This past Sunday a special music concert featuring Yehoram Gaon was held in Northern Samaria in the ancient city of Shomron known as Sabastia. There are periods of history when Sebastia surpassed the size and richness of Jerusalem with many of her magnificent buildings still standing today. The city was first built by Omri during the First Temple period some 2900 years ago. The Cardo of this major metropolis had over 600 marble pillars running along a street miles long and over 13 meters wide. On both sides of this street stores serviced the thousands of people that lived there and in the Shomron. For arts and culture people would gather in the theater and amphitheater – these gorgeous buildings still stand today! Josephus testified to the walls of this city that were fortified by Herod. Sebastia is termed the Ceasaria of the Shomron. Unfortunately there is not much access to this site today since the Oslo accords have become implemented but nevertheless it is termed a national park and preserved by Israeli authorities who grant an entry a few times a year.
Every year the Itamar community runs a special summer camp program that provides activities for over 200 children and teenagers. This year part of our program includes putting our young teens to work. It includes beautifying the Itamar forest and turning it into a beautiful tourist attraction. This will be done with the help of professional carpenters and guides that will teach our youth how make pathways, build outdoor swings, and other rides for children. In turn our youth will be paid for the work they do. This special program with keep our children busy and out of trouble during the long summer vacation. This is only part of our rich summer program that includes many other educational and fun experiences. Some of these include hiking and camping trips, rafting, swimming, shows and interesting lectures. Our younger children will have a special program as well with full time counselors leading them.
We want to thank our dear friend Eddie Wunsch who has personally adopted this important project by galvanizing his special community, Anshey Chesed, from the 5 towns of New York and every year helps subsidize the project which requires a lot of resources. I am happy to say that Hashem has blessed our community which has grown over the years and we are in need of additional sponsors as well. Anyone interested in being part of this program click here for instructions how to donate.
We had a very special visitor this week from Nashville Tennessee, actress and filmmaker Jill Melody who came to show her solidarity with the heart of Israel and research for her next film, “Going Down.”