Over ten years ago, Kibbutz Retamim was a ghost town. The once thriving community had seen all its members move away to the center of the country. In 2006 a young OR Movement Seed Group moved in and started working on bringing the town back to life.

On June 1st of 2016, Retamim celebrated a decade of revival – with 500 proud residents and a waiting list!

Established: 1983, resurrected as a community in 2006

Location: Neighbor to Kibbutz Revivim, 25 minute drive from Be’er Sheva

Character: Modern Orthodox

Population: 500+

Category: Agriculture, and Private Entrepreneurship

The Story

Retamim is a religious agricultural community in the Negev, with an incredible story of revival and hope. The community was first established over 25 years ago and saw a great start. Unfortunately, over time, the population began to dwindle, and by the year 2009, was nearly abandoned altogether – earning the nickname “Kfar Rifaim” literally “Ghost Town.”

In August of 2009, a Seed Group of 20 idealistic families, mostly from the center of Israel, moved in to Retamim and brought the town back to life. The community renovated old buildings, established early education centers, and built a community life so strong, that it grew to the size of 500 members. Today, the community is preparing to build a new neighborhood, and has a waiting list for entry.

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