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Attention Snowbirds: Volunteering In Israel Is The Way To Go For Your Winter Plans

JNF Recruiting for Annual Trip to Israel

Contact: Hannah Schwartz • National Missions and Tours Coordinator JNF Travel & Tours • 212-568-6655 ext. 230 • / • Susan Horwitz • JNF Israel Representative • 972-54-783-6391 •

September 26, 2006  -- New York, NY -- Each year, a group of retirees chooses the wintertime path less traveled, forgoing Florida to spend the season in Israel on Jewish National Fund’s CAARI mission.

JNF is currently seeking active retirees or semi-retirees with a love for the land of Israel to be part of the 24th annual CAARI (Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel) mission. CAARI is a unique work, study, and touring program that allows individuals to see Israel while giving back to their homeland, immersing themselves in local culture, and connecting with Israel’s vibrant people. 

“The program is designed to feel, touch, hear, and see Israel from the mountains to the desert, from sea to sea, and from ancient to modern,” said Susan Horwitz, who coordinates CAARI in Israel. 

The CAARI mission ranges from 2 to 7 weeks between January 17 and March 8, 2007, depending on how long participants choose to stay in Israel. A full trip includes a month in Tel Aviv, a week in the Western Galilee, a week in Jerusalem, and three days at the Dead Sea. 

Days will be filled with visits to museums and archaeological sites and tours of modern and historical neighborhoods.  Participants will travel from the Galilee to the Negev, visiting JNF parks, forests, and reservoirs and learning about JNF's impact on the land and people of Israel, including its role in Negev development.  An evening lecture series with community leaders, government officials, journalists, and professors will focus on the issues and challenges facing Israel.

During the month that CAARI is based in Tel Aviv, participants will spend their mornings on volunteer assignments such as teaching English to elementary school children, visiting patients at a local medical center, assisting underprivileged people in various community facilities, maintaining JNF forests outside of Jerusalem and rehabilitating those in northern Isreal that were destroyed by forest fires during the war with Hezbollah this summer.  

“This is my 9th year working with the CAARI program,” said Horwitz, “and I love to see the enthusiasm and excitement of the participants.  They share a passion for the Land of Israel and its people and a desire to learn more about the country.  Each day when they return from their community service assignment, they can’t wait to tell about the wonderful experiences they had.”

For Seymour Karpas, a New York resident who has been a CAARI participant and volunteer coordinator for the past five years, the most meaningful part of the experience is going to the same school year after year and watching the children he teaches grow up.  

Karpas recalls a special moment a few years ago at the annual student performance for CAARI volunteers.  “When the children were done with the show, their teacher asked if anyone had anything to say,” he remembers.  “One boy stood up and asked if my wife Gloria and I would be his grandparents, since he did not have any.  It was a very emotional and meaningful moment for me.  I think each of us can tell a similar story.” 

“At the beginning of the school year, the children always ask me when CAARI is coming,” said Liat, an English teacher at Balfour Elementary School, where CAARI participants volunteer.  “There is a unique relationship that develops between the children and these special volunteers.  To me, the program is more than bonding with the land of Israel; it brings people together.”

For more information or to sign up, call 877-JNF-TOUR (536-8687), or visit

Top Right-  Marilyn Hershfield, of Brookline, MA, teaches English to Israeli elementary school students.Middle Left- Ken Glick, of Miami, FL, gets his hands dirty planting trees in a JNF forest.Middle Right- Gloria Kaufman of New York, Esther Katz of Winnipeg, Canada, and Henry and Sophia Oshin of New York enjoy a hike through theGalilee.Bottom Left-  Joan Hulkower of New York hauls soil at a JNF nursery.

All photos available as high-resolution jpegs upon request.

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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