I remember my first time traveling to Israel fondly, and when I decided to make the aliyah, it was a decision that I thought long and hard about. My kids had the opportunity to live in a new world, and it was a great choice at the time.

Canadian friends often ask why they should experience Israel.

And it’s different for everyone. Some travelers want to experience the world, so Israel is on their bucket list. Others want to have a religious experience, so they come to Israel to seek a higher level of understanding.

I don’t know how to make your dreams come true or what you want to experience in Israel, but I do know a few key reasons why every Jewish Canadian should consider visiting Israel.

Canadians Don’t Need a Visa

If you plan to visit Israel for 90 days or less, Canadian passport holders don’t need to apply for a visa when visiting Israel. This means that you don’t need to go through any red tape to visit. Keep in mind that the Government of Canada does issue warnings for Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

You can view advisories, risk levels and other concerns on the official government website.

Spiritual Journeys

It’s estimated that 3 million people visit Israel every year. Some walk in Jesus’ footsteps, while some want to go on a spiritual journey. Jerusalem is the holiest place on the planet, with Jews, Christians and Muslims coming to experience their spiritual journey.

There’s something for everyone:

  • Western Wall
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque

There’s an inner peace in Israel, with many stating that it feels like a community everywhere you go.

Ancestral Roots

Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. A lot of travelers will come to Israel and feel guided by the Torah, and others feel a sense of being “home.” Get back to your roots, walk in the dirt of your ancestors and let the history overfill the senses.

Israel is also safe, allowing visitors to feel a sense of security that people often don’t in their own home countries.

Yes, there are some areas that are in conflict, and you don’t want to visit these areas. But there are areas, many of which can be found in religious scripture, that you can visit and walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.

If you’re searching for a historical journey, there’s plenty to see. Tel Aviv is a vibrant city filled with nightlife, food and history. Independence Hall is a great place to visit, and it gives an entirely new perspective to foreign visitors.

Mount Herzl is also breathtaking and is where many of the state’s political leaders are buried.

Canadians, of any faith, will find Israel to be a wonderland with something to do at every corner. Ideal for all seasons of travel, Israel also has festivals in every season, including the Voice of Music Festival in the summer, Olive Festival, Haifa International Film Festival and so much more.

It’s an opportunity to explore a new culture and go back to your roots.