Visit Bethlehem

Travel Partners & Programmes

To make it easy for you to plan your journey, we have  included a list of tour operators that cater to visitors of all backgrounds and interests. You can choose the star you want to follow:
   
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Amos Trust
Life changing encounters. See the sights. Meet the People. Explore the issues. Be inspired. Amos Trust is a small creative human rights organisation; we have been running trips to Palestine for 20 years.  These include: * Alternative Pilgrimages – meet the peacemakers; visit the Biblical sites * Rebuild a demolished home – a practical way to take action and build hope * Bet Lahem Live Arts Festival – combine an alternative pilgrimage with Bethlehem’s new festival * Run the Bethlehem Marathon with Team Amos * Bespoke trips for church and youth groups. 
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Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association (CADFA)
CADFA ‘s well-reviewed human rights visits are run by Palestinians. Visitors are based in Abu Dis, in the Jerusalem suburbs, and visit towns, villages and refugee camps all over the West Bank. They meet organisations and people of many sorts, sample the rich culture of Palestine and learn what life is like under Israeli occupation. There is time to see, explore, reflect and discuss future activities. Our visits strengthen twinning links between places in Palestine and Britain. CADFA works to subsidise the cost of the visits, because our visitors return to tell others about what they have learned and find ways to be active.
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Center for Jewish Nonviolence
The Center for Jewish Nonviolence is developing a new movement of nonviolence in North America, the EU, Israel and Palestine to end the Israeli occupation.  The Center will train and mobilize members of international Jewish communities to work on the ground for human and civil rights. Upcoming delegation to Bethlehem: 15th-20th February, 2015.  Deadline for applications: 31st October, 2014. Purpose: To replant trees and serve as a protective presence after the Israeli army uprooted some 1,500 trees on the Palestinian farm, Tent of Nations, to claim it as “state land.”

 

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Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)
CAABU has taken over 50 Parliamentary delegations to the Middle East since 1997. Delegations provide an MP who may have known nothing about the issues facing Palestinians a first-class chance to see the challenges Palestinians face and frequently become a long-term advocate as a result.  Some 13 MPs who had been on Caabu delegations to Palestine spoke on the recent debate on Gaza. Half of the 18 MPs who spoke at a debate on Area C had been on Caabu delegations in the previous two years. In December 2013 Caabu took former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to Palestine. During Caabu’s most recent delegation the politicians met with the mayor of Bethlehem.
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The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) recruits volunteers who spend 3 months as human rights monitors in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) live alongside Palestinians and reduce violence by providing an international protective presence, accompanying people in their daily lives, and standing in solidarity with the Churches, Israeli peace groups and all who are working for peace. Accompaniers spend some time in Israel too, believing the occupation is bad for Israelis as well as Palestinians. On their return EAs advocate for an end to the occupation and a just peace.
blog.eappi.org (eyewitness accounts by EAs)
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Embrace the Middle East
Embrace the Middle East is a non-governmental, inter-denominational charity tackling poverty and injustice. Travel to the Middle East with a group of like-minded people, visit historic sights and soak in the rich atmosphere of these ancient cultures. * Olive Tree Trips * Embrace Encounter Tours * Dig deeper than the average tourist and see for yourself some of the life-changing work being done by Embrace the Middle East’s partners. Visit local Christians who are living out Christ’s love and compassion in their communities in a variety of ways. * An experienced guide to lead your trip and give you the best experience in the time available * We will arrange your flights and accommodation and provide you with a detailed itinerary in advance of your trip * Our team will take care of all local travel arrangements and entrance fees. 
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Encounter
Encounter is a non-partisan educational organization cultivating informed and constructive Jewish leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over 2000 American Jewish leaders representing the full breadth of our community’s views on the conflict have traveled with Encounter to the West Bank. Our past participants are rabbis, educators, lay and professional leaders from every major Jewish denomination and from every major American Jewish organization.  Find out why Encounter has consistently been named one of the top 50 innovative Jewish non-profits in America.
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Experience Travel Tours
ETT was established in 1999 and specializes in issue-based study tours of the region known for centuries as The Holy Land ‒ cherished by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. In addition to well-known destinations in different geographical areas, our itineraries include unique opportunities to meet with key leaders from outstanding organisations and institutions who work in a variety of ways for a better world. Aspects of history, religion, culture, education, politics, healthcare, and the environment are covered, since these are issues that affect people’s lives today. A broad range of perspectives is gained, with the focus on the agencies of peace in both societies. Knowledgeable and in-depth analysis helps participants understand the historical and political dynamics involved, with emphasis on freedom and dignity for all.
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Fifth Gospel Retreats
We are a Christian Company founded in 2006 in solidarity with the Christians of Bethlehem and all who are seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land.  We demonstrate our solidarity by taking bespoke pilgrimages to the Holy Land with the principal focus of seeking God through being in the Land (the “5th Gospel”- St Gerasimus) and engaging with the Christian Communities of the West Bank, Israel and Jordan.  We work with parish groups and special interest groups of 16 – 30 persons and take a maximum of 8 pilgrimages a year.  

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Friends of Sabeel UK: www.friendsofsabeel.org.uk
Each year Sabeel organises Witness Trips to Palestine and Israel, unquestionably one of the best forms of education possible to understand the issues involved. On these trips participants experience realities on the ground which the mainstream media and elected officials choose not to see or discuss. We focus on meeting people at the grassroots as well as those in leadership of the non-violent resistance movement. We visit villages, farmers, professors, business people, Rabbis, Christian and Muslim leaders all working to show “beautiful resistance” in working for justice. We see the instruments of power including settlements and military infrastructure, the wall and prisons. We meet Jewish Israelis who are making significant sacrifices for justice and peace and meet Christian Palestinians who embrace the vision of contextual theology and live its mandates daily.

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Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
ICAHD invites internationals to join its rebuilding camps to work with Palestinians and Israelis demonstrating powerful non-violent political resistance by rebuilding a Palestinian home demolished by Israeli authorities in violation of international law.  The educational programme includes field trips within the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including Bethlehem) and Israel and talks giving the latest political analysis. ICAHD has rebuilt 187 homes, reframes the conflict from a human rights perspective and provides day tours which can be included into your own itineraries.
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Lightline Pilgrimages  
Lightline Pilgrimages has a unique track record for its support of the Christians of the Holy Land, through its pilgrimage programme, which actively supports Christian hotels, guides, restaurants, coach companies and other service providers. Appointed as the official and preferred pilgrimage operator of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem by Archbishop Suheil Dawani, a Lightline pilgrimage involves substantial contact with Christian institutions and individuals who make up the ‘living stones’, as well as offering more traditional visits to the shrines and sites of the Bible.

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McCabe Pilgrimages
McCabe Pilgrimages run Christian-based pilgrimage-tours to the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East.  The trips in Israel-Palestine are usually based in Jerusalem and the Galilee (2-centred), although some groups do stay in Bethlehem, Jericho or Nablus, for example.  The trips are accompanied by Palestinian Christian guides, and are normally fully inclusive. All arrangements are overseen by our Palestinian partners in Jerusalem and groups meet with people at the schools, hospitals and other facilities supported by the McCabe Educational Trust (the charitable arm of McCabe Pilgrimages).

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Network for Experiential Palestinian Tourism Organisation (NEPTO)
NEPTO represents a group of independent non-profit organizations, each working to share the best of Palestine with travelers from around the world.  They believe in the kind of tourism that supports local communities, protects the heritage, and respects the environment of Palestine.  They offer our guests something more than the conventional tour itineraries: a chance to explore Palestine’s culture, to learn about its politics, to meet its people, and to share in the vibrancy of its contemporary life.

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Special Pilgrimages
Special Pilgrimages is a leading U.K. Christian Travel Company, established in 1956 and have over forty years of experience in operating pilgrimages to destinations worldwide. Through having direct contact and solid connections with the local churches, organisations, charities and travel suppliers, they can offer a professional service and expertise in organising pilgrimages for individual travelers and a tailor made service for groups from Great Britain and Ireland.  
Travel2Palestine
For the visit of a lifetime and the start of a journey. Travel2Palestine is a not-for-profit company that focuses on cost-price political fact-finding visits to Jerusalem and the West Bank. We take you to Palestine to see for yourself. Experience the occupation, the wall, checkpoints, settlements, refugee camps. Talk to politicians, mayors, activists. Visit Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, always accompanied by British organisers and Palestinian or Israeli guides. We’ve taken 160 people, including MPs, MEPs, councillors, trade unionists and political researchers. We are open to people from all political parties who want to understand the Israel-Palestine issue. What people say about us: “Safe, informative, enjoyable, life-changing”. 99% who’ve completed our customer surveys say they are extremely likely or likely to recommend our visits. 

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Visit Palestine 
Visit Palestine is Open Bethlehem's main travel partner. VisitPalestine.ps is Palestine’s premier online destination guide, VisitPalestine offers visitors a wide range of tools and information to help you plan and book your trip to Palestine. Our newly launched website brings many new features and a vast array of information on the hundreds of sites and attractions across our destination. From descriptions and pictures to opening hours and locations, VisitPalestine.ps is your ideal platform to learn about the many treasures and attractions Palestine has to offer. 

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Zaytoun
Every year Zaytoun organises two trips to Palestine for supporters and customers timed to coincide with the annual olive harvest, usually around the end of October. The “harvest tour” offers customers the chance to visit places such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem, visit communities who supply our products from Nablus soap-makers to olive farmers, and some support and advocacy organisations who work on behalf of these communities. Often the trip ends with a joyful harvest celebration in Jenin. Accommodation for the week’s trip is in local hotels or with farmers’ families. The “olive picking trip” is coordinated with the International Women’s Peace Service and offers volunteers the chance to work for a fortnight alongside the olive farmers in the groves, particularly in areas that experience settler violence, to assist them in bringing their crop home. Visiting Palestine is a life-changing experience that impelled us 10 years ago now to start up Zaytoun. We hope that people come back having witnessed the daily difficulties of life under occupation, but also, that Palestinians have rich lives that transcend victimhood and political strife.
   

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