THE EL-ARAJ GALILEE FIELD SCHOOL

In conjunction with the el-Araj excavation, the El-Araj Galilee Field School is intended to enhance the volunteer’s excavation experience. Through the academic curriculum you will be introduced to the historical, cultural and physical settings of Roman Galilee, and how these components inform our knowledge of Jewish life in the Galilee. The aim is to better understand Second Temple Jewish history and its Galilean setting, which plays such a central role in our reading of the New Testament Gospels. Full and partial day field trips to significant historical sites will provide a wider context for our excavation efforts at el-Araj and our search for Bethsaida-Julias. Scheduled lectures by experts in the fields of archaeology, history and religious culture will strengthen our understanding of the people who lived in first-century Galilee. In addition to the academic content, the field school will facilitate extra-curricular activities such as designated swimming opportunities in the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee and designated evening bus transfers into Tiberias. At the end of each two-week dig session, for an extra cost participants may enroll in an optional two-day tour of Jerusalem and the historical sites of Masada and Qumran near the Dead Sea. An opportunity to float in the Dead Sea is also provided. The El-Araj Galilee Field School is committed to enriching your experience while a participant at the el-Araj excavation. 

During the four weeks of excavation at el-Araj the following sites are scheduled for visitation: Kursi, Tiberias, Gamla, Yodefat, Migdal, Yigal Alon Museum, Sepphoris, Banyas and Omrit. Additional sites may be visited as time permits. 

During the four weeks of excavation at el-Araj the following lectures are under consideration: Motti Aviam, Archaeological Periods of Israel and the Creation of Jewish Galilee -- The Archaeological Evidence; Motti Aviam, Ancient Synagogues in the Galilee; Uzi Leibner, Eastern Galilee in the Roman and Byzantine Periods; Danny Syon, Hellenistic and Roman Galilee Through the Lens of Numismatic Finds; Jacob Ashkenazi, The Sacred Geography in Galilee: Texts, Contexts and Landscapes; Haim Ben David, Golan Synagogues; Jeffrey P. Garcia, Between Jesus and the Rabbis: The Poor, the Gospels, and the Image of God; R. Steven Notley: The Parables and Galilean Spirituality

 What is the difference between Session 1 and Session 2 

Both sessions are virtually the same. The lecture topics and some of the field trip sites differ so as not to be too repetitive for those attending both excavation sessions. 

 

 

 

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Testimonials

  • "First of all, the trip was wonderful. I realize more and more how much of a gift it was since arriving home. It was a true blessing to have someone of the caliber of Steve leading it. While I have no criticisms, I would like to share how my mindset changed during the trip. Prior to arrival, I thought the journey would impact me more spiritually. In fact, my experience evolved into a history lesson where I become somewhat disconnected from the sites on a spiritual level. I was a little concerned with myself not having that spiritual impact. Mentioning this mind set to one of my fellow travelers, she stated she felt the same way but was not concerned as God is everywhere and Christianity is not really fueled by locations, but rather by the Spirit. That statement really hit home at the time and provided me a sense of peace. I stopped worrying about the spiritual side and just let the trip unfold. Looking back, the true blessing was the trip and the lessons grounded in the Bible for me. I know more now about the land of Jesus, the terrain and distances involved. It has made my Bible study come more alive as I can now place all of the locations. That takes sort of the "logical" mystery out of the Bible for me, and I can better focus on the spiritual side. Since coming home, I found myself more at a sense of peace than before on many levels. The mere act of such a travel experience -- I had never gone any farther than Mexico -- combined with the Bible history lesson broadened my mind and soul. The trip continues to grow on me since arriving home. For me, now is the time of spiritual fulfillment. In a few years, I hope to take my wife and would not hesitate -- in fact would seek out -- an Emmaus trip. Thanks and God Bless."
    T.H., Israel Trip