Virtual Lag Ba'omer tour
Virtual Lag Ba'omer tour YESHA Council

While coronavirus has created a new reality which requires social distancing, here in Israel a few regions teamed up together to create a very special get together – a virtual tour for American School students is some of Israel's most special heritage sites. The day chosen to conduct the virtual tours was Lag Ba'omer, a holiday day in all Jewish communities around the world.

Thousands of students who study at the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools participated in 12 broadcasted live virtual tours which were held simultaneously at Ancient Shiloh - city of the Tabernacle, Hebron, the Ancient Hebrew village of Sussya, and the Patriarchs Path in Gush Etzion. These significant sites have prepared for the tours in advance and rehearsals were held so that the students would enjoy a clear and fluent tour from their own homes.

The broadcasters, who started the live stream at 10AM EST, had to hold three rounds due to the number of students who participate in the tours. Every 30 minutes a new round started, giving hundreds of students the opportunity to enjoy the tours.

CEO of the Yesha Council Yigal Dilmoni explained:"This unique project is the first of its kind, and was created to show our solidarity with the Jewish communities in the Diaspora. We stand with our brothers and sisters around the world and pray that they shall all keep healthy and safe. I am so glad we have the ability to share the stories of this beautiful region with the world."

"We look forward to conducting similar projects in the future, as we deeply believe in building bridges between fellow communities and deepening our connections to our heritage."

Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, a teacher in Park East Day School in Manhattan and president of EITAN, the American Israeli Jewish Network, thanked everybody who took part in the project and said that "for children stuck at home in quarantine for over two months now, it means the world to be able to get such a break from routine and get a live virtual tour of places they have learned so much about. We are forever thankful to Yesha Council for stepping up to the plate, and as people in Israel start going back to normal reaching out to us to make sure they are with us in our difficult time."

This project came through thanks to the cooperation of the Yesha Council, the Binyamin Regional Council, the Jewish community of Hebron, Mount Hebron Regional Council and Gush Etzion Regional Council.

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