Israel Minorities 2 Day Trip
While Israel is the Jewish state, it is not solely so. I like to show how much a mosaic Israel is. There are many minorities in Israel, and they are incredibly important to the state. Each group has its own tile represented in the mosaic of the map of Israel. This is so important to remember in order to fully understand and enjoy Israel. We will spend the next two day exploring Israel minorities in all of their capacities.
Minorities in Israel: Day 1
Walking tour of Kafr Kama: A Circassian town in Israel
Kafr Kama is one of several Circassian towns found in Israel. The Circassian community came to the land in the 19th century when it was under Ottoman control. While they are assimilated into Israeli society in many ways, they have kept many of their own traditions throughout the years as well.
- They have weddings that are specific to their culture.
- They preserve their language in their communities.
- Circassians do not wish to stay in Israel, and wait for their land to be independent again.
The best way to see this balance is through a walking tour of the city and see it for ourselves. The Circassians are an important part of the Israel Minorities mosaics.
Deir Hanna: an ancient Arab town
Deir Hanna is a northern city in the early 18th century, established by an Ottoman tax collector named Dahar el Omar. El- Omar was a tax- collector for the Ottoman Empire, and slowly rose to power, and created a sot of sub- empire of his own. At its heights, the city el Omar’s capital in this region. It was later a fortified city in the 18th century, that lasted until the 20th century. Today it is a modern Arab city with a Druze and Christian community. We will spend time to explore the remains of an 18th century Arab city meeting with a modern one.
Bahai Gardens in Haifa
The Bahai faith is one of several religions found in the city of Haifa. Why is there a Bahai community here? Haifa is a holy city in the Bahai faith, and not solely because of the famous gardens are the burial sites and headquarters of the faith. We are going to learn about the Bahai Faith and their holy sites, such as:
- the number seven (7) is a holy number to the Bahai faith
- why the gardens are so important in their faith
- what are the buildings located on the property.
Because the Bahai have communities in Haifa and Akko, and they have major conferences in Israel, the Bahai faith is yet an incredible important tile of the Israeli Minorities mosaic.
Lunch will be available in the German Colony of Haifa where there are many options to choose from! A once down trodden neighborhood, the German Colony picked itself up, restored it’s past, and added businesses and restaurants. We will have some free time to enjoy the new and modern version of Haifa’s German Colony.
Haifa’s German Colony
The German Colony of Haifa was established by the Templer Germans of the 19th century. The Templers were a Protestant group that came to Israel in order to restore the Holy Land and quicken the Second Coming of Jesus. But they also brought a little bit of home with them through construction, and agriculture. Because of their contributions, agriculture boomed, roads were widened, and relations between all communities improved.
During this part of the Israel Minorities tour, we will:
- discover their role in the society,
- learn why they designed their homes the way they did,
- see the importance of their contributions,
- and learn how they fit into Israel minorities.
Ahmadi Mosque in Haifa
Ahmadi Islam is a sect within the religion that stresses peace. They believe in a jihad of the word, and one of violence and hate. The sect originates from India, but an Ahmadi family came to Israel and began the community here in Haifa. The community grew, and became an important part of the Haifa community. We will visit the mosque, unique in its architecture, and speak with a representative from the community in order learn about this special community living peacefully within Israel. For they are really a minority of a minority in Israel.
Daliyat el Carmel tour & Druze hospitality
The Druze community of Israel is a unique and important community in the State of Israel. They serve in the Israeli army, attend Israeli universities, and participate in Israeli society. But the Druze community also has a distinct identity, with their own practices and traditions.
- Druze do not drink alcohol or smoke;
- they do not intermarry;
- they believe in 5 major prophets;
- the Druze believe in being loyal to the country they live in; they do not want a country of their own.
Daliyat el Carmel is a wonderful, living example of this special community of Israel. While the Druze community in Israel may be a well known part of Israel minorities, there is A LOT we can learn by visiting a Druze town, touring the town, and having a typical Druze dinner.
Arrive to hotel in Haifa
After our long day, we will go to our hotel in Haifa for check in and a restful evening.
Beth El Community in Zichron Ya’akov: ‘A Modern German Colony’
We will begin the second day of our Israel Minorities tour in the Beth El community. Beth El is a modern day community in Zichron Ya’akov of German Protestants.
- They work and pay their taxes,
- send their children to school and the army,
- And they believe this is the way of bring the Second Coming of Jesus faster- integrating into Israeli society.
Their modern industry is focused on air cleaners, jams, and breads. It is an interesting opportunity to learn about a community of the Israel Minorities picture that many don’t know much about. We will also have some time to buy some of their food products.
Joe Alon Center: Museum of Bedouin Culture
We will then drive to the south to the Museum of Bedouin Culture in order learn about the Bedouin population, living largely in the southern part of Israel. The museum takes us through the daily life of the Bedouin lifestyle. It is easy to think of the Bedouin lifestyle simply as a nomadic one. But there are many details of a lifestyle that can be different that we don’t even think about when we simply don’t know.
While at the museum we will aim to answer:
- Why many Bedouin men serve in the Israeli Defense Forces;
- What a Bedouin wedding looks like;
- What sets them apart from other Arabs in the Israel Minorities picture;
- and more.
With this visit, we will learn so much about a culture a bit different than our own.
In accordance with our visit at the Museum we will have a traditional Bedouin meal for lunch! Eating is as much of cultural practice as anything else, so let’s learn about the Bedouin culture the fun way!
Mamshit National Park
After our Bedouin experience, we will then continue our Israel Minorities Trip at the Mamshit National Park. What we see at the Park is something truly amazing. What becomes evident is that Israel isn’t just a diverse society today. It has been a diverse society AT LEAST since the 2nd Temple Period. How can we prove this at Mamshit? It was the site of the Nabateans, a group of spice traders originating from the Arabian Peninsula. They were originally nomads, traveling back and forth between Yemen and the port in Gaza. Slowly they settled down, converted to Christianity, and by and large disappeared in the Muslim Period of Israel. The National Park is home to the remains of one of the view places these people settled down.
Drejat walking tour
Our last stop of our two day Israel Minorities trip is Drejat, a very special town. It is an Arab town in the south, yet it is not a Bedouin town, nor a Christian Arab town, nor a solely Arab Muslim town. It is made up of people with it’s own identity with roots to the land- a sort of farming class of the Arab world. But they have links to the Bedouin and Israeli Muslim communities. One of the communities own representatives will take us through their lifestyle by showing us around his town and telling us his own personal story.
Drive to Hotel in Be’er Sheva for check in and dinner
Finally, we will end our trip driving to Be’er Sheva to check into the hotel, eating dinner, and having a relaxing evening.