Tourism in Jerusalem is growing, April numbers set a new record.
This week Birthright-Taglit is bringing 59 groups,
each with 40 young people, for their first visit to Israel.
Yet many people think Israel is a dangerous place to visit.
What do you think you see in this photo?
This is not a tourist getting attacked,
but actor Zach Roerig of Vampire Diaries on the right,
with actor Eli Finish of the Israeli TV show Eretz Nehederet
at a special martial arts class held at the Inbal Hotel.
This week eight US actors were in Jerusalem
with America’s Voices in Israel – AVI tour.
AVI, along with the Ministries of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora and Tourism
aims to give the celebrities a program that reflects their interests.
Their whirlwind visit ended with this class,
also attended by Holt McCallany of Fight Club
and AnnaLynne McCord of 90210.
Holt enjoyed practicing with head coach Boaz Barr,
as did Zach Roerig,
and beginner AnnaLynne’s high kicks impressed everyone.
Shortly after posing for a group photo, the Americans flew home.
Israeli fans surrounded Eli Finish as soon as he entered the lobby,
while US stars Zach and AnnaLynne went unnoticed to their rooms.
Also on this tour were Paul Johansson (90210 & Atlas Shrugged),
Omar Epps (ER & House), Holly Robinson Peele (21 Jump St),
Mekhi Phifer (ER) and Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds).
We will have to wait and see if the tweets, Facebook photos
and blogs on this celebrity trip will be a positive influence
on how their fans view Israel.
I do know they had a great time and plan to return,
Zach said I could quote him…
“I’ll be back!”