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Amazing site visits in the Tel Aviv area

IST had a fantastic day in the Tel Aviv area!!  We started off by splitting into two groups where one group went to visit an amazing organization called Save a Child’s Heart  while the other group went to the Ayalon Institute or underground bullet factory.  The groups then switched so that both groups had the same experience.  We then headed to the outdoor artist  & craft market (Nahalat Binyamin Market ) and then to the Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel)  which is the most famous of Tel Aviv’s marketplaces.   After lunch, we then went to Independence Hall where the Israel Declaration of Independence was signed by David Ben-Gurion!  We then proceeded to the Taglit Birthright Innovation Center in the heart of Tel Aviv to learn about Start-Ups and innovation.  We finished the evening by having dinner at Dr Shakshuka Restaurant and then to a play at the Nalaga’at Theatre  in which ALL of the actors are deaf AND/OR blind.  Tomorrow we have another exciting day and end up in Jerusalem for the rest of the trip!


Blog post by Sarah M.

As I walked into the Host Family Weekend I only knew two things.  I will be “vegan” and have “no short hair”.  Vegan is understandable, but we were all a little concerned about this odd second request of no short hair.  I know I would be fine since I was with Zoe and we both went into this weekend knowing we have the potential of having a crazy family.  As we investigated about this family, we found out that it was all just one big miscommunication.  This family was beyond sweet and Zoe and I had an extremely fun time meeting all the kids and learning about their lives.  One of the most memorable nights was when the older teens put on a show for the whole kibbutz on Shabbat.  We were all confused on what was going on the entire show due to it being in Hebrew, but we made the best out of it.  A few hours later, we went to our pool party and we were all quite content eating, dancing and attempting to do flips into the water.  It was a memorable night to say the least, and it made the weekend that much better.  The fright that was created at the beginning of the weekend quickly turned into excitement of what was next.  I am so grateful for all the people on the kibbutz that helped us and for our host family who took Zoe and I in as their own.


Save a Child’s Heart (S.A.C.H.)

Every 29 hours a desperately ill child from a developing country is saved in the pediatric cardiac surgical unit of the Save a Child’s Heart medical facilities in Israel or during one of our medical missions to a developing country. Thousands of children from poor families around the world are alive today because of a small group of medical professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to perform cardiac surgery and train medical personnel.

SACH saves children with congenital heart defects who have almost no chance of surviving to adulthood in their native countries, and saves their lives with no political, cultural, religious, or racial preference whatsoever. Based in Israel, our mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from countries where the heart surgery they need is unobtainable. For more information, go to www.saveachildsheartus.org/index.html 



Ayalon Institute (Underground Bullet Factory)

Beginning in the 1930s and during the British mandate, the Jewish people began planning ways to make machinery and guns to fight for independence. While manufacturing guns didn’t prove to be that difficult, it was very challenging to make bullets for the guns.

So, a group of Jewish people decided to build a ammunitions factory under a kibbutz, which is a communal area of land designed for a specific purpose, such as farming. The area was near a British base. In 1945, the group built structures on the surface that resembled a kibbutz and in about three weeks, they built an entire ammunitions factory eight meters underground. The factory was about the size of a tennis court.

The people involved in the project worked very hard to conceal the true purpose of this kibbutz. They used many different means to trick the British soldiers, who often visited the site. At its peak, the factory produced about 40,000 bullets a day. Once the bullets were produced, they were smuggled out of the factory to places all over the country.

The factory stopped operating in 1948, three years after being built. In 1987, the factory was restored and turned into a museum that is now open to the public.


Independence Hall

Independence Hall or known as Beit Haatzmaut is housed in one of Tel-Aviv’s first buildings, on the plot of land on which the drawing of lots took place (April, 1909).
This specific plot of land was drawn by the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. In 1930, after the death of his wife Zina,
Dizengoff founded an art museum in his home in her memory and opened it to the public in 1932. Four years later he initiated a wide-ranging renovation of the building, orchestrated by architect Carl Rubin. The building served as the Tel-Aviv Museum until 1971, when it moved to its new premises. location.

On the 5th day of Iyar 5708, May 14th 1948, the day before the British Mandate in Palestine was to expire; members of the Provisional State Council assembled in the museum and declared the establishment of the State of Israel. In 1978, on the 30th anniversary of the State of Israel, designer David Gafni recreated the Declaration Hall in the Tel-Aviv Museum, after receiving the approval of the Beit Hatanach (Bible Museum).
The same year the declaration ceremony was reconstructed in the presence of the then president of Israel, Ephraim Katzir, Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Shamir and Prime Minister Menachem Begin. During the ceremony a scroll was signed which announced the establishment of Heichal Haatzmaut (Independence Hall) Museum, under the sponsorship of the Eretz-Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv.

Taglit Birthright Innovation Center in Tel Aviv

Israel is widely known as the “start-up nation” and is recognized as a major player in the fields of innovation, R & D and entrepreneurship. Taglit-Birthright Israel built the “State of Mind” Innovation Center in partnership with The Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. The exciting and cutting-edge Innovation Center allows you to learn about the new advancements Israeli Start-Ups are making in different fields, such as science, medicine, security, space and more. Each Taglit-Birthright Israel group that visits the Innovation Center begins by exploring the interactive exhibition, and continues with a one-on-one meet up with a leading Israeli entrepreneur.

Dinner at Dr. Shakshouka in Jaffa

Seeing “Not by Bread Alone” at Nalaga’at Theatre

Eleven deaf-blind actors take the audience on a magical tour in the districts of their inner world; the world of darkness, silence and…bread. As the process of bread making unfolds on stage – the dough is being kneaded, raised and baked “for real” – a unique encounter occurs between actors and audience. Together they re-enact vivid or distant memories, recall forgotten dreams and joyful moments and ‘touch’ the spark of Creation present in every one of us. The actors take the spectators into those magical moments between reality and fantasy, between grandeur and ridicule, and always eventually return to the basic meaning of bread as a symbol of our longing for a home.

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