In celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest (JFGMW) NJ, a community-wide trip to Israel is planned for July 2023. JSDD and our partner agency JESPY House will be sharing a bus as we embark on this community journey with the generous support of the Centennial Fund.
We are thrilled that five men and women who reside in JSDD homes will travel to Israel with three staff members. For most, it will be their first trip to Israel and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For those who travelled to Israel many years ago, it will be a visit of a lifetime with excursions tailored to their interests, while accommodations are made to address the needs of the group.
JSDD and JESPY House leadership are active, participating members of the Greater MetroWest ABLE Committee coordinated by Federation. The Committee has actively advocated for inclusion of individuals with intellectual, developmental disabilities and mental health concerns since it formed nearly fifteen years ago. It is the group’s advocacy that has resulted in making this opportunity possible.
From the Centennial page of JFGM website describing the trip…
Your first time in Israel is always special, no matter the circumstances. When you experience Israel surrounded by friends from your community, everyone will share in your excitement. On this mission, you’ll get to hit all the highlights that a typical Israel trip will include —but there’s so much more. You’ll get beneath the surface and really experience Israel, with off-the-beaten-track visits, unique adventures, and a chance to meet Israelis and hear about their lives.
No matter how many times you’ve been to Israel, you’ll experience something new on this mission. We’ll visit new, cutting-edge programs that help the most vulnerable populations, and you’ll have a chance to do hands-on community service. We’ll have encounters with Israelis from all walks of life, people you’d never have a chance to meet otherwise. When we visit traditional sites like Yad Vashem and the Old City, there will be options for veteran travelers to get in-depth, specialized tours.
It is extraordinary for us to be able to offer the men and women we support, who have long hoped to travel to Israel, this opportunity and to be a part of something larger. The goal is that the sense of community spirit, as we celebrate how much we have accomplished towards making this community whole through the meaningful participation of all its members, will extend well beyond this 100th Anniversary of our Federation and the 75th birthday of the State of Israel. The progress in MetroWest in achieving a fully inclusive community will be enhanced through this shared experience.
Thank you JFGMW, The Jewish Community Foundation and the Centennial Committee for your very generous support in making the dream to visit Israel come true for the men and women of JSDD and JESPY House!