Travel to Israel for course credit in May 2023!

Join Professor Deidre Butler on a trip to Israel for course credit in May 2023! 

Updated for 2023:  We are now planning for May 2023 and are accepting applications for travel.  If you are interested in joining the travel course, apply!  Questions?  Please contact Dr. Butler as soon as possible at


Dates:  May 2-23, 2023

This travel course invites students to explore the rich history of Jerusalem and its environs and connect that history to the diverse contemporary religious and cultural communities in these places. We will travel throughout Israel with excursions into East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Our traveling classroom will investigate a variety of examples of Religion and Public Life from ancient to modern, from traditional to secular.  We will take seriously what it means to think about religion and culture in a particular place.  How is Jerusalem, and particular sites in its environs, understood by different groups?  How are diaspora identities connected to Jerusalem and its environs?  How are they imagined, remembered and experienced in these places?

The course highlights the extraordinary cultural and religious diversity of this place with students encountering Bedouins in the Negev,  Christian pilgrims at the Jordan river, Druze in Isfiya, Ethiopian Jews in Northern Israel, visiting the Baha’i Temple in Haifa, staying at a kibbutz in the Galilee, and by meeting and interacting with local students. Our travels will include exploring biblical Israel by participating in archeological day digs at Tel Maresha and at the Temple Mount; tracing the origins of Christianity out of Judaism in the Galilee and in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Galilee; historical and contemporary Islam at the Temple Mount, in Jaffa, and Nazareth; Second Temple Judaism  at Qumran and Masada; the history of the Crusades at the ruins of a Crusader fortress in Acre and Herzliya; Jewish mysticism in 17th century Safed, and the significance of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem.  Students will explore modern Israel through civil legal questions about religious status and identity at the Knesset and the Supreme Court; learn from activists fighting for gendered religious equality at the Western Wall; hear from LGBTQ, environmental, interfaith, and peace activists in Israeli and Palestinian contexts.  This course involves experiential learning.


2020 Promo Video