A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Israel Chronicles #7

click here for more on my trip to Israel

The Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit is partnered with some amazing programs in Israel. One of them is called PACT (parents and children together) and its aim is to help integrate Ethiopian families into Israeli society. First we met some Ethiopian women who went to great lengths to emigrate to Israel; struggling with assimilation while still preserving their Ethiopian culture and traditions.

They made us their traditional coffee which they make by roasting the beans in a pan and then grinding and brewing. I was not a fan, but I sipped out of respect. Here I am faking it.
So there are Ethiopian kids in school with Israeli kiddos. So, we went to visit a classroom of 4-5 year olds. Of course these kids made me think of my own little bird. There was even a kid with sp needs in the class who had a shadow. The shadow spoke no english, so I had someone translate to her that I know, firsthand, how important her work is and I am grateful. We took this photo together:

The whole group really enjoyed their time with these kids.

We visited a business called Better Place, working on electric vehicle services and thus eliminating the world's addiction to oil. Interesting, but I wasn't feeling well, so I just wasn't into it. I'm fine with that.

I finally felt better just in time for the Segway rides atop Jerusalem. Unbelievable views. This was really my first sight of Jerusalem and it's totally the way to go.

The views and the moment were lost on no one. Our fabulous tour guide, Issey, helped us take it all in when he said, "You are here. Many of your parents and grandparents couldn't make it. Do NOT take this moment for granted." So beautifully spoken. The words hit me and I realized that this is why it's so important that Jews make it to Israel- because this is the Jewish homeland which our grandparents and their grandparents, and their grandparents all fought for. They suffered persecution but always had the dream that this land would one day return to the Jews.

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