Olive Cooperative Tours

Spring, Summer and Autumn 2008

Olive Cooperative is delighted to announce a range of unique educational tours to Palestine and Israel in 2008. Each tour offers participants the opportunity to visit this beautiful area and to meet inspiring Palestinian and Israeli organisations working in professional and voluntary capacities to contribute to a just and lasting peace in the region.

Building on our extensive knowledge of a spectrum of civil society organisations in Palestine and Israel, our tours meet individuals and groups, visit the separation wall and sights of historic and religious significance, stay in local hotels, and many offer the chance to experience Palestinian hospitality by staying in Palestinian family homes.

Each tour is built around a theme or topic, allowing participants to develop in-depth understanding of a particular area of interest, and facilitating lasting linkages between groups of similar interests in the UK and Palestine and Israel. All the tours are suitable for anyone with a general interest in the situation.

Our next tour in June, the Medics tour offers an understanding of the challenges facing medics working in a conflict area, as well as exploring the roles and potential roles of medics in witnessing, reporting and challenging the ongoing conflict.

From schools and Universities to refuseniks, Trade Union activists and peace organisations, the Teachers tour in October will provide a unique insight into the educational system in Palestine and Israel, and the effects of occupation on eduction.

Also in October The Dialogue tour in October will introduce participants to the many grassroots organisations forming links across ethnic, religious, economic, political and geographical divides and addressing the tough issues of how to break away from the conflict and build a mutually respectful and peaceful future.

An area of immense historical value, the architecture of Palestine and Israel tells many stories. The Architecture, Culture and History tour in October aims to explore the history preserved in the built environment.

Meet farmers working millenia-old olive groves, and take part in the Olive Harvest Festival in November. Olive Cooperative are delighted to be able to offer this ever-popular tour again in 2008. The Olive Harvest tour will be guided by Heather Masoud, founder of Zaytoun.

And Arabic Language courses enable participants to learn first hand about the language, life and culture of Palestine. Practice your Arabic with the people you meet around you, and consolidate your learning with immersion in Palestinian language and culture.

More details of the 2008 Tour Program is available by filling out the form below.

CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel)

Partner with our Israeli sisters and brothers to break the siege of Gaza
Join a  delegation to Israel/Gaza, June 5-14

 The people of Gaza, especially the children, are suffering both physically and psychologically from the devastation of the 22-day Israeli invasion and the continuing siege. The world cannot stand by while 1.5 million people are deprived of basic needs and humanitarian aid is stopped at the border.

 For the first time ever, Americans are partnering with Jewish and Arab Israelis to demand that the Israeli government end the siege.  Join CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel) as we organize a rally, conference and encampment at the Erez border. The week of June 5 marks the 42nd anniversary of the 1967 war, when Israel first occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Is there a more suitable time to say "Enough!"? 

 After the rally, we will attempt to enter Gaza, at the invitation of the United Nations (UNRWA). If granted entry, we will visit schools, hospitals and areas most affected by the Israeli invasion and work with Gazans to build an International Friendship Playground.

 If the Israeli government won’t let us enter Gaza, we will join local Jewish and Arab activists at workshops on ways to break the siege, held in our encampment on the border. We will also visit the Knesset and other government offices in Jerusalem,  tour East Jerusalem and the West Bank, meet with local peace groups, and participate in ongoing protests against the apartheid wall.

 See the itinerary below. Cost is $600, excluding airfare. Some scholarships available. For more information and to sign up, email israel.codepink@gmail.com, call (USA) 415-558-5700 or go to www.codepinkalert.org/gaza
Itinerary (subject to change)
June 5: Meet in Tel Aviv; orientation meeting in the evening
 June 6: Travel to and rally at the Erez crossing; set up camp
 June 7:  Enter Gaza or -- if not allowed to enter -- kick off a "border" conference with Israeli activists on "The Role of the International Community in Lifting the Siege of Gaza"
 June 8-9:  Participate in teach-ins on Israeli politics, Palestinian rights and the peace movement
 June 10: Meet with Israeli officials, protest in front of Israeli Knesset
 June 11: Meet with Palestinian and Israeli human rights and peace organizations such as the Palestine Center for Rapprochement, B'tselem, Alternative Information Center and Gush Shalom.
 June 12: Join Friday demonstrations against the wall (Bil'in, N'ilin and Jayous), meet with Refuseniks
 June 13: Tour Jerusalem; visit villages and refugee camps in the West Bank; learn about settlement expansion plans, bypass roads and house demolitions
 June 14: International delegates return home

Birthright Palestine

contact form at bottom of page

Holy Land Trust invites Palestinians immigrants living around the world to rediscover Palestine today through a Birthright Palestine Tour. Birthright Palestine is a new program uniquely designed to introduce the realities of present-day Palestine to Palestinians living in other parts of the world. This rare program sheds new light on the Palestine you hear about in the news, and allows you to rediscover the beauty and pride of Palestine amidst the hardships of the current conflict. You will have an opportunity to visit important cities from Palestinian history, learn about traditional Palestinian culture, discover the dynamics of the current conflict, and return to your historical village to reconnect with your roots.

This exceptional experience is organized through Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian not-for-profit organization in Bethlehem established in 1998. Holy Land Trust (HLT) seeks to empower the community through mobilizing its strengths and resources in order to address the challenges of the present and the future. This is done by working with the Palestinian community through developing nonviolent approaches which aim to end the Israeli occupation and by building a future that is founded on the principles of nonviolence, equality, justice, and peaceful coexistence.

We offer many invaluable experiences including opportunities to live with a Palestinian family, learn Arabic, and also understand Palestinian traditions and culture through our Alternative Tours. Your stay will last two weeks and must be scheduled before October 15, 2008. Come, rediscover Palestine, and rediscover your roots! Click here for more information.

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival at Tel Aviv airport, a Holy Land Trust driver will transfer you to your hotel in Bethlehem.
Orientation, transfer to host families in Beit Sahour.

Day 2: Bethlehem

We will start our day by visiting the Lajee Center in Aida refugee camp, where we will tour the camp and view the wall. Next we will visit the Church of the Nativity, the traditional place of Jesus’ birth. In the afternoon, we will meet with Sami Awad, director of Holy Land Trust, to learn about his groundbreaking work in nonviolence training. At night we will have dinner at a Bedouin restaurant and enjoy a performance of folkloric Palestinian dance (Dabkeh )
Dinner and overnight with your host families

Day 3: Jerusalem

We will tour East & West Jerusalem with ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolition). Then we will visit the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of The Rock, and end the day by meeting with BTSelem, an Israeli Human Rights organization.
Dinner and overnight with host family

Day 4 : Hebron

We will start our day with a Power Point presentation by the Hebron Rehabilitation Center to learn more about the political situation in Hebron. Next we will visit the Ibrahimi Mosque, the traditional site of the tomb of the Patriarchs, a site holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians. Then we will walk through the old city of Hebron to see the daily lives of Palestinians in this contentious city. On the way back to Bethlehem we will stop to see the famous glass blowing artisans of Hebron, save room in your suitcase for some of their beautiful wares!
Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 5 : Ramallah

We will visit Ramallah, the unofficial capital of Palestine. There we will meet with the Addamir Prisoners Rights Organization to learn about the experience of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. Next, we will meet with Amira Hass, the famous Israeli journalist. We will also meet with Al-Haq Human Rights Organization. Finally, we will visit Arafat’s Tomb and we will try to arrange a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of Palestine, if available .
Dinner and overnight in Ramallah.

Day 6 : Jericho

On this day we will visit the oldest city in the world and the lowest spot on earth where we will meet with Dr. Sami Mussalam, Governor of Jericho. Then we will visit the historical sites of Tel Jericho and Hisham’s Palace, and will end the day with a relaxing soak in the Dead Sea.
Dinner and Overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 7 : Tulkarem

We will start our day by meeting with a representative from Mahsom Watch, an Israeli human rights group. As we drive to Tulkarem we will meet a representative of the Stop The Wall Campaign. Together we will visit some farmers from whom land has been confiscated by the wall. We will also see the Israeli chemical factories that have been built on the Palestinian side of the wall .
Dinner and Overnight in Nazareth.

Day 8 : Nazareth , Haifa , Ein Hod

In Nazareth we will meet with the Arab Human Rights Organization. Then we will walk through the beautiful old city market, and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East. We will then travel to visit Haifa, and continue on to visit a destroyed Palestinian village. Our afternoon will conclude with a visit to Ein Hod, where we will meet with Mr. Abu Al-Haija to learn more about Palestinian unrecognized villages in Israel.
Dinner and overnight with host family .

Day 9 – Day 13 : Holy Land Trust will arrange several meetings and lectures about the following:

-Refugees issues
-Past peace agreements
-Palestinian history
-Palestinian politics
-Education issues
-Families who have experienced home demolition

Holy Land Trust will arrange the following activities during the last 4 days:

-Cooking class
-Dabkeh class (traditional dance)
-Viewing of documentaries and relevant films
-Meeting with relatives (Holy Land Trust will help you find your -relatives if you are not in contact with them)
-A farewell party with your host families in the style of a -traditional Palestinian wedding. You can put your new Dabkeh skills to work!
-Any other arrangements requested by the group.

Dates: The program will take place on December 5-19, 2008. We encourage participants to extend their stay to experience Christmas in the region and take full advantage of the opportunity to explore and learn here.

Costs : The cost for this program is $1195 per person. We offer a discount for groups larger than five.

The Price includes:

-Accommodation with host family
-Honorariums for speakers.
-Cooking class
-Dance class
-Breakfast and dinner
-Goodbye party
-Tips for guide and driver
-Entrance fees

The Price does not include :
-Other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary

We will also schedule a processing session, where participants and local representatives will talk together about how they can continue to work together after participants leave Palestine. Participants will have chance to process what they have learned and experienced and discuss how they can continue to support the Palestinian cause.

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Palestinian Summer Celebration 2008 . . Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies

Month One
June 15th – July 13th

Month Two
July 14th – Aug. 17th

contact form below

Come and celebrate Palestine, learn Arabic, study history, know the people and their culture, share some time with local families and volunteer with a local community organization.

The Palestinian summer celebration is a unique annual program that gives people from all over the world the chance to encounter the life and culture in Palestine in addition to donating some of their time to a local community organization through voluntary work and internships.

Weekly Activities

Am: Voluntary work
Pm: Arabic and History Classes at Bethlehem University
Evening: Group Arabic practice

Am: Voluntary work
Pm: Arabic and History Classes at Bethlehem University
Evening: film viewing and discussion: Location: Siraj office in coordination with Rapprochement center.

Am: Voluntary work
Pm: Arabic and History Classes at Bethlehem University
Evening: Debkeh Dancing Training

Am: Voluntary work
Pm: Arabic and History Classes at Bethlehem University
Evening: Lecture and discussions: Location: Siraj office in cooperation with Rapprochement Center: Topics: Geopolitical issues, cultural, health, media, and Palestinian Non Violence movement.

Am: Voluntary work
Pm: Arabic and History Classes at Bethlehem University
Evening: Free together activity: The group gets to decide what to do together

Day tours in the various Palestinian cities: Hebron, Jerusalem, Jericho and Dead Sea, Nablus, Jenin.

Free Day (Potential hiking day)
All of the above activities are optional

Palestine Summer Encounter . . . . . . . . . Holy Land Trust

Palestine Summer Encounter (PSE) is a one, two, or three month service learning and cultural immersion program in Bethlehem, Palestine. Participants study Arabic in and outside of the classroom setting, live with a Palestinian host family, volunteer with one of thirty-seven participating nonprofits and organizations and meet with both Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers. For more information please fill out the form below.

Home Rebuilding Option

Travelers participating in the third session of PSE (July 17th to August 14th) will have the opportunity to participate in the 2008 Home Rebuilding Camp during the last two weeks of their stay (August 1st through the 14th). This means that participants will serve at their regular volunteer opportunity the first two weeks and then switch over to the Home Rebuilding camp for the last two weeks of the session. Participants will also need to be an additional $420 fee to participate in the Home Rebuilding Camp (this fee will be spent on materials and equipment needed to rebuild the home).

Dates & Costs

The cost of the Palestine Summer Encounter program depends on which session you choose (see the table below). We strongly recommend that you participate in the program for two or three months but several one month options are also available.

3 Month Option
AMay 22 — August 14
Two Month Options
BMay 22 — July 17
CJune 19 — August 14
One Month Options
DMay 22 — June 19
EJune 19 — July 17
FJuly 17 — August 14

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Birthright Unplugged

Birthright Unplugged is an education and movement building project that offers two travel programs.

Birthright Unplugged
Our Unplugged trip primarily seeks to expose North American people to the realities of Palestinian life though travel and conversations with a variety of Palestinian people. In six days, we visit Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank and spend time with internally displaced Palestinian people living inside Israel. Throughout the journey, we help participants develop an understanding of daily life under occupation and the history of the region from people profoundly affected by and under-represented in Western discourses about the occupation. We encourage participants to be deeply reflective and after the program we support their involvement in human rights and justice oriented efforts.

Birthright Re-plugged
Our Re-Plugged trip is for Palestinian children living in refugee camps. In two days, we visit Jerusalem, the sea and the children’s ancestral villages, which is nearly impossible for most Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and outside Palestine. The children document their experiences with cameras and create an exhibit in order to contribute to the collective memory in the refugee camp community. The exhibits the children create are also available to be hung in other venues.

Birthright Unplugged is in no way affiliated with birthright israel.

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