Current Issue May 2019
Tours with the Editor
Roads and Energy
We have dedicated the fourth issue in our Israel at 70 series to the creation of Israeli infrastructure, focusing mainly on the story of the Israel Electric Company. It is a fascinating narrative springing from the vision of one man – most likely inspired by Theodor Herzl’s book Altneuland – to attempt to produce hydroelectricity from the Jordan River. The generations that followed him sought a solution to the oil embargo on Israel and are spearheading the transition to natural gas after the discovery of the giant gas reservoirs in Israel’s coastal waters.
The second infrastructure story is about the paving of the road to Eilat. Today, as cars whizz down the highway, nobody remembers that until the 1950s, the only way to reach the vicinity of the city of Eilat (which was founded in 1952) was via a dirt track and a 12-hour journey in a four-wheel-drive vehicle from Beersheba. Attacks from across the border sent planners to look for an alternative route through the Negev mountains. That alternative served as the main road to Eilat until the 1980s, when the road that we know today, Route 90 through the Arava, was finally paved.
An old graffiti inscription in one of the cisterns of Masada – the only such inscription that still remains – is a reminder of the those heady days in the 1940s when the two-day hike to the mountain followed by a week-long, youth-movement desert seminar was the order of the day. That period shaped the ethos and importance that the tiyul (the hike) and the madrich (the guide) have in today’s Israeli culture; the popularity of the approximately 1,000-kilometer Israel Trail is one of its outcomes.
Happy Passover from all of us at ERETZ Magazine,
The ERETZ Magazine Story
Eretz Magazine was the brainchild of two Israelis and an American: Yadin Roman, Dita Kohl and Lenny Zakim. Roman, at the time head of the Israel Ministry of Tourism Guide School, and Zakim, the Anti-Defamation League’s New England Regional Director, had been collaborating on bringing groups of up-and-coming political decision makers to Israel organized by the ADL and a magazine about Israel was a natural outcome.
From the very beginning ERETZ was always on the forefront of technology. Our website was up in 1999, internet podcasts were started in 2003, and ERETZ guides were on sale in digital formats over a decade ago.
But, with all the new gadgetry and innovation, from website to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (and we are represented on all of them), we have remained a proud print magazine presenting our stories in the best manner possible, with in-depth research, amazing photos, and glorious spreads, to be perused at leisure.