HERITAGE STUDY PROGRAMS PRESENTS: An advanced bible study program and a fact finding expedition to Israel, focusing on the status of Jerusalem and the region’s security & defense.


Tom Trento & Ron Wexler

Third Israel Fact Finding Mission to Israel March 12-22. 2016

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Depart on an overnight flight to Israel.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Arrive Ben Gurion Airport. Assistance through customs by our airport representative. Transfer to the hotel in Tel Aviv. Check in to your hotel. Dinner will be served 7:00 PM in the main dinning room of hotel.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Meals : Dinner

Monday, March 14 2016

After breakfast we will have our orientation meeting with Tom Trento and Ron Wexler, as well as our guides and staff.

Today we will spend the day in the most recent Israel's "hot spot" - The Gaza Strip region. We will visit the cities and places that were most affected by the Hamas aggression of the last summer. Our visits will include Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot, and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. These cities and towns are in the 15-30 second warning zone (maximum time to get shelter at time of "Red" siren alerts). We will also visit a border military installation and the Erez crossing (the border crossing between Gaza and Israel). We will listen to expert analyses on Israeli military doctrine, new tactical issues (Iron Dome, drones, tunnels, the closure of Ben-Gurion Airport), and lessons learned. Dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Tel Aviv
Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

After breakfast we will prepare to depart from Tel Aviv, but before doing so we will stop to visit the historic hall (known as Independence Hall) in which David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. From here we will begin our journey to the community of Alfei Menashe. Our focus here will be the security and defense of this stronghold in the“west bank”, overlooking the heart of Israel. An incredible presentation is awaiting us here, which to our repeat visitors will be the "next semester". Then, after a short visit to Caesaria - the ancient Roman capital in the region, we will continue north along the coastal road to the beautiful city of Haifa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. From the Carmel mountain top we will enjoy a picturesque panoramic view of the port and gulf beneath.

Check into our hotel.

Dinner followed by a panel discussion.

Overnight: Haifa, Israel
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Breakfast at our hotel. This morning we will visit a Military Installation (pending confirmation) in or around Haifa. Drive to Acre and begin our tour with a visit to the underground crusaders city and halls. We will walk through the narrow passes and allies and emerge at the old port of Acre (Akko). Continuing further north we will arrive to Rosh Hanikra to visit the spectacular limestone grottos at the Mediterranean. This place is situated at most northern seashore border with Lebanon. We will then continue on the northern border towards the east, this is the line of defense where Israel is facing Hizbollah and here are the spots that triggered both the first and second Lebanese wars. We will view the border and see the border patrol IDF soldiers.

We will then make our way in-land to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee.

Evening: Dinner followed Following dinner an informal discussion with Frank Gaffney, Tom Trento and Ron Wexler.
Overnight: Tiberias, Israel
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Breakfast at our hotel. This morning we will visit some of the biblical sites around the Sea of Galilee. We will then drive to the northern border of Israel. Here we will visit with members of one of the kibbutzim that are on the front line and meet with soldiers that are stationed at the border. As on our first visit here, once again, we get a first hand account to the current situation in this volatile region - the border of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Next we will drive up to the Golan Heights where we will visit Har Ben Tal and the Kunaitra border crossing between Israel and Syria. This border crossing was fought for and changed hands a number of times between the Asad army and the Syrian rebels. This place was also the site of the most heroic fight between the IDF and the Syrian army during the Yom Kippur war. Time permits we will view the film Oz 77 about the Yom Kippur War and discuss the security issues that persist 41 years since that war.

We make our way back to Tiberias stopping for a view of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley from the Mount of Beatitudes.

Return to our hotel for dinner followed by a panel discussion.
“Israel - Western society's last line of defense”

Overnight: Sea of Galilee, Israel
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday, March 18, 2016

After breakfast we will leave the Galilee region making our way up to Jerusalem. Our first stop will be Mt of Precipice (Nazareth), a sheer cliff, 397 meters high, provides one of the best, observation points over the Jezreel Valley and the surrounding mountains: The Carmel, Moreh, Gilboa and Mt Tabor. We will continue our journey south to see the excavations at Beit Shean which houses some of Israel's most spectacular archaeological finds. We will continue along the Jordan Valley (and the Jordanian border with Israel) making our way to visit Jericho (pending security clearance) located in the Palestinian Authority. Continue to Jerusalem stopping atop Mt Scopus for our first view of the "Golden City of Jerusalem"..

Proceed to our hotel for check in.

This evening we are all invited to a “Kabalat Shabbat” the receiving of the Sabbath service. This is a unique and most fervent service at the Western Wall with many Jerusalem Jewish worshipers. This service will be followed by a traditional Shabbat Dinner with Ron Wexler.

Overnight: Jerusalem, Israel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday, March 19, 2016

We will start our touring program today on the Mt of Olives where we will have a view of the entire city spread out before us, followed with a visit to the the Temple Mount - Mt. Moriah where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. We will see the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque that now stand there.

We will then continue on our way to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. Driving along the coastal line we make our way to Massada. This was the last pocket of insurrection in the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire where 960 men, women and children defied the might of Rome and fought for three years after the destruction of Jerusalem. We will visit king Herod's Palace, the synagogue, and a very sophisticated water and irrigation systems 2000 years old. On top of the rock we will hear a presentation by Ron Wexler - “Never again”. Later in the day a special treat awaits us as we go bathing in the “heavy water” of the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem.

After dinner this evenings panel discussion is : “Jerusalem & Radical Islam”

Overnight: Jerusalem, Israel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday, March 20, 2016

We will start our touring program today on the Temple Mount, the site of El Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.

We will see the southern wall excavations - this southern side of the temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the priests and levites had their own entrance from the higher western side. We will then proceed to the Kotel Plaza area and plunge underground to the Rabbincal Tunnel which takes us underneath the Temple Mount. We continue through the Old City where we will trace some of the footsteps of Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, the way of the agony and the Stations of the Cross. Continue to the reconstructed Jewish Quarter. We will walk through the Cardo, the original roman street and see the remains of the massive wall built by King Hezekiah. We will exit the city and make our way to the Israeli Parliament-Knesset for a special tour and meeting with Knesset members.

Return to our hotel for dinner.

Our program this evening is: “Security, defense & intelligence - the reality of the Middle East”

Overnight: Jerusalem, Israel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday, March 21, 2016

This morning we will begin with a visit to the Israel Museum, here we will view the famous Jerusalem model as of the Second Temple era (King Herrod era) and the shrine of the book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept. Next stop will be Yad Vashem, the memorial Center to the 6 million Jews that perished during the Holocaust.

We will then continue to Latrun, which is the official Israel Defense Force Commemoration Center and armament display. Latrun is the fortress that was strategically built on Israel's main crossroads and throughout history protected the City of Jerusalem. The program here will include laying a wreath at the "Wall of Names". Return to Jerusalem to visit Ammunition Hill, one of the most fierce battle grounds of the six day war in Jerusalem. In this side of Jerusalem, we will have an opportunity to visit another incredible site to many Christians - The Garden Tomb.

Evening program - closing meeting.
Overnight: Jerusalem, Israel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Depart home

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