On Sunday, November 16th 2008, Marcie Glingan from NENY came for a visit at Eshkol Regional Council. On her first day at Eshkol, Marcie was hosted by Partnerships Director Ravit Ochayon-Michal, Chair of Steering Committee Chava Milah, Chair of Living Bridge NENY Committee Ephraim Pearlmutter, and Living Bridge Coordinator Tal Klamer. During their meeting they discussed the working plan for 2009 and brought up ideas for new projects.
Then they visited the Yamit Museum in Moshav Dekel. There, Cochi and Zehava shared their story through which, Marcie could feel the intense pain they experienced during the evacuation from Yamit. The next day the encounters started. First, in "Habessor" School, where Marcie experienced for the first time the "red color" alarm and could feel for herself the school history which is strongly bound to it. Marcie managed to give the teachers the greeting cards prepared by 7th grade pupils from NENY.
During her meeting with Principal of "Yuvalei Habessor" School Mazal Arussi, Marcie could get an impression of the school, of the pupils and of their ability to sing in fluent English. The next day Marcie met the Principal of "Ma'ale Habessor" School, Vered Tal. Their meeting was also attended by English teacher Jodie Haggai, who is in charge of the contact with NENY and by Anat Rozen, the teacher in charge of the contact with NENY during last year. During their meeting they talked about the growing bond that is being created between 8th graders from NENY and Eshkol and about the visit planned for the "Academic Beit Shraga" students from NENY in Israel.
On Wednesday, Marcie met Yael Arad the Education Department Director in Eshkol. The central issue of their meeting was the differences in educational views between Eshkol and NENY. That same day in the afternoon, around 20 Federation members from NENY came for their first visit in Eshkol.
Their visit was inaugurated by a festive dinner at E'in Habessor. Greeting words were pronounced by the former Steering Committee Chair in NENY Loui-Jack Pozner, Head of Eshkol Regional Council Chayim Yalin, and by Chava Milah and Ravit Ochayon-Michal.
The next day, together with the Israeli Steering Committee members, a joint acquaintance tour was made at the Regional Council area. It started at Newe Eshkol, where the Federation members purchased from a variety of local products. It went on towards the New School, where a survey of the progress made in its construction was provided by Moshe Morag.
The Federation members also met "Nitzanei Eshkol" and "Ma'ale Habessor" pupils. In addition they met people from the "Keshet" Group who talked about the project and its contribution to their lives. The rest of the tour focused on peace issues. In Holit they heard about volunteers from around the world and also witnessed the progress made in the settlements of evacuated people.
The tour was sealed by a joint dinner at Kibbutz Be'eri. Chayim Yalin blessed the continuation of the relationship between Eshkol and NENY. Randy Shapiro, the new Chair of the Steering Committee in NENY expressed his support of the continuation of the mutual bond. The old-new acquaintance with Eshkol Regional Council has been successful for everyone.
Good luck and hoping for a great year for us all.
Living Bridge Coordinator
Eshkol-Mexico-North Eastern New York