2021 Virtual Mission to Israel

This April we’re Zooming to Israel on a Virtual Mission — and you’re invited!  Join us for a series of virtual events including sightseeing tours, an interactive cooking demonstration, speaker series, winery tours, and special celebrations for Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut.

This is Israel YOUR way.  Choose from the menu (one or more) of programs and enjoy with friends and family. (Programs will last approximately one hour.) We are proud to bring you local, national and international programs that celebrate and honor Israel. The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond’s Virtual Mission Trip to Israel 2021 brings you exclusive access to quality programs that will help you imagine you are still traveling, and remind you of the joys of visiting Israel in person (but without the jet lag!). 

Thank you to our chairs for their leadership and support: Jay & Lynn Schwartz, Brian & Ruth Greene, Stuart & Dawn Siegel.

Tuesday, April 6th
7:00 p.m.
Old Jaffa Tour starting at the Port of Jaffa
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond program


Wednesday, April 7th
2:00 p.m.
Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance
Jewish Federations of North America program


A special ceremony bringing together more than 100 Holocaust survivors.



Thursday, April 8th
12:00 p.m.
Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day
Partnership2Gether with Israel Memorial Day program


Join Partnership2Gether to hear the story of Josef Sroka who escaped Przemysl Ghetto as a young boy with his mother and sister and lived under a fake Catholic identity. Narrated by his son, Dani Sroka.



Sunday, April 11th
10:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Interactive Cooking Class, featuring Shakshukah
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond program

Shakshukah - "As Israeli as can be"

We will meet for an Israeli cuisine workshop with Cordon Bleu Chef, Guy Vengelnik, featuring Pita bread, spicy Shakshukah, Tahini and Israeli salad. The workshop will be live so please ensure your camera covers your work area so the Chef can see and work with you. Seating will be limited to the first 40 registrants. Families and couples are invited to register together.

Menu with ingredients to follow after registration.


Sunday, April 11th
3:00 p.m.
Virginia Holocaust Museum program

Special Guest, Dr. James Grymes
James A. Grymes is an internationally respected musicologist, a critically acclaimed author, and a dynamic speaker who has addressed audiences at significant public venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the historic 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Grymes has been featured in interviews by the New York Times, ABC News, and CNN, and has written essays for the Huffington Post and the Israeli music magazine Opus.

He is the author of Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour (Harper Perennial, 2014). A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and of the Israeli violinmaker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life. Violins of Hope won a National Jewish Book Award.

Dr. Grymes is Professor of Musicology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Monday, April 12th
2:00 p.m.
Jewish Community Relations Committee presents
Yossi Klein Halevi
The Meaning of Zionism


Join us for a conversation with Yossi Klein Halevi, noted author and a senior fellow with the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. His latest book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, is a New York Times bestseller.

Yossi Klein Halevi is an unapologetic Zionist who artfully speaks to the multiple religious and political dilemmas that Israelis and American Jews face every day.

Part of a JCRC speaker series on the rise of global anti-Semitism and racism.

Thank you to our community partners:
The Weinstein JCC, Jewish Family Services (JFS), Congregation Or Atid, Keneseth Beth Israel, Temple Beth El, American Jewish Committee (Washington DC), Anti-Defamation League (Washington DC)
(list in formation)

Thank you to our corporate sponsors:
AllianzBon SecoursDominion Payroll and Salomon & Ludwin.


Tuesday, April 13th
1:00 p.m.
Yom HaZikaron - Israeli Memorial Day
Masa Yom HaZikaron Virtual Memorial Ceremony


We will commemorate IDF soldiers and victims of terror at the largest virtual ceremony for the Jewish world. For Israelis, this day is one of the most important of the year as we recognize those who sacrificed their lives for Israel.

Over the past 12 years, Masa has held its annual Yom HaZikaron ceremony in Latrun, The Armored Corps Memorial Site. Despite the pandemic, we will continue our tradition of coming together to commemorate this important day by broadcasting the ceremony from Latrun on Facebook Live.


Tuesday, April 13th
2:00 p.m.
Weinstein JCC - Hatikvah music education program

The Weinstein JCC's "Behind the Music" series continues with the story of Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem, in honor of the Israeli National Holiday of Yom Ha'atzmaut. Musicologist, Roi Aloni will present this live, virtual lecture concert from his home in Israel.  Roi's refreshing approach to the world of classical music makes this program appropriate for all - even those with little to no musical knowledge! Based in Israel, Aloni gives concert lectures through the Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestra and Continuing Studies department of Haifa University, as well as to community and cultural centers and schools throughout the country.


Wednesday, April 14th
12:00 p.m.
A Flight Over Israel
Partnership2Gether with Israel program


Join Partnership2Gether on a flight over Israel with Alon Moller, a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the IDF- Air Force. Alon resides in Kibbutz Mishmarot and is a tour guide and freelance helicopter pilot who shows Israel in a way that can only be seen from a bird's-eye view.


Thursday, April 15th
7:00 p.m.
Yom Ha'atzmaut - Israeli Independence Day
Jewish Federations of North America program


Israel's 73rd birthday will be one to remember, with special guests, Israeli gold medal hopefuls and a celebration in honor of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. Sign up now and join us!


Sunday, April 18th
5:00 p.m.
Winery tour featuring Binyamina and Vitkin wineries from the Hadera-Eiron area
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond program

Bringing you a wine tasting experience hosted by Guy Haran, wine expert and judge at International wine competitions, speaker and a teacher of wine and founder of culinary tourism company and of the "Wine is Basic" podcast.

Enjoy wine from Guy Haran's Israeli wine tasting kit. 1 bottle of Vitkin Journey Red 2018 and 1 bottle of Binyamina Reserve Chardonnay 2017. Wine will be available for pick-up at the Federation office on Thursday, April 15th. (Last day to order wine is Monday, April 5th.)

This program is in partnership with our P2G Communities.



Wednesday, April 21st
12:00 p.m.
Hike Israeli Trails
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond program


Pick up your hat and backpack! Take a hike on the Israel Trail, from the crater to the upper Galilee, climb Mt. Meron and end above and below the sea in Caesarea. 

Mt. Meron, in the upper Galilee, at a height of 1,208 meters, was the highest mountain in Israel prior to the Six-Day War. We will hike the Peak Trail (or Shvil Hapisgah, in Hebrew).  From the summit we can look southeast to Safed; directly east is a clear view of Mt. Hermon and to the north, are the mountains of Lebanon with small villages and settlements of the Upper Galilee.

The Ramon crater is a spectacular geological feature of Israel's desert. Located at the peak of Mount Negev, the landform is not actually an impact crater from a meteor, but rather is the world's largest makhtesh. The only settlement in the area is the small town of Mitzpe Ramon, "Ramon Observation Point") located on the northern edge of the crater. Today the crater and surrounding area forms Israel's largest national park, the Ramon Nature Reserve.


Sunday, April 25th
2:00 p.m.
Jerusalem Tour
(including Tower of David and Mount of Olives)
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond program

From the King David hotel and Mishkanot Shaananim to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Temple Mount, the Mercy gate and the western wall. Jerusalem is a holy city to the three main Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometer, the Old City is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Western Wall: a section of the defense rampart that encircled the Temple Court in ancient times and only remnant of the Temple built by Herod the Great.  The Western Wall is the most revered holy site in Judaism. Over generations, Jews came to pray here, as it was the closest they could come to the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount. 

Mount of Olives: wondrous views of the walled city of Jerusalem are embraced by the Hinnom and Kidron valleys, set off by the Golden Gate to Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, Mount Zion, the City of David and more, bringing prophecy and psalms to life.

Temple Mount: visit the most important religious site in Jerusalem. Judaism regards the Temple Mount as the place where G-d chose the Divine Presence to rest. The site is the location of Abraham’s binding of Isaac and of the First and Second Temples.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher: the holiest Christian site in the world. The Church is believed to encompass where Jesus was crucified and the tomb where he was.

Thank You to our Corporate Sponsors!