“I decided that now was the time to initiate this unique project and bring to Israel all of the Pittsburgh teachers (both Jews and Non-Jews) who had before never visited Israel”, explained Dr. Tzipi Gur, educational director for Pittsburgh's Agency for Jewish Learning.
On July 23-26 a delegation of 23 teachers, most of them from various Pittsburgh Jewish educational frameworks visited the Karmiel- Misgav region. The delegation came to the region as part of the Jewish Agency sponsored “Partnership 2000” program.
Since this was everyone’s first visit to Israel, the level of excitement was pretty much ‘through the roof’, “We all have taught extensively and in great detail everything about Israel, suddenly however everything is so real and tangible”, Meryl Nash reflected.
They began their visit in the region with a tour of the Karmiel Children’s Village and the “Back to Nature via the Bible” Center at Michmanim where they were met by their local host families all of whom were teachers from Karmiel and Misgav that had expressed their pleasure at opening both their hearts and homes before their Pittsburgh colleagues.
The second day of the visit was dedicated to an introduction to the newly inaugurated “Partnership 2000” Trail, a tour of the Mt. Schkenia Elementary School and a meeting with young people from the area’s Druze sector to discuss issues related to co-existence in Israel and the region.
On the final day of their visit, the delegation met with Lee Navat, the principal of the "Golden Educational Template" Middle School at Ma'ale Zvia, who discussed with the educators, her school’s educational philosophy. From there, the continued to the Misgav Regional High School where they met with Ruthi Margalit and Galia Kovesh, the school’s vice-principal and librarian respectively, who presented the various projects being conducted at the school.
The group’s visit to Israel ended with a taste and desire for more and especially return visits to Karmiel and Misgav.