Recognizing the need to express solidarity with the people and the state of Israel during this difficult time, Barry Goren, the Executive Vice President of the Jewish Federation, with Ken Weinberg and Rabbi Dan Bridge, the executive directors of Jewish Family Service and Hillel, will be leading a special mission to Israel. The Seattle Solidarity Mission will depart for Israel on January 8 and join representatives from other American communities, which are planning similar shows of support.
“I am thrilled that communal leaders Michele Rosen, Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Rabbi Scott Sperling, Rabbi Dan Bridge and Ken Weinberg are joining me on this trip,” says Barry Goren, “it is so important to hand- deliver the message of the solidarity that the Seattle Jewish community has with the people of Israel.”
Mission participants will: attend top level briefings; meet Israelis involved in the conflict â€“ army personnel, police officers and civilians; spend time with Seattleâ€™s Partnership 2000 sister communities of Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon to express our solidarity; visit areas of friction and talk one-on-one with the people; meet with media personnel to discuss the portrayal of Israel by the media; and spend Shabbat in Jerusalem.
“I get information from a wide variety of sources, so I am really eager to hear it straight from the people and the decision makers themselves,” Weinberg said. “It is an incredible opportunity for all of us.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, in partnership with the United Jewish Communities (UJC), has put together this seven-day mission at a very special rate of $1,135, which includes: round-trip airfare from Seattle to Israel; luxury accommodations at the Laromme Hotel; meals and all touring and programming. (If you care to arrange your own air itinerary, the “land only” cost is $390.) The dire condition of Israelâ€™s tourism industry (one of Israelâ€™s primary sources of revenue) has made it possible to travel in Israel at such remarkable rates.
“I have been to Israel many times,” explained Weinberg, “but Iâ€™ve always gone to Israel during good times. Israel is family, and family is not just good times, it is all of the time. Right now is a very difficult time for my family and so it is [perhaps the most] important time for me, and all Jews, to go and offer our support and love in this painful time.”
To join the group, contact Barry Goren at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, 206-441-8479, ext. 214, or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.