Mordechai Aviam.  An archaeologist and faculty member with the Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College, Israel.  For 11 years Aviam was the district archaeologist of the Western Galilee for the Israel Antiquities Authority.  From 1992-2000 he was the director of the archaeological excavation at Jotapata (Yodfat), home of Josephus Flavius.  He is currently the director of the excavation at El-Araj, the site of first-century Bethsaida-Julias.

R. Steven Notley.  Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Nyack College, New York, Notley received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University under the direction of David Flusser.  He is the author of many books and articles.  He continues collaborative research and publication with Israeli scholars in the fields of historical geography, ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He currently serves as the Academic Director for the El Araj Excavation Project.

Haim Cohen. Research Fellow at Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa, Israel.  Dr. Cohen directs the current excavations at ancient Kursi (Gergesa) on the Sea of Galilee.

Danny Syon.  Member of the Gamala excavation project led by Shmarya Gutmann, Syon is now with the Israel Antiquities Authority and head of the Israel Numismatic Society. 

Haim Ben-David.  Professor Ben-David is a faculty member of the Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College.  He is considered an expert in archaeology and the geographical history of the Land of Israel in the classical period.  In 2004-2013 he directed the excavations at Umm el-Qanatir in the Golan that included reconstruction of the Byzantine synagogue with Yehoshua Dray.

Eli Shukron. An Israeli archaeologist who excavated in the City of David in Jerusalem for twenty years. He is credited with several significant finds from the period of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.  Among them was the Pool of Siloam used for Jewish healing rituals and cited in the New Testament account of the healing of the blind man in John 9:1-7.

Dan Bahat.  Previously district archaeologist for the city of Jerusalem, Dr. Bahat is known for his excavations in Jerusalem, particularly at the Western Wall tunnels.

Gabriel Barkay.  One of the leading archaeologists in Israel today, Dr. Barkay is best known for his discovery in the Ketef Hinnom excavations of two silver amulets inscribed with the priestly blessing from Number 6:24-26.  These are among the oldest biblical inscriptions ever found.  More recently he has directed with Zachi Zweig the Temple Mount Sifting Project, which is dedicated to recovering archaeological artifacts from 400 truckloads of earth removed from the Temple Mount by the Waqf and Israeli Islamic movement during 1996-2001.

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  • "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 Dr. Steve Notley leading it. 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. The mere act of such a travel experience -- I had never gone any farther than Mexico -- combined with the Bible history lessons broadened my mind and soul. The trip continues to grow on me since arriving home. 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."
    J.S., Israel Trip