This was the latest marketing "tease" for the JFNA King David Society Mission scheduled for March 2017, being led, apparently, by the incoming National Campaign Chair.
Our mission starts in Mendoza, home of the world’s best Malbec. We’ll indulge in tastings at renowned wineries and dine at the restaurants of famous chefs like Francis Mallmann, whose unique open-fire cooking style was featured on the Netflix series Chef’s Table.
Then in Buenos Aires, we'll sample the best of the city’s nightlife scene, and meet its vibrant Jewish community up close and personal with cozy, home-hosted dinners.
Now, don't get me wrong, this is going to be a wonderful vacation -- great winery visits, wonderful traif restaurants, fabulous 5 star hotels (the Park Hyatt in Mendoza and the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires), some wonderful tours and shopping...oh the shopping..oh the sipping of a world class Malbec.
Yes, there will be some Jewish moments -- a couple of hours with JAFI, a couple more with the Joint, a memorial visit to the Amia memorial to the devastating 1994 terrorist attack and home hospitality with leaders of the very vibrant Argentinian Jewish community -- inserted into these seven days. BTW, the Jewish Agency held a quarterly meeting in Buenos Aires just a few years ago and packed solid Jewish experiences into three days -- the planners of this Mission could have asked CEO Jerry about those three days...3 days...he was there...and given his predisposition for padding his mileage account, he's probably going on this one.
I know, I know, we have to attract the new generation of Jewish leaders onto Missions by offering high-end travel experiences. Israel is played out...yada, yada, yada. And, now, we market, we sell, the sizzle. I remember our Prime Minister's Mission in 2007, which my wife and I led to Paris and Israel. With a great partnership with other leaders, including, as always, a large Chicago contingent, we recruited two buses of wonderful donors from across the country -- we loved being in Israel after Paris. But...of course, that was a decade ago. And, I know, it's really hard to get to Ben Gurion from Buenos Aires.
If you want to get to Mendoza from Chicago to start the Mission, you can fly United, let's say, from O'Hare to Houston, Houston to Lima, Lima to Mendoza. You fly for 24 hours and, if you want to fly Business, it's a little less than $5,000. The Mission cost in Argentina is $5,100 per person double occupancy (and there's a single supplement of $1,100) on top of the minimum KDS gift of $25,000.
If JFNA can recruit a full bus -- say 45 participants (not including staff or the National Campaign and KDS Chairs)-- would it validate selecting Argentina for this very special travel experience with a Jewish component?
It will be great. Why not just tease "take a vacation with JFNA?"
And, an Addendum...pre-Chanukah the JFNA Missions Department inserted a couple of sentences in that brilliant FedWorld inviting inquiries about an October 2017 (this is an important year -- see below) Israel Mission focused on Tel Aviv. Well, just read the thing:
SAVE THE DATE: NATIONAL MISSION TO ISRAEL before Federations’ first-ever GA in Tel Aviv will connect your community leaders with top innovators and newsmakers. For more information about the Oct. 17-24 journey, contact Hannah Schwartz or Tikva Mahlab in Missions.After I noted that this year's GA is in LA, friends explained to me that that Tel Aviv GA will be in 2018.
Oh, JFNA you never let us down. And, proving the title to this Post -- the Mission to Argentina is rumored to be close to sold out.