Religious Zionists aim to be first out of gate


Religious Zionists of America (RZA)-Mizrachi is planning to host a leadership delegation visit to Israel in late May. It’s designed to be the first organized group of Jewish communal leaders to visit the Holy Land since the pandemic brought travel to a halt.

The delegation will send a message to American Jews that when they are comfortable traveling again, Israel should be their first destination.

“As more Americans are getting vaccinated and contemplating travel, we want to send a strong message to the Jewish community that instead of visiting Dubai, the Caribbean or some other exotic place, your priority should be to get back to Israel,” said RZA Executive Vice President Rabbi Ari Rockoff. “The start-up nation has now also become the vaccination nation! As Israel relaxes its travel restrictions, we want to be the first organized trip.”

Dubbed “A Journey Home,” the delegation will travel to Israel around the Memorial Day weekend in the United States.

The group will be limited to 50 participants who will experience an exclusive itinerary of briefings by Israel’s political and rabbinical leadership, meet with top Israeli physicians on Israel’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, hear from business leaders who innovated during the pandemic to reach new audiences, and learn from NGO leaders about their work helping to alleviate the economic and social consequences of COVID-19.

Participants will tour new Religious Zionist communities, dine with the heroes guarding Israel’s borders, and visit religious sites that were once easily travelled to by diaspora Jewry but of late have been locked down due to the pandemic.

The trip will also feature a shabbaton with Mizrachi’s worldwide leadership and delegates of the Orthodox Israel Coalition who are currently leading Israeli national institutions. It will close with a musical concert and the opportunity for attendees to spend time with loved ones after a year of being locked down on their own sides of the world.

Founded in 1913 as the American branch of World Mizrachi, the Religious Zionists of America serves as the umbrella organization for American supporters of Israel’s Religious Zionist movement. The organization aims to inspire a commitment to religious Zionism, the preservation of Jewish political freedom, the enhancement of Jewish religious life in the land of Israel, and the promotion of immigration to Israel.