I remember vividly as a child marching in the Israel parades in suburban Detroit. I am not sure how far these marches even went – maybe only a mile. No matter. Marching as a kid with hundreds of Jews from my camps, and with Jews from every generation is a highlight of my childhood. I cherish this memory. It stood out as inspirational, amidst a Jewish communal life that was sorely lacking inspiration. Not until Jewish summer camp was being Jewish that exciting. When I read about Walk the Land’s effort to create Israel walks world-wide in solidarity with Israel on her 60th birthday, it brought back those marches and that great feeling.
The Afikim Foundation based in NY, in solidarity with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – aka the JNF abroad – has implemented a worldwide effort called Walk the Land in celebration of Israel’s 60th Anniversary. They hope to foster a sense of worldwide unity in support of Israel, and have already more than 100 cities participating.
If you want to participate, check out the list of cities and then register. If you want to start your own walk in your own community, contact them as well. Walkers get some neat swag and a feeling of being part of a worldwide effort. Even Jews in Mumbai are doing it.
The organizers have prepared a very comprehensive support system to help communities that want to undertake a walk – whether as part of a larger city walk or on their own. You can use the march to raise funds for important causes. They are distributing large banners with imprints of Israel – and if you hurry they may still have backpacks, water bottles and t-shirts to compliment your walk.
If you can’t BE in Israel for Yom Haatzmaut, you can Walk the Land instead.
P.s. They are also raffling off ten free trip to Israel!
• Communities will be provided with personal support from the Afikim Foundation in planning and implementing local one-mile–long community-wide “Celebrate 60! Walk the Land” Walks. These “Walks” may be incorporated into local celebrations that are already “in the planning stage” or be the centerpiece of a local event that can be enhanced to whatever degree each city desires.
• Communities may use the “Walks” as a venue to raise local funds for Israeli causes or simply to instill enthusiasm and a sense of celebration and connection to the first-ever global Israel Walk. Let us show the world- and world media- that support for the State of Israel is strong in cities, large and small, in all parts of the globe by Jews and many other supporters of Israel of all ages and affiliations.
• Use your local “Walk” page on the “Celebrate 60! Walk the Land” website to publicize your local events. Streamline local “Walk” registration and encourage your constituents to participate in our online video contest. Members will be able to view the momentum of support for Israel at local and worldwide levels as activities develop. Your local events and sponsors gain a worldwide audience, and help to unify communities across the globe. Local coordinators will be able to moderate and post local information, updates, flyers, advertising and sponsors, if desired.
• Each community will receive 15 exquisite 3 foot x 4 foot vinyl murals with photos of Israeli cities and landmarks. Rosh HaNikra to Eilat! Line your community walking route with these beautiful murals so that participants can literally “Walk the Land” from North to South. Metal grommets on each corner will allow the murals to be hung from trees, lampposts, fences or whereever most convenient. Supply limited to first 100 locations.image
• Communities will be able to order as many Walk the Land T-shirts, water bottles and sling backpacks as they estimate they will need for by April (exact date to be determined). Because The Afikim Foundation is mass-producing these items, all 3 can be ordered for a total of $5 for each walker. T-shirts will be packaged by the dozen, with each dozen containing 2 small, 2 medium, 4 large, 2 x-large, and 2 xx-large sizes. Although individuals are not required to order the shirt, bottle and bag in order to participate in the local Walks, a strengthened sense of unity and affiliation with this first-ever global initiative is strongly encouraged.
• Local community coordinators will be able to access extensive planning and participation materials through a password-guarded portal that will allow them to customize downloadable pre-designed letters and other materials to create their own unique event with a minimal amount of time and effort.
Planning and Resource Guide will include:
1. Opening Ceremony Planning
2. Pre/post event press coverage information
3. Equipment Rental general information (chairs, table, stage, sound)
4. Permit information
5. Insurance/ Security information
6. Resource list of potential Speakers
7. Resource list of potential Entertainers
8. Suggestions for Event enhancement
9. Templates for
· Walk the Land Save the Date card
· Walk the Land Poster
· Walk the Land Sponsor Certificate
· Walk the Land Flyer
· Walk Ad
· Walk Stationery
· Letter to advertise Walk locally
· Entry Form
· Local Business Sponsor Solicitation Form
· Local Professional Sponsor Solicitation Form
· Volunteer Solicitation Form
· Volunteer Schedule form
· Sponsor Information Form
· Press Releases
· Event Program
· Elected Official Invitation
· Check lists for Set-up
· Sponsor Receipt Form
· Thank you letter for Sponsors
· Thank you letter for Volunteers