Below are some of the sites you will see on the 2022 Aliyah Tour ...
The Mount of Olives, sometimes referred to as “Olivet” in the KJV (2 Samuel 15:30; Acts 1:12) or “the mount facing Jerusalem” (1 Kings 11:7), is a ridge running along the east side of Jerusalem, separated from the city walls by a ravine and the Brook Kidron. The Mount of Olives was the site of many events in the Bible and will be the site of a yet-future fulfillment of prophecy.
In the Old Testament, the Mount of Olives is mentioned once in relation to King David. When David’s son Absalom wrested control of Jerusalem, David and his loyal followers fled the city via an eastern route: “David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up” (2 Samuel 15:30).
Later, King Solomon used the Mount of Olives for idol worship: “On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:7). In one of Ezekiel’s visions, the prophet sees the glory of the Lord depart from Jerusalem and come to rest “above the mountain east of it” (Ezekiel 11:23).
Yeshua (Jesus) made many visits to the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37). In fact, it was “usual” for Him to go there when in the vicinity of Jerusalem (Luke 22:39). Every time Yeshua visited Lazarus and Mary and Martha, He was on the Mount of Olives, for their village of Bethany was situated on the eastern slope. The road from Bethany to Jerusalem lay over Olivet.
Garden of Gethsemane
The Garden of Gethsemane was a place of great importance to Yeshua (Jesus), referred to in all four Gospels as a place where Yeshua retreated into deep prayer and a time of agony before His arrest and crucifixion, and near where He ascended to heaven in the Book of Acts.
It is a vulnerable moment just after the Last Supper when Yeshua has told His closest friends on earth what would soon happen to Him — the painful betrayal He would endure from one of them, and His coming arrest, torture, and crucifixion.
Filled with anguish and deep dread over what He would soon experience, Yeshua withdraws with His inner circle, the three disciples closest to Him, and takes refuge in a special place. There, alone on His knees in the dark night beneath the shelter of olive trees, in a place called the Garden of Gethsemane, He cries out to His Father God.
And then, resolutely, He does what He needs to do to save all humankind.
City of David
The original inhabitants of Jerusalem lived not on the site of today’s Old City, but on a narrow ridge descending south from the present Temple Mount.
City of David is where King David captured the fortress of a Canaanite tribe, the Jebusites, 1000 years before Yeshua (Jesus). On this slender spur — about 5 hectares (12 acres) in area — David established his capital and pitched a tent to house the Ark of the Covenant.
The site possessed the natural defences of the Hinnom valley to the south, the Kidron Valley to the east, and the Tyropoeon Valley (now largely filled in by the debris of centuries) to the west. And it had fresh water from the Gihon Spring gushing at its foot.
Besides David and his son Solomon, this would have been the stamping ground of kings Hezekiah and Josiah and the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Standing on the observation platform of the City of David archaeological park, it is easy to see how David could have looked down from the roof of his palace and spied the beautiful Bathsheba bathing (2 Samuel 11: 2)
Davidson Center is home to some of the most intriguing and important archaeological finds from the Second Temple period. Researchers have discovered a wide and impressive street nearby the Western Wall. Apparently, this street used to be the area’s main street and was visited frequently by pilgrims, and tourists. Walking the street’s paving stones you can immerse yourself in the story of ancient Jerusalem where thousands of Jews walked 2000 years ago, making their way to Temple Mount. You will also notice huge stones. These stones were knocked from the walls of Temple Mount and have been lying there ever since.
Another impressive discovery is a drainage channel which was found under the street, containing rare finds from the days of the destruction of Jerusalem. This channel used to be the place where ancient warriors escaped to, hoping to find shelter from the Romans. While you’re there, explore the Southern Wall where you’ll find an ancient staircase leading to Temple Mount. This is how pilgrims and even Yeshua (Jesus) entered the Temple.
Garden Tomb & Golgotha
The Garden Tomb is a rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem, which was unearthed in 1867 and is considered by many to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The Garden Tomb Association points out the similarities with the site described in the Bible, and suggest that the Garden Tomb is more evocative of the events described in the Gospels.
The Garden Tomb is adjacent to a rocky escarpment which since the mid-nineteenth century has been proposed by scholars to be Golgotha. It has since been known as Skull Hill or Gordon's Calvary. It is believed that the skull-faced cliff is the hill of Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. John’s Gospel (19:17) describes the place of crucifixion as “The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha”.
The main advocate of the Garden Tomb was a British army officer and administrator, Major-General Charles Gordon, who visited Jerusalem in 1882-83. For years the site was known as “Gordon’s Calvary”, Calvary being Latin for Golgotha.
The “Place of the Skull” was so named because of the skull-like hill, however, due to erosion and earth-tremors the "skull" is not so easily recognizable as in the past. Most early Christian commentators held that Golgotha was so named because it was a place of execution, where criminals’ skulls and bones lay scattered.
Qasr El Yahud
Qasr El Yahud is located deep in the Jordan Valley, northeast from ancient Jericho on the banks of the Jordan River and not far from the Dead Sea, earth’s lowest point.
Echoing stories from both Old & New Testament major biblical events together with a touch of the modern history of the State of Israel, a visit to Qasr El Yahud is like stepping into a time capsule displaying a lush green oasis surrounded by an arid and dry wilderness. The ancient Arabic name, which means “The Castle of the Jews”, hails back to events that took place thousands of years ago; events that affected and changed the world forever.
Becoming more popular in recent years, Qasr El Yahud is linked with the location and the event of Jesus’ baptism by John (Matthew chapter 3).
Christian scholars and pilgrims have recognized the location since the fourth century AD, and a number of ancient monasteries and churches built nearby celebrate the significance and wonder of that event, marking the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and His emergence into public life.
Still, the site’s historic and religious significance goes further back in time than Jesus’ first-century baptism.
Jewish tradition recognizes that Qasr El Yahud is also the general location of the epic crossing of the Jordan River by the Children of Israel into the Promised Land nearly 15 centuries earlier, as they entered Canaan under the leadership of Joshua the Son of Nun. (Joshua chapter 3).
Masada is an ancient stone fortress in Israel, located above the Dead Sea on a tall, rocky mesa. It is believed that even David may have fled there from King Saul. (Psalm 18:1 - 6)
The fortress of Masada was built in the year 30 BCE by King Herod, whose architectural feats have left their mark throughout the country. At the beginning of the great revolt against Rome in the year 68 CE, the site was conquered by a group of Jewish zealots, and Masada became their last stronghold. In the year 72 the Romans besieged Masada and succeeded in reaching the steep fortress after constructing a huge earthen ramp on its western side. In the year 73, the 960 Jewish zealots living at the top of Masada chose to commit suicide rather than to fall into the hands of the Romans alive. Their deeds left behind a saga of courage, heroism, and martyrdom.
Now an Israeli national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 840-acre complex holds well-preserved ruins attesting to the history of the ancient kingdom of Israel and the courage of its people in the face of a Roman siege.
Qumran is famous as the hiding place of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a literary treasure trove hidden since shortly after the time of Yeshua (Jesus).
The site is north-west of the Dead Sea, about 15km south of Jericho and west of the road that runs along the western shore of the Dead Sea.
In 1947 local Bedouins discovered a clay jar containing 7 scrolls in a cave about 1.5km from Qumran. The ancient scrolls were sold to antique dealers and after changing hands several times they reached scholars who could accurately evaluate the age and value of the parchments.
Further exploration uncovered a total of 972 texts including the oldest known existing copy of the Old Testament. The texts are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Nabatean. The scrolls are believed to have belonged to the Essenes sect. Some of the scrolls describe the tenants of the sect and their particular slant on Judaism. In all there are 14 caves where scrolls and fragments of parchment were found.
The scrolls are now housed in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem where they are kept at the optimal temperature and humidity conditions to preserve them for the future. The Copper Scroll found in Cave #3 is on display in the Amman Museum in Jordan.
Shrine of the Book & 2nd Temple Period Model
The Hebrew Bible is the cornerstone of the Jewish people and this fundamental text has left its imprint on Christianity.
The Shrine of the Book was built as a repository for the first seven scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947. The unique white dome embodies the lids of the jars in which the first scrolls were found.
The contrast between the white dome and the black wall alongside it alludes to the tension evident in the scrolls between the spiritual world of the “Sons of Light” (as the Judean Desert sectarians called themselves) and the “Sons of Darkness” (the sect’s enemies). The corridor leading into the Shrine resembles a cave, recalling the site where the ancient manuscripts were discovered.
SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD MODEL OF JERUSALEM
It may be a miniature, but it certainly isn’t small. One of the most impressive displays at the Israel Museum is the 2,000-square-meter (21,520-square-foot) model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period. The model was built to a 1:50 scale using many of the construction materials of the time, including steel, Jerusalem stone and marble.
Echoing historic times, the model’s focal point is the glorious reproduction of the Temple itself, which gives a real sense of the amazing feat achieved by King Herod and his builders. For 40 years the model stood on the grounds of the Holyland Hotel in the Bayit Vagan neighborhood, until 2006 when it was transferred in its entirety to the Museum, and today it stands near the Shrine of the Book, two glories to behold.
Yad Vashem is so much more than a Holocaust museum. Situated on 45 acres on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, it is a world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust. Yad Vashem is a community of memory, housing the International School for Holocaust Studies, a first-class Institute for Holocaust Research, a Publications Division, a renowned Library, and the world’s largest Archive of Holocaust materials. Yad Vashem is entrusted with the mission of safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust and imparting its meaning for future generations.
“The industrial mass murder of six million Jews, the worst crime in the history of humanity, was committed by my countrymen,” said German President Steinmeier at the 2020 World Holocaust Forum.
"To them I will give within My temple and its walls a memorial and a name (a Yad Vashem) better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off," said God in Isaiah 56:5
Friends of Zion Museum
For centuries, the Biblical prophecies of Jews returning to their homeland seemed like only a distant dream. But a dream remembered year after year with Jews repeating the promise “next year in Jerusalem.”
Throughout history, Christian Zionists have stood in support of this dream with courage and, in many cases, sacrificed their lives to protect the Jewish people
Although there is an increasing awareness in Israel of historic support from these non-Jewish friends, many remain unaware of the many Christian heroes, who have given their lives to save God’s Chosen People, and others who helped establish the modern State of Israel.
The Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem opened in 2015 in the heart of Jerusalem. It presents a technologically advanced and interactive experience that tells the stories of Jews and non-Jews who together realized the dream of a Jewish national home.
This cutting-edge museum uses the very latest technology to bring to life the stories of Christians who loved and supported the Jewish people. It is a powerful challenge to visitors to join the honored ranks of those who stood in the gap for God’s Chosen People, as well as a powerful statement to our thousands of Jewish visitors that they are not alone.
Rev. John Stanley Grauel
John Stanley Grauel (December 12, 1917 – September 6, 1986,) was a Methodist minister and American Christian Zionist leader. He was a crew member of the Aliyah Bet ship Exodus 1947 and a secret Haganah operative. Grauel is credited with being the key individual who persuaded the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine to recommend for the Partition Resolution of November 1947, creating the State of Israel.
Golda Meir, a later Prime Minister of Israel, observed that Reverend Grauel's testimony and advocacy for the creation of the Jewish State fundamentally and positively changed the United Nations to support the creation of Israel. Grauel said that his testimony before the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine was given more credence because he was a Christian, rather than a Jewish crew member.
John Stanley Grauel is buried in the Alliance Cemetery in Jerusalem, alongside other Christians who were instrumental in the rebirth of the Jewish State.
Shiloh was an ancient city and sanctuary in Samaria. According to the Hebrew Bible, Shiloh was the central sanctuary of the Israelites during the pre-monarchic period, before the First Temple in Jerusalem was built.
After the Israelite conquest of Canaan, the Tabernacle was moved to Shiloh, and remained there during the period of the biblical judges.
Elon Moreh is an Orthodox community overlooking Nablus, biblical Shekhem, on the slopes of the Mount Kabir ridge. From here you can view Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, the mounts of blessing and cursing respectively. Upon the latter one can see what is believed to be the altar that Joshua built.
Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD God of Israel in Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel as it is written in the Scroll of the Torah of Moses.Joshua 8:30
And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shekhem unto Elon Moreh… and the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “to your seed will I give this land” Genesis 12:6-7
Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, purchased land near Elon Moreh and Shechem (Genesis 33:19). The name of the village comes from a passage in the Torah relating to the first location where Abraham settled after crossing the Jordan River.
The Eshel Hashomron Hotel is the only Jewish-Israeli hotel located in Samaria.
The Eshel Hashomron Hotel is located at the very heart of Samaria, the land of the Bible, and serves as a pioneer in bringing Israelis and tourists attracted by the Biblical and historical sites from all corners of the world.
The beautiful Eshel Hashomron Hotel is surrounded by the Biblical stories that took place in the area, enveloped by olive, fig and carob trees.
Some of the most senior architects and engineers in Israel were employed in order to create a hotel that blends into the surrounding hills. It is a place for inspiration, for acquiring values and understanding, and for studying the roots of the people of Israel in the Land of Israel.
The enchanting waterfall, the date palm trees, the breathtakingly beautiful pool, the tastefully, decorated dining rooms and meeting halls, and of course, the 98 spacious guest rooms: all create an atmosphere of pampering hospitality and culinary enjoyment.
Yardenit is situated on the banks of the Jordan River, at the Southern tip of the Sea of Galilee.
Each year we welcome over half a million tourists and pilgrims, who come to experience the tranquility and spiritual beauty of the waters in which Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Jesus practiced and preached across this part of the Holy Land which hosts a plethora of sites with biblical significance.
Yardenit provides pilgrims and tourists with modern comforts in the biblical setting of the Holy Land, offering a serene and spiritual setting for those wishing to baptize in the River Jordan:
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when He came up out of water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven; ‘Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11
Faith - A Jesus Boat
We are pleased to announce that local Galilean Messianic Worship Leader Daniel Carmel will be ministering on the Sea of Galilee, on his boat "Faith." Yes, you will be sailing on Faith on the Sea of Galilee.
Daniel’s company Sea of Galilee Worship Boats offers a unique Sea of Galilee experience that takes pilgrims out onto the Sea in wooden boats, displays ancient and modern fishermen techniques and leads people to worship with both English and Hebrew praise songs.
Daniel’s story is inspiring and authentic. Daniel came to faith in Yeshua while piloting boats on the Sea of Galilee.
Here, on the very waters where Yeshua (Jesus) preached and performed miracles, Daniel was exposed to the Gospel message; and since that time, he’s been writing and performing his own Messianic for thousands of Christian pilgrims!
Crossroads of Jewish and Christian History
The ancient town of Magdala was established in the Hellenistic Period and grew to a thriving fishing village by the time the Romans invaded the Galilee in 67 AD. Situated on the shores of the Galilee along a major commercial trade route, the Via Maris, and on the way from Nazareth to Capernaum, Magdala was an active city filled with fishermen, shopkeepers and townspeople.
It is in Magdala where Jesus likely taught the multitudes and healed the afflicted including a woman who made her hometown famous, Mary Magdalene.
The Aliyah Return Center
Aliyah Return Center (ARC) is an Israel based registered non-profit organization,
helping Jewish new immigrants establish roots in the land of Israel and thrive.
We are a Bible-believing, prophecy-fulfilling, non-proselytizing,
ministry built on a foundation of love in uncompromising faith.
We desire to impart to people of faith, God’s covenant love for Israel, teaching them to be part of the prophesied “Return and Restoration” of His Jewish people from the four corners of the earth. “Rally the remnant globally”.
We mobilize the church to embrace God’s call to serve His people and stand as ambassadors/advocates for Israel and the Jewish people through various initiatives, such as: “Sing Together” events, the “Ambassador Academy“, Internships/Volunteering, Joint Torah Studies and much more.
In the Bible, the site of Tel Dan makes its first appearance in Genesis 14:14 as a place unto which Abram chased the captors of Lot, but in two other narratives the site features more prominently.
In Judges 17-18 it is the final resting place for the itinerant Tribe of Dan who leave the Coastal Plain and overpower a peaceful and unsuspecting people of Canaanite Laish before renaming the city Dan and installing a Levitical priest descended from Moses as priest in a shrine there.
The religious significance of the site is again highlighted in 1 Kings 12 in a narrative that describes Jeroboam's installation of a golden calf at the site accompanied by sacrificial pilgrim festivals (cf. also Amos 8).
Dan is also mentioned as the northern limit of the idealized borders of the kingdom in the biblical refrain "from Dan to Beersheva" in the biblical histories (1 Kings 4:25).
Banias, or Panias in Greek, is situated near the ancient remains of Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights in northern Israel. In the Old Testament, the area was called Bashan and was ruled by two godless Amorite kings: Og and Sihon (Num. 21:21–35).
Then half the tribe of Manasseh received the region as part of its land inheritance (Numbers 32:33). During the Greek Empire, the area became identified with the half man-half goat god, Pan.
Jesus used the location as a powerful object lesson when He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Mt. 16:13). Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). It was here Peter grasped the reality that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah.
Birkat Ram – or Ram Lake- is a large, natural reservoir that is located in the crater of a dormant volcano. The lake is round in shape and receives water from underground springs and rain water.
The lake is 600m long, 6-10 meters deep, is situated at 940 meters above sea level, on the shores of the incredible view of Mount Hermon. Apple, peach and pear trees grow in abundance around the lake and make for a particularly beautiful scene in spring.
The Valley of Tears
The Yom Kippur war broke out towards the end of the holiday’s fast, on October 6, 1973, at 2:00 p.m. The Israeli intelligence failed to anticipate the assault, and so the forces were depleted, also because of the holiday. The 3 miles ‘Valley of Tears’, in the northern part of the Golan, is a relatively flat terrain, a preferred landscape for armored attack. Being so, the Syrian planned to make it one of the main penetration routes.
The assault was accompanied by heavy artillery, but despite the surprise, the Israeli ground forces managed to hold out against a massive Syrian assault for continuous 4 days. At one time point in the engagement the Israelis had 40 tanks facing approximately 500 Syrian tanks. Only by God's grace were the Israelis victorious, but after suffering heavy losses.
Living Stones - Richard and Carolyn Hyde
When you’re traveling in the Galilee, please come and join us in our home or we can join you at your local hotel!
We welcome tour groups into our home for an evening of Israeli folk dancing, worship and sharing testimonies of how the Holy One of Israel is moving on the hearts of His people today.
After the time of sharing, we serve dinner to the groups on our upper balcony with a gorgeous view of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Jordan Valley and Golan Heights.
Clandestine Immigration & Naval Museum
This museum is dedicated to telling the story of the struggle of Jews for the right to immigrate to Israel during the years 1934 – 1948 when the British Mandate was in operation. This is a chapter of Jewish history which deals with clandestine immigration and the right to settle in Israel - or Palestine as it was called then.
In 1946 the ship "Af al Pi Chen,", landed up in the hands of the ‘Mosad le Aliyah Bet’, one of the primary forces resisting the strict British immigration quotas. During this era of clandestine immigration, 122,419 people were brought to Israel by 116 ships (the vast majority between 1945-1948). Af Al Pi Chen sailed just weeks after the famous Exodus 1947 episode. She was named after this event, Af Al Pi Chen means “nevertheless” or “in spite of it all”. On 17 September 1947, Af Al Pi Chen departed Formia, Italy with 434 holocaust survivors crowded on board. She was heading toward the southern part of Palestine when she was detected by a British plane and intercepted by 4 British destroyers. There was a short struggle during which the ship rammed one of the destroyers. At last the British boarding teams took over Af Al Pi Chen and she was towed to Haifa bay. The immigrants were taken to internment camps in Cyprus, most eventually made their way to Israel in 1948.
First Aliyah Museum
First Aliyah 1882-1904 - Becoming productive farmers in the Land of Israel
Although there has been a constant presence of Jews in the land of Israel for over three millennia, since the exile after the destruction of the Second Temple, most Jews lived in the Diaspora. They prayed and dreamed about returning to their ancestral land. The pople of the First Aliyah were the courageous pioneers who turned dreams into actions and initiated the modern return of the Jews to their homeland. They left their places of birth (Romania, Russia & Yemen) starting in the 1880s to face grueling challenges of transforming the desolate land into thriving communities. These dedicated families and individuals laid out the infrastructure and established 28 Moshavot. (Rural agricultral communities) making subsequent Aliyot possible and the eventual creation of the State of Israel.
The Atlit Detention Camp
The Atlit detention camp "illegal immigrants" (or Ma'apilim) which represents one of the most heroic struggles of the period leading up to the founding of the State of Israel, was by the early 1980's in a state of near total destruction.
Built during the British Mandate, the Atlit Detention Camp served as an internment camp for "illegal" Jewish immigrants captured by the British from 1939 to 1948. These brave Jewish immigrants were illegal in the eyes of the British, who had established a quota for Jewish immigration, but were not seen as such by the Jewish community in Palestine.
Jerry and Connie are Messianic Jews and have lived in Israel and around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea for the past 39 years. His purpose is to save Jewish lives in the coming European Holocaust.
We are called to bring my precious Jewish people home in the end times. We know that in the near future the only way that will be possible will be by boats. We invite you to join with us in blessing the Apple of His Eye.
Jerry Golden and the Golden Report
Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo and in Arabic Yafa and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Jaffa is known for its association with the Biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Peter, and later for its oranges.
The town was mentioned in Egyptian sources and the Amarna letters as Yapu. Mythology says that it is named for Yafet (Japheth), one of the sons of Noah, the one who built it after the Flood. The Hellenist tradition links the name to Iopeia, or Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda. An outcropping of rocks near the harbor is reputed to have been the place where Andromeda was rescued by Perseus. Pliny the Elder associated the name with Iopa, daughter of Aeolus, god of the wind. The medieval Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi referred to it as Yaffa.
Today, Jaffa is one of Israel's mixed cities, with approximately 37% of the city being Arab.