First Day Report”
My Dear members of CBY,
We have spent our first official day in Israel. We arrived Sunday evening and our group went to have our welcome meal at a fantastic Yemenite restaurant. This was our moment to begin to get acquainted as waiters brought out to us scores of dishes from Israeli salads, main courses and desserts. There is never lack of eating in Israel.Everyone introduced themselves and we reaffirmed our commitment to getting to know each other over the next ten or so days.
We are staying at the David Intercontinental hotel in Tel Aviv across from the beach. We visited Independence Hall where David Ben Gurion signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. We strolled through the lively Carmel outdoor market where everyone got lunch and other goodies. One of the highlights of the day was our trip to the Palmach museum. Remember the Palmach? This was, in pre state days, Israel’s elite strike force that defended this soon to be brand new nation. Yitzchak Rabin was in the Palmach too. The museum and the video performances were stirring and helped us all feel the gut wrenching drama of Israel’s fight for survival and its determination to be victorious despite long odds from the Arab armies. I could see and feel that the exhibits along with the video portrayal of what life was like in this days had a significant impact upon the group.
Afterwards we went to Jaffa and learned the history of this ancient town. I have included pictures of these experiences.The shops and the ambience is reminiscent of the ancient world as well as indicative of the new increasingly modern world where in Jaffa Jews and Arabs are learning how to live together.
We topped it all off with a unique experience for dinner at the Jewish Libyan tradition eating a favorite called Shakshukah. We had a great meal everyone was joyful and happy from this culinary experience from Middle Eastern design.