APN Israel Study Tour Letter from David Edelman

David_Edelman300x228This April 2015, I will be going on my second study tour to Israel with a tremendous group of people from Americans for Peace Now (APN). APN is the U.S. sister organization of Shalom Achshav or “Peace Now,” which promotes a two-state solution between the Israeli and Palestinian people. 

My first study tour with APN to Israel in 2012 was an amazing experience from every angle, and it was an event of a lifetime that made a tremendous impact on me. It left me with a great sense of pride for those I met with, and gave me hope that there is still very much a chance for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. 

On the study tour, I met and listened to people with whom it is unlikely I could have arranged to meet on my own. We were able to speak with them in a well-coordinated, safe and professional environment. The opportunity to meet with and ask questions to an impressive variety of people that were presently involved or have been involved with their government, media, retired military and even American officials based in Israel was an unparalleled experience. 

The people who are affiliated with both APN and Peace Now in Israel are amazing and impressive people to listen to and learn from, such as the founder of APN Mark Rosenblum, Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Queens College in New York. The entire APN staff is helpful, informed and motivating. 

The people in Israel who work tirelessly for Peace Now, such as Hagit Ofran, Anat Ben Nun and Lior Amihai are incredibly courageous individuals who are clearly very well spoken professionals on this issue and have dedicated their lives to a better Israel. 

The study group clearly increased my passion and desire to further help and promote a peaceful, democratic Israel. 

The APN study tour in 2012 gave me the desire to take my daughter to Israel this past March just before her Bat Mitzvah. We not only saw the many historic and religious sites that further made us proud to be Jewish, but we also went to the West Bank and visited Hebron. I not only wanted her to see and experience the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs located in Hebron, but also the complex issues surrounding the hardships the settlements create that I saw firsthand in 2012. 

Without the lessons learned from this tour, I firmly believe my daughter would never have had the opportunity to experience what most Americans never see when they go to Israel today. 

We also went to the Peace Now office to meet the dedicated people who are working so hard for a peaceful two-state solution. I feel that it is very important for my daughter to not only understand the complex issues, but I also want her to understand why it is so important that we all must succeed at peace. I explained to her that I want her to be able to take her kids one day to Israel and be able to not only meet other Jewish kids, but Palestinian kids as well without the concerns that exist today.

I hope you can join us this April and experience what I saw and learned on this tremendous experience of a lifetime. It will be well worth your time and investment to better understand what is at stake.

Click here to see all the initial details you need. This year’s itinerary is currently being developed.Last year’s itinerary is also available on the APN webpage. Please take a look to sample the quality of the agenda. Every year is different, though. I look forward to meeting you.

David Edelman
Oswego, Illinois