Cost, Travel Details, and Application

One, Two, Three or Four week participation is available for volunteers.

All Subject to Change without Notice (Last Updated 10/10/2016)

  1. The Khirbet el-Mastarah Excavations will be conducted for 4 weeks in June 2017 (Sunday, June 4 – Friday, June 30, 2017. While students doing the dig for academic credit are expected to stay for the duration, several packages of one, two, three or four weeks are available for volunteers. They are as follows:
  2. First One Week Interval: Check in Sunday, June 4, 2017 PM, Check out Sunday, June 11, 2017 AM (or any one week interval). Price for one week: $600.
  3. Two Week Interval: Check in Sunday, June 4, 2017 PM, Check out Sunday June 18, 2017 AM (or any two week interval. Price for two weeks: $1,200.
  4. Three Week Interval: Check in Sunday, June 4, 2017 PM, Check out Sunday, June 25, 2017 AM (or any three week interval). Price for three weeks: $1,800.
  5. Four Week Interval: Check in Sunday, June 4, 2017 PM, Check out Friday, June 30 or Saturday, July 1, 2017 AM. Price for four weeks: $2,400.

NOTE: Students undertaking the dig for credit are expected to participate for the duration of the expedition. Volunteer diggers may join us during any interval of time during the 4 weeks.

These rates include Double occupancy and 3 meals a day, transport by bus to and from the Dig, evening education classes, and three weekend tours. Non-student volunteers are responsible for their own travel arrangements, including flight and transport to and from the airport. Deadline for signup is March 15, 2017, though we will take applications after that date if rooms are still available.

  1. JVEP does not arrange group flights for non-student volunteers. In order to minimize costs, non-student participants make their own flight arrangements in order to find the best deals possible. Students MAY be able to find discounts at:
  2. A $200 per person deposit is due on a first come, first serve basis. The final due date for the deposit is March 1, 2017. However, we highly recommend sending in your registration and liability forms, along with your deposit, asap, in order to reserve your space.
  3. Final payment in full is due: April 15, 2017 (Minus $250, see below).

All Dig participants will be asked to bring $250 US Dollars cash to Israel and submit to the JVEP staff as their final payment. Many of our expenses are only payable in cash, and transporting large volumes of cash overseas poses security risks. Check cashing in Israel has also become very difficult due to legal restrictions about money laundering. Thus, having each digger bring their final payment in cash resolves these problems. Thanks for understanding!

  1. Upon receipt of deposit, travelers will receive paperwork that requires immediate attention. Please review it thoroughly and submit to our office right away.


  1. Download these TWO PDF Forms. Both forms must be filled completely filled out by hand, not electronically!(click below)
  2. Application form in PDF
  3. Liability Release Form in PDF


  1. 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 JVEP to dig at the site. Our permit is not granted unless they are sure our site is safe. Previous experience has shown that the locals are friendly and helpful to JVEP staff and volunteers. Security may be present at the site, and the IDF will certainly monitor our activity in order to ensure our safety. The excavation is very safe.


  1. While digging, we will be staying at the New Metropole Hotel, located in downtown East Jerusalem ( 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 40 minutes from Khirbet el-Mastarah. 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 New Metropole Hotel Jerusalem To get from Ben Gurion airport to New Metropole Hotel Jerusalem, take a shared taxi known pronounced in Hebrew as a “sheroot.” Take the taxi/sherut 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: The New Metropole Hotel Jerusalem, 6 Salah e-Din St., Jerusalem.

The telephone number, should you need it, is 2-582-1332 (if you are calling from outside of Israel, you’ll need to add your own country’s exit code and Israel’s country code. For U.S. callers, the exit code is 011 and Israel’s country code is 972, which means you should dial 011 + 972 + 2-582-1332).

The drivers know the location. Other passengers will ride in the same shared taxi with you. They run 24-7, except on Yom Kippur. The cost is about $17.00 (65.00 Shekels) from the airport to New Metropole Jerusalem Hotel. For a private taxi the cost is around $80.00 (300.00 Shekels).


  1. Internet access in the hotel is available and is free of charge. Connections, however, may be spotty.
  2. Laundry- 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 bring some detergent from the U.S. in small containers or packets. b. There is a laundry service on Salah Eddin Street, near the hotel. A full load, washed and dried, is about $18. Diggers can drop off of their clothes after work and pick them up the next day after work.

Single rooms may be available for an additional cost.

Traveler’s and Health Insurance

  1. We require that Averett students (and we strongly recommend it for all participants) purchase of travelers insurance in the event of a family emergency, illness, etc. JVEP CANNOT GUARANTEE THE RECOVERY OF ANY MONIES PAID FOR THE TRIP! Be sure your insurance covers travel in the West Bank, which is where our site is located. Atlas Travel covers travelers in the West Bank, according to a referral from a colleague.
  2. All Travelers MUST have Medical Insurance coverage for this trip. JVEP 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. MEDICARE IS NOT ACCEPTED OUTSIDE THE US! All travelers must thoroughly document their medications, and provide family and doctor emergency contact information.
  3. Medical Evacuation Insurance must be purchased as well, in case a traveler need to be transported to the US. Without insurance, this could cost more than $75,000.


  1. 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 website.
  2. Passport must have an expiration date that expires SIX MONTHS beyond your last intended day of stay in Israel. For purposes of the JVEP Dig, your passport must have an expiration date that postdates December 24, 2017. Otherwise, the Israelis will NOT let you into the country!

Tax Deductibility

  1. The monies paid toward the Khirbet el-Mastarah excavation are not considered a donation to JVEP. However, because you are providing volunteer work for JVEP, which is a university-based venture, all expenses related to that work may be deductible as expenses of volunteer work for a non-profit educational organization (Averett University is a 501(c)3 organization). This does not include costs associated with touring. Please consult a tax professional for advice. 

Making Your Payment

  1. To pay your deposit online or make full payment, please follow these instructions for using Averett University’s secure online “Giving” page. This page is set up for receiving contributions to the University, but we have received permission to use it as a receptacle for JVEP funds. Here’s how to make your payment using this system:
  2. Click on the following link, which will take to you to Averett University’s online Giving page:
  3. Click the “Donate Now” button on the right hand side of the page
  4. At the bottom of the page, you will see a box with “Averett Fund” and “Cougar Club Membership” inside it. To the right of the “Averett Fund,” click “Select.”
  5. This will take you to an Averett Fund page, where you’ll click on the “Donate Now” box.
  6. This will take you to a box where you’ll enter the details about your payment. Use the dropdown box to designate your gift “other” and then, in the space provided below that, where it asks for the name of the fund you’re supporting, enter “JVEP.” This will make it clear that you are not making a financial contribution, but that you are making a dig payment.
  7. Click “Continue” and complete your payment.


If you prefer, you can send a check. Make checks payable to Averett University, and write JVEP in the Memo Line.


Send to:

Attn: Dr. Ralph Hawkins

Religion Department

Averett University

420 West Main St.

Danville, VA 24541


Tool Donation

If you are able, please bring a small wisk broom and metal dust pan with you, and leave it as a small tool donation. These items are difficult to find in Israel, and are expensive to transport en masse. So, your help is appreciated!

Last Updated: 10/18/16