When Birthright meet Paratrek
On Wednesday, a Birthright group from Canada hiked Mount Meiron with Arnon, a wheelchair-bound IDF veteran who rode our trekker. During the hike, they learned about overcoming challenges and coping with their own difficulties and successfully handling them!
Noam Arbel, Educational Director of CIE in Israel: "Our program has served tens of thousands of participants from the Jewish community of Canada over the years and we continuously aim to create meaningful experiences that foster Jewish identity, connections with Israel and a stronger sense of community. Teaming up with Paratrek has given us a wonderful opportunity to do just that - connecting to the land on foot and to wonderful people, regardless of disabilities and backgrounds. Our first hike with our Paratrek guide Nadav and new friend Arnon gave our participants an unforgettable experience of real live Israel and the social innovation that can truly make it a light unto the nations. We took home a message that everyone can and should be included in our community life, and that it makes all of us stronger when share the experience together!"
One of Birthright participant shared with us: "I really enjoyed my experience. I think meeting with Arnon opened my eyes to the fact that people with disabilities are people first. I held a really nice conversation with him where I got to know him as a person. It also opened my eyes to the fact that we all have disabilities whether you can see them or not and made me reflect about things about myself. Even as able bodied and healthy as I am, some limitations that I myself have within me and it was a really eye opening experience that I thoroughly enjoyed".
Another partipant said: "My experience was amazing. The hike in general was fantastic. just like experiencing Israel and seeing it from different spots of the mountain was amazing. Using the technology as a team was fantastic just like bonding with each other just really learning how to use the technology that you guys made was fantastic!"