As she finishes her five month cohort at the Harduf center in Northern Israel, Leah reflects on her time there and really appreciates the sense of community and togetherness found at the Harduf center…

“This past month has been an exciting, creative, and busy time in project Ten. Our group performed the play Winnie the Pooh, complete with costumes, music, and Anthroposophic influences. Our play was the focal point of a festival we hosted for Shavuot in Sha’ar Laadam. People from Harduf as well as children from nearby Bedouin schools gathered in the forest for crafts, clowns, theater, and fun. For me, the highlight of the festival was watching an Arab dance group and learning the moves with them on the stage. Ultimately, all of our hours of dedication to the play paid off. I think that I can speak for every cast member when I say that we were proud of the entertainment and the gift which we gave to the community. Importantly, our play represented our larger goals as a volunteer group, to bring people together from different cultures and religions in a creative and warm space. In this spirit, we integrated Hebrew and Arabic in our performance to include everyone. 

After all of our hard work on the festival, we had a short vacation which some used to go hiking and exploring. Afterwards, we took a group trip to the nearby city of Nazareth. We went to precipice mountain where Jesus jumped when he was fleeing persecution. We also visited Miriam’s well, the White Mosque, the Church of Annunciation, and Joseph’s church. Following a delicious lunch, we enjoyed some sweets which are special for the month of Ramadan.

As our time in Sha’ar Laadam winds down, we are looking forward to some end of the project adventures, including visits to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and hosting visitors from all over the world. We can’t wait to show them what we love about this magical forest!” 

-Leah Weingast, 21, New York