25 New Reasons There’s Hope for Future in Israel

Human Rights Watch finally called Hamas’ firing on Israel a “war crime,”

however, a month after Operation Pillar of Defense,

 new rockets were launched toward Israel from Gaza that fell short.

As the year 2012 comes to an end, how about some good news?

Last week I got out of Jerusalem, Israel, and went south,

sign Gaza photo

    near the Gaza border, where the sign was only in Hebrew and Arabic.

Sign Kibbutz Alumim

Kinneret was kind enough to show me around Kibbutz Alumim,

field near GAza

whose fields are 4 kilometers from Gaza, which can be seen in the distance.

factory on kibbutz

Carrots from the fields are sorted in this factory,

bomb shelter

whose bomb shelter is at its entrance.

bomb shelter children playgournd

Another shelter is placed on the children’s playground

bomb shelter Israel

and all the housing has safe rooms added on.

cows photo

 Alumim also has cows and avocado trees,

sunset photo

and impressive sunsets.

Like a pearl that started from a grain of sand in the ocean,

in this seemingly unlikely place, and because of “the situation”

Mechinat Yonatan

a new program began called Southern Task Force-Yonatan

or Mechinat Yonatan, for Yoni Netanyahu.

Started last year by a few idealistic girls who found others on Facebook,

study group

this co-ed, religious group of 25 young people

are taking a year after high school to work on the kibbutz,

class room lesson

 study Torah, and volunteer in schools in nearby cities.

music photo

They get up early and work hard, but still find time to relax,

Israeli tank

and all of them plan to join the army next year.

With young leaders like these, I say we have 25 new reasons to hope

Mechinat Yonatan

 for a better future in Israel.

sunset

The young people I spoke with talked of wanting

to work the land, learn Torah, and make a difference.

As 2012 comes to an end, can you think of a better hope for the future?

To see more photos, click HERE.

Post-Hanukkah Post

Did you hear that loud noise yesterday?

No, it was not an explosion or a riot,

but loud sighs of relief that the Hanukkah holiday season is finally over.

Hanukkah candles

Hanukkah may last 8 days with lots of candles in the rest of the world,

but in Jerusalem, Israel, it seems to go on forever.

Hanukkah photo

First there are the trips to school performances for each child,

after which children have over a week of vacation,

while most parents still have to go work.

Then there is the challenge  

sugganiah photo

of eating suffganiot

picture Hanukkah

and keeping your face free of all that powdered sugar or chocolate on top.

Haunkkah

It is truly a Hanukkah miracle to see how quickly those suffganiot disappear.

Ellie Klein donuts

Once again this year, the consumption award goes to Elie Klein, 

who ate 125 of these jelly donuts and raised $17,900 for 111 charities.

Haunkkah

The open windows that displayed the Hanukkah lights

are now closed to keep out the winter cold.

Hanukkah photo

Eight nights of Hanukkah were enough.

Flower photo Jerusalem

It is winter-time and so cold inside, but look as

Flowers Jerusalem

flowers are popping up all around this week.

And believe it or not, I already heard people discussing Purim costumes!