Israel and Jordan

Faculty: Bob Harder
Class meeting time: Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Trip Dates: May, 2025



This particular course section and trip are organized around exploring the history, geopolitics, beauty and complexity of the Holy Land. As we study the history and travel the lands, through Israel, Palestine and Jordan, we will keep a keen focus on answering the question “how then shall we live as Christ-followers in the 21st century?”

We will start both our course and travels in Israel (Palestine) walking where Jesus walked – and also walking where he would walk if he were here today. We will study the history and culture of the Holy Land from the time of Jesus to the present day. We will try to unpack and understand the complexities of geopolitics, religions, wars, humanitarian crises, occupation and oppression within the context of what Jesus meant when he said “blessed are the peacemakers”. We will travel for eleven days to Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, the Sea of Galilee and Samaria, to Nazareth, Nablus, Capernaum, then on to Jerusalem, Jericho, Hebron, Bethlehem, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, and to Gaza.

From there we will travel south to the Red Sea and cross over into Jordan at Eilat. We will spend 11 days exploring and experiencing Jordan’s rich history and culture including swimming in Red Sea at Tala Bay, a jeep tour in the Wadi Rum desert, a visit to a Bedouin camp within the Petra archeological reserve, Ghor al Mazra’a village, Bethany beyond the Jordan, the baptism site of Jesus, Mt. Nebo - where Moses looked out across the Holy Land, Ajloun Castle, Miriam’s house, swimming in the Dead Sea, visits to Sodom and Gomorrah to see the salt pillars and Lot’s Cave Monastery, and a visit with Palestinian refugees and Christian relief and development agencies in Amman. We will also visit the Za’atari refugee camp and learn about the entrepreneurial activities of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, and also engage in service opportunities with several different ministries.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Ben Gurion Intl, Tel Aviv


Telos Historical Briefing

Mosque Visit with Muslim cleric
Day 2

Depart for Nazareth

Nazareth Market Tour


Mt of Beatitudes

Boat ride on Sea of Galilee
Day 3

Depart for Jerusalem

Meeting with Israeli Journalist, briefing on

Israeli politics

Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
Day 4

Tour Old City of Jerusalem

Bethlehem Bible College with Palestinian


Banksy Museum
Day 5

Church of Nativity

Visit Dheisheh refugee camp

Visit Israeli Settlement

Visit Tent of Nations
Day 6

Tour of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood

East Jerusalem\

Visit Jacob’s Well, Nablus
Day 7

Visit Hebron with former Israeli Soldiers

Meeting with Palestinian Activists

Visit glass and ceramics factory
Day 8

Jericho Mt of Temptations visit

Western Wall at sunset

Shabbat dinner
Day 9

Text Study with Jewish Orthodox Rabbi

Visit Israeli Community on the Gaza Border

(Netiv Ha’Asara) with Roni Keidar
Day 10

Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Walking tour

Parents Circle
Day 11

Travel south to Eilat in order to enter Jordan

Arrival at Jordan Border.

Visit Masada

Travel south to Eilat in order to enter Jordan

Tala Bay for swimming in the Red Sea

Day 12

Aqaba to Wadi Rum desert for a jeep tour

Day 13

Rum Village

Bus to bedouin camp within the Petra archeological reserve.

Afternoon: hike, little Petra
Day 14

Hike the back way to Petra, Monastery for a break

Lunch by the museum and explore surrounding sites
Day 15

Ghor al Mazra’a village: crafts and lunch

Bethany beyond the Jordan, the baptism site of Jesus.

Mt. Nebo, where Moses looked out across the Holy Land. 
Day 16

Visit Ajloun Castle

Lunch at Miriam’s house
Day 17

Swimming at Dead Sea

Free time, water activities
Day 18

Visit site of Sodom and Gomorrah salt pillars

Lot’s cave Monastery
Day 19

Visit mosque

Visit citadel and roman theatre
Day 20

Visit to UNHCR Za’atari Refugee Camp in Mafraq

Meet with Syrian refugees and discuss entrepreneurial activities
Day 21

Day in Amman, shopping and free time

Day 22

Return to PDX

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