One of the most visited sites by pilgrims of all types is the Jordan River, where baptisms occur regularly among Christians visiting Israel. While there is no conclusive proof of exactly where Jesus was baptized, for many who want to experience the beauty and solemnity of being baptized in the Jordan, the Yardenit Baptismal Site is close to ideal.
Yardenit—meaning “little Jordan” in Hebrew—is located south of the river’s outlet from the Sea of Galilee, near Kibbutz Kvutzat Kinneret that owns and manages Yardenit. The half million tourists and pilgrims who come to this site every year can experience the peace and spiritual solace of the area and visit the river where where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Be baptized, re-baptized, or just soak in the serenity; either way it is a “must-experience” moment as part of your visit to the Holy Land.
As far as what to wear when wading in the water, the hosts at Yardenit make it easy while also ensuring modesty. Visitors are required to wear white baptismal robes with swimsuits required underneath. These robes can be conveniently rented on-site, or visitors can bring their own.
Tranquil areas for group prayer and meditation are also available, making the experience more contemplative and less commercial. For nature lovers who want to enjoy the natural habitat—with plenty of wildlife—hang around the Jordan’s riverbank long enough and you might be treated to the sight of otters showing off their antics. Besides playful otters, there is plenty of other wildlife, including various species of birds and fish—including giant catfish—to see amidst this peaceful setting. For those who like to bring back home souvenirs of their visit, there is also a gift shop available on-site, and online, featuring handcrafted items from the Holy Land.
Visitors can also take in the Wall of New Life, where they will find the key verse from Mark’s account of the baptism of Jesus in over 80 languages etched on 80 hand-painted tiles. While there are places for the public to observe and share in the joy of those being immersed, Yardenit also offers individual pool areas along the river for groups who prefer more privacy. Entrance to the site is free to all.
Experience the joy of being baptized in the Jordan River!
Include Yardenit on your next visit to Israel!