AS YOU ARE reading this issue of JLife SGPV, maybe you are at the beach, in your backyard or by the pool. Or, maybe you are like so many other people using these summer days to spend time traveling. There are so many wonderful places and experiences possible.
This summer, many of our San Gabriel and Pomona Valley’s 18-26 year olds are taking the opportunity to spend 10 incredible days exploring Israel with thousands of other young adults as part of one of many Birthright Israel trips. Experiencing the places where Judaism grew its roots offers a wonderful opportunity to travel and expose our kids to new ideas and new experiences that are unique to this complex part of the world.
Now is an incredible time for all of us to plan to go to Israel. In 2017, Israel is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification. And, in 2018, we will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. There could be no better time to visit.
There is nothing quite like walking in the footsteps of our ancestors, touching walls that our ancient Jewish kings built and seeing the incredible sights that we read about in the Torah. The smells, the tastes, the people; all are both familiar and wonderfully new, and expand one’s sense of the world while being exposed to new and different things. Now is the time.
Every trip to Israel offers a new opportunity to discover something new about this incredibly complex and interesting corner of the world. New archeological discoveries happen every day. The country is growing, changing and evolving rapidly with impressive innovations in technology, green energy, startup companies and more. Every time I return, I look around and marvel at the incredible juxtaposition of Israel. Though the old stays constant, new innovations are visible in every corner.
Join us in learning from our kids as they return from their experiences overseas and consider engaging deeper in this incredible little country that is the origin of our Jewish people.
Jason Moss is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.