The next journey begins CHINA!!

The next journey begins CHINA!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family day in Tel Aviv

June 30 I will be heading back to Jerusalem tomorrow for three intense weeks of study. Today I went with the Ashiri family to a little lake for a picnic and later on went to the Tel Aviv pier and boardwalk for glida (ice cream). My family here has been generous, welcoming and have made me certainly feel like a member of the family. Sunset at the pier was beautiful. Many Many people were out in the restaurants, pubs, shops that line the boardwalk. It was a lovely evening

Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29 My cousin Amir played tour guide as we traveled into Tel Aviv. I saw the beautiful coast line, the modern high rises- a lot has changed since I lived there 30 years ago! We walked around the famous pedestrian 'mall' stopping for hummus and great conversation. Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28 The week at my cousin Efrat ended with me attending a performance of one of the groups she and her husband work with. They are autistic adults and they performed a set of skits with the theme of acceptance and tolerance. It was heart warming. I have discovered my cousins who are humanitarians and whose lives are dedicated to doing good work. I am now in Hod Ha Sharon a suburb of Tel Aviv now visiting with Amir ( Efrat's brother) his wife and 4 kids. Will be here for Shabbat.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rosh HaNikra- Lebanon border

June 26 Went to visit these natural caves. Beautiful love story legend associated with it .

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One of the oldest inhabited cities in Israel, the old walled city of Acre sits on the Northern End of Haifa Bay. Like many other cities in the Holy Land, it has been occupied by many different cultures throughout the centuries. Before it’s heyday during the Crusader and Ottoman periods, it had been occupied by the Persians, Greeks and Romans, just to name a few. Many of those cultures are still visible in Acre’s old walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Excavated Room from the Crusader Era The city’s most striking building is the Citadel, an Ottoman structure built on the foundations of the old Crusader Fortress. The city was taken in the first crusade, and held for a little less than 100 years. The Knights Templar were busy during this time, building their formidable fortress as well as an elaborate series of subterranean tunnels underneath the city which were to be used in the defense of the city. Today, many of these halls have been excavated, lending an impressive perspective to the building of this complicated structure. An audio guide is available at the visitor’s center which I found very useful in helping me understand how the Citadel was used and defended during the Crusades. The Turkish Baths Near the Citadel is the reconstructed Turkish Bath, restored to what it looked like when it was built in the late 18th Century. These baths were common throughout most of the Ottoman Empire. The Tunnel of the Knights Templar Much of the Fortress built by the Knights Templar is now submerged, but thanks to some good excavating and an engineering feat, much of the tunnel they built under the city is now accessible to tourists. This area had been underwater for hundreds of years, but in the mid 1990s a series of pumps was installed and boardwalks were put in place, allowing for a unique glimpse into the defenses that made Acre such a hard city to capture. The tunnels are an easy walk, although the low ceilings in many places might make for some uncomfortable walking while crouched over for those visitor’s over six feet tall. The Walls of Acre The underground tunnels were only one of the factors that made Acre a difficult city to capture. Being a walled city surrounded by water on three sides also made it hard for invaders to properly attack the city. Nowhere in Acre is that more apparent than the walls on the Mediterranean side of the city. Much of the defense wall remains in place today, and a stroll around those ramparts is truly eye-opening. There are also sweeping views over the Mediterranean Sea and across the Bay of Haifa. Fresh Bread in the Acre Souq As historically significant as Acre is, my favorite part of the city was it’s bustling souq, or market. The souq is such a colorful place, with an almost unimaginable abundance of goods for sale. I especially enjoyed seeing the fresh seafood displays, something unique to the markets in the coastal cities. Spices for sale in the souq The Morning's Catch fresh from the Mediterranean Acre is an easy day-trip from Haifa, less than an hour away from Haifa across the bay. Acre also has one of the largest Arab populations (nearly 28%) of any Israeli city outside the West Bank. This gives the city a feel to it that is especially unique amongst Israel’s coastal cities. That adds a cultural reason to the historical ones for including Acre on any itinerary in Israel.The Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast – best places to travel middle east travel


June 24 After taking my little cousin (bat-dodi) to kindergarten My cousin Efrat and I went to ACCO it is an amazing ancient city. We strolled along the beach, went to the market, and ate the most amazing hummus I ever had.We did nor have too much time especially after getting a ticket! Traffic cops are the same everywhere... quota Go to link to read abut ACCO it is very intriguing.http: // or just Google it. It is a very ancient city the oldest that has always been inhabited.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Golan Heights

June 23 We traveled to the Golan Heights to a Kibbutz that invited this Kibbutz to pick cherries to their hearts content. There was an over abundance of cherries and before they are overripe the kibbutz invited this kibbutz. The view was spectacular . One could see snow on the mountains on the Syrian side. We picked cherries, had a picnic and the kids played on the fresh water little pool. This particular kibbutz was very much a part of the war and the bunkers, and outlook points still there. Beautiful views, a nice d ay

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 23 Well- stepping out of my comfort zone I used public tansporati9on - 2 buses- to get to Tel Aviv. Efrat picked me up ( my cousin from my mother's side) and after having gotten lost but enjoying the adventure- we arrived to Kibbutz Tifil in the Galilee. Her two adorable children Sher-ri (my song) and Jonathan have been giving me Hebrew lessons as I give them English lessons. A few days here and maybe I will really be able to speak Hebrew! We had a Shabbat dinner with the Kibbutzim and today are going to hike in the upper Galilee. The pictures ar of the children including the kids playing after dinner. Very quiet her e except for the nightly coyotes. The air is clean, and I amleaving my make up in the suitcase!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21

Today is the last day of the seminar. It was another full day as we listened to experts, speak about the Challenges of Holocaust Education and whee we are going. The main points brought up is how the Holocaust has been trivialized and how Holocaust vernacular has become mainstream . A panel discussion of secondary teachers followed but the venue was not conducive to a discussion. It was a bit frustrating. I am now sitting in a room waiting for a survivor to present her story. I do not think I will have internet later on due to the exorbitant fees hence I am writing now. The program will conclude after the presentation of the survivor and then back to the hotel. I am still waiting to hear from my cousin as to where and when I will meet her in Tel Aviv tomorrow- and to all my friends and family that know me well.... know I am stressed not knowing yet where and when to meet her!!! Hope you all are enjoying my blog and I hope to continue with my family visit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20

June 20 We began with a panal discussion about Challenges in Making the Holocaust relevant in a changing world. Shulamit Imber, Michael Berenbaum, and others shared their different perspectives in how to teach this subject in light of a ever decreasing souce of live survivors, As sad as the subject is they feel we must plan for a world wherein the the video is the only source of testimonies. The sessions I attended in the morning were quite good as the educators took the helm. I particularly liked the presentation that actually dealt with books I use now in the classroom NIGHT, SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ and MAUS, However the afternoon session left much to be desired as one presenter was not prepared, was quite boring and uses simulation in her classroom- a big tabu amongst Holocaust educators. I am about to take a walk to Ben Yehuda and call it a night, tomorrow is the final day of this conference and I will vbe going to meet my cousin on Friday in Tel Aviv for a "Havsaka" break. here are some photos of new friends from Rwanda, Sweden and Luithiana the flags represent all the countries of the participants

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19,2012 A very busy, exhausting and inspiring day. We began with presentations from Gideon Sa'ar Minister of Education of Israel followed by Avner Shalev Chairman Directorate of Yad Vashem. The theme was the educational challenges we face in the 21st century. The morning concluded with a presentation from Michael Marrus, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies University of Toronto. I took notes and will be working on them, but the continuing theme of the conference will be the challenges faced in the 21sat century . There are participants from, Senegal, Egypt, USA, Serbia, Croatia, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic,England and many more. We all chose separate presentations to attend for the afternoon. wont go into the actual sessions but I chose Anti Antisemitism and Nazi Ideology presented by professor Dina Porat, Literary Responses to the Holocaust presented by Dr. Alan Rosen, and finally and most difficult subject for me today was Motherhood in the Face of Extermination presented by Dr Frumi Shchori. We ended the day with the preeminent historian on the Holocaust Professor Yehuda Bauer whose knowledge, passion, and message is un paralleled. We also were treated during the mid day break, to a dance performance called "Together Alone" I look forward to another inspiring day tomorrow

Monday, June 18, 2012

Opening of conference

June 18,2012 Evening was our opening ceremony at Yad Vashem. The so called light dinner was an array of sumptuous offerings: eggplant, avacodo, hummus, salads of all kinds, taboulli, salmon, chicken, so much food!!! It was SABABBA!! I was eating and suddenly my eye caught sight of someone I knew! It was Adam from JFR who I first met in Poland, then last summer in NYC and now in Israel, I also realized Jakub (Kobi) ws also here! It was a joyful reunion. The meal was followed by a walk to the Valley of the Communities with several welcome speeches from Dorit Novak- director of the Intl school, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau- Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo and a musicial concert by Chava Alberstein. A beautiful evening and a breath taking sunset
June 18. Last of the "free" days. The program officially begins this evening with a concert by Chava Alberston. Today I walked by myself to the Kotel at 8 am and placed some notes in the wall for myself and some friends. It is hard to explain until you are here and walk through the old city to the Kotel, and touch the wall. One finds them self with tears- it just happens.. I then went to find a Shouk ( market) to buy fruit- which was awesome- and actually got lost. It was a way to discover more shops and alley ways. I found my way back by asking for help- using some Hebrew. It is very hot and I am resting for a bit until this evening's program.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June17, The flight was delayed but other than that it was fine. The hotel is beautiful and walking distance from everything. I made sure to get my street fallafal- with the works. I walked to Ben Yedudah street and tomorrow I will go to the Kotel to place the notes in the wall that wre given to me. It is my humble pleasure to do so. Jerusalem is truly a beautiful city; ancient and pulsating with life of centuries gone by. I love being here!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The day before June 15, 2012

I Leave tomorrow afternoon! Very nervous and excited about all the new people I will meet, the historians I will have the humble pleasure of learning from, and of course being in Ertz Israel!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10 DAYS!!!

Less than two weeks! I changed hotels to be closer to the Old City. Trying to get m things together and hope I can consolidate. I will be blogging as often as I can.