Wednesday, April 25, 2012
7 News Features: Jewish community continues 10-day Israel trip
Hundreds from the South Florida Jewish community continue their trip to the Holy Land, amidst growing tensions in the nation.
WSVN -- The Greater Miami Jewish Federation organized a mega mission trip to Israel. More than 700 South Florida Jews traveled halfway around the globe for the 10-day trip.
Many of those who traveled on the mission trip did so to gain spiritual inspiration and to unify and stand up for Israel.
Sheri Sendzischew, Mission Member: "Amazing. And this is my first time visiting Israel. I'm overwhelmed, I really am."
The journey to Jerusalem comes at an important time in Israel's calendar. This week, Israelis will celebrate Remembrance Day and Independence Day.
The trip also comes during heightened tensions between Israel and Iran. The threat of Iran's nuclear program worries Israelis, and mission members.
Woman: "I think Iran is going to become a huge, it is already a huge issue for Israel, and I think that the Israeli government knows it, and they're working vehemently to decide how they'll deal with it."
The issue also concerns government officials, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu commenting on Tuesday that if the economic sanctions against Iran are going to work, they need to work soon.
Yuli Edelstein, Minister Of Public Affairs: "I think that every normal person should be concerned about a crazy dictator who's desperately trying to be in possession of nuclear weapons. I think that it's very important for everyone to understand that Ahmadinejad, at least in his sick mind, has much bigger plans than attacking Israel."
The increased security is evident all across Jerusalem. Young 18-and-19-year-old male and female soldiers stand on the front lines of the battle.
What makes Israel so unique, however, is the combination of tension and spiritual peace, as evidenced by Israeli soldiers standing near the Western Wall, the military in prayer.
Those with the Miami mission are holding onto that spiritual energy, and realizing that now is a critical time for the Jewish state.
Man: "It's always a challenge for the Jewish people, but survivors. I mean, the land is miraculous."
Thursday night, we will go with Holocaust survivors from South Florida to Yad Vashem, the world's largest Holocaust museum.
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