February 6 – Visit to Beit She’an

The bus is packed and we are ready to leave our Galilee ‘home’,  Kibbutz Ma’agan.   

Our first stop is Naharayim, also known as the Island of Peace.  This  site is dedicated to 7 girls, from a girls’ high school from Beit Shemesh.   They were on a class trip on March 13, 1997, when a  Jordanian soldier opened fire on the children, killing seven girls. 

A memorial was erected in memory of the murdered girls,  made up of seven hills of dirt surrounded by grass, with the name of each girl written in flowers on each mound   Every year,  families and friends gather together in Naharayim in memory of the girls.  Next week is the memorial.    

Neil, our guide,  was explaining about the curator and said that she comes everyday to tend to the memorial garden.  To our surprise she was at the site and we were able to speak to her.   
Then on to Beit She’an to, the largest archaeological sites, in the Middle east.  The spectacular ruins of the glory that was the Roman and Byzantine city of Bet She’an.

The  spectacular ruins of the glory that was the Roman and Byzantine city of Bet She’an. Rising above them is the tel on which Biblical Bet She’an stood. Neil took us on a highlight tour including:

1. The entrance plaza – model of the Roman-Byzantine city and view of the site.

 2. Roman theater – the spectacular remains and reconstruction of the 2nd century  and used today for concerts and various productions. 

 3.   Western bathhouse – the ruins of the large bathhouse of Bet She’an, in use during the Byzantine period. The remains of the bathhouse offer an opportunity to get to know this aspect of life at that time.

 4.   The reconstructed cardo (Palladius Street) – a street paved with basalt stone.  An incredible site!

Back on the bus, for a scenic view of the Jezeral Valley. 

The bus climbed up and around Mt Gilboa.  Spring flowers are beginning to sprout,  with patches of the colorful cyclamen and the first leaves of the famous Gilboa iris, soon to be blooming.  This area is steeped in Biblical history from the time of King Saul.  We arrived at the site at the same time 2 buses with school boys arrived for a walk the site.   It was great to see how, in the middle of the day, Israelis enjoy nature and biblical history.  The is one of JNF Canada’s Projects.  Great view of the valley below!

Off to lunch and then Tel Aviv where we will meet new participants and continue our volunteering and exciting program for the next weeks.  It has been an exhilarating CAARI experience in the Galilee. 
Shabbat Shalom to family and friends!

The Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel, CAARI, offers active seniors a unique opportunity to experience Israel. The program is designed to explore the biblical landscapes, follow the footsteps of the early pioneers, and envision the future of our Homeland. The CAARI Program includes community service, toursa speakers forum and the camaraderie of the CAARI Family. The Program is designed for to feel, touch, hear and see Israel from the mountains to the desert, from sea to sea, and from ancient to modern.

Contact Us at: [email protected]
Facebook: https://facebook.com/CAARI-Volunteers

Links: Jewish National Fund USA : https://www.jnf.org/