Plans made to follow Israel-Palestine trip “virtually”

While only a relative handful of Yale Divinity School alumni will be on the YDS-sponsored travel seminar to the Holy Land March 4-17, all alums with an Internet connection are invited to join the trip “virtually” by following the trip blog.

WebinarPlans call for the seminar blog, “Sacred Land: Common Ground?” to be up and running beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, for a trip introduction that will run for three days. Following that and until the end of Lent on April 7, blog postings will be uploaded Monday-Friday on weekly topics. The blog can be accessed at

Following the introduction, topics include:

  • Feb. 27-March 2: Histories of the Holy Land
  • March 5-9: Three Faiths/Interfaith
  • March 12-16: Understanding Israel/Palestine
  • March 19-23: Palestinian Christians and the Churches of the Middle East
  • March 26-30: Jerusalem
  • April 2-6: (Holy Week) Peace is Possible?

During the latter part of the trip, video clips from the trip will be available on the blog site.

Seminar leaders will include Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge, a New Testament scholar, and John Lindner, director of the Department of External Relations, who has a background in ecumenical and interfaith relations.  They will host a program designed to blend study of the ancient sites and contemporary times in a way that will result in a richer understanding of both realities and their interconnectedness.  Also on the trip will be Director of Development Constance Royster, who has been instrumental in arranging many of the trip details.

Assisting with the blog will be second-year M.Div. candidate Elaine Ellis Thomas, who worked as director of human resources for Episcopal Community Services in Philadelphia and has served as an organist and choirmaster throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

A total of 34 travelers are signed up for the trip, which includes nine alumni, two current students, one faculty member, and three YDS administrators.

The trip begins in Bethlehem with a visit to Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity and ends with a festive dinner hosted in Jaffa’s Old City.  In between, travelers will explore numerous historic sites and meet with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders.

A centerpiece of the 14-day seminar will be four days in Jerusalem during which participants will explore the city’s rich history as well as contemporary realities for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. 

Read more about the seminar here.

Date Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012 - 6:10pm