"We have great faculty who are not just great at teaching archaeology and teaching the Bible, but they are great archaeologists."
Cameron Coyle, 2013 Field Archaeologist
Many are concerned with news reports regarding Israel. The US State Department has issued a travel warning for Israel for several years. Naturally the Tel Gezer Project is concerned with recent terrorist activities and the safety and security of the participants in the excavations.
As co-directors, we place a high priority on the safety and security of the staff and students. I (Dr. Ortiz) have lived in Israel during both uprisings and Dr. Wolff is an Israeli citizen and has raised his family in Israel. In spite of the political situation, Israelis and Palestinians continue to go about their lives. Tel Gezer, Neve Shalom, and the surrounding areas are not in or near the West Bank. In addition, there have not been any terrorist activities on or in the vicinity of the sites. On weekends, as the students participate on study tours, we carefully review the intineraries to insure that travel is conducted in stable and safe areas.
Both directors have over 30 years of experience working on archaeological excavations in Israel. Each summer there are several projects in the field with hundreds of students from around the world, particularly North America, and there have been no incidents involving any terrorist or security related incident either touring the country or working on the excavation. This is fortunate and a blessing, but we take the necessary precautions and take the situation seriously.
Please do not hesitate to call us regarding any issue concerning the safety or security of the project. We look forward to having you join us this season.
Steve Ortiz and Sam Wolff