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Interreligious Pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine, Sponsored by United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Interreligious Pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine

January 5 to January 18, 2016

Deadline to register September 20, 2015

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Join in a groundbreaking interfaith pilgrimage and dialogue intensive in Israel and Palestine, the birthplace of three religions and two national groups. Be part of a multi-faith group practicing the art of dialogue as we travel through the land, experience one another’s sacred sites and practices, and learn from one another’s reflections. Practice using the same skills of dialogue in considering the multiple national and political perspectives that animate the societies of Palestine and Israel.

With a unique approach that accesses contemporary issues through personal storytelling and relationship-building, the tour features a diverse array of guides and speakers—Israeli and Palestinian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, conservative, moderate and progressive. Beginning with the rich religious history of Jerusalem, journeying deep into West Bank villages, and ending in Nazareth, this tour offers you the opportunity to meet local religious leaders, politicians, scholars, peacemakers, and activists, learn about contrasting national narratives, and explore future prospects for justice, security, and peace in the region. 

Join us for this unique pilgrimage that explores the sacred places of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the complex issues facing Palestine and Israel, while practicing the art of dialogue in an extraordinary living laboratory.

The pilgrimage is a for-credit course, meeting the global justice requirement for M.Div. students at United Theological Seminary. It is also open to community participants of all religious backgrounds from Minnesota.

This trip is from January 5 – 18, 2016. Please note there is a mandatory pre-departure dialogue training session in Minnesota on January 4, 2016. 

Check out the itinerary here!

UTS Students must register for this course. Non-UTS students must register for the course here and pay an auditor’s fee of $250.

You can find the textbooks for this course here.

This trip is now waitlisted! If you would like to join this trip, please email Ally Collender ([email protected]), and she will add you to the waitlist. Please also reach out to Ally if you have any questions.

$3,325 per person

Trip Includes

  • 12 nights lodging at the YMCA Hotel (Jerusalem), Grand Park Hotel (Ramallah), homestays (Bethlehem), and Golden Crown Hotel (Nazareth) or similar accommodations in these locations (double occupancy)
  • Private bus and driver for 13 days
  • 2 Full-time MEJDI trained guides (1 Israeli and 1 Palestinian) for 13 days
  • Group transfers to and from Ben Gurion Airport (if travelers are on the recommended flight)
  • 2 Meals per day (as indicated on itinerary)
  • All speaker, sites, and entrance fees
  • Dedicated customer service representatives in USA and Jerusalem
  • Customary tips to drivers, guides, and hotel staff

Trip Does Not Include

  • Airfare
  • Travel Medical or Cancellation Insurance STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
  • Additional meals, snacks, and water bottles
  • Single Supplement ($625)
  • Anything not explicitly mentioned in included section

Resources

Initial Deposit: Due at time of registration.

Final Payment: Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure.

Prices: Prices are per person and are based upon shared twin room occupancy (unless otherwise noted). In case of human or computer error, MEJDI LLC reserves the right to re-invoice for the correct price or service. A full refund will be made to passengers who choose not to pay an increase, provided MEJDI LLC a written cancellation within five days of the price increase notification.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation in writing or email must be received by MEJDI LLC for appropriate refund minus the following fees.
120+ Days Prior: 120+ Days Prior: 50% of per person deposit
120-46 Days Prior: $300 per person deposit
45-21 Days Prior: 80% of tour cost
20 Days Prior or Less: 100% of tour cost

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is not included in the tour price. MEJDI LLC strongly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance package, which covers health, lost luggage, trip cancellation and trip interruption. Please note that we cannot accept responsibility for any losses or expenses, which you or any member of your party may incur as a result of failing to secure adequate coverage. We can recommend travel insurance companies upon request.

Passport and Documentation: Your passport must be valid for at least six months following your entry date to your travel destination. MEJDI LLC is not responsible to provide any travel documents to any of our destinations, including visas. It is the sole responsibility of the traveler to confirm with the consulate of each country visited, about any necessary travel documentation/visas required to enter these countries.

Airlines and Air Tickets: Passengers are responsible to ensure MEJDI LLC has the correctly spelled names for air tickets reservations. Due to newly introduced security measures, any name change including minor spelling corrections may require airline reservations to be canceled and re-booked. MEJDI LLC will not be held responsible for the denial of services by a carrier due to any name discrepancy. Subsequent name corrections will be subject to an airline re-booking fee of up to $300 per ticket. Air reservations are subject to availability at the time of re-booking. All airline tickets issued in conjunction with this tour are subject to air penalties per individual carrier’s rules and regulations which will be applied. In the case of tour cancellation for any reason, we will not be responsible for refunds for airline tickets or change fees. This applies to retail purchases and those bought through an agent.

Airport Taxes and Fees: All airline tickets are subject to a variety of foreign and domestic government taxes which include security charges, the September 11th Security Fee, airport facility charges, customs and immigration fees, inspection fees, fuel surcharges and more. Taxes and fees are subject to change. Airport taxes & fees which appear on the invoice reflect the taxes and fees that are applicable when the original reservation is completed. These taxes and fees may vary prior to airline tickets being issued. We reserve the right to amend the airport taxes & fees to reflect any changes prior to ticketing.

Baggage: Luggage is the responsibility of the passenger/s and that of the airlines. For lost/delayed luggage claims, the passenger is responsible for notifying the airline directly. If travel insurance policy was purchased, all damage/ loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. As all airlines differ and restrictions change periodically, we recommend that you call the airline directly with questions about your baggage allowance. MEJDI LLC shall not be held responsible for any delay or damage to or loss of luggage and/or personal items.

Tour Itinerary: MEJDI LLC reserves the right to change the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances. In all cases, MEJDI LLC will do its best to maintain the content of the tour. If the tour services as indicated by the itinerary cannot be supplied or there are changes in the itinerary for reasons beyond the control of MEJDI LLC we will arrange for provision of comparable services. MEJDI LLC reserves the right to make changes in the itinerary whenever MEJDI LLC deems it necessary to the comfort, convenience and safety of the participant at any time. No refund will be paid for unused services such as: transfers, sightseeing, meals, hotel accommodation, entrance fees, and others that are listed in the tour program.

Meals: Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated.

Hotels Accommodation: Hotels will be provided in accordance with the itinerary or similar. We reserve the right to make substitutions with hotels of equal standard. There will be no refunds for any difference in the cost of those accommodations. All rooms are standard twin-bedded rooms with private facilities, unless you have specifically requested and paid for an upgraded room category. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person.

Not Included: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, meals other than described in the tour details, any other service not described as included, passport and visa fees, insurance.

Emergency Numbers:
1-703-349-1554 (USA) or 011-972-52-406-0582 (ISRAEL)

Documents: Your tour documents including: paper air tickets or E Ticket receipts, tour confirmation voucher and all other related information will be sent approximately two to three weeks prior to departure provided full payments have been received.

Customer Service: All customer service issues and refund requests must be submitted in writing and received no later than 30 days after your return. Refunds are subject to a processing fee of $50 plus any hotel and/or supplier charges incurred. Airline flight cancellations and delays for any reason are not the responsibility of MEJDI LLC Submit your claim directly to the airline. MEJDI LLC does not guarantee airline response.

MEDJI LLC, Arlington, Virginia, and it's employees, act only as representatives of agents of the various air carriers, hotels, public transportation companies and tour operators upon the expressed condition that they shall not be liable for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or irregularities which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle, or through acts of default of an company or persons engaged in conveying the passenger, operating contracted tour arrangements or otherwise of any hotel proprietor or servant. MEJDI LLC accepts no responsibility for loss, damage, monies, additional expenses due to common carrier cancellations, delays or changes, weather, sickness, injuries, strikes, war, quarantine, or other causes beyond their immediate and direct control.

In addition, MEJDI LLC relinquishes all responsibility for travel by any tour participants if that travel is prior to, during or beyond MEJDI LLC published tour dates. Enrollment in and payment for the tour, constitutes your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions and Statement of Responsibility. The terms and conditions and statement of responsibility become a binding contract when your enrollment and payment are received and accepted by MEJDI LLC. This contract shall be governed by the laws of the state of Virginia.

When looking at flights,  you will want a flight that departs Minneapolis on Tuesday, January 5th, and arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Wednesday January 6th. This flight should arrive in Tel Aviv no later than 3:00 PM on January 6th because that evening there will be an orientation session all travelers will need to attend. Please note that on Monday, January 4th all travelers must attend a mandatory pre-departure dialogue session 9-5 pm at United Theological Seminary.

When looking at return flights, you will want to find a late evening flight departing from Tel Aviv on Monday, January 18th. You will be touring during the day on January 18th, and we do not want you to miss anything! If you would like to extend your trip past January 18th, MEJDI Tours would be happy to assist you in making those arrangements.

To purchase flights, we recommend momondo.com, one of the largest travel search engines on the web. Students might also want to look at statravel.com, a student-oriented travel search engine. When looking at flights, we recommend you put your web-browser in “private” or “incognito”  mode – search engines often track you searches, and this will prevent them from doing so while you search for flights.

If you prefer the services of a travel agent, MEJDI Tours partners with Fellowship Travel. Contact Leanne Leigers at [email protected] or (800) 235-9384 ext. 121, and let her know that you are a MEJDI traveler.

United Airlines has at least one flight that works within your travel dates. United Flight 3450 departs MSP at 9:15 AM on January 5th, and arrives at Newark Airport at 12:45 pm. United Flight 84 will depart Newark Airport at 3:55 PM, and arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv at 9:15 AM on January 6th.  United Flight 85 departs Tel Aviv on Monday, January 18th at 11:10 PM, and arrives in Newark at 4:35 AM on January 19th. United flight 3516 departs Newark at 8:00 AM, and arrives in MSP at 10:15 AM on January 19th. You are not required to purchase this flight, however you will want to find a flight that arrives and departs at similar times to ensure you do not miss any part of your tour.

If you would like someone to look over your flight itinerary to ensure that it works within your travel dates, or have any other questions about flights, please contact Ally Collender at (703) 349-1554 or [email protected]

We highly recommend that all travelers purchase travel insurance. To look at different plans available, please visit www.insuremytrip.com