Two large missions visited the Beit Shean region on Wednesday, June 20th: the Temple-Tiferet Israel mission, led by Rabbi Rosie Haim, and the Park Synagogue mission, led by Rabbi Sharon Marcus. Each one of the groups, composed of families – parents, children and grandparents – began their time in the Beit Shean region with a volunteer activity:
The Temple-Tiferet Israel group joined children from the Etrog kindergarten and their parents, and together they worked in the community garden in Shikkun Alef in Beit Shean. The garden, located by the entrance to the kindergarten and the entire street, was a neglected space until Bella Avraham, a community builder and teacher of the kindergarten, decided to do something about it. Together with the partnership staff she prepared a work plan, recruited volunteers from the neighborhood, and with the guidance of Adam Baratz from Cleveland, started developing the place.
The Temple-Tiferet Israel group took part in changing the face of the place: together with the kindergarten kids and their parents they colored the wall of the garden and the bench built there by volunteers, and planted the first trees of the garden. In the end, kids of the kindergarten gave the visitors drawings they made for them, saying “Thank you”, “Shalom” and “Chodesh Tov” (Good Month – since it was the first day of the Hebrew month Tamuz).
The Park Synagogue group joined children of Youth Futures at the Bikkura School in painting a wall of their school and creating mosaics to hang on it. The project was an initiative of Youth Futures together with the Bikkura School Director and Bridge to the Future. Members of the group from Cleveland also brought with them a donation of English books to the library of Bikkura School, which was received there with great appreciation and gratitude.
After the volunteer activity, families from Cleveland were hosted in the homes of local families and enjoyed a tasty dinner, good company and a real chance to get to know people of the region. It was an unforgettable experience for both Clevelanders and residents of the region.