Putting the impact of Covid behind them, Carolyn Addleman, Director of the JNF UK Legacy Department and David Goodman Director of Community Relations JNF UK returned from Israel on Wednesday 2nd November having led an exciting and varied Legacy Mission programme. Whilst staying at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv on the border with Jaffa, mission participants visited a number of towns in the Negev to see the critical work of JNF UK. In Kiryat Malachi members of the mission took part in an inspiring ceremony at the House of Excellence where an auditorium and computer suite funded by a generous legacy of Michael Stanton was dedicated. Michael Stanton‘s sisters Philippa and Linda participated in the mission and said “Michael was very keen on developing the Negev and would have been very happy that so many young Israelis will benefit from his legacy”.
The following day an emotional cornerstone ceremony of a gymnasium and multipurpose hall took place in the Dekalim Special Needs School in Be’er Sheva. Speakers included deputy mayor Dr Hefzi Zohar and senior members of the municipality. David Goodman, who chaired the event, read out notes from the pupils which had been placed in a time capsule buried together with the cornerstone. With tears of joy in her eyes, headteacher Esther Guashnish said, “this was a dream come true.” She was so very grateful to JNF UK.
Amongst the mission participants was Neil Mills for whom this was a first-time visit to Israel. On entering Jerusalem where the mission stayed at the David Citadel Hotel, together with everyone present he recited the prayer of She’hechiyanu Veki’imanu. Neil was overwhelmed with emotion and said, “it was wonderful to have shared this incredibly emotional experience with others on the mission”.
Mission participants could not thank Carolyn enough for the organisation and care she and David showed. Carolyn Addleman said, “it was a privilege to lead a mission where the participants were so passionate to learn about Israel and the vital work of JNF UK”.
Bookings are already being made for next year’s mission during which Israel’s 75th birthday will be celebrated.