Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kochav Ya'akov

Went on a trip to the settlement of Kochav Ya'akov (Jacob's Star) for a shabbaton (Shabbat gathering) with my friends from the Yeshivah. It's pretty close to Pisgat Ze'ev. You take the Ramallah Bypass road, pass through the Hizma checkpoint and into Injun Country, head north, and ten minutes later you're there.
Of course, in my case, I don't have a car, so I had to take a bus from Pisgat Ze'ev to the central bus station, where I met some of the guys from the Yeshivah. We were then handed itineraries and names of the families who would be taking us in.
We all hopped on the bus, back up through the same Jerusalem traffic I had to deal with coming in, but soon we surrounded by the rocky hilltops of the Binyamin (the land north east of Jerusalem, the inheritance of the tribe of Benjamin.)
Kochav Ya'akov, and it's sister settlement Tel Tzion, are perched on a rocky hilltop.

Tel Tzion (left) and Kochav Ya'akov (Right)

Winding our way up the access road, it took as long to get up there as it did to get from the checkpoint to here.

The traffic circle. The little building with the red roof is Chabad of Kochav Ya'akov. The buildigns in the background are Tel Tzion.

But, at long last, we arrived at the main traffic circle.

Local kids were sitting by the bus stop waiting to help us find the families who would be taking us in.

The locals waiting to greet us with paperwork and rosters

Giving directions

I took a few minutes to walk around and photograph the town before Shabbat.

The yeshivah.

New Housing

Trailers on a hilltop. This is the absorption center for new immigrants (mostly families.)

David, Binyamin, and yours truly.

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