The bells ring from church towers. Monks in hoods and frolicing children flashed among crowds of pilgrims from around the world. The aromas of fresh coffee, exotic spices and freshly baked bread are in the air of a colorful oriental bazaar.
Majestically towering over the red tiled roofs and minarets, stands on guard the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the silhouette of which dominates the city. Continue reading
We sit in Jerusalem. The beginning of March, rain outside the window, the wind blows off the bold passers-by. My interlocutor says: “I’m tired of everything, I’ll go skiing tomorrow.” “Where to?” – I ask. “Yes here, on Hermon, a couple of hours by car.”
Really close. Like everyone in Israel. Because there is not enough space, and it is necessary that there is enough for everything. In this country, as in the eyepiece of a microscope, everything that is needed for life fits. There is a desert. Forests, although few, are. Excavations, antiquities, three seas. Even four, counting the Sea of Galilee. And there is a ski resort – next to this lake-sea. Continue reading
Most of the current immigrants – as the immigrants call them in Israel – come either to close relatives who help them settle in a new place, or go through an ulpan-kibbutz (school and home): they work in a kibbutz and at the same time study Hebrew. This is the so-called First Home Home program. Those kibbutzis who participate in the program receive some benefits and material assistance from the state – the state pays for the temporary residence of new emigrants.
All returnees arriving in Israel are entitled to the so-called “absorption basket”. Absorption is a takeover, but in Israel, newcomers are “absorbed” very humanely: in this basket there are various kinds of cash benefits, tax benefits, loans for renting and buying apartments, paid education, legal advice and retraining courses. Baskets for those arriving at the kibbutz are the most “weighty”. Continue reading