The weather was perfect for our Negev Day Tour – sunny and temperatures in the 70’s. Of course, it was suggested that we bring some warmer clothes for when the sun sets. After all, we ARE in the desert! How true, we needed those sweaters and jackets!
We departed Tel Aviv for the Air Force Museum, a few minutes to the West of Beer Sheva. We were met there by Almog, a 19 year old soldier in her obligatory 2 year service, that explained the history of the planes that started the IAF The Israel Air Force! (see pictures below)
At the Air Force Museum we met Shahar, from the JNF of America who boarded the bus and explained his role and the JNF of America, as we drove to our next destination. Next on the itinerary for CAARI was a visit to the newly renovated Beer Sheva Visitor Center.
The Beer Sheva Visitors center is located on the northern bank of the Beer Sheva River Park, a park almost twice the size of Central Park, in NY City. This park is a 5 mile long project being built up by the KKL and JNF desks from around the world and many other partners like JNF of Canada and JNF of America.
Our first stop after lunch was to see the first part of this enormous river bank reclamation park which is the Montreal Oasis Park, from over 14 years ago the Canadians were the first to actually contribute to this River Reclamation project by their playground and green area located between the Pipes Bridge, A JNF of America project and a Vehicle bridge adjacent to the Beer Sheva Visitor center.
The Canadian Montreal Oasis Park was designed by the Landscape Architect Amir Miller. The Park is clean and in use by many local Beer Sheva youth at the time of our visit. Many of the CAARI participants knew the donors recognized on the signs.
Next CAARI walked over the Pipes Bridge, designed by Rami Meresh, to our waiting bus that took us to the Beit Eshel restoration and 12,000 person outdoor Amphitheater, to the East of the Pipes Bridge and Canadian Park.
The last stop of the day was to visit Kibbutz Kramim, located close to the security fence, Debbie Rulnik a member of the 80 family Kibbutz. Debbie gave us a great tour, explaining how the kibbutz members were working together to serve both the religious and secular members. She hosted us in her newly built house and took us to an overlook to the north and west. And…that was our Day in the Negev! Fabulous!