Shalom to our friends and family. This is our first time with the CAARI program and our first report on the CAARI Blog. Rhoda is volunteering in Ichilov Rehabilitation Center and Joe is at Koach L’Tet. We wanted to share with you a few thoughts on the visits we have experienced. I (Joe) have already been quoted in the KKL website regarding our visit to JNF sites and our Tu’Bshvat experience at the nursery……I said…. “It seems as though KKL-JNF is just as involved in planting the Jewish people in its land, as it is in planting trees!” Last week we visited Eretz Museum in Tel Aviv – “Behold the Land!” From the ages of the Pharaohs, to the smelting of the copper mines (we toured the mines when we were in Timna a couple weeks ago) in Biblical times, we moved to Italia Ebraica where we learned about differences in their liturgy, to the beauty of the magnificently hand crafted glass by modern Israeli artists.
We were supposed to work in the forest, but snow – yes SNOW – was forecasted. Our leaders, Neil and Susan, rearranged the day. In the morning, we had a guided tour of the Diaspora Museum – following the Jews through the ages from all over the world, and how they maintained their religion and culture whereever they lived. We saw a wonderful exhibition of synagogues – some replicas of lost buildings and some still existing. In the afternoon, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University and a research associate at the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies spoke, to the group about Iran. We learned some interesting facts on the issues about the Iranian situation and what it means world.
The other day, through a blowing sand storm we persevered in the tradition of the Irgun, leaving nothing to deter us from reaching the Etzel Museum (located on the Tel Aviv promenade). We were privileged to have Josef Ben David Nachimas, relate personal incidents from the struggle with the British (during the Mandate Period) to the eventual Statehood. Enlisting in the British Army at the age of 14, fighting the Germans, through his service in the Irgun under the Command of Menachum Begin- Josef was a hero!! There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as he recounted his stories. It is indeed an honor to hear about the early days of Eretz Yisrael from people like Josef. Events like these make CAARI a special program. Oh – we also had some Israeli folkdancing lessons!!! Kef (fun)!