2018 Israel Pilgrimage

Grace Church, Yorktown
Pilgrimage to Israel, May 11 - 21, 2018

                    Elsa and I are leading a pilgrimage to Israel in May of 2018. We will be going through a tour company called Breaking Bread Journeys.  Both of us have colleagues that have gone with them and returned with highly enthusiastic reviews.
            One distinctive element of this particular company -- and I was able to spend some time with Elisa Moed, one of the owners of the company while she was stateside in November -- is that there is opportunity to have several meals in different homes, i.e. a "Shabbath of a Lifetime" dinner in a Jewish home, etc. 
            The tour itself is 9 days long and of course there is a day of travel to and from Israel on either end.  Elsa and I would be trip leaders and would be the point persons for logistics as well as in charge of a devotional component to the trip.  A fully-trained tour guide will conduct the tour day to day in Israel. 
            The itinerary and links below provide a great deal more information.  The itinerary includes approximate costs and then you'll find a couple of links for the tour company -- Breaking Bread Journeys. 
            Including Elsa and myself, we are taking 22 people.  We are almost full.  We've had one organizational and informational meeting and it's a truly great group of travelers that is assembling.  Please let me know soon if you are wanting to explore this further.
            The Holy Land is an unforgettable experience.  It's often called "The Fifth Gospel" as the actual geography of Jesus ministry makes palpable the power of his life and Spirit.  I've been and just want to go back.  With our people!

                        -- The Rev. Carleton Bakkum




                    BB journeys logo

Footsteps of Jesus’
Rev. Bakkum Pilgrimage 2018

This very comprehensive Holy Land pilgrimage traverses the footsteps of Jesus. Learn about the life of Jesus as you explore the Holy land, visiting the town of his youth, the villages where he ministered, the sites of important miracles, and his route to Jerusalem. See where he spent his last days leading up to his crucifixion. Experience the Holy Land with an in-depth itinerary including many on and off the path biblical sites located in various landscapes throughout the Holy Land. Rediscover your faith in this once in a lifetime journey.

Suggested Itinerary and Proposal:


May 11th, 2018 – Friday: Depart USA – Travel to Israel May 12th, 2018 – Saturday: Arrival to Tel Aviv – Jericho

Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport where you will be met by our representative and tour-guide and taken to Jericho, one of the world's oldest cities. Check-in at hotel and time at leisure. Depending on time of arrival, short city tour of Jericho, see the Tree of Zacchaeus. In the evening, welcoming festive dinner.  Overnight in Jericho. (D)

May 13th, 2018 – Sunday: Jordan Valley and Dead Sea

Begin the day by ascending the Qarantal, the Mount of Temptation by cable-car. It is here that Jesus went into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days following His baptism and was tempted by Satan, as described in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, enjoy the panoramic view of the Oasis of Jericho, and see the site of the first victory of the Israelites in the Land of Canaan (Joshua 6). Continue to the Place of Baptism (Qasr al Yehud) along the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). Drive to Masada for lunch then, ascend to visit this fortress by Cable Car. Return to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and where a community of Essenes lived. It is also possible that John the Baptist spent some time  with the community here, then drive to one of the Dead Sea Beaches for an opportunity to float in its salty waters. Return to Jericho, In the evening enjoy dinner at one of Jericho’s Garden Restaurants and meet with the founders of Seeds of Hope, a non-profit organization based in Jericho to learn about their projects in the region. Return to hotel in Jericho for overnight. (B, L, D)

May 14th, 2018 – Monday:  Jordan Valley – Samaria – Sea of Galilee

Today we will begin our day visiting Samaria, starting with a visit to the Samaritans at Mt. Gerizim, visit the Museum and meet with the Samaritan Priest. View the city of Nablus below form Joseph’s observation point. Take a refreshing break at a local winery up on Har Bracha, enjoy meeting the owner of the vineyards with an opportunity for tasting some of the locally made wines. Continue to Nablus were we will visit Jacob’s Well and continue to  Sebastya,  where you will visit the ruins of one of the ancient palaces of King Herod and enjoy lunch there. Continue north to visit the village of Burqin. Visit the Church of St. George, where Jesus healed the 10 lepers. Continue to the Canaan Olive Oil Factory to taste the oils and learn about the successful fair trade cooperative. Leave Samaria passing the Jalameh Checkpoint and proceed to your hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (B, L, D)

May 15th, 2018 – Tuesday:  Sea of Galilee

After breakfast visit Magdala Center, here one can find a first century synagogue, a complete first century city and remains of a once prosperous fish processing industry. Complete with shops, marketplace, residential areas, and wharf, this is a city where Jesus himself visited and taught. Take a boat-ride across the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14:22-23). On reaching Capernaum, visit the ruins of this village, often called the hometown of Jesus, with its synagogue church marking the home of Peter, and dwellings from the time of Jesus. Lunch at  a restaurant nearby for a taste of the famous St. Peter’s Fish. Next, stop at the nearby Chapel of the Primacy of Peter, where Jesus appeared to the Apostles after the resurrection. Nearby is the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes at Tabgha, with its famed mosaic depicting the two fishes and the five loaves Jesus multiplied. End the day with Holy Mass at Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee where Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6).  Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.  (B, L, D)

May 16th, 2018 – Wednesday:  Cana – Nazareth – Mt. Carmel – Jerusalem

After breakfast, begin the day with a visit to Cana where often marriage vow renewals take place. Continue to Nazareth and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and view the Cave where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 1: 26-37). Tour the Old City and see Mary’s Well and the ancient synagogue. Free time for lunch on your own in Nazareth. In the afternoon drive to Mt. Carmel for a stop at Stella Maris in Haifa for a wonderful panoramic view of the port city and view the Bahai Shrine and Gardens. Drive along the Mediterranean coastline to Jerusalem. Check-in at hotel and dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

May 17th, 2018 – Thursday:  Jerusalem – Old City

Welcome the day with one of the most magnificent views in the world: ancient Jerusalem as seen from the top of the Mount of Olives. The bus will drive you to the Garden of Gethsemane at the base of the mountain, you can spend time pondering and praying about the time Jesus spent here with his disciples before his arrest. Enter the Old City via Lion’s Gate, also known as St. Stephen’s Gate to the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic. Continue along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, which tradition says Jesus went with the cross to Calvary. Lunch in the Old City along the Via Dolorosa, which passes through the colorful Old City markets to  the Church of the Holy Sepulchre the traditional site of the crucifixion of Jesus. In the afternoon continue to the Jewish Quarter and see the Southwestern steps of the Temple Mount stopping for private prayer at the Western Wall, the most significant site for the Jewish  people.  Overnight in Jerusalem. (B, L)

  May 18th, 2018 – Friday:  Yad Vashem – Ein Karem – Garden Tomb

Begin the day with a tour at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. Continue to visit Ein Karem with the Church of John the Baptist and meet with the sisters and learn about the Chemin Neuf at the Sisters of Zion Monastery who will host us for lunch. Return to Jerusalem to visit the Garden Tomb with an opportunity to celebrate communion. Rest of the afternoon free to rest. Experience a traditional Shabbat Dinner where you will be hosted by a Jewish family for their special Shabbat meal. (B, L, D)

May 19th, 2018 – Saturday:  Mt. Zion – Bethlehem

Drive to Mt. Zion where we will visit the “Upper Room” and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied the Lord three times. At noon drive to the Christian village of Beit Jala and enjoy hospitality with a Christian family. In the afternoon visit Bethlehem including a visit to the Church of the Nativity (Luke 2: 1-7), the birthplace of Jesus and stroll along Manger Square then continue to visit the Palestinian Heritage Center and on to Beit Sahour to visit the Shepherd’s Fields. Traditional oriental dinner in Beit Sahour. Return to Jerusalem for overnight. (B, L, D)

May 20th, 2018 – Sunday: Israel Museum

Today, visit the Israel Museum home to the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century – the Dead Sea Scrolls. An impressive model of Jerusalem in 69 CE sets the stage before entering the special shrine that contains the Scrolls. We will then return to the Old City and enjoy free time for lunch in the market. In the evening, enjoy farewell dinner with a local Moslem family in Beit Safafa. Return to Jerusalem for overnight. (B, D)

May 21st, 2018 Monday:  Jerusalem - Departure

Day at leisure in Jerusalem. Transfer to the airport for departure flight back to USA. (B)


Price Quotation Using Regular Season Rates 2017

Average cost of Land Package NET per person sharing a double room based on Superior Tourist Class hotels (based on 2017 Rates):

Based on min. group of 15 Persons: $2,495.- Based on min. group of 20 Persons: $2,195.- Based on min. group of 25 Persons: $2,095.- Based on min. group of 30 Persons: $2,030.- Single Room Supplement: $670.-

2 Persons complimentary in Double Room

Included in Package:

  • Meet & Assist at airport upon arrival and departure
  • 2 Overnights accommodation in Jericho (Oasis Hotel or similar)
  • 2 Overnights accommodation in Tiberias (Ron Beach Hotel or similar)
  • 5 Overnights accommodation in Jerusalem (Notre Dame Guesthouse or similar)
  • 9 Breakfasts and 4 Dinners at hotels
  • 4 Lunches en route
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
  • 5 Special Hospitality segments and Meals with families
  • Tourist Bus throughout tour as per itinerary
  • Professional licensed Tour guide
  • All entrance fees as mentioned

Not Included in Package:

  • Various Tips to Guide, Drivers and other staff
  • Drinks at Meals
  • Items of personal nature
  • Travel Insurance


Recommended links:



Watch the Breaking Bread Journey segment on PBS Newshour: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/meet-two-holy-land-tour-guides-bridge-israeli-palestinian-divide/


Read Breaking Bread Journeys TripAdvisor tour reviews: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293983-d7282554-Reviews-Breaking_Bread_Journeys-Jerusalem_Jerusalem_District.html


Last Published: May 1, 2017 11:07 AM
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