1000 Americans Study, Tour Israel

One thousand Americans ranging in ages from 13 to 60 are presently in Israel participating in some 26 programs sponsored and conducted by the American Section of the Department of Education and Culture of the World Zionist Organization.

The youngest travellers are the 80 thirteen and fourteen year-olds in the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Pilgrimage, who will spend 42 days in Israel in a combined study, touring and camping program, highlighted by a special ceremony in the Old City of Jerusalem in the Western Wall area. Another group of 40 youngsters is the Chicago Board of Jewish Education Community Choir which will participate in the 1977 Israel Zimriah (Song Festival) in addition to touring Israel.

There are 14 high school groups, from Atlanta, Atlantic City, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Essex County, N.J., Framingham, Mass., Hillcrest, N.Y. Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Waterbury, Conn., where the local bureaus of Jewish education in cooperation with the Department of Education sponsor programs of study and touring. The Houston and New Orleans youth groups spent several days in Warsaw and visited the former concentration camps in Auschwitz on their way to Israel.

On the university level, students of the City University of New York and the State University of New York will earn credit for their seminar on “The Land and Cultures of Israel.” Brandeis University students are doing graduate work in Jewish communal service and Jewish education. Students of the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary will be spending eight weeks at the Hayim Greenberg College in Jerusalem studying Hebrew, Bible and Jewish history.

OTHER PROGRAMS OUTLINED

Other programs for adults include a four-week study tour by the Herzl Institute of New York; and a public school teachers group organized by the National Hebrew Culture Council which will spend five weeks in touring and study at the Hebrew University.

Also, a Hebrew Educators Seminar and an Early Childhood Teachers Seminar sponsored by the Chicago Board of Jewish Education and the Miami Central Agency for Jewish Education which will divide their time between study and tours of the country and a five-week Ulpan for Reform educators at Haifa sponsored by the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Other programs conducted in cooperation with the Department are the Teachers of Volunteer Service, working on a volunteer basis in the development towns with underprivileged children, and the Adult Education Seminar from Miami. The Department of Education and Culture of the WZO-American Section is headed by Dr. Abraham P. Gannes. The summer projects are directed by Max Dunetz.

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