A select group of 10 bloggers from Europe and the U.S. arrived in Israel this week to take part in "Once in a Lifetime," an online initiative aimed at introducing Israel to young audiences around the world.
The program, run under the auspices of the Tourism Ministry and the Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs, has been highly successful ever since its launch in 2010.
During the program, the participants share their experiences on Instagram and YouTube as they tour the country. This year, the participants will tour historical sites, take off in a hot-air balloon and ride on camels. They will also plant trees in Jewish National Fund forests and get a glimpse of Israeli culture and nightlife. In total, the visitors have more than 3 million followers.
StandWithUs, which describes its mission as "educating about Israel and the misinformation that often surrounds the Middle East conflict," runs a fellowship program on many Israeli campuses. Fellows are tasked with finding creative and informal ways to make Israel's case on the world stage and in the global media. "Once in a Lifetime" has been one of the most popular student-led initiatives.
The participants are staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem.