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News & Events > Women’s Solidarity Mission to Israel

Women’s Solidarity Mission to Israel

Date: Sunday, September 8 - Thursday, September 12
Time: All Day

Mission Chairs: Susan Hammer and Marian Rocker

This unique mission is designed specifically for women age 65+ who would welcome the opportunity to show their solidarity through volunteering, visiting partner communities, and bearing witness to the atrocities of October 7 at a slower, more relaxed pace.

Mission activities may include:

  • Hands on volunteering daily (in a summer camp, packing food boxes, talking with injured soldiers).
  • Spending time in Ofakim, one our Greater MetroWest (GMW) partner communities that was attacked on October 7 and hearing first-hand experiences from survivors.
  • Visiting Kibbutz Erez, another GMW partnership, to learn about life after October 7.
  • Bearing witness at the Nova Festival site and communities affected by October 7
  • Visiting Hostage Square in Tel Aviv (with hope that it will no longer be there).
  • Meeting with United Hatzala to see the work they do around the clock.
  • Talking with evacuees from the North of Israel.
  • View the full itinerary here.

Registration opening soon!

This mission welcomes women ages 65 and over, who are residents of Greater MetroWest NJ and make a minimum gift of $10,000, individually or as a family, to the 2025 UJA Annual Campaign. Your annual gift supports Federation’s lifesaving work around the globe and at home in New Jersey.

Minimum group of 10 participants required.

$4,500 per person (land only, based on double occupancy, $600 single supplement).

Price includes all hotel accommodations, most meals, land transportation, security, tour guide, and gratuities. Travel insurance is required, if available. *$500 subsidy may be available if this is your first trip to Israel and/or with Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

Review the itinerary, meet fellow travelers, and learn more at an info session on Thursday, June 20 at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom. Register here for Zoom link.

We support and #StandWithIsrael as we continue to build a strong Jewish community here in NJ

For more information, Contact Kim Hirsh at [email protected], or Julie Rosenberg at [email protected].

Draft Itinerary (subject to change)

Sunday,  September 8 • Travel Day

  • 1:30 p.m. Depart Newark Airport on El Al Flight # LY28 (Recommended Flight)

Monday, September 9 • Greater MetroWest Partnership in Kibbutz Erez

  • Meet & Assist for Group flight
  • Security Briefing to be given on bus.
  • We begin our journey with our P2G family in Kibbutz Erez. Our P2G partnership has provided us the opportunity to connect to Israel in a more direct and intimate way. We have forged meaningful relationships, collaborated on community initiatives, and shared unique Jewish experiences together with our family in Kibbutz Erez. As we come to lend our support during this difficult period – we begin at home with our family – letting them know that they are not alone. We are here with you and for you.On the morning of Simchat Torah, October 7, a group of militants affiliated with the Hamas Nukhba forces launched an attack with the intent to destroy the Erez Kibbutz. The civilian emergency squad valiantly defended the settlement for many hours, risking their lives in the process. Many kibbutz members were evacuated to Kiryat Gat until further notice.
  • Following lunch in the Kibbutz Dining Hall with returning members, we’ll proceed with a security briefing at an observation point overlooking Gaza (subject to security clearance).
  • Later, a guided tour of the kibbutz will provide insight into the experiences of those present during the October 7 events, particularly focusing on its impact on the community, especially the younger generation.
  • Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s National Emergency Medical and Blood Services Organization, was first on the scene during events of October 7. But that wasn’t all that MDA did on that fateful day. Just hours after Hamas terrorists attacked, the country’s new fortified, subterranean blood bank kicked into action and started saving lives. Visit this new state of the art Subterranean Blood bank. 
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner and orientation in a private room at Eucalyptus Restaurant with Chef Moshe Basson.
  • Invited guest: Speaker TBD
  • Overnight – King David Jerusalem

Tuesday, September 10 • South

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 8:30 a.m. Depart hotel to the South of Israel. Fueled by a shared sense of purpose and solidarity. We will show our support and uplift these communities at a difficult time in our shared common history. We will come ready to forge connections and make a meaningful impact on the lives of those we are about to meet.
  • 10:30 a.m. Welcome to Ofakim at the ISHA center – a center offering a variety of activities for women, including empowerment workshops leadership, self esteem, legal advice, leisure activities, computers skills, health, and counselling. Meet with the director and members of the  center.
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Bear witness to the unimaginable destruction that took place on October 7 by visiting Ofakim – a city that was infiltrated by Hamas. We will meet with Cochy, a resident of Ofakim who will take us on a walking tour as she explains her experience and that of her family and friends on that fateful day.
  • 1-2:30 p.m. Moroccan Lunch at the home of Osi. Discussion: The Influence of October 7 on the children: Ofakim’s Response and Initiatives. Suggested Speakers:  Suzy Marciano, Director of Welfare and Tzipora Ben Nun, Social Worker, Ofakim’s Resilience Center.
  • 2:45-4:15 p.m. Volunteer work
  • 5 p.m. See over 1,000 destroyed vehicles contained in a compound in Tkuma. Police, forensic teams, and Zaka volunteers continue to identify the cars.  Hear directly from a Zaka volunteer about their experience.
  • 6 p.m. Pay respects at the site of the Nova Massacre. As part of the terrorist attack on October 7 380 civilians were killed, many more wounded and at least 40 hostages were taken by Hamas at the Nova Sukkot Gathering, an open-air music festival during the Jewish holiday near Kibbutz Re’im.
  • 7:30 p.m. Sponsor a BBQ For Soldiers or Dinner in Jerusalem Restaurant.
  • Overnight – King David Jerusalem

Wednesday, September 11

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Make sandwiches for IDF soldiers at Crave restaurant in Machane Yehuda. Hosted by Rika and her daughter, along with music and positive energy. It’s a great way to show support and appreciation for our soldiers.
  • Come join JDC, your campaign partner, at a hotel in Jerusalem that’s now home for evacuees from the North. Immerse yourself in the female perspective of their journey, understanding their resilience and challenges. Engage with the children in an activity, sharing hope and inspiration with them as they navigate through trying times.
  • Visit the Kotel – the spiritual center of the Jerusalem -followed by lunch with women who have started grassroots projects and volunteers in the Old City.
  • Be part of the diverse Israeli mosaic including teenagers, soldiers, students, and more, who will join you at the Tachlit warehouse in Jerusalem to help pack about 18,000 bags of various food products.
  • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in private room.
  • Overnight – King David Jerusalem

Thursday, September 12 • Check out of hotel

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Begin your day at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, the sole comprehensive care hospital of its caliber in the nation – providing a complete spectrum of pediatric disciplines for children aged 0-18. Discover the remarkable efforts of the hospital amidst these challenging times of conflict and embrace the mitzvah of Bikur cholim, visiting children across various wards, offering comfort and support during their healing journey.
  • Volunteer at Eran’s Angels https://eransangels.com
  • During the Iron Swords war Eran’s Angels has provided food, clothing, hygienic supplies, household utensils and furniture to soldiers and families who have been displaced as a direct result of the war. Help sort and pack the different items at the collection stations in the warehouse.
  • Lunch in Tel Aviv on own.
  • Visit Hostage Square. The square has been set up as a gathering place for families of hostages. We will have the opportunity to observe the dozens of art installations and perhaps meet with families in the small booths set up around the square. Many families are not around anymore at the hostage square – they are out advocating for family members. (Meeting with family is not guaranteed.)
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner & time for group reflection.
  • Depart to airport for departure flights back home

Friday, September 13

  • 12:30 a.m. Depart Israel on El AL flight  #LY27 (Recommended Flight)
  • 5:15 a.m. Arrive Newark              

Friday, September 13 • Optional Extension

  • Enjoy breakfast at hotel
  • New Kotel Tunnel Tour
  • Visit Judean Hills Winery or New Exhibition at Tower of David Museum including the Turkish Prison
  • Lunch on own
  • Shabbat Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight – King David Jerusalem

Saturday, September 14

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Day at leisure.
  • Late checkout until 6 p.m.
  • Dinner on own
  • Group transfer to airport for night flight.

Building an inclusive community is a priority. Please email [email protected] to let us know if you require an accommodation to meaningfully participate in an event. One of our Federation professionals will reach out to you to learn more.

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