City Organizer: Batya Roded
Walk Leader: Anat Raskin
Text by: Batya Roded
Photographs by: Batya Roded, Bella Zamir, and Tova Mark
“Here a city will rise, we said to each other, and here, where our feet are standing, the city’s water tower will rise … We were drunk from the landscape, from the clear dry air and from the feeling of the primacy and the primacy of the environment. In our mind’s eye, we saw the city as just as a Fata Morgana.”
Thus wrote Luba Eliav, the initiator of the idea of the establishment of Arad in 1960. As part of our fifth annual Jane’s Walk festival, we climbed the hill called Giv’at Kefud (“spark”), whose name originates in the Bible. The hill is 640 meters high – the highest point in Arad. All the neighborhoods of the city and beyond, as envisioned by its founders, are visible from the hill. Despite its historic importance to the city, Kedud Hill stands in desolation, surrounded by large water pools fenced in with barbed wire and decorated with paintings by Arad resident and architect Vadim Zaslavsky.
This is a neglected corner of the city, despite its central location. So we chose it for our tour, to draw attention to its importance. We began with the pioneer dance, Hora, in the spirit of its founders. The teacher with her dance group swept the audience along. We heard from the second mayor of Arad how the first settlers received their water from an oil pipeline, and only years later the water system was connected to the water drilled from a well at the Shoket junction, delicious and clear water. We discovered that there is no plan for the hill and we hope that the tour will stimulate the idea of doing something that will respect its historical value. We ended the walk receiving the Shabbath at Anat’s house, near the hill. We ate snacks in the yard and sang together with her mother, her uncle, and Yossi, who accompanied the singing with an accordion.
This marked another year of Jane’s walks in the city and added layers of knowledge, excitement and experiences that strengthen the connection of the residents to our place at the edge of the desert and the presence of the Dead Sea.