Jewish National Fund’s Sold Out 6th Annual ‘Sunshine Tour’ to Participate in 9/11 Ceremony in Israel
New York, NY: August 7, 2017 - A moving 9/11 Living Memorial Ceremony, scheduled for September 11, 2017, will include dozens of visiting Americans traveling on the sold out Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) 6th Annual Sunshine Tour in Israel. The tour, which will take place from September 3-12, 2017, provides active adults 55+ years young and older with the opportunity to learn about Israel and connect with the land and their heritage.
The 9/11 ceremony and memorial, expected to attract over 500 people, will include the U.S. Ambassador, national and foreign dignitaries, American war veterans, and more. The Memorial, located just outside of Jerusalem, was built in memory of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Jewish National Fund's (JNF) 9/11 Living Memorial was designed by award-winning Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff. It is a 30-foot-high bronze sculpture of a waving American flag that morphs into a memorial flame. It rests on a gray granite base, which includes a metal beam from the original Twin Towers. Surrounding the memorial is a circular stone-tiled plaza, funded by the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub Trust. It offers visitors a place to reflect upon their thoughts and memories, and is the only place outside of New York that recognizes the names and people who were killed on 9/11 as well as their countries of origin.
Edward Blank, a retired New York telemarketing pioneer, and a member of JNF’s World Chairman’s Council, donated and dedicated the JNF 9/11 Living Memorial in 2009. Sharing his thoughts from Manhattan he said, “My family and I are honored that this monument continues to be recognized as a memorial to innocent victims of terrorism and as a reminder that society must be eternally vigilant against extremism. May it serve as a sanctuary for shared loss and a call for peace among nations.”
Sunshine participants will see wonderful highlights of Israel including a private tour of the Yitzhak Rabin Center to learn more about this visionary leader who played an integral role in the creation of the State of Israel; a visit to Akko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former Crusader city; a stop at the Western Galilee Now Visitor’s Center, a visit to a kibbutz, a visit to northern Negev to explore JNF’s groundbreaking work.
Dr. Melinda Wolf, who has been the tour chair since 2012, will act as trip leader for the 57-member tour along with Matt Bernstein, JNF’s Chief Planned Giving Officer and other staff. Together, through all of the visits and tours, they will share JNF’s vision for Israel.
“We take participants on a journey through history, integrating the past, present, and future of the State of Israel,” Wolf said. “We want to show people all the ways in which JNF has made huge differences in the development of the country. Our goal is to have everyone come back loving Israel and feeling very connected to JNF.”
Participants will also visit the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, a JNF signature project that has provided a much-needed sense of normalcy for residents in the hard-hit town of Sderot located less than a mile from Gaza. In addition, the tour will continue south to the developing region of Halutza along the Egyptian border, a Jeep tour through Ramon Crater, a tour of the Be’eer Sheva River Park, which the centerpiece of Jewish National Fund’s efforts to create a renaissance for the city, and of course, a visit to Jerusalem, the spiritual and cultural hub of Israel.
Past participants, such as Dr. Anna Taylor, an emeritus professor at UCLA, said of her Sunshine Tour experience that she “particularly enjoyed the day in the Negev and learning what JNF was doing down there. I appreciate what Jewish National Fund does insofar as helping the infrastructure of Israel and that it is not an apolitical or religious organization.”
The 2018 7th Annual Sunshine Tour has been scheduled for August 26-Sept. 4, 2018. For more information on the 2018 tour, contact: Matt Bernstein, 800-562-7562, [email protected].