Meeting on the Israel National Trail 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016 12:47 PM

“Bridges over Streams”

The next walk in the Meeting on the Israel National Trail series, which is now in its 11th year, will take place from Feb 29th until April 27th, 2016. This is the third year that the event has been held with the support and participation of KKL-JNF.

Israel trail. Photo: Pnina Livni
The Meeting on the Israel National Trail initiative was launched in 2004 by the Afner family in memory of their son Avi, who fell in the Shaar Yishuv helicopter disaster in Upper Galilee. Since then the initiative has broadened, and today the event is held in memory of all those who fell in Israel’s wars, and victims of terrorism, too, are commemorated: all in all, a cross section of Israeli society. So far tens of thousands of walkers have taken part.

The walk is designed to be a meaningful event that will link the participants more closely with Israel’s walking trails in general and with the Israel Trail in particular. At the same time, the walk enables participants to conduct a dialogue on profound issues concerning Israeli society, culture and heritage while recognizing both the differences that divide Israelis and the shared feelings that unite them.

Most participants are private individuals, families and small groups, who walk between fifteen and twenty kilometers each day. Every day along the way, fallen IDF soldiers and victims of terrorism are commemorated, and study workshops on Jewish-Israeli culture are held. In addition, and the walkers take part in dialogue and structured debates designed to help them strengthen their ties, deepen their insight and accept the “other.” Each day concludes with a session linked either to the locality, to the personality who has come to meet them, to a personal or community project, or to the time and date of the walk.

This year will be the third occasion that the walk has taken place with the support and participation of KKL-JNF, and the title this year is Bridges over Streams. The event is constructed upon three cornerstones:
Memorial: Fallen IDF soldiers and victims of terrorism are commemorated each day.
Renewal: Renewing acquaintance with other walkers, getting to know new people and holding study workshops on Jewish-Israeli culture.
Dialogue: Throughout the walk, both structured (debating circles) and unstructured multi-generational and multi-cultural dialogues are held in order to help participants strengthen their links, improve their insight and accept one another, whatever their differences of opinion may be.

The walk will begin in Eilat and make its way north via the Eilat Hills, Mount Shlomo, Shehoret Canyon, Nahal Tzfunot, Timna Park, Mitzpeh Ramon, Avdat Heights (Ramat Avdat), Nahal Zinn, Karbolet, Nahal Mahar, the Judean Desert, Nahal Tzeelim, Mount Amsha, Yatir Forest, Lahav Forest, the Pura Nature Reserve and Lachish.

In central Israel the walk with pass through Mitzpeh Massua, the Elah Valley (Emeq HaElah), Jerusalem, the Burma Road, the Ayalon Valley, Mitzpeh Modiin, HaYarkon Park, the coastline and Nahal Alexander.

In the north the route will be as follows: Zichron Yaakov, Mount Carmel, Alonei Tivon, Nahal Tzippori, Mount Tabor, Mitzpeh Elot, Nahal Yavniel, Mount Atzmon, Camel Hill (Har Gamal), Kishor, Gush Halav, Dalton Heights (Ramat Dalton), Nahal Dishon, Biriya Forest, the mountainous Jordan (HaYarden HaHarari) and the Hula Valley, concluding in Shaar Yishuv.

For further information please visit the Meeting on the Israel Trail website (Hebrew), where you can also sign up.