Tours and Other Activities

Jerusalem does not need to be introduced as a travel destination. Its features are numberless. Local organizers will also make every effort to find enriching opportunities for participants to be involved in Jerusalem life, and to see it closely, with less exposure to traditional tourist routes and accounts.

In addition to attending activities regularly held in the city and special events, special tours will be organized to highlight particular features of this remarkable city. Local tours will be conducted either free or at minimal cost, and longer excursions outside Jerusalem will be arranged on a cost-shared basis. The organizers will certainly arrange a visit to the likely place of Melville's stay in Jerusalem, as well as other interesting locations associated with his visit in 1857.

Malki Street

There will be two longer tour after the end of the conference: one long day excursion to the north of the country (the coast, Nazareth, Galilee) on June 22; from there, a two-day tour of Jordan (Petra included) on June 23-24. Considering the geography, the plan is to start early on the 22nd to Jaffa and Haifa, then up to Galilee, and return late or stay overnight somewhere near Lake Tiberias. People would have a choice either to return to Jerusalem or to cross the border to Jordan (visa obtainable at the crossing), visit Umm Qais and Jerash, make a short stop in Amman, then proceed to Petra, overnight there, explore Petra on June 24, proceed in the afternoon to Wadi Rumm and/or the Red Sea before returning to Jerusalem via the southern border crossing at Aqaba/Eilat. The cost for each person will depend on the number of people who join (the higher the number the lower the cost). It won't be prohibitive, though it won't be cheap, considering that for an organized tour it is necessary to have a bus driver and a tour guide, and other costs are added in, including accommodation. (Roughly, the first tour including hotel is in the range $100-200, depending on the number of people, and both tours are in the range $300-500 including three nights in the hotel.) Once we get the exact figures from the travel agent, we'll try to cut down on the cost as much as possible. Please contact Basem or the conference travel agent for more information.

Climate and Environment

The area is moderately warm in June, sometimes slightly cool at higher elevations; it is usually hot in July-August, though nights usually bring cool breezes, as in Jerusalem. Cotton or other lightweight clothing and light jackets, when necessary, are recommended. Shorts are normally possible to wear, though males are expected to wear long trousers and take off shoes when visiting some religious sites, and females are expected to cover their hair and have minimum exposure upon entering churches, mosques and other religious places

Jerusalem Food
The region has a wide selection of delicious foods. If you are familiar with what is called “Middle Eastern food” in your home town, you will find the food here even tastier. Restaurants range from cheap popular places to expensive ones, and included international foods. In many cases, your accommodation will include breakfast. A quick lunch is possible in the range of $2 to $5, while dinner is usually in the range of about $15 to $20 at very good restaurants. Arrangements for basic lunches and a banquet will be made by the conference.


Jerusalem and the surrounding region, including Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, are safe to travel, despite what one hears on the news occasionally. The people are hospitable, often to an extreme.

ATM machines are available to use at nearby banks. It is up to you if you want to consider bringing some extra travelers’ cheques; just be aware that they are usually cashed with a small transaction fee. It is safe to bring cash with you and to leave extra money in a deposit box at the hotel. However, it is normal to be cautious: the land may be limited in how "holy" it is.

Health Care

Basic health care is available, and seeing a doctor is easy -- residents of Jerusalem are covered by a public health plan. It is recommended that all participants get health coverage from an insurance company before traveling, or make sure how your current health insurance would cover you in an emergency situation.