Teenagers on Israel tour included ‘extreme’ activities and volunteering, to gain a different angle of the country over the summer.
Whilst some groups went on week long hikes, camping under the stars, others took part in charitable work to help Israel’s disadvantaged.
During a five-day ‘sea to sea expedition’, 122 teens on FZY tour (Federation of Zionist Youth) travelled from the Sea of Galilee in the North to the coastal city of Tel Aviv.
With access to lesser-known areas of Israel, the FZY ‘extreme tour’ also saw participants do adrenaline-fuelled activities, such as abseiling and zip-wiring.
Arielle Lande, FZY Tour 2 said although it was challenging, “the sea to sea expedition was certainly the highlight of tour and brought us so close together.”
For the first time, all five Bnei Akiva groups did a half day of volunteering at Shalva – the Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children.
Gemma Denby spoke about spending time with the organisation that helps 550 young Israelis, saying: “It was an amazing sight to watch their faces light up as we walked into the room.. Knowing that the visit of a group of chanichim (members of the tour) was making their day was priceless.”
Reform tour group RSY-Netzer took 250 teens to Israel this year, which each of the six groups completing three volunteering stints. The groups visited a home for Israelis with learning disabilities, Beit Uri, before hiking around Israel.
Michael Wegier Chief Executive of UJIA (United Jewish Israel Appeal) said: “It is extremely important that young adults from across the community are able to experience aspects of Israel that many never see.”