Hollywood Celebrities Visit Tourist Sites And Terror Victims

Last week, I posted about the latest group of Hollywood celebrities to grace our shores.

And, as usual, it looks like they are having a great time.

A bunch of TV actors are currently on a week-long tour of the country with American Voices in Israel, a program aiming to bolster Israel’s image in the United States by bringing over celebs who will then hopefully become friends of Israel.

Trip participants include “Switched at Birth” and “Back to the Future” actress Lea Thompson, her director/producer husband Howard Deutch, and their daughters Zoey Deutch — who stars in the Harvey Weinstein-directed film, “Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters” — and musician Madelyn Deutch. Visitors not part of the talented family include C.S. Lee from “Dexter,” “Sullivan & Son” co-star Vivian Bang and Anson Mount of “Hell on Wheels.”

“We’ve always really wanted to come to Israel but we never got around to it,” said Thompson, whose husband and children are Jewish. “This is the perfect opportunity — not only to be able to collaborate with other artists, but to have a tour geared toward artists.”

Stops have so far included Yad Vashem, Tel Aviv and the Golan Heights. For Thompson, though, one of the most enlightening parts of the trip has been time spent away from the tourist attractions, at the homes of regular Israelis.

“It’s impossible to understand a place this complicated without visiting it and having conversations with people there,” she told us while en route to a Shabbat dinner. “I’ve learned that Israel is in a lot of ways like America in that you’re allowed to have a different opinion. There’s a lot of messiness in a democracy, so it feels familiar in that way.”

Besides the usual touristy stuff, the celebrities have also met with victims of terror attacks. Via a press release I received:

Led by award-winning actress Lea Thompson (“Switched at Birth”, “Back to the Future”), her husband, director Howard Deutch, and their two talented daughters, actress Zoey Deutch (“Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters”) and musician Madelyn Deutch, the group toured Israeli hotspots and met with notable Israeli personalities to give them a view of the country from beyond the headlines. The contingent, which also included actors C.S. Lee (“Dexter”), Vivian Bang (“Sullivan & Son”), Anson Mount (“Hell on Wheels”), spent their last night in Israel meeting with victims of terror attacks. OneFamily, Israel’s only national organization solely dedicated to the rehabilitation of victims of terror attacks and their families, arranged the Saturday night meeting – an encounter that meant a great deal to both the victims and the celebrities.

From left to right: Anson Mount, Rebecca Fuhrman (victim), Shlomit Natan (victim) – her daughter Yuval is standing in front of her, Cheryl Mandel (Bereaved Mother), Lea Thompson, Dror Yair (victim) – his daughter Shaked in lime green shirt, Howard Deutch, Zoe Deutch, C.S. Lee, Linoy Zohar (victim), Dror Yair’s daughters Moriah and Sivan, Vivian Bang, Madelyn Deutch

From left to right: Anson Mount, Rebecca Fuhrman (victim), Shlomit Natan (victim) – her daughter Yuval is standing in front of her, Cheryl Mandel (Bereaved Mother), Lea Thompson, Dror Yair (victim) – his daughter Shaked in lime green shirt, Howard Deutch, Zoe Deutch, C.S. Lee, Linoy Zohar (victim), Dror Yair’s daughters Moriah and Sivan, Vivian Bang, Madelyn Deutch

Here’s hoping they continue to have an enjoyable and meaningful time in Israel.

And America’s Voices In Israel – you may want to consider inviting me to interview visiting celebrities for future visits.

Just saying.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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