Together in Israel: Reimagining the Congregational Israel Trip

May 22, 2015

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Many people have traveled to Israel on a family trip, many have taken part in teen trips to Israel, and a lucky few have traveled on both. This past February, The Community Synagogue of Port Washington NY organized a congregational Israel trip that would blend the experiences of a family and teen trip into one hybrid adventure.


We envisioned a trip where most of the experiences would be spent together as a large hybrid group of families and teens. Within that larger trip, we would offer opportunities for the teenagers to experience Israel as a smaller group, wherein their unique interests and passions could be focused on more specifically. We carefully designed our itinerary to reflect such a trip, one in which was much to be shared, and much to be enjoyed based on each group’s needs and wants. In the middle of February, we set off for Israel, accompanied by 24 participants on our family trip, including a number of young teenagers, and six POWTY (Port Washington Temple Youth) members in 10th, 11th and 12th grades on our teen tour. Our Family and Teen Trip to Israel was born!


For our teenage participants, their experience in Israel was unique to others they may have had in the past, and unique to any they will have in the future. We charged each teen with the role of peer leader, which empowered them as we journeyed through Israel. They rose to the opportunities associated with this role: They were warm and welcoming to our younger participants, funny and uplifting for our adults. They invited younger kids to join them at meals, and welcomed them to walk and talk through the streets of Israel side by side. They played games in our hotel lobby during an unprecedented Jerusalem snowstorm, and underneath a Bedouin tent while the rain poured down outside in the middle of the desert.


Read the entire post at eJewish Philanthropy.

To learn more about the Community Synagogue’s hybrid Israel trip, visit their blog.

Updated: May. 27, 2015