June 4, 2013

Food Meets Faith in the Holy Land

Food Meets Faith in the Holy Land

Join The Catholic Foodie for a Food & Faith Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Join me and Fr. Michael Werkhoven for a unique pilgrimage experience that combines food and faith in the Holy Land… the land where Jesus walked, talked, ate and drank with his companions over 2000 years ago. The dates for the pilgrimage are February 5-15, 2014.

Be a part of the trip of a lifetime with Jeff Young – The Catholic Foodie – and Fr. Michael Werkhoven, pastor of Church of the Holy Spirit in the Diocese of Memphis.

In addition to visiting (and celebrating Mass at) all of the traditional pilgrimage sites, you will also be treated to a deliciously “foodie” buffet of events that will include:

  • Sailing on the Sea of Galilee before touring Kibbuz Kinnert, the famous shop with little dates (and date honey!) harvested on the kibbutz
  • Renewing your marriage vows in Cana of Galilee, the site of Jesus’ first miracle where he turned water into wine
  • Visiting and touring a winery in Bethlehem
  • Learning about biblical food and exploring the fascinating question, “What Would Jesus Eat?”
  • Visiting a local family restaurant in Bethlehem where you will join in the preparation of the day’s meal with The Catholic Foodie and local chefs
  • Sharing a celebratory meal in Bethlehem prepared by Chef Johnny Goric and Jeff Young – The Catholic Foodie – in an open kitchen
  • Shopping with local chefs in the most famous food market in Israel
  • Attending cooking classes that will highlight Middle Eastern cooking styles
  • Dining at a restaurant that reportedly has the best hummus in Israel (and you get a copy of the recipe!)
  • Traveling to Nazareth to visit Mary’s Well and the Church of the Annunciation
  • Traveling to the ancient city of Jericho and going for a swim in the Dead Sea (more like “float” in the Dead Sea!)
  • Visiting Jerusalem and praying the Stations of the Cross on the original Via Dolorosa
  • Visiting the Mount of Olives, Mt. Zion, and the Empty Tomb of the Virgin at the Church of the Assumption
  • Meeting local villagers from Taybeh, the only Catholic Village in the Holy Land, touring the local brewery and, later on, taking a cooking class with The Catholic Foodie
  • Journeying to Ein Kerem and Emmaus, where Jesus met the disciples on the road after his Resurrection, and enjoying a delicious farewell dinner with your fellow travelers
  • And much more!
Food in the Holy Land

Pilgrimage Itinerary – February 5 – 15, 2014

February 5 Day 1 – DEPART USA

February 6 Day 2 – Arrival Tel Aviv NATANYA Our Christian guide wel-comes us and assists us with luggage and boarding the bus for a drive to our hotel in Natanya. We check into the hotel and, after a buffet dinner, have a well de-served night of rest. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Natanya. (D.)

February 7 Day 3 – CESAREA – CANA – NAZARETH –We start our day with a visit to Cesarea Maritima. Our next stop is Mt. Carmel to see Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine and celebrate Mass. We continue on to Cana of Galilee for the Re-newal of Wedding Vows. In Nazareth, we visit Mary’s Well, the Church of the Annunciation and the Museum next door. After lunch, which is included today, we visit an ancient spice shop in Nazareth. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight 2 nights in Nazareth. (B. L. D.)

February 8 Day 4 – THE SEA OF GALILEE Enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee before a tour of Kibbutz Kinnert, where we learn about life on a kibbutz. Visit their famous shop with little dates harvested on the kibbutz. Sample date honey and perhaps buy a small jar to add to your roasted duck or turkey when you get back home. We celebrate Mass at Mt. of Beatitudes. Before lunch we watch a demonstration of the tradi-tional preparation of St. Peter Fish (tilapia). In the afternoon we visit Jesus’ home town Capernaum. In Tabgha, at the Church of Multiplication Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie, will give a talk about Biblical Food. We end the day at River Jordan for Renewal of the Baptismal Blessing. Open buffet dinner awaits us at the hotel. (B. L. D.)

February 9 Day 5 – JERICHO – DEAD SEADepart for the ancient town of Jericho where we see the Mt. of Temptation. We have time for shopping in Jericho and enjoy lunch in a family owned restaurant where the owners share stories of local traditions and methods of cooking as we join in the food preparation of today’s lunch. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit for this afternoon’s float in the Dead Sea. We begin our ascent to Jerusalem through the Judean Hills and are greeted by a Genesis Welcome. Following hotel check in, we enjoy a welcome party with a drink and reception before our buffet dinner. Overnight Jerusalem 5 nights. (B. L. D.)

February 10 Day 6 – BETHLEHEM – WINERY VISIT – Dinner with Chef Johnny – We depart for Bethlehem and celebrate Christmas Mass at the Church of Nativity (St Catherine). Next we visit Manger Square, and Shepherd’s Field. Today, lunch is on your own in Bethlehem. As an expression of our solidarity with the local Christian population, we shop here to help support the local Christian families. Next we taste locally produced wines at the Bethlehem Winery, operated by Franciscan Monks, and maybe buy some bottles of Bethlehem Wine to take home as gifts. Tonight we meet Chef Johnny Goric, who together with Jeff Young, will cook an incredible dinner for us at the Legacy restaurant’s open kitch-en while sharing the story of “Chefs for Peace”, an organiza-tion founded by Jewish, Muslim and Christian chefs whose objective is peace through local cooperation, cooking and breaking bread together. (B. D.)

February 11 Day 7 – OLD CITY JERUSALEM– Early this morning we pray the Stations of the Cross along the Way of the Cross and attend Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Kunafah awaits us at the sweet shop along with many other amazing sweets and a demonstration of how the favorite sweet of the Holy Land is made. We continue with a visit to the Wailing Wall, the Temple Mount, Church of St Ann’s and Pools of Bethesda. Lunch is in the Old City at a restaurant where the group learns to make falafel- have your pen ready to copy the recipe of the Holy Land’s most famous dish back home. Afternoon at leisure. (B. L. D. )

February 12 Day 8 – TAYBEH- FOOD MARKET- COOKING CLASS- Visit Taybeh village this morning, the only Catholic village in the Holy Land and celebrate Mass with the local Christians. We are greeted by the town’s mayor, who is an American from Boston, and also, the owner of Taybeh Beer production, which we tour. Back in Jerusalem several chefs from Chefs for Peace will take us to the most famous food market in Israel, the Mahane Yehuda Market, where we purchase the ingredients need-ed for the afternoon cooking class. We cook together with the Chefs for Peace who share with us their secrets of the new and traditional Middle Eastern cooking styles. This is a participatory experience and everyone will cook and share a meal together. Part of the experience is learning about the work of Chefs for Peace toward lasting peace in the land of the Bible. (B. D.)

February 13 Day 9 – MT OF OLIVES – MT ZION – Start the day with a visit to Ascension Chapel and Bethpage where Our Lord Jesus Christ started His Palm Sunday walk. Stop at the Church of Pater Nostre where Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer. Then on to the Mt of Olives for a walk down Palm Sunday Road stopping at Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over the city. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Agony. Visit the empty tomb of the Virgin at the Church of the Assumption. Lunch on your own in the Old City. Rest of the day is at leisure to explore Jerusalem on your own, visit a museum or shop. Buffet dinner is at our hotel. (B. D.)

February 14 Day 10 – EIN KEREM –EMMAUS- FARE-WELL DINNER- Our day begins with a visit to Caiaphas Palace, the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu and the Upper Room where we talk about Biblical Food and what could have been served during the Last Supper. We visit Dormition Abbey. After lunch on our own, we continue to visit Ein Kerem, the Church of Visitation and Birthplace of St. John the Baptist. We stop in Emmaus for a prayer at the Crusader Church before the farewell dinner in Abu Gosh, the village known for the best hummus in Israel, where everyone will receive a copy of their secret hummus recipe. Depart for the airport and overnight flight home. (B. D.)

February 15 Day 11 – Arrival USA early in the morning



Candles at the Church of the Crucifixion

Your Pilgrimage includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare PHL, ATL, EWR Airport to Tel Aviv. (Airport taxes and fuel sur-charge included, subject to change)
  • English speaking Christian tour guide
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 6 lunches
  • 3 Gourmet dinners + 5 buffet hotel dinners
  • Cooking class with Jeff Young & Chefs for Peace
  • Market shopping with Chefs for Peace
  • 3 Cooking demonstrations
  • Welcome cocktail party
  • 3 nights First-class Golden Crown hotel in Nazareth
  • 5 nights hotel in Jerusalem
  • Private Mass as per itinerary
  • Private tour bus & bus parking fees
  • Porterage for one suitcase at hotels


Reserve Your Spot Now!

Space is limited. Download the full brochure for all the information or call Select International Tours at 800-842-4842.

Hummus sprinkled with cayenne

***Featured image of food in Israel courtesy of Christyn on Flickr.com.***

***Image of the candles at the Church of the Crucifixion courtesy of hoyasmeg on Flickr.com.***