JNF Australia a 758.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The tour, which was initiated by JNF Australia, gave the group a unique opportunity to see for themselves the many projects in which JNF Australia is involved.
“It’s important for us to show people the work we’re doing for the benefit of residents who live on the border with Gaza and increase our knowledge of aspects of Israel that ordinary tourists don’t usually get a chance to see,” said Anton Grodeck, Executive Director of JNF Victoria.
“I’ve visited Israel many times in the past, but I’ve never taken part in a tour like this one,” said George Marcus. “It gives us a sense of pride to know that so many Australians are involved in what’s going on in Israel.”
At Kibbutz Zikim on the Ashkelon coast the group met up with Farm Manager Tal Mor and kibbutz members Ethel Bennett and Rami Bilis. “The war last summer has left us with some scars,” said Bennett. “Many families had to leave the area during that period, but those who stayed made every effort to keep to their usual routine.”
The visitors observed the progress of work on the new visitors’ center, a green project funded by a donation from JNF Australia that will provide information on kibbutz history, the region and the environment. The center will be located in an old Arab building, and at present work is underway to conserve the original ceiling paintings and the unique flooring.
“It amazes me to think that children of my age live in such a dangerous area where there are air-raid alerts and rockets are falling. These are things that we Australians know nothing about,” said 14-year-old Amanda Morris. Together with her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, she was visiting Israel on a family trip to celebrate her brother Avishai’s bar mitzvah,
Amanda requested that our interview with her take place in Hebrew, as she is studying the language at her school in Melbourne. “I’ve heard lot of things about Israel, but this is the first time that I’ve had the chance to come and visit,” she said. “I’ve found the country to be amazing.”
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