Media Magnets Lowdown: 16 Unforgettable Experiences in Israel
When we welcomed the Media Magnets to Israel, we knew that the stakes were high. These 30 Jewish TV stars, bloggers, authors, social entrepreneurs, and media moguls have traveled all over the world, started ventures that have changed lives, and continuously share their insights and experiences with millions of followers and fans. With this in mind, JWRP partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to create an experience with fascinating Jewish lectures, exclusive tours, high profile visits, and endless inspiration. Check out the highlights from our extraordinary trip — and see why they meant so much to our Media Magnets.
1. Graffiti Tour in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv, our favorite city on a shore, is filled colorful murals that share powerful messages with pedestrians and passersby. Our Media Magnets took in the brilliant art — which offered a crash course in Israeli history, politics, and passions — and even had the chance to express their creativity and leave their own (graffiti) marks on the Jewish homeland.
2. Israeli Fashion for All
Alembika is an Israeli boutique that believes fashion is the way you are and not the way you ought to be — a value that truly spoke to our Media Magnets. Our Media Magnets had a blast meeting meeting with Hagar Alembik, the boutique’s head designer and co-owner, getting a sneak peak of Alembika’s 2018 summer collection, and, of course, shopping! Afterwards, they also met Talia Zoref, a fashion illustrator for Israel’s top fashion houses, models, and fashion magazines, and then posed for their own portraits.
3. Up Close and Inclusive at Nalaga’at
Home to a theater for deaf, blind, and deaf-blind actors, Nalaga’at helps individuals provide for themselves, while developing their own unique talents, skills and abilities. Our Media Magnets felt fortunate to meet a few amazing people who, despite their challenges, are doing what they love and sharing their talents with the world.
4. Israeli Food — All of It
We’ve always known that Israeli food is the best, but it was fantastic to see it celebrated by professional food bloggers, too! From authentic hummus to endless Israeli breakfasts to cappuccino to a biblical-inspired dinner prepared by world-renowned chef, Moshe Basson at Eucalyptus Restaurant, the Media Magnets were 100% satiated the entire time.
5. Private concert with Israeli singer David D’Or
It’s not everyday that you get to rock out with an award-winning artist in his own studio! The Media Magnets danced, sang, and crushed on David D’Or.
6. Meeting Syrian refugees at an Israeli Hospital
Syria and Israel may be considered enemies, but Israel still values kevod habryiut, human dignity, above all. At a hospital in Israel’s north, the Media Magnets met Israeli doctors and their patients, Syrian refugees who have escaped from violence and destruction and found medical care in Israel. The Media Magnets were touched by Israel’s kindness and compassion.
7. A Unique Visit to Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, shares the Jewish people’s most horrific history in modern times and is one of the most visited sites in Israel. While the museum usually doesn’t allow visitors to snap photos, it gave the Media Magnets the exclusive opportunity to document their visit and share it with their millions of followers throughout the world. Three Media Magnets also met with a Yad Vashem archivist, who shared family documents and background information, helping them recover meaningful pieces of their lost histories.
8. An Emotional Meeting with Miriam Peretz
The unthinkable happened to Miriam Peretz, whose two sons were killed in combat in the Israeli Army. Amid the Media Magnets’ tears, Miriam shared her story as she stood by her sons graves, and drove home the powerful message: it's not the years you live that matter, it's what you do with each moment that counts most.
9. Experiencing the Kotel (Wailing Wall)
Several of our Media Magnets had visited Israel before and others were only experiencing the Jewish homeland for the first time. But every single Media Magnet felt awestruck once the Kotel came into sight. They approached the Kotel, knelt their heads against the ancient stones, and left notes in the cracks with prayers for their family, friends, and the world.
10. Shabbat in Jerusalem – including lunch with locals
Our Media Magnets enjoyed home hospitality with local Jerusalem families. While sitting at a Shabbat table with Jerusalem residents, the Media Magnets heard firsthand what it’s like to live in one of the most dynamic, spiritual, and complex cities in the world.
11. Adrienne Gold Davis’ thought provoking Classes
How were the Media Magnets able to enjoy their trip to the max despite so little sleep? Coffee helped, but not as much as Adrienne’s early morning lectures, which were bursts of inspiration. Adrienne shared Jewish words of wisdom about judging one another favorably, creating enriching relationships, experiencing JOMO (Joy of Missing Out), and more. The Media Magnets soaked up Jewish values and shared them with the world.
12. Learning How Israel Responds to World Disasters
These past few years have seen hurricanes, refugee crises, and genocides in countries near and far. Though a sliver of land in the Middle East, Israel has responded time and time again, offering their people’s brains, skills, and souls. The Media Magnets listened to IsraAID Senior Director of Programs Naama Gorodischer share extraordinary stories of Israel’s impact all over the world, and felt inspired to make a difference.
Found out about the imp. work of #israAID, a humanitarian organization & emergency response fund. Truly remarkable. #mediamagnets #jwrp
— Holly Rosen Fink (@hollyrosenfink) December 4, 2017
13. Scaling Masada
The Media Magnets’ ascent up Masada captured their imaginations and took their breath away as they surveyed the beautiful desert vistas. The powerful story of Masada reinforced the Jewish value of azut de’kedusha, courage, and reminded the Media Magnets to consider what they’re willing to die for — and then to live for it!
14. Feeling Light and Free in the Dead Sea
Post climb, there’s nothing like revitalizing your skin with natural mud, floating in the Dead Sea, and wading in fresh water pools. The Media Magnets loved spending time in Israel’s ancient body of water, which continues to heal, entertain, and mesmerize.
15. Israeli Social Entrepreneurship with Sivan Ya’ari
Founder of Innovation Africa Sivan Ya’ari wowed the Media Magnets by sharing how her organization is transforming rural Africa through Israeli innovations, improving healthcare and education, and providing communities with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Sivan believes that simple solutions can have far-reaching effects — a powerful message for the Media Magnets.
16. Planting Trees in Israel
There’s no better way to say goodbye (or see you later!) to Israel than to leave behind budding life. The Media Magnets fulfilled their childhood dreams, digging their hands into Israel’s dirt and planting seedlings that will grow into full-fledged trees.
Just like the trees they planted, we know that the Media Magnets will grow and share everything they’ve gained in Israel. We’re looking forward to following their journey!