ATID is the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis advanced leadership program. Part of every ATID class is a trip to Israel. These are accounts from the partcipants of ATID IV, who are traveling through Israel in February 2016.
Post written by Jill Batler
We started our morning visiting Kibbutz Misgav Am to learn about the issues facing the northern Israeli communities that share the border with Lebanon. We listened to the colorful far right kibbutz member discuss living opposite Hezbollah land (Lebanon) and the fact that he had personally fought in surrounding Arab countries and yet he had eaten hummus in the capitol cities of Beirut, Damascus, or Cairo. But the possibility for him to eat hummus in these capitols is there everyday and he remains ready for the fight, should it arise.
Mona welcomed us into her home for an incredibly impressive Druze feast. She lives in one of the four Druze villages in the Golan Heights. The Golan Heights Druze face challenges other Druze do not. Their national identity remains in limbo as they have yet to declare their citizenship with Israel or Syria. They are hesitant to accept Israeli citizenship for fear the Golan Heights will be given back to Syria at some point.
After lunch, we drove to Mt. Bental to explore the panoramic views overlooking the Syrian town of New Kuneitra. Shachar gave sharp insight into Israel’s security challenges on the Golan Heights and the enormous challenges of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. All the while, we could hear bombs exploding over Syria 's New Kuneitra. Crazy.
After a day of exploring, we divided into different groups to enjoy Israeli hospitality dinners provided by our Partnership2Gether. It was an awesome experience to visit an Israeli home and enjoy meeting our Partnership families!
Today certainly was incredibly busy, educational and fun!