The Challenge - Life in Gaza envelope!
The Western Negev, or, as it is better known, (Gaza Envelope), is a wide area which includes magnificent sites of natural beauty, with verdant fields whose produce is known throughout the country. There are great stories of Zionist settlement in the region – tower and stockade, the eleven points, immigrant settlements, absorption of the evacuees from Yamit, and, more recently, the establishment of three pioneering communities by evacuees from Gush Katif.
As a region under constant threat and frequent wars, the communities there are responding in an unexpected manner; they are growing and becoming stronger, alongside impressive technological development in the realms of agriculture, environment and sustainability in the whole area.
How is it that during a decade of fighting the number of residents of the region has doubled? Who has taken on the lepadership? Who is pushing the residents to continue to create?
Join us for a day when we learn about: resilience, leadership, community, Zionist settlement and advanced agricultural entrepreneurship. We’ll process our experiences through a simulation game which will bring out the dilemmas, tackling the challenges like immigrants to the area and determining the participants’ personal values towards the different concepts.
The tour: includes view over the border with Gaza, a visit to a settlement close to the border and a meeting with one of the residents.
“Challenge” Day is suitable: for students of high school age and above, for people interested in checking out the values of the issues of leadership, Zionism, community and environment in the country’s periphery, through touring places and meeting people.
We are just pulling away from our visit with you and, on behalf of the entire Cincinnati group,
I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your willingness to share, for your perspective,
and for your strength and belief in people.
For me, the most powerful day was the last day of our tour, when our group visited kibbutzim near the Gaza Strip in the Eshkol region. It was a mythbusting tour. We saw tanks training near the road. We saw shelters to run to if a siren were to go off. We saw an extraordinary bunkered situation room and talked to the head of the Resilience Center, Tal Shamir. But we also saw their solar panels, how they had almost become selfsufficient for energy. We saw their water that was desalinated from the ocean and used to grow crops like yams and watermelons, which Tal told us about with pride. We sat in their synagogue. We drank a bottle of wine that was their local creation. We ate their chocolates that they had made in their chocolate shop. We ate lunch in their senior center where they took care of their older citizens with dignity. And we saw their children who were happy but had learned a whole new meaning of the world, “resilience.”