ISRAEL : J-TERM TRIP January 3-15, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We finished our afternoon by touring the home of a friend of Max’s who just happens to live a short distance from where we’re staying. He and his family own property which has artifacts from the Roman and  Ottoman empires.  They also own an old olive press that has been in his family for many years. It was a classic! Oddly enough I don’t care for olives, but I love olive oil….especially with bread and a great glass of white wine🍷however, I was fascinated with this machine. I hope you too are intrigued by these photos.




Monday, January 12, 2015

Photos from the the Jewish Diaspora Museum

This slideshow requires JavaScript.











image image image

This slideshow requires JavaScript.





What an incredible day! First of all, the sun is shining and for the first time in days we’ve seen blue skies😃. We began our day by traveling to Tel Aviv for a meeting with Dr. Mark Heller from the NISS (National Institute for Security Studies). He discussed Israel’s approach to security and addressed the threat Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons poses.  Mark was straight-forward, knowledgeable and had a CIA-like air about him. This man knows his stuff.

We then went to the Jewish Diaspora Museum on the campus of the University of Tel Aviv. We were provided with a lively overview of Jewish history from the perspective of 70 AD to 1948. The focus was more on community and how the Jewish people rely upon each other, their faith and the Hebrew language to continue to form their up breakable bond.

We continued north for the town of Caesarea. Magnificent. This is where Pontius Pilate governed during the time of Jesus as well as where Paul was imprisoned for two years. We found many Roman ruins and being on the coast was comforting after days of cold rain and snow.

We ended our day at Ibillin, a small Arab village on the edge of the Galilee valley. We’re staying at the Mar Elias Educational Institution, founded by Elias Chacour. After dinner we’ll meet with Jonathan’s colleague Dr. Donnie Statman, Professor of Philosophy at Haifa University. He spoke with us on Just War Theory and the Gaza War last summer.

Enjoy the photos from the day:



Saturday, January 10, 2015 – Day Off to Explore, Shop & Traverse the Old City

We began this morning with breakfast at our beautiful hotel….and I must admit, we all feel a little like Arabian princesses. However no magic carpet flew by our window last night and I don’t recall hearing Aladdin singing by my window either. Hate that!

By 9:00 a.m. we marched off to the Old City for another look at the Wailing Wall. Entering the Dome of the Rock was impossible as it was closed due to the snow we got last night (a good inch or so). Today is Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, so most of the Jewish Quarter was closed. We made our way through the Muslim & Christian Quarters and found plenty of wonderful Jewish, Druze, & Palestinian goods to purchase. Enjoy the photos from our hotel, the old city and from some of the people we met.

Shabbat Shalom!

image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image

Sunday, January 4, 2015

8:55 p.m. Jerusalem, Israel

Today was our first conscious day in Israel. I must admit, yesterday was a blur. We landed safely and early in Tel Aviv, thanks to a swift tail wind of some 110 knots. After dropping off our bags at the Agron Youth Hostel we walked to dinner in a wonderful rain shower that woke us all up to an Italian restaurant that was one of the only places open on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath.

Walking back to the hostel, Susannah and I noticed several places we’d like to make our way back to, mostly because of the high fashion standards of Israeli women :).  God is good!!! Jerusalem is full of beautiful places to shop!! Nancy Vaughan, you have no idea what you’re missing!!!

We had a lively discussion with Dr. Cary Nelson when arriving back. Thrown right into the depths of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, we dove deeply into the academic boycotts against Israeli   and how effective/non-effective it may not be. More on both perspectives later. This was a topic we’ll hear more about when we meet with the founder of the boycott/sanctions when we journey to Ramallah next week.

Today we went to church at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. We walked through the Old City as you can see from the photos above. It was spectacular. Because our leaders Max and Jonathan walk at the speed of sound, we had to jog to keep up, but we do have a FREE day on Saturday where we’ll go back to stroll and SHOP. I’m sure I’ll take another hundred photos or so to share.

It’s beautiful here I stand amazed that I’m in Israel. It’s possible that I’m not fully awake but more has happened than I can share in these few short paragraphs, I’m going to sleep shortly but will keep up better in the morning.



Lutheran Church of the Reedemer - 1.4.15

Lutheran Church of the Reedemer – 1.4.15

Last Week:

The Holy Land. Israel has been #2 on my Bucket List for many years. It’s hard to imagine I board a plane in less than five hours to begin my journey there…I’m feeling a little emotional and somewhat overwhelmed, in a good way. I’m grateful for Max and Jonathan (Guilford College Professors) and for all of the great folks we’ll have the opportunity to meet and work with while traveling.

We depart from Philadelphia tonight at 9:35 pm and arrive in Tel Aviv tomorrow at 3:10 pm. Thank you Jonathan and Max, we hit the ground running to drop our bags at the Agron Youth Hostel and then off to our first meeting with the distinguished professor from the University of Illinois (yes we had to go all the way to Jerusalem to meet him), Cary Nelson. You can check him out on his home page link below, as he’ll be discussing his new book, The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel.

After time with Dr. Nelson, we’ll (once Shabbat has ended at 5:30), tour the Old City of Jerusalem and head to the Western Wall where I will most likely cry and marvel at what remains of the Temple from 70 CE that Rome did not destroy. After inserting my prayers, we’ll enjoy dinner and then collapse at the Agron Youth Hostel and prepare for day two in Jerusalem.

I have to go pack…






2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s