By COLlive reporter
The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute JLI has canceled a planned trip to Poland and Israel next week due to the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country.
In a letter to participants, JLI said they were forced to cancel the annual The Land & the Spirit trip for the “safety and well being” of the nearly 800 people and over 70 Chabad Shluchim who were scheduled to participate in “JLI’s largest group trip to Israel to date,” Rabbi Efraim Mintz told COLlive.
The trip was canceled Friday morning, just days before they were set to travel on March 15, with organizers sending a notice to all participants about its cancellation.
“As of Thursday, March 5th, we were confident that we would be able to provide the uplifting experience that you have all been anticipating. However, there have since been subsequent developments on the ground. The outbreak of the coronavirus in Bethlehem, the subsequent expelling of all tourists from the city on Friday morning, and the inability of various government ministries to provide help and support to tourists in the moments of the crisis has dramatically changed the situation. In addition, ELAL just announced the canceling of a number of flights between Israel and the US,” they wrote.
“The Israeli government’s updated regulations by its Ministry of Health make it virtually impossible to presently run this trip,” they said.
Participants were offered the option to reserve for next year’s trip, with a tentative date of March 1-8, 2021 or receive a refund on their payment.
The annual trip provides a luxurious Israel experience and offers an inspiring taste of Israel for hundreds of Jews from communities around the globe.
Participants travel to many holy sites and attractions around the country, while hearing from prominent guest speakers and learning about the country and Jewish heritage.