The following article is from Ray Minor, Ph.D., a former National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) director, and a program officer at the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio. The article describes his recent visit to Israel to present lectures on the topic of civic education. Below the article you can view a gallery of photos from his trip.
I was invited to Israel by Debbie Hellerstein, Head of International Relations Department, and Jacky Zvulun, Academic College faculty member and Kettering Associate to lecture on civic education, democratic citizenship and American politics. The trip took place in May 2017. Considering that this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I sponsored my wife Wanda to travel with me. The trip was a week endeavor chalked full of activities. We flew from Columbus to Newark to Tel Aviv.
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, we were greeted at the airport by our gracious host Jacky. Jacky gave us a swift tour of parts of Tel Aviv including passing by the American Embassy in route to our hotel in Netanya. I was appalled by how western the two cities looked. Both had modern highways with corporate offices and shopping centers along them. No camels! The city streets were ornate with palm trees and flowers similar to Los Angeles and Miami. The hotel was perched on a mount overlooking the emerald waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
I lectured twice at the Academic College at Wingate and once at the Interdisciplinary College (IDC). Professor Yair Galily, Head of Communications at IDC invited me to lecture on American politics. Wanda participated in the lectures as well. We had guided tours to a 900 year old Monastery, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea. Ok, Wanda rode a camel near the Dead Sea (especially for tourists willing to pay 20 Shekels). We both plunged into the Dead Sea after spending 3 hours at King Herod’s Kingdom on a rock mountain (elevation 800 to 1000 feet). The Israeli breakfasts were delightful and bountiful. The hospitality was magnificent. The trip was amazing and informative.