The volunteers and employees of the Jewish Agency's Partnership (formerly Partnership 2000) Beit Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda - Washington - South Africa spent a weekend together at Ohalo by the Sea of Galilee. Mihal Bashan, a Partnership volunteer says: "the time we spent together began with the morning bus journey which took us all to the north.
When we got to the Valley of Springs (Emek Hamaayanot) we found breakfast waiting for us, wonderfully prepared for us by the volunteers of Partnership Beit Shean - Cleveland USA. From there we went on a short hike which ended with us taking a dip in the refreshing spring waters. The group arrived at Ohalo in the afternoon and everyone went to their rooms.
Before Shabbat started we held a kabbalat shabbat ceremony with singing and playing instruments, and that was followed by Arvit prayers and a festive dinner. After that the group got together for some fun party games which generated the general mood and brought us even closer together. The next day, in between meals and prayers, we took part in a study activity on the subject of 'Halachic laws-based Shabbat compared with Shabbat of legend'.
Later some of the group members visited the Kibbutz Kinneret cemetery, with guide Amiram Idelman who was born at Kvutzat Kinneret. Amiram talked about the fascinating events surrounding the beginning of the kibbutz, including stories about late poetess Rachel and late songwriter Naomi Shemer.
The special value of the weekend was that the religious and secular members of the group spent time together whereby each member could choose what he or she wanted to participate in, as per their beliefs and customs. We also had a wonderful break, for body and for soul.
A big thank you to everyone who organized the wonderful weekend: Gideon Vennor, Naveh Yogev, Tami Kedmi, Sonya Shurhavetsky, Amit Zehavi, Brenda Ganot and the partner from Partnership Beit Shean: Lior Blaui."