The 36th year of the Canadian American American Active Retirees Program (CAARI) has begun!
We came from Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, New York State, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Chicago, and yes, Anchorage, Alaska! Several of us had been on the program before and were excited to see each other and welcome the new participants, who are first timers! And, the weather couldn’t be better – warm temperatures, sunshine and clear blue skies.
The first order of business was of course, settling into our Tel Aviv hotel, which will be our home for the next two weeks. The Metropolitan Hotel is conveniently located between the Mediterranean Sea and bustling Ben Yehuda Street. What a joy to view the sea, walk along the sea.
In the Orientation Program we selected our volunteer assignment.
Some of us will be working in a Rehab Center, others in Botanical Gardens and most tutoring English in Tel Aviv elementary schools. Dana, the Director of the Volunteers from Education Department of Tel Aviv Municipality, warmly greeted us. She explained the importance of our work for the students and teachers. She wants us to experience rewarding experience and thanked us for coming to Israel participate in the CAARI 3 – 6 weeks Program.
Following the meeting, we began a tour of Tel Aviv. Ah, to be outside walking in the fresh air, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. It was Friday and the streets, shops, and especially the café’s were filled with Israelis, also enjoying this delightful day. Neil, our guide, took us down Ben Yehuda, up Allenby Street to Rothchild Boulevard to the ‘home’ of the origins of Tel Aviv and the place where Ben Gurion declared the State of Israel – 70 years ago.
We were impressed with the innovative presentation as we followed along a golden walking trail . Neil took us past heritage sites connected by the trail that meanders through the streets, with explanations and historic pictures on an iPad. We stopped at various sites, such as the work of Israeli artist, Gutman, the Weiss House, which was part of the new neighborhood of Tel Aviv, the place where Herzliya Gymnasia stood, which was the first Hebrew School in Israel, and the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv.
After the tour we shopped in the Crafts Market, had a bit lunch and back to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.
Some enjoyed a very lively and spiritual service at the Tel Aviv International Synagogue, which is a CAARI favorite. We had the traditional CAARI Shabbat dinner with Kiddish followed by an Oneg Shabbat.
Tomorrow is a free day and Sunday we begin our Community Service. What a thrill to be here!
Wishing all a Shabbat Shalom!