If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I spent the most amazing 5 days digging in a 1st Century Jewish neighborhood just north of Tiberias in Israel this fall. (If you are new, that’s okay! Just check out my Indiana Jones Adventure.)
I learned about this dig through Fr. Kelly at Notre Dame of Jerusalem… who I met through Doug Seserman of the Allied Jewish Federation (where I now work). Denver is very fortunate to have such a great connection to this project and group.
But on a personal note, let me explain to you the nitty gritty. When the Catholic Church discovered this site, they were asked if they were just going to throw some concrete in and build the hotel on top of the area, as planned. Many groups, especially non-Jewish builders in Israel, do this… they hide or obscure history by destroying it. That is not the case for this site. The Catholic Church understands the value of this historical find for, not only the Jewish people, but also for their own edification. Instead of hiding it and covering it up, they are sharing this 1st Century synagogue with the world… despite the fact that it has increased the site cost for them. This will be at least a three year excavation. The friends I made on the dig will be living in a church in Tiberias for three years to work on this project. The welcome center and resources for the Christian pilgrims will be built around these sites and once the excavation is complete, it will become a multi-faith tourist attraction, accessible to all.
None of this comes cheaply. The staff needs to be fed (multiple times a day, in fact!) and there are other expenses. I donated $25 a day while I was on the dig towards those expenses to help out with the project. But even so, they need continued support. Please consider attending The Galilee Gala in Denver on June 8th or sending a donation to the project.
To donate, click here.
Thank you in advance for your support!