Thoughts on our upcoming Israel Trip…

With our 2019 Israel Trip departing one week from today, we caught up with some of the members of our community who are taking part to get their thoughts on what they are most looking forward to. We will check back in with them after the trip to hear about their experiences.

Rabbi Mark Diamond:

“I have been privileged to travel to Israel more than thirty times, ranging from  1-2-week  tours for leadership groups (students, academics, clergy and community leaders) to intensive study abroad programs  of 6-10 months duration. I enjoy introducing graduate and undergraduate students to the Israel I know and love, with its multi-faceted tapestry of ethnic, cultural and religious identities.  I’m especially excited to serve as an instructor for the upcoming AJRCA/LMU seminar in Israel, and I look forward to our group bonding in what promises to be an unforgettable experience in Israel.”

Rabbi Diamond will serve as AJRCA instructor for the Israel seminar.  He is a member of the AJRCA Faculty and the Board of Directors. He has visited and studied in Israel more than 30 times in his career and has led seminars in Israel for graduate and undergraduate students, faith leaders, academics,  diplomats and community leaders.  He is a Professor of Practical Rabbinics at AJRCA and lecturer in Jewish Studies at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Los Angeles.

Rabbinical Student Deborah Lewis:

“I am looking forward to seeing more of the country, I have been to Israel on previous trips but they have all been for a specific learning program which has kept me in Jerusalem with few exceptions. This trip will not only give me an opportunity to visit places that I have yet to visit but it also provides a unique opportunity to visit as see these ancient sites with a group of interfaith students. I am looking forward to the interaction with students that do not share my faith but share my love for the land and being led through this journey with a Rabbi and a Priest.”

Chaplaincy Student Lauren Mathon:

“I signed up for this trip to get exposed to the many facets of Israel and to observe the many diverse ways that Jews live a Jewish life.”

The AJRCA study tour will be held in association with “Faith and Literature in the Holy Land,” a biennial tour of Israel sponsored by LMU’s Jewish Studies Program.  Participants include LMU students, faculty members and community supporters.  The LMU tour is led by Prof. Holli Levitsky, Prof. of English and Chair of the Jewish Studies Program, and joined by  Fr. Alexei Smith, Director of the Office of Interreligious and Ecumenical Affairs of the L.A. Archdiocese, and Prof. Victoria Aarons of Trinity University, San Antonio.

Some Highlights of the Trip Include:

  • 13-nights in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Arad, and on a kibbutz in the Galilee
  • Tours of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tiberias, Safed, Nazareth and Haifa
  • Visits to Jewish, Christian and Muslim sites, including the Kotel, Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, Masada, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Mount of Olives, Capernaum, Bahai Gardens, Ahmadiyya Muslim community (Haifa), Caesarea, Church of the Nativity
  • Guided tours of Rabin Square, Yad Vashem, Machaneh Yehudah, Tower of David Museum, Israel Museum, Save a Child’s Heart
  • Shabbat services in Jerusalem
  • Shabbat home hospitality in Jerusalem, dinner on a Bedouin ranch, a Druze dinner feast, and a gala farewell dinner
  • Study sessions on modern Israeli literature, including S.Y. Agnon and Yehudah Amichai, led by Prof. Holli Levitsky and Prof. Victoria Aarons.
  • Interfaith study of beliefs and practices of the three Abrahamic faith traditions led by Rabbi Mark Diamond and Fr. Alexei Smith

Zionism and Israel are central to Jewish identity, and we are proud to offer this seminar to strengthen the bonds between the AJRCA community and Israel.

Leave a Reply