Movie Review: Next Year Jerusalem

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masada, next year jerusalemEvery year, many people travel to Jerusalem in search of their religious roots, or perhaps to have a better connection with Israel as a country. Typically, the average age of these tourists is not 91 years old. Yet this is not a typical trip to Jerusalem and these travelers are not your typical tourists.

The movie “Next Year Jerusalem” takes us on a soul-searching journey with eight nursing home residents from the Jewish Home for the Elderly located in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Boomer Travel

Baby boomer travelers make up a large percentage of active and luxury travelers looking to see as much of the world before they depart to greener pastures.

The senior citizen traveler is an age group I am familiar with. As a baby boomer myself, I traveled with my elderly mother to Bilbao, Spain in 2007 to visit the Gugghenheim Museum. This particular museum was on my mom’s bucket list and she wanted to see it and explore its treasures inside and out before she kicked the bucket, shall we say.

Senior Travel

While I love that President and CEO Andrew Banoff of the Jewish Home for the Elderly is willing to oversee and ultimately accompany the senior citizens on their trip to Jerusalem, I can’t imagine the logistics involved in transporting eight senior travelers and their care givers, via airplane, bus and wheelchair, from Fairfield, Connecticut to Israel. From floating in the Dead Sea to to visiting the Massada in Israel this movie gives us a chance to experience travel from a senior tourist’s perspective. What a trip!

Travel and memory

With the promise of one last travel adventure, these eight senior citizens of the Jewish Home for the Elderly want to pack in as many experiences and travel memories as possible. Says one of the travelers, “better take it all in. Who knows when we’re coming back again.”

“I’m going to journal everyday,” remarks one of the senior travelers. “Because I don’t want to forget!”

“I am very lonely,” says Regine Arouette, 87. “I love the idea of the trip.”

“Every photograph means something” says Bill Wein, 97. “It’s something you remember for the rest of your life.”

nextyearjerusalem, movie review

Next Year Jerusalem

After the 10 day pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the tourists return to Connecticut and their daily lives in a senior citizen facility. The 72 minute documentary, Next Year Jerusalem, directed and produced by David Gaynes, is not really a travel movie as much as it is a metaphor for the journey, triumphs and struggles of life in our twilight years.

Have you traveled with a senior citizen? Do you have tips for traveling with seniors? Share your experiences below.

Where to See: Next Year Jerusalem

Movie review by Nancy D. Brown. First Run Features supplied me with the Next Year Jerusalem DVD for review purposes, as well as photos. All opinions are my own.

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13 Responses to “Movie Review: Next Year Jerusalem”

  1. Sounds like a wonderful documentary! Thank you for highlighting it.

  2. @Marilyn
    Next Year Jerusalem was inspiring for me as a traveler and a baby boomer getting up there in years. I hope you have a chance to see this movie.

  3. Nancie says:

    I can understand how this movie would be inspiring, and maybe give the “push” to not let our age limit us. I have a number of friends that are quite a bit older than I am, and have traveled with them. They’re all in good shape, so getting around has not been an issue. They’re not in wheelchairs, or physically challenged in any way. Personally, I think travel does keep us young.

  4. @Nancie
    I agree, traveling does keep us young. Reading signs and maps in foreign countries also keeps our brains engaged!

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m really glad to see that there are options available for senior citizens to travel safely and in style. I will be that age someday and have no doubt I will still want to travel as much as I do now :)

  6. @Michelle
    I don’t know if I’ll make it to my 90’s, but if I do, I would love to still be able to travel. Cruise ships or river barges look like the way to go in the senior years.

  7. G. Farmen says:

    I found this interesting, very nice documentary.

  8. @Muza-chan
    Yes, it is very interesting to consider senior citizens traveling across the globe at this stage in their life.

  9. @G. Farmen
    I’m glad you enjoyed the documentary.

  10. Torsten says:

    I certainly hope to be traveling as much as I do now when I’m a senior, so it’s inspiring to see octogenarians – even nonagenarians! – doing just that.

    The documentary looks to be an eye-opener!

    Just followed you on Twitter, Nancy, so I can read more nuggets :) Hope to see you there sometime!

  11. @Torsten
    As I am a member of the baby boomer generation, I can only hope that I will still be traveling at that age. Thanks for following me on Twitter.

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