Blog 1 - 10/30/16
After a wonderful opening dinner we met with Professor Rueben Hazzan, head of the political science department of Hebrew University.
The main topic of discussion was the American election process. Hazzan compared our different political systems and pointed to areas of dysfunction in both.
The mood in Israel is tranquil and peaceful and people are very upbeat.
Blog 2 - 10/31/16
Next morning we had a great tour of the Machane Yehuda outdoor market. The sights, sounds and smells were magnificent.
After the market we went to an organic farm on a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley where we picked our own vegetables. Then we prepared them and made our own lunches - farm to table.
We met new immigrants from Ethiopia and went to a JAFI absorption Center.
At dinner we met with an Israeli pediatrician from Zeev hospital who has treated over a thousand victims of the war in Syria. At night we began our tour of Tzfat by meeting with an artists who creates paintings with Kabbalistic themes.
Blog 3 - 11/3/16
We met with Aluf Benn, editor of Ha Aretha newspaper, who gave us a great overview of politics in Israel and Israeli reactions to the American elections.
We will then travel to the Sharona neighborhood in Tel Aviv, before we go to our closing dinner.
Highlights from our time in Israel have included a tour of Jaffa and the Neve Zedek neighborhood. We have also had the opportunity to eat at amazing falafel and shawarma restaurants.