I can’t tell you how incredibility amazing today was! Dr. Abe Dorevitch '62 PHARM created a day for us that was simply unbelievable! Our tour operator, Go Next, helped me arrange a private bus to transfer our EXPLORERS group from the ship. I think we all felt very special to have our own private excursion all set up!
We met him outside the parliament building and journeyed to the Mormon University on the Mountain of Olives – what an amazing building! We watched a short film about the history of the campus (they currently have 80 students there) and were guided into the most magnificent concert hall with floor-to-floor windows facing out to all of Jerusalem. We had a brief introduction to learn about the room and the massive organ and were treated to three short pieces (one was by Bach, but I didn’t catch the composers of the other two pieces). It was splendid! Then we visited their gallery, which contained beautiful mosaic art, followed by a walk in their biblical garden. The panoramic views of Jerusalem were unbelievable. After all of our tours during the last few days with hundreds of people, only our small alumni group visited this breathtaking site on our own, and it was not only glorious but also very serene.
We later visited a small café at Hebrew University, where Abe arranged lunch for us. We sat outside and had a wonderful conversation. Abe told us about his life growing up in Chicago, attending pharmacy school (following his father, class of 1943, and older brother, class of 1953, to the University of Illinois) and practicing in Chicago for a few years. He decided he needed to help and make a difference after the six-day war happened, so he came to Israel. He discussed his life with us, big events like being drafted to the Israeli Army, getting married, having two children (a boy and girl), working at a psychiatric hospital in Jerusalem as a clinical pharmacist, to discussing his most current position as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Hebrew University. In between these accounts, he shared personal stories about different points of history and what it has been like to be an Israeli citizen. (On a side note, he and his children hold dual citizenship in the United States and file taxes every year and vote in every presidential election.) One very touching moment was when he described Memorial Day in Israel and how the citizens observe the day – it is touching and very different from our observances in the U.S.
Abe has lived, loved and fought for this country for 42 years. This day of personal interaction with him was beyond any travel experience that we might ever have anticipated. To see the country is one thing, but to hear about it and envision it through his eyes has made our stay so much more memorable. All of the alumni that joined us today talked about what an unforgettable time they had, and I'm personally grateful that he met with us and shared such beautiful sites and stories. I was so moved by this special experience, and I truly believe it has changed my thoughts and perspectives for the better.