Go-coast is a volunteer program managed by North Coast ESRA. It was created by olim, for olim. It is for those who have chosen to make aliyah to the north coast of Israel. This includes the Qrayot (Krayot), Ako, Nahariya, Ma'alot and the borderline area (Shlomi, Rosh haNikra, et al).
During the past few weeks my wife I did a lot of touring: the Old City's tunnels, the Old City's walls, the Moslem Quarter, Rachel's Tomb, Hevron and Kiryat Arba, and day trips to Tzefat, Rosh Hanikra and Kesariya. In the Moslem Quarter we saw 3 yeshivas, one with 180 students, and we also saw a Young Israel synagogue. This is the last place I expected to see anything Jewish and it was inspiring.
The trip to Hevron was the most emotional. Hevron has a population of 130,000 Arabs and about 500 Jews. There is ongoing violence, but for the IDF there would be no Jews at all. Without going into detail, it has been that way for quite a while. The most poignant stop in Hevron was a visit to the ShalhevetPass synagogue. ShalhevetPass was a 10 month old toddler who was shot by a sniper while she was in her stroller. That was enough to put tears in your eyes.
But get this, immediately after visiting the synagogue I saw a bunch of little kids playing together. I took their picture which is attached. Their presence took away some of the sadness, and more importantly said something about the resiliency of our people. This is not a religious thing; it is a people thing. There is an Israeli writer; his name is A. B. Yehoshua who comments about the risks that are taken here – something to the effect that Israelis live on the brink of the abyss, and know how to do it. I would agree. It is good to be here; without getting over dramatic, living in Israel is rewarding; it is purposeful.