The post below was written by Matan Peleg, a member of the Young Leadership volunteer sub-committee in Haifa. A proud Zionist, Matan is in his third year at the University of Haifa, where is studying Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. He and his wife Adirit recently welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Alon Magen.
After a week of volunteering with the Boston-Haifa Connection, Alex and I had met at the Bat Galim boardwalk for an informal conclusion conversation.
As we were talking and walking towards the south end of the multicultural and diverse boardwalk, we passed by couples in love, elderly, youngsters, Russian immigrants, Arabs, Orthodox and soldiers; basically we passed by a microcosm of the entire Israeli community as a whole that is now residing by the Mediterranean Sea and enduring all its implications.
The week of volunteering within was extremely special for both of us, especially because it gave us an opportunity to give back to the community that taught us the value of caring for each other and the will to want to make a better environment for everyone (a quality that is very rare in our diverse society).
After walking a while, our conversation became more philosophical. From our personal conclusion of the week and how to better the job we do as a society, we started talking about Binyamin Ze’ev (Theodor) Herzl, his vision, and if in fact it came true.
We were wondering if we were a part of making his vision come alive. We conversed and argued, looked for explanations and answers and had a hard time finding a correct and satisfying answer until we arrived to the end of the boardwalk.
At the end of the boardwalk, as if it was waiting for us, and maybe that is why we arrived to the same conclusion, we found our answer – ‘the vision is coming through in our lives as we are living it!’ At the south of end of the boardwalk, one can sometimes see the egg shaped cable railway (funicular) that rides all the way up to the top of the Carmel Mountain to the observation point next to the Stella Maris Church. The cable car in Haifa is mentioned in Herzl’s visionary book, “Altneuland.”
In his book, in the chapter Haifa, Herzl visioned a cable railway that will carry people to the top of Mount Carmel, many years before anyone dreamed that the city of Haifa would be such a success.
”This life is meaningful and it is a privilege to be a part of it,” concluded Alex.
At this moment we both knew that our work in Israeli society won’t end, that we are a part of something big and special, and that this job with the Boston-Haifa Connection will help us express ourselves and if we want – it won’t be a vision any longer, but our truth…
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