Olive Picking in Palestine

Join Dr. Ron Shive in a journey to Israel to assist with an olive harvest. This program is operated by the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine. It raises awareness and advocates on the international level for the Palestinian cause and for ending the colonization of people. One of their main tools is the Keep Hope Alive – Olive Tree Campaign. Through this campaign, the JAI organizes olive picking activities with the Alternative Tourism Group to help Palestinian farmers and their families pick their olives in their threatened fields, and to form a type of protective presence to them, show solidarity, and support their steadfastness. This is to respond to the ongoing Israeli soldiers and settlers attacks to the fields and trees, as well as the prevention of many farmers accessing their land.

Dates: October 16 – 26, 2020. There will be 4-5 days of olive picking, as well as an introduction to life under occupation, through excursions, meetings and tours.

Total anticipated cost:  $2,300 per person, plus incidental expenses.

This trip is being led by Rev. Dr. Ron Shive, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Burlington, NC. If you have questions or are interested, please contact Ron: rshive@fpcburlington.org or 336-263-1884.

To reserve your spot, a $500 per person deposit should be sent to the church.


Friday, Oct. 16, Day 1: Depart RDU

Saturday, Oct. 17, Day 2: Arrival in Tel Aviv. Transport to Bethlehem. Meeting representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program.

Sunday, Oct. 18, Day 3: Half day picking olives at a selected field. After lunch, political tour and sightseeing in Bethlehem, including the visit of a refugee camp and Church of Nativity. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Monday, Oct. 19, Day 4: Visit to the Palestine Museum of Natural History with Dr. Mazin Qumsieh. A tour in the old city of Hebron: Visiting the Ibrahimi Mosque. Guided tour in Hebron old city, market, H1/H2 areas, Shuhada Street. Visiting a glass factory. Free time. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, Day 5: Half day picking olives at a selected field in, followed by Presentation on the ongoing displacement, the refugee questions and ongoing displacement with BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees’ Rights. Dinner and Overnight in Bethlehem.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, Day 6: Drive to Ramallah, visit Arafat Tomb and the Palestine Museum, tour in the center of Ramallah, and free time for lunch. Drive to Rawabi for a visit and a possible meeting with one of the persons in charge. On the way back to Bethlehem, pass by Taybeh village and visit the Taybeh Brewery.

Thursday, Oct. 22, Day 7: Half day picking olives at a selected field, followed by lunch. Visiting an olive press. Geopolitical presentation for a presentation on the Apartheid Wall, colonies (settlements) and land confiscation. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Friday, Oct. 23, Day 8: Full day of picking olives at a selected field, lunch included. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Saturday, Oct. 24, Day 9: Tour in the Old City of Jerusalem. Lunch, followed by a tour with Israeli activist around Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Sunday, Oct. 25, Day 10: Half day picking olives at a field. Lunch. Advocacy session and future planning. Farewell dinner with Palestinian Folklore Dance Performance. Overnight in Bethlehem.

Monday, Oct. 26, Day 11: Departure from Tel Aviv. Arrive RDU.


$1100/person, Double Occupancy without airfare

$200 Single Supplement

The cost of the trip includes:

  • accommodations in a double room in hotel in Bet Shaour or lodging with a local family,
  • all meals,
  • transportation from the airport to Bethlehem and return and local transportation to all sites,
  • travel, guide, and fees associated with the travel to Ramallah, Rawabi, and Taybeh Brewery,
  • and a tour guide will be present with the group at all times for facilitation purposes.

$1200 – $1500 round trip airfare from RDU to Tel Aviv