S: Israel Adventure - Visiting Tara on Year Course
BC: Ketura | Yotvata | Eilat | Mizpe Ramon | Tel Tsafit | Moshav Tzippori | Moshav Ram On | See you again!
FC: Israel Adventure - Visiting Tara on Year Course December 22, 2011 - January 3, 2012
1: Our journey began on Thursday, December 22, 2011. We flew LOT Polish Airlines, leaving Minneapolis at 11:50 am, to Chicago. We left Chicago at 5:30 pm and arrived in Warsaw, Poland at 10:00 am. The plane that came into Chicago from Warsaw, that we would fly to Warsaw in, was flown by a LOT pilot that had landed a plane in Warsaw a few weeks earlier without any landing gear. That pilot was regarded as a great hero and honored by spraying his plane with a "water arch" from a fire hose as it approached the gate. A tour guide from "Our Roots" met us at the airport in Warsaw and took us on a tour of "Jewish Warsaw"
2: Our tour began with a drive around "new" Warsaw. | The Palace of Culture & Science
3: Our tour of "Jewish Warsaw" began in the small ghetto
4: A private memorial in a courtyard in the ghetto. Bricks from this wall have been removed and sent to different Holocaust Memorials around the world.
5: The Okopowa St. Jewish Cemetery is 200 years old and one of the few sites that was not completely destroyed in WWII. Some of the monuments are huge, giving a real sense of what the community must have been like for a century before WWII. The wealthier and more prominent in the community, the bigger the monument. The wall in the picture to the left was made from broken tombstones.
6: From 1941 to 1943 Jews who died of hunger and illness were buried in a mass grave on a former sports field. | In 1988 the remains of approximately 300 Jews and Poles were discovered when crews were excavating for the foundation of a new apartment building. In 1989 a monument was erected
7: Janusz Korczak was a pediatrician and children's author who ran an orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw. We also visited the original orphanage that was outside the ghetto, which still serves as an orphanage today. | In 1940 he was forced to move the orphanage into the ghetto. On August 5, 1942, German soldiers came for the children (192) and even though he was offered sanctuary he insisted on going with them. Witnesses reported seeing him leading the children quietly and orderly through the ghetto to Umschlagplatz, the railway station where they were deported to the Treblinka death camp. | The Children's Memorial | The Janusz Korczak Memorial
8: Some of the very few original buildings and a portion of the wall of the ghetto that still remain.
9: Nathan Rappaport Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto and several other monuments | the Ghetto Uprising of 1943. It was designed by sculptor Nathan Rappaport and made of granite which the Nazis imported from Sweden, ironically to build their own victory tower. The front of the monument has a bronze relief depicting a group of insurgents and the leader of the uprising Mordacai Anielewicz, who stands with a grenade in his hand. The back shows a group of Jews being marched to their death. | The monument commemorates the tens of thousands who lost their lives in
10: UMSCHLAGPLATZ The Jews of Warsaw were herded onto rail cars on the railway at the northern boundary of the ghetto. From there, they were transported to the death camp at Treblinka.
11: After a dinner of perogies and cabbage rolls at Zapiecek Polskie Pierogarnie, we walked through the old walled city of Warsaw and took in the beautiful lights of Warsaw at Christmas time, before hailing a cab back to the airport for our flight to Tel Aviv!
12: And finally we've arrived in Tel Aviv!! | We landed in Tel Aviv at 3:30 am, picked up the rental car, plugged 8 Gad Street, Jerusalem into the GPS and by 6:00 am we were waking Tara up at her apartment at Beit Ar El. Many of her roommates were gone for break so there were beds for us to crash in for a few hours. We slept till about noon, showered and Tara showed us around the Young Judaea Campus of Beit Ar El.
13: We met Solly, Orly and Oren for lunch in Ein Kerem. Tara's friend Ethan joined us.
14: No dinner & a movie on Christmas Eve for us! First a walk through the Christian Quarter of the old city, lots of Santa Clauses and lights. Then to Mamilla Mall where a klezmer band was playing at a hanukkah party. We also stopped to listen to an acapella group. Then a walk down Ben Yehudah street where we stopped for Kortush, a Hungarian round hollow pastry. | Walkin' in the rain | December 24th | Christmas Eve | H A N U K K A H
15: After we all spent Christmas Eve roaming around the 'Old City" and the "new City" of Jerusalem in the rain.... | Tara took Adam out with her friends, some he also knew from camp, and he slept at her apartment. | Carrie & Joe stayed at Beit Katan Moshava (Little House in the Colony) | We took a very scenic route through the Jerusalem Mountains. Beautiful views but quite twisting and turning narrow mountain roads. We stopped at Mitzpe Ramon to take in the fantastic views of the crater. | On Sunday morning we picked up Tara, Yona & Adam at Beit Ar El and headed to Kibbutz Ketura
16: We went for a walk around the kibbutz and visited the volunteers' area | and the tractor that Joe drove when he worked in the factory when he was a volunteer. | 2011 | 1981
17: We hiked to a place with spectacular views of the kibbutz. | Tara's Year Course 2011 | Joe's Year Course 1981
18: We spent two nights in the guest house at Ketura - Keren Kolot. We stayed in Marulla 1. | The volunteer housing hasn't changed much in 30 years! | Kibbutz Ketura | Keren Kolot | Ketura was founded in 1973 and is unique among kibbutzim for its religious pluralism. Ketura operates a dairy farm, an algae farm that produces extracts for nutritional supplements, date farm, and date packing plant cooperatively owned by several regional kibbutzim as well as the largest solar field in Israel. | Tara's Year Course 2011 | Joe's Year Course 1981
19: For sometime the members of Kibbutz Ketura had known that in order to sustain and support themselves they would need to find other means than traditional agriculture. | Finding innovative ways to grow crops that were just not meant to grow in the desert was not going to keep them going. in 2001 The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies(AIES) was founded at Kibbutz Ketura. AIES is the premier environmental education and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region's environmental challenges. Affiliated with Ben-Gurion University, AIES houses academic programs, research, and international cooperation initiatives on a range of environmental concerns and challenges. | The Judean Date, prized in antiquity for its taste, size and medicinal properties had been extinct for centuries. Germinated in 2005 by Dr. Sarah Sallon, Director and Founder of Hadassah`s Natural Medicine Research Center, and Dr. Elaine Solowey, Director of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies,
20: The animals of Ketura | The camels are a hobby. There are 300 dairy cows. Their milk is pasteurized at Yotvata
21: A wonderful evening in Eilat begins with the "best shwarma in Eilat" according to Tara. It was quite awesome! Then a visit to the mall, with a mission-shoes for a wedding Tara was going to in Jerusalem in a couple of days. Then a stroll on the tayelet in search of souvenirs and dessert.
23: We spent the afternoon hiking at Timna Park. Tara showed us some of what she had seen when she was on the Shvil and some things like Tel Timna we never made it to. We did see the Spiral, the Mushroom, the Chariots and Solomon's Pillars. After a lot of amazing hiking and climbing we stopped at Yotvata, a neighboring kibbutz for ice cream. We went back to Eilat for dinner on our second night at Ketura. We ate at Little Brazil, a Brazilian steak house.
24: On our way to Tel Aviv! We stopped to view the Mactesh from an observatory.
25: We arrived in Tel Aviv just in time for rush hour but eventually made it to the apartment we had rented at 4 Vitkin.St. Sefi, a co-owner of Luxury-Stay met us with keys to the apartment and helped us move our stuff in while Joe went to return the rental car. The apartment is just off Jabotinsky in between Hayarkon and Ben Yehudah. 1 block from Hilton Beach! After a few loads of laundry, we went to the AM/PM to stock up on some groceries and then we picked up falafel from the "best falafel stand in town" Shlomo & Sons at the | corner of Nordau and Ben Yehudah. After we put the groceries away and ate our falafel, we went for a walk down Ben Yehudah and | Diezengoff streets, stopping to taste sufganyot from 3 different bakeries, including Roladin.
26: TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY | We met Danny Chamovitz, Year Course 81, a plant geneticist at the University. He gave us a tour of the botanical gardens. We saw all of the plants that are | native to Israel in their natural environments in a small section in Ramat Aviv. We also saw a building where you could see several plants on one level and on the floor below you could see the roots of those plants hanging down through holes in the floor. It is humid enough that the plants don't need dirt. | After some fruit & vegetable shakes and a little more visiting with Danny, we visited | Beit Hatfutsot, the Diaspora Museum. In the genealogy lab we found a large portion of Carrie's Zaida Jack's family tree. We enjoyed learning more about the history of the Jews outside of Israel. | We also enjoyed the Druz food from the market outside on the campus.
27: We walked from Ramat Aviv back to our apartment, straight towards the beach then up the Hayarkon through the Tel Aviv Port, a pit stop for some shopping. | PizzaFino for pizza, calzone, pasta and salad for dinner, then more walking, back to Diezengoff Mall to Crazy Richards, hoping this time it would still be openl. | Corner of Jabotinsky and Ben Yehudah | Around the corner from our apartment on Jabotinsky Street | Tel Aviv Port
28: A little Yoga | and a little throwing of the disk | We played on the beach for a short while and then got lunch on the tayelet -
29: Tara's friend Yona asked her to come to his cousin's wedding in Jerusalem. So Ann took us to the bus station (not the Central Bus Station) in Tel Aviv, we got on the #406 and in one hour we were at the Tachna Mercazit in Jerusalem. Tara took a cab to her apartment to get ready for the wedding and then went to meet Yona at Ramat Rachel for the Wedding. Carrie, Joe & Adam walked down Jaffe Road to Machaneh Yehudah and spent the rest of the evening roaming around Jerusalem until we | First things first, we found Marzipan, best rugelach on the planet! | Then to the Mamilla Mall and supper at Roladin, overlooking the old city. After dinner, coffee tasting at Nesspresso then a walk to the Cinemateque. When none of the | made our way to the Western Wall. We took a cab to Emek Rafaim, had ice cream and walked around a bit then had coffee & dessert again at Tal Bagel before getting in another cab to go meet Tara. | ADVENTURE | went to meet Tara at the end of the wedding at Ramat Rachel and then took a shayrut back to Tel Aviv. | movies worked with our schedule we decided to go to the Old City. After not seeing the light show at David's Citadel because it was sold out, we | Jerusalem
30: We walked to the Shuk Ha-Carmel, down Ben Yehudah, then Allenby to Nachalat Binyamin. lots of jewelery, and all kinds of crafts. In search of a gift for Adam;s bassoon teacher, he sketched a bassoon and an artist painted it onto a leather wallet. | Dinner with Ann, Ami, Bar & Nir at Rok Basar (Only Meat). After wonderful appetizers you go to the butcher at the back of the restaurant to choose your meat and how you want it prepared. The meat comes to the table on small grills to finish cooking along with skewered vegetables and potatos. A fabulous meal!
31: Breakfast on top of the Tel | HIKING ISRAELI STYLE | Sharon picked us up at our apartment at 7:30 am. After stopping for coffee we drove to Tel Tsafit, located in central Israel, approximately half way between Jerusalem and Ashkelon, on the border between the southern Coastal Plain of Israel and the Judean foothills. We hiked to the top of the Tel and made breakfast. | We ate fresh carob and sabra
32: FUN AT THE TOP | OF TEL TSAFIT
34: When we got back from hiking at Tel Tsafit we met Ann, Ami, Bar & Nir and Nir's girlfriend at Japonika for sushi. Then to Vanilla for ice cream, then to Ann & Ami's apartment at 35 Basil to play with Chewey and Sweetie.
35: Tara & Mel went to meet friends to go to the Florentine neighborhood in South Tel Aviv where there was a street party for New Years. Joe, Adam & Carrie walked down the tayelet. We had supper at Yotvata B'eer,. Then we walked to the Florentine neighborhood and got there just in time for the count down to New Years.
36: We drove to Tzippori. We had a wonderful meal with Yona's family, asparagus soup, israeli salad, noodles and lots of other vegetables. We toured Yona's dad, Meir's, bird farm. He breeds and raises parakeets and raises several other breeds of birds for pets. He also competes in a homing pigeon club. We also picked some clementines, grapedfruit and pecans from the trees in their yard. | We rented a car for the day from the rental car company at the Hilton Hotel. After stopping at Ann & Ami's bakery at 40 Yom HaMaccabi
37: Tzippori | We said good-bye to Tara in Tzippori because she had to take a bus back to Jerusalem to start classes the next morning. When we got back to Tel Aviv we had supper at Benedict and then went to visit David (Year Course '81)& Yael Gappell and their son Mickey
38: Moshav Ram On | Ann drove us to visit the Rosenbergs, We shared a bottle of wine that was made from grapes from Yigal's vineyard. Uri & | his wife, Catrina, and children, Yael (6) and Noam (4) joined us for a fabulous meal. Yona made what her family considered a yom tov meal, chopped liver, israeli salad, rice, sweet & sour cabbage & chicken. As is their custom, soup was served just before dessert of fruit salad and cake. | August, 1989 | January, 2012
39: We played with the kids, doing puzzles and tossing the kids around and Yigal drove us around a bit to see what's happening on the Moshav. | When we got back to Tel Aviv we went to Shlomo's for one last falafel. We got a few hours of sleep before Ann picked us up at 3:00 am to take us to the airport for our 6:00 am flight. We flew through Warsaw again but only had a 3 hour layover, then 10 hours to Chicago and after a few hours in Chicago, long enough for a Chicago dog and Garrett's popcorn, we were finally on our way back to Minneapolis! We arrived at 9:30 and were home by 10:30. | Many Fantastic Memories