Photos by Nir Eilon and Tal Bar-Lev
The Board of Governors went on five site visits to become familiar with highlights of the Jewish Agency's work and the strategic plan.
At one of the site visits - on the theme of the Next Generation - the Board of Governors, accompanied by Zeev Bielski, Jewish Agency Chairman; Larry Joseph, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Budget and Finance for Israel; Robert Naboicheck, bus captain and Co-chair of the Board of Governors Youth Futures Sub-committee; visited the Adiel Student Village in Moshav Ashalim.
At the Village, they met with the Ayalim Association young adults, a group of university students who want to build their lives in the Negev and the Galilee. The Ayalim vision is to build ten student villages like the one visited in Adiel. The Ayalim members, currently working in the Youth Futures program in Dimona, are assisting children and youth at risk and serving as the young educational trustees for these children. During the visit, the Board of Governors members met with Ayalim members including Danny Glicksberg and Matan Dahan, and heard first hand about their involvement in Youth Futures in Dimona and future plans.
The Board of Governors then continued on to the Nitzana Educational Community. Nitzana, located 1.5 miles North of the Egyptian border, is one of five Youth Aliyah villages run by the Jewish Agency. Nitzana is a microcosm of the Jewish Agency's work, serving as an absorption center for young olim from the SELAH and KEDMA programs, and an educational center for participants from within and outside Israel in the subjects of Jewish heritage, ecology, desert studies, astronomy, and more. Every year, some 15,000 people come to Nitzana to participate in short term seminars, mostly youth from the south of Israel and from development towns.
During their visit to Nitzana, members of the Board of Governors had the opportunity to meet with new olim from the SELAH and KEDMA programs, with Shinshinim - Israeli youth who postpone their army service in order to spend a year volunteering and giving back to the community, and had the first chance to visit the solar park at Nitzana, effectively combining two projects. The solar park is still under construction and is slated to open this Spring, through a generous contribution from Keren HaYesod Austria, the Sacta-Rashi Foundation, Baran Project, and other partners.
Certainly, this day revolved around the three major strategic goals of the Jewish Agency: Partnership, Next Generation, and volunteerism, focusing on priority regions in the Negev and the Galilee.