Israel Trip Blog - Fall 2017

Israel Trip – Day 0

Jaffa

I had the day to myself before the trip officially started with the U.S. Chamber the following day. I walked to the ancient port city of Jaffa on the ocean front promenade that connects it to Tel-Aviv. Jaffa is one of the world’s oldest ports, it might even be the oldest. In fact, the port of Jaffa is where, in the Bible, Jonah set off to sea only to be swallowed by the whale. Jaffa is covered in cobblestone streets and centuries old buildings that line narrow roads. I wandered over to the Jaffa Flea Market and tried my hand at bargaining for some tchotchkes to take home as souvenirs. Bargaining is so prevalent here, I was advised to never agree to the first price a seller demands.

Jaffa Gallery

Picture of a typical Shabbat dinner.

As the day came to an end, the sun began to set marking the beginning of Shabbat. Shabbat is the Sabbath in Judaism which is observed from sunset on Friday evening until the following evening on Saturday. Shabbat observance entails refraining from work activities and engaging in restfulness and is typically begun with a dinner with one’s family on Friday evening.

I was fortunate to be invited to the Jerusalem home of the former director of the California Trade and Investment Office in Israel, Sherwin Pomerantz, for Shabbat dinner. Mr. Pomerantz currently is the President of EDI and also serves on the board of the Israel American Chamber of Commerce.

EDI provides clients with specialized research, intelligence, and strategies that can help facilitate their businesses in the Middle East and beyond. EDI serves as the regional trade and investment representative office for Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. EDI also does consulting services for the state of Virginia, several European countries, and serves as the Israeli consultant to Invest Hong Kong. EDI also provides many other services to its clientele.

The Sabbath started on Friday evening in Jerusalem promptly at 5:19 PM, sunset.  Many observant Jews in Israel do not use technology during Shabbat, so I had to wisely plan ahead my travel arrangements to get to and from Jerusalem for the evening.

The drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was quiet with little traffic. The hills of Jerusalem were pretty with the sun setting. The dinner was a special treat with the ceremonies singing and the abundance of good food and good conversation. (A high speed train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is scheduled  for completion in the near future).

Day 1

Arriving In Israel

Susanne-Stirling-2012-300x300Blog By
(Mrs.) Susanne Stirling

Vice President, International Affairs
susanne.stirling@calchamber.com