Shir Tikvah, Portland Oregon
Torah - Learning Gemilut Hasadim - Social Action Avodah - Prayer Singing Meditation


Shir Tikvah Israel Trip-June-July 2013

Join Rabbi Ariel on a 10 day trip to Israel!

Israel touring supervised by Da’at Educational Expeditions
DATE: June 27-July 6, 2013
APPROXIMATE COST: $2700 per person with 15 people, $2280 with 30 people
From the Tel Aviv airport, including all activities and guided tours, 9 nights accommodation and breakfasts (some other meals also included)
Experience Israel as a Torah study field trip!

To see the complete itinerary, and to reserve your spot, click here to go to Da’at’s website.


An open letter to those who are considering committing to this experience:


For years, after every Passover, my family would read these words. After going through our history of slavery, hardship, and journeys, we always ended up with the dream of being in Israel, together. My wife and I watch House Hunters International regularly and dream of great places to visit around the world. Before venturing outward, we discussed that Israel must be our first international trip before all other countries. My son (19) and my daughter (14) happen to be at the exact right point in their lives where this trip can reaffirm so many important Jewish values that are critical to their lives as adults. For my wife and I, Israel is an important connection; not just to us as a family, but to us as a people. After planning and saving we’re ready to join our Rabbi in a great adventure; not just a tour, but a deep understanding and exposure to many cultures within Israel. Also, we consider it an added bonus to visit Israel with the Rabbi; here is the opportunity to visit the places we discuss in the Torah study every week.  And who better to guide our trip than Rabbi Ariel? Our goal is to encourage as many people in our community, family, and friends to join us; not just to lower the price of the trip but to share this experience with as many people as possible.
One thing that always can stand in the way of something this great is money. When it comes to money I always think of this story that happened to me in my 30 year career as a retailer. It was 1998, I was working for Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and one of the Executive Vice Presidents of the company came to talk to me. “Brad”, he said, “We have a new pillow and I need you to sell…it has great features, great quality, and sells for $1,000”. I immediately asked him to repeat the price …and he did. So as the manager in charge of Linens and Domestics, it was my job to figure out who would spend $1,000 on one pillow; and my first customer of the day interrupted my thoughts. After greeting the customer he asked “where’s your best pillow”. I responded “best or most expensive?”. He answered “it’s usually the same thing”. I showed him the $1,000 pillow and mentioned the features and benefits of the product. He gasped “$1,000 for a pillow; I’m not so sure about that”. Trying to understand what was truly important to him I asked a simple question: “Do you have a suit you love?”. He answered, turning red in the face, “yes … I love that suit”. I asked how much he paid for it; he replied “$3,000”. I asked him how many times he wore the suit; he answered “about twice a year; only on special occasions”. I then asked my final question; “how many times do you use your pillow?”….he replied…”I’ll buy two of these $1,000 pillows”. The moral of this story is people invest money on things that are important to them; new cars, nice dinners, clothes, and of course … $1,000 pillows. If you and your family can budget, save, and allocate the funds necessary to make this trip a reality, we encourage you to do it…it’s an amazing time to go. For more information please visit our website or call/e-mail me with questions. Our family will be happy to help your family.
Shanna Tova!
Brad and Laurie Lebowsky

GoEco – Environmental & Social Volunteering in Israel

Volunteers are needed for exciting wildlife and humanitarian projects around the world. You can make a difference and enrich your life. Protect endangered wildlife, work with local communities and discover new cultures worldwide. Based on years of experience, GoEco specializes in volunteer programs in Israel and abroad in cooperation with other leading global organizations.

For more information, click here:  GoEco (link)

J Street

J Street brings together Americans who seek a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and broader public and policy debate in the U.S. about ways to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

For more information, click here: J Street (link)

New Israel Fund

The New Israel Fund (NIF) is the leading organization committed to democratic change within Israel. Since 1979, NIF has fought for social justice and equality for all Israelis.  We believe that Israel can live up to its founders’ vision of a state that ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, without regard to religion, race or gender.

For more information, click here: New Israel Fund (link)

Opportunity to Study in Israel

Each summer, a group of outstanding Jewish teenagers in the U.S. and Canada, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and entering the twelfth grade, will be recipients of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. They will spend five fulfilling weeks of study, dialogue and travel in Israel.

For more information, click here: Bronfman Youth Fellowships (link)