Pilgrimage: New York-Echoes of the Holy Land

Fri., March 4–Fri., March 11, 2022


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. Conversations about the sacred nature of this land within Abrahamic traditions, its meaning, and its peoples can themselves lead to tension. In this context, it can be difficult to develop relationships across lines of similarity within and among religious traditions, cultures, and communities.

This journey seeks to explore those common values while also acknowledging deep historical and religious difference. Though participants will travel to New York, the Holy Land will be at the academic and spiritual core of the experience as we 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 multifaith 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: New York - Echoes of the 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, and the impact it has on those communities in America.
  • Consider the role of memory in shaping and affecting individual and group identities.
  • Appreciate competing narratives concerning the Holy Land, and their influence both on current events and American politics.
  • Visit New York and engage with contemporary Israelis and Palestinians, religious and political leaders, and community organizers of various faith traditions and political persuasions to deepen understanding of the complexity of these narratives and understand how they navigate these complicated topics.

Each student will be expected to fully commit spiritually and intellectually to the pilgrimage (the course and the travel excursion) and offer an open and generous heart to the experience of their teammates. The Chaplaincy will cover all costs except any necessary gear for the pilgrimage, meals in the airport, and spending money.


The Office of the Chaplaincy will cover all expenses related to the program. Students will be expected to contribute the gift of their time, attention, and commitment to the program as well as any money needed for gifts and other personal items.


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