The Rubin Israel Experience had a profound impact on me. Having minimal community ties (prior to the trip) it left me searching for ways to further my involvement (not just within my current organizational activities) but the broad community scope at large. Aside from being the ultimate “firsthand history lesson,” it’s exposure to the vast culture and climate of the land provided a unique look into Jewish life in Israel, and perspective that I personally feel could not be gained in any other setting. I am infinitely grateful to have had the experience, and proud to call myself a Rubinite!
The Rubin Israel Experience added a new dimension to my Jewish life. No matter how many testimonials that you hear about the trip will prepare you for the experience of traveling with a group of your peers who have the same goals for the St. Louis Jewish community. You will leave a little piece of your heart in Israel, and bring a huge piece of Israel’s heart home with you!
I still can’t believe I made it to Israel! I get emotional every time I talk about my incredible journey, traveling with 10 amazing people that I now proudly call friends. I loved seeing Israel not only through my eyes but through the eyes of my fellow Rubinites. I love and will have a forever bond with my Rubin family. The Rubin Israel Experience was a life changing opportunity that provided me with personal growth and understanding of myself and my Jewish Identity. It gave me the desire for a life time of learning and education for Israel’s history, culture, diverse people and place in our world. I am grateful every day for this gift of Israel.
The Rubin trip was a trip of a lifetime. There are no words to explain how incredible it was. From the strong bonds we made with each other to the details that were planned for us. Each day was filled with adventure and memories that will last a lifetime. I can definitely go to Israel again and again but the way we went, the experiences we shared can’t be duplicated.
I’ve always dreamed of going to Israel, and The Rubin Israel Experience allowed me to fulfill that dream. The trip allowed me to experience beauty of Israel, the wonderful people that make Israel so special, and the unique programs that Israel provides for its people. Experiencing Israel through the Rubin Israel Experience gave me such a connection to Israel, the people of Israel and my fellow Rubinites.
“Before my Rubin trip experience, I felt like the fourth child at the Passover seder. I didn’t know enough about Israel to ask. The fellow participants, speakers, and actually seeing Israel first hand gave me the understanding to ask.”
Rebecca Goldman, 2008
“We returned changed forever, with a new-found love and respect for Israel, its people, culture and our history, with a mission to be its ambassadors, to share our stories and experiences with our families, friends and our communities.”
Jim Levey, 2008
“The Rubin Israel Experience has profoundly impacted my Jewish identity, the lifestyle choices that our family makes and the important role Judaism will play in our children’s lives.”
David Steinbach, 2009
“We found that we were just ’10 Jews in the desert’, both literally and figuratively. 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. And it brought me closer to the wonderful Jewish community in St. Louis.”
Rachel Pepe Zucker, 2009
“My expectations of what Israel is and the country’s value to our heritage were exceeded by my participation in the Rubin Israel experience. We saw and experienced so much in 10 days that we were truly able to bond with the nation.”
Abbey Small, 2010
“My trip to Israel–through Ron and Pam Rubin’s generosity–allowed me to better understand the importance of Israel to freedom and democracy and, most importantly, to preserving and furthering Jewish ideals and culture for Jewish people all over the world. I also have such a better understanding of how our efforts in the United States impact the future of Israel. I am forever grateful for Ron and Pam’s commitment to the future leadership of the St. Louis Jewish community and Israel.”
Burt Garland, 2010
“The Rubin Israel Experience completely changed my understanding of Israel and the Jewish people. By the generosity of the Rubin’s, I have been given the foundation to continue my education on the State of Israel, its culture, its people and my own Jewish identity.”
Jason Cohen, 2011
“The Rubin Israel Experience has helped me gain a better understanding of my heritage and history and also makes me proud of all the fellow Jews in Israel that my local St. Louis Federation is helping.”
Jennifer Scissors, 2011
“Participating in the Rubin Israel Experience was truly life-changing. The itinerary was perfectly planned and executed and included historical tours and talks facilitated by experts in the field and hands-on exposure to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Yokneam-Meggido’s culture, history and social service offerings and needs. We experienced a variety of activities, including riding Segways along the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv, walking through the Old City to the Western Wall at Shabbat, scouring Jerusalem’s famous Mahane Yehuda Market for local ingredients, picking Kohlrabi to donate to a local food pantry and planting fresh herbs with children at an after-school program in Yokneam-Meggido, scouring the city center for the best Shawarma, floating in the Dead sea and enjoying an informal, informative discussion with the New York Times’ Jerusalem Bureau Chief -just to name a few. The 2013 Rubinites quickly bonded as a group of 10 adults from varying backgrounds with different life-experiences to 10 like-minded friends that enjoyed each other’s company and loved to laugh … together. I think it is fair to say that our lives changed on our trip and we are so grateful to Pam and Ron for providing such an incredible journey.”
Emily Stein MacDonald, 2013
“When I reflect upon my participation in the 2013 Rubin Israel Experience, I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have been selected. It was truly an amazing, life altering experience. In terms of my life’s events and their significance, there is my wedding, the births and B’nai Mitzvot of my children and the Rubin Israel trip of 2013. It’s truly that meaningful. I strongly encourage every single eligible person to apply for this trip.”
Alan Fine, 2013
“Being part of the Rubin Israel Experience was one of the best things to ever happen to me! When I stepped off that plane I couldn’t believe how at home I felt. For ten days I went places, met people, and did things that left me feeling in awe and truly blessed. I made a connection with Israel that can never be broken and I look forward to returning some day with my family. I am so grateful to Pam and Ron Rubin for this amazing, and life changing experience.”
Melissa Wallace, 2013
“The Rubin Israel Experience is a powerful life-changing experience that will be with me always. I am forever indebted to the generosity of Pam and Ron Rubin, without which I likely would never have embarked on a journey like this. I came back with a real understanding of some of the many worlds that are Israel, and connected to Israel in ways that I never imagined. This program is a deeply meaningful way to experience Israel for the first time.”
Li Zou, 2013
“Going into this trip, while I was ecstatic over being chosen, I was apprehensive about how it would affect me and if I would feel the same connection to Israel that the Rubins feel, my wife feels and so many people feel after visiting Israel. From the moment we stepped foot outside the airport to our bus, I felt at home. I felt safe. We all shared countless experiences that further solidified my connection to the land but also the people, far too many to list here. I am glad I have my journal. It was the best advice I got before the trip. By the time the trip was over, I felt such a sense of belonging and purpose, it felt strange to go home. I can’t wait to go back with my family! It is a truly special place and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.”
Scott Bernstein, 2013
“I heard so many amazing things from others that had been on the Rubin trip so I went to Israel with very high expectations. The trip exceeded those expectations in every way possible. From the beauty of the land and the amazing things we saw to the experts that spent their time educating us on their area of expertise. From the agencies and the people we met along the way that are making an impact on some facet of the community to our guides that we built personal bonds with. From the food, to the accommodations to the weather and especially my other travel mates that made this my greatest travel experience in my life.”
Alan Kahn, 2013