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Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Art & Archaeology with Dr. Ira Spar Ramapo College/The Metropolitan Museum of Art May 26–June 7, 2019 | Israel Tour
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Israel Tour / Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Art & Archaeology with Dr. Ira Spar Ramapo College/The Metropolitan Museum of Art May 26–June 7, 2019

Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Art & Archaeology with Dr. Ira Spar Ramapo College/The Metropolitan Museum of Art May 26–June 7, 2019

per person

Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Art & Archaeology with Dr. Ira Spar

Ramapo College/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

May 26–June 7, 2019 / with optional Petra Extension 6/6 – 6/9

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Sunday, May 26

Depart USA

Monday, May 27

Going up into the Land Arrive in Israel to be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today's program depends on arrival time) • Travel to Jerusalem through the biblical Ayalon Valley • Look out over the Old City of Jerusalem and Temple Mount - Introduction to the "Holy Basin" • Walking tour to the Old City of Jerusalem focusing on the city's walls, gates, rooftops and division into "four" quarters • Lunch on own • Check-in to the Mt. Zion Hotel in Jerusalem • Lecture by Prof. Ira Spar: Introduction to Jerusalem (at hotel, room needed) • Welcome dinner at Olive and Fish Restaurant Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 28

Urban Story: 1,500 years in Jerusalem from David to Justinian Tour the City of David, including its ancient water system without getting wet, as we use archaeology and the Bible to trace Jerusalem's history from a small settlement closely connected to its basic needs of water and defense to the political and religious capital of biblical Israel (Judah) • Follow Jerusalem's urban growth and cultural transformations into the Second Temple Period at Robinson's Arch, Western Wall, Southern Wall and Davidson Center • Lunch at Between the Arches Restaurant, located in ancient cistern • Unique tour of the Western Wall Tunnels with Dr. Avi Solomon, the site's chief archaeologist (subject to availability) • Tour of archaeological sites in the Jewish Quarter, including Broad Wall, Israelite Tower (closed site to be opened specially for this group), Herodian Mansions and Cardo • Free time to shop and explore on own • Dinner on own Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 29

Temple Mount, Holy Sepulcher, Mt. Zion.  Early departure to tour the Temple Mount (Haram Esh-Sharif) – Islam's holiest site in Jerusalem to see the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa Mosque • Follow the Stations of the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. En route we will encounter Jerusalem's multiculturalism and modern histroy on El Wad Street and at the Austrian Hospice (Great Powers in Ottoman Jerusalem). Then seen the Sabils, Ottoman Fountains installed by Suleiman the Magnificent • Lunch on own • In depth tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, examining history, religion/ sanctity and inter denominational relations (Status Quo) in the church • Special visit with Abu Halaf, purveyor of textiles to the Vatican • Visit to St. James Armenian Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter • Visit to Mt. Zion, including Cenacle (Upper Room of the Last Supper) and David's Tomb (both in the same buidling crowned by an Moslem minaret) • Dinner on own • Watch the Night Spectacular – Sound & Light show at the Tower of David Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Thursday, May 30

The City and the Desert Nearby: Masada and the Dead Sea Region Set out across the Judean Desert on the Good Samaritan Route • Tour the ruins of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and hear about the ascetic Jewish sect that lived there 2,000 years ago • Ascend Masada by cable car to tour the ruins of Herod's palace and the last outpost of Jewish independence • Lunch at Dead Sea resort • Swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at a local resort.  The resort also has a fresh water pool and spa facilities. Massage and spa treatments available by prior reservation at own expense • Free evening • Dinner on own
Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Friday, May 31

Holocaust, Remembrance and Continuity.  Tour of Yad Vashem Israel's national Holocaust memorial and museum, including the Holocaust History Museum and Children's Memorial • Lunch on own • Explore the bustling Machane Yehuda Market and take in a slice of local life as you see Jerusalemites begin preparing for Shabbat and then tour the nearby quaint Nachlaot neighborhoods • Free time to explore on own • Attend festive Greeting of the Sabbath at the Western Wall • Festive Shabbat Dinner at hotel Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Saturday, June 1

And on the Seventh Day....in Jerusalem.  Optional walking tour to the First Temple period burial site at Ketef Hinnom (below Scottish Church) – Where archaeologists discovered the oldest biblical text ever found (exhibited at Israel Museum). Then continue to Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the first neighborhood built outside the Old City walls. Its founding in the 19th century marked the birth of the New City • Visit to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem in the first century. Free time to explore additional exhibitions on own – Our Recommendations: Modern Israeli art, Synagogue interiors in the Judaica section and the Archaeology Wing • Bethlehem excursion to visit the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square and the nearby Milk Grotto. Then drive to the Shepherds Fields in Beit Sahur • Free evening • Dinner on own Overnight: Mt. Zion Hotel, Jerusalem

Sunday, June 2

From Gethsemane to the Galilee.  Visit the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations (Church of the Agony) • Travel to the Jordan Valley to tour the desert monastery of Dir Hogla, dedicated to St. Jerome • Visit the Qasr El Yahud Baptismal Site on the Jordan River east of Jericho, which is also associated with where the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan and where the Prophet Elijah ascended to heaven in a Chariot of Fire • Visit the ancient synagogue of Beit Alfa and discover why its 1,500 year old mosaic floor features a wheel of the zodiac • Tour the exquisite Roman ruins of Beit Shean, once a splendid city of the Decapolis • Check in to the Nof Ginosar Hotel on Kibbutz Ginosar by the Sea of Galilee • Dinner at hotel • Lecture by Prof. Ira Spar: War & Peace in the Age of the Patriarchs (at hotel, room needed) Overnight: Nof Ginosar

Monday, June 3

Sea of Galilee and Mystical Tzfat . Explore the ruins of Capernaum, where Jesus began his Ministry in the Galilee, including its coastline, octagonal Byzantine church – Peter's House and massive ancient stone synagogue • See the iconic Fish and Loaves mosaic at Tabha, site of the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Fish and the Loaves • Visit the Mt. of the Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount and see Barluzzi's octagonal church • Lunch on own • Tour old synagogues and picturesque alleys of Tzfat, cradle of Jewish mysticism in 16th century, including the ofante Abuhav Synagogue to see its symbolic art and architecture and the Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue • Dinner at hotel Overnight: Nof Ginosar

Tuesday, June 4

Megiddo and Caesarea.  Tour of Tel Megiddo led Archaeologist by Norma Franklin. Megiddo was an important city in biblical Israel, associated with Armageddon from the Book of Revelations, including its ancient water system • Lunch on own• Visit the ruins of Caesarea, including its Roman Theater, Amphitheater, Hippodrome, Promontory Palace, ancient port and aqueducts • Travel to Tel Aviv • Check into the Dan Panorama Hotel on Tel Aviv's Meditteranean Coast • Lecture by Prof. Ira Spar: Excavations at Tel Hadar • Free evening • Dinner on own Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Wednesday, June 5

The Hebrew City and the Jewish State Walking tour of historic "Little Tel Aviv" - Discover the quaint Neve Tzeddek neighborhood that gave birth to the "first Hebrew city in 2,000 years" • Discover City of Sand and Sea, a mosaic fountain created by artist and writer Nachum Gutman portraying scenes from the history of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Then see his wall mosaic portraying early Tel Aviv as the artist remembered it in the Shalom Towers • Hear about the establishment of Tel Aviv at the Founders' Monument then stroll down Rothschild Boulevard to view the Bauhaus architecture for which central Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site • Lunch on own • Guided of the Reuven Rubin Museum to hear about the landmark work of this modern Israeli artist, who documented Tel Aviv in its early years • Free time to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy beachside Promenade • Free evening • Dinner on own Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv

Thursday, June 6

Graffiti, Antiquities and Charm in Tel Aviv and Jaffa Discover Tel Aviv's remarkable street art on a graffiti tour of the hip Florentine neighborhood – The Soho of Israel • Tour Old Jaffa, where paintings and sculptures have been installed in the alleys of the ancient port city once known as the Gate of Zion • Lunch on own • Afternoon free to explore on own and get in last minute shopping • Farewell dinner at Maganda Restaurant in Tel Aviv's old Yemenite Quarter Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport – See you again soon!

Thursday, June 7

Arrive in USA

Optional Jordan Petra Extension - Friday, June 7

Jerash, Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Amman Morning departure from Tel Aviv cross into Jordan and meet our Jordanian guide • Travel to Jerash to tour its extensive Roman ruins • Look out over Israel from Mt. Nebo, where Moses saw the Land, but could not enter • Continue to Madaba, the “city of mosaics”, to see the Madaba Map, the oldest known map of the Holy Land • Travel to Amman • Time permitting: Amman city tour to see ruins of ancient Roman Philadelphia • Check in to the Grand Palace Hotel, Amman • Dinner at hotel • Overnight: Grand Palace Hotel, Amman

Saturday, June 8 – Petra

Travel to Petra, stopping at Hor Ha-Har, where Aaron was buried. We arrive in Petra to explore the amazingly carved red sandstone city of the ancient Nabateans. Tour Petra’s Treasury, Roman theatre, caves and fascinating rock formations (lunch included) • Dinner and Overnight in Petra at Movenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel

Sunday, June 9 - Little Petra/ Departure

This morning we take a special tour of magical Little Petra • Travel to the border at the Arava Crossing to return to Israel, where we will be met by an ITC representative and escorted to Eilat Airport for a domestic flight to Tel Aviv • Late night departure from Ben Gurion Airport on an overnight flight to U.S.A.

Only Package $3595. Discounted rate payment by check;
Land and Air*Package $5145. Discounted rate payment by check;
Single Room Supplement $1265. Discounted rate payment by check
Land only Package $3739. Full cost for credit card payment
Land and Air* Package $5350. Full cost for credit card payment
Single Room Supplement $1309. Full cost for credit card payment
Tips for guide, driver, restaurants, portage $180.* Collected in advance
Land only prices based on 15 paying participants; price will increase with fewer than 15 and be reduced at 20 or more

Prices for Jordan Extension: June 6–9, 2019
“Land Only” Packages based on number of travelers, staying halfboard at the following hotels sharing double rooms: $1475 minimum 5 participants Price Includes: Meet & assist by our representative at Arava Border Crossing upon departure • Entrance fees to all sites as mentioned above • In Petra: Short horse ride to entrance of Siq (on horseback, not by carriage) • Accommodation for 2 nights at 4 star hotels, as mentioned above on half board basis Porterage at Border & Hotels • Transfers by A/C Coach all throughout the itinerary • English Speaking guide, all throughout the itinerary • Lunch in day 2 included as per itinerary • Flight from Eilat to TA or B.G. airport • All transfers • Assistance by ITC representative in Eila

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