“A large part of Rona Ramon’s magic lay in her ability to bring people together. This path, which connects Mitzpe Ilan to the village of
Umm al-Qutuf and Kibbutz Barkai, is a fitting way to commemorate Rona in our lives.” Reut Winter, The Nachshon Team
Two years ago, the Bnei Akiva youth movement from the settlement of Mitzpeh Ilan — named for the Israeli astronaut and Rona’s late husband Ilan Ramon — decided to restore the old bicycle path that led to the nearby Arab village, and just beyond that to a kibbutz. They sought to turn it into a “neighborly path”, one that would serve as an invitation to residents of all three places to visit the others. Or in other words, a path that would turn residents into neighbors.
Rona Ramon, a public activist for the education and advancement of youth in Israel, played an enthusiastic role in the settlement’s initiative. Tragically, she passed away before work was completed. The trail was consequently named in her honor and in recognition of the path she walked in life.
Rona’s Path will feature not only trail markings, but also signs that tell the stories of three members of the Ramon family: Rona, Ilan, and their son Assaf, an air force pilot who was killed in a training accident in 2009. Those who read them will undoubtedly be inspired by all three individuals, and struck by the courage of a woman who never let grief keep her from moving forward on this small plot of land we all call home.