The Joel Kramer Israel Study Tour

See the land of Israel.  Listen to Joel's teaching.  Experience the Bible come to life!

Tour Dates

March 11-24, 2018

14 Days in Israel / 2 Travel Days

Tour Cost

$2,850 land-basis only

airfare not included

Itinerary

Galilee/Jerusalem

Bethlehem/and more...

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Your Tour Leader and Teacher -- Joel Kramer

Having lived in Jerusalem for almost ten years and earned a Masters Degree in Archaeology from the University of the Holy Land, Joel is sought after as an experienced tour leader and an expert teacher.

A pastor for a number of years before moving his family to Israel, Joel passionately and persuasively links together his understanding of Biblical archaeology and his belief in the truth of the Bible.

While he has participated in numerous digs with world-renowned archaeologists at sites such as The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and The Mount Zion Dig in Jerusalem,  Joel is best know for his teaching related to the archaeology of Jericho.  In 2010 he produced a film, Jericho Unearthed, which explains how the archaeology there, though disputed by some, lines up perfectly with the Biblical account of Joshua's conquest of Jericho.

As a teacher, Joel has strong opinions about archaeology and how it relates to the Bible, but his teaching style isn't to tell you what you ought to believe "because he said so".  Instead he offers direct source material that you can examine: archaeology reports, published books and journal articles, aerial photographs, linguistic references, historical records, ancient texts and the Bible.  His desire is more than just to convince you of the validity and profoundness of the Bible.  He wants to equip you to convince others!

Joel's unique specialty is his understanding of archaeological and historical locations in the West Bank.  Numerous significant Biblical sites are found there, but many tours to Israel miss out on these special places.  A few examples are Tel Balata (ancient Shechem) where Abraham first entered the land of Canaan, where Jacob later made his home, and where you can still stand and look up at Mount Gerazim and Mount Ebal and imagine hearing the Israelites echoing the blessings and the curses back to each other.  Mamre commemorates the spot where the announcement was made to Abraham and Sarah that Isaac, the long-promised son, was finally going to be born.  Still today, Jacob's Well offers refreshing water as it did for Jesus and the Samaritan woman.  Joel knows these places and many more as few others do who lead and teach in the Holy Land.

After 14 days touring and learning with Joel, you will have a powerful perspective that anchors Biblical truth in evidence...straight out of the dirt, stones and pottery sherds that are the land of Israel. At the end of your time with Joel, reading your Bible will be a rich, new experience!

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Tour Cost: $2,850

  • Land cost only, you are responsible for your airfare
  • This is a 16 day trip (14 full days in Israel, 2 travel days)

Cost Includes:

  • guide/teacher throughout the trip
  • all lodging
  • all transportation during tour days
  • all entrance fees and any incidental site fees

Cost does not include:

  • airfare
  • travel from the airport in Israel
  • lunches or any personal items (gifts, snacks, personal travel, etc.)
  • tip for guide and driver
  • trip cancellation insurance
  • hotel costs for early arrival/late departure
  • transportation for personal excursions

Additional Costs:      

  • If you wish to have a private, single room, there is an additional cost of $600.

Registration Fee:

  • $250/person registration fee (non-refundable)

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1:  ARRIVE BEN GURION AIRPORT

  • make your way from the airport to the Gilgal Hotel
  • 10 min. walk to the beach on the Mediterranean coast
  • supper / group meeting

DAY 2:  THE COASTAL PLAINS & THE JEZREEL VALLEY

  • Caesarea Maritima – built by Herod the Great, the Roman headquarters in Judea, site of a massive temple to Caesar Augustus from whom the city derives its name, where Holy Spirit was first poured out on gentiles (Cornelius and his family), where Paul was imprisoned and appealed and sent to Rome, an important place in the development of the early church.
  • Mt. Carmel – Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal
  • Tel Megiddo – Biblical city that guarded the main coastal travel route, the gathering place for the final battle of Armageddon
  • Jezreel Valley
  • Nazareth – where the angel Gabrielle announce the birth of the Messiah to the virgin Mary, town where Jesus grew up, significant archaeological remains

DAY 3:  SEA OF GALILEE

  • Mount Tabor
  • Mount Arbel
  • Sea of Galilee – much of Jesus’ ministry took place on the northern portion of the Sea of Galilee
  • Capernaum – the headquarters of Jesus’ Galilean ministry, where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law
  • Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee

DAY 4:  NORTHERN GALILEE

  • Hazor – the head of all the Canaanite kingdoms, the key city for Joshua’s northern conquest, burned by Joshua, one of the key cities built up by King Solomon
  • Hullah Valley
  • Tel Dan – the northern most city in ancient Israel, capital city of the tribal territory of Dan
  • Mount Hermon - highest mountain in Israel, headwaters of the Jordan River
  • Caesarea Philippi / Banias – cult site for the worship of the god Pan, location of Peter’s confession of Christ, one of the springs that feeds the headwaters of the Jordan River, a
  • Golan Heights

DAY 5:  JORDAN RIFT

  • Beth She’an – the place where Saul and his sons were hung on the city wall by the Philistines, the only Greek Decapolis city on the west side of the Jordan
  • Jordan River (baptismal site) – place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan to enter the Promised Land, site where Jesus was baptized
  • Masada – fortress used by Herod the Great, site of one of the last stands against the Romans in the First Jewish Revolt
  • Ein Gedi (hike) – a wilderness hideout where David and his men hid from Saul

DAY 6:  JERUSALEM

  • City of David: the site of Melchizedek’s city of Salem which David conquered from the Jebusites and made it the capital of Israel
    • David’s Palace – David’s residence, a monumental building
    • Hezekiah’s Tunnel (walking through)– the water tunnel built by Hezekiah to prepare for the Assyrian invasion
    • David’s Tomb – the site where King David was buried
  • Ben Hinnom Valley / Gehenna – the lowest valley in Jerusalem, the place that represents Judah’s sin of child sacrifice, the location where Judas hanged himself after betraying Jesus
  • Hezekiah’s Wall – a wall built by Hezekiah to expand Jerusalem in order to take in the refugees from the 10 northern tribes that were fleeing from the Assyrian army
  • Western Wall – a Jewish holy site, the foundation wall on the western side of the platform (the Temple Mount) on which the Jewish temple stood

DAY 7:  DAY OFF

  • Shop, Explore the Old City, Rest
  • Jewish Quarter closed/Muslim, Christian and Armenian Quarters open

 

DAY 8:  JERUSALEM

  • Mount Moriah/Temple Mount (7am) – where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, where Solomon and Zerrubabel built temples, Jesus used it as a teaching platform
  • Western Tunnel Tour – an tour that explores the now-underground base of the Western Wall
  • Southern Archaeology Park – within this park are the original steps that led to the temple entrance as it stood in Jesus’ time, piled up stones thrown down from the temple in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem
  • Hezekiah’s Broad Wall – the wall breached by the Babylonians in 586 BC
  • Israel Museum – the Shrine of the Book which displays the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Archaeology wing on the museum

DAY 9:  EPHRAIM / SAMARIA

  • Jacob’s Well - site where Jesus conversed with the Samaritan woman in John’s Gospel
  • Shechem – a Biblical city which is the location of many Old Testament stories including Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Rehoboam, in between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal where the Israelites renew the covenant
  • Samaria – the final capital of the northern kingdom of Israel before it was destroyed by the Assyrians, later built up by Herod the Great
  • Mount Gerizim – the mountain where the blessings were shouted by the 6 tribes of Israelites when the covenant was renewed, where the Samaritans still live to this day

DAY 10:  BENJAMIN / JUDAH

  • Bethel – second most mentioned city in Israel after Jerusalem, associated with Jacob’s staircase/ladder dream
  • Ai – the second city that he Israelites attacked after Jericho
  • Burj Beitin – where Abraham pitched his tent and worshiped God
  • Tel Shilo – the first headquarters of the Israelites after Joshua’s conquest, the location of the Jewish tabernacle for many centuries
  • Jericho – first city the Israelites conquered after crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land
  • Qumran/Dead Sea Scroll Cave (hike) – area where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in a series of 11 caves, Cave #1 is where the initial discovery was made

DAY 11:  WESTERN FOOTHILLS

  • Tel Gezer – city that the Pharaoh of Egypt conquered and gave to King Solomon as a wedding present, very interesting Canaanite high place
  • Bet Shemesh – the city that the Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites
  • Azehkah/Elah Valley – area of the battle between David and Goliath
  • Lachish – the second most important city in Judah after Jerusalem, conquered by Joshua, Sennacharib and Nebuchadnezzar

DAY 12:  JUDAH

  • Bethlehem – the birthplace of Jesus
  • 2nd Temple Pools – located near Bethlehem, built by Herod the Great to bring water to Jerusalem and the temple by aqueducts
  • Herodium – a palace built by Herod the Great on the edge of the Judean wilderness, where he was buried and his tomb recently discovered
  • Mamre – Abraham’s campsite where the Lord appeared to he and Sarah and promised that Isaac was to be born
  • Hebron/Machpella – the place where the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are buried (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Leah), location from which David ruled over the southern kingdom of Judah for 7 1/2 years

DAY 13:  JESUS DAY

  • Mount of Olives – location where Jesus ascended into heaven and to which He will return
  • Garden of Gethsemane – site where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion and where he was betrayed by Judas
  • Herod’s Palace Complex – the monumental palace Herod built for himself in Jerusalem
  • Gabbatha – the location of Jesus’ trial under Pontius Pilate
  • Golgotha – site of Jesus’ crucifixion
  • Tomb of Jesus – where Jesus was buried and resurrected
  • Church of the Apostles – location of the Last Supper and Pentecost

DAY 14: DAY OFF / DEPARTURE DAY

  • final shopping/packing
  • final group meeting
  • bus departs for airport at 7:30pm