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Transformational. My time in Israel was truly transformational. It is hard to string together words that totally encapsulate this experience.” —Caleb C., Summer 2022 Participant

 

 

According to Dynamic Catholic, 85% of Catholic young adults leave their faith during college. Students need an experience that anchors them during this time in their lives when they are most likely to abandon their faith. 

A pilgrimage to Israel is a catalyst for deep and permanent faith formation. As students walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Mary, and the apostles, their faith becomes tangible to them.  

Passages has taken over 9,000 students to Israel to discover the roots of their faith and encounter the modern-day land of Israel.  

We’ve built our itinerary and education journey with you and your students in mind. And we work with partners and tour guides who know how to make Catholic sites meaningful for your students.  

 

When they return from Israel… 

90% of students say they have a deeper connection to their faith. 

99% of students say they are more knowledgeable about the early history of Christianity. 

95% of students say they are now equipped to discuss the complexity of Israel in conversation with others. 

99% of students say they are more knowledgeable about biblical geography and archeology. 

 

Travel to Israel

The Program

We make an affordable trip to Israel possible for your students. And we take care of all the planning and logistics, so you can focus on the spiritual formation of your students.  

Here’s how it works… 

1. Recruit 40 students. 

We will work with you to fill 40 seats (or one full bus) with your students. Then, we will plan all the logistics for the trip. We will also prepare your students for what they’ll experience in Israel through our Pre-Trip Course. 

2. Travel to Israel. 

Your students will encounter Israel for themselves on a transformational, 9-day trip! They will walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Mary, and the apostles. And they will also learn about the modern-day geopolitics of Israel. 

3. Students lead with their faith. 

Your students will complete the Capstone project when they return from Israel. This allows them to reflect on their experience and grow from it. Then they receive a Certificate in Christian Leadership and Israel Studies. Plus, they gain access to further leadership opportunities and our national alumni community. 

The future of the Catholic Church depends on strengthening the next generation’s faith and leadership. We need to reach young adults before they walk away from their faith in college.

 

Through the Passages pilgrimage and learning experience in Israel… 

  • Students are reunited with their faith journey and faith formation. 

  • They serve more actively in their local parish and Catholic community. 

  • They become thoughtful, wise, influential leaders in their communities. 

  • They learn critical thinking and conflict resolution skills by engaging with the modern-day, geopolitical realities in the Holy Land. 

 

 

What our students say...

There are no words to describe how life-changing my Passages Israel trip was. I walked where Jesus walked. I heard the stories of precious Jewish and Palestinian people. I made unlikely, life-long friends…There is no greater blessing than seeing the roots of one’s faith.” —Riley O., Summer 2022 Participant

The Trip

Day 1

Welcome to Israel

Land at the Ben Gurion Airport. Meet your guide. Attend the Passages opening dinner and orientation, where travelers will meet one another and hear about what they will experience over the next nine days.

Day 2

Hometown of Jesus

Start the day in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, where you’ll stop at Mt. Precipice, a breathtaking overlook of the Jezreel Valley. You’ll also explore the mystery of the incarnation at Mary’s Well and the Basilica of Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East. 

Day 3

Ministry of Jesus

Visit the Mt. of Beatitudes and Capernaum—the headquarters of Jesus’s movement and his home during his Galilean ministry. Continue to Tabgha and the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter (John 21) before a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. After lunch, finish the day visiting the excavations of the synagogue of Magdala, Mary Magdalene’s hometown. 

Day 4

Neighbors North

Travel to the Golan Heights and ascend Mt. Bental, a former IDF outpost, for a briefing and an overview of Israel’s border. From this point, it is less than 40 miles to Damascus and the road where Saul encountered Jesus in Acts 9. Continue to Cana, the second Luminous Mystery, “the Wedding Feast at Cana,” unfolded to inaugurate Christ’s public ministry.

Day 5

Neighbors South

Spend the first half of the day near the Mediterranean coast by exploring Jaffa and visiting Independence Trail in Tel Aviv to learn about the history of Israel. After lunch, travel to an overlook of Gaza strip to learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and life in modern Israel before finishing the day with a speaker on the issues. 

Day 6

Birthplace of Jesus

Visit the Temple Mount and see the Dome of the Rock. Depart for Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, to see the traditional location where Jesus was born. Before heading off to dinner, travel to the desert to float in the Dead Sea

Day 7

Footsteps of Jesus

Walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Tour Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem.

Day 8

Patriarchs, Kings & Prophets

See the ancient City of David and explore the ancient water system in Hezekiah’s Tunnel. See the Southern Wall Excavations, including the steps leading to the ancient Temple and the site where Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables. Welcome the Sabbath at the Western Wall before enjoying a traditional Shabbat dinner with a Jewish family.

Day 9

New Covenant

Walk down the Palm Sunday Road on the Mt. of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Stop at the Pools of Bethesda and St. Anne’s church. See the ancient olive trees and the beautiful Church of All Nations, where the stone of the Agony of Christ is on display. 

*This itinerary is a sample overview of what you’ll likely experience on the Passages for Catholic Students trip. The specifics are subject to change.

Pricing

Upon completion of the Partnership Trip Agreement, your institution will be price-locked for the next two years at $1,980 per participant. This is our pilot partner discount. Following the two-year pilot partner discount guarantee, the registration price will increase to approximately $3,500 – $4,000 per participant. The pilot partner discount begins once this agreement is executed and terminates for participating institutions February 1, 2025.

Trip Dates

We facilitate Catholic trips in the summer. If you’re interested in bringing your students to Israel, please contact ashley@passagesisrael.org.

 
Travel to Israel

Our Story

FAQs

  • Will mass be offered every day?

    Yes, Passages facilitates mass every day for trip participants. Opportunities for adoration and confession are also offered.

  • What does the full Passages program involve?
    • The Passages program includes four phases. 
    • Phase 1 is Pre-Trip: students are prepared for their travel to Israel through logistical and educational guidance and resources.
    • Phase 2 is the Trip: students encounter Israel for nine days! For more information on the trip, click HERE to see the sample trip itinerary.
  • What is the price per student?

    The full program, including the trip, costs $1980 per student, which includes international airfare. The trip costs over $5000, but the lower price is made possible because of our generous donors who believe in your students and want to make their experience in Israel possible.

  • What’s covered in the program cost?
    • International airfare
    • Entry fees to all sites
    • Hotel accommodations
    • Transportation throughout Israel
    • Minimal health insurance
    • Tour guide
    • Most meals 
  • Will students travel with their own school or with other schools?
    We have opportunities for students from one school to travel together. We also have opportunities for individual Catholic students to apply for a multi-school network bus, where they can connect with fellow Catholic participants. 
  • Is it safe to travel to Israel?
    The safety and security of all who participate in our program is paramount. We provide each bus with an armed medic/guard. In addition, our tour operator is in touch with the authorities on a continual basis should a situation arise within the country and the itinerary need to be changed accordingly.
  • What are Passages’ theological and political views?
    • Our community is ecumenical and non-partisan, uniting diverse religious and political perspectives through our common Christian faith. Passages does not promote a particular political party. We believe Israel is a modern-day miracle and positive presence in the region and in the world. We acknowledge and respect the dignity of all people from every political, religious, and ethnic background. Our program engages the perspectives of the diverse people that call the region home.
    • Passages does not require a specific Christian theological perspective. Our program intentionally works to create an ecumenical dialogue, uniting Christians through their experience in the Holy Land.

     

  • Is a Passages trip fair and balanced as it relates to the Israel-Palestinian conflict?
    We believe Israel is a modern-day miracle and a force for good both in the region and in the world. We also believe in the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, alongside the Jewish State. The ancient and modern history influencing the identity narratives of the many people groups living in the region are complex. Our approach to issues related to this complex reality is not to prescribe solutions that disregard that complexity or the people who are affected by it on a daily basis. Instead, we strive to elevate the perspectives of people who call the region home.
  • Is there a packing list?
    Yes, please click HERE to view our packing list. It is not exhaustive, so be sure to think through your student’s needs and preferences while traveling.
  • What is the refund/cancellation policy?
    If Passages cancels the trip for any reason, students will receive a full refund of their registration fees (all refunds do not include the processing fee paid at registration). If you would like to cancel your trip, please contact trips@passagesisrael.org and refer to our Cancellation Policy for more information.
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Please contact ashely@passagesisrael.org for further questions.

Travel to Israel