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EIN GANIM CORRESPONDENCE WITH DREAM PARTNERS AROUND THE WORLD


An extract from a class email about Jerusalem

Notes in the Western Wall (Nofar) Jerusalem is formed of two parts: the old city, and the new city. In the old city there are important historical monuments for the Jewish people like the Western Wall and David's Tower. The Western Wall is the only wall that we have from the huge temple that was built thousands of years ago. David's Tower is where we have the grave of King David, the second king of Israel who built Jerusalem.

There are also many important places for the Moslems and Christians. That's the reason Jerusalem is called the City of the Three Religions.

Extract of email from Nofar to students in Australia

I want to tell you about Israel; it's a beautiful country. We have the Western Wall, a holy place to the Jewish, people put notes there with wishes. We believe that someday all the wishes will come true. (Nofar) ... Cesarea is an old city built at the time when the Romans ruled. The old amphitheater of Cesarea is very beautiful and interesting! (Nofar and Michal)

Michal G's reply to an email from Indiana, USA

I want to tell you about our travels. We like to travel in the north of Israel. There is a small lake called Cineret. Our drinking water is from this lake. We like to walk along the Banyas river. This is a beautiful and interesting river. There are a lot of birds and trees there. We like to travel in the biggest mountain in all of the country - the Golan. It's a wonderful place with no noise. You can see from there beautiful views that you will not see elsewhere.

Michal G's email about the south of the country

Do you know something about the south of Israel? Do you know about Eilat or Be'er Sheva? Be'er Sheva is a big city, but there are no travelers there. In Eilat there are a lot of travelers. There is a beach, and near the beach there are a lot of hotels. There are a lot of things that you can do in Eilat: travel in the mountains, go to a little museum about the Red Sea, go to the Eilat's mall and go to the beautiful beach.You can dive in Eilat, and a lot of people travel to Eilat to dive there. There is a big and popular mall in Eilat, it's called Mall Of The Sea and In Front Of The Sea.

There are little communities in the south, and there are a lot of Bedouins in the Negev. The Negev is a desert. It's called Tzin Desert. Eilat is not in the Negev, but Be'er Sheva is in the Negev. In Be'er Sheva there are big buildings and companies like in others cities, Be'er Sheva does not look like the desert. There is a big University in Be'er Sheva. Its called Ben-Gurion University. Ben Gurion was our first prime minister.

The Dead Sea

In Israel we have many beaches and many seas. The seas are: the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. There is a very nice legend that explains why the Dead Sea so salty: One man had a jug, a very special jug, because when he said a secret code, this jug gave him salt and when he said enother code, the jug stopped. One day, a man came to the place where the man with the special jug lived. He heard about the famous jug, and wanted to buy it from its owners because in his country, salt was very expensive. He paid for the jug and the owner told him the secret code for making the jug give salt, but the man didn't wait and he didn't hear the code to stop the jug giving salt. So when the man was on his boat, he was impatient and said the secret code. The jug gave him a lot of salt but the man didn't know how to stop it. The boat was full of salt and it began to sink. So the man threw the jug to the sea and the jug filled the sea with salt. And some people say, the jug is still in the sea, and no one knows how to stop it.

Extract from email sent by Michal A - Kibbutz

.... Israel is a very very small country, with towns, not big. There are municipalities, for the cities, and there are local municipalities, which are small settlements. There is another kind of place. It is called Kibbutz. This kind only exists here. The pioneers, when they came, in the beginning of the last century, thought it would be easier to make the Kibbutz. The Kibbutz is a place where the residents work together, sharing the money and the food. Our city, Petach Tikva, is a regular city, with a regular municipality, not like the Kibbutz. The first colony in Israel is at Petach Tikva, it's called Em Hamoshavot.

Email about food eaten in Israel

The Falafel is like a minced meatball, but it isnít made of meat. Itís made only of vegetable and filled with soya. This soya filling makes you think that these balls are made of meat. The Falafel is usually eaten in a pita (a kind of bread that has like a pocket. In this pocket you can put Falafel and many other things, and then you can eat them more comfortable), with salad and sauces. One of the sauces is called Thina and it is made of sesame.

Other special food is the Shawarma. It is originally made of sheep meat but it can be prepared also from turkey and chicken meat. We put the spiced meat on a kind of stick that turns around all the time in a hot oven. When the meat is ready it is cut into small pieces and served in a Pita with salad, sauces and chips (if you want).

The Jahnun is a kind of pie that is made on a small fire for 24 hours long. We eat the Jahnun with tomato sauce and boiled egg. This food comes from Yemen.

The Melawah is a kind of fried pancake but it isnít sweet, itís salty. The Melawah is made of paste and eaten with tomato sauce.

We have a lot of plantations: we have oranges, apples and olives.

Information about Holidays

"Now we are celebrating the beginning of the Jewish New Year. To celebrate this we have a big meal where we eat a head of a fish, so we will always be in the front and not in the end, we eat apple with honey, because we want to have a sweet year like honey, and pomegranate, because we want to do many good things this year, as many as the pomegranate's kernels."

"Today, is the last day on the Rosh Hashana holiday. Rosh Hashana is the first day of the Jewish year. The months of our year are: Tishrei, Heshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shvat, Adar, Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tamuz, Av, Elul. On Tishrei, we have three holidays: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kipur and Sukkot."

"After this celebration we have a sad day. It's called Yom Kippur. On this day we ask God and all the people we hurt, to forgive us, so we will be clean of sins when we enter the New Year. To show our regrets we don't eat a day long. Only the girls less than 12 years old and the boys less than 13 years old are excluded of this rule. We have many other holidays during the year such as Passover and others."

"After Yom Kippur, we have the last holiday at Tishrei. The holiday's name is Sukkot. On this holiday we make a Sukka with a lot of decorations. In the Sukka we put Hadas, Lulav, Etrog and Arava. The Hadas, Lulav and Arava are branches of trees, and Etrog is a fruit, but we can't eat it."

A reply to an email from California about Sukkot

A long time ago, our forefathers that escaped from Egypt, lived in what is called a sukka; it's like a house that is built from trees that could be found in the desert. (Afik, Alon and Tal)

Information about Sukkot

Thousands of years ago, the Jewish people migrated to Egypt. The Pharaohs liked the Jewish people because they helped them so they lived in Egypt for a long time and were appreciated for all they did. Later, one Pharaoh, worried that the Jewish people would try to conquer his country, made them into slaves. At one time all the boys were thrown into the River Nile to prevent the formation of an army. But there was a clever woman who gave birth to a boy and kept his existence secret until he began crying loud. To keep him hidden she made him an ark and put it in the Nile. The Pharaoh's daughter found the boy and called him Moses. Moses was destined to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt. Moses and the people walked 40 years in the desert until they reached Israel. On their journey they lived in huts and in Hebrew a hut is a Sukka. Sukkot is the plural. This holiday remembers the Sukkot that our ancestors built. On this holiday we build Sukkots and stay in them to understand their feelings.

The eight days of Hanukkah (Channukah)

Our next holiday is Hanukkah ... There are special foods for Hanukkah, there are the potato pancakes and the jelly doughnuts. You can eat the jelly doughnuts with vanilla sugar and jam. ... On Hanukkah we play a game with dreidels (spinning tops), it's a custom. There are four letters on the four corners of the dreidel. The letters are the shortening of the sentence: A great miracle happened here (Nes gadol haya po), because the history of Hanukkah tells us about the miracle that happened to the Maccabees (165 BCE) that rose up against the Greeks in Israel but this is another story... (Nofar)

We celebrate Hanukkah because of the Holy Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks destroyed it more than 2000 years ago, and today there is only the Western Wall from this temple. (Michal G)

A small group of brave people called the Maccabees fought the Greeks. In the battle, the temple was badly damaged and when it had been cleaned the priests could not find any pure oil to light the Menorah. ... The Jewish people searched until they found a little oil jug in the temple and they maintained that it would be enough for one day. But the miracle was that it was sufficient for 8 days and that's why we celebrate Hanukkah for 8 days. ... In the 8 days of celebration, we light candles so we don't forget the Menorah and the miracle of Hanukkah. (Dana)

We light 9 candles, and every day we light an additional one. On the first day 2 candles, on the second day 3 candles and more. We light the candles in the Hanukiah (a menorah used for Hanukkah). It is a special lamp. When we light the candles in the Hanukiah we say 3 prayers and the blessings over the candles. (Michal G)

The celebration of Tu Bishvat

The next celebration we will have is Tu Bishvat. In this holiday we eat dried fruits and celebrate with plants and flowers. This is the holiday of the trees and plants and it is a very happy and nice festive day. (Dana)

The celebration of Purim

we masquerade and wear different costumesPurim is coming. This is a holiday that we celebrate. We masquerade and wear different costumes. We send our relatives some gifts and candies. It's called Mishloch-Manot: the giving to others. (Nitzen)

(Purim remembers the story of Esther, a Jewish girl who married King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and became Queen of Persia. Esther is famous for protecting her people from Haman, the king's advisor, who wanted to kill all the Jewish people in the kingdom.)

At Purim we dress up in costumes, last year I dressed as a gift. I made this costume with my mother, I think the best part in Purim is to make the costumes and not to buy them. ... On Purim we eat cookies called "Haman's ears", Haman was the name of one of the persons in the story of Purim. He was the bad man of the story and the villain because he wanted to kill the Jews. ... On Purim we play with noise makers (ra-ashanim) especially when we hear the name of Haman mentioned in readings from the story of Esther (megillah). (Nofar)

Information about Passover (Pesach)

Passover, an ancient Jewish festival, is the celebration of the delivery of the people from slavery in Egypt. When the Pharaoh refused to let the Jewish people leave Eygpt, God sent a series of plagues. The last was the death of Egyptian first-born sons but the houses of the Israelites were passed over or spared (Pesach). Following this final plague the people were allowed to leave Egypt.

Information about Passover from Nofar

We celebrate the holiday for eight days and have a special meal, the Seder, on the first two nights. We eat symbolic food such as unleavened bread, the matzah (on the flight from Egypt there was not time to let the bread rise), and horseradish (bitter herbs symbolizing the bitterness of slavery in Egypt). .... During the Seder the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told. The story is read from the Haggada.

One way train. Remembrance Day - Discussion Board

Today (18 April) is the Remembrance Day of 6 Million Jews who were murdered by Hitler and his Nazi party. Innocent Jews, Poles, Russians and Gypsies throughout Europe, were sent to concentration camps. Then they went on a train. A one way train, a Train, for their death. On this day, we remember all the victims of The Shoah (The Holocaust). (Saar A)

In the Holocaust the Nazis killed people with poison gas. Steven Spielberg is recording Holocaust survivors to document the truth of the Holocaust so we will never forget. (Alon and Iddan) Spielberg started The Shoah Foundation (www.vhf.org) after filming Schindler's List.

Email from Nofar

I want to tell you about Independence Day; it will be our next holiday. This year, Israel will be 56 years old. I like Independence Day very much because I like the celebrations of this day. Every year, all the people from every city come and celebrate this holiday in their city. All the celebrations are the same thing: the whole city is decorated in white and blue flags

Email from Dana about Shavuot

Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot), when Jews came to Jerusalem. The first fruits were brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Shavuot is also called Hag Matan Tora that means "the holiday of giving". (It is the time we were given the Torah)

Email about Bath Mitzva

Bath Mitzva is one of our celebrations. When Jewish girls are 12 years old, they don't celebrate a regular birthday, they celebrate a Bath-Mitza and all of the family and the friends come to the celebration, and the girl has to take responsibility for all of the deeds that she will do. The boys have Bar-Mitzva, and they need to read in the Beit-Cneset (synagogue), a part from the Bible, and they use the Phylacteries (parchment containing religious verses, worn in a case on the arm) at the early hours in the Bar-Mitzva morning. (Michal G)


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