Welcome to Israel! As this picture shows the arrival, a photo that I took aboard the airplane when we were about to land! It is my first view of Tel Aviv, Israel when taking this journey for the first time (in my 50’s) in 2017. Just this week, on Jan. 10th, 2019, my son, age 23, is now also taking this journey!
Jeremy arrived in Israel on a program called: Birthright Israel. This program is a not for profit educational organization that sponsors FREE ten-day heritage trips to Israel. This program is for young adults of Jewish heritage, aged 18-32. During their trip, participants visiting Israel for the very first time, are encouraged to discover new meaning in their personal Jewish identity and connection to Jewish history and culture.
Since I have told people about my son’s journey, I have heard from countless Moms and Dads that their children too went on such a trip, and had a fabulous time. In fact, since 1999, when this program was started 20 years ago, more than 600,000 people from 67 countries have participated in this program. What an exciting and meaningful opportunity that is fully funded! Wow! What a gift!
The program was initiated by two Jewish families- Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, and has been continued to be funded, in addition, by the Israel government, private donors, the Jewish Agency for Israel, alumni and Jewish communities around the world. In 2007, a private funder, Sheldon Adelson pledged $25 million. The Adelson Family Foundation continues to contribute many millions of US dollars to the program.
When Jeremy first landed, I received this text: “Good Morning! We’ve safely landed in Israel 🙂 ”
Best. text. ever! I felt elated, excited and emotional. From generation to generation. Like my Dad before me, who went to Israel in his 70’s! for the first time.. to myself… in my 50’s and now, our son, in his 20’s… 3 generations to the promised land. It is such a blessing.
May his travels, and those of all our young people, be guarded in safety and love. May he travel throughout our homeland, this holy land to so many peoples, in peace, security and love. May he return to us with a deeper appreciation of his heritage and this sacred, holy ground. And with the love of ALL peoples, in tolerance and understanding of all religions and conflict.
This young man, and all our children are our future. I pray that we come to experience true peace in their lifetime. That with our children’s new voices and outlooks, we can settle all conflict and live together in peace and harmony. Shalom! Shabbat Shalom!