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WINTER 20132014 PRETRIP INFORMATION AND TRAVEL COMPANION

GET CONNECTED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA TaglitBirthright Israel doesnt just begin when you board the plane to Israel, or end when you say your last goodbye. Stay in touch with us, your friends, family, and the entire TaglitBirthright Israel community by connecting in our social media space. www.facebook.comTaglitBRI www.twitter.comTaglitBRI or TaglitBRI www.pinterest.comTaglitBRI www.youtube.combirthrightisrael Tag your photos BirthrightIsrael

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 5 9 11 19 23 35 37 41 43 48 BACK COVER BEGINNING YOUR JOURNEY WHAT IS TAGLITBIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL WHAT HAPPENS ON THESE TEN DAYS WHERE WILL YOU BE TRAVELING AN ENCOUNTER WITH ISRAELI PEERS LEARN MORE SUGGESTED PACKING LIST EXPECTATIONS OF THE TRIP AFTER THE TRIP NOTES THE TRAVELERS PRAYER TRAVEL HEBREW www.birthrightisrael.com Now enjoying our 14th year of operation, we are proud to reflect upon the impact weve had in making a trip to Israel a rite of passage for every Jewish y

You are boarding an airplane and flying several thousand miles away. You are welltraveled. So whats the big deal This time is different. This time youre going to Israel. BEGINNING YOUR JOURNEY

For your distant forebears, your greatgrandparents, and maybe even your grandparents, what youre doing would have been an inconceivable dream. For the Jewish people, what youre doing is a revolution. For the majority of Jewish history, most Jews dreamed about a place called Zion, Eretz Yisrael, or Jerusalem, but most of them had no idea what the place looked like and mere handfuls actually went there. Israel was a figment of the Jewish soul and imagination a place saturated with prayers and dre

Lets be straight, too, about what this is not Its not a ploy to get you to live in Israel. Its not a training course in Zionist advocacy. Its not a comparative political science course on the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. All these things have a time and place, and its your decision to pursue each or any of them at some point. But this trip is, quite simply, a journey in Jewish meaningmaking. Its a gift of 20thcentury Jewry, because we care for you and we believe in Jewishness. Even though were a

But this isnt just a history class or an educational program. On your trip, youll discover a modern country with a diverse and dynamic culture hip music, cuttingedge art, worldrenowned literature, and more. Forget the stereotypical images of bearded men in caftans riding camels through the desert. Todays Israelis are more often found wearing jeans, talking on cell phones, working in hightech industries, dancing at clubs, or sitting in urban cafes, arguing about everything from politics to philos

WHAT IS TAGLITBIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL

TaglitBirthright Israel has been providing the gift of firsttime, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26 since the winter of 19992000. TaglitBirthright Israel acts as an umbrella organization that provides the gift of the trip, authorizes different providers Trip Organizers to run the programs, and sets down the guidelines, standards, and security policies overseeing each and every trip. ABOUT TAGLITBIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL Taglit Hebrew for discoveryBirthright

GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL The government of Israel has been a partner in the funding of the TaglitBirthright Israel gift since the beginning of the program. The people of Israel and the Israeli government recognize the importance of strengthening the relationship between Israel and the next generation of Jews in the Diaspora, and in connecting them to the land and people of Israel. Every year members of the Israeli Knesset have to vote through a budget to continue supporting the program, and it is th

These community buses allow for participants who live in close proximity to one another to build relationships not only during the trip, but with their Jewish community upon returning home. Outside of North America, Keren HayesodUnited Israel Appeal UIA and the Jewish Agency for Israel partner together with local donors in each participating country to help support sending participants from their own communities. THE ROLE OF TRIP ORGANIZERS While the funding and the setting of logistical, secur

WHAT HAPPENS ON THESE TEN DAYS

TaglitBirthright Israel trips are conducted by multiple Trip Organizers. Each has been accredited by TaglitBirthright Israel and each has a unique approach and perspective on how to introduce and show you the beauty of Israel. At the same time, there is a core program with several themes that are common to all trips. CONTEMPORARY ISRAEL You will visit modern Israel, a contemporary state with people from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. You will see how a country combine

LEBANON SYRIA STUDY THE MAP OF ISRAEL In a country relatively the same size as the state of New Jersey, Israel has an incredible variety of terrain, flora and fauna, and cultural diversity. The varied geography includes physical as well as cultural, political, and religious dimensions. Learning about the land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael, and walking through it are significant par ts of the TaglitBir thright Israel experience 5 Golan Heights Tzfat Haifa 4 ISRAEL Galilee Samaria Tel Aviv Medit

The following is an outline of sites in Israel, not all of which you will visit. However, most groups do visit many of the sites in what is a very short amount of time. Youll just have to make a list of things to do and places to visit on your next trip 1 JERUSALEM Jerusalem, a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as to Arab and Israeli alike, has witnessed 3,000 years of religious and national conflict. Since 1967, the reunification of the city and renaissance by the State of Isra

MOUNT SCOPUS Superb panoramic views of the city, the Temple Mount and the Judean Desert looking toward Jordan can be enjoyed here. It is the site of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founded in 1925, closed during the War of Independence and reopened following the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. MAHANE YEHUDA MARKET One of the most interesting places to interact with locals is at this outdoor market, or shuk. You will find endless stalls of fresh fruits and vegetables and other produce, f

2 TEL AVIV THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST Israels Mediterranean coastline is dotted with perfectly planned resort towns, old and new, and wellpreserved archaeological sites that are cherished and visited frequently by tourists and Israelis alike. Some of the cities on the shore include Ashdod, Ashkelon, Caesarea, Haifa, Herzliya and Netanya. TEL AVIV Established in 1909, the Tel Aviv metropolitan area is now a bustling modern city that serves as Israels center of entertainment, culture, big business a

JAFFA Old Jaffas cobblestone paths and winding alleys twist through the massive stone fortifications that surround the city. The colorful port is alive with restaurants and nightclubs while the nearby artist colony offers art galleries and highquality craft shops. Visitors can view Tel Avivs new coastline from Jaffa and recall its humble origins in this ancient port. 3 DEAD SEA The lowest point on the earth, famous for its curative powers, the Dead Sea is the saltiest and most mineralladen bod

4 GALILEE Pastoral green valleys and mountains characterize Israels northern region. Kibbutzim and moshavim agricultural settlements dot the biblical landscape of the Galilee. These communities embody the pioneering spirit of the early waves of immigration and the values of the collective. SAFED TZFAT Perched atop the Galilee mountains, Safed is a holy city associated with ancient Jewish mysticism Kabbalah and the 16th century renaissance of the Jewish community. The Ari, Joseph Caro and Ab

6 THE NEGEV This southern region accounts for more than 60 of Israels landmass, yet less than 3 of the total population. The vast landscape of mountains, canyons, craters and rocky terrain offers numerous opportunities for offthebeatentrack hiking and exploration. Trekking through the Negev desert provides an escape from modernity and a flashback to the Jewish peoples wandering years. MITZPEH RAMON AND THE RAMON CRATER Mitzpeh Ramon is located alongside one of the worlds unique geological forma

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL IN ISRAEL We constantly review all safety procedures and implement the most stringent security measures throughout your trip to ensure that we provide a comprehensive safety umbrella. These precautions include careful planning and review of each groups itineraries on a daily basis. Our trips do not travel to or through areas of the Gaza Strip or East Jerusalem, with the exception of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City changes are possible when permitted by the security author

AN ENCOUNTER WITH ISRAELI PEERS

Israel shouldnt just be seen through the bus window or learned by listening to the guides narrative. Only by meeting and getting to know Israelis will you truly gain a sense of the country and its people. Only then will you leave the tourist behind, and become the pioneer who makes Israel his own. THE MIFGASH One of the core components of your adventure in Israel will be traveling alongside and living with Israeli peers. Every trip includes a structured mifgash, or encounter, which consists of

Young men ages 18 and older are required to serve three years, and young women 20 months. Ultra Orthodox Yeshiva students are exempt, and Orthodox females can opt not to serve. Still, the vast majority of Israeli youth join the armed forces, and many volunteer for elite combat units. That makes the military a unique melting pot for Israelis from all backgrounds. FAST FACTS ABOUT YOUNG ISRAELIS After their army service, many Israelis go on a long backpacking trip from a few months to a year o

A SPECTRUM OF RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE In Israel, most of the population defines itself as secular and the great majority of people do not observe strict religious rituals, although several Jewish traditions and holidays are observed. Across the spectrum of religious observance in Israel are religious or strictly observant Jews what North Americans call Orthodox Masorti Jews the Conservative movement in Israel and the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism the Reform movement in Israel. Most Israel

LEARN MORE

DID YOU KNOW Traveling in Israel may have all the comforts of a Western country including a modern transportation infrastructure, internet cafes, ATM machines, luxury accommodations and fine cuisine, but there are differences that make being in Israel an interesting cultural lesson as well Jews are not the only visitors to Israel. Religious Christians and Muslims, as well as history buffs from all over the world are frequent sights throughout the country A reflection of the diverse population,

TIMELINE OF ISRAELS HISTORY B.C.E. BEFORE THE COMMON ERA 1004 King David establishes Jerusalem as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel 960 King Solomon Davids son builds the First Temple as the religious and spiritual center of the Jewish People 313 Ptolemy I captures Jerusalem 170 Jerusalem conquered by Antiochus Epiphanes Seleucids of Syria 922 Kingdom divides between North Israel and South Judea Jerusalem is capital of Judea 350 Jerusalem captured by Persians 332 Alexander the Great Greece

586 Nebuchadnezzer, King of Babylon conquers Jerusalem and destroys the first temple, Jews exiled to Babylon 167164 538515 Jews return to Eretz the land of Israel from Babylon, known as the Return to Zion 515 Ezra Nechemia lead the restoration of Jerusalem and the Second Temple 37 King Herod appointed as ruler of Judah by the Romans, restores the Temple 61 Roman invasion led by Pompei Maccabean revolts against Hellenistic domination Jerusalem restored to Jewish autonomy under Hasmonean Macc

THE CHANGING MAP OF ISRAEL 1947 UN PARTITION PLAN ARMISTICE LINES 1949 On November 29, 1947, Resolution 181 was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations, partitioning the former British Mandate area into a Jewish and Arab state. In this plan, Jerusalem was to become an international city, while the Negev, coastal strip and eastern Galilee panhandle were to be part of a Jewish state. Despite the objective limitations of such a division of land, the Jewish population accepted the

SIX DAY WAR BORDERS 1967 ISRAELEGYPT TREATY 1979 Following increased tensions and threats of war on the part of Israels Arab neighbors, on June 5th, 1967, Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Following six days of fighting Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the West Bank, including the eastern half of Jerusalem. The cease fire lines left these areas under Israeli control, and would remain Israels borders until the Yom Ki

ISRAELS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world. Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national fr

Accordingly, we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assembly today, the day of termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Israel. We hereby declare that as from the terminati

ISRAELS NATIONAL ANTHEM HATIKVAH, The Hope, was written by Naphtali Herz Imber as a poem in 1878. It became the anthem of the Zionist movement when the State of Israel was established, it became the national anthem. Hebrew Transliteration Translation Kol od baleivav pnimah Nefesh Yhudi homiyah Ulfaatei mizrakh kadimah Ayin ltzion tzofiyah. Od lo avdah tikvateinu Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim Lihyot am khofshi bartzeinu Eretz Tziyon virushalayim. As long as deep in the

SUGGESTED READING RECENT WORKS ON ISRAEL THE CASE FOR ISRAEL THE CASE FOR PEACE, Alan Dershowitz The Harvard Law School professor argues passionately in these two short but potent works. COMING TOGETHER, COMING APART, Daniel Gordis After moving his family from Los Angeles, a father reflects on the joys and struggles of life in Israel. JERUSALEM THE BIOGRAPHY, Simon Sebag Montefiore The author reveals this everchanging city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly t

ISRAELI POETRY Another author we recommend, and one that you will encounter during your trip, is Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. Consider the meaning of the following two poems Love Of Jerusalem and The windmill in Yemin Moshe as you spend your ten days in Israel. LOVE OF JERUSALEM There is a street where they sell only red meat And there is a street where they sell only clothes and perfumes. And there is a day when I see only cripples and the blind And those covered with leprosy, and spastics an

THE WINDMILL IN YEMIN MOSHE This windmill never ground flour. It ground holy air and Bialiks Birds of longing, it ground Words and ground time, it ground Rain and even shells But it never ground flour. Now its discovered us, And grinds our lives day by day Making out of us the flour of peace Making out of us the bread of peace For the generation to come. In The windmill in Yemin Moshe a place that you will likely visit when you are in Jerusalem, Amichai uses the windmill as a metaphor for the ex

The weather in Israel during the winter months can be cold and rainy, or sunny and mild. Casual, comfor table clothes that can be layered are best. You should only need one nice outfit for Shabbat and, given the packed itinerary, assume that there wont be time to do laundry. We recommend packing as lightly as possible one large suitcase or duffel bag checked baggage per person, and a schoolsized backpack for your carryon. You will be responsible for packing and transporting your own bags during

CLOTHING 6 shortsleeved tshirts 3 pairs of jeanspants 2 pairs of shorts 6 longsleeved shirts 3 sweaters or sweatshirts 1 midweight jacket waterproof 1 bathing suit 1 pair of sweatpants 12 pairs of underwear 12 pairs of socks 1 pair of water shoes ie. Tevas 1 pair of sturdy shoes for hikingwalking 1 pair of nicer shoes for Shabbat 2 long skirts women nice khakis men for Shabbat FOR YOUR CARRYON BAG Passport put xerox copies in each of your bags Health Insurance Card All medications including

We know that at the forefront of your mind are the thoughts What should I pack Who will I meet on the trip And, make sure you dont forget your passport But, once youve dealt with all that, take a few moments before departing on your trip and try answering each of the following questions. If you want, pack this booklet in your bag, and bring it with you to Israel. On your last day of the trip, return to this page and reflect upon which of your expectations were met, which of your thoughts have ch

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS TRIP Examples meeting new friends, having a good time, gaining a deeper sense of Jewish identity. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST HOPE UPON EMBARKING ON THIS JOURNEY WHAT DOES ISRAEL MEAN TO YOU WHAT DOES BEING JEWISH MEAN TO YOU HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL JEWISH IDENTITY EXPECTATIONS OF THE TRIP 38

REFRAIN My father was born with a severe handicap, a birth defect called cerebral palsy. It occurs during birth and affects the central nervous system. Makes it very hard to walk, very hard to talk, to use any sort of motor skills. So my dad could hardly speak and be understood, and he couldnt quite hold a pencil to write, but he was a natural performer. My father was a writer a comedian. But how With humor. He would hold up his right hand with his left, and tap the letters of the typewriter on

My grandma also told me about the time in the 1950s when my dad broke free He removed his braces from his arms and legs. Then one day he got on a bus. He must have been 18 or 19 years old, and he just left. He went home, to Italy, to Rome. He said, Mama, Ive got to go, Ive got to see the world. She was scared. He might get hurt, he might get harassed. He shouldnt go alone. But she understood, in that way that mothers do. She hadnt heard from him for a couple of days...and the phone rang. It was

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES YOUNG LEADERSHIP COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS AFTER THE TRIP GETTING BACK TO ISRAEL NEXT SHABBAT

Your trip to Israel is just one of the many gifts that the Jewish community has to offer. In the weeks and months ahead you will learn more about the rich variety of programs that are available to you as a TaglitBirthright Israel alumnus. A host of partnering organizations across North America are dedicated to working with you so that you can continue your experience once you arrive back home. Whether youre a student living on campus, or a young professional living on your own in the United Sta

NOTES 43 NOTES

NOTES 44

45 NOTES

Note for the Western Wall see next page NOTES 46

Notes in the Western Wall It is a centuriesold tradition to place prayer notes in the Western Wall, which is considered Judaisms holiest site. Cut out the piece of paper below, and use the reverse side to write your own note to inser t in the Wall The Kotel.

THE TRAVELERS PRAYER Tfilat Haderekh The Travelers Prayer is traditionally said at the onset of a trip in hopes of a safe journey. Although the prayer has not changed in hundreds of years, there are more modern interpretations which are equally appropriate to recite. Hebrew Transliteration Yhi ratzon milfanekha Adonai eloheinu veilohei avoteinu, shetolikheinu lshalom vtatzideinu lshalom, vtadrikheinu lshalom vtagieinu limkhoz kheftz

TRAVEL HEBREW HelloGoodbyePeace Good morning Good evening Good night See you later Yes No Okay PleaseYoure welcome Thanks very much Excuse meSorry How are you What time is it Whats this Where When How much is this Where are the restrooms Pleased to meet you I understand Restaurant Coffeehouse Do you speak English Im with the Taglit group What is your name How do you say that in English I love you shalom boker tov erev tov lyla tov lhitraot ken lo bseder bvakashah todah rabbah slikhah mah shlomkh

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