Subscribe to
our newsletter,
Desert Tracks
powered by EZezine

Desert Foundation Blog
Desert Foundation Home
About The Desert Foundation
What's New at The Desert Foundation
Please Donate to The Desert Foundation
Circle of Friends
Caravans Magazine
Responses from our readers
Desert Foundation Activities Desert Foundation History


Seeking Understanding in Israel/Palestine
A Two-Week Fact-Finding Trip
May 15-29, 2010

Organized by Friends of Sabeel-Colorado

Trip Objectives:

  • To visit with Palestinian and Israeli peace and human rights groups and individuals working for peace.
  • To see first-hand the reality of Palestinian life and the impact of the Israeli occupation - the wall, settlements, checkpoints, roadblocks, refugee camps, etc.
  • To consider what is needed for a just peace.

Trip Highlights:

  • Stay in the Old City of Jerusalem, within easy walking distance of the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of the Rock. Explore the winding streets and bazaars of the Old City.
  • Tour the illegal settlements of East Jerusalem with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), stand with the Women in Black on Friday at noon, meet with an ex-soldier from Breaking the Silence, the Israeli Human Rights organization B’Tselem, and a woman from Machsom Watch; visit the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.
  • Tour the Old City of Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity; visit a refugee camp, visit in the homes of Palestinians in the Beit Jala area, and learn about nonviolent resistance against the construction of the wall.
  • Travel to Galilee to visit Nazareth, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, and spend two nights by the Sea of Galilee.
  • Learn about the many Palestinian villages that were destroyed in 1948, and the current struggle of "unrecognized Arab villages" in Israel.
  • Visit the West Bank cities of Nablus and Ramallah; meet with the "Stop the Wall Campaign."
  • Visit with a Jewish settler in a West Bank settlement, meet with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, and visit the Mosque of Ibrihim, honored by Jews and Muslims as the burial place of Abraham.
  • Swim in the Dead Sea and visit Masada.

Tour Leaders:

  • Joy Lapp, Instructor of Religion and Ethics, Metro State College of Denver. Joy spent three years in the Middle East working with Mennonite Central Committee, and is Chair of Friends of Sabeel-Colorado
  • Arnie Voigt, Retired Lutheran minister. Arnie has visited Israel/Palestine many times and has led numerous tour groups.


  • $2000. Includes hotel, 2 meals per day, tour guide and entrance fees, transportation, tips. Does not include airfare, lunch, souvenirs, personal expenses or travel insurance. Prices based on double-occupancy. Supplement for single room is $520. Prices are based on a minimum of 20 travelers, and subject to changes due to circumstances beyond our control.
  • Travelers must have a passport that is valid six months beyond date of re-entry to U.S.

Desert Foundation co-directors Fr. David Denny and Tessa Bielecki made this trip in 2007 and both the knowledge we gained and the friends we made have had a deep and lasting effect in our lives. Read Fr. Dave’s “Rooftop Oasis” and Tessa’s “Jerusalem, Jerusalem …” to learn more about our responses to this extraordinary journey.

For more information, contact Joy Lapp:

We extend a warm invitation to join this cross-cultural encounter
to view the holy sites, and to visit with people passionately
involved in the effort of peacemaking today.

©2012, Desert Foundation, all rights reserved.