January 12- Mt. Adir, piano concert and more…by Marcia and Ron Bercov

Hello from Haifa,
Reporting from this beautiful city as we begin another year CAARI Adventure this month. Once more the Bercovs joined the Canadian and American Active Retirees (CAARI) in Israel for a program of community service, touring, lectures and a good time with friends. All of this is through the Jewish National Fund, the organization which plants forest, builds water reservoirs, roads and even contructed an indoor playground in this extraordinary country. Our Tour Coordinator, Susan Horwitz, and guide, Neil Eisenstadt, bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and good humour which make CAARI a most wonderful way to visit Israel.
Where to begin…after only three days in this area, and already so many memorable events and places…..
This morning, for example, our group left bright and early, boarding the CAARI bus and greeting Moti, our excellent driver who had been with us a few times. Just an aside – Israel’s roads tend to be narrow at the best times, with sharp curves in this mountainous part of the country, all of which Moti handles with ease. Thanks, Moti!
So, with Moti at the wheel, we headed north toward Akko, driving through a mixed residential and industrial part of the country. In spite of its size, Israel produces a large variety of products, like paint, concrete, has chemical processing and stone polishing using local limestone. The route continued north, through the small city of Naharyia to Mt. Adir along the northern border. We drove as far as we could into a small forest and from there we went by foot. From the view point there, we saw many small villages over the border in Lebanon. Guide Neil brought out his map of the country, explained about the history of the area, adding to what he told us on the drive.
(another aside, later we found out about the internal problems that Lebanon is experiencing…how appropiate that our visit was today).

The next stop, a CAARI first, took us to the top of a mountain for a private piano recital. Yes, that is correct. Yitzak Tavior, virtuoso pianst, composer and conductor, lives with his family in the area of Mt. Meron in the Galilee where he present concerts on Saturday mornings, but gave a command performance to our group this morning. The concerts take place in his studio, a large room with seating around three sides and clusters of potted plants forming a border around one side of his grand piano. On the walls hang large portraits of composers. Maestro Tavior welcomed us and explained that he was probably the only pianist who would serve refreshments at the intermission. He sat down, began to play, and we were entranced. The first part of his program included movements from Mozart and Beethoven sonatas and a Chopin Scherzo, all played with energy and sensitivity and great feeling. Then true to his words, he stood up walked over to the far side of the room and offered coffed, herb tea and cakes which his wife Liora had brought earlier. After everyone finished, Maestro Tavior walked back to the piano, opened the lid and over the keyboard and continues with a Brahms Intermezzo and a final work by Debussy. Sheer joy…
Back down to earth, we thank Maestro Tavior and reluctnatly left his studio driving through forest of pine to the ancient city of Safed. There we encountered mny other groups of tourists, including a Birthright group from Cornell, New York.
Next CAARI headed for the Hazor archeologial site, on the list of UNESCO International Heritage Sites. Here the work continues, excavating and discovering artifacts from ancient cultures. Last summer, for example, archeologists discovered 2 Hammurabi tablets with Acadian writing. I think this means lines, horizontal or vertical in combinations, but Neil really knows…
Yes, there is more to this day. Final stop Rosh Pina and a visit to the synagogue there and an media presentation of the story of Rosh Pina, one of Baron Rothschild’s villages. Ah…a delicious dinner and back to Haifa.
Keep well and warm, especially Edmontonians who are expecting -25C tomorrow.
Best wishes and Shalom,
Marcia and Ron (Edmonton, Canada)

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/