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March 20, 2018 1:04 pm

Activist Showcases 70 Israeli Destinations in Project for Israel’s Independence Day

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Joseph Waks at the popular Caffe Kaymak, one of the locations showcased in Project Seventy. Photo: Screenshot.

A Florida-based pro-Israel activist has launched a project showcasing 70 locations in Israel in honor of the Jewish state’s 70th Independence Day on April 19.

Rabbi-turned-designer Joseph Waks launched Project Seventy on February 8. Since then, he’s released one video a day highlighting various unique destinations throughout Israel. His selections include historical sites, cafes, zoos and cities, among other hotspots. The project — featuring Waks in the role of boisterous tour guide — will span 70 days and the last video will be released on Independence Day.

In an interview with The Algemeiner, Waks said that his goal was “to celebrate these places that people don’t usually get to see … and do it in my special way.”

“I just wanted to share my experience of Israel with the world. I come here every summer with my boys and I’m just marveled by this place,” he said. “We feel like it’s our backyard, it’s our front yard, it’s our lawn.”

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All 70 videos — besides one which was recorded on a drone camera — were filmed on an iPhone 7 by Waks’ younger brother, who also edited the clips. “I wanted it to be [done in] a 2018 way,” Waks said. “It wasn’t even a new iPhone, it’s an old one!”

Many of the places featured in the project Waks was visiting for the first time. He did little research in advance and mostly improvised his reactions to each location. “I couldn’t pronounce some of the names of these places that we went to, and I had no idea what we were going into. But I didn’t want to find out the information before. I wanted to really come in as is … Let me feel it for myself and let me tell you something about it.”

One of the most “fascinating” places he visited during his journey, he said, was the city of Shiloh, where he learned about the ancient Tabernacle, known in Hebrew as the “mishkan.”

Most of the places featured in Project Seventy were recommended by friends along the way, but Waks said he’s “being very careful” in his choices for the next 10 destinations, since the project is reaching its conclusion. It will end with “a big bang,” a special video, filmed in Jerusalem, Waks promised.

The videos have also garnered interest internationally, he said, noting that a Latin American pro-Israel group has requested permission to translate and publish the clips in Spanish, to cater to Spanish-speaking audiences.

“I just hope that through this experience and through this [project] we’ll be able to deliver the love that I find is the common denominator in Israel,” he said. “I think it’s the happiest place in the world.”

Watch the latest Project Seventy video below.

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