We landed at Ben Gurion this morning. Each time a taxi driver approached us offering a ride, we repeated the same phrase — our friends are picking us up. And, indeed I think that will be the theme for the journey. We are returning to a place that feels like home and from the moment we hit the ground, we felt immediately that we are amongst friends. We started with a proper Kibbutz breakfast of freshly-picked vegetables and cheeses, where we reunited with Ofri, the emissary my family hosted 14 years ago. We paid our condolences during a shiva call to Gal and Tal, two former emissaries who are mourning the death of their grandparents. We joined the local Jewish Agency partnership staff for shakshuka as we planned our visit. Then we met the HAFLA delegation, who will be traveling to Southern New England in March with a unique program combining tastes of Israeli cuisine and music. The highlight of it all... time on the kibbutz playground with my emissary “grandchildren.” Today has been about our Welcome Home. As we entered the Partnership House at Kibbutz Yizre’el, our home for the next two weeks, we felt embraced by love. I am here in Israel with Sharon Conway, Director of the SNEC Israeli Emissary program, to deepen the connection we have with our partnership area of Afula Gilboa. But it is clear from this Day One that the groundwork has a strong foundation and we are here to make it even stronger.
Don’t forget: you, too, are part of this connection. In fact, the Partnership House is actually four townhouse units, built especially for SNEC community-members — free of charge — to encourage you to visit this beautiful area of Northeast Israel. So, when you are planning your visit to Israel, contact me and I will help you reserve your spot.
Here’s a look at the Partnership House... Layla Tov from Stacy and Sharon