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AFSI Presents Special Yom Ha’atzmaut Tour of Israel

Americans For A Safe Israel's Spring 2012 Chizuk Mission to Israel will include the commemoration of the Jewish state's 64th birthday.
By Fern Sidman, New York
First Publish: 3/16/2012, 11:00 PM

AFSI Mission in Itamar
AFSI Mission in Itamar
Yoni Kempinski

Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI) is exceptionally proud to announce that their Spring 2012 Chizuk Mission of Israel is shaping up to be yet another action packed trip with highlights, including the commemoration of the Jewish state's 64th birthday on Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

Tour members will be treated to a treasure trove of special events, including an ascent to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with Rabbi Chaim Richman, an extensive tour of the holy city of Hevron and the dedication of the Herbert Zweibon Memorial Hall, a visit to the new Gush Katif museum and with former Gush Katif residents now residing in the Golan, davening at Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb), a cruise on the Kinneret, visits to Mount Hermon and visits to the Shomron communities of Itamar, Yitzhar and Kedumim, among other exciting events.

The tour, which will run from April 22 to May 1, will coincide with Yom HaZikaron (Israel's Memorial Day) and Yom Ha"atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and tour members will get a hands on feel of the sights and sounds of the Old City of Jerusalem on a tour led by Dan Luria of Ateret Cohanim.

On the eve of Yom HaZikaron, the tour participants will be attending a special ceremony at the Knesset as well as taking part in a program to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Israel's survival at the military ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.  On Yom Ha'atzmaut, tour members will travel to Kidmat Zion for a tradition holiday luncheon BBQ and in the evening will gather at Sacher Park for a lively continuation of the festive Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations.

Throughout this grand tour, participants will meet with Israeli military personnel, including Alon Nardi, an officer in the IDF Rabbi Corps Reserves, Druze MK Ayoob Kara, Aharon Pulver of the Israel Independence Fund, and such outstanding leaders of the settler movement including Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katzover, Era Rappaport, Yifat and Shalom Akobi, David Wilder, Chaim Silberstein of “Keep Jerusalem” and Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith and his wife Leah of Itamar.

For the last 16 years, AFSI Chizuk Missions to Israel have distinguished themselves from other tours to Israel by virtue of the fact that the emphasis of the tour is to introduce tour members to the reality of the threatened areas of Israel and to those courageous pioneers who live there in the midst of great danger. Life long bonds of deep and enduring friendships have been created between AFSI tour participants from North America and their Israeli brethren living in Israel's liberated territories.

“Rather than focusing on the run-of-the-mill tourist places, our AFSI Chizuk Mission seeks to provide emotion and physical support and succor to our beloved brothers and sisters who live in endangered areas of Israel. We've discovered that many tour participants loved the previous tours so much that they've returned with us to our holy land, time and time again,” said AFSI executive director Helen Freedman. She added that, “Over the years we've had many heart-breaking as well as heart-warming adventures but one thing is for sure. Our experiences are always fresh and packed with great emotion.”

Registration for the upcoming 2012 AFSI Spring Chizuk Mission is closing soon. Those interested parties may make reservations by calling 212-828-2424 or 1-800-235-3658.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)