CLTC 1 A message from Jake and Abby
Posted on 06/19/2012 @ 12:02 AM
Day 1 of CLTC 2012!
Posted on 06/12/2012 @ 11:11 AM
Welcome to the CLTC 2012 blog! This is the place to keep up with the amazing programming and memory making moments at CLTC 2012.
There are more pictures and blogs to come.
Thank you for joining us on our blog - and stay tuned for a fantastic summer!
Our Trip Comes to a Close
Posted on 08/04/2011 @ 11:19 AM
On our last day in Israel together we visited the new Yitzhak Rabin museum in Tel Aviv. The museum presented a dynamic overview of Rabin’s life in parliament encompassing the major events of Israel’s independence and construction of the state we know today. The exhibits used a wide range of media and related each year to the major events taking place outside of Israel creating useful context. The experience presented us with an excellent summation of the establishment of the state of Israel which was appropriate for our last moments here together. Our group enjoyed a lovely meal at Regina and said goodbye to this two week experience in Israel.
Posted on 08/02/2011 @ 10:31 AM
We began our travels today by going to Kibbutz Sa’ad in the northern Negev desert. The kibbutz is a national religious (Orthodox) institution situated 5 kilometers from the Gaza border. There we met a lovely Anglo immigrant (from Ireland) named David Jackson who described the dire security situation of the kibbutz during the War of Independence in 1948. We learned about the serious material privations and vicious battles against the Egyptian army that the early pioneers of the kibbutz endured. Many of us were very moved by the bravery of those early pioneers and impressed by their capacity to create a new sort of social experiment - a wholly modern, yet religiously observant, communal Jewish settlement.
Our group then traveled a short ways away to a Negev development town called Netivot. Netivot was founded to house a large wave of North African Jewish aliyah during the 1950’s. Netivot has gained fame in Israel as the burial place of the famed Moroccan rabbi and baalei mofet (miracle worker) Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira – popularly known as the Baba Sali (praying father). While in Netivot, we spoke to an Israeli anthropologist who discussed the Moroccan Jewish custom of venerating the tombs of tzadikim (saints). We also learned about the influence that various mekubalim (kabalistic rabbis) have in Netivot and in the broader Israeli society. Many of the trip participants expressed surprise that the Jewish tradition contained within it such concepts as miracle workers and the veneration of the graves of rabbis.
We concluded our day by visiting the Israeli city of Nitzan. Nitzan is the relocation site of many of the families that were evacuated from the Israeli settlement bloc in Gaza called Gush Katif. These families were forcibly evacuated from the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army during Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan in 2005. Many of the residents of Gush Katif had developed a strong sense of communal cohesion and requested that they be resettled together as a community. The residents of Nitzan have constructed a museum documenting the former communities of Gush Katif as well as video testimonials of former residents. Many of the program participants thought that the museum would be an opportunity to view Israeli “right wing propaganda.” They were surprised to discover how professionally the museum was developed and how moving the testimonials of former Israeli Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip were. Although many of the program participants continue to believe that the evacuation of isolated settlements in largely Palestinian areas is both a necessity and an inevitability, they gained an appreciation for the anguish of the settler community and the human toll that any evacuation places on the Israeli polity.
Rosh Chodesh Av
Posted on 08/01/2011 @ 10:26 AM
(Written from the perspective of our friend, the Ibex)
This morning—Rosh Chodesh Av, after butting heads (literally) with my brother, I noticed a group of 10 PDIers walking up the path leading to the vast expanse of my home, the Negev. They seemed to be a cheery bunch (at least cheery for a 6am Tiyul—hike). After inquisitively looking at my tracks (and those of my friends) and trying to (rather poorly) track us, they gave up and the PDIers went their separate ways.
Some of these characters put on boxes on their heads and arms and swayed back and forth, others rummaged through the desert trash to find used bullets and parts of bombshells, yet others took some time to themselves to just check out my home. Eventually, they gathered back together to discuss, eat breakfast, and drink tea and coffee.
I followed them back to their shelter at Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh, where these curious humans swam, enjoyed free wireless, and eventually even did some Hebrew and Bible study. During Hebrew, they learned about the root “B.D.D.” which is the building block of words such as “alone.” After, they discussed what deserts mean to the
Jewish people as well as the State of Israel through studying texts.
They hopped on the bus and I could not keep up. I did, however, catch that they were on their way to Mitzpeh Ramon, the largest ecological crater in Israel. I quickly called up my friends in the area so that they could spy on these travelers and report back.
After getting to Mitzpeh Ramon, and seeing our beautiful sculpture garden, these peculiar individuals decided to climb on our art… so American (I guess maybe they were trying to imitate us—again, this was a poor attempt). After taking in the magnificent view of the crater and taking many pictures of my friends as well as each other, the group boarded the bus to enjoy dinner and head north to Be’er Sheva where they would spend the night dreaming of our agile movements on the mountain side.