Education, volunteerism, history and spirituality were a huge part of the Chabad of the Five Town’s Israel mission from Jan. 15-24.
Chabad Director Rabbi Shneur Wolowik and tour guide David Soloman provided lessons on the Halachic, Chassidic and Midrashic history of the Jewish state for the 40 members who went on the trip.
Tour members learned about underground bullet manufacturing during the British Mandate (British rule of the territory from 1923-’48) at the Ayalon Institute and appreciated their five senses by moving through the “Dialogue in the Dark” exhibit at the Children’s Museum in Holon.
The group also took part in volunteer work with Project Leket, Israel’s national food bank, and picked enough clementines (mandarin oranges) to help feed more than 400 families for a week.
A visit to an army base in the northern part of the country was another highlight. It included a barbecue for the more than 300 soldiers stationed there.
At Kfar Chabad, the Five Towns group learned about the services offered by the Israeli organization such as the Children of Chernobyl program that helps kids from that nuclear-ravaged Russian city begin new lives in Israel, and how they assist victims of terror and their families.
Chabad members also visited the mystical city of Tzefat with its scenic views and narrow cobblestone alleys, a matzah factory, the Psagot Winery, the De Karina Chocolate Factory in the Golan Heights and saw a replica of the Brooklyn Chabad Lubavitch worldwide headquarters. Adventurous members jeeped through the Golan Heights and had opportunities to zip line.
Gil Hoffman, the Jerusalem Post’s senior correspondent, gave the group a political update on Israel. At Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Children’s Memorial the group remembered the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. There was also a bar-bat mitzvah celebration and visits to several holy sites. To complete the trip there was a cruise on Kinneret Lake, also known as the Sea of Galilee, and a farewell dinner.