The Bible in Its Land:

Biblical Archaeology in



Monday, February 11th, to Wednesday, February 20th, 2019


Led by

Dudu Cohen, Ph.D.

Archaeologist and Licensed Guide




Jewish history begins in the land of Israel, where the Bible was written and where modern archaeology reveals the ancient past.  Our study tour brings these two aspects of early Judaism to life, exploring the land “with the text in one hand and the trowel in the other.” 


The study tour is led by Dr. Dudu Cohen an archaeologist and licensed guide.


We will focus on the biblical and the Greco-Roman periods.  We will visit archaeological sites in Jerusalem, Qumran, Masada, Tel Arad, Tel Beer Sheva, Megiddo, Bet She’arim, Bet Alfa, Bet She’an, Caesarea, and more. 


We are also offering a very special post-study tour extension to Petra and Eilat.





Monday, February 11th – Day 1 – Jerusalem



Meet at the Dan Panorama in Jerusalem.

View from the Mount of Olives


Yerushalayim harim saviv lah “Jerusalem, the mountains surround her,"

states Psalm 125:2.


Take a City Tour by motor coach enjoying the vistas of the city from    

Mount Scopus, Mount of Olives, and Talpiot. We will then drive the

outer perimeter of the current Old City walls, built during the early

Ottoman period, further orienting ourselves. We will then stop at the Jaffa

Gate to learn about the historical complexity of Jerusalem and the  

Old City wall.



At leisure.



Orientation and Welcome Dinner.


Meals:  Dinner


Overnight:  Dan Panorama

Tuesday, February 12th – Day 2 – Dead Sea Area



Our first stop is Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Dr. Cohen will present our 1st Learning Session on THE ANCIENT JEWISH



Next, we visit Ein Gedi, known for its natural beauty and Byzantine-period


Dr. Dudu Cohen Atop Masada with the 2016 Biblical Archaeology Group


We will then visit Masada, home to Herod’s winter palace and the          

suicide of the Zealots during the Great Revolt against Rome.        


After lunch on our own at the café at the Visitors Center which is located

at the foot of the mountain, we will take the cable car to the summit. 

We will tour the public area on the top of the mountain and the palace




We will have dinner at our hotel on the shore of the Dead Sea.


Meals:  Breakfast & Dinner


Overnight:  Daniel Dead Sea, Ein Bokek

Wednesday, February 13th – Day 3 – Tel Arad/Tel Beer Sheva/Jerusalem


After breakfast, Dr. Cohen will present the 2nd Learning Session on ARCHAEOLOGY AND MONTHEISM. After a dip in the Dead Sea, we will go to Tel Arad which was first settled 5000 years ago. It has a lower city with Cananite ruins and upper hill

where a fortress was built.


Tel Beer Sheva


Tel Beer Sheva, located in the Tel Sheva National Park, is one of the most

important archaeological sites in Israel. It was recognized as a UNESCO

World Heritage Site in 2007. 


We then head up to Jerusalem.


The late afternoon is free.



After dinner at one of Jerusalem’s fine restaurants, we will enjoy a tour of the Street Art of Machane Yehuda After Dark with a local artist.


Meals:  Breakfast & Dinner


Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

Thursday, February 14th – Day 4 – Jerusalem



After breakfast, we will have our 3rd Learning Session on THE HISTORY OF JERUSALEM.


City of David Excavations



We will then travel to the Old City and see some of the most important

archaeological sites in Jerusalem. The morning’s itinerary will include the

City of David excavations with the recently discovered palace of King  




After a break for lunch in the Jewish Quarter, we will explore the Second

Temple period excavations at the southern and western walls of the

Temple Mount (the Western Wall itself, Robinson’s Arch and more).


The late afternoon is free.



At leisure.


Meals:  Breakfast


Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Jerusalem


Friday, February 15th – Day 5 – Jerusalem



We will take the short drive to Khirbet Qeiyafa. Recent excavations have

revealed a well-planned fortified city in Judah as early as the late 11th-

early 10th centuries BCE, the time of King David.  


We return to Jerusalem by mid-day.



The afternoon is free.



We will enjoy a festive Erev Shabbat Dinner together.


Meals:  Breakfast & Dinner


Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

Saturday, February 16th – Day 6 – Shabbat in Jerusalem



There will be ample time to attend Shabbat services at a local

synagogue: The Great Synagogue (Orthodox), The Center for

Conservative Judaism, and Hebrew Union College (Reform), all within

easy walking distance of the hotel.


Shrine of the Book


We then will head to the Israel Museum, where Dr. Cohen will lead

you on a tour focusing on the archaeology of Israel. We will inspect the

Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book, and you will see some of the

artifacts unearthed by Dr. Cohen. You may walk or taxi to the Museum

and back.



Motzei Shabbat is at leisure.


Meals: Breakfast [Lunch at the hotel is available with pre-order]


Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

Sunday, February 17th – Day 7 – Megiddo/Afula/Belvoir/Tiberias



We head north to Megiddo with its 25 archaeological strata, whose

remains include the underground water system and a massive

Canaanite altar.  So many battles were fought here that the term

‘Armageddon’ refers to the final cataclysmic battle.  This is the ideal setting for our 4th Learning Session on MAXIMALISTS AND MINIMALISTS IN THE STUDY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL.



We will stop for lunch in Afula—known for its falafel and sunflower seeds.




We will then visit Belvoir, a Crusader fortress near the border with Jordan.

While the site is not part of our narrative, it provides a commanding view

of the area.


We will arrive to our hotel in the late afternoon.



At leisure.


Meals:  Breakfast 


Overnight:  Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel, Tiberias


Monday, February 18th – Day 8 – Bet Alfa/Bet She’an/Tiberias



We begin our day’s touring with Bet Alfa, a small village during the

Roman-Byzantine period which has the best- preserved mosaic floor from

an ancient synagogue anywhere in Israel or beyond.



We will have lunch at Shipudei Hakikar, a Middle Eastern restaurant.

Bet She'an


Our next stop will be Bet She’an, the best-preserved city from Roman

times in the land of Israel.  It includes central streets, a theatre, bathhouse

and amphitheater.



We will enjoy dinner at Laguna Restaurant in Tiberias.


Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Overnight:  Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel, Tiberias

Tuesday, February 19th – Day 9 – Sephorris/Bet She’arim/Tel Aviv



Sephorris, where Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi compiled the Mishnah, is our first

stop of the day.  Sephorris reveals a large synagogue, numerous mikvot,

a theater, marketplace, villas and mansions. We will have our 5th  



Cave of the Sarcophagi at Bet She’arim


We will visit Bet She’arim, the site of thousands of Jewish burials spread

throughout 20 catacombs.  Sarcophagi reflect Roman influence, yet

Jewish symbols can be found.


We then travel to Tel Aviv, arriving in the late afternoon.



Free evening.


Meals:  Breakfast


Overnight: Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv


Wednesday, February 20th – Day 10 – Caesarea/Tel Aviv 

2016 Biblical Archaeology Group in Caesarea


We head to Caesarea, the perfect place to end our tour as we look out

at the Mediterranean Sea. Built by Herod to serve as a Roman seaport

city within the land of Israel, its architectural wonders are still easily visible:

Herod’s palace, theatre, amphitheater, harbor, temple to Jupiter, and




We return to Tel Aviv where you will have free time.



We will have a festive Farewell Dinner at Lechem V’Basar, an eatery on

the Promenade at Port Tel Aviv followed by a Wrap-Up Discussion led by

Dr. Cohen. 


Meals:  Breakfast & Dinner


Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv (optional)

This itinerary is subject to change











$500 deposit due upon registering.

Minimum 10 participants.




The newly-renovated Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem is located in the heart of the city.


It has earned the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.

The Daniel Dead Sea Hotel is located in Ein Bokek.


It has earned the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.

The Rimon Galei Kinnereth is on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 


It has earned the Trip Advisor Travellers' Choice award for 2018.

The Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv is across from the Mediterranean Sea.


It has earned the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Optional Post-Study Tour Extension




This extension tour takes you to Jordan and the world-famous Red Rocks of Petra.


Wednesday, February 20th - Extension Day 1 - Tel Aviv


Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv


Thursday, February 21st – Extension – Day 2– Tel Aviv/Eilat/Petra



After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Eilat.

Upon arrival, transfer to the border with Jordan and travel to Petra.



Spend the afternoon at the world-famous site with a Jordanian guide.  Dr. Cohen will accompany the group to highlight the story of Jewish Petra. There will be a horse ride included in the day's activities.



The group will dine together at a local restaurant.


Meals:  Breakfast and Dinner


Overnight: Petra, Jordan


Friday, February 22nd – Extension – Day 3 – Petra/Eilat



After breakfast, spend the morning seeing the local sights in Petra.



After lunch, return to Eilat to relax and enjoy the afternoon at leisure at

waterfront hotel OR fly to Tel Aviv to arrive in time for Shabbat.



OR, at extra cost, stay in Eilat for some downtime in this mecca for winter

sun worshippers from Europe and Scandinavia. There is plenty to see and

do in this resort city including a visit to the Coral World Underwater



     Fly back to Tel Aviv at your leisure.


What's Included: 

- 2 nights in a hotel, one in Tel Aviv and one in Petra

-R/T flights Tel Aviv/Eilat

-Breakfast in Tel Aviv and dinner and breakfast in Petra

-Two guides

-Horse ride in Petra

-Jordanian Visa and visa fees


-Bottled water

The Price



Land Only: $950           Single Room Supplement: $225


Minimum of 8 participants required for this extension.


The experts at the Philadelphia-based Gil Travel Group,

 the official travel provider for Jewish Explorations,

will help you to plan your post-program stay

and flights to and from Israel.

The Scholar/Guide

Dudu Cohen, Ph.D. earned his degrees from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: B.A. in Geography, M.A. in Archaeology and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies. 


He has been a licensed guide since 1972. He served as a navigator in the paratroop brigade of the IDF. He was a high school teacher for Bible & Jewish History. He later served as a Youth-Aliyah Shaliach in Chicago. As a researcher, Dudu is a permanent contributor for Projects TABS – ( Dudu lists among his discoveries: 'Waheb in Suphah' (Numbers 21:14), the ancient pass of the Arnon Canyon; and the Via Limes Arabicus – the Eastern Roman frontier road in Jordan.



For Travel-Related Questions:

Contact Ariel Lipszyc

Gil Travel Group

800-223-3855 x 239



For Program Questions:

Contact Moshe Margolin, Director

Jewish Explorations



This itinerary is subject to change

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