Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) announced this week their Spring 2012 Chizuk Mission to Israel, saying that it is “shaping up to be yet another action packed trip,” with highlights including the commemoration the Jewish state’s 64th birthday on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). Tour members will be treated to a variety of special events including: an ascent to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with Rabbi Chaim Richman, an extensive tour of the holy city of Hebron and the dedication of the Herbert Zweibon Memorial Hall, a visit to the new Gush Katif museum and with former Gust Katif residents now residing in the Golan, prayer services at Kever Rachel, a cruise on the Kinneret, visits to Mt. Hermon, and visits to the Shomron communities of Itamar, Yitzhar and Kedumim, among other exciting events.
The tour which will run from April 22 – May 1 will coincide with Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and tour members will experience firsthand the sights and sounds of the Old City of Jerusalem on a tour led by Dan Luria of Ateret Cohanim. On the eve of Yom HaZikaron, the tour participants will be attending a special ceremony at the Knesset as well as taking part in a program to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Israel’s survival, at the military ceremony at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. On Yom Ha’atzmaut, tour members will travel to Kidmat Zion for a traditional holiday luncheon BBQ, and in the evening they will gather at Sacher Park for a lively continuation of the festive Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations.
Throughout this grand tour, participants will meet with Israeli military personnel including Alon Nardi, an officer in the IDF Rabbi Corps Reserves, Druze MK Ayoob Kara, Aharon Pulver of Israel Independence Fund, and such outstanding leaders of the settler movement including Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katzover, Era Rappaport, Yifat and Shalom Akobi, David Wilder, Chaim Silberstein of «Keep Jerusalem» and Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith and his wife Leah of Itamar.
For the last 16 years, AFSI Chizuk Missions to Israel have distinguished themselves from other tours to Israel by virtue of their emphasis to introduce tour members to the reality of the threatened areas of Israel and to those courageous pioneers who live in the midst of great danger. Life long bonds of deep and enduring friendships have been created between AFSI tour participants from North America and their Israeli brethren living in Israel’s liberated territories.
«Rather than focusing on the run-of-the-mill tourist places, our AFSI Chizuk Mission seeks to provide emotional and physical support and succor to our beloved brothers and sisters who live in endangered areas of Israel. We’ve discovered that many tour participants loved the previous tours so much that they’ve returned with us to our holy land, time and time again», said AFSI executive director Helen Freedman. She added that, «Over the years we’ve had many heart-breaking as well as heart-warming adventures but one thing is for sure, our experiences are always fresh and packed with great emotion.»
Registration for the upcoming 2012 AFSI Spring Chizuk Mission is closing soon. Those interested parties may make reservations by calling 212-828-2424 or 1-800-235-3658.