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Overview

A totally immersive experience

Israel boasts an extraordinary number of historic sites, holy places, archaeological excavations and diverse landscapes given its diminutive size. The very nature of its existence elicits passionate and varied opinions. With that in mind, we have prepared a wealth of opportunities to provide insight into this complex land.

Explore modern and ancient Israel as we visit historical and contemporary cities; experience the most sacred sites of the world’s three great monotheistic faiths; and meet with a vastly diverse array of people that comprises this multifaceted and ever-evolving society. Along the way, our faculty leader educates us on the complex matter of drawing boundaries in the Middle East, the dilemmas of making peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the conflicts over Jerusalem and the pursuit of harmony in the city, and the foreign policy of the U.S. regarding Israel.

Dates

March 19–April 1, 2023

Duration

14 days

Price

From $13,795 per person

Trip size

34 participants

Minimum age

18 years
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Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Kenneth Schultz

Political Science

A professor of political science and the director of the Program in International Relations, Ken’s research examines the causes of war between states, with a particular focus on why states sometimes fight over territory and how those disputes are resolved.

Itinerary

At the intersection of history and religion

Meet with Palestinians, Jewish settlers, local academics and journalists to hear various, often opposing opinions about current events and the future of this hotly contested land. Journey from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and north to Golan Heights and Akko before concluding in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv.

  • Tel Aviv, Israel / Jerusalem

    Arrive in Israel and transfer to our hotel in Jerusalem.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

  • Jerusalem—The Old City’s Jewish Quarter

    Head to the Mount of Olives for an overlook of the city, then explore the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. View some of the sites excavated over the past 30 years, including the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, home to the Southern Wall steps, where Jewish pilgrims once entered the Temple Mount and where Jesus is said to have overturned the tables of the money changers. Observe the faithful praying at the Western Wall, and wind through the Western Wall Tunnel, which runs along the length of the Temple Mount. Toast the beginning of our journey at a welcome reception and dinner this evening.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Jerusalem—The Old City’s Christian Quarter / Bethlehem

    Return to the Old City to delve into its Christian Quarter. Walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, widely thought to be the place of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. In the afternoon tour the Israel Museum, which features more than 5,000 years of archaeological and cultural treasures, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered the world’s oldest existing biblical manuscripts. Take an optional excursion to the West Bank city of Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity, the basilica constructed around the cave venerated as the birthplace of Jesus, and meet with a Palestinian educator for a perspective on Palestinian identity and experience. Alternately remain in Jerusalem to further explore the Israel Museum independently.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Jerusalem—The Old City’s Muslim Quarter / Ramallah / Rawabi

    Admire the Temple Mount, or Noble Sanctuary, arguably the most hotly contested piece of real estate in the world. Site of the First and Second Temples, this platform is home to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third-holiest site. Later visit the Hand in Hand bilingual school, dedicated to bringing together Jewish and Arab children. Accompanied by a Palestinian reporter, drive to the West Bank city of Ramallah to convene with key Palestinian figures, then continue to Rawabi, a new Palestinian town, to meet with the development’s chief architect.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Jerusalem—The New City

    Following a guest lecture by a local political science professor, explore some of the layers of modern Jerusalem. Visit Yad LaKashish (Lifeline for the Elderly), to hear personal stories of elderly Israelis who are finding a rightful sense of purpose through art. Take a glimpse into modern Israeli society during a conversation with one of the directors of the Ma’aleh Film School. Get a sense of the geopolitics of Jerusalem as we ride Jerusalem’s light rail from a modern Jerusalem neighborhood, through Arab neighborhoods and an ultra-Orthodox area along what was the Green Line. Conclude the day by walking through the bustling Machaneh Yehudah open-air market with a local chef, choosing ingredients for an interactive cooking session followed by a delicious dinner.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Jerusalem

    Attend a guest lecture by a Holocaust scholar, then explore Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Return to the souk for lunch on our own, then visit Gazelle Valley, the largest urban nature site in Israel. Join local environmentalists in strengthening this functioning urban ecosystem by planting trees and bushes for local mountain gazelle, birds and reptiles. Participate in a traditional Shabbat dinner, pending availability with chayelim bodedim, lone soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces who have no immediate family in Israel. 

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Masada / Dead Sea

    Travel through the Judaean Desert past Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, to Masada, Herod’s mountain palace and site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Roman legionnaires. Continue to the Dead Sea to float in its mineral-rich waters. Return to Jerusalem and enjoy dinner independently.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Gush Etzion

    This morning talk with an Arab-Israeli/Palestinian-Israeli journalist about the current territory dynamics and meet with a Palestinian author and bookshop owner in East Jerusalem. Next, drive to Gush Etzion, the block of West Bank settlements originally established in the 1920s, and converse with a settler. Gain insight into new developments around Jerusalem, including the security barrier, or separation fence. Return to Jerusalem for an evening at leisure.

    Accommodations:

    King David Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Jerusalem / Jordan Valley / Sea of Galilee / Rosh Pinna

    Head north along the Jordan Rift Valley to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu to discover how this Kibbutz is thriving in 21st-century Israel by strengthening environmentalism. Continue to the Sea of Galilee and visit the grave of Rachel the Poet in the Kinneret Cemetery, where we explore the ideas of the early pioneers of communal living and collective agriculture. Proceed to Capernaum, which ostensibly served as a base for Jesus during his Galilean Ministry and enjoy the spectacular vista from the Mount of Beatitudes, believed to be the site of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Pass through the charming town of Rosh Pinna and check in to our hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Mizpe Hayamim

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Golan Heights

    Travel to the Golan Heights and take a short hike through Tel Dan National Park, a lush nature reserve that contains a biblical archaeological site. Take an off-road jeep ride adventure to gain insight into the strategic complexity of the Golan and its perch high above the Hula Valley with views into Lebanon. Visit the abandoned Syrian military outpost of Tel Faher and learn about its importance during the 1967 Six Day War. Visit a Druze village then cross the Golan plateau to the former Israeli and Syrian fortifications atop Mount Bental, from where we view Quneitra, the largely destroyed and abandoned Syrian garrison town that now lies in the U.N. demilitarized zone. Learn about the latest geopolitical and security update on Israel’s northern border from an Israeli army security expert.

    Accommodations:

    Mizpe Hayamim

    Included meals: Breakfast, dinner and lunch
  • Rosh Pinna / Akko / Caesarea / Tel Aviv

    Drive to the Mediterranean coast to the Old City of Akko (or Acre) to visit el Jazzar Mosque, walk along the fortified walls that protected Akko and explore the subterranean Crusader Halls. Learn about the Hospitaller Knights, the Christian warrior-monks who fought to control the Holy Land in the 12th century. Drive along the coast to Caesarea Maritima. Built by Herod the Great, Caesarea was home to one of the most impressive architectural feats of the ancient world: an artificial harbor constructed in the open sea. Continue to Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city of modern times, check in to our hotel and enjoy dinner at leisure.

    Accommodations:

    Royal Beach Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Tel Aviv / Jaffa

    Explore Jaffa Port where, according to tradition, Jonah emerged from the whale and Saint Peter raised Tabitha. Visit the Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and meet with its senior advisor for governmental and international affairs, who was one of Shimon Peres’s closest advisors. Take a vegan culinary tour of the city that demonstrates why Tel Aviv is consistently named the world’s number one destination for vegan delicacies. Then take a Rainbow Tour through the city to explore what it’s like to be gay and Jewish, learn some queer Hebrew slang, and discuss current topics in the local LGBTQA community. This evening, enjoy dinner and the opportunity to learn about Israel’s Ethiopian community at the Bettae Ethiopian Center.

    Accommodations:

    Royal Beach Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Tel Aviv

    Meet with a world-acclaimed writer and journalist who shares insight into how Israeli society is perceived in the world and why. Visit the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel studies, which was established to promote tolerance across all sectors of Israeli society and stop at Rabin Square, the place where Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. Wander through a Tel Aviv neighborhood famous for its Bauhaus buildings, past Independence Hall, where Israel’s independence was declared in 1948, then enjoy lunch on our own. Gather for a farewell reception and dinner this evening.

    Accommodations:

    Royal Beach Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Tel Aviv / Home

    Transfer to the airport for flights home.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

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Pricing

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The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

panorama view of the sea port and buildings

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