The El-Israel events marking the 10th anniversary of Birthright-Israel commenced yesterday in eleven cities and sites throughout Israel. The events created joint encounters between thousands of Taglit Birthright participants and Israelis, among them university students, soldiers and hi-tech employees.
In Tel Aviv hundreds of participants took part in a bicycle ride that began at the Ramat Hachayl hi-tech compound and ended at the port of Tel Aviv. There they took part in an event at the port’s south pier bringing together hundreds of both Taglit-Birthright participants and local Israelis.
At the Golani Junction in the lower Galilee the participants of took part in an event similar to the well-known Golani Run. The event, which took place together with soldiers and officers of the Golani Brigade, enabled the participants to get a taste of a long-time and established Israeli tradition.
In Safed Taglit-Birthright Israel participants were received with Klezmer performances and the blowing of shofars, an experience that they found to be very moving. The participants took part in social action projects such as planting flowers at the Safed Castle alongside soldiers and students from the local Safed College. In Kiryat Gat too, participants and employees of the hi-tech firm Numinex took part in a social action project which involved renovating a community center.
In Haifa Taglit-Birthright Israel participants visited the Technion Institute and heard a speech on leadership delivered by former Navy Commander and Shin-Bet chief Ami Ayalon. After marching in the center of Haifa the participants proceeded to the Matam hi-tech area, located in the southern part of Haifa, where they toured the offices of the major hi-tech companies located there, includingIntel Israel, Zoran and Elbit.
In Be’er-Sheva the employees and executives of Machteshim-Agan hosted the participants on a tour of the company’s unique facility in Be’er-Sheva and its “secrets”. The participants then proceeded on a march toward the old city of Be’er-Sheva where they then gathered at a performances of various local music groups.
In Sderot the El-Israel participants met the residents of Sderot and were taken on a guided tour of an outlookfacing the Gaza strip. The participants were also hosted by the students of the Sapir College who displayed their unique campus.
And in Kiryat-Shmoneh the participants met with students of the Tel-Chai College and soldiers of the 769th Brigade who man the Lebanese front. The participants together with the students and soldiers marched to the center of Kiryat-Shmoneh where the day’s events concluded with a dance party.