By Alexa Broida, Director of URJ Mitzvah Corps
You! And other cool people! You’ll be traveling with peers from around the country who are as passionate about making a positive change in the world as you are. And to make it even better, at every stop along the way, you’ll meet incredible locals from different cultures, religions, ethnicities, and perspectives, all of whom are creating innovative solutions to challenges in their communities.
Volunteering. Traveling. Snorkeling. Learning. Hiking. The list goes on and on. But what makes this program unique is that there is a social justice focus, purpose, and intention behind every single activity. When you’re working on a farm in the desert, teaching English to refugee children, or weaving in a Bedouin women’s empowerment center, it’s obvious that you’re making a change. On this trip, though, even the decisions we make about where to eat, hike, snorkel, and sleep have a social justice lens.
It’s all happening this summer, from June 26 – July 17, 2019. Registration is already open, so sign up by January 3, 2019 to take advantage of the early bird deadline (which saves you $400!).
You’ll meet up with the group in the United States, and then fly together to Tel Aviv. From there, you’ll spend the next three weeks traveling all over the country! The north (Haifa, Akko, Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights), the center (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), the desert (Negev), and the south (Eilat). If you can dream it, you can visit it.
Israel is a complicated place, and as American Jews who are living in the diaspora (outside of Israel), and who believe strongly in social justice, it adds even more confusion. This trip is geared toward peeling back those layers, to hear as many different perspectives, to see for yourself the way that different cultures exist, to speak to people who represent many different views on the complex issues taking place there. When you get home, we hope that you’ll be able to engage in hard conversations about Israel and Palestine with thoughtful personal experience, and have built a toolkit of resources to go back to as you continue to evolve your own beliefs and thoughts.