TL-45-103/79 Update 1

An update from us here at Kibbutz Afik,

On Monday afternoon, our group (thirty participants!) touched down in Tel Aviv after flying out from Newark and Los Angeles. By Monday evening, we have gone from strangers to feeling like a community. Along the way, we have had remarkable insight into Israel’s diversity. At the airport, we were checked in by Jewish and Druze staff. Our guide is Moroccan and Polish, while our bus driver is completely Moroccan, with some family still living in Morocco. Between them, they know three languages. The arrivals coordinator from Birthright shared with us that one of his parents is Ukrainian, while the other is Russian. We stopped by some Arab towns en route to our guesthouses in the Golan. What is most impressive is not just how diverse everybody is, but how much common ground everyone shares here in Israel. Importantly, our trip with Birthright also provides us as participants and staff with meaningful common ground with these many different people from so many walks of life. Here at Kibbutz Afik, where we are spending our first few nights, we learned that the purpose of the trip is about connecting with our heritage, in an environment defined by mutual respect and a quest for understanding. Just a few hours ago, almost none of us knew each other’s names, but we are now all on a first-name basis and feel excited about the itinerary ahead. It has only been our first day (a half-day) and there is so much ahead.
A great photo courtesy of Aviva