Why We’re Taking Our Family to Israel This Summer

Mah Nishtana HaVacation HaZeh?

What makes the JCC-led Community Israel Trip different from all other tours? For us, figuring out the answer to that question was the key to unlocking our decision to not only join the trip, but to chair it as well.


Western Wall, Jerusalem


We’ve been to Israel before—the last time, three years ago, with all three of our elementary-age kids. And while we were all itching for a return trip, we were wary of the thought of a multi-family, multi-generational cohort locking us into a rigid schedule without flexibility to explore on our own.


Ruins of Massada Fortress in Negev at sunset

Other questions jumped to mind:  What if the hotels are awful?  Do I really want to climb Masada—again? What if I want to finally explore Yad VaShem, but my kids are still mostly Children’s Museum material? Can we squeeze in that Bar Mitzvah our friends are planning that week?




And perhaps the biggest questions of all: If the trip is too programmed, will we feel rushed? If not, and we just play it by ear, will we get locked out of all the good stuff? With two adults and three kids, how would we avoid the pitfalls of a “one-size-fits-all” itinerary, and instead achieve that rarest and most precious of family vacations: the “something for everyone” experience?


Israeli open-air market


Fortunately, Luba Palant and the dedicated planning team at the Oshman Family JCC have put together an amazing itinerary. Actually, several itineraries.


Makhtesh Ramon, mountain goat in the unique crater of Israel


By combining insights into unique experiences—daily activity choices for people of all ages—with a world-class network of in-country contacts and regional travel professionals, the team has created a flexible itinerary supporting several different daily “themes.”


TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MARCH 2, 2015: The outlook to waterfront and city from old Jaffa


Daily options include culinary, history, politics and culture, providing each traveler his or her own customized Israel experience. Fully vetted madrichim will be available to take kids on separate day trips, yet there is still plenty of family time (beaches, anyone?) built in to the schedule. The only hard part will be deciding which activities to partake of each day!


Fused salt made on the surface of the water. Emerald water of the Dead Sea


L’Shana HaZeh B’Yirushalayim! This year in Jerusalem…and Tel Aviv…and the Galilee…

The Tachners, this year’s trip chairs, invite you to share in this amazing community experience and be part of launching a new community tradition. To learn more about the trip, visit our website or reach out to Luba Palant.  Scholarships are available.

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Adam and Christine Tachner

Written by Adam and Christine Tachner

Adam and Christine Tachner have been OFJCC members since its founding, although they admit to almost never using the gym. Their three kids, Allegra, Sam and Avra attend Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School; their dogs, Brenda and Herschel Barkowitz, are home-schooled.

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