Tour of Israel Welcome Letter


I am pleased to learn of your interest in Calvary Baptist Church/New York School of the Bible’s trip to Israel, April 23 – May 3, 2018 with an extension trip in Greece, May 3 – 7. It would be a delight to have you on the trip!

Rev. David Epstein, Senior Pastor here at Calvary Baptist Church, will be the tour leader and Bible teacher. I, Billy W. Nelson, Registrar of New York School of the Bible, will be the tour coordinator.

Many who have taken this trip to Israel have commented over and over about how their lives have been marked by being in the land of the Bible. Even years after returning home, they vividly remember the sights and sounds of being in the land where Jesus walked.

I can testify that it is indeed a special journey. It is always good to be able to “walk in one’s shoes” to better understand who the person is. Our faith in Jesus is not some mystical fancy that somebody concocted for a “this works for me” crutch in life. Jesus is a historical person—not just “was”, because He still lives today. We go to Israel, not to prop up our faith, but to see our historical roots.

The one place that really impressed me was the Garden Tomb. The Gospels speak about the place of the skull where Jesus was crucified and the garden nearby where Joseph of Arimathea laid His body in his own tomb. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is thought by many archaeologists to be the place of crucifixion and burial. But the site of the Garden Tomb has history dating back to Jesus’ time as being a garden then which still exists. And the “place of the skull” was known back then as a public place of execution. When I walked into the Garden Tomb area for the first time, its beauty struck a positive chord in my soul. The actual site, whichever one it is, though important, can never overshadow the event itself. We know that it happened and we go, not to prove it, but to see the context in which it did. This is why we go.

Please take time to read the trip brochure that includes the itinerary and financial information. For the Israel trip only, the cost is $4175. The cost to add Greece is $599. If you wish to pay by credit card, there is a 5% processing fee. Contact Ron Cansler of Escorted Travel Concepts at 417 499 8685.

The Israel price and Greece price is all inclusive, except lunch. These prices include airfare, hotel (double occupancy), breakfast, dinner, tour fees, taxes, and tips (except Athens). If you wish to have your own room in Israel, the cost is $874 extra, and for Athens, $198 extra. The deposit fee is $400 Israel-only or $450 for Israel and Greece to get your name on the list.

If you want to arrange your own flights because you have air miles, the cost will be $2875 for Israel; no change in the Greece price. Please speak with me first before arranging flights. You will need to schedule flights that will arrive shortly before we would arrive in Tel Aviv.

IMPORTANT!! Please submit all payments by checks or money orders (No Cash) to the NYSB office. This will allow me to know who has registered and what payments have been made. If you pay by credit card via Escorted Travel Concepts, please make a copy and mail it to the NYSB office. Registration deposits of $400/$450 will get your name on the list, but full payment guarantees you a seat on the plane. So the sooner you can pay in full, the better! Please note the deposit fee is non-refundable.

Please read the Terms and Conditions on the back of the brochure carefully. If you have any questions, please call me 212 975-0170 x123.

So if you want to see the physical roots of your faith, please come. If you are definitely planning to go, please send in your deposit . . . and full payment . . . as soon as possible. A second payment of $1700 is due by November 1 and final payment is due by February 15. Encourage a family member or friend to come along and make memories together!

During the Spring I quarter at 6 p.m. on Monday evenings, Feb. 5 – Mar. 19, Gordon Franz will teach a course entitled The Geography of the Bible. This course will provide an overview of the importance of the land in Scripture and he will teach about the sites that we will visit. If you are registered for the trip and have paid in full or on schedule with payments, this course will be offered free of charge. Mr. Franz will also teach a course entitled, Israel: Land and Nature, at 7:35 p.m. This course will be free for those who cannot attend the 6 p.m. course. Those who take the 6 p.m. course can register for this second course for the discount cost of $60. On a Friday evening (date to be determined), 6-9p.m., Pastor Epstein and I will conduct an orientation meeting to inform about what to pack, airline flights, what to expect over there, and other such details. This will be a very important meeting to attend.

Please direct all questions to my office. Feel free to call me with any questions you may have. You can reach me at 212 975-0170 x123, Monday through Thursdays, 9 am to 4:30 pm.

I trust that God will make it possible for you to say, “This year in Jerusalem!”

Billy W. Nelson Registrar Co-host

Click to view trip Terms and Conditions.

Click here to print and fill-out trip registration. Completed registrations can be mailed to: Billy W. Nelson, New York School of the Bible, 123 W 57th Street, New York NY 10019