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Pilgrimage: Holy Land

Thurs., Mar. 5, 2020 - Sun., Mar. 15, 2020


The complex history of the Holy Land is one of both sacred places and contested spaces. Indeed, the religious and historical significance of the land is so great that even the language we use to describe it has tremendous implications. Moreover, the sacred nature of this land within Abrahamic traditions is capable of evoking such visceral reactions that it can be difficult to develop relationships across lines of similarity within and among religious traditions.

This journey seeks to explore those common values while also acknowledging deep historical and religious difference. Blending spiritual and academic components, participants will explore themes of sacred space, memory, and reconciliation. Through listening, respect, and compassion, the pilgrimage experience will renew participants' commitment to their individual faiths and establish a new commitment to mulifaith dialogue and interfaith cooperation.


This program is open to full time, undergraduate students of all faith backgrounds. Students will participate in a half-unit pass/fail course that meets weekly throughout the spring semester. Through Pilgrimage: Holy Land, students will use historical, social, political, and spiritual insight to:

  • Understand the religious and historical significance of the Holy Land in Abrahamic traditions
  • Consider the role of memory in shaping and affecting individual and group identities
  • Appreciate competing narratives concerning the Holy Land, and their influence on current events.
  • Visit the Holy Land and engage with contemporary Israelis and Palestinians of various faith traditions and political persuasions to deepen understanding of complexity of these narrative.

Commitments and Expenses

Applicants selected for the pilgrimage team will be required to enroll and participate in a half-unit, seminar-style course. The course includes weekly meetings, readings, journaling, and a final reflection paper. Each student will be expected to fully commit spiritually and intellectually;to the pilgrimage, engaging thoughtfully, openly, and respectfully throughout both the course and travel component.

The Chaplaincy will cover all costs except passport and visa application fees (if applicable), gear for the pilgrimage, meals in the airport, and spending money. 


The pilgrimage will be led by Josh Jeffreys, Jewish Chaplain and Director of Religious Life, and Jamie Lynn Haskins, Chaplain for Spiritual Life.

Please note: This pilgrimage is pending approval from the Office of International Education.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Applications available
Mon., Sept. 2

Application deadline
Fri., Oct. 11

Applicant interviews
Mon., Oct. 21 - Fri. Oct. 25

Applicant notification
Wed., Oct. 30

First team meeting
Mon., Dec. 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Applicants should reserve Fridays from 10:30-11:45 a.m. for the spring semester class.

Questions? Contact

Josh Jeffreys
Jewish Chaplain and Director of Religious Life