September 25, 2023 -
Cleveland has a “sister city” in Israel named Beit She’an. It’s in northern Israel, and before our trip we video-Skyped with the families we would meet there. We had an absolutely amazing experience Wednesday, and the whole community welcomed us with open arms. Language was not a barrier – “family” and “community” is language enough! We were able to bring them a lovely gift to thank them for their huge welcome: Leogs! Lego is hard to get and VERY expensive in Israel, so each of our families brought some Legos to give to the school Keshet Yonatan, to start a Lego corner for their younger kids. Below are the reflections of the Rosenthal family, written by Matt and Adam. The first two pictures are of the Rosenthals with the family they were connected with.
Today we visited the city of Beit Shean, where we got to meet our families that we previously met via video conference. Our family was the Ne’Emani family. They have four children, two of which are twins in sixth grade named Gonan and Eldar. After exchanging gifts of chocolate, we participated in puzzle-solving activites. Many of which did not need the use of Hebrew or English to complete. They helped our two families bond while feeling enthusiastic about completing the puzzles. After, we engaged in small talk while enjoying delicious falafel from the Falafel Man, we participated in a traditional Israeli drum circle. When we first arrived, we were anxious and excited to meet the family. By the end we felt comfortable, friendly, and sad to say goodbye so we exchanged emails and facebook names so we could stay connected.