After four days spent exploring the history and horrors of the Holocaust in Poland and Germany, the last leg of our Compassion to Action mission in Israel feels like a breath of fresh air.
Our busy schedule included a briefing with Canadian Ambassador to Israel Deborah Lyons, a visit to see the building - in- progress of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity (scheduled to open late next year), and a trip to the very heart of the Jewish people: the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. We were indeed fortunate to have a chance to recharge our minds, bodies and spirits as we spent Shabbat in this most holy of cities.
We also paid our respects to modern Israeli heroes when we visited the memorial to Theodore Herzl, the father of the modern State of Israel, and travelled as well to the memorial to 73 Israeli soldiers killed in 1997 in the country's worst air disaster. My cousin was one of the officers killed, and this opportunity to say a silent prayer for him, with the support of the delegation on our mission, was a very emotional experience.
Yesterday we enjoyed an in-depth briefing with Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld, Foreign Press Spokesman for the Israel Police, and visited both Yad Vashem and an Israeli Air Force base. After an overnight stay at a kibbutz in the Galilee, we were off to Metulla this morning for an update on the security situation in Northern Israel with former IDF Colonel Kobi Marom, followed by a jeep ride in the Golan Heights.This afternoon we are looking forward to a visit to the ancient city of Safed, the center of Jewish mysticism in the Middle Ages, and then off to Herzilya for the evening.
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