My Trip to Israel

Visited Beit She'an and its Emek Maayanot (Valley of Springs) region with Jewish Federation of Cleveland's Beit She'an volunteer program in February, 2015. Thanks to the

Federation's local connection with Partnership 2Gether our group of 15 Greater Clevelanders got treated to more than I can list. Suffice it say we went into people's homes for Moroccan & Egyptian Jewish home cooking. Met with the very exciting mayor of Beit She'an and the head of the region's council as well as many others in the community. Assisted with English lessons at local middle schools and with the local library's kids program, not to mention agricultural education for teens and ag research at the renown local research facility, Eden Farm. Got to live on a large kibbutz and participate in their lives including davening with them their large and very hemish congregation in their synagogue that is architecturally stunning. Experienced organic farming up close. Toured the new "Park of Springs". Danced the debka with some Israeli Palestinian picknickers there. Learned how to dance the Jewish Iraqi-Kurd's Dilan at a Kurdish-Jewish moshav in the area. Saw more mosaic floors in Beit She'an National Park and other archeological sites than one would have thought possible.

Eat very well in homes, kibbutz dining halls, and terrific local restaurant outlets of the best known Israeli chains. Sorry we didn't visit the local outlets of Pizza Hut, McDonalds and many more North American chains--though we could have. Rented a car in Beit She'an and drove through the heavenly Kinneret region with all its banana farms and archaeological sites then on to wine country in the Golan. And after those two weeks, for even more excitement spent a week divided between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where I had a delightful time in every museum in those towns (there are a lot!) and then biking Tel Aviv's extensive bikeway! s in every part of town, if not region. Whew, what a trip. Can't wait to go back.

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