Visit to Weizman Institute and Sderot by Marion Landen & Joyce Zweig (Toronto)

Hi Everyone:
Well, the Sabbath is over along with our day of rest.  Weather still gorgeous in Tel Aviv –  sunny, mild and dry.  Up and out on the bus today at 8:30 on the road to Rehovot and the Weizman Institute and Science Park.  It is named after Chaim Weizman, the first president of Israel. This world famous university is for pure science for post graduate students only.  It is truly an amazingly huge complex of many buildings on 320 acres of land. They have 1200 students enrolled and attending.  Some of the Nobel Prize winners from Israel attended this institution.  We visited the beautiful new Visitor’s Centre, with many amazing audio and  visual exhibits.
Next, we visited their Science Park, which is a unique outdoor science museum, bringing people of all ages closer to science in all its fascinating aspects. The Park enables the visitor to experience science through over 80 interactive exhibits demonstrating principles of natural phenomena that occur in daily life. Our English speaking guide encouraged many of us to participate.  
After lunch we went to Sderot and saw another JNF reservoir and heard again about the importance of recycling the water.  To just let any water go down the drain is a concept they cannot accept and if they want to enlarge a settlement in the area, they have to pay for cleaning the water so they can accommodate the more people.  And a lot of that money comes from JNF.  JNF is not just trees, they do so many more  things for Israel, as for example paying to recycle a lot of the water.
Being in Sderot was very sad.  From Sderot we could see Gaza and how Sderot is always being shelled during any battle.    The sirens go off and the people have 15 seconds to run for cover.  Each house has added on a bomb shelter room paid for by the municipality and the IDF.  Many of the schools and building have added on rooms as well.  

The one real highlight was that through American JNF funds, an old textile factory was turned into a huge indoor playground for the kids who could not go out to play because of bombs.  The facility is marvelous.  There are basketball courts, a huge area for soccer, swings, toys, computer rooms, a birthday room so kids could have birthday parties in there. so much I can’t remember it all.  Oh yes, there is a climbing wall but it couldn’t be too high because if the 15 second siren went, they had to be down in that time to go into the shelter part.  

The kids we saw looked so happy but can you imagine them living with those sirens?
Shalom, shalom from Israel!
Marion and Joyce

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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