Learning about Culture and Society in Israel.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
KKL France’s annual Israel Today and Tomorrow
delegation visit to Israel is now underway for the third time, and this year its one hundred or so members include a large group of doctors and journalists. Throughout the course of a single fascinating week, the delegates will learn about Israeli society and culture through lectures, workshops, meetings and, of course, tours of various KKL-JNF sites in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Negev.
“KKL-JNF is a Zionist organization devoted to Israel’s development,” President of KKL France
Dr. Robert Zvili explained to the delegates. “We accompanied the founding of the state
, and we continue to work for the country’s development today. The Zionist Movement has brought about the liberation of the Jewish People.”
KKL-JNF emissary to France Fino Edri described the delegation’s objectives succinctly: “Our ambition is to present the other Israel, not the one people see in the media,” he said.
The voyage to discover Israel began in Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfutsot Museum of the Jewish People. “The Museum deals with all the things that make the Jewish People one big family,” said museum CEO Dan Tadmor. “Our message is one of unity, and it is designed to remind us of everything we have in common.”
The delegates set out for a guided trip round the museum, which depicts chapters in the history of the Jewish People from ancient times until the present day, through a variety of exhibits on topics ranging from the destruction of the temple to Bob Dylan.
“I have discovered the Jewish spirit, with which I was previously unfamiliar,” said Professor Jean-Claude Granry of Angery Hospital. “Israel is a small country with a lot of content, and it’s certainly an impressive place to visit.”
Later, Devorah Cohen gave a lecture on “Israeli Society as Reflected in the Cinema,” in which she reviewed a series of issues that have concerned Israeli society and the local cinema over the years, including the following: Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews, Jews and Arabs
, the army and security, religion and society, and men and women.
The delegation’s next stop was the Yitzhak Rabin Heritage Center
, an educational institution founded to commemorate Israel’s murdered former prime minister, promote tolerance and encourage democratic dialogue within Israeli society. Tens of thousands of students, soldiers and visitors from both Israel and abroad attend the Yitzhak Rabin Center every year. The museum’s main corridor presents the life of Prime Minister Rabin, whose personal history was closely bound up with the history of the state. Exhibition rooms branching off from the corridor depict a variety of important chapters in the annals of the State of Israel, and films, pictures, documents and historical exhibits help to bring the story of each period to life.
“I have lived through history and it’s very exciting to see pictures from past times I remember well,” said ninety-year-old Tamara Kochricht, who is from Paris. “Israel has changed a great deal since those days, and it’s a pleasure to come here every year or two and see how the country has developed. There’s a lot of anti-Israeli propaganda in the world, but I believe that people who come here to visit and see the real Israel will change their minds about it.”
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