VFI_YOU_msg.jpgSeveral organizations bringing Jewish teenagers and young adults to Israel reported cancellations among intended participants, but said the vast majority of those already in Israel have decided to stay on.

This article from Jpost is inspiring in that it seems not only are most students staying at the moment, but students are arriving! When I was a student in Israel in 1990, the Gulf War started and Sadaam threatened Israel with Scuds. Students from the Overseas school fled, and they cancelled the program. I went to pick ripe citrus on kibbutz, for how could a child of Zion abandon Israel in her time of need? That winter of 90-91, students were scrambling for anyway out of the country, and the planes were full of Israelis coming home.

Lets hope that we don’t see the wholesale cancellation of tours like we saw after the current intifada started, but I can understand the parents not wanting to send their kids to a war zone.

If you are in Israel now on a program and not sure what to do…There are many ways to help Israel during a war so check out Volunteers for Israel, in addition to additional Torah study, acts of kindness, and unity.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Living in Jerusalem, I can understand staying away from the North but I can’t understand not coming to Israel. Most of the country is not getting attacked, life goes on, etc. except for the important Northern areas.

    And, of course, we need you

  • It’s something to talk about. I am not changing my travel plans, I will be there in a few weeks.

  • despite the barrage of e-mails and the huge sighs on the line when i finally make phone calls back to the states, i’m too am still here. i’m slated to leave july 31–a decision made with no subtle amount of pushing from my mother. i’ve thought rather seriously about staying and volunteering through the jewish agency program with magen david adom, even now as i sit in a hostel with roommates that fled a kibbutz in nahariya after 7 days in a bomb shelter and after sitting on allenby near the beach talking to a yeshiva student who left tsfat. what’s keeping me back is not the fear of bombs (because laya’s completely right about driving cars), not the language barrier or even my own confusion with what i thought about israel before i arrived and since. it’s exhaustion that says “go home. you’ll have been gone six weeks.” i don’t think of myself as a zionist but that doesn’t stop me from thinking i should pick up the phone to call momo and have him find a way to extend my flight past september.

  • Yeah, my 16 year old sister is still there on her summer program, having the time of her life I might add. And I’ll be purchasing my ticket to Israel within the next month. It’s times like these that Israel needs our support. Yasher koach, Rabbi Yo.

  • If anyone can do it, Momo can. Do what you can, Barri. You can also support Israel from the US, by writing about what you’ve seen and experienced. And you can always come back.

  • Hello to all in Israel etc, I just came across this website while trying to get my opinion out there, which is very hard since the news media seems somewhat biased against Israel.(Al- Jazeera NEVER shows pictures of the 300,000 dead in Dafur region Sudan!)

    I’am originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies and currently live in Toronto Canada. I am 100% behind Israel in its life or death fight to get its soldiers back safe and sound and bring an end to Hebollah terror, after all no one has heard about the whereabouts of navigator Ron Arad who went missing many years ago in south Lebanon and is reported to be in Iran or may not be alive after all these years.

    I was also greatly moved some months ago watching young jewish kids protesting the genocide in Darfur in NYC by its mad Islamic gov’t that wants to kill innocents like Saddam’s henchmen and using God’s name to do these terrible things, which is in fact a great sin in the eyes of God.(PS I’am NOT a fundamentlist Christian!)

    Anyway I’am in Toronto and willing to volunteer in Israel, I’am also a heavy truck driver with exprience in Iraq and Kuwait (2004) I’ve even done a basic bodyguard and pistol shooting course and is a licenced private Investigator in Canada.

    Mike in Toronto

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