This year, in an effort to enhance the connection and provide further evidence that the land of Israel is ours, the Zionist Caravan included Israeli archaeologists Dr Jon Seligman and Naveh Yogev.
The Johannesburg contingent started their informal education in Maputo, Mozambique. Aliyah and Betar Shaliach Ori Leizer, WZO and Habonim Shaliach Yaron Shiponi and Dr Jon Seligman met the small Jewish community in the newly renovated Shul in Maputo. Talking to a crowd of Jews and Christian supporters, Dr Seligman gave a fascinating talk about Archaeology and the Jews: Sources and Finds. During the presentation, he showed a few archaeological sites in the P2G region of Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehuda, and the artefacts that were discovered in each.
Moving on to the vibrant Jewish community in Durban, the Shlichim Zionist Caravan held an evening event at the Jewish Club. Dr Seligman gave an interesting talk on Archaeology in Jerusalem, presenting artefacts found in the City of David, the first Temple and the Old City, proving the connection of the Jews to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.
He also spoke about a new excavation he will be working on - at the great Shul in Vilna, Lithuania.
The next destination took the caravan to the small but warm and welcoming Jewish Community of Klerksdorp. Hosted by the Shul, Dr Seligman again presented the connection of the Jews to the land and the city of Jerusalem.
The objective of the caravan is to bring a taste of Israel to these smaller communities. Through Israeli food, video presentations of Israel’s tourist sites and discussion on Israeli currents affairs, the Shlichim endeavour to connect these communities with the realities of Israel, and offer them ways to experience Israeli life as a tourist or potential Oleh.
With this objective in mind, the caravan also visited Jewish schools in Durban and Johannesburg to educate and instil a love of Israel among the learners
The Zionist Caravan concluded in Johannesburg with a talk by Dr Seligman given at Beyachad.
In total, they met with 200 people and made an enormous impact on the people living in these outlying communities.