As soon as you land in Israel, you realize that, although we may speak another language and live many miles apart, the warmth and kindness of the people make you feel right at home.

Beginning with Lev, our taxi-driver from the airport to Kibbutz Yizre’el. Once learning that it was our first time in Israel, he began naming all the sites we passed, telling us about his life, his career, and his twin daughters — one who is now a sergeant in the Israeli army.

We arrived at the Kibbutz Yizre’el Partnership House and were greeted with a hug and kiss from Rachel Piekarski, the Partnership House Manager, and Achiya Ben Ari Buganim, the Living Bridge Coordinator.

Although it was late in the evening, Achiya took us to dinner in Afula, where we learned more about each other and prepared for our visits to our Federation’s partnership organizations.

We have a busy day ahead and are looking forward to seeing the impact of our Federation’s work firsthand.