“What is Israel to you?”
This was the question I posed to Jeff when we first spoke on the phone, three months before he brought his four children to Israel for the first time.
“It is important to me that my children love Israel and appreciate the unique connection we have as Jews to the land of Israel and its people.”
Jeff went on to explain that his eldest son was a talented ice hockey player. “I know that Israel is not exactly the place for ice hockey, but maybe you could find somewhere in Israel where ice hockey is played? As for me,” Jeff continued, “I have been researching for years the stories of volunteers who came from overseas to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. I am in the middle of a book about two such pilots who died in the war. Do you think we could find their graves?”
Well, in response to the ice hockey, it’s true that we live in the desert, but that did not stop us from attending an ice hockey game for the Canada-Israel Ice Hockey Group. This was easily one of the major highlights for Jeff’s son.
As for the fighter pilots? I brought Jeff and his family to the military cemetery in Haifa, on Israel’s northern coast. We spent over an hour looking for the gravestones and these two fallen soldiers. Just as we were about to call it quits, Jeff’s son ran up to us and exclaimed that he had found the stone for Leonard Fitchett, one of the pilots in Jeff’s book.
During their vacation, we rode camels, went on water hikes, feasted in a bedouin tent and saw countless breathtaking sites throughout the country. I have no doubt that Jeff’s children left the country feeling a strong connection for this country and her people. Don’t believe me?
Click here to see them “Move it” in Israel!