Israel Experience Turning 'Stars' into Ambassadors

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JERUSALEM, Israel - For years, Israel has been fighting a public relations battle to protect its image in the media.

Now a new group is letting the land of Israel speak for itself by bringing in high profile personalities for a first-hand experience.

The star-studded invitations come with no strings attached.

"Our goal is really to create ambassadors of goodwill. Where they take it, it's up to them," Rabbi Irwin Katsof told CBN News.

The partnership between America's voices in Israel and El Al Airlines is bringing TV stars and others to Israel for an up close and personal visit.

"Our experience has been that they are so moved by being here and so touched in a deep and profound way that they go back and, just by being who they are and speaking to their friends, help to get the word out about a treasure that really belongs to the whole world," Katsof said.

One recent visit included cast members of "Grey's Anatomy," "Raising Hope," and "Rookie Blue".

"I mean it's really amazing walking on streets that have seen so much history," said American actress Sarah Drew, who plays Dr. April Kepner on "Grey's Anatomy."

"We got to walk on a piece of pavement that's 2,000 years old so I just touched the ground; I was like, 'Oh my gosh! Jesus walked on this pavement, right here,' you know," Drew said.

"That was a pretty amazing thing and when we got to kinda touch the wall and pray. I just put a little prayer into the wall," she added.

Stops included ancient holy places and modern sites like Israel's premiere medical facility, Hadassah Hospital.

"I'll tell everyone to come…you have to experience it I think. It's such a beautiful country," Drew said.

Katsof said his organization wants to bring more groups here soon.

"Within days people are sending emails to their friends and using their Twitter accounts and their fanbook sites and their Facebook accounts to tell everyone about it," Katsof said.

"And the one thing that universally everyone says is 'you've gotta come,'" he said. "You've gotta get here as soon as possible."

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CBN News
Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Mideast Correspondent

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.