Our time In Jerusalem was drawing to a close but we had a few more things to do before our bus took us to Tel Aviv. We left our hotel and drove to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet our friend, Ami Mehl, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for the Diaspora and upcoming ambassador to Ghana.
Ami warmly welcomed us in his perfect Polish and brought us into the beautiful building which houses the ministry. He told us about his service in Poland beginning in 1989, his time as ambassador to Uzbekistan and also updated us on the situation of Jewish communities around the world. We really had a pleasant surprise when the previous ambassador to Poland, Zvi Rav-Ner stopped by to visit and chat with us as did former Israel cultural attache in Poland, Yaakov Finkelstein. What an honor for our group to be received by such esteemed diplomats.
After seeing our old friends at the Foreign Ministry we stopped by a few scenic spots on the way out of town and bid farewell to Israel’s capital.
Our first stop in Tel Aviv was actually in Yafo where we ate lunch and walked around the beautiful port area. Imagine our surprise when a couple taking their pre-wedding photos in scenic Yafo saw that we were Holocaust survivors and asked to be photographed with us. We happily agreed and wished them well!
After Yafo we drove to our hotel in the center of Tel Aviv and checked in and had dinner. After dinner we had a meeting to sum up the trip since tomorrow we fly back to Poland. We all gathered and told about our impressions of Israel and the time we spent together. Many of us expressed our thanks to Ride for the Living and its supporters and participants for making this trip possible and to the JCC for making it happen. One of us even told how she never thought she’d see Israel and she knows this was her last opportunity to do so. We made plans to all meet soon in the JCC to see photos and film from our trip.
We’ll be sad to leave but we still have one more day in sunny Tel Aviv…