ted

I’ve been counting down to Sunday weeks now and I’m finally all set. My cave sitter’s booked, I’m packed, briefed, and ready to depart to Israel for the very first time. I’m not the best flier (growl) but for a year now, I’ve been hearing about the Jewish homeland and little else, so I know it’ll be worth it.

You see, my cousins all went last summer as part of UJIA’s #tedontour initiative, each joining a Youth Movement or Organisation Israel Tour group for a month. The 16 year-olds were challenged to compete – bus against bus – to see who could post the best photos with ‘their Ted’ on Twitter.

Personally I think all the publicity has gone to my relatives’ heads…‘Bearjamin Netedyahu’ is the worst (he’s unbearable) but I have to give him and the JLGB Tour group credit – after all, they were the winners. Anyway, after missing out last year I was determined to have my five minutes this time round.

So, as the official #tedontour correspondent for Jewish News, I will be moving between the 30 Youth Movement groups, reaching as many of the 1,145 participants as possible. Like all journalists I will be on the lookout for a major scoop, something to really get my claws into, but if I don’t hit the jackpot (or honeypot, as I say) I will settle for bringing you a bit more about the other side of Israel Tour at  www.ujia.org/tedontour.

We know the kids will all scale Masada and float on the Dead Sea, but what I’m interested in is how these British Jewish 16 year-olds interact with Israelis from all walks of life and what contribution they make through volunteering. Also, how is the political situation in the Middle East handled by the Tour leaders and how do the ideologies of the different Youth Movements affect the experience?

I plan to ask a lot of questions, you know, not just the bare minimum.

You can keep up with my Israel Tour journey on Instagram and Twitter (@UJIACharity #tedontour) and see all the photos at www.ujia.org/tedontour

Thanks in advance to the hospitality of: Bnei Akiva, BBYO, Ezra Boys and Girls, FZY, Habonim Dror, JLGB, LJY-Netzer, Noam, RSY-Netzer, Sinai and Tribe.