Students on the CAMERA Birthright bus from Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore had the unique opportunity this winter in meeting with Dr. Israel Kimhi. Hailing from the Jerusalem Institute, Dr. Kimhi is an expert on Jerusalem, speaking with our CAMERA group in Israel every June.
The security barrier between Palestinian and Israeli areas is a subject that is often filled with inaccuracies. Rabbi Eli, the Chabad rabbi of the Tri-College Consortium, reached out to Dr. Kimhi with CAMERA’s help as it was recognized that there is a need for an accurate, unbiased analysis of the security barrier.
The Jerusalem Institute opened its office just for the group, presented to the students for an hour on the intricate details and issues surrounding Jerusalem and its inhabitants, with Dr. Kimhi giving the students and hour and half long tour on his day off. Aviva Slomich, CAMERA’s Campus Coordinator, attended this seminar, introducing CAMERA’s mission and initiatives on campus.
The geo-political tour of Jerusalem included a visit to the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, drives by the cement part of the security barrier, and learning about the holy basin from a high point in East Talpiyot. This was followed by Aviva briefly discussing a recent issue in the news regarding building in Jerusalem and CAMERA analysis of the situation. Many Birthright trips do not have the opportunity to learn about security related matters in Jerusalem, and meeting with one of the worlds’ experts in Jerusalem’s city planning is a real rarity.
The tour guide, Rabbi Eli and another madrich, all had positive remarks about the presentation as well as the students, who had wanted more time to discuss what they had learned.