Signed up: 69. (Post-tour: 26) — TOUR CLOSED
We hear a good deal of talk about doing what Jesus would do (WWJD?), but how about walking where Jesus walked? We would like to invite you to join the 2023 annual tour—as we return to Israel.

Benefits of joining the tour:

Your faith will be strengthened. You'll no longer have to imagine what the biblical world looks like. Now you can remember!

The fellowship is invigorating. Make new friends from around the globe. Since the Biblical Study Tours began, over 1000 persons have taken part!

The Bible comes to life, revealing new dimensions—as you better your grasp of history, geography, biblical characters, and the flow of the biblical story. With a more solid understanding of scripture, your confidence in talking to others will grow.

Your heart will fill with memories to last the rest of your life. You've thought about these locations for years; now's your chance to experience them—or experience them anew, if this will be a return visit.

Includes most or all of the following: Mount of Olives, communion service and private prayer in Garden of Gethsemane, Palace of David, Temple Mount, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Armageddon, Tel Dan, Caesarea Maritima, Caesarea Philippi, synagogue and 1st-century home of Capernaum, Sea of Galilee devotional cruise, shopping, Nazareth Village, Samaria, Mt. Gerizim, site of the Tabernacle and ark at Shiloh, Bethlehem, Shepherds' Fields, and more!

Tour dates are 6-14 February 2023. (There is also a Post-Tour, see below, from 14-16 February). We begin with dinner in Tel Aviv on the evening of 6 Feb, and the closing dinner is in Jerusalem on the 13th—you'll stay that night and fly out sometime on the 14th.

Who may come?
The tour is open to everybody, believers and seekers alike. Children age 12 and above are also welcome, provided they are mature enough to appreciate the sights.

There is a fair amount of walking around the various sites (5-8 km / 3-5 miles a day), including hilly terrain, so a reasonable level of personal fitness is desirable, and good walking shoes are a must.

How to Register
All communication is through email. To join the tour, please email me. I'll add you to the interest list, and then contact you personally. Once you're in the system, you will receive periodic updates.

You're registered only once your deposit (or full payment) has been received, or sponsorship has been verified. Also send in your personal details (scroll down). If you're applying for a new passport, register now and send passport when you have it.

The price for the 2023 BST is $2340 (paid by 30 Sept 2022). The price includes hotel, all breakfasts and dinners, admission fees to sites, tips, porters’ fees, transportation by private coach, and airport transfers. All you need to bring with you is money for lunches ($15/meal) and gifts.

Prices are based on double-occupancy in hotel rooms. If you're coming alone, or you would prefer a single room, there is a $920 single room supplement. If you prefer a roommate, we will do what we can to connect you with another tour member coming alone—though we cannot promise. After the final payment deadline, room changes cannot be guaranteed.

For those who would like to see more of Israel, we have prepared a Dead Sea extension.
* Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered)
* Masada (where the Zealots held out several years after the end of the war with Rome [70 AD])
* Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul
* Swimming in the Dead Sea
* Arad, the ancient Canaanite city
* Beersheba, city of the Old Testament Patriarchs

Price: $750 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement: $300.

Payment is most easily made by check (US and UK citizens), credit or debit card, PayPal, money order, bank wire, Venmo, or Western Union.

Checks: make out to T&R and mail to 957 Shy Lane, Marietta GA 30060. (Britons: use exchange rate for day you post check, for example at Or pay with any major credit or debit card (+3%), or by PayPal (+4.4% processing outside the US, 3% inside). Debit & credit: send your details (no., exp., amount) in two separate emails (for security). For international bank wire (there is a $15 bank charge), contact us. Or pay by Western Union or Venmo (@douglas-jacoby-1 —no charge). Choose the method best for you, and email your choice.

The deposit is $300. If you’re paying in full, of course, the deposit is included in your total. (Please read this, even if you are sure you won't cancel.)

BST charge:  $2439 (due in full)
Single supplement:  $920
Dead Sea Extension: $750 (single supplement $300)
100% discount for African teachers (African nationals)

$300 saves you a place on the tour. See the Payment section below for how to send this. $100 saves you a place on the post-tour (Dead Sea Extension). Full payment due 30 September 2022.

Travel Insurance (US members)
Travel insurance is available as a separate package at an extra cost. The cost of travel insurance is approximately $210 to $350, depending on length of tour, tour inclusions, etc. Tour participants may call our agents' associate office in New Jersey, Prime Travel, to purchase travel insurance and obtain the exact rate for your tour. The travel insurance policy is a contract between traveler and Insurance Company (Travel Guard, Allianz etc). Tutku Tours has no role in booking or in the payment of the travel insurance. When you call to inquire about travel insurance, please mention your group name (Tutku—BST Jacoby).

Prime Travel’s phone number: 1-201-825-1600. Contact: Mrs. Armagan Ayata or Mr. Sal Kesedar.

PHOTO: the Feb 2022 group at the Pool of Siloam

Information required for all participants:
Everyone on the BST should send in the following details:

  • Full legal name (as it appears on your passport)
  • The name you would like to appear on your name badge (first name and surname).
  • Gender
  • Your country or countries of citizenship
  • Passport number
  • Passport expiration date. Israel will not let you enter the country if your passport doesn't have at least 6 months remaining.
  • Your birthday: day, month, and year
  • Please also send us the name of the city and nation where you reside.
  • If you are signing up for another person, be sure to include his/her email address.
  • Do you have any food allergies? (Please specify.)

Cancellation policy
You can view the cancellation policy here. (Please read, even if at the moment you’re sure you won't cancel.)

Our hotels are in Tel Aviv (first night only), Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee (the next two nights), and Jerusalem (the next four nights). Category: European 4-star. Price based on double-occupancy. What better (advance) family Christmas present than a trip to the Holy Land?

ITINERARY (provisional)

6 Feb—Welcome dinner & orientation, 7pm at our Tel Aviv hotel

7-8 Feb—Caesarea Maritima, Mt. Carmel, Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Nazareth, devotional on Sea of Galilee...

9-10 Feb—Samaria, Jacob's Well, Mt. Gerizim, Bethel, Shiloh...

11-12 Feb—Palace of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, Temple Mount, Communion service in the Garden of Gethsemane, House & dungeon of Caiaphas, Hezekiah's Tunnel,  Israel Museum...

13 Feb—Bethlehem, Church of Nativity, Shopping in the West Bank, Shepherds' Fields

14 Feb—fly home

14 Feb—Scenic overlook on Wadi Kelt, just off the Jerusalem-Jericho Road, Qumran (not lunch), Ein Gedi (walk & picnic lunch), Masada, swimming in the Dead Sea at our hotel
15 Feb—Morning at Dead Sea, Arad (ancient Canaanite city), Beersheva and lunch, check in to Tel Aviv hotel
16 Feb—Fly home

For info on Israeli voltage and electrical plugs, click HERE.

February is a cool and pleasant time of the year. This is the Mediterranean wet season, and temperatures are around 5-15 in the daytime (41-59 F), and around 5-10 (41-50 F) at night. Bring a light jacket or sweater. Dress is casual. However, when we visit synagogues, church buildings, and other holy sites, shoulders and knees must be covered.

Dress for comfort. We're roaming over some rocky / uneven ancient archaeological sites. There is only a moderate amount of climbing, apart from the slope of Vesuvius. Bring comfortable walking shoes. (Hiking boots are not required.)

Since we moved back to Europe in 2020, we’re walking a lot more. When we lived in the States, we had two cars, and pretty much drove everywhere. We took out the dog daily, but there were plenty of days when that’s the only walking we did. The American (summer) heat isn’t always inviting. Here in the Old World it’s a lot cooler. People amble, stroll, hike, perambulate… There are parks and walking paths everywhere. We’re probably walking 1-2 miles a day, as when we used to live here in the ’80s and ’90s. We have only one car—and many days when we don’t even use it. So, for our American friends, if walking isn’t normally part of your lifestyle, please consider walking daily now, so you don’t get winded as we explore the sites, climb hills (and stairs), and walk 1-2 miles a day (maybe more). And if you’ve recently bought hiking boots or sturdy, comfortable walking shoes, be sure to break them in before the trip!

Lately Vicki and I have been using walking poles—light, telescopic (retractable), and adjustable for height. They’re great for balance, for involving the upper body, and negotiating rough terrain. We’ve noticed that it’s not just older folks who use walking poles; so do many younger ones (think 20s). The poles, retracted, take up very little space in a suitcase. If you do decide on this, perhaps you’ll want to take a few strolls with the poles before you fly, so that you’re used to them.

Another suggestion—especially if both your hands are holding your walking poles 😊—is to bring along a small backpack. That makes it easier to carry our tour materials, personal things, and water. (Water bottles will be available every day, so that we stay hydrated.)

Getting to Israel
Fly into Tel Aviv (airport code TLV). While you are responsible for getting yourself to Israel, our agents will meet you at the airport on the 1st and take you to our hotel. These airport transfers are included in the price of the tour.

Since the tour is 6-14 Feb, arrive no later than 1600 on 6 Feb, as we need all participants to join the opening dinner. Transfer from airport to hotel on 1st is included in the price, for all arrivals up till 1600. If you arrive after 1700, please arrange a taxi.

(If you're flying through the night, you'd leave home on 5th, to land on the 6th.) The welcome dinner / orientation in Tel Aviv is on the evening of 6 Feb, and the closing dinner is in Jerusalem on 13 Feb—you'll stay that night and fly out sometime on the 14th. Breakfast on the 14th is included; return home anytime that day.

Opening dinner / orientation
At the orientation meeting (1900) on the 1st (right before dinner), you’ll receive written materials, including your BST name badge, to be worn at all times during the tour. Questions will be answered, gifts distributed, and the group will get to know one another.

Regardless of how tired you may feel — esp. for those who have traveled 10 or 20 hours to Israel — make yourself stay awake so that there’s no chance you’ll miss the welcome dinner. If you end up taking a nap, we suggest you keep it short (2-3 hours) — otherwise you’ll make it difficult for yourself to get onto Israel time. (Scroll down for suggestions on overcoming jet lag.)

Please do not arrive to Tel Aviv any later than 5 pm (1700) on 6 Feb. You will miss the opening dinner and orientation.

Airfare is not included in the tour price—as participants are coming from multiple countries. If you’re flying from North America, flights usually run in the $900-$1500 range. Suggestions:

  • As for airlines, if you are frequent flyers, stay within your system.
  • Shop around. I like
  • Sometimes you save by creating two itineraries. For a recent Israel trip, I booked one round trip Atlanta-Amsterdam-Atlanta, and another Amsterdam-Tel Aviv-Amsterdam.
  • And ask your friends who fly….

Jet lag
If you don't do a lot of international travel, you may appreciate these suggestions for overcoming jet lag.

Extra days
If you want to arrive early (on the 5th or before) or leave later (15 Feb onward), that is fine. Our agents can help you, or you can book your own hotel for those extra days. Sorry, airport runs are included only for the 6th and 14th, although the agents will be happy to work something out (extra cost).

Note: If you are arriving early (middle of the night or early morning) you may want to contact our agents and pay for an extra night, as a rooms are not guaranteed before early afternoon. (More often than not, they are ready, but we cannot promise this.) Tutku Tours will be happy to extend your reservation so that your room will definitely be ready when you arrive.

Tutku are available at

Changing money (buying shekels)
Of all the countries I've visited, Israel has the fairest money exchange. (There is negligible different between the buying rate and the selling rate.) You can change your money at the airport, while you're waiting for your luggage to arrive, or at any bank or exchange bureau. (Hotels also change money, but the rate is not quite as favorable.)

Some people are uneasy about international travel, and especially about travel to the Middle East. Of course security is a priority—and Israel is by far the safest country in the Middle East. In fact, to be honest, in recent years there has been far more violence in Germany, France, Belgium, and the United States than in Israel.

In leading tours to Israel for nearly 20 years, we’ve never had an incident. The Israeli government backs the tourist agencies, so that if there is a legitimate need to cancel an entire tour, full refunds are available.

Refund policy
After 30 June 2022, deposits are non-refundable. The portion of the balance refundable is:
- Before 1 August, 90%
- Before 1 September, 80%
- Before 1 October, 70%
- Before 1 November, 60%
- Before 1 December, 50%
- Before 1 January, 40%
- Before 15 January, 33%
- After 15 January, no refund

Emergency contact
Here the contact numbers in the event you need to be reached urgently while in Israel, or if there is an issue and you need to talk to someone after you have arrived.

Local guides:
Yair Arden: +972-52-472-6080 
Amit Musaei: +972-50-679-3438

OPERATIONS:  Ms. Sema Ankarali – Mobile Phone: +90-532-296-9396
PRESIDENT:  Levent Oral  -  Mobile Phone: +90-532-296-6921
DIRECTOR:  Douglas Jacoby - +1 678-231-8881

Be sure to check to see if Israel requires visitor from your country to secure a visa before your travel. For some countries, like the US, visas are available on arrival. Other countries may require advance paperwork, or even an interview. Be sure also to ensure your passport has sufficient extra pages for the visa—and that it does not expire less than 6 months before the date you return to your home nation.

Group shot, BST Nov '19

Previous BST and ITS locations (number of visits):
Athens (3), Berlin (2), Chicago, Colossae, Corinth (3), Delphi, Egypt, Ephesus (2), Geneva, Herculaneum, Hierapolis (2), Israel (11), Jordan (2), Laodicea (2), London (4), Oxford, Paris, Patmos (2), Pergamum, Pompeii (3), Rome (3), Sardis, Washington DC, Wittenberg (2), Zürich (1).

Participants in 2016: 144. Participants in 2017: 85. Participants in 2018: 115. Participants in 2019: 150. Participants in 2022: 38. Estimated no. in 2023: 75.

For more photographs, please visit me at Facebook or Instagram.

Advance preparation

Click HERE for copious suggestions on:

  • Reading
  • Listening & viewing
  • Archaeology
  • The Israeli / Palestinian conflict