This spring, Jewish Federation of San Diego County will embark on a trip to Israel unlike one the Jewish community has experienced in generations. Known as The CommUNITY Trip, participants will customize their travel experience through numerous electives that suit their interests, while also having VIP access to events and meetings with dignitaries. Scheduled for May 4-11, 2023, the CommUNITY Trip is chaired by Tamar Caspi, Theresa Dupuis and Gary Kornfield, and Caryn and Alan Viterbi.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the San Diego Jewish community to come together and cement our relationship with Israel,” Theresa Dupuis, a chair of the CommUNITY Trip to Israel shared with GB Magazine. “We will go beyond the headlines to build our own personal relationships with Israelis. The trip will impact our community for generations and will transform our local Jewish life in San Diego.”

The CommUNITY Trip includes 5-star accommodations and cuisine. In addition to major sites in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the northern part of Israel, electives offer the chance to visit areas relating to Israel’s arts and culture, hi-tech and social cohesion, immigration, venture capital and real estate, food and wine, pluralism, women’s achievements, and much more. Concerts and other performances will add to the special experience showcasing the many aspects and people of Israel.

“We want this experience to offer something for everyone,” Alan Viterbi commented. “The San Diego Jewish community is diverse in many ways and the CommUNITY Trip itinerary reflects the different perspectives, interests, backgrounds, and ages of everyone who will be on the trip. “We have crafted an experience that showcases Israel’s dynamic history and modern day life – filled with innovation, risk-takers, beauty, complexity, challenges, and incredible achievements.”

Trip participants will spend a day in Federation’s sister city, Sha’ar HaNegev, meeting with community leaders and members and seeing how donations from the San Diego Jewish community support the region. Federation has contributed substantially to their community center, educational centers, and trauma response. Beyond the financial impact, Sha’ar HaNegev and the San Diego Jewish community have special bonds and relationships through multiple joint programs.

“Our Jewish community leaders and their leaders visit and learn from each other, and our youth have joint school projects,” adds Heidi Gantwerk, President and CEO of Federation. “The personal connections are really what build a lasting connection to Israel. We have been there for each other in great times and in tragic times, which both of our communities have experienced. And it is incredibly gratifying to see the impact we have on their lives.”

Following the eight days in Israel, participants will have the option of a multi-day “add-on” to the United Arab Emirates to see major sites and experience the culture. As one of the newest countries in the region to be part of a peace accord with Israel, travel and business opportunities between the two countries is accelerating quickly.

“I am excited for the trip as I know so many others are too,” adds Tamar Caspi. “More than a hundred people are already signed on, and we are ready to welcome many more! It will be an experience of a lifetime.”

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