Two years ago {December 2006}, I participated in this study trip.  Although I’ve been to Israel over a dozen times in diverse capacities – including trips I’ve played a key role in organizing – this was an eye-opening and engaging visit.    The next one takes place January 17-24, 2009.  Consider going.
It is organized by Meretz USA – disclaimer, I am Secretary of the group – in cooperation with Ameinu.
This study trip – for reasons that elude me it has for many years been called Meretz USA’s Israel Symposium – is a unique one-week journey through Israel, during which participants meet key Israeli and Palestinian policy- and opinion-makers, Arab and Jewish community leaders, up-and-coming social activists, and insightful journalists, authors and artists.  When we were through from our experience two years back, all of us could say that we came away with a significantly deeper and broader understanding of the myriad challenges facing Israeli society.
When:  Saturday, Januray 17 – Saturday, January 24.  {These dates do not include arrival and departure transportation.}
Where: All particpants will be staying at the Dan Panorama in Jerusalem in either shared double rooms or private single rooms.  {It is possible to make other lodging arrangements – please call Meretz USA today @ 212-242-4500.}
Costs: Included in the cost of this trip is a seven night stay at a four-star hotel in Jerusalem; three meals a day; transportation within Israel (note: flights to Israel and transportation to and from the airport not included). 
$2,200 per person, double occupancy room
$2,500 per person, single occupancy room
If you are interested in participating, but would rather stay with someone you know in Israel, or make alternative lodging arrangements on your own, this will lower the cost.  Again,  call Meretz USA asap to discuss this. 
I’m told that space is limited, and therefore, that you’re encouraged to register asap.
Two tid-bits, the last one in two parts:
* Read Meretz USA Executive Director Ron Skolnik’s report on the January 2008 Israel Symposium.
* Watch a short movie on the December 2006 Israel Symposium, put together by Meretz USA Past President and prize-winning director, Lilly Rivlin. In just 13 brief minutes, the film gives you a small taste of the fascinating people that Symposium participants meet and the gripping places they visit.
   Click for Part I (6:36 minutes)
   Click for Part II (6:30 minutes)
To reserve your spot, download, print, and fill out the registration form which is online here.
You must complete the form and mail it in with a $500/per person deposit by December 5th to insure you a reserved spot.
Any questions?  Just call Ron at 212-242-4500 or email him at [email protected]