The Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 during the post-war years of America’s economic surge, will be embarking on their maiden journey to Israel as part of the largest UJA-Federation mission to the country in years, the William Rosenwald Mission, featuring 300 visitors on a multi-track trip.
“The Baby Boomer’s Overview of Israel” will see historic places like Jerusalem’s Old City, Tzfat and Ceasarea, cultural sites like the Museum for the History of Society and Democracy in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Yitzhak Rabin Center and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek and Nachalat Binyamin.
Among the Baby Boomers will be sisters Sandra Hellman, 74, and Zita Bernstein, 66, both of whom are visiting Israel for the first time. For Hellman and Bernstein, the Baby Boomer mission offers the sisters a chance to realize a lifelong dream—though not for all the same reasons.
While Zita is looking forward to swimming in the Dead Sea and shopping, in addition to seeing historic sites, Sandra has been a longtime student of the Holocaust and puts the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial atop her must-do list for Israel.
Sandra, who has suffered from serious respiratory ailments and lung cancer, among other challenges, said: “I am happy to be alive to realize the one thing I’ve always wanted to do my whole life—visit Israel.”
Other Baby Boomer mission participants include Carl Eckstein, 68, who has never been to Israel, and his significant other, Barbara Baumstein, 67.
“I visited Southeast Asia and Italy this year, but there’s no place I am looking forward to experiencing more than Israel—this is something I’ve been wanting to do for as along as I can remember,” said Eckstein. “I’ve heard from so many people including Barbara how amazing Israel is—I can’t wait to see for myself!”
“There’s no better way to celebrate UJA-Federation’s century of Jewish community building and Israel’s 69th anniversary of independence than with this incredible, inspiring mission,” said UJA-Federation of New York CEO Eric S. Goldstein. “Whether hiking in the footsteps of our forefathers, or gaining insights from Israel’s high-tech entrepreneurs, participants will experience their Jewish homeland in powerfully new ways and come away with memories that will last a lifetime.”
UJA Federation of New York was founded in 1917, when Jews across the New York area pioneered the idea of bringing a network of different charitable agencies and institutions under one federated system—and has provided many billions of dollars to support the State of Israel since its inception.