It’s hard to believe that, though I’ve already been living in Israel for 8 years, I still discover incredible flavours, become inspired by new people, and travel to new areas of the country, all while feeling the permanence of home. A native Canadian, I picked up my life at the age of 43 and, together with my husband and three boys, arrived in Raanana for a family year abroad. I realized quite quickly how little I knew about this place, and that each day provided a new opportunity to experience newness. I cherished each and every outing.
The more of these experiences I have, the more I want to experience. They are infectious! And I’m blessed to have the opportunity to share my collection of treasured spots with a small and intimate group of women each year through Shefa: A Women’s Journey. During this 9-day trip, we travel as a sisterhood through the country breaking bread with local women who make meaningful and impactful contributions to society, while surrounding ourselves with the stunning views, flavours, and biblical stories that seem to come to life before our eyes. In Hebrew, Shefa means “abundance”, which is apparent throughout the trip, in each visit, each activity, each interaction throughout the week.
In its fourth year, Shefa: A Women’s Journey brought together a group of 10 diverse women from all ages and far away places who opt in to a collective experience. From the moment we stepped off the bus, we delved deep into neighborhoods to experiment, learn, ride, cook, dance, taste, feel and process together this beautiful place called Israel. Each day was curated to spark curiosity and joy and to ultimately create lasting memories with new women friends. How often can you Gaga dance in the center of Tel Aviv with the dancers from the Batsheva Dance Company, cook maqluba together with Arab Israeli women in Akko, or sip Chardonnay at Bat Shlomo Winery, made from locally grown grapes and harvested by at-risk youth who are learning about responsibility through a social business?
I believe that the people who continuously choose to love and make Israel a part of their lives in either a full- or part-time capacity, contribute a special light to this country. Intention is powerful, and so many people from all parts of the world connect to this ancient land. It is clear to me that the magic technique of “giving back” simultaneously nourishes our soul and contributes to the consistent and miraculous growth of this unique country.
To learn more about Shefa, and other Israel experiences, please visit www.viasabra.com.