Israel Inside/Out: Perspectives And Prisms

In the exotic and often tempestuous neighborhood that makes up the Middle East,Israel is the stellar stronghold of extraordinary biblical landmarks, hi-tech international industries, tip-top cuisine, very creative arts, gold-standard hoomus, a vibrant and rich cultural scene, and home to red hot, buzz-buzz, 24/7 Tel Aviv.


National Geographic Expeditions has just announced a series of in-depth Israel tours. Plunge into the politics, present day realities, the problems, as well as many of the satisfying pleasures of this exciting and complex country led by cultural educator Aziz Abu Sarah. A young man dedicated to building deeper understanding and lasting friendships between Israelis and Palestinians, he has been named as one of Nat Geo’s “Emerging Explorers.” His startup company, Medji, is an innovative concept offering “dual narrative” peace-building tours.

Experience Israel through a broad spectrum Christian-Muslim-Jewish matrix as you hear narratives from a diverse assortment of citizens: imams, rabbis, artists, and settlers – all dialogue aimed to stimulate and promote peace among neighbors. In Jerusalem, explore mysterious underground tunnels, walk in knee-deep water still flowing through Hezekiah’s 2,700-year old Tunnel, go deep underground to explore the ongoing excavation of the City of David, the biblical Jerusalem, and meet with an archaeologist. Visit the awesome desert fortress of Masada (UNESCO World Heritage Site,) and sail on the Sea of Galilee.

Spotlights on: the archaeological wonders of Caesarea with another National Geo “Emerging Explorer,” Beverly Goodman. Visit the Holocaust memorial complex, Yad Vashem, and meet with a survivor.

12 days of exceptional itinerary in really good hotels visiting Jerusalem,Bethlehem, the West Bank, Dead Sea, Caesarea, Tiberias and wrap up in very vibrant Tel Aviv. Cost: $5,500 per person, double basis, plus air. Departures are scheduled almost monthly though not all are led by Abu Sarah. Check out details by clicking here or calling 888-966-8687.


And while in the vicinity, sign on for National Geographic’s quickie over- the-border into Jordan for 4 more remarkable days. In Petra, walk the Siq, the wind-carved sandstone canyon; see the now-iconic Treasury carved into red-rose cliffs; walk about in the spectacular Roman ruins of Jerash and Wadi Rum where


Digging Israel

Looking to work, literally like a slave, in the hot sun for no or low pay some summer?  If you join an archaeological dig in one of the ancient sites in Israel, you will sift soil where King David walked and Jesus trod. You will see and feel the past, alive in your own hands and on the soles of your feet. The thrill and incredible excitement of finding authentic treasures such as pottery, mosaics, glass, and gold that are thousands of years old and holding them is hard to describe.

What’s in store? Dust! Heat! Stones! Sunburns! Brains! Brawn! History!  New friends. And sometimes even romance… (hey, you never know…) So shake out your shovel, grab a hat with a big visor, slather on the sun cream and join one of the many major archaeological excavations scattered throughout this modern-ancient land, some near cities, some on the shores of the Mediterranean, some in the mountains or deserts.

Biblical Archaeology Review publishes a wealth of information on their excellent website:  They show which digs are current, which ones need extra hands and where, exactly, they are located in Israel as well as in Jordan, Italy and Spain.