1. HIGH IMPORTANCE! Passport
Immediately procure a passport from your country. If you already have one, the expiration date of the passport must extend SIX MONTHS BEYOND YOUR DEPARTURE DATE FROM ISRAEL. If you plan to stay for the post-dig tour or on your own, please be absolutely sure your passport postdates your last day in Israel by six months or YOU WILL NOT BE ADMITTED INTO THE COUNTRY!
No visa is required if you have a passport from an APPROVED country and are staying less than 90 days. If you have other plans or have a non-US passport, please visit the Israeli Embassy webiste.
Bring a clear photocopy of your passport in case you lose it. This will help in procuring a new one.
2. Traveler's and Health Insurance
a. All travelers must purchase traveler's insurance in the event of a family emergency, illness, etc. ABR CANNOT GUARANTEE THE RECOVERY OF ANY MONIES PAID FOR THE TRIP! Be sure your insurance covers travel in the West Bank, which is where Shiloh is located.
b. All travelers MUST have Medical Insurance coverage for this trip. ABR cannot and will not be responsible in any way for any hospital or doctor visits or ambulance transport needed by travelers, whether the result of sickness or injury. To our knowledge, MEDICARE IS NOT ACCEPTED OUTSIDE THE US. All travelers must thoroughly document their medications, and provide family and doctor emergency contact information.
c. Medical Evacuation Insurance should be purchased as well, in case a traveler needs to be transported to US. Without insurance, this could cost more than $100,000.
Tokio Marine offers plans in the West Bank for all three needs: Traveler's, Health, and Evacuation Insurance. For more info: https://www.hccmis.com/docs/at_prem_doc_specimen.pdf
Safety is of primary importance on this excavation. Each year, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (or KAMAT) and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) review the situation locally, and determine if it is safe for ABR to dig at the site. Our permit is not granted unless they are sure our site is safe. Shiloh is a national park and is enclosed, and is located along the main security road. The excavation is very safe.
While digging and on the post-Dig Tour, we will be staying at the Ritz Hotel Jerusalem Hotel Jerusalem, located in downtown East Jerusalem (8 Ibn Khaldoun Street, Jerusalem 9710204). It is nestled in the heart of the commercial district, an enjoyable stroll to the Old City of Jerusalem with magnificent holy and historical sites, and is less than 45 minutes from Shiloh. The hotel is within walking distance of the Old City, allowing volunteers to easily visit prominent historical and Biblical sites during off-time and weekends. You will easily be able to visit sites such as: the Temple Mount, Western Wall, City of David, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and many more. Individual Transportation from Ben Gurion Airport to Ritz Hotel / Jerusalem To get from Ben Gurion airport to Ritz Hotel / Jerusalem, take a communal taxi known in Hebrew as a “sheroot” or “nesher”. Take the taxi/sheroot service stand to Jerusalem, which is on the curbside just outside the airport arrival hall. Tell the driver you want to be dropped off at: Ritz Hotel / East Jerusalem, Ibn Khaldoun St # 8. Tel (02) 6269900.
The drivers are familiar with the location. Other passengers will ride in the same taxi/van with you. They run 24-7, except on Yom Kippur. Getting a Sherut on a Saturday can be difficult at times, so plan to use a taxi if you arrive/depart on a Saturday. The cost is $20.00 (70.00 Shekels) from the airport to Ritz Hotel. For a private taxi the cost is around $80.00 (300.00 Shekels).
5. Internet Access
Internet in the hotel is spotty at times. There is one public computer available for use. There is an ATM near the hotel. The rooms have safes.
a. Wash clothes by hand in bathtubs or sinks and then to hang out the clothes on the balcony (if the room has one). With this option, diggers should use detergent from Israel (US detergent does not work well with the Israeli water).
b. There is a laundry service right across the street from the hotel. A full load, washed and dried, is about $20. Diggers can drop off of their clothes after work and pick them up the next day after work.
7. Tax Deductibility
The monies paid toward the Shiloh excavation are not considered a donation to ABR. However, because you are providing volunteer work for ABR, all expenses related to that work may be deductible as expenses of volunteer work for a non-profit ministry. This does not include any touring. If you live in the US, you will receive a receipt in the mail in the January following the dig. Please consult a tax professional for advice.
8. Tool Donation
If you are able, please bring a Marshalltown Trowel with you and leave it as a small tool donation. This is difficult to find in Israel, and is expensive to transport en masse. So, your help is appreciated! It is available at Home Depot (Click here). NOTE: DO NOT pack the trowel in your carry on luggage! It will likely be confiscated.
9. Please pray for the safety of the Dig team and the success of the Dig!
Contact Henry Smith, Adminstrative Director, with questions or for a price quote.
ABR office: 717-859-3443 / 800-430-0008