Holy Sepulchre Closed for 2nd Day

Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a regular tourist stop for most Christians visiting Jerusalem, has been closed for two days (from noon Sunday through Monday, so far) in protest of the Israeli government’s claim that the Church owes several million dollars in tax debt. The leaders of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer opted to close their church building to tourists on Monday in solidarity.

The government insists it is not taxing church activities, which have historically been exempt from taxes. What is in dispute is whether church properties that are commercial and not specifically for religious use should be taxed. The government says yes. The church says no. Jerusalem’s mayor claims the tax debt is 650 million shekels, which is over $186,000,000.

At the time of this writing, church officials remain uncertain how long the church will be closed to tourists.

See the Arutz-7 article here and the ABCNews article here.

Priests pray at the Thirteenth Station of the Cross: The Stone of Anointment in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: ©2006 Craig A. Dunning)

Priests pray at the Thirteenth Station of the Cross: The Stone of Anointment in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: ©2006 Craig A. Dunning)

8 Fabulous Food Tours in Israel

In the 1950s, a very young Israel experienced severe food shortages. But in an amazingly short time, Israel’s desert was blooming with fresh produce prized in the Western markets. Israel’s dairy cows gave a record amount of milk, the ancient wine industry was resurrected to international praise and Israeli gourmet chocolate received global recognition.

Fresh honey on the breakfast bar at the Olive Tree Hotel, Jerusalem.

Fresh honey on the breakfast bar at the Olive Tree Hotel, Jerusalem.

Simply put: The food in Israel is wonderful. Most tourists eat most if not all of their meals in their hotels. In “8 Fabulous Food Tours in Israel” Touchpoint Israel will stir your appetite to get out and explore the varieties of food available in Israel.

New International Screening Measures

Delta Airlines has published the following:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Additional Screening Measures

Effective July 19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require additional screening measures for customers flying on international flights bound for the U.S. These screening measures pertain to any departure point where a passport is required to reenter the U.S. Customers flying to the U.S. from an international airport are encouraged to arrive to the airport at least three (3) hours prior to departure to allow time to clear security.

Advice to Customers Flying on International Flights Inbound to the U.S.

  • Customers should follow Delta’s current guidance and plan to arrive at their international departure airport at least three hours prior to the departure time of their flight
  • Customers are encouraged to proceed promptly to their departure gate where additional screening may occur to avoid delay or missed flight
  • Customers can expect to see expanded uses of canine screening at international airports and deployment of advanced technology screening

Sand and Sun in Israel

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea at Netanya, Israel

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea at Netanya, Israel.

Many of our tour participants think only of desert sands when they think of Israel. A trip to Israel shatters so many misconceptions …

Touchpoint Israel has published a nice article highlighting “8 Beautiful Beaches to Visit in Israel this Summer.”

A day at the beach is one of the highlights of summer for children and their parents. With 140 beaches boasting plenty of sand for digging, calm surf, warm water temperatures, and strong breezes for kite-flying, Israel is perfect for a sunny family day at the shore.

Read more … click here.

If you want to buy a shofar …

Blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShanah 2016. Photo: open source Wikimedia Commons.

Blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShanah 2016. Photo: open source Wikimedia Commons.

Many of our participants want to buy a shofar (ram’s horn) as a souvenir of their visit to Israel. Whether you intend to actually blow the shofar or simply display it in your home/office, this article “4 Shofar types: How to choose the perfect shofar?” may help you make a better decision on what to purchase.