CHIZUK MISSION TO ISRAEL MAY 27 – JUNE 4, 2019
EXCLUSIVE INSIDER MISSION: Bringing and Receiving Chizuk
Judy Freedman Kadish Ami Dodan
WhatsApp +914-419-3791 AFSI bus driver in Israel
Israel cell #011-972-50-919-4759 Phone # 02-779-5764
(All plans subject to modification)
MONDAY, MAY 27 – ARRIVE, GET ORIENTED AND THEN HEAD FOR THE HILLS
9:30 AM We will all convene at Ben Gurion Airport’s International Arrivals Building. The group will gather at the chairs closest to the Steimetsky’s Bookshop and then head out to meet our Luxury Coach with its longtime driver and friend Ami Dadon.
After boarding, we’ll be transported to Latrun, the IDF Museum and Historical Battle site. We will have a tour and then special speaker, Colonel David Hacham (ret). Col. Hachaml recently published the Israeli best-seller,”Gaza in the Eye of the Storm” which is a first person account of the rise of Hamas and the Israeli response to it. David Hacham is one of Israel’s experts on Hamas and Fatah and served as the advisor on Arab affairs to six consecutive Ministers of Defense including Moshe Ahrens. He will give us an eye-opening view into Hamas and the terrorist organizations and their political framework and leadership.
Following the tour and discussion, we’ll head right out to the Shomron.
On our first stop in the Shomron we’ll visit the town of Beit-El where we’ll enjoy the home hospitality of Yehuda HaKohen and his wife, Sharona eshet-Kohen, in their new caravan in the hills of Bet El. After lunch and challenging discussion, we’ll leave the HaKohen’s and tour the HQ of Arutz Sheva also known as Israel National News network. Our hosts there will be Baruch Gordon and Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz the Yom Kippur war hero who commanded a Sayeret Shaked commando unit. We’ll then go on to see the Bet-El Yeshiva a very important institution situated . Following that we will visit Amichai,a brand new Binyamin town where many of AFSI’s friends from Amona were resettled.
After this very full day, we’ll check into Ashel HaShomron,our Ariel hotel, for a relaxing evening with dinner and discussion with our good friends Lea and Moshe Goldsmith of Itamar.
(The hotel also boasts a beautiful outdoor pool which may just entice you to go for a refreshing swim.)
TUESDAY, MAY 28 – FROM ARIEL TO THE SHOMRON HILLS AND BACK
9:00 AM Departure for Ariel University where we will have a VIP tour and see the amazing progress that has taken place. It will be our pleasure to congratulate the administration on the hard won approval of the new Medical School.
From there we’ll head to the Barkan industrial Zone and visit Ofertex, a company that recycles and repurposes textiles.
After this busy morning, we’ll enjoy a farm-fresh organic lunch at Givat Olam, high in the hills of Itamar enjoying a stunning view from Israel into Jordan. Once we’re done with lunch we’ll head to the Yosef lookout at Gerezim Mountain.
We’ll continue on to the town of Yitzhar where we’ll visit AFSI’s friends, the HaCohens, and see their now flourishing flour mill. Despite their amazing growth, they still use the tractor AFSI donated approximately 7 years ago when they were just a small operation in need of assistance. It’s always so special to visit the HaCohens and their ever-growing family and visit the small shul that AFSI took part in getting off the ground.
Yitzhar has new and interesting places to see so we’ll include a visit to Ayash Jewelers. Here, two locals create handmade jewelry and etched Moroccan-style silver.
Following our visit in Yitzhar we’ll depart for Elon Moreh, one of the first communities established in the Shomron. There we will try to visit Shira Ish-Ran, daughter of Chaim Silberstein, who was shot in a terror attack where she and her husband were wounded and she lost her 7 month old baby. There is a new playground under construction next to the synagogue which will be named in honor of the murdered infant. We will also go to the security entrance to the facility and see the plaque honoring the memory of the wife of Eugene Brotsky, stalwart AFSI supporter and one of our tour participants.
We’ll have dinner in Elon Moreh at the Mount Cabit lookout; great food and spectacular views.
Back in Ariel, our guide for the day, Boaz Haetzni, will speak with us and/or Ezri Tubi will join us for an update on Boomerang, growing in scope and audience at a spectacular rate.
Overnight at Ashel HaShomron hotel, Ariel.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29: THE GALILI THREATS: HEZBOLLAH AND ARAB TAKEOVER
9:00 AM After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll have an on time departure to drive north into the Galilee. Our 1st stop will take us up towards the Lebanon border to meet Marc Provisor, Director of Security Projects of The One Israel Fund in Hanita. Marc will give us a professional assessment of the ongoing threats from Iranian backed Hezbollah and we will see some of the tunnels that have been thankfully been destroyed by the IDF. Thanks to the generosity of Jill Hunter, AFSI member, and part of our group, we will donate some badly-needed armored medic vests to the Security professionals in the region.
We will then make a stop at the ecological village of Klil to visit Shamir family, Galil shepherds who recently had their flock of 200 sheep stolen by local Arab criminals. This is just an example of the ongoing threats from Arabs that Israeli farmers must endure. Such dedicated young idealists must be honored and given assistance. They have graciously offered to host us for lunch. After lunch and a short tour around the village, we’ll be off the the lower Galilee.
There we will be hosted by Ofir Shik, deputy head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council. We will see highlights of the area and discuss the threat of Arab expansion into the region.
We’ll then check into the lovely Kinar hotel on the Kinneret.
After a sumptuous dinner, Ayoob Kara, long-time Druze MK, will meet us for a talk about the Druze community in the area.
THURSDAY, MAY 30 – THE GOLAN MUST BE RECOGNIZED AS PART OF ISRAEL
8:00 AM After a full Israeli breakfast, we’ll head for the Golan Heights where we will learn about the various challenges it faces – security, minorities, periphery vs. central area. Our guide for the day will be Yaakov Selevan, IDF Capt.(Res.) and Golan resident.
9:00 AM – The Golan Heights – Challenges and opportunities following the U.S Recognition
Meet Golan Regional Council Deputy Mayor and IDF Major (Ret.) Gal Gafni.
Discussion will take place on the lands of the new settlement which will be named after President Trump. The cornerstone will be laid at a ceremony on June 10
11:00 AM – Syrian Border strategic lookout & briefing – IDF Capt. (Res.) and Golan resident Yaakov Selavan, Slingshot Israel
Iran, ISIS, Russia – Encounter Israel’s most dynamic and unpredictable border
12:30 PM -Lunch at the 188 Brigade Memorial Park – Hummus Takeaway
14:00 PM– Ancient Synagogue – Ein Kshatot (Um El Kantir)
Ein Kshatot is an ancient synagogue from the time of the Second Temple. After years of work, it was recently re-opened as a national site.
15:30 PM Gush Katif Heritage Center – Avnei Eitan
Visit with the small community of Gush Katif refugees who settled in the area after their expulsion. We’ll visit their heritage center and see where they now live. Gush Katif leader, Maayan Yadai will host us.
17:00 PM – Reliving Past Stories Builds Future Leaders – IDF Capt. (Res.) and Golan resident Yaakov Selavan, Slingshot Israel
Stand in the 1973 War landscape. Go underground in the fighters’ footsteps by navigating together in the dark. Come up out of the bunker armed with an understanding of how past battles shape today’s soldiers and leaders.
18:45 PM – Depart for dinner
A lovely dinner at an outdoor restaurant will be followed by a boat ride on the Kinneret. This is a beautiful way to end an amazing day.
Overnight at the Kinar hotel.
FRIDAY, MAY 31 – JORDAN VALLEY: CRUCIAL TO SECURITY AND JERUSALEM
9:00 AM Depart at and drive down Jordan Valley.
After a visit to our former Gush Katif friends in the village of Maskiot, we’ll stop in Rotem for an update on the community. The Cafe there will serve us a fabulous lunch and we’ll find time for some quick shopping in their herbal boutique.
After one or two more interesting Jordan Valley stops, we’ll then head into Jerusalem and check into the Kings Hotel to prepare for Shabbat.
Kabbalat Shabbat services at Great Synagogue or synagogue of choice.
Shabbat Dinner at the Kings Hotel.
Overnight at the Kings Hotel where we will remain for the next 4 nights!
SATURDAY, JUNE 1 – SHABBAT AND THEN YOM YERUSHALAYIM FESTIVITIES
Morning services at synagogue of your choice.
Full Shabbat lunch at Kings hotel.
4:00 PM Meet in lobby to walk to the Old City and meet our Ateret Cohanim family – the Kendalls -Dafna and Nachshon from Beit Rubin for Shalosh Seudot and Havdalah.
9:00 PM Your choice! Motzei Shabbat cozy Klezmer entertainment – OR – FESTIVITIES FOR YOM YERUSHALAYIM.
SUNDAY, JUNE 2 – EXPLORE JERUSALEM AND YOM YERUSHALAYIM PARADE
9:00 AM Entire group meets Chaim Silberstein at the hotel for a special Yom Yerushalayim tour of Jerusalem. Most of the group is aware of the tragedy that befell Chaim’s family several months ago. His grandson was shot in-utero by a terrorist sniper as his daughter waited for a bus near Ofra. We will pay a visit to Amiad Yisrael’s kever respecting Chaim’s family and the families of all who have been affected by the scourge of terrorism.
Lunch at AISH HATORAH overlooking the Kotel.
Afternoon parades and festivities for Yom Yerushalayim.
Dinner at Mahane Yehudah, the exciting and colorful outdoor market. This is dinner on your own. Various restaurants have different degrees of Kashrut observance. We suggest you pick a dining experience that meets your requirements.
MONDAY, JUNE 3 – E1 AND MITZPEI YERICHO TAKEOVER, YOM HEBRON
9:00 AM Departure to meet Regavim leaders. We will view the E1 area, between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, and discuss the Bedouin takeover of that area and of Mitzpe Yericho.
We will meet Uri Pilichowski for a talk about IF NOT US – the unique gap year program created by AFSI. We’ll have a brief sample of a stop he makes with the students in this highly successful new program.
A very special lunch at their home will be hosted by Uri Pilichowski, our Director, and his wife Aliza, Mayor of Mitzpe Yericho.
1:30 PM After lunch we’ll stop in Maaleh Adumim and visit with Mayor Benny Kashriel. Our own Ann Stacy will come bearing gifts from the Dallas community to the Senior Center in Maaleh Adumim so we will certainly stop by there too.
3:00 PM We’ll then depart for Hebron. Our visit coincides with Yom Hebron Day, celebrating the liberation of Hebron in 1967. We will meet with our dear friend Yifat Akobi who is living in Beit Shalom and see the progress being made there and throughout the Jewish section of Hebron.
Dinner on your own in Jerusalem.
TUESDAY, JUNE 4 – INSIDER’S JERUSALEM, WOMEN IN GREEN IN GUSH ETZION, FAREWELL
9:00 AM We’ll go on an early morning visit to Anita Tucker in Netzer Hazani to hear about the rocket attacks and what is being done to support the people of the South.
11:00 AM Time to visit the Knesset. We’ll meet with some new members including our dear friend May Golan and some more senior people – all depending on availability.
2:00 PM A farewell lunch will be enjoyed with Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King at Piccolino. He will give us an update on the eastern Jerusalem problem areas and the happenings in Jerusalem politics under the new mayor. After lunch there will be some rare free time for shopping in this lovely district.
5:00 PM For those who can stay for the evening, you are invited to attend the very special Moskowitz Prize awards in HaUma. We will travel there as a group. The amazing Women in Green leaders, Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover are winners this year! AFSI is proud of its partnership with Women in Green and we are so excited to be there to see them receive this honor.
If your flight is scheduled for June 4 and you cannot stay for the evening program, you will be taken to the airport for a safe trip home.
Modest attire is recommended. While we expect a very warm stretch please bring along one or two light jackets or sweaters in case of heavy air conditioning or unusually cool evenings. It is also recommended for Shabbat that women will be most comfortable in modest skirts or dresses and men in slacks with a white shirt.