CAARI started off with a visit to beautiful Haifa this year. This city is home to a rich ethnic community, as reflected in a very special place, the Leo Baeck School. Our group was priviledged to visit the school, meet some of the students and learn about the Community Center associated with it. The Center works with a variety of ages and populations, such as students with special needs and new immigrants. Within the Ethipoian community, for example, some of the students receive full scholarships to university and participate in a University Leadership Training Program. The Center’s director, a musician, started a choir with Arabs and Jews singing and perfoming togeher, while the Centre also offers summer day camp. Last summer the choir went to Italy to Peace Camp, which offered workshops on co-existence.
Our group was invited into a classroom of Grade 2 students who sang Hebrew songs for us, while doing sign language. They all wore colorful embroidered kipas in Sephardic style, more like a cap than a small disc. They also asked us questions, in English, like – “What is your favorite food?” Always a subject of interest! We met with a group of teenagers who had gone on an exchange to a religious school in Boston. By coincidence, two of the boys who had been billeted in the home of the daughter of a member of our group, whose family lives in Boston. We were all impressed with the work of this wonderful school and community center.
In the afternoon our group visited the Hecht Museum, named for one of the founders of Haifa University. Our guide, Amir, explained the Museum’s collection of ancient artifacts was donated to the University was donated by Hecht himself. The collection includes an original mosaic floor from the 5th centery and a merchant ship from about 400 BCE.
Stay tuned for more…
Best Wishes and Shalom,
Marcia and Ron Bercov (Edmonton, Canada)