On March 18, 2015, Heather and Bruce Johnston returned to Ariel with friends from across the United States for a tour of Ariel, with a focus on future plans for expanding the Ariel National Center for Leadership Development (ANCLD). Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro laid out the vision of a City whose education system inspires future leaders, of which the ANCLD will play a crucial role. They topped off their day with a delightful performance of new dances by the Ariel International Folk Dance Troupe and a surprise visit by Avi Zimmerman, who came back just in time from reserve duty to greet them at Cafe Cafe.
Another delegation affiliated with JH Israel, this time from Birmingham, AL, came for a day tour of Ariel on April 22 to learn about the City, have lunch with the Mayor, and understand the vision of the Ariel National Center for Leadership Development.
On March 24, 2015, the Second Annual Frank Gaffney and Tom Trento fact-finding expedition to Israel rounded out its geopolitical studies with a visit to Ariel led by Avi Zimmerman. The visit provided participants with an understanding of Ariel’s strategic importance to Israel as well as the City’s contributions to cutting-edge research in the area of grape and wine production. At Ariel University’s winery lab, they raised their wine glasses to studies being conducted to find the indigenous grape species used to make wine in ancient Israel. We look forward to their return.
About a month later, on April 27, the next delegation of the Heritage Study Program, this one led by Ron Wexler and distinguished historian and Director of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, spent their first day in Israel at Ariel for a geopolitical overview, a visit to the Ariel Industrial Park, and a l’chayim over glasses of Ariel University research wine.
Maranatha Chapel, San Diego, and Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa
Ariel’s dear friends from Southern California rode into Ariel on April 28 in four buses to get a feel of the City of Samaria and its historic, religious, and national significance. The delegations were led by Pastor Ray Bentley and his wife Vicky of Maranatha Chapel and Pastor Brian Brodersen and his wife Cheryl of Costa Mesa Calvary chapel. Pastor Ray regaled the 160 delegates about his first encounter with Ariel’s visionary mayor, the late Ron Nachman, and how their partnership with the City of Ariel fulfills Biblical prophecy that vineyards will yet again be planted in Samaria. Ron’s wife, Dorith, told the story of Ariel’s founding at the Ariel National Center for Leadership Development. At Ariel University, the delegates got to experience Biblical prophecy by tasting research wine that Ariel University’s very own wine researchers had developed using grapes grown in Samaria.