Animal-lovers’ tour of Israel this June 2012

A 100% wheelchair-bound Israeli veteran looks forward each week to his therapeutic riding lesson and is then able to take a few steps forward;

After several months of veterinary care for a swallowed fish-hook, a sea turtle is released back to the sea on an Israeli beach, with a group of schoolchildren cheering him on;

At the edge of a large Arab town in the West Bank, a thin horse is brought to a free veterinary clinic, where an Israeli veterinarian uses a file to solve a horse’s severe dental problem.

An aggressive grade-school bully becomes more socialized and improves his grades by interacting with a shy, abused rescued dog in an animal-assisted therapy program;

50 tourists in a covered wagon at a pink sunset are filled with awe as tens of thousands of cranes descend to spend the night in Lake Hula;

A group of tourists enter the inner sanctums of the Knesset to meet a Knesset member who speaks with them about passing animal-friendly laws in Israel.

All of these activities involve positive interactions between humans and animals, and are all in Israel. Many tours cater to people with common interests or professions—-doctors, businessmen, teachers…….Why not a group of animal-lovers? For people with an avid (or even lukewarm) interest in animals, visiting such activities can make lasting, inspiring impressions

"Israel Unleashed" is a new tour that blends a love of animals, Israel, and explorations into Judaism. It is a balance of animal-related projects, standard tourist sites, magnificent canyon trails, meeting Israel’s leading domestic animal and wildlife advocates, and several upbeat Jewish experiences,

Hearing of such a tour, some animal-lovers might “prick up their ears”, decide to “hightail it” to Israel, and have a “dog-gone” good time with fellow animal-lovers. According to Tova Saul, well-known Jerusalem tour guide and animal-rescuer, “People who love animals share a language of animal-related opinions, experiences, and feelings. This deeply connects them across differences in politics, religions, personalities, and ages, so they can be a happy cohesive group as they experience Israel together.”

The tour’s speakers are top-notch in their fields, such as:

Dr. William Clark, of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, who has spent 30 years engaged in wildlife law enforcement efforts at the national and international levels, and is a driving force behind the Interpol Wildlife Crime Group;

A Knesset member involved in pro-animal legislation;

Gila Manolson, author of several books on traditional Jewish dating and marriage;

Applicants are now being accepted for the June 3-June 13, 2012 trip, which will be limited to 14 people. For further information, see www.israelunleashed.yolasite.com

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