Press Release

Exploring Your Faith in Israel
Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston and the YMCA of Greater Houston Trip to Israel
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
by M Groogan

Exploring Your Faith in Israel

Houston, TX – Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston and the YMCA of Greater Houston invite you to be part of an once in a lifetime trip to Israel September 3-14, 2017. This trip is for adults 55 and older to travel to Israel to explore, discover and experience the country, the people and each other. For some, this is the opportunity to cross this item off their bucket list.

You don’t have to be Jewish to explore your faith and be inspired by a real connection in this holy land. Walt McFadden is the Senior Corps Department Director at the J. He went on a similar trip to Israel in 2014.  

“It’s one thing to read about the places where Jesus lived and taught.  It’s quite another to see them with your own eyes and touch them with your own hands,” said Walt. “Visiting Israel affected me profoundly, and I’ll always treasure the experiences I had there.”

The trip begins in Tel Aviv, the first Modern Hebrew City and ending in Jerusalem, known as the center of major religions.  The J and YMCA have been working closely with the Jewish Community Center Association office based in Israel to ensure that participants not only get to know the land but have many interpersonal encounters that will tie them to Israel’s unique communities.

“To provide an interfaith experience in Israel is special,” said Elena Dinkin, YMCA Active Older Adult Director. “I was moved by my visit to Jerusalem, seeing the Wall, experiencing the preparation for Shabbat and then worshiping at a synagogue. The connection between what I had learned in my studies and then seeing it in person is so meaningful to me. I am looking forward  to the opportunity to experience Israel with so many active members of the YMCA and the J.”

Trip highlights include a guided walk through Neve Tzedek, one of the early neighborhoods that developed outside of Jaffa; dinner in the home of an Arab family living in Galilee; a tour of the church on the Mount of Beatitudes, and hear the story of the development of Christianity in this region of Israel; visit Qasr al Yahud, baptismal site on the Jordan river where it is believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist; a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City and visit selected sites in the Jewish and Christian Quarters, including the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Travelers will aslo rest, relax, and rejuvenate in the Dead Sea and celebrate Shabbat in Jerusalem.

Deadline to register is April 1. For more information please contact Elena Dinkin at or 713.662.1315 or Morgan Steinberg at or 713.595.8170. Visit for more information about our programs and services. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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