Jerry and Britt Green (2nd and 3rd from the right) with their children and grandchildren

Britt and Jerry Green took their first trip to Israel in April on the 2019 San Antonio Community Israel Experience Trip led by the Jewish Federation of San Antonio. They continue to tell community members, friends and family how much the trip impacted them and changed their lives.

What was your inspiration for taking this trip?

We have been “hassled” by our many friends that really wanted us to travel to Israel. Friends continuously told us that after traveling the world, including a recent trip to Dubai, we MUST visit Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. In 2013 Jerry was very ill, and he found faith and was thankful to be ingrained in the Jewish religion. Israel moved higher and higher on the list of places to visit and when we saw this trip advertised in the Jewish Journal, we decided we must go and see what we have been missing.

What were your reactions during this trip?

We felt the group was perfect and very congenial. We began the trip a bit jet-lagged in beautiful Tel Aviv, which was pleasant, and Jaffo, which was especially eye-opening. We were most amazed when we went to dinner on the Kibbutz at a family’s home in our Western Galilee partnership region. We really enjoyed seeing how people live and work together. We learned the Kibbutz lesson that you don’t need much, just friends and people.

We were very touched by the memorial for the 73 soldiers killed in the plane crash there. It was so beautifully done and a hidden gem to explore. We were impressed by the educational experience overall as we learned from artists, politicians, rabbis from all denominations and how they express their views, and we especially enjoyed the experience of the innovation center in Tel Aviv. It’s amazing how they can practically make water out of thin air and much more.  Learning about the doctors in the Galilee Medical Center and how they help patients from the many borders, as well as being close to Syria at the look-out points were two other highlights of our time in Israel.

How has the trip impacted your future?

Arriving in Jerusalem gave us teary eyes and goose bumps, and these are feelings we carry in our hearts. Being at the Kotel, with new friends Brian and Lew, to pray with many types of Jews was something we want to share with everyone. The safety and feeling of warmth and support of our country will stay with us.  We definitely want to return to Israel again soon. We have already told our grandchildren that we want to take them on our next trip with us. We plan to volunteer and be more engaged and active in our synagogue and our Jewish Federation community. Back in San Antonio, it was such an honor for us to watch our granddaughter sing a solo at Yom Ha’atzmaut. It brought the entire Israel experience together for us.