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In its sixth year, the trip is now accepting applications for 27- to 45 year-olds

Applications are now open for the sixth “Rubin Israel Experience,” an all-expense-paid trip for young adults who have never been to Israel. The trip is offered and staffed by Jewish Federation of St. Louis and is underwritten by philanthropists Ron and Pam Rubin. There are 10 spots open to young adults in the St. Louis area who want the opportunity to see Israel in a fun and meaningful way. In the past, the age range for participants was 27 to 40 years, but this year the age range is being expanded to include those up to 45 years old.

An information session will be held on Thursday, March 28 at 7 pm at the Federation Kopolow Building, 12 Millstone Campus Drive. The group will travel October 6 to 16, 2013. Applications are now available at jewishinstlouis.org/RubinIsraelTrip.aspx.

 The unique trip was created to bring the Jewish experience full circle, inspiring a deeper connection to the St. Louis community and cultivating leadership. On returning from Israel, the Rubinites (alumni) are expected to get involved in their Jewish community and share their Israel experience with their community and peers.

 “We created this trip after meeting so many young people who said they missed out on other Israel experiences when they were younger. This trip has allowed 50 St. Louis emerging leaders thus far to experience Israel for the first time,” said Pam Rubin.

The 10-day trip is organized to accommodate busy professionals and those with children. It brings together a diverse group of St. Louis young adults for a life-changing journey, experiencing Israeli culture, food, nightlife, innovation, nature and history.

“My own connection to Israel was strengthened by gaining a deeper understanding of Israel’s history and many of the complexities and challenges of Israel’s present,” says Rachel Pepe Zucker, a 2009 participant. “And it brought me closer to the wonderful Jewish community in St. Louis.”

Jewish Federation professional Margo Newman has watched the Rubinites transform their Israel experiences into Jewish leadership since the first trip in 2008. “It is great to see the Rubin alum become more connected not only to Israel, but also to their Jewish identity and the St. Louis Jewish community,” says Newman. “By widening the age range of participants, we are opening up this experience to a broader group of young leaders who can step up in their community and pay it forward.”

Space on the Rubin Israel Experience is limited. Applications are due by April 16, 2013. Those who have previously applied are encouraged to apply again. For more information contact Margo Newman at mnewman@jfedstl.org or (314) 442-3865.