An unyielding commitment turned a dream into reality – the creation of a Jewish homeland on May 14, 1948. Today, Israel has flourished into a safe haven for the Jewish people as well as a leading country in innovation. With this year marking Israel’s 75th anniversary, members of the Greater Philadelphia community will have the opportunity to travel together to the country that defied all odds.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Israel 75 Mission will take place from May 14-21, bringing along hundreds of people for an unparalleled journey to celebrate a historic achievement.
“Traveling to Israel on a community mission gives you unique access to the best sights, speakers and experiences,” explained Gail Norry, Jewish Federation’s board co-chair. “You will also make the most wonderful friendships and have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives in Israel and back in Philadelphia upon your return.”
Over the course of eight days, participants will explore the country through highly curated activities as they visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Jewish Federation’s partnership region of Netivot and S’dot Negev.
Kicking off this journey will be an opening party on the roof of the newly constructed ANU Museum with a welcome from the Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai. From there, participants will enjoy a wide-variety of activities, including taking a graffiti tour in Tel Aviv, participating in a joyous Shabbat gathering overlooking the Old City Walls, giving back to those in need by harvesting produce at the national food bank Leket and much more.
In addition to group programming, there will be four customized tracks to provide a personalized experience of the vibrant country: adventure; food, wine, and culture; tech and business; and people, places, and politics. Whether rappelling in salt caves, touring the northern vineyards, visiting hi-tech accelerator programs or engaging in intimate conversations with members of the Knesset, these tracks offer unique and exciting opportunities for first-time as well as repeated travelers to Israel.
“Each time I visit Israel I come away with something new. Whether I’m exploring a new region, trying new food or having a new experience, I always come home feeling fulfilled yet at the same time feeling like I haven’t had enough,” said Jessica Katz, co-chair of the Israel 75 Mission. “What I’m most looking forward to on this journey is getting to experience Israel with my Philadelphia community and making connections that I hope will last a lifetime.”
Providing spiritual “connections” to Israel is the mission’s Rabbi-in-Residence Eric Yanoff of Adath Israel. During the trip, Rabbi Yanoff will be a resource to foster deep self-reflection and thought-provoking discussions.
Included with the cost are accommodations at five star hotels, a tour guide and luxury bus, most meals, activity and entrance fees, and gratuities and taxes. Participants will be expected to arrange their own travel accommodations to Israel.
Beyond the tangible amenities, missions have the ability to motivate leaders to rise and have life-changing impact. This influential quality a mission can have is something that Susan Schwartz, Israel 75 Mission co-chair, knows all too well.
“The experience I had on my first mission 25 years ago was truly transformational. Not only did I get to share a unique and meaningful experience with fellow community members, but I was inspired to make a difference in a way I had never been before,” Schwartz reflected. “This inspiration ignited in me a desire to learn more, get involved and become a leader in an organization that I have come to care for deeply.”
Only a few spaces are left for the mission; therefore, interested participants should sign up today.
“We are thrilled to be able to work with our lay leaders and partners to provide this incredible opportunity for the community,” said Jewish Federation’s President and CEO Michael Balaban. “Israel’s 75th anniversary is an important landmark for the country and for the Jewish people, and it will be a quarter of a century until you can celebrate its next major milestone of 100 years.”
Ready to sign up for the Israel 75 Mission? Learn more and register at jewishphilly.org/Israel75Mission or contact Erica N. Miller, Mission Manager for Domestic and Overseas Travel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.