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)

Top 12 New Fruits and Vegetables Developed in Israel

Nano watermelons in the Jerusalem Market, Mahane Yehuda.

Nano watermelons in the Jerusalem Market, Mahane Yehuda.

Since the first half of the 20th century, Israeli agricultural wizards have been partnering with Mother Nature to bring new fruit and vegetable varieties to the global market, from vividly colored squash to seedless peppers.

Touchpoint Israel provides an interesting article on new fruits and vegetables developed in Israel. Read more

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.

5 must-visit places in Israel

Hananya Naftali has produced a YouTube video with his 5 suggested must-sees in Israel.

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

From sundown April 23 until sundown April 24, 2017, Israel will observe Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). During this time, the nation turns their attention toward the six million Jews who were killed at the hands of the Nazis and their accomplices. All forms of public entertainment close and a solemnity falls over the nation.

The photo collection of victims of the holocaust. Photo: ©2017 Craig Dunning

The Hall of Names at Yad VeShem in Jerusalem. Photo: ©2017 Craig Dunning

No cemeteries, no headstones, no traces were left to mark the loss of the six million Holocaust victims. The Hall of Names at Yad Vashem is the Jewish People’s memorial to each Jew murdered in the Holocaust – a place where they are commemorated for generations to come.

No tour of Israel is complete without a visit to Yad VeShem. Make sure that your group leader requests that Yad VeShem is included in your itinerary.