May 2011

Israel Government Tourist Office logo


Welcome from Rafi Shalev, Director, Israel Tourism

We have been experiencing a very exciting time at the Ministry of Tourism recently and have many more uplifting experiences planned.

We were recently at the Roots Salvation Conference where we had Luke Penwald from Premier Radio address an invited audience on organising group pilgrimages to the Holy Land as he has become somewhat of an expert on the destination.

Our annual issue of the Holyland Journal has been published with many fascinating articles on the recent developments and discoveries in Israel. Articles include information on the latest finds in the City of David that re-sparked the debate over King Solomon’s treasures as well as the discovery of the shroud of a wealthy leper buried in cave in Jerusalem which is the first burial shroud of a person who died between the years 1 and 50 CE to be found in Jerusalem.

In June 2011, a group of editors of Catholic newspapers are taking a trip In the Footsteps of the Virgin Mary. The Tourism Ministry has recently launched a booklet entitled A Holy Land Pilgrimage: In the Footsteps of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, is a central figure in the Catholic faith who, according to the Scriptures, was blessed by the grace of God. An abridged version of the booklet can be found on the Tourism Ministry's dedicated Catholic website: In the next issue, we will show you their itinerary.

Congratulations to all those who have found their way to! Google analytics has reported over 1000 visitors to the site every month.

In January and February 2012, a leadership group of Elim and AOG (Assemblies of God) are going to the Holyland. Elim, the Pentecostal church is a growing movement of more than 550 congregations in the UK and Ireland. The AOG have over 1000 leaders and over 600 churches making them one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the UK.
In April 2012, we are going to be holding a Passover meal in preparation for the Last Supper with senior church leaders. Further information will be given in the next newsletter.

Listen out for us on Premier Radio as we sponsor Breakfast News! Premier Radio will be broadcasting from the Holyland in September. Stay tuned for more details.

Join the Celebrations in Israel……

spacerJune 1-2
The feast denotes Jesus’ ascension to heaven forty days after his Resurrection.

Chapel of the Ascension, the Mount of Olives - the various congregations take their places in the walled area surrounding the Chapel of the Ascension and erect altars and tents. Celebrants of the six historical Christian communities hold Divine Liturgies/Masses concurrently, side by side.

spacerMount of Olives

spacerJune 12-13
On the fiftieth day after Jesus’ Resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, and the early followers of Christ.

Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre – on the 12th, Divine Liturgy is celebrated followed by vespers and prayers in different languages.
Mount Zion - Holy Spirit Day - on the 13th, Divine Liturgy is held at the Greek Seminary on Mount Zion, followed by a procession to the Room of the Last Supper Divine Liturgy in the Russian Church of the Holy Trinity.

Group Travel - education tours

ITS are organising another educational to Israel, this one with a difference! It is for clergy that want to lead their own pilgrimage but do not wish to be away on a Sunday. It takes place from 16th-20th January 2012, priced £199.00 per person plus airport taxes and fuel surcharges. Places are limited and priority is given to first time visitors to the Holy Land who wish to organise their own pilgrimage tour.

Call ITS on 0161 839 1111


You’ll never be the same

“Walking where Jesus walked has for Christians over the years often proved to be a uniquely significant and life changing experience. Today Israel finds herself still in the centre of international news but whether looking back or looking forward to a visit to what has become known as the Holy Land, it will be a deeply enriching  experience”

Steve Clifford, General Director, Evangelical  Alliance



spacerspacerIn our last newsletter we announced the launch of our new web site specifically for the Christian market,

We are delighted to report that this site is proving to be a real winner with those looking to plan a church tour or an individual pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The results from Google so far show that it’s already a very popular site with the “Top Attractions” section being the most frequently visited section of the site.

We are constantly adding new content to the web site so can we encourage you to visit the site and bookmark it today.

Explore the Hidden Gems of Israel

spacerFew countries pack as many hidden gems into such a small space as Israel. From the magical mystery of Jerusalem to the rich cultural experiences of the Dead Sea, the energy and excitement of Tel Aviv to the sun and relaxation of Eilat. Israel is the ideal year-round destination.
Amongst other holidays, a Hidden Desert tour is offered by Collette Worldwide and full details can be found at

If you would like a copy of our "Hidden Gems of Israel" booklet, please call 020 7299 1100 to order, or e-mail your details to us with "Hidden Gems" in the subject line to


2011 Holy Land Calendar of Christian Feasts and Events


spacerThe Ministry of Tourism is delighted to offer a 2011 Holy Land Calendar of Christian Feasts and Events, which was compiled with the kind assistance of the Christian Churches in the Holy Land.

The calendar, richly illustrated with images from the Holy Land, including its people, religious sites and festivities, lists all the special events and feasts according to the Anglican, Armenian, Catholic, Coptic, Ethiopian, Lutheran, Orthodox, Protestant and Syrian churches.

To download the 2011 Holy Land Calendar click here (PDF 761kb)

Come and see us at

Over the next few months we will be attending many of the leading exhibitions and events. Do come along and see us - we'd be pleased to help in any way that we can.

28-29 May
Big Church Day Out

4-11 June
Elim Bible Week

  10-13 July
New Wine Sligo, Ireland

30 July-5 Aug
New Wine Newark, Nottinghamshire

Dr James Fleming Tour dates
London: Monday 20th June
Canterbury: Tuesday 21st June
Manchester: Wednesday 22nd June
Belfast: Thursday 23rd June
Dublin: Friday 24th June

For fuller details click here.

Ticket enquiries, please call 0207 299 1100 or e mail

spacerContact a Tour Operator

To contact any of our partner Tour Operators

click here

spacerLiterature pack

We have put together a free pack of literature to help in your planning of your visit to Israel, including maps, guides and general holiday tips. To obtain your pack, simply click on the link below, fill in the request form and we’ll have it off in the post to you, thank you.

click here

spacerNew 37-mile Gospel trail around the Sea of Galilee

An initiative of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with KKL-JNF and the National Parks Authority, has developed the Gospel Trail - an opportunity to walk and cycle through specially design footpaths along the Sea of Galilee. The trail is based on the path Jesus would have taken from Mount Precipice to Capernaum, making stops at Mount Tabor, Cana, the Horns of Hettin, Mount Arbel, Magdala, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes.

For more details

click here


Latest News

Travelling to Israel in the next few months?
Be sure to be prepared for your traveling with an update on the expected weather and local conditions by visiting and click on Tourist Information

Manel Alvarez on the Bible
New Exhibition at the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem
7 April – 31 October 2011
For the first time in nearly a decade, the Bible Lands Museum opens its doors to an exhibition of modern art.  The exhibition, "INSPIRED - Manel Alvarez on the Bible"….

Night Time Tours of the City Of David Jerusalem
Visitors to Jerusalem can enjoy night time tours of the City of David, every Thursday evening. Artistic lighting highlights the antiquities, with harp music in the King’s Garden enhancing the experience.
The evening experience begins with a night-time overlook of the city …

Jerusalem Ranked Among Top Ten in the World
Readers of the popular travel website Trip Advisor have ranked Jerusalem among their Top 10 culture and sightseeing destinations in the world, above London, Istanbul and Venice.

New Catholic pilgrimage
"In the Footsteps of the Virgin Mary," was recently launched by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. The new guide, written specifically for pilgrimage tour operators, offers suggested itineraries for Christian pilgrims seeking to enrich and enhance a spiritual experience in the Holy Land.

The itinerary provides information on Christian holy sites throughout Israel, and can be found on the Israel Ministry of Tourism's dedicated Catholic website

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Israel Government
Tourist Office

UK House, 180 Oxford Street, London W1D 1NN
Tel: 020 7299 1100