Today, Tuesday, was supposed to be our forest day…..but since it was scheduled to rain, our coordinators changed plans and we went to Jerusalem for most of the day….There we went to the headquarters of the JNF and it was interesting to note that they have books of contributors from 1901…..the beginning of JNF…..and they also had a display of the blue and white boxes…that we used to take around as kids…..asking for pennies and nickels to help buy trees in Palestine……before there was an Israel. It took many of us back to our childhoods….After that we had a very beautiful little ceremony where a grove of trees was presented to a Anice and Arnold Stark, a couple from Canada for all they do for JNF….Guess what…..I cried.
Then we went to the old city….where they have a new Jaffa Gate Plaza which goes over the road….and from which you can get the new Mamilla Mall….very, very upscale and pricey.
This city just keeps making improvements and there was building going on inside the Jaffa Gate as well….We had lunch in a charming beautifully renovated house run by a women who has spearheaded a movement for Arab woman, Nora, to assert their rights….and where they are involved in crafts so that they can become more independent. also very impressive..then a walk to get a magnificent view of the city from atop a convent.
In the late afternoon, our speaker was a counsellor from the Canadian Embassy……who was so very intelligent, articulate and well-qualified for her position….that she made the Canadians very proud, while many Americans….like me……wish we had people in our state dept. or embassies who could speak so well and cared so much about Israel. (they might care about Israel, but I have never heard so much support from a non-Jew with so much compassion and understanding)
So that brings me to the end of another GREAT day with my CAARI friends. Every year the program is better than the year before….and we are so busy…..no time for bridge. I AM LOVING IT!!!!
Wishing you all well,