Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Take a virtual tour of Israel

 

As Israel's tourism sector continues to reel from the global economic downturn, Jewish National Fund-USA is launching virtual travel adventures to support Israeli tour guides while providing tour participants with an opportunity to 'visit' sites off the beaten path

With the latest predictions suggesting Israel's tourism industry could lose up to $1.16 billion due to the COVID-19 crisis, Jewish National Fund-USA is helping Israeli tour guides through an innovative new 'virtual travel' initiative.

In launching JNF Virtual Travel & Tours, the organization's travel department is offering seats on virtual tour buses to some of Israel's iconic and lesser known travel destinations. Current itineraries include visits to the Old City of Jerusalem, Ayalon Institute, Akko, Be'er Sheva, and the JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.

The virtual buses will include seating for up to 22 participants. Each bus will also include a licensed Israeli tour guide and a professional JNF-USA staff member. A $50 registration fee will cover one hour of touring per day over the weeklong visit, taking place Monday through Thursday (4 p.m.-5 p.m. each day, in each mainland U.S. time zone). A nightly "social dinner and cocktail hour" will be held from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Participants may make their own dinner (a recommendation is to try a recipe from one of the JNF Galilee Culinary Institute advisory council members - Michael Solomonov and/or Lior Lev Sercarz). During this hour, participants may dial-back in with their respective dinners and discuss highlights from the 'virtual tour.'

On Friday, participants will experience a beautiful pre-Shabbat experience between 4 p.m.-5 p.m.

"The beauty of these tours is that they allow us to directly support Israel's tour guides while also renewing our connection to our beloved Israel," said JNF-USA National Campaign director, Sharon Joy. "I'm excited that participants will experience the magic of Israel virtually at a time when we are all yearning to visit in person. And thanks to the expert insights from our Israeli tour guides, we will learn about our homeland in a whole new light."

Deena Shiff, JNF-USA's Chief of Staff added: "We expect these tours to also have the added benefit of providing people who've never been to Israel with an opportunity to 'dip their toe in the water' without having to book flights and accommodation. We hope their brief taste of Israel will inspire them to visit once international travel resumes."

Jewish National Fund-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel's north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, Jewish National Fund-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure for ecology, special needs, and heritage preservation.

For more information on JNF Virtual Travel & Tours, email Ilana Rosenzweig at irosenzweig@jnf.org or call 212-879-9305, etx. 255.

 

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