Shearith Israel’s Family Mission to Israel
Photo: Shearith Israel
Group on Mount Scopus Observation Deck overlooking Jerusalem

Rabbi Ari Sunshine and family returned from a successful Congregation Shearith Israel Family Mission to Israel in early July. Rabbi Sunshine led 34 travelers, including 12 students ages 13-22. Some highlights from the trip included Masada; the Dead Sea; dinner at Abraham’s Tent; Yad Vashem; Mount Herzl Cemetery; a sunset boat ride on the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) featuring a soulful, musical performance by Netanel Goldberg, who inspired Rabbi Sunshine’s popular Prayer Rhythms services; a barbecue dinner in Northern Israel with young Israeli soldiers; Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Tachana Rishona (First Station) in West Jerusalem, then at Azarat Yisrael/Robinson’s Arch and the Kotel in the Old City, providing a fascinating and moving juxtaposition of old and new — traditional and progressive Jewish practice and ritual; and a working session at Pantry Packers, a group that feeds Israel’s needy and empowers them to take the necessary steps to achieve success in their own lives. The Shearith group also visited the Old City and purchased 11 pairs of tefillin for the Abuyadaya Jewish community in Uganda. A community member from Abuyadaya spoke at Shearith one Shabbat morning in June, inspiring several Shearith members to make generous donations to support the Ugandan community.
After the trip, Rabbi Sunshine said that he was honored to be a part of this journey where the group discovered “a shared love for the land, the people, and the State of Israel while they bonded as a group.”

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