Filmed and produced by Fran and Brooke Reidelberger
Scripted and narrated by Fran Reidelberger
Some people say Israel is a land as venerable as the bible and as vibrant as today’s newspaper headlines. Accorded formal nation status in 1948, Israel is certainly a part of the world that has known uncommon turmoil for over 2,000 years, with alternate periods of calm and violence and appears headed for more of the same.
Their “Israel Today!” is a timely, new look at this tiny but vitally important place. The film was produced and the show is presented with a hope for peace and prosperity, which the vast majority of people in the region desperately desire and richly deserve.
- TEL AVIV - Israel’s largest city with more than a million inhabitants and the country’s largest resort with high rise hotels, fine restaurants, world class beach, sailing, ancient markets, internet cafes, modern universities, museums, gardens -- and traffic! Celebrate Independence Day and Memorial Day and visit nearby Jaffa.
- HERZLIYYA - Tour Israel’s answer to California’s Silicon Valley. Almost every high tech company in the world, including some born in Israel, operates in this rapidly growing town.
- NETANYA - Watch skilled artisans change rough diamonds into elegant jewelry at Netanya’s National Diamond Center.
- CAESAREA - Walk in the footsteps of the conquering Romans and touch the ancient remains of their aqueducts and amphitheaters.
- KIBBUTZIM - Experience the laid back lifestyle of those who inhabit the kibbutz communities throughout Israel. Agriculture, education, the arts and religion are all part of the scene.
- ARMAGEDDON - Known alternately as Megiddo, this biblical site is where many people believe the final battle of civilization will be fought as the forces of “good” conquer the forces of “evil”.
- AKKO - Besieged and influenced by everyone from the Visigoths to the Crusaders and beyond, this historic Arabtown is a visual delight.
- HAIFA - See the country’s second largest seaport, the Bahai faith’s international headquarters, and Haifa’s sculpture-laden Peace Park. Meet the person who created the sculptures.
- DRUZEVILLAGE - Admire the work of master weavers, meet the non-Muslim Arab inhabitants of Daliat-el-Carmel, and marvel at the beauty of a nearby nature reserve.
- NAZARETH - Visit the town where Jesus grew up and see Mary’s Well, Basilica of the Annunciation, and Church of Jesus the Adolescent.
- SEA OF GALILEE - Sail on Israel’s largest body of fresh water to visit some of Christianity’s most important holy sites near Tiberias.
- HULA VALLEY - Learn about the conversion of a swamp into Israel’s 10,000-acre “bread basket” and the reintroduction of once indigenous wildlife.
- METULLA - Proceed with caution in this exceptionally pretty but heavily patrolled northernmost town precariously perched on the border of Lebanon.
- ELAT - Play on the beach and scuba dive in the crystal clear water of this increasingly popular and luxurious Red Sea resort.
- NEGEV DESERT - Enjoy the dramatic beauty of this unforgiving environment that represents almost 50 percent of Israel’s land mass. Learn how today’s residents are reinventing and refining ancient water systems to turn the desert “green” at places like Sde Boker. Meet the nomadic Bedouins and their camels.
- BEER SHEBA - Absorb the sights and sounds of the weekly Bedouin market where you can bargain for sheep, camels, clothing and other treasures.
- DEADSEA - Experience the curative powers of “black mud” and floating in the salty waters and learn about the area’s multi-billion dollar chemical mining industry.
- MASADA - Brave the 100-degree summer heat and climb to this desert fortress, 1,000 feet above the Dead Sea surface. Built by King Herod some 2,000 years ago, some believe this fortress was witness to the largest mass suicide in history.
- JERUSALEM - Compare and contrast the “old” and “new” parts of this ancient holy city, home to important shrines for all three of the world’s monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Sites featured are Islam’s Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque, Christianity’s Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa and Garden Tomb, and Judaism’s Second Temple, “Wailing Wall” and Yad Vashem. Other features include the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City, the Arab market, Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum, the Knesset, and urban development in modern West Jerusalem.
- BETHLEHEM - Not officially recognized as being part of Israel today, the town where Jesus was supposedly born remains an important stop for any visitor to this sacred land. Attend mass at the Church of the Nativity and see the “crib” where Mary gave birth.