South Floridians travel to Jerusalem to support the state’s major milestone

JERUSALEM (WSVN) — Hundreds of South Floridians traveled to Israel to celebrate the state’s 70th birthday and honor the Holy Land.

South Florida residents have made the trip to Israel to celebrate 70 years of independence.

Travelers arrived in Jerusalem with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation to support Israel and gain a connection with the Holy Land throughout the week.

The celebration continued with people who were in Jerusalem and those all the way in the beach town of Netanya.

The Israel Defense Forces opened its bases to the public, showing the strength of the country, Thursday.

“The Israeli people and the Jewish people who come to visit, I think that you kind of absorb the passion that the Israeli people have here,” said Laurel Schwartz, who is visiting Israel, “and it makes you very proud that we have the State of Israel.”

Steve Schwartz made his first trip to Israel this week.

“There are challenges, but I think Israel is up for the challenge,” Schwartz said, “and I think the people back in America … certainly our mission is to support them in any way we possibly can.”

There is no doubt that Israel faces a lot of challenges, however, so many people from South Florida gathered together on Thursday to show their support and their unity.

7News have also spoken with people who have showed their will to survive.

Henry Flescher, a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor, spoke with 7News, Wednesday about how he lost both his parents and his sister in the Holocaust. However, on Thursday, he could be seen dancing as he celebrated his heritage.

Struggle has been part of Israel’s story, but a big part of it is also hope, joy and overcoming the odds.

Many South Floridians are expected to meet by the Western Wall, Thursday evening.

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