First of all, we are sorry for not updating the blog in the last week. Our schedule was very busy and full of activities.
Friday was dedicated to Haifa. We visited the famous Bahai's Gardens and we had a tour of Wadi Nisnas. Later we met with an Arab community who lives at Kababir neighborhood and we finished the day with delicious Druze dinner. Back in the Kibbutz, we organized our own Kabalat Shabbat.
On Saturday we stayed in Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek. We had Peulot and social activities and also some time in the swimming pool. On Sunday we spent the night in the beautiful old city of Safed and met with local artists. We slept the night on the shore of the Kinneret where we spent the day after hiking and doing water activities. On Tuesday we visited "Hatzar Kinneret" and learned about the history of the Zionist movement. On Wednesday we woke up at 3 am in the morning and climbed the mountain of "Beitania Ilit", the place of the first Kvutza of Hashomer Hatzair in Eretz Israel. From Beitania, we drove to Givat Haviva and visited the "Yad Yaari" archive of Hashomer Hatzair. We read many interesting and fascinating texts from the movement and camp in the United States. We also visited Kibbutz Barkai (The name of our Kvutza), and met with a member of the Kibbutz. Today (Thursday) we are visiting the city of Akko and also have joint activity with Israeli youth from the Kibbutzin Gaash and Yakum.
We are very exited for the next days in the South!
These past few days were packed with exiting activities and content. We visited some of the famous landmarks of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well less known corners of these cities.
In Tel Aviv, we went on a tour of the central bus terminal. The tour addressed the topic of the refugees. Later, still in South Tel Aviv, our discussion touched upon the history the and demographics of the neighbourhood, the rising poverty thereof, and other related topics (these experiences still resonated with us when later, we met in Jerusalem with Eritrean refugee to hear his story). At lunchtime, we went to colorful Shuk HaCarmel, and from there went on to spend some time at the Tel Aviv beach.
After two busy days in Tel Aviv, we focused on Jerusalem. We began by touring the Old City, and then went for a refreshing dip in the Lifta spring. Next, we visited the Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum in Har Hertzel. The following day, we met with Bogrim and social activists from Hashomer Hatzair living in Jerusalem. Then, we went on a meaningful Green Line tour. While in Jerusalem, experienced some exquisite local flavors at Mahne Yehuda Market, a Jerusalem Landmark and a place of gathering for people of all sectors.
On Thursday, we headed North to Givat Haviva. We visited the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace and met with Arab Palestinian youth. We had a tour in the area with the legendary Madricha Lidia Eisenberg. In the evening, we went to Kibbutz Mismar Ha'Emek, where we will get to spend the next few days.
We left Bulgaria on Thursday afternoon and landed in Israel the same evening. We spent fun and relaxing weekend with friends and family and met our group again on Sunday morning. We started the day in "Park Hayarkon", met later with Hashomer Hatzair adult group in Ramat Gan and explored the beautiful markets and beaches of Jaffa. We are looking forward for the next days in Israel!
In the last days of Seminar Hadracha we hiked in the beautiful mountains around Bansko, We slid down a huge water slide and learned new dances and songs. We continued our peulot about important topics such as the educational rational of Hashomer Hatzair and how to be safe while leading activities. In the last night of the seminar we had a big Mifkad Esh with the European movement. Today we said good bye to the other countries and drove back to Sofia. Tomorrow we will finaly fly to Israel!
In the last two days we had great experiences at the Hadracha seminar. We got to know members of Hashomer Hatzair from all over Europe, We had a fascinating Tzofiut workshop and we made our own Pita Bread. We organize an "Erev" of dance competition to all the other countries. The Erev was a big success and we recevied many compliments .We also had session of peulot, preparing us to become Madrichim and Madrichot in the next year. Enjoy the photos!
Yesterday evening, our group continued to explore Sofia and we had a very interesting visit at the local Hashomer Hatzair Ken. Today we arrived at a beautiful site in Bansko, where Seminar Hadracha is taking place. We had an amazing Kabalat Shabat together with 230 Hashomer Hatzair members from all over Europe. We Will stay in Bansko over the next few days and will keep you posted!
After long flights from New York and Toronto the Yedid groups landed yesterday in Sofia, Bulgaria. We had dinner at a local restaurant and later we went to the hotel. Today we are exploring downtown Sofia including the main Synagogue and the local Hashomer Hatzair Ken. Tomorrow we will drive to the Hadracha seminar in Bansko, and will meet members of Hashomer Hatzair from all over Europe. We are having a great time and excited for the next days!
Today we headed to Chatzar Kinneret to learn about the chalutzim of the second slogan. The madrichim acted out scenes from the daily life of Kvutzat Kinneret, we learned about people like A.D Gordon and Rachel the poet. Then we went to the Kinneret cemetery and heard about different chalutz heroes and their stories. After a falafel lunch we had a peula about oaths and then headed to Bitania, home to the first Hashomer kvutza. Here the kvutza retook their chultza oath together, received their new Sasa chultzot, and also took a self written kvutza oath. We are ending the day by all getting our yedid clothes orders!
It's been an amazing 2 days back! The kids returned from their free weekend re-energized and excited for the next week. Yesterday we spent the day in Haifa learning about different cultures and communities present in the area. We started with a tour of the Baha'i gardens, learned about Ethiopians and ate lunch in the Hadar neighborhood. From there we met with bogrim living in an urban kibbutz, gaining understanding about an alternative lifestyle. The day ended with a visit at the Ahmedia place of worship, a reformed sect of Islam, where we discussed the practices and beliefs of the religion. The night ended with a beautiful Druze dinner hosted by a Druze family in the Carmel mountains. We then returned to Mishmar Haemik for the night.
Monday morning was a seminar day focused on the kvutza. We spent the day at Mishmar haemik swimming in the pool, bonding through peulot, taking a short hike, and preparing our own cookout of burgers, hotdogs and chicken skewers. The night ended with an 'erev intimacy' planned and run by two of the chanichim, Gavriel and Tal.