Israel: Bringing People Together

Cooking a meal with Breaking Bread Journeys
Cooking a meal with Breaking Bread Journeys

Breaking Bread Journeys in the Holy Land: Know the Food, Know the People

y Dan Peltier

While it only launched this past November, the idea behind Breaking Bread Journeys–that people have a fascination with visiting the Holy Land and wanting to learn about it through locals’ eyes–has been around for decades.

Elisa Moed, a co-founder of Breaking Bread Journeys, believes that the tours that her company offers help to put people in the footsteps of Biblical characters.

Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.

“The historical connection to the Bible is something that you don’t get anywhere else in the world,” said Moed. “We build bridges between the people who call Israel or the Palestinian territories home and those who visit.”

People have always dreamed of coming to the Holy Land and confronting their faith face-to-face, and Breaking Bread takes that dream one step further.

“There’s been a growing interest worldwide with really getting to know the roots of the region, and we’ve modernized that,” said Moed. “Anybody who goes on our tours is looking for experiential travel, our trademark, and they’re really traveling with a purpose besides seeing the sites.”

The Wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories. Roman Skaskiw photo.
The Wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories. Roman Skaskiw photo.

The focus on food is at the heart of all tours, whether you’re wandering through the Old City of Jerusalem or visiting Nablus or Ramallah.

“If you understand the food, you understand the people, that’s what we believe at Breaking Bread,” Moed said. “We incorporate all different backgrounds since we know most people want to experience all faiths.”

Chefs and locals give travelers cookbooks of what they’ve tried so that they can bring some of the Holy Land back to wherever they call home. Each tour is custom designed to go with whatever food is in season in the particular region of the tour.

“We all know that food is adapted, and you can try something in one place and in another place its completely different. Some of our popular foods are olives and wines and we make sure you’re eating the food at its best time of year,” said Moed.

The Tours

Elisa (left) and Christina
Elisa (left) and Christina

Guided by a professional guide and interacting with a number local culinary experts you will learn a bit about the history, The Food and Culture tour offers a window into the culture and lifestyle of the diverse peoples represented throughout the Holy Land. You will enjoy the smells, tastes, and personal interactions afforded within this very special food and culture tour as you learn from real locals about their food, customs, and lifestyle.

On The Herod the Great Tour, you’ll be accompanied by an archaeologist, this unique Herod-focused tour delves deep into the life and history of King Herod the Great and explores his prolific archaeological feats, many of which remain stand 2000 years later.

Study his remarkable projects and see firsthand the Judean King’s ambition, influence, and creativity on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. This is also the first-ever tour of Herod that follows in his footsteps

The Footsteps of Jesus Tour traverses the places he walked in both known and lesser seen sites. Deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus as you explore the Holy land, visiting the town of his youth, the villages where he ministered, the sites of important miracles, and his route to Jerusalem. See where he spent his last days leading up to his crucifixion. Reward yourself and enliven your faith in this inspirational program.

Our unique Breaking Bread Journey eco-tourism program will expose you to the natural beauty of the Holy Land through light hiking, interactive sessions, and personal encounters with locals. Engage in biblical and modern farming methods and be inspired by the creative work underway within many of the regions eco-parks. Taste wonderful slow food and learn about biodiversity and more on this unique and unforgettable tour. This tour is perfect for those who are passionate about sustainability and only want to leave their footprints behind.

The Through Two Eyes tour allows you to experience upfront and personal the ancient stones of the Holy Land in this unique pilgrimage. Explore important holy and historical sites, enjoy fellowship and break bread with the people of the land, learn about Christianity by studying the ancient roots of the land and rediscover your faith on this unforgettable and unique itinerary that will show you the ancient and the modern land with all its history and current challenges.

Individual, custom-designed programs are ideally created for groups of 10 – 20 travelers. However, we know some people simply want to travel with their own private tour guide and Breaking Bread Journeys also creates custom private tours for individuals across Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt. These tours are more expensive and are developed based on your particular interests and requirements.

Breaking Bread

In 2010, Moed and co-founder Christina Samara met as invited participants on the Holy Land Marketing Cooperation panel—created and directed by the Office of the Quartet Representative Tony Blair. Realizing they shared a business and social vision, they resolved to combine forces and offer balanced tourism programs, unique in content that can spur economic development and cooperation and increase tourism to the region.

The result was Breaking Bread Journeys, a new tourism concept marketed with the support of the United States Agency for International Development under the Compete Project in the West Bank, which emphasizes economic development, including tourism, as a path to peace and stability.

Elisa Moed is a 25 year tourism consulting veteran and graduate of the University of Michigan with an MS in hospitality management from Florida International University. A Detroit, MI native, Elisa first visited Israel as a participant in a summer program in 1976 and subsequently returned for studies in 1982.

Upon completion of her master’s degree, she was engaged as a consultant and ran her own firm, Moed & Co.,in Boca Raton, FL working on projects for some of the world’s leading tourism, hospitality and financial companies including Marriott, Club Med, HVS International, Four Seasons, and many more. After permanently moving to Israel in 2005, she consulted for a number of local entities such as American Colony, Pontifical Institute of Jerusalem, Magdala Center, Christ Church and others and also launched Travelujah, which has since become the leading Christian social travel network focused on travel to the Holy Land.

Christina Samara possesses over 20 years of experience in organizing high quality travel services to pilgrimage and educationally focused groups visiting the Holy Land. A Palestinian Christian born and raised in Jerusalem, Christina obtained a degree in travel & tourism from the United States and returned to Jerusalem in 1991 to lead Samara Tourist & Travel Agency, her Jerusalem-based family business.

Christina holds several specialty degrees and licenses in tourism and is a recognized expert in Holy Land tourism. She was a formative in the establishment of the Holy Land Incoming Operator Association in 2005 and held the office of Board Chairman in 2010 – 2012. She remains a board member of the association. Her company, Samara Tourist & Travel, is one of the most established tour operations in the region and for the past 50 years has been a recognized leader in the development of the Holy Land tourism industry.

There is a maximum number of fifteen people on all tours. For more information, call 561- 910-0640 or visit their website for a list of upcoming tours.

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