Upcoming Trips

Palestine Portal posts trips that incorporate responsible tourism in the Holy Land: not doing harm to the Palestinian people and learning about their struggle for freedom and justice.  If you know of such trips that we do not have here, please let us know: info@palestineportal.org

The trips on this page are not listed in chronological order; they are grouped by tour organizers.

Pilgrims of Ibillin Pilgrimages
Led by Rev. Joan Deming, UMC

Looking for a way to engage with Peacemakers and go beyond traditional tourism to Israel/Palestine?  Pilgrims of Ibillin offers excellent listening/study tours. Join us to meet the peacemakers of today. View a sample pilgrimage itinerary.

Upcoming Living Stones Pilgrimages: 

15–28 October 2019
Click here for information, itinerary, and registration info.
Early registration deadline: 30 June.
Last day to register: 15 Sept.

To register, please download the form for the trip you want, print it, fill it in, and mail to Joan with a check for the registration fee of $500 per person (or $450 before the early registration deadline).

Join us to meet peacemakers, see the situations in which they live and work, and express our solidarity. Registrants will be accepted until 4 weeks before the trip.
Contact Joan Deming for more info: jdeming7@gmail.com.

In the Footsteps of Jesus:
Alternative Tours to Palestine and Israel

Hosted by Jeff and Janet Wright
Two Pilgrimages in 2020:
6–17 January and 24 January – 4 February

Alternative (responsible) travel seeks to transform curious tourists into informed pilgrims by engaging the people who live in the land — and the history, culture and social realities that shape their lives.

The Wrights are hosting two pilgrimages in early 2020, one for Philips Theological Seminary and another for First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Madisonville, Kentucky. Both tours are now open to other participants. The Philips tour will have a more theological emphasis, but both pilgrimages will spend about half the time visiting holy sites and half the time meeting with Jews, Muslims and Christians in the region.

As the tour title suggests, many of the first-century conditions that shaped Jesus’ life and ministry continue to shape the lives of Palestinians and Israelis today. In addition to exploring the holy stones — the historic places and sites that have defined our faith — participants will engage the Living Stones: Jews, Muslims and Christians who live in the land.

Experienced tour leaders Jeff & Janet Wright have served as short-term Mission Co-Workers to Israel/Palestine through the Disciples of Christ/UCC Global Ministries, having traveled there many times. Janet is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Working near Bethlehem, she and colleagues created an all-Arab training team in EMDR. Jeff is recently retired as lead pastor of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The tour will be accompanied by a professional, local guide.

To facilitate conversation, take advantage of unplanned opportunities and provide a more enriching experience, tour size is limited to around two dozen persons. Participants will: explore the holy sites of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth (where Jesus was raised); visit the Abrahamic mosque and divided city of Hebron; tour Jericho, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and more; learn from Global Ministries mission partners; meet and discuss differing perspectives on the current political situation with Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders. Some meetings on the itinerary are subject to change due to speakers’ availability and other conditions; substitutions of similar interest and quality are made.

Travel arrangements have been made through the award winning Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies. Overnight accommodations are clean, comfortable and modest, booked to maximize our contact with the Living Stones and make the tour more affordable. Past tour participants have rated the tour experience very highly. Cost of the 2020 tour is $2,340 (based on twenty participants, double occupancy, and excluding airfare).

See details for the itineraries of these trips and register: http://www.footstepsofjesustour.com/

The Holy Land from a Woman’s Perspective

Led by Kathy Bergen
24 September – 4 October 2019

Optional extension: October 4-7 in Ramallah, West Bank

Get a different view of the Holy Land as you hear the stories and visit significant sites connected to women in the Bible such as Deborah, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. Reflect on the life of Jesus in Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, on the Sea of Galilee and many other places where he lived and taught. Visit with staff from NGOs working for peace. Also enjoy the natural beauty of the land at the Banias Nature Reserve and the oasis of En Gedi. On this tour you will meet the “Stones” that tell the stories and form the basis of our faith.  You will also meet the “Living Stones”, the people who live in the Holy Land today–Jewish Israelis, Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

Since 1982, Kathy Bergen has belonged to a variety of organizations working for peace and justice in the Middle East. She spent 16 years living in Israel/Palestine and organized study tours in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel for groups from universities, seminaries, colleges, and churches from around the world. Shirley Redekop, the president of Mennonite Women Canada, is an experienced tour leader who will act as logistics manager.
Watch a recording of a webinar about the tour, 
see the itinerary and learn more:


Eyewitness Palestine Trips

Is this the year for an unforgettable journey for justice?
Join Eyewitness Palestine on one our of our unique delegations to Palestine/Israel in 2019!
Your Eyewitness Palestine experience is rooted in the life stories of activists and organizers – not politicians or public relations experts. We connect you to peace-builders, resisters to oppression, and nonviolent activists. There’s only one way to truly understand the realities of Palestine/Israel – through the eyes of those who live there.
LEARN MORE: https://eyewitnesspalestine.org

October-November 2019: Environmental Justice & Olive Harvest Delegation 

Specific dates provided after applying to join this delegation

Apply here: https://eyewitnesspalestine.org/delegation70

This delegation is your opportunity to visit Palestine during the olive harvest season – a culturally rich and important time. Hear from farmers and learn of the importance of agriculture to the economy and culture. Learn about threats to the environment, the exploitation of natural resources, and the struggle of Palestinian communities to maintain access to land and water.

About Eyewitness Palestine Delegations

For many, an Eyewitness Palestine delegation is a catalyst for activism. For others, the delegation provides the grounding on which to hinge a deeper understanding or renewed commitment to Palestinian freedom.

Most Eyewitness Palestine delegates remain active in the movement for Palestinian rights, extending the impact of each delegation far beyond the trip itself. 

When you join an Eyewitness Palestine delegation, you meet Palestinian and Israeli peace-builders, learn from community leaders, investigate current topics, and experience the reality of life in Palestine/Israel.

Each Eyewitness Palestine delegation itinerary is unique; however, many topics are regular features. Approximately 25% of every trip relates directly to the delegation theme; the rest is made up of meetings on a range of engaging and important topics.
LEARN MORE: https://eyewitnesspalestine.org

Experience the Holy Land: Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem

8–19 September  2020
Registration Limits: Minimum of 20 persons, Maximum of 30 persons
Closing Date: 1 June 1 2020
Event Leadership: Janet Lahr Lewis, retired UM Missionary and former Methodist Liaison in Palestine and Israel
Email: Jlahrlewis2@gmail.com  Tel: 410-340-8756

[Palestine Portal note: UMC PrimeTimer trips are planned with the physical requirements of older adults in mind. But this trip is not limited to that age range and all are encouraged to participate in this trip.]

An opportunity to participate in a unique experience by combining service projects with visits to holy sites, educational information and meetings with the indigenous Christian community in the land of Jesus. Participants will learn about the history, people and culture of the area, as well as experience firsthand the famous Middle Eastern hospitality.

Site visits will include Jerusalem Old City, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Bethlehem and more. There will be an opportunity to meet representatives from the three Abrahamic faith communities as well as United Methodist Advance Projects and partner organizations.

Participants will enrich their faith in the land of the Bible, worship with local Christian congregations and serve with United Methodist-sponsored projects.

Event Cost: The cost of $3,850 per person includes airfare from Dulles International Airport, near Washington, D.C.; accommodations; daily meals; local transportation; entrance fees; Licensed English Speaking Guide; tips for guide, driver, hotels; honoraria for guest speakers; donations toward work projects; and a $50 registration fee paid directly to Global Ministries. UMVIM insurance and personal expenses are not included.
Housing and Meals: Housing will be in tourist-class hotels. Cost is based on double-occupancy rooms. There will be an increase in cost of $800 for single rooms. Three daily meals are included in the total cost. Additional meals and snacks will be at the expense of the participant.
Transportation: Local transport will be by deluxe motor coach.
Estimated Physical Demands: There will be walking with hills and stairs on some days. Participants should be able to get in and out of vehicles and be able to walk on uneven and cobblestone walkways. Work projects will require minimal physical labor.
Download the information for this trip  
Download the full booklet for Primetimers Trips in 2020

Tree of Life Educational Fund: A Journey Toward Hope

10-21 March 2020

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.
~ Emily Dickinson

Our next Tree of Life journey will be a journey toward hope…[Read the full description and background on this trip at https://tolef.org/2019/05/13/journey-march-2020].  On this journey we will meet those who no matter their dire circumstances continue “to sing the tune without the words and never stop at all.”

We will meet Palestinian mothers and fathers who work and struggle in order to provide outstanding educations for their children. We will meet former Israeli soldiers who, despite being called traitors and liars, work hard to expose the human rights violations they have witnessed.

We will meet Palestinian farmers who, despite being tormented by Israeli settlers, still have a sign that says, “We Refuse to Be Enemies.” We will meet dreamers and visionaries who by what they say and do are helping to write a new and more promising script for the future of the Holy Land.

We will meet with those who teach Palestinian songs and dances to younger generations, resisting demoralization and defying hopelessness in spite of the harsh realities of the inhumane military occupation they are forced to live under. All of these voices of hope are apparent contradictions, and that’s exactly why we need to meet them.

On this Tree of Life journey, we will have the honor of meeting a number of those who exemplify what it means to be a contradiction to the violence and injustices of this world. By their example, we hope that we might join them in our collective effort to contradict the world as it is.

In this journey, by the example of courageous and hopeful Palestinians, Syrians and Israelis, we hope to be inspired by their example to become a part of that “group of people”, sometimes called, “the beloved community”, those who work to bring “felicity” into our human family.
See the Itinerary and Cost Details: https://tolef.org/2019/05/13/march-2020-itinerary

Delegations with
Christian Peacemaker Teams 

CPT Delegations in 2019:
22 October – 5 November 2019 (Harvest Delegation)
30 November – 14 December 2019

Learn more at https://www.cpt.org/delegations/palestine
or contact CPT at delegations@cpt.org.
Find a form to apply for a delegation at the website address above.

Road closures, home invasions, checkpoints, and the presence of militant Israeli settlers near Palestinian villages continue to threaten Palestinian human rights, and Israel’s separation barrier (much of it built on confiscated Palestinian land) continues to separate Palestinian communities from each other and ordinary Israelis and Palestinians seeking to come together for peace. CPT delegation members will gain a perspective on how these issues affect daily life, and will experience the power of Palestinian and Israeli citizens overcoming what seem to many to be permanent obstacles.

Delegates will meet with Palestinian and Israeli human rights representatives and peace workers in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They will visit Palestinian families whose home and livelihoods are threatened by expanding Israeli settlements. They will travel to the city of Al Khalil (Hebron) and the village of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills and experience firsthand CPT’s work alongside Israeli and Palestinian partners. They will challenge the structural violence of the Occupation through nonviolent public witness.

Delegates should be prepared for some physical rigors, such as hiking in rough, extremely hilly terrain, heat in the summer and damp cold in the winter, and generally long days.

CPT has had a continuous presence in the West Bank since 1995.

FUNDRAISING EXPECTATION: $3500 USD, which includes round-trip airfare from a designated U.S. or Canadian city. Those planning to travel from other countries, please contact the CPT office for more information.

About Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.

A world of communities that together embrace the diversity of the human family and live justly and peaceably with all creation.

Christian Peacemaker Teams is committed to work and relationships that:
– Honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality
– Strengthen grassroots initiatives
– Transform structures of domination and oppression
– Embody creative non-violence and liberating love
Learn more about CPT at: https://www.cpt.org/about/mission