This morning we left Mitzpe Ramon and headed north to Jerusalem. Our Negev visits today concentrated on newly established communities in the Negev. The first stop was Givot Bar which is an Or Community and one that CAARI has been visiting for many years – some of us remember when it was originally set up and people were living in trailers or caravans – as they call them here. Today it is a thriving community with 120 families in a variety of sizes of houses, an elementary school, lovely homes, and new amphitheater and playgrounds. Jessica, from Or, spoke to the group and told us about this community, we met the Mayor Hananel and the head of security Nati. Many other new communities in the Negev have been organized by Or with the assistance of JNF that prepares the infrastructure. Next, we went to a new community called Carmit – just in the process of constructing the infrastructure. No one lives here yet but it is planned for over 2500 families.
Time for lunch and we met a dear friend, Debbie Rulnick, at Kibbutz Kramim who lives on the Kibbutz for a number of years. This is an older kibbutz which in the past had dwindled to very few people and now has been rejuvenated with over 50 families and a waiting list of over 100 families. It is comprised of secular Jews, religious and those interested in the environment – all working together for the good of the kibbutz! This wraps up our Negev Experience. Not only have we seen the communities today, but we also visited the Bedouin town of Lakia, the capital of the Negev, Beersheva – Sde Boker, as well as, Mitzpe Ramon giving us new incite in the growth of the Negev and the vision of David Ben Gurion! On to Jerusalem and our last week of CAARI 2014!