2023 CommUNITY Trip to Israel Electives

During this incredible trip, you will have the opportunity to customize part of your trip experience by selecting from a variety of elective days. During these elective days, you will be with a small group of people who also selected those electives and want to dive into a specific area in a smaller setting. Electives are subject to change based on enrollment. During the registration process you will be asked to rank your top choices for both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. You can participate in different options in each city.

 

Read more about the various elective options below.

Tel Aviv Electives

 

During our time in Tel Aviv, you will be able to explore aspects of the city that interest you most, in small groups. From hi-tech, to art and culture, to women’s achievements, and so much more, check out these great options and choose the one that is right for you!

TEL AVIV 101 FOR FIRST TIMERS

 

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This elective is for first-timers to Israel or anyone who want to freshen up on some of Tel Aviv’s iconic places. Possible sites include a visit to the Palmach Museum showcasing the Palmach legacy; Rabin Square, the location where the Prime Minister was assassinated that now holds many of the city’s peaceful protests; a tour and lunch at the famous Carmel Market; and a walking tour of the Bauhaus buildings designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

FOOD AND WINE*

 

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This elective is for “foodies” and those wishing to taste some of Tel Aviv’s best food and libations. Possible sites include cooking and lunch at a Tel Aviv cooking studio; a walking and tasting tour of the Levinsky Market; a culinary tour in B’nei Brak; and wine and spirits tasting. (*Additional Fee Associated; Maximum 2 buses available)

HI TECH AND SOCIAL COHESION

 

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This elective will take you to cutting-edge companies where you’ll meet with CEOs tackling Israel’s and the world’s greatest social challenges–from sustainability and energy solutions, through Fem-tech and Food-tech, to integrating marginal populations into today’s world. See first-hand how Israel is leading social innovation through hi-tech. The elective will also present the shift from Start Up Nation to Technological Nation.

ART AND CULTURE

 

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This elective will explore the various places, programs, and artists who continue to put Tel Aviv on the map as a major destination place for art and culture opportunities. Site visits might include touring Tel Aviv's architecture and street art; meetings with some of Tel Aviv's top artists; and other opportunities to learn about the art scene in many of Tel Aviv's hip neighborhoods.

FINANCE, VENTURE CAPITAL & REAL ESTATE

 

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This elective presents Israel’s dynamic real-estate and financial markets with visits to places like the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange; a development and preservation look at the iconic Bauhaus buildings; the vibrant Sarona Market; WAZE headquarters; and a view of Tel Aviv from the Azrieli Center’s helipad.

GEOPOLITICAL AND SECURITY CHALLENGES

 

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This elective will introduce you to the geopolitical and security challenges facing Israel with a focus on Israel, the Palestinian identity conflict, and the ever-changing power struggle of the neighboring countries’ impact on the Palestinian leadership.  Meet with high-level experts in the field and visit places showcasing the Triangle Seamline and the Security Fence to better understand what is at stake.  

IMMIGRATION/REFUGEES & ASYLUM SEEKERS

 

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This elective will introduce you to people who immigrated or arrived in Israel from different countries and for different reasons, to learn about their experiences and integration into Israeli society. We will meet with refugees and asylum seekers who escaped their homeland and face challenges living in Israel. You will learn about ways Israel helps these people and the opportunities it has to do more.

HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

 

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This elective will spotlight some of the heroic battles, triumphs, and peaceful periods of Israel from the Bible time to the modern state. You’ll visit the Yitzhak Rabin Center; Tel Gezer; Khirbet Quiyefa; and one of the many cave systems attributed to the Bar Kochba period.  

PLURALISM

 

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This elective will explore the multi-culture and religious presence in the city of Jaffa, where Jews, Muslims and others live side-by-side. You will visit and participate in a brief study session at BINA Secular Yeshiva.

UNDERSTANDING THE AREAS OF MUTUAL CO-EXISTENCE WITHIN ISRAEL*

 

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This elective will discuss how the conflict plays out in Israel. You might experience a walking tour with activists working on building a shared community in the City of Lod. Or you might meet with residents of Neve Shalom, a unique village where Jews and Arabs live together, embodying and endeavoring to advance the principle of peaceful coexistence. In addition, we will meet with NGOs promoting coexistence and mutual understanding among the different religions and cultures in Israel. (*Maximum 2 buses available)

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENTS AND UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES REMAINING IN TEL AVIV

 

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This elective will offer the opportunity to meet with some of Israel’s most accomplished women leaders in various fields and hear their stories, including the challenges that remain.

DISENFRANCHISED COMMUNITIES IN TEL AVIV

 

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This elective will offer the opportunity to meet with members of the LGBTQ+ community, Ethiopian community, special needs community, or Asylum seekers to learn about the challenges they face – and how they work to overcome them.

Jerusalem Electives

 

During our time in Jerusalem, you will be able to explore aspects of the city that interest you most, in small groups. From food, to high-tech, to history, and so much more, check out these great options and choose the one that is right for you!

JERUSALEM 101 FOR FIRST TIMERS

 

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This elective is for first-timers to Israel or anyone who just wants to freshen up on some of Jerusalem’s iconic places. Possible sites include a Ramparts Walk around the Old City of Jerusalem; a tour of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City to uncover the many layers of Jewish history from the time of the First Temple until the present day; a tour of the Supreme Court Building; and a tour of the new National Library of Israel.

FOOD AND WINE*

 

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This elective is for “foodies” and anyone wishing to taste some of Jerusalem’s best food and libations. Possible sites include a tasting adventure in Machne Yehuda market. If you have not been in a while, you might be surprised by the many new restaurants, bars, and boutique shops in the market. You will also experience a hands-on chocolate workshop; a tour and cheese tasting adventure at a local boutique dairy; a close-up look at the wine production process at a boutique vineyard; and a beer tasting experience at one of Israel’s local breweries. (*Additional Fee Associated; Maximum 2 buses available)

HI TECH

 

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This elective will take you to visit some of the cutting-edge companies for meetings with CEOs tackling Israel’s and the world’s greatest challenges, from DNA sequencing to innovative solutions in Cyber Security. Understand the shift from Start-Up Nation to Technological Nation with our expert overview.

ART AND CULTURE

 

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This elective will explore the various places, programs, and artists who help put Jerusalem on the map as a destination place for art and culture opportunities.  Site visits might include a walking tour following the shooting sites of Shtisel, one of Israel’s most beloved TV shows; a discussion of the emergence of Israel as a powerhouse of international television; a visit to the Hansen Compound, once a leper hospital, and today a multimedia art center and a visit with some of its presenting artists; and A Studio of Her Own, both a space and a community for Jerusalem women artists. The Studio supports unique art by women with the goal of encouraging multicultural discourse on contemporary art, facilitating a place for making art, and mutual sharing of ideas, impacting the art field in Israel and abroad.

FINANCE, VENTURE CAPITAL & REAL ESTATE

 

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This elective might take you to visit places like OurCrowd, the leading global equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors; Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), to understand the role of entrepreneurs in the success of Israel and UAE relationships; a VIP tour of the Bank of Israel; the Ministry of Finance; and the Jerusalem Gateway Project.

GEOPOLITICAL AND SECURITY CHALLENGES IN JERUSALEM AND ITS VICINITY

 

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This elective will introduce you to some of the current geopolitical and security challenges facing Jerusalem. You will meet with high-level experts in the field and visit places to gain a deeper understanding of the complex situation.

ISRAEL ADVOCACY*

 

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This elective will help you understand more fully Israel’s place in the region. Visits might include a walking tour with a leading Israeli journalist explaining the complexities of the Capital of Israel, and an Advocacy Workshop 101 on the essentials of being an advocate of Israel. (*Maximum 2 buses available)

HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

 

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This elective will visit some of the new and exciting excavations taking place in Jerusalem; visit Gush Etzion and understand its deep connection to the modern history of Israel; and tour the Herodian National Park, King Herod’s palace-fortress.

HUNGER, AGING AND POVERTY

 

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This elective will explore Politics, Poverty, and Hunger and might include site visits to a Haredi community to understand their cycle of poverty. Experts from the Joint Distribution Committee will take you to East Jerusalem, home to much of Jerusalem’s Arab population.

IMMIGRATION & OLIM

 

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This elective will offer the opportunity to meet with people who immigrated to Israel from different countries to learn about their experiences and integration into Israeli society, and about the State’s efforts to integrate newcomers.. 

JEWISH PLURALISM

 

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This elective will explore the many facets of Jewish pluralism in Israel, such as marriage, kashrut, conversion, prayer at the Kotel, and Shabbat observance. You will meet with various activists throughout Jerusalem working to make changes and with leaders of different streams of Judaism who will share challenges they face. You will also hear how the major religions coexist in many ways in Jerusalem.

UNDERSTANDING THE ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN CONFLICT AND AREAS OF MUTUAL CO-EXISTENCE IN JERUSALEM*

 

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This elective will offer you the opportunity to hear experts discuss how the conflict plays out in Israel, especially in Jerusalem, with a special focus on the question: is the re-united city really united?  You will tour the Old City to explore the three monolithic religions; East Jerusalem; and Yad B’Yad (Hand-in-Hand), a Jewish-Arab School where staff and students will share their experiences. (*Maximum 2 buses available)

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENTS AND UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES REMAINING

 

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This elective will offer the opportunity to meet with some of Israel’s most accomplished women leaders in various fields and hear their stories, including challenges that remain.

DISENFRANCHISED COMMUNITIES

 

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This elective will offer the opportunity to meet with members of the LGBTQ+ community, Ethiopian community, special needs community, or Asylum seekers to learn about the challenges they face–and how they work to overcome them.

JERUSALEM BENEATH THE HEADLINES:
AN ON THE GROUND LOOK AT GRASSROOTS CHANGE IN THE “REAL” JERUSALEM*

 

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For millennia Jerusalem has been a symbol, muse, and religious icon. It is also one of the most diverse cities in the world and, for its residents, the place they drop their children off at school, go shopping, and spend their daily lives. In addition to Jerusalem’s status as a political capital, it is also the social innovation capital of Israel and one of the foremost hubs for new strategies and pilots of social change and activism in the world. This elective will go far beyond the typical tourist bus to meet young changemakers who look at Jerusalem’s diversity and intensity as opportunities for creativity and new ways to approach endemic challenges in societies around the world. You will walk the streets of their neighborhoods together with these activists and discover why this ancient city where tradition is so treasured may be the ultimate source for breakthrough disruption and transformation. (*Maximum 2 buses available)

*Additional cost associated or two bus maximum