Tuesday, June 21, 2011

read how arabs are taking over Israel land dunam by dunam

THE SCENE and the UNSEEN on the May/June 2011 AFSI Chizuk Mission to Israel
By Helen Freedman
YES!! Once again we arrived at Ben Gurion airport and marveled at its modern layout. Ami, our bus driver was waiting for us in his beautiful, air-conditioned bus, in the special parking lots allocated for buses, and our group of 30 gathered and set off for our much anticipated eight day Chizuk mission in Israel. We drove south, to visit those Jewish refugees from Gush Katif who are still living in temporary homes, still waiting to rebuild new communities. Hugs and kisses were shared with Dror Vanunu, Rachel and Moshe Saperstein and Laurence Beziz – all friends from the destroyed Nevei Dekalim in Gush Katif/Gaza. We visited the children in a kindergarten and received specially prepared gifts from them. We gave them gifts in return and bought some gifts for ourselves in the lovely Orange Gallery, filled with original jewelry and art made by the women of the former Gush Katif communities.
We drove to Yesodot, the new community that will house the displaced persons from Netzer Hazani. Anita Tucker, with her indomitable spirit, hosted us for lunch in a semi-completed school. She pleaded for funds to continue the construction while the workers were still on the site. Once they would leave, the costs would double. We wondered how it was possible for private contributions to rebuild the libraries, schools, recreation halls, synagogues, community centers and all the common use buildings that make up a community. Although we pledged funds, we know that without a huge infusion of money, the task cannot be accomplished. Isn’t it the government’s task to replace the community life it destroyed for the Jews of the former Gush Katif? We believe the answer is a resounding YES!!!!
Driving into Jerusalem that evening, we were once again appalled by the excessive illegal building of the Arabs everywhere. The Minarets gleam in the sunshine while illegal Arab homes, many of them multi-storied, abound. We arrived in Jerusalem in time for check-in, and a quick dinner with the group and good friends, Sylvia and Bill Mehlman, AFSI’s chairperson in Jerusalem, and Judy Balint, multi-talented author of Jerusalem Diaries. It was a joy to travel to the remarkable IR David, an incredible archeological dig just across from the Old City. Once again it was the scene of the presentation of the Moskowitz Zionism Awards. Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz was present and delivered warm words of encouragement and pride to the honorees. And once again, the ceremony was marred by the blaring noise of Arab music being played at the highest decibel level across the valley from Silwan. No efforts are made on the part of the Israeli government to curb the noise. And no one dare go into Silwan from Ir David in order to spare oneself from climbing the hundreds of steps to the exit. The police are there, but only to prevent the Jews from exiting into an area in which the police cannot or will not provide safety.
Our morning visit to Hebron, where Israel’s history can be traced back 4,000 years, was enhanced by our meeting with David Wilder, spokesman for the community. We had the great treat of going into the Ma’arat HaMachpela and actually praying in the Cave of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs. Of course, we were unable to enter 75% of the building which is allocated to Arab worship. We were in the 25% which incorporates the courtyard with a tarpaulin roof, which does not offer protection from the heat of the summer or the rain in the winter. Walking around Hebron with David, and learning the history of the Jews of Hebron while in Beit Hadassah, one can forget that the Jews have only 3% of the city today. Arab building has encroached upon the city so that the 97% that is Arab seems to be everywhere. Only the presence of Israeli soldiers keeps a semblance of quiet in the city.
Orit Strook, mother of eleven children, who lives in Hebron, spoke to us about the legal work she tries to do in the Knesset and the political policy making she attempts to advance, despite the very left-leaning courts in Israel. Her efforts in pursuing human rights for Jews in Judea and Samaria, and fighting Jewish police brutality against their fellow Jews, has unfortunately focused attention on her son, Tzvi Strook, 28 years old. He is now convicted of a crime against an Arab boy with an appeal pending in the Supreme Court.
A visit to Menachem Livni’s farm and winery, S’dai Calev, outside of Hebron, in an A (all Arab) area lifted our spirits, although learning that there had been seven assassination attempts on his life was alarming. Stopping off at Yochanon Shareth’s farm in Sussia was disturbing as we learned that he might be forced off his farm this July by the local regional council. In addition, choice land around Sussia is being fought over by Arabs. The agricultural intifada is flourishing.
This was further explained to us by Nadia Matar of Women in Green when she met us at the Gush Etzion winery and restaurant. She and her co-Chair, Yehudit Katzover, have been leading the efforts to plant in Netzer, an area of state owned land that lies between Alon Shvut and Elazar, very close to Efrat. Arabs have been illegally planting olive trees to prevent the two Jewish communities from expanding and linking together. Nadia and Yehudit, along with many volunteers and student groups, have been leading the battle to plant Jewish groves of trees. Most of their work is done at night. A few members of the group had the privilege of actually planting at Netzer and seeing the desperate struggle to hold onto the land. After our return to the U.S. we learned that Arabs had attacked the women during the night, accused them of being the attackers, and the Israeli police have now placed a restraining order on the WIG women. Such is Israeli justice where Arabs are involved. Jews are accused and Arabs go free.
Caliber 3, the popular artillery range in Gush Etzion, was our next stop. Sharon, an IDF instructor, is someone we have met with many times through Mishmeret Yesha, the rapid response organization led by Israel Danziger. Sharon and his men explained the intricacies of fighting Arab terrorists who infiltrate into a community. The need for speed, accuracy, and the ability to identify friend from foe, makes this type of fighting extremely difficult. Between 2001 and 2011 there were more than sixty successful infiltrations with 250 Jews murdered, as the Fogels were in Itamar. They then gave us instruction in how to fire the rifles, and we proceeded to do so, with some of our group hitting bulls-eyes very successfully.
It was then time to return to a very festive Jerusalem, where celebrations for Yom Yerushalayim were in progress. We joined Shlomo Zwickler at Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives and were delighted to join in the dancing and dining with Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz, her daughter, Laurie Hirsch, and many friends. The AFSI Chizuk group felt right at home at Beit Orot, since we have established the tradition of rejoicing over the re-unification of Jerusalem at the Yeshiva over the past few years.
June 1, Yom Yerushalayim, we once again met with Rabbi Richman of the Temple Mount Institute at 7:30 in the morning in order to ascend the Temple Mount. As always, we were the first ones there, but not the first to be admitted. While Christian groups streamed past us, we were held at the entrance until our passports had been inspected. Despite this intolerable treatment, we are willing to endure it in order to be granted admission to Israel’s holiest site. How shameful that in the Jewish homeland, it is the Jews who must wait to enter their holy place, and it is the Israeli police that enforces the WAQF Arab rule against Jewish prayer on the Mount.
We spent a short time at the Temple Mount Institute with Rabbi Richman, once we descended from the Mount, marveling at the detailed preparations being made for the Third Temple. Dan Luria of Ateret Cohanim/Jerusalem Reclamation Project, met us and proceeded to guide us through the Old City. We climbed steps, walked through narrow alleys, viewed Jerusalem from rooftops, and enjoyed a picnic lunch at Kidmat Zion, a special area overlooking east Jerusalem, and bordered by the ghastly, huge, concrete wall that cuts through Jerusalem.
We had learned about the vast amounts of dirt and archeological treasures that had been tossed into the Kidron Valley by the Arabs when they were digging out their huge underground mosque, Solomon’s Stables, under the Temple Mount, near the northern wall of the Mount. Now, efforts are being made to examine the discarded treasures through a project founded by Ir David. Visitors are invited to participate in a sifting process, whereby buckets of small objects are tossed into a strainer and run under water. A search is then made for anything that looks “valuable.” Our group really enjoyed this hands-on activity.
As we returned to the streets of Jerusalem, it was joyous to watch the celebrants carrying their flags as they marched towards the Kotel. Some members of our group fell into step with the marchers, delighted to be in that place, at that time, for that purpose.
Back at the hotel, Arieh King, founder of the Israel Land Fund, spoke to the group about the drastic situation that exists in Jerusalem and Israel today. Despite the glorious treats that make up a Jerusalem of inspiration and spiritual renewal, there is a cruel reality that most people do not see. Arieh told us that there are eight neighborhoods IN JERUSALEM that have signs posted denying entrance to JEWS. There are 30,000 illegal Arab buildings in east Jerusalem and 2,000 illegal Arab buildings in west Jerusalem – the Jewish Quarter!! There seems to be no effort on the part of Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, to control the growth. Interestingly, it was explained that Arabs have no incentive to apply for permits and go through the red tape required to build. Since it is a rare Arab building that is destroyed, illegal Arab building flourishes. And of course, Arieh was talking about Jerualem. We saw illegal Arab mansions standing in expansive Arab villages wherever we drove. The proliferation is rampant. In addition, Arieh told us that Hamas has cleaning companies working in Jerusalem. The mind reels with this information of blatant violations of Israeli law.
MK Tzipi Hotovely was gracious enough to speak to the group at our hotel. She commented on the huge crowds celebrating Yom Yerushalayim, but acknowledged that they were primarily religious Zionists. She outlined her program of policies she has presented or will present to the Knesset. Returning Hebrew names to Jerusalem neighborhoods is on the list. In an effort to stop the PA from requesting recognition of statehood from the UN in September, Hotovely calls for a stoppage of money to the Hamas/Fatah coalition. She also calls for the annexation of Judea and Samaria. This would remove the outposts and communities in the disputed areas from being under the military control of Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak. It is his signature on legal papers that is often withheld, creating an “illegal” situation for so many Jews. Annexation would make an enormous difference in the lives of the residents of Judea and Samaria.
Driving north from Jerusalem on Thursday, June 2, we were so aware of the spread of Ramallah, which seems to surround Jerusalem. Just before arriving at the Shilo bloc, we passed a sprawling, wealthy Saudi Arabian city, boasting a lengthy palm tree lined driveway, an equestrian center, and large mansions. We had seen this display of Saudi wealth before, on other trips into the Shomron, but each time it shocks the senses. Newcomers on our trip looked with disbelief at this display of wealth, requiring them to shake off their NY Times information about the poverty ridden Arabs living in hovels, severely oppressed by their “occupiers.” It was clear that the story needs re-telling. It is the Jews who are living in caravans, inside fences, while the Arabs take as much land as they like, fearing no one and seemingly daring the Israelis to stop them.
Entering the Shilo bloc, we enjoyed seeing the beautiful vineyards and olive trees, some of which we had planted ourselves on past AFSI Chizuk trips to Israel. We arrived at Adei Ad where we met with Eliyahu Libby, founder of the agricultural farm, who was living in a bullet proof bus with his wife and children. We enjoyed their hospitality and then drove on to Alei Ayin. We learned later in the day that Eliyahu was arrested shortly after our visit and spent the day in jail. The charge wasn’t clear, but we understand it was related to the aftermath of the Israeli police destruction of Alei Ayin.
This is where we experienced something shocking and shameful. The night before, at 5 AM, the Israeli police had entered the small community of Alei Ayin, had destroyed the home of Leah and Ze’ev Eitan, and followed up by destroying their car, truck, and farm equipment. The road to the outpost had been gutted, so we left our bus at the base of the road and hiked up the mountain to the outpost. What we saw there was heart-breaking. Everything had been destroyed. There was rubble everywhere. Leah and Eitan told us that this was not the first time their home had been destroyed by the police. They had rebuilt and would do so again. Israel’s Channel 2 News was there and seemed surprised that a group of Americans were interested in visiting the outpost. We let them know exactly what we felt about the disgrace and shame in the Israeli government attacking its own people.
We drove from Alei Ayin to Itamar to see the site of the Fogel family home. On the way we passed a US AID sign announcing that American money is going to aid the PA in that area. The group made promises to themselves to contact their Congressional representatives, protesting the misuse of American taxpayer dollars. When we arrived in Itamar, Mayor Moshe Goldsmith met us and explained that the Arab city of Awarta is just down the hill from Itamar and about fifteen murders have occurred in Itamar perpetrated by residents of Awarta. We remembered being there a few years ago, following the murders and permanent wounds inflicted on the Shabo family. Their empty house still stands as a reminder of the horror. We walked around the Fogel home and saw how easy it was for the infiltration to take place. It is really hard to understand why the Israeli government allows Awarta to remain intact. It is my belief that it should be leveled, since we know the enemy gathers strength from every successful attack. The murder of five innocent members of the Fogel family will only add to their blood lust.
In response to the massacres, 24 year old Yedaya Shoham immediately put up two structures at Givat Aryeh, an outpost outside Itamar, and moved in with his wife and a few others. This is the typical Jewish response to Arab terrorism – building a new community. The army erected a very tall tower with a camera, to record movement in the area. They probably saw our group enjoying a lovely outdoor lunch in one of the unfinished buildings.
Our next stop in the Shomron was Chavat Gilad, a farm built on private land owned by Moshe Zar, and designated to become a Jewish community when Moshe’s son, Gilad, was killed by terrorists. Again, because it is deemed an “illegal settlement” the thirty families, making up 100 people, are denied electricity and water by the Israeli government. They truck in water, and must pay 60,000 shekels per month for fuel for electricity. We have made good friends with the residents there, helping them as much as possible. Members of our group brought infant clothing for them, and others donated toys and kitchenware. All of this was greatly appreciated, but the need for fuel never ends. We are hoping that an advocacy group in Israel will put this hardship issue before the government officials so that Chavat Gilad can receive the humanitarian assistance given to Hamas killers in Gaza - electricity and water supplies.
We made a quick stop at the new Performing Arts Center in Ariel which had made the news when Israeli and American artists had boycotted the opening, protesting against such a Center in the heart of Samaria. Happily, the boycott was meaningless, except to defame the boycotters. It was explained to us that the Center provides an opportunity for artists to display their talents through concerts, film, dance, and a variety of children’s programs. When we were there, we saw the 500 seat theater filled with excited youngsters waiting to see a film. There is also a 100 seat theater. The facility services the 12,000 students at the University of Judea and Samaria, located in Ariel, as well as people from the entire area. It fills a great need and we wish them much success.
Driving north to Haifa along Route 6, we saw one sprawling Arab village after another, boasting large homes, with no fences around them to contain their growth. There was the dividing wall on our right, and we bemoaned the fact that such huge amounts of money have gone into these so-called “security fences” when the money could have been spent in a much more productive way. These fences are designed to divide Israel, not to protect it.
On Friday, June 3, we arrived in Akko, the beautiful city on the Mediterranean, with the terrible history of British imprisonment of Jewish prisoners. We toured the Underground Prisoners Museum – Akko prison – where we once again learned the story of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the brave young men from Etzel, the Irgun, and the Haganah, who were imprisoned there, with a number of them being hung. We then found our way to the Tunisian Synagogue, an absolutely amazing edifice with the walls, floors, ceilings and even the staircases covered in mosaics. The work is astounding and must have taken years to complete at very great cost.
In the Old City of Akko we saw that the Arabs had taken over pretty completely, forcing many Jews to flee the city. Yisrael Ben Ezra, a civil servant and Project Director for Akko, was trying to emphasize the “co-existence with the Arabs” in the city. Unfortunately, although we didn’t witness any incidents, it was clear that if the Jews were leaving this beautiful port city, it was because “co-existence” wasn’t working. Ben Ezra also took us to see a Bahai Temple area which boasted beautiful grounds. We were unaware that the Bahai had such a large presence in Akko, believing that the Haifa location was the only one in the area. We learned that 60,000 Bahai tourists visit Akko each year.
We walked through the market place, reminiscent of the Muslim Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, to reach the port where we boarded a small boat for a short ride around the harbor. It was a delight, and fascinating to view the city from the sea. We caught a glimpse of the beautiful promenade which the government built at a cost of fifty million shekels. The idea was to make Akko so attractive that Jews would remain in the city. The result is that the Arabs have a beautiful walkway from which to view the sea.
Karmiel, the largest Jewish town in the Galilee, built 45 years ago, was our next stop on our drive north. Because of the huge growth of Arabs in the Galilee, the government of Israel promoted this Jewish town to create a Jewish presence in this supposedly Jewish part of Israel. The result is that today 52,000 Jews are surrounded by 200,000 Arabs. And the story gets worse. We were taken to a new neighborhood in the city which is under construction. But just across the street from the site we saw Bedouins squatting in their tents. There are 200-300 Bedouins living in Karmiel, most of them as squatters. As such, they are very hard to remove from their places. Their presence there will undoubtedly change the face of the city as more Arabs marry Jewish women and more Bedouins move into the city. Since the government of Israel makes no attempt to stop the Bedouin influx, it will grow, and once again, Jews will move out.
We arrived in Tsfat for Shabbat and were immediately taken in by the mystical charms of the city. The Ruth Rimonim hotel has lovely grounds and sitting areas from where one can view the mountains of Meron. There are many synagogues from which to choose for Shabbat services, and our group dispersed to choose the one at which each wished to pray. We met afterwards for a lovely Shabbat meal that lasted well into the night. Morning services were followed by a lingering lunch and rest period. At 4 PM we gathered to go to Ascent in order to meet with Rebbetzin Chaya Bracha Leiter. She led us on a fascinating tour of the city, stopping at the many synagogues made famous by the Tsfat scholars. When we had an opportunity for some private discussion, we learned that Tsfat is battling with some of the same problems afflicting the other Jewish cities we had visited. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, mayor of Tsfat, has been labeled a racsist for his request that residents NOT rent to Arabs. Bar Ilan U. has a student body that is now 80% Arab and 20% Jewish, the reverse of what it had been years ago. The change has occurred because the government is giving scholarships to the Arabs, probably in the belief that once they are educated, they will no longer hate the Jews. We know this is a fallacy and only backfires on us. We recall that the 9/11 terrorists were all educated men. That didn’t prevent them from murdering 3,000 plus people.
Rebbetzin Leiter also informed us that there is a huge tract of land which Bar Ilan wants to buy in order to build an annex to house more Arab students. The entire city has mobilized to block this effort, but the problem again is raising enough money to stop it. We heard the same objection to Arab presence in the Israeli cities that we had heard in Akko, Haifa, Jaffa, and Karmiel. Intermarriage between Arab men and Jewish women is on the increase and after the marriages have taken place, and the women are brought to the Arab homes, in most cases they try to escape and need help from organizations set up for exactly that purpose. The situation is very alarming.
We concluded our lovely Shabbat with shalosh seudot and havdalah at Ascent. We were joined by 150 soldiers who had been sent to Tsfat for Shabbat by the education department of the IDF in an effort to teach the soldiers more about their Jewish roots. This program went into effect following the great drop in morale as a result of IDF participation in the forcible expulsion of the Jews from Gush Katif six years ago.
Sunday morning, June 5, we drove into the finger of the Galilee, Kiryat Shemona, located four miles from the Lebanese border, with Syria on the east and Lebanon on the west. Asher Plotsky met us and gave us a tour of the beautiful Hesder Yeshiva which houses hundreds of students. We learned that the valley below the Yeshiva had been called Death Valley. It was filled with swamps and the small groups of Arabs who lived there had a life expectancy of 20-30 years. Most died of malaria. After 1948 the Israelis drained the swamps, planted trees, and brought the valley back to life.
Today, missiles are pointed at them from all directions. 1200 rockets fell on Kiryat Shemona since the year 2000. During the 2006 Lebanese war, people were living in shelters for three weeks. The municipality collapsed, and it was the Yeshiva boys who came to the rescue of the city, providing food and medical supplies as needed. IDF reservists were living at the Yeshiva because the army hadn’t properly prepared for them. Ariel Sharon had planned the perfect military operation in cleansing Gush Katif of its Jews in 2005. The war against the enemy in Lebanon, in 2006, did not have the same preparation.
We drove on to the Golan Heights, viewing the beautiful Hula Valley. We passed through flat grazing ground with light fencing for the cattle. We viewed the volcanic rock and saw Mt. Hermon in the distance, still covered with snow. Our destination was Mt. Bental where one had a fabulous view of the surrounding area, the Kuneitra Valley, and the vineyards supplying the grapes to the Golan winery in Katzrin. We were also able to walk through the fortifications erected to withstand the Syrian attacks.
In Katzrin we were met by Ramona Bar Lev, wife of Sami Bar Lev, the Mayor of the city since its establishment in 1977. We learned that 50% of Israel’s meat comes from the Golan. The beautiful basalt stone, a result of the volcanic eruption that had occurred in the area, was everywhere. Ramona showed us the new elementary school, the high school, the field school and the zoo. She spoke about the ancient Jewish cities that had existed in the region and the fact that their names are now used for new communities in the Golan. The Golan had also suffered during the 2006 Lebanese war, enduring 141 Katyusha rockets.
We drove on to Hispin where Gabi Hemo and Aharon Pulver of the Israel Independence Fund (IIF) met us at the Midreshet haGolan, a lovely hotel in a beautiful setting. Adjacent to the hotel is a new technical school, Adir Ba’Marom, which provides outstanding post high school two year technical education leading to full time positions in the Israel Air Force for new immigrants from the FSU and Ethiopia, as well as Haredi youth. Sixty to seventy students per year are enrolled in the school which operates in cooperation with the IDF and has cutting edge equipment and facilities, as well as beautiful dormitory accommodations. We met with some of the students from Gundar, Ethiopia, and were impressed by their excitement at the prospect of graduating and wearing their IAF uniforms.
The idea of men from B’nei Brak studying technology and becoming technicians in the IAF is ground-breaking. Pulver’s IIF helps to fund this effort. IIF also works with Ovdei ha’Aretz, another training center in Nachliel, which seeks to train religious boys in building trades which they will use in IDF combat units. We learned from Pulver that UJA-Federation has appointed a commission to study prospects for creating a haredi educational program. It would seem more prudent on their part to put their funds into supporting the programs already in existence.
At our meeting that night with Aharon Pulver, many of the vexing questions that had arisen over the period of our Chizuk mission were asked, with Aharon trying to give us answers. One solution to the Arab citizenship problem might be that they would be foreign residents, with the right to vote in national elections. As for the anti-Israel Supreme Court, we learned that the justices appoint their own successors who seem to have a mindset in an alternate reality. The danger of this is that so many decisions are made against the Jews and in favor of the Arabs, threatening the very foundation of the State. In regard to land ownership, we were told that 70% is owned by Israel, but we have seen throughout the country the blatant disregard of land ownership by the Arabs as they build illegally everywhere. Even JNF, which holds 7% of the private land, has admitted to selling or giving Jewish land to Arabs. Today, 20% of the Arab sector owns twice the amount of land owned by 80% of the Jews. The situation is out of control!
We awakened Monday, June 6, to learn that while we were in the Golan, Syrians were marching on the borders with Israel and twenty had been killed. It proved once again that one can be in Israel, blissfully unaware of danger lurking near you.
Ilit Eitam, the wife of former MK Effie Eitam, both long time residents of the Golan, met us at breakfast to guide us to a marvelous archeological site of an ancient synagogue – Um El Kanter, in Arabic and Beit Knesset Ateeka BaGolan, in Hebrew. We learned that there had been 27 synagogues in the Golan. A pile of ruins was found in 2003 and in 2005 a generous donation allowed for the uncovering of this synagogue. The ruins were studied for seven years, with electronic chips placed in each stone. A computer generated view of all the stones was created through scanning. The two story building with the gabled roof can now be re-created. Elana and Yoshua Dray are working on the project and actually live at the site. www.yeshuat.com is the website.
We began our drive down the Jordan Valley and stopped in Maskiot, a community made up of refugees from the former S’dot Yam in Gush Katif. We saw the great growth that had taken place since our last visit. New homes and streets have been built, ready for their new occupants. We were delighted to view the progress.
Continuing down the Jordan Valley, we arrived at MeVo’ot Yericho, on the outskirts of PA controlled Jericho. Nechemiah Zuckerman, Secretary of the yishuv, guided us around. Twenty-five families with seventy children live in the twelve year old community, which lies in the shadow of a PA military installation. We gathered in the beautiful new, air-conditioned kindergarten which was built without a security room. The government will not allow the kindergarten to operate without security, but will not supply the shelter. Private monies are being raised to build the room.
Because of the proximity to the PA in Jericho, the community feels threatened. Their fences have already been broken with herds of sheep stolen. This is not considered “terror” so there is no compensation from the government. Once again, Bedouins have taken over government land. We learned from MK Dr. Arieh Eldad, who was kind enough to greet our group at our farewell dinner, back in Jerusalem, that there are 60,000 illegal Bedouin homes. The problem of Arab take-over of lsraeli government land is overwhelming, with the government seemingly unwilling or unable to prevent it.
Goodbyes were said following our farewell dinner, as some of the group left for the airport for their flights back to the U.S., and others remained in Jerusalem to savor the joy of the Shavuot holiday in Israel. Once again, the sacred and the profane, the scene and the unseen, had been experienced. We reveled in the glory of the physical beauty and growth of Israel, and agonized over the seemingly insurmountable problems. However, this paradoxical situation only seems to whet the appetite of our travelers.
Plans have already been made for our Fall trip, Nov. 13-22, when we will once again be in Hebron for Chaye Sarah. In addition, we will have the extraordinary treat of dedicating a Sefer Torah, purchased by our AFSI and Chizuk member, Jack Ross. The ceremony will be held in the new synagogue built at Givat Aryeh, in memory of the five members of the Fogel family slaughtered in Itamar. Everyone will be invited to participate in this memorable occasion.
Contact the AFSI office now – 212-828-2424 – afsi@rcn.com , to make your reservations and to get additional information. Reservations will be limited, so act now.

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