San Diego - Sha'ar HaNegev Teacher Exchange

The old walled city showed us:

layers of mosaic, walls of white
stone, orthodox boys pushing
and tripping an Arab boy,
men and women rocking in prayer
at the kotel, heads covered,
placing prayers in cracks
and backing away.

Vivaldi's Spring sang
from the violin of an old woman
whose case filled with clinking
silver and brass.

Catacombs of merchants
in the Muslim quarter
invited us to buy.
We walked where 1,000's
have walked, rough stones polished
smooth and shiny from many feet.

Herod's palace laced with Escher-like
mosaic designs caught us as quickly
as the bright laundry drying on taut
lines stretched from window to window,
flapping up to reach aerial antennae
and satellite dishes.

Father, son, and camel looked in our
tour-bus window.

Children rode a white donkey down
Mt. Zion to a lush, green park
in the valley where Canaanites
sacrificed humans.

And everywhere pilgrims of sorts:
trying to capture this juxtaposition
called Jerusalem.

Melissa McKinstry

For more information

Virtual Tour of Jerusalem - - Contains links to the Jerusalem Gates, Holy Sites, Chagall Windows, and Jerusalem Mosaics.

The Jerusalem Post Newspaper: Online News from Israel - - This site has everything you would expect from a large online newspaper: Front page, news, business, opinion, columns, features, sports, books, tourism, etc.

The following are links to sketches and personal narratives
created during our travels

Collaboration | David Ben-Gurion's Negev and a Bedouin Camp |
Druze Village | Golan Heights | Kiryat Shmona | Misgav-Am |
Yad Vashem | Zippori

Photos | Program Goals | WriteDesign Gallery |
E-Mail Doug at and Melissa at