Update on the upcoming summer season (June/July 2020)

Dear all,

I hope you and yours are all healthy, and that you are managing in these crazy and scary times.
Here is a short update on what’s happening regarding the 2020 summer season at  Tell es-Safi/Gath.
I was just in contact with my dean and my department chair, and they both recommended that a final decision about the season be taken after Passover (which ends on April 16th), as all the decisions on activities relating to Bar-Ilan University, at this point, are up until that date.
That being said, I’m not very optimistic about the possibility of conducting the season – whether with all participants who can come (from Israel and abroad), and even if only with BIU participation. From what I understand, there are very good chances that the official limitations on university and general public activities in Israel (as in my countries) will continue for many months more.
Already, several of the foreign teams have announced that their home institutions have cancelled all summer programs, including participation in the dig.
So what does this all mean?
1) I will notify as soon as there is a decision – whether the dig is cancelled or not, or perhaps to be conducted in a small format.
2) If it is cancelled, all those who have paid their participation fees will be reimbursed (save for the registration fee).
3) If, in the end, we do have a season, if any of you would like to come on their own, not as part of a team whose institution has cancelled the official participation, we will be able to discuss this when it is relevant.
In the meantime, may I wish you all health, safety and calmness, and may we soon see the light at the end of this ominous tunnel – and come out of it stronger!
And finally, make sure you follow the health and safety instructions, to keep you, and your family and friends, safe!
All the best,
Aren Maeir