/ First Hand Experience
March 2020 Journey

Tree of Life Journey: March 2020 Itinerary & Costs


This journey will be led by Ghoufran Allababidi, President of Tree of Life Educational Fund, Dr. Reza Mansoor, President of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford, and Rev. Stephen Jungkeit, Senior Minister of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT.

Travel dates are March 10-21 for Palestine and Israel. In addition, there will be an optional extension to Turkey, where we’ll have an opportunity to witness the refugee crisis in a different country, while also visiting historic sites such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace.

For more information, contact David Good, TOL Founder and Chairman at



March Journey Application

Subsidy Application March


Itinerary & Costs

Following is an itinerary sketch. Additional meetings with activists and voices of conscience to be announced as confirmed.

March 10 Tuesday. Departure from JFK. Preferred flight: Turkish Airlines – departure 2:20 PM – arrival in Tel Aviv at 11:20 AM on Wednesday March 11th. (via Istanbul)

March 11 Wednesday. Transfer to Jerusalem. Walking tour of the Old City as time permits – Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Ramparts walk, etc. Orientation, dinner and overnight in Golden Walls Hotel (near Damascus Gate).

March 12 Thursday.  Morning tour of Al Aqsa for both Muslims and Non-Muslims. Afternoon tour of east Jerusalem with Fayrouz Sharqawi, Grassroots Jerusalem. Before or after dinner, meet with Jeff Halper, founder and former director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Dinner and Overnight in Golden Walls Hotel

March 13 Friday. Free time in the Old City for non-Muslims. Prayers in Al Aqsa for Muslims. Afternoon meetings with Sahar Vardi, Coordinator at American Friends Service Committee Israel program in east Jerusalem, and Ivan Karakashian, Norwegian Refugee Council. Dinner and overnight in Golden Walls Hotel

March 14 Saturday. Bethlehem. Meet with Daoud Nassar, Tent of Nations.  Lunch at Tent of Nations.  Visit Dheisheh Refugee camp including dinner with refugee families at Shoruq organization community center. Overnight at Manger Square Hotel near the Church of the Nativity and Omar Mosque.

March 15 Sunday. Tour Hebron in area H2 with Breaking the Silence. Visit Palestinian family home Hebron/H1. Meet with Mazin Qumsiyeh, Palestine Natural History Museum, Bethlehem. Meet with Rami Elhanan and George Saadeh of Parents Circle. Overnight in Bethlehem at Manger Square Hotel.

March 16 Monday. After morning prayers at Omar Mosque and the Church of the Nativity, drive to Negev to meet with Khalil Alamour in Alsira and Amal Abu AlKhom, Bedouin Women for Themselves. Return to Bethlehem. Dinner with friends at Asparago Restaurant in Bethlehem or Tent Restaurant in Beit Sahour. Overnight in Bethlehem at Manger Square Hotel.

March 17 Tuesday. Morning visit to Shepherds Field School, Beit Sahour. Visit Bassem Tamimi family in Nabi Saleh.  Go to Ramallah to meet with Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and/or Ruba Awadallah of Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).  Dinner at a local restaurant.  Overnight in Ramallah at the Royal Court Hotel.

March 18 Wednesday. Early morning departure to meet with former TOLEF traveler, Susan Aboeid, who is currently teaching English in Nablus. Depart from Nablus for Golan Heights to tour destroyed villages and meet with human rights activists with Dr. Taiseer Maray.  Dinner with local Syrian families.  Overnight in Majdal Shams at the Narkis Hotel.

March 19 Thursday. Closing interfaith prayers and dedication of covenants at either the Mount of Beatitudes, Galilee, or Al Lababidi Mosque, Akka. Overnight in Jerusalem at the National Hotel. Closing dinner celebration in local Palestinian restaurant with friends.

March 20 Friday. Free time in the Old City and/or prayers at Al Aqsa mosque.

March 21 Saturday. Depart to JFK via Istanbul


Estimated Cost – Land Expenses for Israel-Palestine Only

Adults, double occupancy – $2200

Adults with single room supplement – $2700

Student discounted rate (single room supplement not available for student rates) – $1717

The above would cover: buses, major tips (bus driver, tour guides, porters), 2 meals per day (sometimes 3), and all hotels. Does not include airfare, alcoholic beverages, tips for hotel maid service, or personal items. Does not cover transatlantic airfare. Airfare will be about $1000 (+/-)


Optional Extension To Istanbul:
The Meeting Of East And West

March 6 through 11

JFK – Istanbul – Tel Aviv

March 6 Friday. Evening flight from Boston to arrive in Istanbul on Saturday, March 7th. 

March 7 Saturday. Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to hotel. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Sky Kamer Hotel, or similar, but near the Grand Bazaar, Spice Market etc.

March 8  Sunday. Prayers in Blue Mosque. Visit Topkapi Palace, including the Harem Section, and the Hagia Sophia Museum. Free time for lunch. Visit the Underground Cistern, Hippodrome Square, Istikal Street and Taksim Square. Overnight in Sky Kamer Hotel or similar. 

March 9  Monday. Meet with NuDay Syria and other human rights groups. Meet with journalists and/or Palestinian activists. Overnight in Sky Kamer or similar hotel. 

March 10  Tuesday. Private cruise on the Bosporus. After free time for lunch, visit Camlica Hill on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Visit the Spice Market, Grand Bazaar, rug merchant, etc. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Sky Kamer or similar hotel.

March 11 Wednesday. Morning transfer to Istanbul Airport for flight to Tel Aviv


Estimated Costs – Land Expenses for Turkey Only

Adults double occupancy $726

Adults with single room supplemental charge  $250

This would cover: buses, major tips (bus drivers, tour guides, porters) 2 meals per day, all hotels, and transfer to and from airport. Does not cover transatlantic airfare, visa for Turkey ($20), alcoholic beverages, tips for hotel maid service, or personal items. Does not cover transatlantic airfare (estimate at about $1000) or Visa for Turkey ($20).



Please check back later for further details on costs and application processes. Be advised that we are expecting full enrollment, so to be considered for this journey and to receive updated information, please send a message with your name and contact information to:

David W. Good



We look forward to hearing from you!




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