Photos: Bentzi Sasson
120 Shluchim and Shluchos arrived in Israel on Monday with 770 members of Chabad communities to participate in the Land and Spirit Israel Experience organized by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI).
The group, traveling from across the US and Canada, as well as from Australia, Central, and South America, is the largest group to visit Israel this year.
For the next eight days, they will explore the length and breadth of Eretz Yisrael to learn about their Jewish heritage in an unmatched experiential learning experience.
On the first day of the trip, the group toured the British Detention Center in Atlit, the historic ruins of Caesarea and the Tel Aviv Port.
Nobel Laureate Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Yom Kippur War hero Avigdor Kahalni, Shlucha Estie Arnauve and Rabbis Yossi Gerlitzky, Dovid Flinkenstein and Eli Kornfeld addressed the mega events.
The flexibility in the itinerary allows both first-time visitors and veteran travelers to Israel the possibility of exploring new areas of their heritage: Jewish history, culture, and personalities in every era and age.
Participants will choose from six different tracks including, “In the Footsteps of the Bible” and “Israel in Depth” designed for those looking seeking serious learning opportunities.
The participants will be addressed by leading Torah scholars and Israeli governmental, army and lay leaders. The will also have opportunities to interact with IDF generals, soldiers and ordinary citizens who live in border cities.
“The study, inspiration, and warmth that participants experience,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Chairman of JLI, “is what makes this trip so unique and uplifting for the many hundreds of participants from across the world, fueled by the incredible dedication of the Shluchim and Shluchos who lead their groups.”
Barry Buchman, a trip participant from Potomac, Maryland, commented, “I’ve been feeling disconnected from G-d. I am looking forward to this trip. It will give me an opportunity to reconnect with my Neshama.”
While the trip offers multiple tracks, with 21 buses taking participants to destinations of their choice itineraries, the entire group of 770 meets daily for a mega event.
Highlights of the trip include a mega event at the Kosel; Marching with a Sefer Torah rescued during Kristallnacht to Meoras Hamachpela in Chevron; Havdala at Shaar Yafo and an elegant closing banquet at Binyanei HaUmah banquet hall.
VIDEO: Highlights from last year’s trip