Here are the thoughts about today’s travels by a number of the CAARI participants.
Amy Glaser – Boston area
I (Amy Glaser) would call today – ‘From Holocaust to Hope at Hadassah and JNF (Jewish National Fund).
Marilyn Oser (Port Washington)
This was a day of remembering. In the morning, after a sumptious Israeli breakfast, our group visited the world headquarters of the Jewish National Fund. We viewed their “Golden Books”, a collection of annual volumes going back to 1901 and the founding of JNF. Each is a tomb of enormous size and impressive verses, tooled in painted leathers covers. Each documents important donations made in honor of individuals, and documentation includes the honorees names, date and places of birth and often a photo. It was very moving to see these tributes. It was fun – as well to see a small exhibit of blue tzedaka boxes so familiar worldwide, dating from early in the century up to recent times – and one even made by Tiffany!
Next, or our itinerary was Hadassah Hospital where we visited the Chagall Windows, a reminder of the 12 tribes – the sons of Jacob. Chagall’s evocative work makes for a beautiful place of visit and contemplation in the midst of the hive of activity that is in the hospital. The afternoon was dedicated to Yad Vashem, which means a memorial to the names. This is always a sobering experience, sober yet somehow uplifting, too, in its commitment to preserving the memory of all those who died and to telling their story with dignity and integrity.
For the entire day I was reminded again and again of the strength of our Jewish Community.
Bernie Hulkower- Port Washington
Our trip started in Jerusalem where winter has delivered harsh weather in past visits. Thankfully, these first two day have been pleasant with temperatures in the 60’s with sun. Today, we went to Hadassah Hospital where we visited the Children’s Pavillon (in addition to the Chagall Windows). It was an eye opener. Each room has a bed for a parent so that the child need never to alone. They also provide teachers so that the child held for a prolonged period need not fuall behind in school.
It was also made clear that the hospital is OPEN to people from all faiths. This is an impressive place!
Anice Stark – Toronto, Canada
It was another lovely day in Jerusalem – perfect weather for touring. Our visit to Jewish National Fund World Headquarters was very meaningful to Arnold and me. Each book, with covers beautifully designed by artists, is a history of the Jewish People going back to 1901. One of the books, that brings you to tears, is the one that has Bar Mitzvah aged children – many who perished in the Holocaust.
Our visit to Hadassah Hospital began with a video about the Hadassah’s work and it’s vision for the future. It is impressive to see their contributions in the medical field. And then to see for ourselves, the Mother and Child Unit – is truly amazing. After lunch, we headed to Yad Vashem. This year we divided the group so that those that have been there before visited several exhibitions which we have never seen before. The collection of art by painters who perished in Theisenstadt was amazing. We also visited the synagogue which has some artifacts from synagogues that had been destroyed. What made our visit special was the warm reception we received from Mr. Shaiya Ben Yehuda, Director of International Development, who spoke to our group. He made us feel very special and we appreciate the time he took to be with us.