A Pilgrimage Toward

Beloved Community

in the Holy Land

March 17 - 27, 2020


This is a joint project of The Rev. Jason Oden, a priest in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Dan Carlson, Director of Youth Ministry at Christ Church Cathedral and postulant at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and Rabbi Brad Hirschfield from The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (Clal) and the Stand and See Fellowship Program.

In October 2018, Oden and Hirschfield got to know each other better while leading an Episcopal pilgrimage to the Holy land together. After, both Oden and Hirschfield—and Carlson, who was on the pilgrimage—decided they wanted to continue leading additional Holy Land trips so that Episcopal clergy and laypersons from across the United States could experience this unique spiritual and educational journey.

Distinctive Aspects of the Trip

  1. The combination of a relatively traditional Holy Land pilgrimage with a dialogical focus on what the historical and current context of the Holy Land can teach about Becoming Beloved Community.

  2. A methodology that commits to 1) hearing from a diverse array of politico-religious voices and experiences; 2) practicing civil discourse that respects and honors the respective views of everyone; and 3) following up all discussions with Eucharist.

  3. Although not the primary emphasis—historical, archaeological, and sacred sites will be visited daily with a self-described “boutique” Orthodox Rabbi and a progressive Israeli guide. A Palestinian will guide in Bethlehem.

  4. Visits and Presentations germane to the Stand and See Fellowship Program

    • Peres Center for Peace and Innovation

    • Mount of Olives Overlook Presentation

    • Yad VaShem (Holocaust Museum)

    • Roots, a grassroots movement and community promoting understanding, nonviolence, and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians

    • Shabbat Presentation

    • Kibbutz Hanaton and Jezreel Valley Winery

    • Israeli/Syrian border

  5. An extended visit with The Rev. Nael Abu Rahmoun, rector of Christ Church in Nazareth, to learn more about the peace and justice work that he and the congregation are engaged in for the Nazareth community.

  6. Discussions on Becoming Beloved Community and General Convention Resolutions related to Israel and Palestine.

  7. An emphasis on creating a beloved community of pilgrims who can support each other in their current and future ministries upon returning home.

  8. Music and liturgy organized and led by singer-songwriter Kim Taylor.


2020 Participants


Twelve emerging leaders (postulants, clergy, and lay-leaders) in the Episcopal Church are offered a reduced rate of $2,190 sharing a room; $3,040 single room.

Ten additional spots are available for laypersons at a non-reduced rate of $3,990 sharing a room; $4840 single room

All rates include:

  • Airfare from JFK

  • Daily Breakfast, 8 dinners, 8 lunches

  • All transportation costs in Israel and Palestinian Territories

  • 4 Star Hotels

Interested? – contact The Rev. Jason Oden by October 31st for more information and to conduct a brief conversation via phone or Zoom.

A REFUNDABLE $200 deposit is also due by October 31st. 


Kim Taylor


Taylor is an American independent singer-songwriter who plays primarily in the styles of Folk and Folk-rock. She has toured extensively with the band Over the Rhine as a support act, as well as a backup singer and guitarist. To date, she has released several full-length studio albums and toured with notable international artists. Kim will serve as the trip’s liturgical music director, and her song “Make me a Channel of Your Peace,” based on the well-known Prayer of St. Francis, will serve as the trip’s anthem.


Trip Overview


Days 1 - 4
Tel-Aviv, Bethlehem, Jerusalem

Day 1, March 17 Depart JFK 2:55pm

Day 2, March 18

Arrive at Tel-Aviv airport at 8:55am—Tel-Aviv Tour—Peres Center for Peace & Innovation—Mount of Olives Presentation

Day 3, March 19

Tour Temple Mount, Western Wall, Davidson Center, Southern Wall Steps, and Yad VaShem (Holocaust Museum)

Day 4, March 20

Tour sites in Bethlehem—Visit Roots, a grassroots movement promoting understanding, nonviolence, and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians—Experience a Shabbat Presentation by Rabbis Zvi Hirschfield and Brad Hirschfield—Experience the Mahana Yehuda Market/Center of Jerusalem before Shabbat


Days 5 - 7
Jerusalem & Dead Sea Region

Day 5, March 21

Visit St. Annes Church and the Pool of Bethesda— Walk (and pray) the Via Dolorosa culminating at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—Visit the Holy Sepulchre and edicule, the suggested site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection —Optional walking tours after— Visit Mehana Yehuda and/or Ben Yehuda Street after Shabbat

Day 6, March 22

Worship at St. George’s Cathedral—Renew baptismal vows at Kasr El-Yahud, the suggested site of Jesus’ baptism—Tour the ancient Qumran community (responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls)—Swim (float) in the Dead Sea. 

Day 7, March 23

Tour Masada, the desert fortress of Herod, and the archaeological park Beit She’an


Days 8 - 11
Galilee, Northern Israel, and Tel-Aviv

Day 8, March 24

Visit The Rev. Nael Abu Rahmoun, rector of Christ Church Nazareth, worship, and tour the work of the congregation in the local community—Tour Zippori archeological park—Visit Kibbutz Hanaton and Jezreel Valley Winery

Day 9, March 25

Visit the Operation Good Neighbor Project—Tour the Tel Dan Nature Reserve—Explore the life of the historical Jesus in Caesarea Philippi and Capernaum

Day 10, March 26

Explore the life of the historical Jesus in the towns of Tabgha and Ginosar—Tour the Roman and Byzantine remains of Caesarea Maritima, Herod’s sea port dedicated to Augustus—Farewell dinner

Day 11, March 27 Depart Tel-Aviv 1am