Dear WJC Family,
This Saturday night I am traveling to Israel! After three delayed trips and a three and a half year absence, it feels really good to be able to write that sentence. Any trip to Israel is exciting, but I am particularly grateful for the particular trip I am joining, the Westchester Jewish Council’s Interfaith Mission to Israel. For five days, from Saturday night until Friday morning (I know, it sounds exhausting to me too), about ten rabbis and ten Christian clergy partners (sadly a local imam who was scheduled to travel with us tested positive for COVID) will share visits to each other’s Holy Sites, as well as to schools, institutions and individuals who work for peace and coexistence. And I get to be one of them!
Many of the projects we will see are sponsored by the UJA Federation of New York, as is our trip. I am so grateful to the Westchester Jewish Council and to UJA Federation for creating this opportunity, which I know will be an incredible experience for me and my fellow clergy. I hope you will join me virtually by following my posts on Facebook. If we aren’t Facebook friends already, friend me at www.facebook.com/RabbiJeff. I’ll look forward to sharing posts about the people we meet, the things we see and the emotions of sharing the experiences with this group. And as a bonus, one of our tour’s spiritual leaders will be WJC’s own member, and my dear friend, Rabbi Menachem Creditor, so look out for him in my posts (and you can check out his posts too.).
I’m sorry that this time you can only virtually join me in Israel, but God willing, we will have chances to travel together in person in the future. I hope you will consider the trip we have planned for families with school-age children and teenagers this coming Winter Holiday Break, which you can learn about by clicking here. If this particular trip is not for you, we are looking to plan more—interested in a Food and Wine Tour? A trip geared towards retirees? An adventure filled with hiking and other outdoor activities? Maybe you have another great idea I haven’t thought of. Let me know your interests and we’ll start planning together. In the meantime, I also hope you can join the WJC group at the Israel Day Parade on May 22nd (see details here).
And speaking of May 22nd, I also hope you are joining us at the WJC Gala honoring Ian and Jennifer Winters and Marc Karell and Linda Alpert. These are four superstar WJC volunteers who together are involved in every aspect of WJC life. Not only are we excited to come together and honor them, but we are also delighted to celebrate together at what promises to be a fun and exciting celebration! It is not too late to sign up to join us.