From the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee: women in their public and private lives
Caesarea – the showcase Roman port built by Herod the Great, figuring centrally in both Jewish and Christian history. In addition to touring the theater, amphitheater, Crusader walls and other highlights Caesarea, as the home of the four daughters of Philip (Acts 21:8-9), is an excellent place to explore the role of women in public life in the early church. Visit the Hannah Senesch Museum at adjacent Sdot Yam to hear the moving story of a modern-day heroine.
Mount Tabor – to this mountain, the “high mount” of Transfiguration (Mark 9: 2-9), the judge Deborah called Barak to fight the Canaanites (Judges 4:4-16). With the ancient ruins and beautiful views as inspiration, find out who Deborah really was.
Sepphoris – traditional birthplace of Mary, Sepphoris was built by Herod Antipas. Joanna, the wife of Cuza, Herod’s steward (Luke 8:3), who might have lived here, was among Jesus’ early supporters. Visit the restored theater, the “Mona Lisa of Galilee” mosaic, the Nile House and the Cardo. Another highlight is the sixth-century synagogue that tells a story of redemption and reveals an unusual representation of Sarah.
Nazareth – most of the monuments in Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up, are devoted to Mary, this is where the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) took place. Highlights include the Church of St. Gabriel, built over the spring where Mary no doubt drew water for her family, and the magnificent Basilica of the Annunciation. At the reconstructed Nazareth Village, learn about the daily life of women in Jesus’ day and take part in a weaving workshop.
Cana – the scene of Jesus’ first miracle, the changing of water into wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11), in which Mary’s played a role with great theological implications.