Today we revisited our childhoods from kindergarten from making cookies to playing in the mud. We were guests in several gan (kindergarten) classrooms in Beit Shemesh and took part in a hands-on opportunity. We learned about sifryat pijama, the Israeli version of PJ Library. We interacted with the children, observed as they listened to a book that was provided to each classroom, as well as to each individual child to be shared with their families at home. The children made beautiful tefilat haderech (traveler’s prayer) key chains that they decorated with their own art work, as well as special handmade gifts to celebrate Tu B'Shvat.
Later, we were guests in the homes of several Beit Shemesh women who participate in the women's empowerment program. We were treated to delicious home cooked traditional Moroccan foods. We learned about each woman's personal story of aliyah and their life journey. We even learned how to make a special dessert ( Moroccan sugar cookies) under the watchful eye of our hostess. We are looking forward to receiving a copy of their new cookbook that is hot off the press and features stories and recipes of these special women. Please ask us more about it!
Needing to work off our filling lunch, we then traveled to the Vertigo Eco Arts Center where we participated in a bit of yoga, stretching and dance. The highlight of this site visit, however, was the chance to get our hands dirty making clay pots and bricks, yes bricks.
Back to school, back to basics in the classroom, the kitchen, nature and finally back to Tel Aviv tonight. Tomorrow we leave for the north and a Sefat experience.
Stefanie Sanders Levy, Greater Washington Women’s Philanthropy Board Member and National Women’s Philanthropy Board Member