Monday, August 07, 2017

Travel to Palestine & Israel - June 4-15, 2018

Travel to Israel and Palestine with Drs. Stephoni Case & Marty Michelson

What kind of trip is this?

This is offered most intentionally for Christian persons who are interested in learning about Palestine and Israel from the time of the Bible to the present.  Educational in focus, some daily Christian reflection will be offered at Holy Sites in Israel and Palestine.  This trip will be educational for all participants - regardless of familiarity with the Bible, though History and Bible knowledge will inform one's appreciation of each day's learning. Additionally we will explore political, archeological, social and cross-cultural components as part of our daily travel. 

Is it safe? 

Given the contemporary world, no one can ever assure anyone’s complete safety anywhere in the world. The Holy Land is no exception to this sad reality. However, travel to and within Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories does not place one at significantly greater risk of being a victim of violence than does travel to and within any major American city. In my own travel to the area no one with my group has felt threatened by violence.  Also - tourist travel to Israel was the highest it has ever been, in 2017, safe, secure!

What sites will the trip visit? Some locations should include:

Sea of Galilee *Dead Sea  *Jordan River  *Bethlehem
Jerusalem  *Mount of Olives * Golan Heights  *Nazareth
Masada  *Jerash  *Caesarea Maratima  *Sepphoris
Madaba  *Mount of Beatitudes
*Church of Nativity  *Church of the Holy Sepulchre

What are the dates for the trip?

June 4 to 15, 2017.  We will depart into and out of Dallas-Fort Worth airport though persons *may* construct other alternative travel dates to/from Israel to “meet the group” - and/or - persons may arrive early or later.  [Supplements for travel in other gateway cities - will have separate support travel necessary, and obviously persons staying extra days will have additional costs.  If persons need to fly to/from DFW, their flights to/from DFW will be an additional cost.  The trip is designed for all to “arrive and depart” as a group for all days though some flexibility can be framed, but it is not ideal and can not be complex.]

Who will lead the tour?

Dr. Marty Alan Michelson will guide for Education on each day.  Two days for some participants will have special University Travel with Dr. Stephoni Case - including Bar Elan University and Hebrew University.  These two days will be "free" for personal site-seeing or rest - or simply for sitting in the Old City enjoying a meal and the culture.
( See more here: and )

Why do you lead trips to the Holy Land?

I lead trips to the Holy Land because I love the experience. I love introducing people to the traditional holy sites and to the lands of the Bible. Also, I love helping Americans to learn about the contemporary culture and struggles of the people who populate the lands of the Bible today. My trips actively engage questions of peace-making in the Middle East. I make no profit from the trips.

How much does it cost?

$3872 which will cover all airfare, every night of lodging, all busses/vans, all entry fees, breakfast and dinner while in Palestine/Israel (not in airport meals), entrance fees, border fees, guide fees, taxes, tips.  [Hotels are 2 persons per room or supplemental fee.]

When is the money due?

Full payment with the registration will be due ten weeks before the departure date. Participants are encouraged to pay in monthly increments up until all fees are due in Spring 2018.  Payments can be made directly to SBS once registered with them - and/or through Dr. Stephoni Case.  Persons can sign up NOW!

Aren’t many similar trips to the Holy Land cheaper?

No. Many travel companies practice a “bait-and-switch” method of sales. They either advertise a price that is eventually either is unavailable or is later inflated with additional “fees” (like taxes, tips, entry fees, domestic air, oversea ground transportation, visa fees, meals, etc.). Our pricing policy is realistic and does not inflate after you have committed to travel. I have, in the past, had the US Department of Travel add last minute fees for security excise fees, however.

What all is covered by the cost of the trip?

The price of the trip includes all transportation, lodging, taxes and governmental fees, all morning and evening meals (lunch is not included), admission to all sites, and tips. The price does not include the price of lunch each day or the price of keepsakes and a few personally chosen tips.

Is this trip sponsored by the university where you teach? And can I get college credit?

Yes, SNU, where we each, is associated with this trip. Yes, college credit is available though with University level work required in addition to the trip itself.  Contact Dr. Marty Michelson.

Who may go on this trip?

Any person ready to adventure in education in Palestine and Israel. The main ingredient is a gracious attitude, willing heart, studious mind, and ability to walk/hike or willingness to sit behind while others do their walking/hiking to/from locations.

Can I be baptized in the Jordan River?

It is likely this will be available, though not guaranteed. Rev. Dr. Michelson will baptize anyone who has not been baptized before and who professes Christ as Lord. For those who have been baptized before, they may renew their baptismal vows at the Jordan River.

Will we celebrate the Lord’s Supper at any point?

Yes. For those who wish to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we will offer the sacrament while on the Mount of the Beatitudes (overlooking the Sea of Galilee).

Are there a limited number of places available on this trip?

Yes. The trip is limited to the number of people who can comfortably travel in a single bus on location.

Do I need a passport?

Yes. You will need a passport at least six months before we travel. You start the passport process at Do this early, NOW!

What kind of meals will be available?

Some meals will be served as buffets with traditional Arabic, Jewish, American dishes from which to choose. Other meals will be served in sit down style with service to your table. Lunch will be purchased at local restaurants (at the traveler’s expense). Meal portions will not be “all you can eat” but will be a full portion meal, often served in several “courses.”

How much cash should I take?

The answer to this question largely depends upon each individual’s personal spending habits. The only direct expenses that travelers will incur are lunch time meals and beverages (other than water) at meal times. (In the Middle East, hotels traditionally serve only water and charge a nominal fee [about $1] for any additional beverage.) I have traveled with people who spent less $100 on a fifteen day trip and with people who have spent more than $500 in the same length of time. (Most outlets take credit cards and ATMs are widely available, but I do NOT recommend traveler’s checks—many places will not accept traveler’s checks and many others add a surcharge to traveler’s checks). As a general guideline, I would recommend about $300 in cash for most travelers.

Will the trip offer time for personal prayer and spiritual reflection?

Yes. Most days will include a few hours in the evening when travelers can engage in unstructured activities ranging from personal prayer and meditation to walks along the Sea of Galilee.

What are the hotel accommodations like?

Our accommodations are generally in three and four hotels, comparable to moderately priced American hotels. All are clean, safe and professionally staffed.  Standards of room size, bathroom size and full amenities are not equivalent to the same class of hotels in America and akin to European experiences with better hospitality.  All have private bathrooms and comfortable beds.  Each two person in any room will share one private bathroom.

Will we meet with any local people?

Yes. We will connect with people who represent the diversity of political and religious opinions in the Middle East. The programs allows the travelers to meet local Christians, Jews and Muslims from both Israel and Palestine. Travelers will be able to dialogue with a wide spectrum of opinion.

How do I register for the trip?

Contact Dr. Stephoni Case ( or Dr. Marty Michelson ( for paperwork on how to register.

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