FIDF Mission to Israel
On November 6, 2009, the Michigan Friends of the IDF embarked on what proved to be an unforgettable mission. This was no ordinary trip to Israel. Of course, the basic tourist sites were covered: Tour of the Old City, Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem nightlife, Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Museum, Masada, Dead Sea, Tel Aviv nightlife and Israeli wineries. Also included was a visit to the Palmach Museum, an incredible experiential museum which brought to life the contribution of Palmach, an underground Hagana defense group that later meshed with the Israel Defense Forces, to help form the State of Israel.
Many claimed, the highlights of this trip, however, were each time they were taken to a base and given an up close and personal view of the IDF soldiers and officers. Of course, the group felt proud before, but after getting to know and speak with them personally, their pride swelled. Army bases that do not usually allow tourists were visited. The mission participants shared Shabbat dinner with a Major General, soldiers, and the IMPACT scholarship program executive director. They dined with a Lieutenant Colonel, Head of the Causalities Department and experienced emotional meetings with families of fallen soldiers as well as IMPACT soldiers, who are recipients of a scholarship only offered to underprivileged combat soldiers. A few of the IMPACT graduates shared first hand their appreciation and their aspirations.
Those who went with the Michigan Friends of the Israel Defense Force experienced a mission that validated just how vital the IDF is to Israel. Participants supported Israeli tourism and helped to boost Israel's economy all while having fun, learning and experiencing and creating unforgettable memories.
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