News Highlights August 2009


The First 100 Years

Next year will be the hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the first kibbutz in Israel.

Several events and activities will be held throughout Israel to celebrate this very important milestone.

The celebrations will bring esteem to the more than 250 kibbutzim spread out throughout Israel.


Breaking Down Cultural Barriers

The barriers created by cultural differences are evident in many countries and are prevalent in Israeli society.

Ben Gurion University in the Negev has gone some way in breaking down some of these barriers and allowing for constructive appreciation of various cultures.

Several Bedouin students study medicine, science, the arts and the humanities at the university and their integration with other students has assisted the mix of cultures to better understand one another.

However, some aspects of culture are so ingrained that these cannot be easily overcome. At a recent exhibition of art, some women Bedouin students could not invite their families or even mention their exhibition due to centuries old customs regarding the status of Bedouin Moslem women.

The overall contribution of persons from different cultures has vastly enriched the learning experience at the university.


IDF marches in Red Square Moscow

The Russian Ministry of Defense together with the Moscow Municipality and the Kremlin have invited a marching band from the Israeli Defense Force to march during the annual parade in Red Square Moscow.

The band will play the national anthem of the Israel Defense Force as well as Hava Nagila and Fiddler on the Roof.

The band will be led by Colonel Michael Ya'aran and will march in the form of a Menorah and also form the word "Shalom".

The IDF orchestra will join the 15 orchestras of the elite units of the Russian army as well as military orchestras from Kazakhstan, India, France, Italy, England and Scotland during the performance in the Russian capital.

The Russian Defense Force has to deal with the special needs of the Israeli Military Orchestra regarding Kosher food and it has been decided that all orchestras from all the countries will be given Kosher food during the celebrations.

The Israeli Orchestra will also have a special Russian Police escort.

During 2008 a band from the Russian Defense Force performed at the 60th Israeli independence celebrations.


New International Airport

Several local councils have joined hands in the fight against the proposed new international airport.

The Minister of Transport announced an unexpected change of location for the new international airport. The original plan was for the airport to be located next to the Megiddo-Afula road.

The new plan is for the airport to be located next to Kibbutz Hazorea and Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek.This move will not only affect those kibbutzim. It will directly affect several local councils and also the city of Yokneam, as well as severely damage the precious local forest and agricultural areas.

The very strong opposition by the local councils affected by the new plan has definitely moved up another gear and even the Minister of Infrastructure has opposed the plan.   


Volunteers - A changing of the guard

Aya Sagi has replaced Rina Keren as head of The Overseas Volunteers Department of The Kibbutz Movement. Rina Keren successfully led the Department for twelve years.

One of Aya's main objectives during her first six months in office will be to approach kibbutzim and ask them to rejoin the volunteer program. She hopes to persuade at least five kibbutzim to rejoin the program.

Volunteers bring with them interesting aspects of their cultures and also act as unofficial ambassadors for the kibbutzim and for Israel.


Education – A change of direction

A privately funded primary school has opened its doors to pupils from grade one and upwards with the aim of giving families an alternative to the standard government sponsored education with standard examinations.

The school aims to give pupils the opportunity to develop their thinking abilities without the confines of the standard ways.

The school is located in the upper Galilee next to an existing school at Kibbutz Amir.

The persons behind the new school stated that the present system does not give the pupils the drive to learn, while the new system is design to develop the drive to study. They don't want the pupils to lose the will to study.


The Advancement of Science

During the summer holidays six pupils from schools in outlying areas represented Israel at a summer camp for pupils who excel in Science and in English.

The program included meetings with scientists at Cambridge University and with representatives from the British Science Exhibition.

The Pupils were also exposed to leadership and community programs.

The Advancement of Science program is spread out throughout Israel in the peripheral areas, where many small towns and most of the kibbutzim are located.

The program is designed to assist pupils who excel in Science and Technology.


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