I am sure that many of you have felt as frustrated as I have since the seventh of October. Each morning I dread turning on the news and as I listen I become more and more frustrated that I am here, feeling as though I should be there helping out. I feel that if there ever was a time to be there it is now. Whatever I can do to show support, to make even one person’s life slightly easier, to visit the chayalim, to prepare a meal, to give a hug, I need to do it.
After several discussions in our office we had an idea, and we invite our readers to join us in our mission. We are going to Eretz Yisrael in January, from the 6-13! We will walk the streets of Yerushalayim, visit throughout the country and have an itinerary full of whatever chesed needs to be done at that time. Under the brilliant leadership of Peter Abelow, noted educator and tour guide par excellence, no possibility will be left undone in terms of where we should go and what should be seen. We will be addressed by Israelis from various walks of life and hear about their challenges and needs, and we will make our presence known by our eagerness to help.
Do not in any way misunderstand the importance to Israelis of seeing foreigners (that’s us) walking the streets, stopping to speak with them and listening to their stories. Just last week I wrote about the excitement that soldiers and children felt at receiving letters from kids from the various schools in our area. Has anyone thought about what it would mean to a store keeper to have a few people at a time walk in and make purchases when during the day the stores and economy are usually relatively quiet? Picture yourself walking into a hotel and distributing jellybeans to the children and perhaps a toy or two. Two hundred and fifty thousand people have been displaced and are now staying in hotels throughout the country since the catastrophic day when this all began. Let’s put our heads together and think of what we can bring with us to give them a little lift. I have been told that just by visiting many are overwhelmingly grateful. Speakers will visit with us to speak about how their lives have been turned upside down.
I look at this trip as an opportunity to do whatever I can to brighten the lives of as many Israelis as I can. Please join me for what I am expecting to be a heart wrenching, exuberant, pain filled, yet wonderful experience.
I would like to make it very clear that this mission is 100% not for profit. Whatever the charges are from Israel and El Al will be the cost to anyone joining the group.
The following is the proposed type of itinerary that we will be following, at the discretion of our tour guide and his excellent staff:
Departure from the US: Saturday night, Jan 6, 2024. LY 026 / Departing Newark at 21:50 for arrival at Ben Gurion Airport at 3:10 p.m. on Sunday.
Land Package: Six nights at the Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem (mehadrin).
* Daily breakfast in the hotel.
* Full Board Shabbat (Friday night dinner and Shabbat lunch).
* All ground transportation related to the group activities including:
Transfer from Ben Gurion upon arrival.
Transfer to Ben Gurion airport for return to the United States.
Five days of transportation in Israel (Monday Jan 8 through Friday Jan 12).
Water supplied to participants on the bus.
* Full time Israel educator and guide: Peter Abelow.
* Full time security guard/medic who will be attached to the group and accompany the group on all group activities.
Return from Israel: Jan 14, 2024 1 a.m. for arrival Newark Airport 6 a.m..
* * This is the package price—there is no discount for partial participation.
Specific activities will be determined over the course of the next few weeks and will be coordinated to the situation on the ground and various needs and opportunities that may develop between now and Jan 7. It is understood that this is a “solidarity trip” and its main purpose is to connect with people who have been affected by the war and to volunteer in meaningful and supportive ways.
Please note that the package price does not include:
Any expenses of a personal nature.
Any tips or gratuities.
Any transportation, meals or entrance fees other than specified.
Any costs associated with changes in flight times, delays or unanticipated expenses incurred due to the fluid situation in Israel.
Personal health insurance, extreme sport insurance, insurance for baggage, personal items, trip cancellation or changes, which is obligatory.
Trip costs are based on payment by wire transfer. Payment by credit card will involve a 3% credit care transaction fee.
Full payment is required before departure from the US.
Please note that quoted prices do not include VAT from which tourists are exempt. Participants who do not qualify for the tourist exemption (as defined by Israeli law) will be required to pay the additional 17% VAT.
No money will go through the hands of The Jewish Link.
Total land portion based on double occupancy: $1837 / single supplement: $577.50.
Airfare: $1558 including tax or 1715.00 for economy plus. Extensions on air are permissible if done at time of booking.
Air is being handled by an agent in Israel with an American easy access phone number: (718) 689 1397. You will immediately be connected to Shlomit.
Any further comments or questions do not hesitate to write to [email protected]