Noam withdraws Israel leg from summer tour

Around 500 children from other movements still expected to leave for Israel next month


A previous Israel tour, organised by UJIA (Photo: UJIA)

The Masorti youth movement Noam has pulled the Israel leg of its summer trip for 16-year-olds amid continuing conflict in the Middle East.

The group had originally planned to offer a combined programme in Europe and Israel.

RSY-Netzer, LJY-Netzer and BBYO previously decided on alternative venues to Israel for this year’s summer experience.

Bnei Akiva, FZY, Ezra, Sinai and Tribe are still scheduled to send groups to Israel, while Habonim are going ahead with a combined Israel-Europe programme.

Reuben Green, Noam’s new director, said, "As a youth movement, Noam’s priority is the safeguarding of all our participants, and the decision, when it was made, was made in line with FCO [Foreign Office] recommendations for under-18s and with the safety of all our participants in mind only. We advertised a hybrid Europe Israel tour in the hope that the FCO advice might change, but the take-up was too small for us to run it.”

He added: Israel, Zionism, and Jewish identity are central to Noam's ideology, and the itinerary of our Europe tour has been designed with this in mind. While it may take slightly longer for our year 11s to make it to Israel, we will be pulling out all the stops over the next year to ensure that they land at Ben Gurion safely and soundly, ready to embark on the next leg of their Noam Israel journey.

“We hope that our Europe tour will give Noam’s future leaders a fuller picture of where we have come from, where the roots of Zionism began and, ultimately, what we have achieved as a people.”

A spokesman for UJIA, which financially supports Israel tours, said it was “delighted that this summer over 500 young people will be participating in a UJIA Israel Experience-supported Israel Tour with their youth movement.

"We are continuing to work with our partners on the ground to ensure that participants are safe and secure, with enhanced security protocols and training in place for the summer.”

Israel tour, the spokesman, was “a key rite of passage for young people in our community, allowing them to forge their own personal relationship with the Jewish homeland and make friendships that last a lifetime.

"While applications for Israel Tour 2024 are now closed, applications for Taglit-Birthright Israel are still open for 18-26 year olds with only a few spaces left."

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