The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle invites you to explore Israel’s creativity on a one-of-a-kind trip next spring, April 29 to May 8, 2018. The journey, themed “Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts,” gives visitors a sense of our Jewish homeland’s dynamism in three areas where Israel punches well above its weight in the world.
“I want people to see what David Ben-Gurion called a wonderfully normative country. It excites me to show people another side of Israel. I want you to see the modern, 21st-
century Israel, the beauty of its country, the cultural richness,” says Dr. David Isenberg,who is chairing the trip with his wife, Lorna.
“This trip has cross-generational appeal. That’s hard to pull off, but this trip does it,” David says.
An appealing point about the trip, Lorna adds, is that the three areas of creativity that trip-goers will experience are among the big draws bringing newcomers to the Puget Sound region’s Jewish community. Technology, ecology, and the arts “are in the forefront of what brings them to this community,” Lorna notes.
The trip includes three legs — Tel Aviv, Israel’s north, and Jerusalem. On the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem excursions, trip-goers have a choice of technology, ecology, and arts tracks, enabling them to focus the experience in areas that interest them most.
“For people who have never been to Israel and for people who have been there many times, there are opportunities to see things and meet people,” including artists and scientists, that wouldn’t be practical visiting Israel on your own, David says.
Here is a taste of what participants on the trip have an opportunity to see:
Depending on which track visitors select, tours include Tel Aviv’s renowned Bauhaus architecture, the Green in the City rooftop farm, or the cutting-edge technology at the State of Mind Innovation Center. Together, the group gets to absorb Tel Aviv’s cultural DNA on a special Graffiti and Street Art Tour in the hip Florentine neighborhood, which has one of the most thriving street art scenes in the world.
A highlight of the leg across north Israel is a stop at the Ecological Greenhouse at Kibbutz Ein Shemer, where Jewish and Arab schoolchildren together take part in conservation projects. Other stops include Um El-
Fahem, a welcoming city between Caesarea, Haifa, and Nazareth that features the Um El-
Fahem Art Gallery, and Moona — A Space for Change, a nonprofit that relies on collaboration between Jewish and Arab employees to spur technological innovation for developing the Galilee region.
Together, the group shares celebrating Shabbat, experiencing the Kotel at night, reflecting on memory and loss at Yad Vashem, touring the famous Mahane Yehuda food and spice market, and gathering for Havdalah at the Tower of David. Technology, ecology, and arts tracks offer tours, respectively, of the historic Mount Zion Cable Car that Haganah fighters used to ferry supplies during Israel’s War of Independence; ecological initiatives, including the Jerusalem Bird Observatory and the city’s high-speed rail station; and of Israel’s renowned arts school, the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design.
By highlighting Israel’s creativity, the trip also spotlights the amazing diversity of people who spark the innovative spirit that makes Israel a standout success in the arts, ecology, and technology. “The creativity of [Israel’s] people is spurred by its demographics. People don’t realize how much diversity there is of people from so many countries and faiths until you see it,” Lorna says.
Lorna and David envision new and strengthened relationships with the Start-Up Nation as lasting outcomes of the trip — inspired relationships that enable trip-goers to champion engagement with and advocacy for Israel, based on the power of personal experience.
“Everything is about relationships. You make relationships with the people you travel with on the trip, with Israelis, and with the nation itself,” David says.