following all COVID guidelines. Participants will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated. We are in ongoing conversation with our tour company in Palestine. Michel Awad, Siraj Center's director, is a member of the Palestinian Tourism Task Force on the country's reopening to tourism. Michel is also a member of the coordination team with the Israeli tourism authority. You can read about the rigorous program in which Palestinian hotels, guides, drivers and restaurants are participating (www.jahzeen.ps) as they prepare to reopen to group travel.
Siraj Center and other tour agencies expect that group travel will return by fall 2021. We and Siraj Center offer a full land package refund up to sixty days before the pilgrimage (November 21, 2021). In addition, because we discourage participants from purchasing tickets for their flights before November -- to ensure that the trip is a go -- we are confident about the decision we will make.
Alternative (responsible) travel seeks to transform curious tourists into informed pilgrims by engaging the people who live in the land — and the history, culture and social realities that shape their lives.
The Wrights are hosting two pilgrimages in early 2022, one for Philips Theological Seminary and another — January 22 - February 2 — for folks who want to walk through the holy sites and learn about the current situation.
As the tour title suggests, many of the first-century conditions that shaped Jesus' life and ministry continue to shape the lives of Palestinians and Israelis today. In addition to exploring the holy stones — the historic places and sites that have defined our faith — participants will engage the Living Stones: Jews, Muslims and Christians who live in the land.
Experienced tour leaders Jeff & Janet Wright have served as short-term Mission Co-Workers to Israel/Palestine through the Disciples of Christ/UCC Global Ministries, having traveled there many times. Janet is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Working near Bethlehem, she and colleagues created an all-Arab training team in EMDR. Jeff is recently retired as lead pastor of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The tour will be accompanied by a professional, local guide.
To facilitate conversation, take advantage of unplanned opportunities and provide a more enriching experience, tour size is limited to around two dozen persons. Participants will: explore the holy sites of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth (where Jesus was raised); visit the Abrahamic mosque and divided city of Hebron; tour Jericho, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and more; learn from Global Ministries mission partners; meet and discuss differing perspectives on the current political situation with Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders. Some meetings on the itinerary are subject to change due to speakers' availability and other conditions; substitutions of similar interest and quality are made.
Travel arrangements have been made through the award winning Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies. Overnight accommodations are clean, comfortable and modest, booked to maximize our contact with the Living Stones and make the tour more affordable. Past tour participants have rated the tour experience very highly. Cost of the 2022 tour is $2,660 (based on twenty participants, double occupancy, excluding airfare).