Here's the answer to the big question, "Do the hotels have hair dryers?"
The ones in Jerusalem and Bethlehem have them in the rooms, the one at the Mount of Beatitudes have some at the reception desk that may be borrowed.
So- no need to pack one and worry about a converter!
MONEY- The American Dollar is accepted just about everywhere, there is no need to purchase shekels prior to the trip. It is best to have smaller denomination bills ($1's and $5's always come in handy). Credit cards are accepted in a good number of stores.
A shekel is worth about one US quarter (25 cents)... although that varies a bit with the currency rate, but that's a fair approximation.
As the pilgrimage gets closer, we'll do some speculating on the weather. Think 50's and 60's during the day for now. A scarf is a very useful accessory.
We have not yet scheduled the next group meeting. Once we learn from Catholic Travel when the shipment of our tickets, etc. will arrive, we'll schedule a meeting time- not before the end of January though.