Morning greeting from JaneMorning greeting from JaneThe day began with a greeting and orientation with Jane Hansen-Hoyt, then the group was split up between First Time Participants and Return Participants.

First Timers visited the Palmach Museum, which tells the story of the Israel Defense Forces before, and leading up to the Declaration of the States Israel.

0402-munitions-factory-above-groundMunitions factory above groundReturn Participants, including 45 young people ages 18 to 20, visited Machon Ayalon, an underground secret munition factory, which operated prior to the War of Independence manufacturing bullets for the Haganah.

0402-munitions-factory-below-groundMunitions factory below groundThis facility helped produce the bullets to defend against Arab attacks, and helped to prepare the newly forming Israeli army. The factory was hidden beneath a kibbutz defying the British ban on arming Jews.  Above ground the factory was concealed by a bakery and a laundry facility.  This work was hidden even from the first kibbutz members, and was located near a British military encampment.

0402-independence-hallHall of IndependenceThe day ended for all in Tel Aviv at Independence Hall where Ben Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

Then the groups traveled north to their hotel in Tiberius, on the Sea of Galilee, where they will spend the next two nights.