The Tree of Life is a sacred symbol for many cultures. It reminds us that all of creation is deeply interrelated and interconnected. World peace and harmony depend on our realization of this truth. It is a reminder that we do not live in an “orchard” separate from one another, but all spiritual traditions are branches on the same tree – The Tree of Life – each drawing nourishment from the goodness of God’s Creation. This is especially critical in the Holy Land where so many faith traditions share that sacred place.
Tree of Life Journey 2014
To Israel and Palestine
March 11 – 21
Extension to Jordan
March 21 – 24
This is a rough sketch of the kinds of activities and visits we hope to include in our journey. Some of the activities listed below may not be possible on the days in which they are listed, but this will give an idea of our itinerary.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014: Depart from JFK on Delta Airlines at 9:10 PM (non stop)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014: Arrive in Tel Aviv 1:40PM . Check into Paradise Hotel http://www.paradisebethlehem.com/ in Bethlehem
Thursday, March 13, 2014: Early departure from hotel to visit Hebron with the Christian Peacemaker Team. Visit glass factory in Hebron. Drive to Negev desert and visit Khalil Al Amour at Alsira unrecognized Bedoiun village, visit school founded by Amal Abu Alkhom of Bedouin Women for Themselves in the village of Shegev Shalom and meet with Oren Yiftachel who will talk to us about the Bedouins of the Negev and the new Israeli Prawer Plan of displacing the Bediouns to create Jewish settlements. The Prawer Plan, if implemented, would displace tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins from their homes all across the Negev. Bedouin Dinner at Abu Yousef’s camp in Wadi Na-em which is on the list to be displaced under the Prawer Plan. Return to Bethlehem. Overnight at Paradise Hotel. .
Friday, March 14, 2014, 9:00 am: Meet with Jane Hilal of Alternative Research Institute and Imad Atrash of Palestine Wildlife Society to learn about water issues. Visit water wells – one well administered by Palestinians and one by Israelis; this visit includes a nature walk to learn about the birds and flowers in this area of Palestine. Visit a family of shepherds living in a cave in the hills around Bethlehem. Stop by a Palestinian farm that borders on the Israeli settlement of Efrat where we see how Palestinian farmers are prohibited from all construction on their land, including greenhouses and how often they cannot harvest their own grapes, figs and other fruit they have grown. Visit Tent of Nations. Overnight at Paradise Hotel.
Saturday, March 15, 2014: At 9 am visit Shepherd’s Field School, an Orthodox school in Beit Sahour to meet with George Saadah and the students and Tamer and his music students. Plant Olive trees at school. Depart to Nablus (60 minutes) to meet with Palestinian labor union and visit old market in Nablus to see how olive oil soap is pressed and made. On our way back from Nablus to Bethlehem, we will stop in Budrus where the film Budrus was made. Overnight with host families or with Paradise Hotel.
Sunday, March 16, 2014: Attend morning Worship Service with Host Families then eat lunch with host families. Afternoon, 2 pm, visit Palestinian family whose home is inside the Jewish settlement of Gilo. Visit Aida refugee camp and see the camp’s folklore dabka dance troupe. Then go look at the paintings on the Israeli segregation wall, which encircles Aida camp, and do a Tree of Life painting on the wall ourselves. After, we will visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem with Abuna (Father) Issa and George Sa’ade. 6:30 pm Candle light services at the Shepherd field cave with host families. 7:30 Dinner with Host Families at Al Hakoura restaurant in Beit Sahour accompanied by music by Tamer and dabka dancing. Overnight at Paradise Hotel.
Monday, March 17, 2014: Early departure for the North. Visit Canaan Fair Trade, Jenin Freedom Theatre and refugee camp in Jenin. In Nazareth, meet with Abuna Elias Chacour. Visit sacred sites in Nazareth. Dinner and overnight at Ein Gev on the Sea of Galilee. After dinner, see film and learn about the Kibbutzim movement in Israel.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014: Morning service at 8 AM on the Mt. Of Beatitudes, visit Capernaum, and then travel up to the Golan Heights to meet and have lunch with Dr Taiseer Maray from “Golan for Development”. After lunch visit Syrian market in Golan on the way to Jerusalem. After dinner meet with Sahar Vardi of American Friends Service Committee and representatives of Daniel Barenboim/Edward Said East-West Divan Orchestra. Overnight at Golden Walls Hotel in Jerusalem, near the Damascus Gate. http://www.tulipinnjerusalem.com/ .
Wednesday, March 19, 2014: 8:30 am Morning prayer at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem led by Bruce Shipman. 9:30 Meet with church leaders and Sabeel at St. George’s Cathedral. 10:45 Meet with Rami Elhanan and George Saadeh of the Parents Circle at St. George’s Cathedral. 12 Noon – 6 pm: Visit sacred sites in Jerusalem including Garden of Gethsemane, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Western Wall, and at Al Aqsa Mosque (Lunch in Jerusalem at place of choosing and spend free time in Old City). 6:30 Meet for dinner at Golden Walls Hotel. 8 pm Meeting with two Palestinian dignitaries to hear about and learn their perspective on the future of Jerusalem. Overnight at Golden Walls Hotel in Jerusalem
Thursday, March 20, 2014: 8:30 am meeting with Just Vision – producers and distributors of Budrus documentary film. 9:30 am Depart for Jericho and Jordan River baptism site (renewal of baptism for those who want). Visit Dead Sea, Hisham’s Palace with Tiyospaye meetings at base of “Mt. of Temptation” or at Dead Sea. Early supper to say farewell to those flying back home and Return Flight will be early (about 1 AM) on Friday, March 21, 2014 from Tel Aviv. The rest of the group will stay overnight at Golden Walls Hotel in Jerusalem to depart the next morning for Jordan.
Extension to Jordan
Visit Petra and Wadi Rum March 21st to March 24, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014: Cross bridge (Allenby) then continue on to Wadi Rum which we will explore on camels. Overnight in Jordan Tracks. Overnight in Jordan Tracks, a Bedouin encampment. www.jordantracks.com
Saturday, March 22, 2014: Noon departure from Bedouin encampment to Petra (free day to roam around the city of Petra). Overnight at Movenpick Hotel. www.moevenpick-hotels.com
Sunday, March 23rd: Explore ancient site of Petra all day. Overnight in Moevenpick Hotel, hotel is at entrance to ancient city of Petra www.moevenpick-hotels.com
Monday, March 24th: Noon departure to Amman. On the way, visit ancient mosaic map of Palestine in Madaba in Orthodox Church and will visit mosaic factory of Madaba. Dinner in Madaba then to Amman for our flight home (2 am flight).
For further information and to apply, please contact:
David W. Good
Tree of Life Covenent
It is very important for all participants to read and agree to The Tree of Life Covenent – click here.
Tree of Life Honoraria Fund and Scholarship Fund
Participants are encouraged to make generous contributions to our Tree of Life Honoraria Fund and/or our Tree of Life Scholarship Fund. The Honoraria Fund is used to support those organizations in Israel and the occupied territories with which we meet that have distinguished themselves in their extraordinary efforts toward a more just and peaceful future for them and for us. The Scholarship Fund is used to make it possible for those, especially young people, who wouldn’t be able to afford such a journey. These contributions are entirely voluntary and confidential and in the past have ranged from $0 to $10,000.
To make a contribution, click here.
Tree of Life 2014 Cost Schedule Estimates, click here.
Payments may be made by mail or online.