A few days ago as I was driving through Tzomet HaGush I saw something that made me smile. Now, the Tzomet and our surrounding area have seen their share of terror and there isn’t too much to smile about in the area. But what I saw was a group of youth and young adults from Neve Chana High School painting beautiful murals on the cement barriers that are all around our area. These barriers are meant to protect people from being run over at the bus stops and to keep our soldiers safe. And while they are, certainly, important, they are obviously ugly. But there were the youth with their paint brushes and their buckets of hope, creating these beautiful scenes.
And it made me think – some of us really know how to make lemonade out of our lemons.
This is all part of a project called “Revitalizing Gush Etzion Junction.” Women in Green and residents of our area have been working tirelessly to renovate and restore the Junction and to beautify the area. They have decorated a path leading up to Givat Oz v’Gaon, which overlooks the Junction. They even added a “Welcome to Gush Etzion” sign. It’s our very own Hollywood.
As the heads of Women in Green, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, explained, “We are filled with gratitude and appreciation for the IDF soldiers who spend days and nights here to maintain the security of the residents and as part of the daily battle with terror, but nevertheless in our public domain, and especially at the central square of Gush Etzion, we wish to project an inviting and friendly sense, and this is what we wanted and succeeded to achieve with our latest campaign”.
Tomorrow, we will continue making lemonade out of lemons at a ceremony and day of events at Givat Oz v’Gaon. The nature preserve was created two years ago in memory of Gilad, Eyal and Naftali, who were kidnapped from our area and murdered not far away. The event Friday marks two years since Givat Oz was created and will include musical appearances, a few speeches, all sorts of activities for kids and more.
Come and help us to continue showing strength in our area while turning the lemons that we are given into the sweetest and strongest lemonade possible.
Photos credit Women in Green
Photo of the “Welcome to Gush Etzion” sign at night: credit Gershon Ellinson