Learning. Immersive travel. Community-building. Fun. (Remember fun?) As the world gradually reopens after a pandemic-induced hiatus, CJP debuts an immersive journey to connect people to one another, to Israel and to Boston’s Jewish community in celebration of Israel’s 75th anniversary.
The new initiative is called Spark, a word that director JulieSue Goldwasser hopes will convey the “spark” of connection and celebration throughout the experience.
“It’s that feeling that lights up inside you when you have a profound Jewish moment. It’s the catalyst that connects you to the people, the religion and culture, and the land of Israel. Spark will ignite the Boston Jewish community,” she explains.
Spark offers two unique experiences—one for adults 21-plus and one for families. Spark small groups will make a large community experience feel much more intimate. Thoughtfully configured based on location, synagogue (if applicable; you can definitely enroll without one!) and/or age, you’ll meet about a half-dozen times for learning and connecting before setting off for Israel.
With a focus on inclusivity, everyone will feel a sense of belonging within Spark. The overarching hope is to create “one vibrant, connected, inspired Greater Boston Jewish community,” Goldwasser says, with bonds that continue long after the journey ends.
Spark will be for everyone—from the young to the young at heart, for people who live on the North Shore or in the South area or anywhere in between, and for those who have never been to Israel or those who have been many times. Thanks to the generosity of Boston’s community members, there are subsidies available for young adults in their 20s and 30s and for families with grade-school-aged children.
Spark will offer programming for the entire community, in addition to two large trips to Israel.
The first trip for adults departs on April 18, 2023. That trip focuses on arts, culture, food, wine, adventure, innovation and celebration (as it’s designed around Yom Ha’atzmaut), and includes customizable excursions based on adventure, politics, shared society, business and lots more. There’s even a track for first-timers.
Then there’s the family-friendly journey that sets off on Dec. 21, 2023, for kids 7 and up (parents and grandparents too!). On the nine-day agenda: scavenger hunts in Jerusalem, a visit to the Dead Sea, donkey rides, special teen excursions, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day options and much more, all orchestrated by CJP.
CJP launched the initiative to celebrate Israel and the Jewish community here in Boston at a crucial time.
“With Israel’s 75th anniversary as the anchor, Spark will help our community come together across our differences for the sake of connection, learning and action,” says CJP president and CEO Marc Baker. “This is a powerful moment for our community to boldly look toward the future and build a vision of a thriving, 21st-century Jewish community that is engaged deeply and meaningfully with Israel, the Jewish people and the broader world.”