In 2007, my family vacationed in Israel. We spent a week living on a Yemenite moshav with Ilana’s sister and her husband’s extended family. My children have wonderful memories of living with their cousins, going to school with them, and driving the tractor around the farm. They enjoyed Yemenite food and Israeli culture. Although we did spend time indulging in standard tourist activities, the main focus of our trip was not only to see Israel, but also to experience Israel.
Federation is excited to bring this Israel experience to your teenagers. Students who take part in this trip will still be eligible for Birthright (See Issue 12 for more information).
For the past seven years, our Federation has enjoyed a special relationship with the Eshkol Region of Israel. A handful of community members have visited Eshkol*, and this year we are fortunate to have a shaliach (emissary) from Eshkol sharing Israeli culture with us at Federation. However, many of us may only be aware of our partnership as it relates to fundraising efforts.
Let’s change this perception.
By design, the people of Eshkol are our extended family members. We can and should think of them as our cousins in Israel with whom we want to spend time. This February, our teenagers will spend a week visiting their new cousins, living in their homes, going to school with them, helping out on their farms, eating their food, and volunteering.
While there will be opportunities for touring in Jerusalem, it will be limited in order to retain eligibility for Birthright. Students will have the chance to visit Yad Vashem, Mt. Herzl, and the Kotel. They will also be treated to a Shabbat with Albany native, Rabbi Sam Shor.
On our website, we have posted a Teen Mission page
. You can download a beautiful 4-page brochure and fill out a brief questionnaire to find out more about the program. We look forward to inviting you to our upcoming informational sessions about this amazing trip!
*If you would like more information about Federation’s partnership with Eshkol, please visit Partnership2Gether
on our website.