1. Mitzpeh Ilan Builds First Homes

Mitzpeh Ilan was established in the Galilee by OR Movement in 2013, and named in memory of Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Roman, who passed away in the fatal Columbia mission. In 2005 the first families moved into a neighborhood of temporary housing in Mitzpeh Ilan, which today is home to 90 families. After 13 years of planning and dreaming, in 2017 the community of Mitzpeh Ilan began to build their first real homes.

Thank you to our primary partners in this project: The Ministry of Housing, KKL – Israel, Menashe Regional Council, the Chativah Lehityashvut, and Roneh Ramon, the esteemed widow of Ilan Ramon.

A birds-eye view of Mitzpeh Ilan, with it’s new neighborhood ready for the construction of homes to begin.

 

2. Schunat HaPark Comes Alive

While many young people choose to move to the center of Israel in search of better opportunities, over 160 young families, the majority native to Ofakim, decided to build their utopia right where they were. The young group gathered together as a community to make their hometown more beautiful, and build their homes in a new neighborhood of Ofakim, called “Shchunat HaPark.”

Thank you to Itzik Danino, the mayor of Ofakim, for being a real visionary for his city.

A group meeting of the first young families to build their homes in Shchunat HaPark.

 

3. Barkai Collective Impact for Ofakim

In an unprecedented move, over forty organizations and activists in Ofakim began to work together to raise the local quality of life. No more overlapping or falling through the cracks; now everyone in Ofakim is working together, as a collective, called “Barkai Collective Impact.” The collective mapped out all the needs and goals for the city, created teams, and began to get stuff done with the efficiency of a real dream team.

Thank you to our primary partners in this project: The Municipality of Ofakim, the Ness Fund of The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, and anonymous.

 

4. Carmit Becomes Home to 100 Families

The new community of Carmit passed the 100 family milestone, and proved that their strength is not just in numbers; it’s in the way each member reaches out to help the whole. The new neighbors are known to lend a helping hand, volunteer often, organize community events, and always keep the less fortunate in mind.

Thank you to our primary partners in this project: KKL – Israel, JNF – USA, the Municipality of Meitar, the Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Construction, the Israel Lands Authority, the Ministry of Development of the Negev and the Galilee, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, KKL – Spain, The Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and the Desert Areas, The Iranian Jewish Federation of New York, Robert and Shirley Levitt, the Jusidman Family, and various private donors.

 

5. Kibbutz Sufa Grows

Sufa, a small and traumatized kibbutz on Israel’s border with Gaza was at risk of depopulation. Many members had moved away, tired of the conflict and mortar fire. But no one had dared move in – it all sounded too scary! This year, five brave families joined the Kibbutz and came to love their new home. A pre-military academy was established, and a courageous 41 students moved in, and got to work inspiring their fellow kibbutz friends.

Thank you to our primary partners in this project: Kibbutz Sufa, Ein Prat Academy, JNF-UK, ICA in Israel.

 

6. Nachal Oz Rises Up

Kibbutz Nachal Oz is located right on the border with Gaza, and has experienced much trauma through the past years of conflict. OR Movement has been helping the kibbutz recover and grow its population, ever since the conflict of 2014.

The kibbutz recently began a new program, “Students for Nachal Oz,” which hosts young student volunteers on the kibbutz, who may one day choose to become permanent members and raise their future families in the cozy community they learned to love. In August, the students were hit with tragedy: their classmate and good friend, Nir Gavili suddenly passed away. After a period of mourning the young group decided to rise up and dedicate a Youth Club in Nir’s memory.

 Thank you to our primary partners in this project: Kibbutz Nachal Oz, and the Ness Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey.

Students in Nachal Oz paint the walls of the new Youth Club.

 

7. The Negev Visitors Center Inspires the Future

This year we opened the doors to our brand new Negev Visitors Center, a hands-on, high-tech museum showcasing the Negev’s future.  Thousands of visitors were inspired to build their future, after witnessing its potential firsthand.

Thank you to our primary partners in this project: The Prime Minister’s Office, The Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, The Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Housing,  KKL – Israel, JNF – USA,  ICA in Israel, and the Jack Chester Foundation.

Visitors exploring the cultural life of the Negev, in an exhibit.

 

Thank you to all of our partners and supporters who brought us this far.

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