The 2017 Mission to Poland and Israel has come to an end





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DAY 1 – MONDAY, APRIL 24TH

ARRIVAL IN KRAKOW, POLAND


The participants arrived and attended an opening delegation dinner alongside concentration camp survivors and IDF “Witnesses in Uniform” delegation at the hotel together with the IDF Chief of Staff 

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2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 1


A highlight of the evening was an emotional reunion of Holocaust survivor Miri Amir and
Mirosława Gruszczyńska, the women who saved Miri's life during the war
 



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DAY 2 – TUESDAY, APRIL 25TH 


COMMEMORATING JEWISH HERITAGE IN HISTORIC KRAKOW


The day started with a tour of the Krakow Jewish Ghetto in Kazimierz where Jews were forced to live
during the Nazi occupation. The tour culminated with a moving memorial ceremony at the Ghetto square.

Next included a prayer service at Itzaak Synagogue together with the IDF Chief Cantor followed
by lunch at the Galicia Museum, which commemorates the victims of the Holocaust
and celebrates the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia.

After lunch, the group visited the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Krakow and learn about
its significant Jewish community, which thrived from the 14th century until
its decimation in the Holocaust. The group heard first-hand recounts of being
Jewish in pre-WWII Poland through an in-depth retelling by survivors.

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2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 2



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DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26TH 

REMEMBERING THOSE WHO PERISHED IN TARNÓW AND ZBYLITOWSKA GÓRA


The day began with a tour of Tarnów, the town that was home to thousands of Jews who ultimately faced unspeakable suffering at the hands of the Nazis.

Next, the group departed for Zbylitowska Gora Village and Buczyna Forest to retrace the steps of many Jews, including over 800 children, who were executed and buried by the Nazis. Followed by a stirring memorial ceremony at the Children's Grave with the IDF Delegation. 

The day came to a close with a segment of moving personal testimonials by Holocaust survivors and a dinner with the IDF delegation.

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2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 3



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DAY 4 – THURSDAY, APRIL 27TH

REMEMBER THE PAST, MARK THE PRESENT,
AND LOOK TO THE FUTURE AT AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU


The group had a very moving visit to Auschwitz 2–Birkenau. Auschwitz, a complex of several camps, was the largest Nazi killing center. Birkenau, also known as “Auschwitz 2”, was the largest and most lethal of the Auschwitz camps. Participants marched side-by-side with Holocaust survivors and IDF officers.



Survivors shared their experiences and memories of the concentration camp to his liberation.
Next was a very emotional memorial ceremony in Birkenau led by the commander of the IDF delegation.

The emotionally-charged day ended with a group dinner at the hotel marking
the transition from Holocaust to Independence, beginning to the inspirational journey
to Israel alongside the IDF delegation. 

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2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 4






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DAY 5 – FRIDAY, APRIL 28TH 

POLAND TO ISRAEL ON AN AN ISRAELI AIR FORCE JET

The participants embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime flight to Israel aboard an
Israel Airforce plane, accompanied by Israel's own IAF pilots and IDF officers.

Once landed at an IDF Air Force Base, a moving "Welcome to Israel" Shabbat dinner
celebrating the transition from “darkness into light” with our arrival in Jerusalem.  

2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 5



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DAY 6 – SATURDAY APRIL 29TH 

SHABBAT IN THE HOLY CITY

While some participants took a walking tour of the historic Old City of Jerusalem with an emphasis on
Christian history, some took a neighborhood tour of Rehavia and Nahlaot - the tour told the histories
from the British Mandate until the present day. Others ascended Masada for a breathtaking tour of the historic
fortification and a visit to the Dead Sea.   

In the evening, the group received an in-depth geopolitical briefing from a top Israeli military expert then
participated in an unforgettable Havdalah service in the holiest city on earth.

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DAY 7 – SUNDAY APRIL 30TH 

THE PRIDE OF A NATION – LEADING INTO YOM HAZIKARON, ISRAEL'S MEMORIAL DAY

The day kicked-off with a visit to the soldiers of the Judea and Samaria Division.

The evening was spent attending an official memorial ceremony for
Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day) to remember fallen soldiers and victims of
terrorism at the Kotel with state officials.  


2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 7



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DAY 8 – MONDAY MAY 1ST 

EXPERIENCING YOM HAZIKARON AS ISRAELIS DO, REMEMBERING FALLEN SOLDIERS 
The day somber day began with a memorial ceremony at Yad La-Shiryon, the
Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum.

In the theme of remembrance, the group visited the 9/11 Memorial, the
only place outside of the United States that recognizes the names and countries of origin of
the people who were killed on 9/11.

The day ended with a transition from mourning into joy and celebration as the
country reigned in Israel's 69 Independence Day, Yom Ha'atzmaut. 


2017 Delegation to Poland and Israel - Day 8



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DAY 9 – TUESDAY MAY 2ND 

MISSION FAREWELL WITH A CELEBRATION OF YOM HAATZMAUT, “ISRAELI-STYLE”  

The celebratory day kicked off with an incredible visit with the Kedem Search and Rescue
battalion for lunch, singing and dancing with soldiers.

Next, the group visited the official residence of the President of the State of Israel, Beit HaNasi and
took part in an official diplomatic reception with the president Mr. Rueven "Ruby" Rivlin and his wife Nechama as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu.

The day came to a close with a farewell dinner at King David Hotel marking the conclusion of the FIDF
delegation to Poland and Israel and the journey from Holocaust to Independence.

Delegation at Residence of Israeli President


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