Blair Underwood is now in Israel as part of an America’s Voices private trip. This trip is being co sponsored with the Ministry of Tourism and the Hasbara Ministry of the Prime Ministers Office.
Upon arriving to Israel, Blair met with Miss Mehereta Baruch Deputy Mayor of Tel-Aviv at his hotel. Mehereta is an Ethiopian Jew and came to Israel with her family. She arrived in Israel at age 10 without her parents, who followed years later and now she is the Deputy Mayor of a major city like Tel Aviv.
During his second day, Blair toured a military base in Tel Aviv. Growing up in a military family, he always had tremendous respect for military personnel. Underwood especially admired the fact that every young person in the State of Israel must spend (3 years for boys and 2 years for girls), in The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
After the military base, we drove to Haifa and stopped to check out the Baha’i Gardens. The Baha’i Gardens in Haifa comprise a staircase on nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The geometry of the complex is built around the axis connecting it with the City of “Akko, which also has great historical and sacred significance for Baha’is. At it’s heart stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Bab, which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Baha’i Faith.
Next we visited the RAMBAM Health Care Campus in Haifi where Professor Beyar, Rambam’s Director General and CEO and Dr. Karl Skorecki,were generous enough with their time, to give us a tour and share some of the groundbreaking research being done there. Blair was blown away in hearing of the research progress they are making to prevent kidney disease and its complications in African ancestry populations.
Blair then visited the incredible Sammy Ofer Underground Emergency Hospital. After missiles relentlessly attacked the hospital in 2006, the administrators vowed to be prepared if. The result is an underground facility unlike any you’ve ever seen. When it open in the Spring, they will have a completely sustainable underground hospital if they were to be attacked physically or with chemical weapons. The facility is three stories deep and can be hermitically sealed in the case of chemical warfare.
The day ended with an hour and a half drive to Tiberias along the Sea of Galilee, where we hunkered down for the night, but only after an incredible meal at a restaurant called “DECKS.” On the way out, Blair ran into a nice group from his home state of Virginia!