UW in ISRAEL 2012: What we did


This is a rewrite of the basic itinerary with notes about what we did.


Tuesday, May 15

Arrive on various flights and meet with Seth Ward and with Guide at the airport in Arrivals Hall

Caesarea archeological complex: Beach and Crusader area.

Druze dinner at Ussafiya – with Druze discussing Druze religion.

Overnight: Gallery Hotel, Haifa

Course Meeting

Late night walking tour to City Hall, government area, Science Museum (old Technion building)


Wednesday, May 16 [GUIDE/DRIVER]

Stella Maris: San Francisco lookout, Church, Napoleonic History

Walk down 400 ft.

Elijah's Cave on Mount Carmel

Walk back to Bus

University of Haifa

Greeting by International Program

Talk on Political Situation by Israel

Tour and meet with students from UPenn  and UWisc-Madison

Lunch at Univ. of Haifa

Lohamei HaGetaot – Ghetto Fighters Museum / with local guiding by Tanya: Children’s Memorial and Main House Warsaw Ghetto uprising room

Rosh Hanikrah ocean caves

Rosh Hanikrah-Border visit

Acco: Tour of “Anwar Ahmadiyya Mosque” Jazzar Pasha Mosque—with Sabri

Tour of old Acco seaport's Crusader-era castle

Dinner served at hotel

Overnight: Gallery Hotel, Haifa [B / D]

Discusion by Sadeq about Ahmadi community at Kababir—including his great grandfather who was exiled from a village near Jerusalem and moved to Haifa, and conversion to Ahmadiyya by missionaries in British Mandate period.

 Carmelit—underground Cable Car

“Ha-Ogen” in Port district.

Walk back to Hadar.


Thursday, May 17

Begin travel eastwards to the Sea of Galilee

Nazareth-Annunciation Church-Roman Catholic. Crypt.

Portion of Mass in Spanish

“Carpentry of Joseph” church-Portion of Mass for Ascension Thursday in Arabic

Greek Orthodox Church of Annunciation, Mary Well

Synagogue where Jesus spoke according to Luke, and Church of Greek Catholic tradition

Walking tour of Tzfat – Defenders’ Square, Chernobyler Kloyz, Ashkenazi Ari synagogue, light lunch with Yemeni pancakes, Livnot ulhibanot, descent to 16th century city including mikveh.

Walk through art colony. (Abohab synagogue closed, Elsheikh synagogue—mentioned story of inscription said to have saved it, Caro synagogue, home and cave inaccessible).

Travel through Golan-pass magnetite rock

Har Bental—Ash cone partially wiped away by lava flow, visit Israeli military position and overlook to Syria (Kuneitra) and Mt. Hermon

KatzrinYarden and Golan wines

Tour of Kibbutz Ein Gev

St. Peters Fish dinner at Kibbutz Ein Gev (payment on own) / with Guide

Grave of Maimonides

Course SI meeting  with Jenny

Overnight: Gallery Hotel, Haifa 


Friday, May 18  

The Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel – Rhiannon Lecture, Gardens, Shrine

Beit Shearim catacombs from the Talmudic Era

Christian Zionism Lecture: Jacob


Beit Alpha – Talmudic-era synagogue

Discussion of Area C and related issues on bus

Lunch stop in  Jordan valley

Drive by Kasr al-Yahud (traditional baptism of Jesus site), Nabi Musa (off main highway), Good Samaritan

Check-in at hotel

Overnight: Prima Kings [B / D]

Shira Hadasha—Evening Service

dinner served

Walking Tour: King David Hotel, Mamilla Mall


Saturday, May 19

Day on own in Jerusalem

Lunch and Dinner included at hotel

Student S.I. Meeting

Overnight: Prima Kings


Sunday, May 20 - Yom Yerushalayim

Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif

City of David complex – including Warren Shaft, Hezekiah Tunnel, Pool of Siloam (Mei Shiloah)

Israel Museum - Including Temple Model, Dead Sea Scrolls, Children’s exhibit (including “Goodnight Moon Room”), and Archaeology Canaanite to Islamic periods.

Yom Yerushalayim "Flag Dance" Parade to the Old City

Mayor’s reception—photo Op with Mayor, Klezmer, singer and orchestra at David’s Citadel

Phasael Tower overlook and partial tour of Jerusalem City Museum at David’s Citadel

Descend into the Judean Desert – pass Qumran Cave area

Check-in and dinner at accommodations

Class Meeting: presentations by Mike and Katy

Overnight: Massada Guest House [B / D]


Monday, May 21 [GUIDE/DRIVER]

Sunrise ascent to Masada

Floating at the Dead Sea's Ein Bokek beach

Lunch at Moshe  Dvir’s Rest Stop in Dimona, travel through Yeruham

Continue into the Negev Desert

Hike to the Ein Avdat desert pools – complete with algae, frogs, and “water boatmen”

Makhtesh Ramon crater: Presentation by James

Walking Tour of “Carpentry” area on floor of Makhtesh Ramon

Camel riding & Bedouin tent dinner feast

Campfire with coffee and Baklava

Presentation about Ramat ha-Negev with  Raz Arbel

Overnight: Chan Hashayarot [B / D]



Tuesday, May 22 [GUIDE/DRIVER]

Beduin Culture program with coffee

Avdat - The ancient Nabateans trade routes of the Middle East – film and arch. Site.

Sde Boqer – gravesite of David and Paula Ben Gurion, overlook

Sde Boker (Tzrif)- Ben Gurion's hut—exhibition in bodyguard’s hut, desert home, vision for the desert – with guiding

Lunch at Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Tour of Old Be’er Sheva with Malka Reisner—including Mosque exhibition of Beer Sheva History 1900-2012 in old Mosque, city drive/tour

Explore Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market in Tel Aviv

Checkin at hotel

Walking to dinner at Dr. Shakshouka

Walking tour of old Jaffa Seaport area

Overnight: Mishkenot Ruth Daniel, Tel Aviv [B / D]


Wednesday, May 23

Walk from Jaffa to Tel Aviv

Independence Hall – movie, lecture, sound recording, view drafts of the Declaration. Roxie fills in details from her paper.

Rabin Square Memorial

Visit to Shazar School – Gwen Van Baalen, Penina the Principal describe the school

Netanya Academic College – Greetings from Esti Frerichs, Introduction to the college by Rabbi Moshe Pinchuk, film,

Lunch: choice of Meat or Dairy in cafeteria (on own)

Presentation by Gloria Mound

Lecture by Seth Ward, Q&A.

See Gwen in parking lot. Return to hotel=--time for beach or other activities

Dinner at accommodations

Overnight: Mishkenot Ruth Daniel, Tel Aviv [B / D]


Update for Thursday, May 24 - Ascension Day

Celebrate Ascension Day on the Mount of Olives

                Tents for Armenian, Coptic, Syriac, and Orthodox communities.

Greek Orthodox includes all 14 churches associated with the Orthodox.

Tomb of Rabia, Khulda or Pelagia (depending on your faith!)

Overlook of Jerusalem

“Tombs of the Prophets”—Haggai and Malachi, about 50 tombs.

"Palm Sunday Walk"

Maria Augusta Russian orthodox church (often called Mary Magdalene)

Garden of Gethsemane – view from outside of Church of All Nations

Mt of Olives Jewish Cemetery: Tombs of Aliza and Menachem Begin, “Olei Ha-Gardom” (fighters who blew themselves up rather than be hanged by the British) and Ben Yehuda family. Eliezer ben Yehuda is usually recognized as the one who renewed Hebrew as a spoken language. 

Martef HaShoah—Cellar of the Holocaust and Mt. Zion area.

We saw but did not enter the Coenaculum and King David Tomb –we see that the Last Supper room is right about the Tomb of David location.

Lunch at Café Ha-Rova overlooking the Temple Mount

Southern Walls excavation & Davidson Center

Free time

Dinner on own

19:10 Kotel Tunnels tour

wandering Old City of Jerusalem

21:30 Evening: Tower of David Sound & Light Show

Overnight: Sephardic Center


Friday, May 25 [GUIDE/DRIVER]

Har Herzl—graves and walk to Yad Vashem

Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial / entrance only (no Headphones)

Light Rail Ride from Yad Vashem area to Mahaneh Yehudah

Lunch on own and Shopping at Mahane Yehuda marketplace

Driving tour through Meah Shearim on Friday afternoon

Experience “Kabbalat Shabbat” at the Western Wall

Dinner at Sephardic Center

Walking Tour—Jewish quarter and Via Dolorosa middle part

Overnight: Sephardic Center [B / D]


Saturday, May 26 [ON OWN]

Synagogue (optional)—Hurva

Lunch included at accommodations

Walk Rampart Walls from Jaffa Gate to Lion’s Gate—past northern side of city, “New Gate” Damascus Gate, Zecharaia’s Cave and Herod’s Gate.

Via Dolorosa from Lions’ Gate to Christian Quarter

Shavuot—At the Wall. Some: women’s prayer room inside the Kotel Tunnels area. Some: Seth Ward leads a small service at wall.

dinner included at accommodations

Overnight: Sephardic Center [B / L / D]


Sunday, May 27 - Shavuot [ON OWN]

Study Sessions at 2 am—optional

Hilula” (celebration) at King David’s Tomb with food and hospitality.

“Kibbutz Am Yisrael”- Recitation of Tikun Lail Shavuot in the garden of a Greek monastery.

Dov Shurin’s enlightening presentation about Shavuot, Life and Lennon

Walk to Wall

Breakfast with Jeff Seidel

Free time.

Some: Services at Lutheran Evangelical Church in Christian Quarter or Great Synagogue 

Lunch included at accommodations

Jessi: intro to Holy Sepulchre Church

Tour of Christian Quarter with Hana Bendcovsky: Armenians, Franciscan procession for Pentecost, discussion of land purchases and Private Schools, Russian Orthodox Hebrew speaking church; tour of Holy Sepulchre Church

Dinner at accommodation

Class meeting with Seth Ward

S.I. Session with Jenny Drew.

Overnight: Sephardic Center [B / L]


Monday, May 28, 2012 [GUIDE/DRIVER]

Meet BG2 (Barbara Grossman) at Hadassah Hospital Mall, at Ein Karem Village – Intro to Hadassah and hospital, tour the Chagall Windows

With Claudiatour of Mother/Child, Maternity and pediatrics sections

Katy and John take Nesher minibus service to Ben Gurion Airport.

Drive along railroad tracks through Tzur Hadassah, follow “Path of the 35”  towards Beit Guvrin

Stop at Emek Ha-Elah to reenact Bible event.

Explore the Bell Caves at Beit Guvrin


Tel Beer Sheva

Train station in Beer Sheva: purchase ticket and Drop off James

Continue to Eilat

Stop at Yotvata

Check in to Peninat Ha-Yam

Class meeting, dinner, computer and confirming transportation/lodging at MacDonalds in “Mall Hayam

Walking tour to Umm Rashrash, Red Sea, Eilat museum and Karinne A display.



May 29 to June 4

Those remaining in Israel mostly went to Petra for a two day tour. After that: some go to Sinai or Cairo, or stay in Eilat, then spend a free weekend in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.