Over 700 people will travel to Israel from Miami for Israel’s Independence Day, forming the largest Jewish Federation trip to Israel since 1995.
The “Miami Mega Israel Mission,” which is scheduled to last for 10 days, will be the culmination of a cooperative initiative by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the Miami Jewish Federation, and several Miami-area groups and synagogues.
The trip’s itinerary will include touring the country’s religious and historic sites and meeting with Israeli leaders. Military landmarks will be visited, as well as the headquarters of various local organizations that are sponsored and supported by the Federation.
Some 140 people left Miami a week ahead of the rest of the group in order to tour Poland and learn about Jewish life there before the Holocaust. They were set to take part in the annual March of the Living and then fly to Israel.
Participants will meet face-to-face with members of communities around Israel, along with a number of entertainers.
“Miami has put together an amazing journey that will immerse participants in the history, culture, politics and diverse lifestyles of the people of Israel,” said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of North America. The trip is another way of strengthening the bond between Israel and the Diaspora, he said.
Barbara Black Goldfarb, chair of the board of the Miami Federation, noted that while thousands of people have come to Israel on smaller trips, this is the first mega-mission to Israel since 1995. “It is truly the fulfillment of a dream.”
Participants range in age from 22 to 88 years old, and for many this will be the first time they visit Israel.
According to a press statement released by the Federation, over the years the missions have served as a platform to raise “more than $900 million annually for Jewish needs worldwide,” especially through the Annual Campaign.