Friends of Sabeel - North America

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Alternative Travel

Alternative Tourism & Service Organizations

Alternative travel and service opportunities take you beyond the usual travel routes to meet the “living stones,” the indigenous Christians of Palestine, and to visit the warmly welcoming residents of the occupied territories. Visit historic Christian sites, worship in ancient churches, walk where Jesus walked and bear witness to the realities of military occupation. On this travel page, FOSNA introduces several groups that provide these experiences.

Alternative Tourism Group, Beit Sahour

The Alternative Tourism Group offers home stays with Palestinians in the Bethlehem area, olive harvest tours and other opportunities, working together with the Siraj Center. Please visit the website for more information. See also Palestine and Palestinians, the richly illustrated 400-page guide that provides a detailed history of the Holy Land as well as extensive maps and information about the contemporary situation.

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An-Najah National University, International Summer Camp

Join An-Najah National University (Nablus, West Bank) in the International Summer Work Camp “Global Palestine”. This program has been designed to bring 40 individuals from around the world to Palestine in order to foster relationships, exchange skills and ideas and progress cultural exchange in an academic setting. The International Summer Camp will bring together people from around the world who are interested in experiencing the unique place and people of Palestine. The goal is to host volunteers interested in the Middle East. Motivated and serious men and women are encouraged to apply..

For more information, please visit: http://youth.zajel.org/summer_camps/ For the information packet and application form, please contact: youthexchange@najah.edu or zajel.camp@gmail.com

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Bright Stars of Bethlehem

To help ensure that Christianity survives and thrives in the Middle East, Bright Stars offers many excellent tours of the Holy Land, detailed on its Events & Trips Calendar. Please visit the website for more information.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

CPT maintains teams in two Palestinian sites in the West Bank, where volunteers accompany local residents to observe and report on their situation and to help protect them from harassment. It was founded by two North American Mennonite denominations and the Church of the Brethren, and it has gained the sponsorship of several other denominations and Christian groups since then. Volunteers live in the city of Hebron and the village of At-Tuwani. CPT came into being when its founder, Ron Sider, asked this question: "What would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?” Visit the CPT website at http://www.cpt.org/work/palestine

 

Crossing Borders

These custom-created travel experiences to Israel and Palestine feature visits to biblical and historical sites along with meetings and dialogue with local community leaders and members, especially among Christian Palestinians. For further details, contact Crossing Borders: 800-990-6811 or 952-995-9585

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Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme

Working in Palestine and Israel, EAPPI brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace. When they return home, EAs campaign for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of UN resolutions.

Experience Travel Tours

Experience Travel Tours (ETT) specializes in issue-based tours, taking participants to places difficult to access on one’s own. The tour of Palestine/Israel facilitates a way for people to see several historic and beautiful places in what has been known for centuries as The Holy Land and cherished by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, but now torn apart by tragedy. Participants travel through several geographical areas, visiting the Judean Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, mountainous areas, the Jordan Valley and the plains. They also meet with local people and hear their stories. The aim is to help to bring understanding of the nature of the occupation and what must be done to achieve a just and sustainable peace for all people. Contact info: Pam Martin - assistant to tour leader Linda Ramsden

Green Olive Tours

Green Olive Tours is a social enterprise in Palestine/Israel that conducts year-round tours of the Holy Land. The tours visit religious and historical sites,  Palestinian villages, refugee camps, artisans, farmers and settlements. Itineraries are designed to expose participants to the impact of Israel's ongoing occupation and gain an understanding of the reality on the ground. Home stays are available with Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, and with Israelis.  Four-day, seven-day and 10-day tours are available. Please contact Fred Schlomka, Green Olive Tours Director, for more information. Tel: (612) 276-2077. In Jerusalem: +972-2-569-5095

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) Pilgrimages

HCEF offers a Living Stones Pilgrimage Program to introduce Christians to the “living stones,” the indigenous Christians of the Holy Land. These personal encounters help pastors and members of congregations become acquainted with their Mother Church. All pilgrimages are coordinated with the local churches.Groups may organize pilgrimages or join pre-planned tours. For more information, contact Gail Freeman, pilgrimage coordinator: 866-871-4234.

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Holy Land Trust: Travel & Encounter

Travel & Encounter offers you the opportunity to interact with grass root Palestinian organizations, listen to stories, experience the reality of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, serve the local community and become a force in the movement to work for peace and justice in the Holy Land. For detailed information on schedules and trip descriptions, visit the travel and encounter pages at www.holylandtrust.org.

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is known for its knowledgeable guides and its informed approach to the politics of occupation and the difficulties of Palestinian life. Tours reveal how Israel’s settlement project has created irreversible “facts on the ground,” and participants can meet Palestinians suffering from the effects of home demolitions and family separation. Tours are available in English, Arabic, Hebrew, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish. ICAHD has provided thousands of people from around the world with top quality tours for over 15 years. Tours can be arrange for single days or multi-days, for groups or individuals. For more information write tours@icahd.org or call +972 (0) 52 399 3946.

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Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA)

The PFTA is a union of fair trade cooperatives, processors and exporters.  The association was founded in 2004 in Jenin and maintains offices there.  PFTA's mission is to provide social and economic empowerment to small, marginalized and excluded Palestinian communities through the practice of fair trade.

You can support Palestinian fair trade and enterprise by joining in the lives of farmers, processors and members of women's cooperatives on the ground in Palestine.  Volunteer tourism and internship opportunities are available year round.  Internships can be arranged based on profession and work experience.  Typically, interns serve one month to one year.

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)

Rabbis for Human Rights has been called the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel. Since its inception in 1988, RHR has championed the cause of the poor in Israel, supported the rights of Israel’s minorities and Palestinians, worked to stop the abuse of foreign workers, endeavored to guarantee the upkeep of Israel’s public health care system, promoted the equal status of women, helped Ethiopian Jews, battled trafficking in women and more. For information about tours and volunteer opportunities, please visit the website.

Siraj Center

The Siraj Center organizes hiking and biking experiences, such as a Nativity Trail hike from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The group also organizes trips upon request from groups and individuals, including Christian tour leaders, churches, peace activists and special interest groups. It recruits individuals for annual programs, such as the Palestinians Summer Celebration from Mid-June to Mid-August, the Annual Olive Harvest in early October,inter-religious and inter-cultural explorations and a Christmas Peace Pilgrimage.  For the center’s Jerusalem Wilderness experience, see www.jerusalemwilderness.com.

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