> Israel > Jewish Society’s First Mission to Israel!

October 24, 2010 | by staff

Participants from around the world fly to Israel to study and tour with

On October 24, 2010, students from Canada and Spain, Oklahoma and Seattle and points in-between, arrive in Israel for a spectacular 8-day adventure of touring and studying with

The schedule features daily Torah study sessions with favorites including Yaakov Salomon, Lori Palatnik and Sara Rigler – all in a classroom overlooking the Western Wall.

Plus there are exciting day trips with world-class tour guide Rabbi Ken Spiro, author of "Crash Course in Jewish History."

Mission participants will be spending time throughout the week with the senior staff of Editor-in-Chief Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith, Senior Editor Rabbi Shraga Simmons, and Director of Development, Rabbi Jack Kalla.

Check out’s Facebook page throughout the week for live updates on the trip!

Highlights of the schedule are listed below.

Don’t miss out on the next mission in 2011 – write to for info. Next year in Jerusalem!

Monday, October 25, 2010
Welcome to Israel!

1:20 pm Arrive in Jerusalem

    Welcome Home!

      6:00 pm Welcome Dinner at the Aish World Center & Meet the Team
      Enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner at Aish HaTorah's spectacular new educational center - directly overlooking the Temple Mount, rising seven stories above the Western Wall Plaza. Meet the faces behind as you’re introduced to Rabbis Nechemia Coopersmith, Shraga Simmons and Jack Kalla, the directors of the website.

      8:30 pm Visit the Western Wall
      Begin our weeklong journey at the epicenter of the Jewish world, feeling the prayers of thousands of years and millions of Jews.

      9:20 pm Western Wall Tunnel Tours

      An awe-inspiring journey through time, transporting you to the heyday of Jerusalem during the era of the Holy Temple.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“The Layers of Jerusalem”

      9:10 am Seven Wonders of Jewish History

      Rabbi Yaakov Salomon is one of's most prolific teachers and a noted psychotherapist. Brimming with wit and wisdom, his weekly "Salomon Says" video blog is an favorite.

      10:35 am How the Ordinary Can Achieve the Extra-Ordinary

      11:30 What Makes Aish HaTorah Unique? Exploring the Mission and Core Values of Aish

Rabbi Eric Coopersmith, CEO of Aish HaTorah International

      Aish HaTorah operates programs in 100 cities on 5 continents, and has been described as a "billion-dollar asset to the Jewish community." Get an inside understanding of what fuels this idealism and success.

12:30 pm Lunch in the Old City of Jerusalem

      3:00 pm City of David Tour

7:00 pm Dinner at Noya

      Enjoy a lamb lover’s feast at one of Jerusalem’s most popular dining destinations.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
“Concentric Circles”

      9:15 am Testing 1-2-3

      Lori Palatnik
      Lori is an author and Jewish educator who has appeared on TV and radio and has lectured on five continents, illuminating traditional Judaism for our contemporary world. She is known to readers for her popular "Lori Almost Live" video blog.

      10:30 am Changing Lives, One Click at a Time: The Impact of

      Join the directors of in the Kirk Douglas Theatre and gain a deeper understanding of's mission and the impact we are making around the world.

      11:30am How to Get Your Prayers Answered

      Rabbi Yaakov Salomon

12:30 pm Lunch at Aish World Center

      2:00 pm Tour of Gush Etzion

      With Rabbi Ken Spiro - Journey through the biblical heartland of historic Israel, the land where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived and built the Jewish nation. Gush Etzion is a group of settlements south of Jerusalem, featured prominently in news reports about the peace process. Rich in pre-state history, it was the corridor into Jerusalem that held off the invading Arab armies during Israel's War of Independence.

      3:15 pm Prepare Food for Soldiers
      Here’s your chance to give something back to the brave young people who assist in guarding the Land of Israel.

      4:30 pm Koby's Legacy, with Sherri Mandell
      Hear the heart-rending, yet inspiring words of the mother of Koby Mandell, a 13-year-old boy who was murdered by terrorists while hiking near his home. Hear about the Koby Mandell Foundation which provides therapeutic retreats for Israeli victims of terror. Sherri & Seth Mandell were featured in’s “Heroes of Israel” video series.

      6:00 pm Tour and Dinner at the Gush Etzion Winery
      Enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by a sampling of house specialties from the winery.

Thursday, October 28, 2010
“The Judean Desert”

      11:00 am Masada
      Explore the ancient fortress of Masada – King Herod's mountain palace and site of the last stronghold where the Jewish zealots fought against the Romans. Join Rabbi Spiro in reliving this amazing time in Jewish history.

      2:00 pm Dead Sea Swim
      Visit this lowest point on Planet Earth (1,385 ft below sea level) and experience the phenomenon of floating in the mineral-rich salt waters. Enjoy the world-famous healing “mud bath.”

3:30 pm Visit AHAVA Factory

      Ahava is world-famous for their skin-care products made of mineral-rich compounds from the Dead Sea.

4:30 pm Dinner in the Desert – Bedouin style

      Cap off this memorable day with a kosher Bedouin-style dinner, complete with native drums and costumes - all beneath the breathtaking, star-studded desert sky.

Friday, October 29, 2010
“Strategies for Spiritual Success”

      9:15 am Discovering the Real You: Understanding Yourself and Appreciating Others

      Lori Palatnik

10:15 am How to Pass Life's Tests

    Sara Rigler

      11:30 am Bus to the Shuk

      Join the bustle as Jerusalemites prepare for Shabbat at this astounding and authentic Middle eastern open air market.

      4:15 pm Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall
      Combine the holiness of space and time for a magical welcoming of Shabbat at the Western Wall.

      5:30 pm Shabbat Dinner at the Aish World Center
      A Shabbat dinner like you’ve never had before, deliciously prepared by’s very own Chef Hershel. Hear inspirational words of Torah and reach the heights of Shabbat joy – all with a direct view overlooking the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

      7:30 pm Oneg Shabbat

          Enjoy the Shabbat mood with songs, stories and treats.

Saturday, October 30, 2010
”Shabbat in Jerusalem”

11:00 am Traditional Shabbat Lunch Hosted by Local Families

5:35 pm Havdalah

7:00 pm Media Coverage & the Peace Process: Special Multi-Media Presentation

Shraga Simmons

      Hear the explosive inside story about media bias in the Mideast conflict from Shraga Simmons,’s senior editor, former editor of and author of the forthcoming book, "David & Goliath."

    Scrumptious Dairy Buffet at the Hotel

Sunday, October 31, 2010
“Closing the Circle”

9:15 am Genesis & the Big Bang

      Dr. Gerald Schroeder has Ph.D's in Nuclear Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT, where he taught physics for seven years. While a consultant at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, he participated in the formulation of nuclear non-proliferation treaties with the former Soviet Union and witnessed the testing of six atomic bombs. Dr. Schroeder is a featured lecturer at Aish Jerusalem, and is the author of several popular books, including "Genesis and the Big Bang," now in seven languages.

      12:00 pm Free Afternoon

      Enjoy free time and shopping in downtown Jerusalem, off Ben Yehuda Street where musicians, artists, tourists, students and locals all gather to shop, eat and shmooze.

      5:30 pm Principles of Jewish Leadership
      Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith’s goals are more than just educating Jews about Judaism – we also seek to instill the value of taking responsibility to help others.’s editor-in-chief explores the Torah’s tools for proactively making a difference in the world.

      6:30 pm Final Farewell Banquet
      This is not goodbye, but "la'hitra'ot" – see you again soon. A mission of memories is now yours. Bring it back, play it forward, and come “home” again soon.

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