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Debbie B.

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Posts : 373
Join date : 2011-09-05
Location : Chicagoland

PostSubject: family members trips to Israel   Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:07 am

My husband just found out that he will get to go on a business trip to Israel in early December. People he works with at IBM know that he is very excited by any opportunity to go to Israel, so he has gone there on business before. He will add a Shabbat stay with friends to either the beginning or end of the trip. The office he will be visiting is in Jerusalem which is even better from the perspective of personal visits than the last trip where he visited an office outside of Tel Aviv.

Another Israel trip is that my son may go on the "Ramah Israel Seminar" trip this summer. It is likely that some of the other kids from his age group at Ramah Wisconsin will be going and he knows them well from his 4 years of spending full 8-week summer sessions there. My daughter didn't care that she didn't know anyone when she went on an Israel youth trip, but my son has social issues so it would be helpful for him to go on a trip with kids he knows. I hope that if he goes, the rest of the family will be able to meet him in Israel after his program has ended (as we did after my daughter's trip four years ago), so maybe I'll get to go to Israel this summer too.

My son will be able to use the funds in his "SKIP" (Send a Kid to Israel) fund which is a program in which parents and participating congregations make a $170 contribution annually for 7 years (grades 3-9) (the  congregation amount is at least $25, and sometimes as much as half) which the Jewish Federation matches and the funds grow with interest. Then the kid can use the money (which is over $2500 for full participation) to help pay for a qualified youth trip to Israel, or if not the family and congregations get back their contributions (with interest), so it is a no-risk program. I am currently my minyan's SKIP coordinator which is not a very big job because my minyan has so few school-age children right now. I think that any Jewish congregation in the Chicago area can participate and I'd be happy to give more information to anyone who is interested---just contact me by PM ("private message") through this website. I'm pretty sure that there are similar programs in other areas of the US as well, so I encourage anyone with Jewish kids to look into it.
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