Locals tour Holy Land

Front row, left to right: Nancy Palm, Peter Mandel, Mario and

Twenty travelers just returned from a two-week pilgrimage to the
Holy Land, most of them members of Congregation Emeth, a Jewish
synagogue in Morgan Hill whose members live in South San Jose,
Gilroy, Hollister, as well as Morgan Hill. The trip was organized
and led by Congregation Emeth’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Debbie
Israel.
Twenty travelers just returned from a two-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land, most of them members of Congregation Emeth, a Jewish synagogue in Morgan Hill whose members live in South San Jose, Gilroy, Hollister, as well as Morgan Hill. The trip was organized and led by Congregation Emeth’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Debbie Israel.

The group traveled the expanse of the State of Israel, beginning in Jerusalem, and led by one of Israel’s most experienced tour guides, Yoram Preminger. The first days of the tour focused on the archeological sites of the First and Second Holy Temples in the ancient city, and included exploring newly excavated walls and tunnels of the old city.

The trip included a swim in the Dead Sea; a stay at two different kibbutzim (communal communities); a boat ride on Lake Tiberias (also known as the Kinneret); an ecological adventure in the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, which is a crucial stop for migratory birds, and the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, which is a unique combination of nature and archeology whose finds date to the Neolithic or Stone Age. In addition to Jerusalem, the group also visited Israel’s other primary cities: Tel Aviv, Haifa and Safed.

“Our journey through Israel was a life changing event for me, ” reflected Rick Coencas, an Emeth member who participated on the trip. “Losing myself in the streets of Old Jaffa and Safed. Seeing the awe inspiring view from atop Masada. Visiting the Western Wall and the old city of Jerusalem. Learning from our guide, Yoram and Rabbi Israel. Enjoying the delicious food and wines of Israel and spending time with our wonderful and enthusiastic group of travelers. This was a journey not to be forgotten.”

“This was Congregation Emeth’s first Pilgrimage to Israel in its nearly 35 year history,” said Rabbi Israel. “Also joining us on our tour were non-Jewish Morgan Hill and Gilroy residents, as well as relatives of members from other cities, all of them enhancing the experience for everyone. I look forward to planning a second trip for others in our synagogue and community in the near future!”

Details: E-mail [email protected] or visit www.emeth.net.

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