The Jewish Federations of North America LGBTQ Mission trips to Israel will take place from May 26 to June 2.
In 2006, Dave Gold traveled to Israel as part of an LGBTQ mission — a trip with a special purpose. “We were able to see where Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia dollars go overseas, while also demonstrating our support for the LGBTQ community there,” said Gold. “It was a truly unique experience, and our group formed a very special bond.”
Now, approximately 10 years later, as co-chair of the Jewish Federation’s Jewish Pride group, Gold is excited that his fellow local LGBTQ community members can join him on a similar life-changing experience when the Jewish Federations of North America LGBTQ Mission travels to Israel from May 26 to June 2.
“The mission will offer participants an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Israel through an LGBTQ lens,” said Warren Hoffman, the Jewish Federation’s Associate Director of Community Programming. “In addition to everything from a special dinner with the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, to private concerts with top Israeli performers, everyone will see first-hand the difference our local Jewish Federation has made in Israel.”
“We also will meet with LGBTQ Israel Defense Forces soldiers and representatives from LGBTQ community organizations, and offer our support to the LGBTQ community and to Israel overall,” added Gold, who is a member of the mission’s National Leadership Committee.
Since this is a national mission, Greater Philadelphia’s representatives will have the opportunity to travel with Jewish LGBTQ community members from around the United States.
The trip will include a variety of travel excursions, among them a walking tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, visits to Masada and the Dead Sea, an overnight stay at a kibbutz, a security briefing, brewery and winery tours, visits with top artists and much more.
The mission wraps up in Tel Aviv, just in time so everyone who wants to can participate in Tel Aviv Pride, “one of the most exciting pride celebrations in the world,” according to Hoffman.
Gold noted: “I guarantee that going on a mission with us will be a highly unique experience because of all the activities and meetings with Jewish leaders that you just can’t get on a ‘regular’ trip to Israel.”
The Jewish Federation can help you book your airfare or you can make travel arrangements on your own. Greater Philadelphia residents who register for the mission using the code “PHIL500” will receive a $500 discount.
For more information or to register, visit jewishphilly.org/missions, or contact Pam Pearlmutter, Manager of the Jewish Fed-eration’s Philadelphia Israel Experience, at [email protected] or 215.832.0837.