American Friends of Ariel – in partnership with the City of Ariel – offers custom-built tours for visiting groups and individuals.
Tours are offered free of charge, excluding meal costs and entry fees for a select number of facilities; these facilities are marked in the Landmarks section with an asterisk (*). With that in mind, visitors are encouraged to make a voluntary donation to the Friends of Ariel organization.
Tours include opening remarks about the City of Ariel, with an introduction to Ariel’s history – past, present, and future – and time for a Q & A session with participants.
While every tour is unique and geared to the visitors’ interests, the following is a sample of some popular themes:
- Ariel as a Start-Up City – The founders of Ariel built a modern-day capital of Samaria in just 40 years – and created a city of leading initiatives with limited resources. Since 1978, Ariel’s residents have embodied an authentic pioneering spirit – turning the topographic, geographic and inter-populational challenges of their environment into a breeding ground for innovation and opportunity. Explore Ariel’s business, academic and social start-ups from one of the city to the next.
- Regional Coexistence – Ariel maintains a consensus status with regards to international diplomacy, as an Israeli city that will forever remain part and parcel of Israel; however governments may choose to proceed, Ariel will play a critical role in the terms of interaction between and among the different populations of the region. Notwithstanding attempts to boycott the city and its achievements, Ariel residents continue to work side-by-side with Palestinian Arab neighbors to create a positive ecosystem that promotes mutual growth in the region. Meet Ariel residents, address the pressing issues of today, and join a creative conversation for tomorrow.
- Heritage tours explore the Jewish connection to Samaria, following the extensive multi-millennial historic arc from past to present to future.
The following is a shortlist of some landmarks that can be incorporated when crafting your itinerary:
- Ariel Industrial Park (AIP) – Appreciate the size and impact of Ariel’s domestic and international industries. Discover where Israelis and Palestinian Arabs work side by side. Identify the threats, failures and ramifications of the boycott movement.
- Ariel Center for the Performing Arts (ARCPA) – Months before its 2010 opening, the Center for the Performing Arts was centerstage amidst a media firestorm when 36 actors and playwrights declared that they would not appear in Ariel due to their political views. Learn about the amplified boomerang effect that put Ariel’s cultural offerings on the map with 185 annual performances at the Center alone. Sink into the red velvet chairs for a fresh look at the city’s broad services. Understand how Ariel functions as a regional hub for tens of neighboring communities.
- Ariel University is Israel’s newest university, with 16,000 students. The biggest employer in the region and a world unto itself, visitors can meet faculty, students, tour the campus and discover exciting research projects unparalleled anywhere else.
- The Holocaust and Heroism Memorial Museum – A Holocaust museum unlike any other, this facility is the Yad VaShem recognized Lifetime Achievement Yaakov (“Kuba”) Wadilowsky (of blessed memory) and his wife Irena. Their mission: to preserve the personal stories of the heroes of the Holocaust through a delicate mix personal insights, access to rare artifacts and home hospitality.
- The Randolph A. Hearst Sheltered Workshop – A pioneering facility, successfully integrating people with disabilities with factory employees in a shared workspace, the Workshop recently celebrated its 25 year anniversary. The facility teaches volumes about immigrant absorption, multi-generational integration, disability accessibility, business and social entrepreneurship and the value of self-worth and personal dignity. A brief tour is sure to bring a smile to your face.
- Ariel National Center for Leadership Development (ANCLD)* – Israel’s foremost informal education leadership center, the ANCLD instills participants with confidence, self-esteem, and ambition. Trainees develop interpersonal and group dynamics through the challenging ropes courses, while drawing inspiration from Israel’s leadership figures throughout the generations. ANCLD trains over 6,000 people per year. The facility is well suited to provide purpose and value to your visiting group.
- The Ariel Pioneers Museum and Ron Nachman Legacy Center – Ron Nachman, Ariel’s founding father and longstanding mayor, had envisioned Ariel as a regional hub and full fledged city. He passed away in 2013, a few short weeks after Ariel University was recognized as Israel’s eighth and newest university. The Museum and Center provide an overview of the city’s modern history, with a breathtaking view of Ariel and its surroundings.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your tour today.