Jewish youth in Israel
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-07-19
RSY Youth - pic: Douglas Guthrie
More than 100 members of Reform youth group RSY-Netzer have arrived in Israel as part of an annual Israel tour summer scheme.
Despite the current conflict in the Middle East, the group of 15-year-olds was keen to keep to their planned trip and be seen as supporting the country.
According to a Reform movement spokesperson, only a handful of people pulled out prior to the group leaving on Tuesday night.
Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield joined the group and will spend the first few days with them.
"I am here with you in Israel for the first few days of your tour and I am responding to the example that you have set. There are circumstances in which Jews have to show solidarity and stand up for themselves and their right to be a free people in their own land."
"We are really pleased to have three Israel Tours in Israel right now. We know they are having, and will have, a fantastic experience. We are also grateful to UJIA Israel Experience for their on-going support that has allowed us to make these Israel Tours happen this summer," said RSY-Netzer leader Charlie Gluckman.
As well as Rabbi Bayfield flying to Israel other senior representatives from the Reform movement will also be visiting the country over the coming weeks including Mike Grabiner, chair of movement and Board member Jenny Pizer.