OU Presents January Mission 2008 to Israel with Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Jan 20-27

12 Dec 2007


With the ultimate tour guide — OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb — participating and sharing several special presentations during tours and over Shabbat, the Orthodox Union will present its “family friendly” OU January Mission 2008 to Israel, Sunday January 20 to Sunday January 27, to provide the combination of touring, study and Shabbat that only OU missions can accomplish. Bar and Bat Mitzvah age youngsters are specifically invited to the mission, which will take place during “yeshiva week,” when many Jewish schools are on their winter break.

This mission follows the You and the OU — Partners in Action trip in late July and the recently held OU Thanksgiving Mission, which included a visit to Israel’s hot zone, Sderot, where Israeli citizens are bombarded with Kassam rockets on a regular basis. The January mission also includes a visit to Sderot. The two prior missions drew large and enthusiastic audiences.

According to OU President Stephen J. Savitsky, “The Thanksgiving Mission was extraordinary in that we were able in a very short period of time to see extremely important sites in Israel; meet with top political leaders; and witness first hand the enormous impact the OU is making upon life in Israel. We expect that at the conclusion of each mission, the real story behind what is going on in Israel will be more evident to everyone, rather than from what they may hear on television or read in a newspaper,” he added.

Rabbi Avi Berman, Director-General of the Seymour J. Abrams OU Jerusalem World Center, stated, “Jews need Jerusalem and Jerusalem needs the Jews. The right place to be right now in these political times is in Jerusalem. Our mission offers travelers an opportunity to come here at this time, support the country and the economy, and enjoy themselves, all for an affordable price. As our last mission in November proved, this experience cannot be beat.”

Stanley Hillelsohn, Chair of the OU Israel Commission and a regular on these trips, declared, “The mission in January is shaping up to be a big success! The theme of the mission is keeping Yerushalyim one and we are urging all those who can still make their plans to come and to show their support. We are going to be meeting with political and religious leaders, and making our opinion known. We will walk the streets of Yerushalayim to glory in the importance of this holy city.”

Additional highlights of the trip will include a tour of the Burma Road, “paved” by an American soldier, Mickey Marcus, who helped the Jewish people before Israel’s independence in 1948. This road kept the Jews in Jerusalem from starving or surrendering to the surrounding Arabs during fierce fighting. Due to Marcus’ many contributions, David Ben-Gurion named him a general (the first general in 2,000 years, since Judah Maccabee).

There will also be visits to Yad Vashem, including an exclusive tour of the new Holocaust History Museum; to the Ayalon Institute, a secret ammunition factory run by Jews living under the British Mandate; to Masada, the site of ancient palaces and fortifications; and to Latrun, for a military tour of the site of many of Israel’s famous battles, dating back to Joshua, the Maccabees, and the Crusaders. Events of a lighter nature, such as camel riding and rock climbing in the desert, are offered as well.

The trip to Sderot will include observing the OU Israel Trauma Team in action counseling children as well as observing the Makom Balev youth club bomb shelter. There will also be a highly emotional visit to Nitzan, a community of people evacuated from Gush Katif. Children on the mission will meet up with children from Nitzan for informal relaxation and games in the OU Israel youth center. Parents will also be invited to the unique Gush Katif market made by the residents of Nitzan.

For more information and to register contact 212-613-8124 or allysong@ou.org or visit www.ou.org/israelmissions.