Today we left old Tel Aviv and drove from the past and into the future – to a plant manufacturing 100% electric cars. We drove through luxury residential areas of North Tel Aviv and Ramat Aviv towards abandoned oil tanks converted into an electric car showroom where we saw a presentation, and drove the electric cars.
From there we headed north to Neve Michael Youth Village, a home to 200+ emotionally and physically abused children, more than half of them from Ethiopia. This amazing village consists of several families, each of which took in 8-10 foster children. Especially touching was the obligatory shelter that was turned into a powder-blue playroom, so that these once abused children would not be afraid to go down there for their compulsory weekly drills. Israel is in a dangerous neighborhood and needs to protect her children.
After the visit, we continued north, through the lusciously green hills of the Galilee up to the town of Safed. Safed is basically one street with few alleyways. The main street is lined with galleries, unfortunately, way too commercial. The town is also heavily orthodox and very poor. Shame, because this hill town definitely has a lot of potential between the stone houses, narrow alleyways, and magnificent views.
Overnight is in kibbutz Lavi, in a guest house, which is not your grandfather’s kibbutz guest house but a very nice hotel run entirely by the kibbutz. During the second Lebanon war, when the north was shelled by Hizbollah, the guest house opened its doors to refugees from the border with Lebanon most affected by the shelling, at no charge, of course. The kibbutz kitchen also made meals and sent them to those in the shelters on the border, needless to say, at no charge. That is the spirit!
After dinner, we danced Israeli folk dances the night away led by two very sweet young kibbutzniks. There was something so special in dancing Israeli dances on a kibbutz in the Galilee – it cements your connection to this land.
These kibbutzniks here were such nice and warm people! Much as I am anti-religion, these modern orthodox guys in yarmulkes and women in long skirts were so down to earth and so warm, you wanted to stay with them permanently.
And it didn’t hurt that they were very sexy dancers!