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January 7, 2008

Winter Break in Israel

For 35 University at Albany students, winter break will include a 10-day trip to Israel. The students, who depart Jan. 7., are sponsored by Taglit-Birthright Israel and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

Robyn Liznitzer, a senior from Syosset, N.Y., said, “I decided to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to go on the trip because it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go to Israel. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful sights in the country and meet new people that I can call my friends when we get back to the U.S.”

The itinerary includes Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Masada, the Negev, Tzfat, and the Galilee region.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to visit United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York’s Partnership 2000 city, which is the Eshkol region.

Each Taglit-Birthright Israel: Hillel Trip is paired with a group of the students’ contemporaries – Israeli soldiers – for a mifgash, or encounter. The soldiers spend four to five days with each group, giving both Israelis and Americans opportunities to discuss their shared values and diverse experiences.

“This will not only be the best winter break students ever had, it will enrich their understanding of Israel and their Jewish identity.  Students consistently come back from Birthright in love with and invested in Israel,” explains Aviva Snyder, executive director of UAlbany Hillel and one of the staff for the campus trip.

Local UAlbany students Benjamin Hallow of Clifton Park, Michael Isaacson of Colonie, Maximillian Kaplan of Niskayuna, and Arielle Rosen of Delmar are among the participants.

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