This week, eighteen GJC community members of all ages will join Rabbi Zeff on a congregational study trip to Israel. They will explore the theme of “Social Challenges and Achievements in Israel.” They will take in ancient sites, engage in the realities of Israel today and volunteer to help those in need. Among the many stops on their itinerary, they will examine the complicated geopolitics of Jerusalem and soak in the flavors of the Machaneh Yehuda market as the city readies itself for Shabbat. Rabbi Zeff will guide the group through his home city of Haifa and they will visit Kibbutz Hanaton in the Galilee, founded by the Israeli Masorti (Conservative) Movement. We wish the group many blessings, deep learning and meaningful connections to one another, to our history, to the land and to all of the people who call Israel home as they set off on this journey. May the Holy One protect their goings and comings as they fulfill the mitzvah of visiting Eretz Yisrael. May their curiosity and their presence increase peace and compassion as they travel on their way. We look forward to all they will have to share with us and teach us upon their return. Nesiyah Tovah!