One of the most striking things
about being in Israel in the past weeks (I came back to Philadelphia Monday
night) was how much greater are the possibilities for understanding all of the
complexities, joys, and conflicts of Israeli life when you are actually there,
on the ground. Although we can stay informed about Israel in a variety of
ways, there really is no substitute for being there, meeting the people, and
hearing it all first hand. From sharing a meal with an Israeli Druze
family to meeting an Israeli Arab coexistence activist to talking with Israeli
Jewish friends, my eyes were open further and further just in the three weeks I
was there, despite my feeling of being an "insider" about Israel for
most of my life.
This is why it is so important
for us to visit Israel now and to encounter all of its diversity and
complexity. Especially now, when Israel is encountering great
challenges and when Israelis are in the midst of wide-ranging discussions of where
the country is going, we need to be a part of the ongoing dialogue. I
want to introduce you to the places, people, and issues that are shaping the
Israeli future. I want you to see with your own eyes what is happening
and to experience it in three dimensions and in a 360 degree view. I want
you to learn and to grow in your relationship with this place that is so
important to Jewish life.
How can you do this? The GJC Israel Trip is scheduled
for December 23 through January 1. This is not your standard Israel tour.
Instead, it is an opportunity to really engage in the issues facing
Israel at this challenging time, in addition to having a lot of fun. All
of the details are available here. The deadline for
group airfare is on September 10, but there is still time for you to sign up
even after that date. Join me and other GJC members on this amazing
journey. You have to be there!