UIA celebrated Israel’s 75th anniversary with a mission that united 750 Keren Hayesod-UIA supporters worldwide. Participants from Australia, Canada, France, Argentina, and other countries joined UIA to engage in Israel’s anniversary celebrations and attend Keren Hayesod’s Annual World Conference, Women’s Mifgash, Young Leadership Kesher Seminar, and missions.
Over 50 supporters participated in UIA’s Yom Ha’atzmaut and Major Donors Missions, during which participants enjoyed unique events and heard from speakers on culture, history, security, innovation, creativity and cuisine, gaining a firsthand understanding of UIA’s life-saving work.
Highlights for participants included a Keren Hayesod-UIA Yom Ha’atzmaut picnic at Havat Ronit, visiting a Hezbollah tunnel on the northern border, and exploring the Tel Nof air force base with access to Israel Air Force aircraft and equipment.
Participants also had the opportunity to witness the impact of Keren Hayesod-UIA-supported projects by visiting Kiryat Gat, Jerusalem, and Ra’anana absorption centres, which serve as the initial homes for many new immigrants (olim).
The encounters with olim from Russia, Ukraine and Ethiopia who recently made aliyah with the support of Keren Hayesod-UIA, left a lasting impression on the participants.
The participants also learnt about the Youth Futures program, which empowers over 12,000 at-risk children and their families. They visited Hadassah Neurim and Ramat Hadassah Youth Villages, assisting disadvantaged youth with integration challenges, and explored Net@ Ramle, a program providing technological training to high school students on Israel’s periphery.
Along with an itinerary packed full of insightful speakers, the participants also had the opportunity to tour the Gaza Strip border, Sderot city and the seam line in Jerusalem with Dani Tirza, the architect of Israel’s security barrier with the West Bank.
Mission participant Sam Parasol said, “The Mission was the most wonderful, never-to-be forgotten experience. The preparation by UIA personnel – from the guides and speakers to the food and every detail was excellent.”
Helen White echoed these sentiments saying, “Our outstanding shlichim, guides and speakers have given us great insight into the life and challenges that Israel faces,” while Glynis Bass shared, “Each day was filled to the brim with unbelievable adventures.”
UIA CEO Yair Miller OAM said, “A UIA mission is one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences that one can have in Israel.”