By Dani Fessler
We left Tel Aviv today and headed North, with a chance to experience Israel’s diversity – especially diversity of communities.
We opened this morning with an early morning walk along the Tel Aviv promenade and beach. Beautiful shiny day and clear blue sky welcomed us today and 85°F. A morning meditation with Rabbi Marshal led us to a new day.
After checking out of hotel Dan Panorama in TLV, we departed for a volunteer project at Leket at the city of Ra’anana food packing and logistic center. Leket is Israel’s largest food rescue organization. Leket Israel works to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity amongst the growing numbers of Israel’s poor. The volunteer work involves gleaning of the fields at a local farm and the produce is then distributed to the needy. Our group did a great job packing 5 tons of eggplants, beetroot, squash, and pomelo. We did a good job and had a chance to work with 9th graders from a JHS nearby.
After contributing our humble part and support for Leket, we started our journey to the north of Israel. Our first stop on our way was for a wine tasting at Tishbi winery, one of Israel’s wineries where the ancient art of wine making has become a modern thriving industry and Israeli wines compete on the international marketplace. We had lunch at the winery and then had a nice tour and tasted different kinds of wine: 2 white and 3 red ones. Still sober from the wine that we tasted, we took off again on the bus on our way to Zichron Yaácov for a guided walk through Ramat Hanadiv gardens to explore the unique history and struggles of the town since it was founded in the 1880’s. We entered the tomb of Baron & Baroness Rothschild.
After a nice walk in Baron Rothschild gardens, we departed for Daliyat HaCarmel – a Druze village on Mount Carmel. We started our visit at Beit Yad Labanim for a meeting with members of the Druze community to learn and to understand the Druze religion and culture and to get a sense of the diversity of cultures in Israel. After learning about the Druze heritage, we moved to the Natur family house that hosted us for dinner. The Natur’s are friends of mine and were so kind to host us for a traditional Druze dinner.
It was a great day with a lot of new experiences for all of us!