Written by Risa Brown

As sad as we were to leave Tel Aviv, we were excited for our next experience. After another delicious breakfast, we headed to Rabin Square Memorial. Yona shared the history of this monument with us as well as the legacy of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. We headed north along the coast to St. Louis’ partner region, Yokneam-Megiddo, where we saw the newly renovated visitors center, then we hiked up the mountain where Eliad led us in a mystical meditation to music and blew the shofar. It was a beautiful experience, perfect weather, and an amazing view.

We visited Gil-Or Elderly Center and heard from some members of the community. They shared their stories of coming to Israel and why the center is so important to them. We headed to Kibbutz Dalia, where we will spend the next two nights. They hosted us for a delicious lunch, and we got to reunite with the Shinshinim that we met in St. Louis a few months ago. Then we had the privilege of meeting Dege Feder to hear her personal story of coming to Israel from Ethiopia. Not only did we get to hear her amazing story, but she also taught us two Ethiopian dances and how to have a conversation through dance! You could not leave without a smile of your face.

We had dinner at a restaurant called Baronita Café in Zichron Ya’akov. We were joined by Partnership2Gether volunteers and three lone soldiers from St. Louis. We spent the evening learning from each other and sharing stories. I understand why people fall in love with Israel, the beauty of the land and its people, and the food…you can’t forget about the food!