Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and leading Israeli officials and dignitaries are rolling out the red carpet for the 44 Shluchim and 23 Shluchos about to depart their hometowns with the largest group to visit the Holy Land this year.
Shluchim will be leading delegations from their communities, totaling close to 500 participants, in JLI’s biennial trip to Israel next week.
“I welcome the participants of the Jewish Learning Institute’s The Land and the Spirit trip,” writes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a letter to the group. “I have no doubt that your visit and what you learn here will help strengthen your connection to our heritage, our people and our land.”
Despite recent news headlines, the group of five hundred will join the trip in a resounding statement of solidarity. “Your visit here is a powerful response to those who ignore the timeless bond of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. By coming to Israel you make a compelling statement, demonstrating that the state of Israel does not stand alone; we have staunch supporters in you and in millions of others around the world,” writes Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, the Speaker of the Knesset in his welcome letter.
For eight days, beginning Monday, 18 Adar Sheni (March 28th) participants will explore the biblical landscape and holy sites, hear from Israeli Chief Rabbis, Shluchim, political leaders, scholars, business leaders and inspirational citizens, meet with IDF soldiers and beleaguered residents of Chevron and Sderot. They will learn of our history and heritage and their inextricable connection to the land.
Israel’s President, Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, writes, “Your visit here in Israel is an important step in reinforcing the links between all members of the Jewish people and between the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland.”