Welcome Letter

Jim Cohen, CEO
Minneapolis Jewish Federation

I am an unabashed gameshow junkie. Over the years, many contestants have been offered the opportunity to win “the trip of a lifetime”. The phrase rings hollow, perhaps, when describing an exciting weekend of gambling in Las Vegas or a cruise with the all-inclusive beverage package. But it doesn’t ring hollow to me when I think about this Experience Israel trip.

We hope to accomplish many things by organizing this trip. We want to reconnect with Israel – its sights, its sounds, its smells, its energy. We want our neighbors to see first-hand the amazing work that is done thanks to the dollars we raise on an annual basis. But perhaps most of all, we want to build community. We want to experience these things together – to make new friends, cement old relationships and inspire the next generation of zionists and philanthropists.

We have been planning this trip for years because it really will shape up to be the trip of a lifetime. Won’t you join us?! L’shana Haba b’Yerushalayim!

We are delighted that Senator Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN, 1978-1991) has agreed to serve as Honorary Chair for Experience Israel 2023. A member of our local Jewish community, Senator Boschwitz played an instrumental part in Operation Solomon as the US Emissary to Ethiopia in 1991. Senator Boschwitz worked tirelessly to better the future of the Ethiopian people in Israel and Soviet Jewish communities in Minneapolis, and later served as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission (Geneva, Switzerland, 2005).

The Minneapolis Jewish community also played a monumental role in Operation Solomon, the first mission that helped 14,000 Ethiopian Jews make aliyah, so visiting the community brings it all full circle! The work continues; since then, the Jewish Agency for Israel, our global partner, has brought more than 92,000 Ethiopian olim to Israel. This critical work continues, even during the pandemic.

In honor of Senator Boschwitz, Experience Israel 2023 offers participants the option to visit the Ethiopian-Israeli community.

Senator Rudy Boschwitz
Honorary Chair

Meet our Experience Israel 2023 Chairs

Rita and Ron
Kelner

What are you looking forward to on the Experience Israel 2023 trip?

Rita: Being able to see where our Federation dollars go and how they are spent! For me, it will be especially impactful to see how the grants that the Women’s Endowment Fund are being used and visit some of those sights.

Ron: I am most excited to experience Israel with 200 to 350 Minneapolitans and share our experience together.

Why is this trip different from all other trips?

Debbie: Coming on what we hope will be the heels of the pandemic (either because we’ve learned to manage it or because it is over), this trip feels like the manifestation of one big lesson COVID taught us: that we should celebrate who we are and the community and life we’ve been given.

Jed: This is a great opportunity to experience Israel through so many different perspectives and to forge relationships across a highly multi-generational group.

Debbie and Jed Stillman

Lauren and Leo Zabezhinsky

What part of traveling with such a large group of our community is most exciting to you?

Leo: Making new connections with leaders in our community and strengthening existing relationships with friends who are part of the future leadership. Going away together to come back as a stronger community.

Lauren: The bonding on the bus!

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Registration is Now Open!

Not ready to register yet? Sign up here for mission updates.

For more information about the mission, pre- and post-mission extensions, and possible subsidies, please contact Kara Rosenwald at krosenwald@jewishminneapolis.org.

Yalla, Let's Go!

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Israel Experience 2023 Minnesota Mega Mission.

Questions or for more information, please contact Kara at krosenwald@jewishminneapolis.org.

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