After a delicious Israeli breakfast we walked over to the Baha’i gardens in Haifa. Without a cloud in the sky, we were able to enjoy the breathtaking view of the golden-domed shrine to its fullest. This site, which houses the grave of the Ba’b, the second most important prophet of the Baha’i religion, stretches about a kilometer up Haifa’s Mount Carmel. We learned that the Baha’i religion is the second most spread religion in the world; it was established on the principle of unity and harmony amongst all of mankind. We managed to finish the entire trail of 650 steps in less than an hour while still stopping to enjoy the view and learn about Baha’i people! Quite impressive, huh? (Imagine how long it would’ve taken if we actually had to walk up the stairs as well…)

The beautiful Bahai Gardens:

 

 

 

 

Our Mascot “Andrew” at the Bahai Shrine:

After our visit to the gardens we drove to kibbutz Hannaton. We were all very excited! All of us have heard about the role the early kibbutz pioneers played in the early history of Israel, but for many of us this was the first time actually visiting a real kibbutz.   We were particularly excited to see a living example of the “traditional” socialist society of the early state of Israel most of us had learned about in Sunday school or Jewish day school.   When arriving at the kibbutz I was immediately struck by how nice a place the kibbutz was to raise children.   Since there were no roads on the inside of the kibbutz the children could run around the kibbutz and play freely without any structured activities!

 

Imagine our surprise when we heard that the people in this kibbutz were real-life pioneers!  What? How could members of a socialist movement started one hundred years ago be pioneers?  We soon found out that this was no ordinary kibbutz.  Unlike most kibbutzim, which are primarily secular (a few kibbutzim are orthodox), this kibbutz is the first and (so far) the only kibbutz in Israel where conservative, orthodox, as well as reform Jews actively engage together in all aspects of Judaism.  How about that for pioneering! I guess a “pioneer” does not only have to be somebody who starts a new country, but also can be somebody who innovates society from within.

 

Learning about “pioneering pluralism” through an interactive activity:

 

Hummus tagline of the day:  Give chickpeas a chance!

The Technion-MIT ConnecTech program is generously funded and supported by the CJP Boston-Haifa Connection.