Shalom, Jerusalem! Shalom, Haifa!

Leaving Jerusalem and saying good-bye to my dear friend Billy

Chaim arrives, just off the plane at Ben Gurion Airport

View of the Mediterranean/Haifa port from our street. My first visit to Israel in 1981 was via ship from Brindisi, Italy to the Haifa port.

Skiing! Outdoor gym equipment in the middle of the city.

Street graffiti, Haifa

More street art

Beit HaGefen Arab-Jewish Cultural Center. Note Jewish star, cross, and crescent moon

From the fake (satiric) archaeological site “Tel Nona” in which these keys are labeled “Collection of Prayers,” Beit haGefen Art Gallery exhibit by Nona Orbach

Distant view of the Baha’i shrine at sunset

Yesterday I said good-bye to Billy, Mats, and their sweet dog Hunter, took a sherut to the airport, waited for Chaim to de-plane, greeted him with hugs and sandwiches.

We grabbed the train to Haifa, a Gett (Israeli Uber) to our Airbnb, settled in. Chaim went to sleep early, I went out to market in Hebrew: tapuchim, adashim, beitzim, agvaniot, hummus, lechem, orez, chalav.

This morning it poured, we got a late start but walked and walked.

In case you didn’t know, Haifa is hilly! We visited two art galleries, street art, two outdoor markets (Wadi Nisnas, Arab, and Talpiot, Jewish), and unexpected finds like The Women’s Courtyard, Beit haGefen: the Arab-Jewish Culture Center (which includes a children’s art museum in one building, an art gallery in another building, and an Arab-Jewish theatre in a third building), great views of the Mediterranean, an outdoor gym, and the Al Carmel Center: Education, Culture and Human Rights, housing organizations Humanity Crew (“Untreated trauma becomes silence. We are here to break that silence.”) and The Coalition Against Racism in Israel.

Did you know Haifa is the most integrated city in Israel? That that’s why I wanted to be here?

Today was unofficial touring by our wits and our whimsy. Tomorrow we take an “official” city walking tour, including the Baha’i Gardens which I haven’t visited in over 35 years.

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