Nursing home residents take first-ever excursion to Israel

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A dozen residents of the Hebrew Home for the Aged, Riverdale, NY are embarking on the first-ever nursing home trip to Israel. The "Chutzpah Mission," from March 9-16, will take residents to ancient Jaffa and the Knesset, Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, the Western Wall, Masada and the Dead Sea.

"Tourism is a significant part of the economy, and ultimately, you have to put your money where your mouth is," said Daniel Reingold, the home's executive vice president. "Our brothers and sisters there are demoralized and depressed, and when somebody is sick, you visit."

Participants on the mission range in age from 77 to 93, five of whom are in their 90s. No resident is wheelchair-bound, though twelve medical professionals are accompanying the participants.

Each participant is being asked to keep a diary to help develop a blueprint for other nursing homes that may want to plan similar missions.