Traveling together is an excellent way to strengthen the bond between parent and child. In fact, the kids might be even more excited about this and can deepen their attachment to the family. Sharing an adventure -- especially an overseas adventure -- can also be a good way to explore new cultures and places with loved ones. Every vacation is an extraordinary opportunity to create a wealth of new memories with your family. Memories that both you and your children can fondly look back on later in life, cherishing every moment again and again.
The Israel Adventure trip that the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and Hartford have planned together for March 2023 presents a unique opportunity to create that experience. Whether you share a love of food, wine, art, technology, or history, there’s something fun for parent and child to experience together on this trip. That's why Federation President Gerry Barker and his daughter, Alivia, are so excited to be participating on this extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
“We have been wanting to do a father/ daughter trip and this just speaks to us,” says Gerry Barker. “We are so excited to travel together and just be together.” Alivia Barker, Gerry's daughter and traveling companion, spoke to Shalom New Haven about their upcoming trip and what it means to her.
SHALOM NEW HAVEN (SNH): Is this your first trip to Israel?
ALIVIA BARKER (AB): The first time I went to Israel was eight years ago on a Birthright trip and it's an experience I'll always savor. I remember spending time at the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall [Kotel] with an Israeli soldier-turned-friend, and both of us being so overcome with emotion. I also remember loving the level of joy during Shabbat celebrations.
SNH: What inspired you to sign up for what promises to be a father/daughter adventure?
AB: I am grateful that my parents adore traveling, so my brothers (Max and Harrison) and I grew up seeing the world during school vacations. As I've gotten older -- I'm 33 -- the opportunities to take these trips have lessened. My dad has an epic travel bucket list and a few years ago he told us kids that he wanted to visit a different country with each of us. We planned a father/ daughter trip to South Africa in December 2021. When that trip got canceled due to COVID and the political climate in the region, we put our trip on hold. Needless to say, when my dad called me & suggested I join him on this adventure I immediately said yes!
SNH: What track interests you the most?
AB: The Food & Wine Track
SNH: What are you looking forward to the most on this trip?
AB: (1) Spending quality time with my dad in our homeland; (2) Planting a tree in Israel; (3) Eating gummies made out of Grasshoppers! If my dad chooses a different track I will definitely bring him some Grasshopper Gummies!
SNH: Do you have a favorite Israeli food?
AB: Yes, Falafel, Israeli salads, and figs right off the tree!
Like the Barkers, Federation Senior Consultant Robyn Teplitzky shared an Israel experience with her son. "On Birthright and Onward, two Federation sponsored Israel programs, I was able to visit with my son while leading the National Campaigner’s Mission," she recalls. “It was amazing to be able to spend a Shabbat in Jerusalem and visit the Israel Museum with him while he finished his Onward Israel internship.”