Thousands bring in the New Year with trips to the North

Thousands of travelers and daytrippers celebrated Rosh Hashana at tourist sites in the Galilee, the Golan and the Kinneret.

Sunset at the kinneret  370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Sunset at the kinneret 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Thousands of travelers and daytrippers celebrated Rosh Hashana at tourist sites in the Galilee, the Golan and the Kinneret. Meir Levy, head of the Gonen Holiday Village and the Upper Galilee Tourism Forum, reported that holiday villages and hotels in the North were at full capacity during Rosh Hashana and the ensuing weekend, as thousands of people took advantage of the good weather and free time.
The northern Golan also received many visitors, as many people took guided tours in the Druse village of Majdal Shams and embarked on apple-picking trips.
Thousands of families visited Merom Golan to see the view of Syrian Kuneitra from Mount Bental – a height of 1,200 meters above sea level – also going horseback riding and taking ATV rides. Merom Golan Tourism CEO Shefi Mor said the holiday resort was at full capacity, as were surrounding attractions.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people visited Lake Kinneret, to relax on the beaches, bathe in the lake or take boats rides in the water. At the Tefen Open Museum, children participated in creative workshops in which they could create boats and then insert their wishes for the new year, or make roses out of dough and sugar. The Kinneret Drainage Authority recorded 50,000 visitors to area beaches.
Many holidaymakers celebrated Rosh Hashana at the Honey Festival in apiaries across Israel, learning about the role bees play in the environment. The festival is running until September 28.
Over the holiday, 150 tons of trash was collected.Syrian girl released from Safed medical center
A 15-year-old Syrian girl was released from Safed’s Ziv Medical Center last week, walking with the aid of crutches and an artificial leg donated by a private individual.
The girl had been brought to the hospital in critical condition six weeks earlier by the IDF, after she had been hit by a bomb and shrapnel. Her right leg had been amputated and she suffered severe wounds to her left leg.
The girl left the hospital together with her mother, who stayed with her through her entire hospitalization.
According to a Ziv spokesman, the girl’s mother thanked the medical team for their treatment, and for facilitating the donation of the artificial leg and saving her daughter’s other leg from amputation, saying: “I wish the people of Israel a happy new year and wish that we will be able to meet again in a saner Middle East, as we are all human beings.”
The mother told the team that her daughter had been hurt when their home was bombed, resulting in the deaths of the girl’s brother, grandmother and cousin. She explained that the girl had been treated in a Syrian field hospital days before being transferred to Israel.
An IDF paramedic, who accompanied the girl and her mother to the medical center, accompanied them again upon release. “When we brought the girl to Ziv six weeks ago, she was in critical condition, almost dying. I can’t believe that she is standing on her legs, with a big smile on her face. It is a wonderful feeling to see her like this,” she said.
MDA kicks off blood donation drive ahead of Yom Kippur
Ahead of Yom Kippur, Magen David Adom this week issued a call for blood donations. On Friday, Zichron Ya’acov, in accordance with its annual tradition, will facilitate a donation drive to ease the blood shortage over the holidays.
This is the 18th year that the town will carry out this tradition, which is held on Yom Kippur eve and Holocaust Remembrance Day. Over the past 17 years, as part of a special operation, thousands of units of blood were collected and used to save thousands of lives.
Shimon Redlich, a member of the blood donors organization, who organizes the annual event, urged residents of Zichron Ya’acov and surroundings areas to join him in donating blood: “Particularly during the High Holy Days, a time of grace and giving among human beings, it is most significant to give blood. I call on everyone to come and donate, and in doing so, to help save lives.”
The drive was set to take place on Friday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the Limma restaurant in the pedestrian mall.
In addition, MDA bloodmobiles will be stationed in the nearby Shmura neighborhood, on Derech Sara and Hanadiv streets. A team of MDA medics is preparing receive many donors, with the expectation of collecting hundreds of units of blood.
MDA director-general Eli Bin said: “The special blood collections which are held on a daily basis all over the country are most welcome. There is no doubt that the donations made during periods of blood shortages over the holiday period are greatly important, and I invite all of Israel to come and donate blood as an act of kindness before the advent of Yom Kippur.”CENTER
Rishon Lezion program integrates special-needs youth via vet service This month, young people with various special needs are due to complete a period of full service at Rishon Lezion’s municipal veterinary service, as part of a pilot integration program, the Local website reported. The program is examining thepossibility of using the veterinary service as a bridge into the world of employment and society in general.
The target population of the program is people with special needs between the ages of 18 to 23, with physical, cognitive, sensory, communicative and emotional impairments that prevented them from being recruited to the IDF. The program enables them to enter the national service system, preparing them for employment and integration into normative society as contributing and active citizens.
AM:PM employee arrested for working in cahoots with robbers
An AM:PM employee was arrested last weekend as a suspected accomplice in a robbery earlier that week at the AM:PM branch on Tel Aviv’s King George Avenue, police said.
Two days earlier, a female employee at the convenience store complained that three men had followed her into the storeroom and threatened to kill her if she did not comply with their wishes. They stole over NIS 30,000 in cash, also making off with several packs of cigarettes.
The lead investigator in the case suspected the employee was actually working with the alleged robbers, and arrested the woman. She will be brought to a Beit Shemesh court for a hearing.
3 youths saved from drowning off Herzliya coast
Three youths were saved after nearly drowning off the Herzliya coast, Israel Radio reported last weekend.
Two of the youths suffered light injuries, while the third was in moderate condition. All three were taken to a Kfar Saba hospital to monitor their conditions.SOUTH
Beersheba police thwart underage drinking at massive party
The Beersheba police youth unit last week confiscated 627 alcoholic beverages and opened six cases against suspects for supplying intoxicating liquor to minors, in an operation they carried out at a party for 13 to 18 year olds, the Local website reported. Police arrested three minors: one for assaulting police officers, one for carrying a knife and one for assault. All three were released after questioning.
Police had stood outside a nightclub that drew 3,000 youngsters from the Negev area, where youth workers noticed the quantities of alcohol brought by party goers to a plaza outside the club. They then confiscated the alcohol.
Insp. Haim Dimri remarked: “Past experience has taught us that due to a sense of relief felt by the youth, we are witnessing parties that often end in brawls, drug use and alcohol consumption. The police are preparing ahead of time and making our presence felt in these places in order to prevent these offenses, with an emphasis on alcohol consumption and the entry of adults to these parties.”