Dear Family and Friends,
Today begins the first day of community service with CAARI participants filled with much anticipation! Taxis were there to bring everyone to their assignments. The past CAARI participants returned to their former assignments and were happy to see the smiles and greetings from the school administrators, children and the hospital staff. The new participants quickly got into the routine – ole pros!
From Mel and Sandy’s blog: “…we returned to the hotel for lunch, then went on a tour- visited Independence Hall, the place where the State of Israel was declared a nation by David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948. (It took place in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem because Jerusalem was under siege!) A select 350 people had been invited to gather at 3:30 for a thirty two minute ceremony at 4 PM for this declaration on that date. Our guide told us, that of course one person told another, and many, many, more people showed up! Independence Hall and the sounds of that taped ceremony were very moving. The young woman who spoke to us about Independence Hall and its history, was a terrific spokesperson for Israel; her parents are Holocaust survivors, and she herself has three sons, two of whom are currently in the army defending the State. She was born in Israel, a sabra, and served as an officer in the air force. When this tour was over, a group of us thought we’d get some air, and since the afternoon was mild, we took a walk along Dizengoff Blvd, winding up at a most fantastic 3 level health food store with bulk nuts and fruits and grains, tahini and hummus from many nations, and a zillion other organic varieties of items like this that we buy at home. Ah, bliss!
After dinner, we listened to a most amazing lecture by Bar Ilan University Professor Mordechai Kedar. Professor Kedar’s specialty is Arabic Studies; his detailed lecture was about the Shi’ites and the Sunis, and it informed us about the long history and influence of that history on the Middle East today. One of our program participants remarked that he believed we’d heard things most Americans, possibly even members of the State Dept may not understand regarding this topic, as fully as Professor Kedar described them, and I agree; our knowledge and media in North America is shallow and superficial.You can tell it was a busy, full day.”