A detailed investigation has begun as to whether the 1,146th participant confirmed as going on Israel Tour this year is Jewish.
Ted, so named because he is a teddy bear, had staff and visitors at UJIA’s Camden offices guessing last week, but the cuddly traveller remained tight-lipped as to his origin.
Despite the lack of affirmative proof, he was admitted on Israel Tour 2015, which will begin on Sunday with the first two groups of 16 year-olds leaving the UK for their month-long experience.
As well as seeing sites of religious, historical and cultural significance, such as the Kotel and Yad Vashem, participants will take part in all manner of physical activity, such as going on hikes.
Two FZY groups will be the first to touch down at Ben Gurion Airport, followed by 28 more groups from 11 youth movements and organisations comprising 1,145 participants will travel the length and breadth of Israel.
Over 240 young adults travelling with RSY-Netzer will visit Reform shuls and two kibbutzim, including one ‘eco-butz,’ where the houses are made of mud and where participants learn how to build and farm sustainably.
Security will be continually reviewed on the advice of Cheder Matsav (Situation Room), which operates on behalf of Israel’s Ministry of Education.
“Supporting the Tour is one of the most important things we do,” said UJIA chief executive Michael Wegier. “Even though it happens every summer we shouldn’t forget the impact this programme has on our community.”
He added: “Our young people need to be inspired about Israel and being part of the Jewish people. We need to give them an experience that motivates them to stay involved.”