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Texas, down feathers, and Samarian wine

Julie and Joe Berman from Dallas, Texas visited Ariel with a group of friends to learn about life in Samaria as they travel across Israel. This was for most of them an inside look into the stories that make the headlines: from the Arab-Israeli conflict to cutting-edge research at Ariel University. Leading up to the trip, Julie and Joe met with Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro at a “meet and greet” event held in Dallas on May 20 hosted by Ariel’s dear friend, Pamela Day.

Julie Berman

Following a geo-political overview at the Ariel Regional Center for Performing Arts, the group received a taste of the “cushy” life in Ariel at a bedding factory operating at the Ariel Barkan industrial park. They learned first-hand how down feathers are processed to manufacture some of the finest pillows and blankets sold in Israel. But the factory improves the quality of life for everyone in the region through more than just luxurious bedding. The factory provides meaningful employment for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs alike, with Palestinian Arabs comprising about 70% of the factory’s work force. They work in a spirit of co-existence, which is a familiar hallmark of the industrial park.

The Ariel newcomers were in for another surprise when they topped off the tour with a taste of Ariel University’s research wine at the outdoor wine laboratory located near the research vineyard. They raised their glasses to the cutting-edge wine research being conducted at Ariel University, which underscores the Jewish connection and return to the land of Israel.Researchers at Ariel University are on a quest to discover “King David’s wine,” by determining the land of Israel’s indigenous grape species.

We look forward to building our relationship with our new friends from Texas. “L’chayim.”