JCC of San Francisco offering trips to Cuba, Africa

The JCC of San Francisco is accepting applications for its spring and summer 2013 travel programs, including a three-week trip to Rwanda, Ethiopia and Israel May 25 to June 12, and a nine-day journey to Cuba Feb. 28 to March 8.

Registration for the Cuba trip, which will take participants to Havana, Guantánamo and Santiago de Cuba and include visits with Cuba’s Jewish community, closes Dec. 1. Led by travel program manager Ariel Goldstein, the trip will include special guest Barry Finestone, the JCC’s executive director.

It will be the JCC’s 12th mission to Cuba in the past four years; the most recent, with 28 participants, departed on Nov. 7 just weeks after Hurricane Sandy swept through the region.

The Africa trip is broken into three legs, with participants visiting Rwanda May 25-29, where they will tour the city of Kigali and its Genocide Memorial Centre and get the chance to observe gorillas in the wild. From May 29- June 5, participants will visit Ethiopia and learn about the work of Ethiopia’s “Father Teresa” — Dr. Rick Hodes, medical director for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The trip, also led by Goldstein, includes visits to the churches of Lalibela, Simien Mountains National Park and Addis Ababa, and a tour of the only medieval castles in sub-Saharan Africa.

From Ethiopia, participants will fly to Israel to meet with Ethiopian Jews who have made aliyah, tour Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and learn about the JDC’s humanitarian projects in the Jewish state.

A vegetarian Ethiopian Shabbat dinner, film screening and information session is planned at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at the JCC for those interested in the trip. Cost is $40 ($35 for members).

For information, contact Goldstein at (415) 276-1506 or email [email protected]