THE BIBLE IN ITS LAND:

BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY IN ISRAEL

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

 

Led by

Gary A. Rendsburg

Laurie Professor of Jewish History

Rutgers University

 

      Professor Rendsburg’s Invitation

Introduction

 

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.”  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.

 

 

Itinerary

 

 

Monday, February 11th – Day 1 – Jerusalem

 

Morning:      

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 Talpiyyot. 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.

 

Afternoon:   

At leisure.

                      

Evening:      

Orientation and Welcome Dinner.

 

Meals:  Dinner

 

Overnight:  Dan Panorama

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

 

Morning:      

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

Rendsburg will present our 1st Learning Session on THE ANCIENT JEWISH

SECTS:  SADDUCEES, PHARISEES, ESSENES, AND ZEALOTS.

 

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

synagogue.

Masada

Afternoon:   

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

below.

 

Evening:       

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

Morning:        

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

Afternoon:    

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.

 

Evening:        

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

 

Morning:       

We will have our 2nd Learning Session with Professor Rendsburg 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  

David.

 

Afternoon:    

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.

 

Evening:       

At leisure.

 

Meals:  Breakfast

 

Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

 

Friday, February 15th – Day 5 – Jerusalem

 

Morning:       

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 This is the ideal setting

for Professor Rendsburg’s 3rd Learning Session on MAXIMALISTS AND

MINIMALISTS IN THE STUDY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL.

 

We return to Jerusalem by mid-day.

 

Afternoon:    

The afternoon is free.

 

Evening:        

We will enjoy a festive Erev Shabbat Dinner together.

 

Meals:  Breakfast & Dinner

 

Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Jerusalem

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

 

Morning:       

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

Afternoon:    

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

                                               

Evening:        

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

 

Morning:        

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. 

 

Afternoon:    

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

 

Belvoir

 

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.

 

Evening:        

At leisure.

 

Meals:  Breakfast 

 

Overnight:  Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel, Tiberias

 

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

 

Morning:       

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.

 

Afternoon:    

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.

 

Evening:        

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

 

Morning:         

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 4th  

Learning Session on THE RISE OF RABBINIC JUDAISM.

 

Cave of the Sarcophagi at Bet She’arim

Afternoon:    

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.

 

Evening:        

Free evening.

 

Meals:  Breakfast

 

Overnight: Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv

 

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

2016 Biblical Archaeology Group in Caesarea

Morning:      

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

more. 

 

We will have our 5th Learning Session on EARLY CHRISTIANITY AS A JEWISH

MOVEMENT amidst the ruins of Caesarea.

                       

Afternoon:   

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

 

Evening:       

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

Professor Rendsburg and Dr. Cohen. 

                       

Meals:  Breakfast & Dinner

 

Overnight:  Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv (optional)

This itinerary is subject to change

 

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Hotels

 

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 fro 2018.

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

 

It has earned the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

About the 2016 Biblical Archaeology Study Tour

        with Martha Friedman and Harold Heft (Princeton, NJ)

The Price

FOR THE STUDY TOUR

 

Land Only: $3,600           Single Room Supplement: $975

 

$500 deposit due upon registration.

 

Minimum of 10 passengers for this study tour.

 

Optional Post-Study Tour Extension

Petra

Petra

 

This extension tour is custom-designed for the group.  There will be two guides, Dr. Cohen to give you the Jewish history of the area and a licensed Jordanian guide to provide the essential background and history surrounding this magnificent city carved into the 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

 

Morning:        

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.

 

Afternoon:    

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.

             

Evening:        

The group will dine together at a local restaurant.

 

Meals:  Breakfast and Dinner

 

Overnight: Petra, Jordan

 

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

 

Morning:       

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

 

Afternoon:    

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.

 

Evening:        

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

Observatory.

 

     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

-Porterage

-Bottled water

The Price

FOR THE PETRA EXTENSION

 

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

 

Gary A. Rendsburg, Ph.D. is the Laurie Professor of Jewish History, Dept. of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. His teaching and research focus on 'all things ancient Israel.' Gary holds degrees from the University of North Carolina and NYU's Institute of Hebrew Language and Culture. He is the author of 6 books and about 150 articles; his most popular book is The Bible and the Ancient Near East, co-authored with the late Cyrus Gordon. In addition, he has produced 2 courses for the 'Great Courses' program, one on 'The Book of Genesis' and one on 'The Dead Sea Scrolls'. Gary has visited all the major archaeological sites in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. He has excavated at Tel Dor and Caesarea.

The Guide

Dudu Cohen, Ph.D. 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. David earned his degrees from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: B.A. in Geography, M.A. in Archaeology and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies.  As a researcher, Dudu is a permanent contributor for Projects TABS – TheTorah.com (http://thetorah.com/tour-guide-bible-scholar-dudu-cohen/) 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.

QUESTIONS?????

For Travel-Related Questions:

Contact Ariel Lipszyc

Gil Travel Group

800-223-3855

ariell@giltravel.com

 

 

For Program Questions:

Contact Moshe Margolin, Director

Jewish Explorations

866-898-0037

moshe@jewish-explorations.com

 

This itinerary is subject to change

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