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AJ is Israel-Bound in 2022! (October 13 to October 27)

In just under a year, AJ will be embarking on our first Israel tour with me as the congregation’s rabbi. I made two executive decisions, and then our tour operator, Keshet, and our amazing Israel committee filled in the framework. We’ll be leaving for our two-week trip on October 13, 2022 — Hol HaMoed Sukkot! That means that we’ll be spending the first four days of the trip in Jerusalem celebrating Sukkot, Shabbat, and Shmini Atzeret/Simhat Torah. You’ll be able to grab falafel or schwarma and eat it in a sukkah. You’ll also be able to check out a variety of shuls from Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue to a Modern Orthodox minyan where women read Torah to the Conservative synagogue on Agron Street.

My other request from the tour operator was to run the program on two different tracks. There are some in our community who, like my mom and great uncle, have never been to Israel or been once decades ago. AJ also has plenty of congregants who have been to Israel so many times they’ve stopped counting. I didn’t want something for everybody. I wanted everything for everybody.

The first track, the “Pioneers,” is for folks with limited exposure to Israel. They’ll hit the Mahane Yehuda souk, the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery, and Masada. The second group, the “Veterans,” will be focusing on food, energy, and the environment. We’ll be going to Kibbutz Magal for an agri-tech tour, Kibbutz Ein Zivan for a hands-on workshop at the De Karina Boutique Chocolate Factory, and wine tasting in the Golan Heights.

Every night we’ll reconvene for dinner, swap stories from the day, and, sometimes, enjoy another program for all of us. For instance, we’ll be hearing from a researcher at Ben Gurion University in the Negev about the uses of solar energy. We’ll spend time together visiting Philadelphia’s sister city, S’dot Negev. We’ll also stick together in Tel Aviv when exploring the newly opened ANU—Museum of the Jewish People.

We’ve tried to make the trip affordable — $5,099 per person, double occupancy, land only. The detailed itinerary for the "Pioneers" is here, and the itinerary for the "Veterans" is here. Since you’re wondering — YES! It will sometimes be possible to jump tracks on occasion. We are capping each track at 24 people.

UPDATED 12/2/21: We just received pricing for the flight on El Al: Economy is priced at $1,244.00 each and premium at $2,304.00 each.

Bernie Dishler is chairing the Israel Committee. Send him an email to let him know if you’re interested, if you have questions, or if you’re ready to put down a deposit. We’ll start meeting in January 2022 to best prepare.

As Hillel said, “If not now, when?”

Rav Shai Cherry

Zichron Yaakov

Masada
Rosh Hanikra

Wed, December 8 2021 4 Tevet 5782