My view – by Bev Fluxgold

Bev Fluxgold – Toronto, Canada
It has taken me a while to be able to put my thoughts into words. It was always a given that I loved Israel unreservedly. But it just came to me that I feel safe here. This may seem strange because my head tells me there are dangers, but safe is what I feel..
A sense of pride swells within me when I see all the accomplishments that have been made by my fellow Jews. This is something I can not feel anywhere else in this world.
Yesterday it all came to a head when we visited Bet Shemesh. A town of about 80,000 situated between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. We viewed the ruins of the ancient city and then went to an after school program for children whose ages run from preschool to teens. This program enables their parents to work while their children are being well looked after.
The teens have a nutritious meal that they have learned to prepare themselves. They are given help with their homework, and the attention they may lack at home.
There is an equipped computer room and they are in the midst of setting up a library.
From there we went to a sculpture garden that was tucked away in the middle of a residential district. This garden was the on a piece of property donated to Bet Shemesh by the husband and wife sculptures. In the centre of the garden was a sculpture depicting a ladder (like Jacob ascending to heaven.) The garden was dedicated to the memory of their son who had died in the Lebanon war. Not 27 virgins, but the beauty that came from their hands.
We’ll I thought this must be it, but from there we were taken to a conservatory of music. What a treat. The children put on a concert for us. The culmination was a brother and sister team. She on violin he on piano. Someday I’m sure we will see them in our concert halls.
As we observed Bet Shemish is very diverse. Ethiopians.Russians, Orthodox, Ultra Orthodox. I’m sure it isn’t perfect, but a great effort is going into making it work.

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.

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