Jerusalem 3000 trip offers 5 paths to pursue interests in ancient city

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"People are not going to be able to say, `Been there, done that' about this trip. There are too many unique experiences being offered," said Jerry Yanowitz, co-chair of the Pathways committee.

Despite everything Israel has to offer, Yanowitz said only about one-third of American Jews have traveled to Israel.

"We always make a big deal about sending our children to Israel after confirmation. But seldom do we take the time to go ourselves," he said.

"This trip is a powerful reaffirmation of our heritage."

Space is limited on the Oct. 13-26 trip, which also offers opportunities to study with leading scholars, meet other Jews and discover the rich heritage and transformative hopes of the world's holiest city.

On the tour, travelers can partake of various special-interest "paths" including "Jerusalem: Archaeology and History," led by Lehrhaus Judaica associate director Jehon Grist; "Jerusalem: City of Arts and Culture," with Magnes Museum curator Sheila Braufman; "Politics and the Media," with AIPAC regional director Naomi Lauter; "Modern Jewish Thinkers," with Rabbi Eliezer Finkelman, spiritual leader of Berkeley's Temple Beth Israel and president of the East Bay Area Council of Rabbis; and "Jerusalem and Israel for the First-time Visitor," led by former East Bay shaliach (emissary) Amnon Gideon.

Rabbis Howard Zack of Oakland's Congregation Beth Jacob, Patricia Karlin-Neumann of Alameda's Temple Israel and Mark Diamond of Oakland's Temple Beth Abraham will accompany the tour.

The sojourners will take in the City of David excavations, the new Supreme Court building, Jewish Quarter archaeology sites, Neot Kedumim Nature Reserve, the new Tisch Family Zoo, Jerusalem 3000 concerts and seminars and a private reception and dinner in the Bible Lands Museum.

Those interested in the trip will be invited to a private Magnes Museum viewing of the Jerusalem 3000 exhibit "Passionate Pilgrimage" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6.