Viewing entries tagged
Cooperation

Firefighters participating in a joint Middle East Forest Fires drill in Israel, October 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of Israel Firefighting and Rescue Authority

Firefighters participating in a joint Middle East Forest Fires drill in Israel, October 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of Israel Firefighting and Rescue Authority

Firefighting and search-and-rescue teams from Jordan, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Italy, France and Spain had a joint disaster exercise in Israel.

By Abigail Klein Leichman

As forest fires and other major catastrophes engulf many parts of the world with greater frequency, the European Commission and the Israeli government organized an international exercise in Israel this week for firefighters from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Italy, France and Spain.

The Middle East Forest Fires drill on October 24 and 25 had more than 400 participants from the various countries — including 250 firefighters, pilots, ground crews and logistics personnel — learning to improve skills and share knowledge in large-scale cooperative firefighting management, evacuation of residents, humanitarian assistance and preservation of nature.

Firefighters from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Italy, France and Spain participating in a joint drill in Israel, October 24, 2017. Photo by Omer Shapira  

Firefighters from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Italy, France and Spain participating in a joint drill in Israel, October 24, 2017. Photo by Omer Shapira 

“In recent years, we have witnessed large-scale disasters take the lives of tens of thousands of victims, such as earthquakes, floods, fires and incidents involving hazardous materials. These are disasters that countries cannot always deal with on their own, and for which they need assistance,” said Israeli Fire Commissioner Lt. Gen. Dedi Simhi.

The exercise scenario — a large forest fire that spread across borders — included the controlled setting of small fires in two Negev forests, one northeast of Beersheva and the other southeast of Kiryat Gat.

Small controlled fires were set as part of the international exercise, Middle East Forest Fires, in October 2017 in Israel. Photo by Omer Shapira

Small controlled fires were set as part of the international exercise, Middle East Forest Fires, in October 2017 in Israel. Photo by Omer Shapira

The Israeli contingent included representatives of the Foreign and Public Security ministries, the Israel Police, the Firefighting and Rescue Authority, Magen David Adom, the Home Front Command, the National Security Agency and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund.

Firefighting vehicles from participating countries came to Israel for the joint forest fire drill. Photo by Omer Shapira

Firefighting vehicles from participating countries came to Israel for the joint forest fire drill. Photo by Omer Shapira

Months of planning sessions preceded the Middle East Forest Fires drill. There were lots of logistics to coordinate as firefighting planes from Jordan, France, Italy and Spain also were sent to Israel for the simulation.

A firefighting plane from Italy participating in the joint forest fire drill, October 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of Israel Firefighting and Rescue Authority

A firefighting plane from Italy participating in the joint forest fire drill, October 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of Israel Firefighting and Rescue Authority

While Israeli firefighters have worked with counterparts from the Palestinian Authority and several Mediterranean countries in the past, it was the first time all of these countries came together for a joint exercise. The content of the sessions had to be translated into several languages though English was the dominant language.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 8.47.45 AM.jpg

As forest fires and other major catastrophes engulf many parts of the world with greater frequency, the European Commission and the Israeli government organized an international exercise in Israel this week for firefighters from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Italy, France and Spain.

The Middle East Forest Fires drill on October 24 and 25 had more than 400 participants from the various countries — including 250 firefighters, pilots, ground crews and logistics personnel — learning to improve skills and share knowledge in large-scale cooperative firefighting management, evacuation of residents, humanitarian assistance and preservation of nature.

Firefighters from Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Italy, France and Spain participating in a joint drill in Israel, October 24, 2017. Photo by Omer Shapira 

“In recent years, we have witnessed large-scale disasters take the lives of tens of thousands of victims, such as earthquakes, floods, fires and incidents involving hazardous materials. These are disasters that countries cannot always deal with on their own, and for which they need assistance,” said Israeli Fire Commissioner Lt. Gen. Dedi Simhi.

The exercise scenario — a large forest fire that spread across borders — included the controlled setting of small fires in two Negev forests, one northeast of Beersheva and the other southeast of Kiryat Gat.

Small controlled fires were set as part of the international exercise, Middle East Forest Fires, in October 2017 in Israel. Photo by Omer Shapira

The Israeli contingent included representatives of the Foreign and Public Security ministries, the Israel Police, the Firefighting and Rescue Authority, Magen David Adom, the Home Front Command, the National Security Agency and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund.

Firefighting vehicles from participating countries came to Israel for the joint forest fire drill. Photo by Omer Shapira

Months of planning sessions preceded the Middle East Forest Fires drill. There were lots of logistics to coordinate as firefighting planes from Jordan, France, Italy and Spain also were sent to Israel for the simulation.

A firefighting plane from Italy participating in the joint forest fire drill, October 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of Israel Firefighting and Rescue Authority

While Israeli firefighters have worked with counterparts from the Palestinian Authority and several Mediterranean countries in the past, it was the first time all of these countries came together for a joint exercise. The content of the sessions had to be translated into several languages though English was the dominant language.

Separately, at an army base in southern Israel, search-and-rescue teams from the Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Spain practiced how to respond cooperatively to a simulated massive earthquake that trapped “victims” underneath the rubble of a collapsed building constructed for the exercise by soldiers on the base.

The joint exercise ended with a ceremony for all participants before they departed back to their home countries.

Israel Fire and Rescue Authority Fire Commissioner Lt. Gen. Dedi Simhi speaking at the joint Middle East Forest Fire drill. Photo: courtesy

Israel Fire and Rescue Authority Fire Commissioner Lt. Gen. Dedi Simhi speaking at the joint Middle East Forest Fire drill. Photo: courtesy

At the ceremony, Simhi said that since its inception in 1948, the state of Israel has been guided by the Talmudic axiom “One who saves a single life is as if he has saved the entire world.”

“We sent rescue forces from the Home Front Command to assist during earthquakes in Turkey, Nepal, Haiti, and most recently, Mexico. Our aerial firefighting unit provided assistance last year to Cyprus, and this year to Montenegro and Macedonia,” Simhi said.

“And we too, needed assistance in two recent events. Last November, during an unprecedented number of fires, we requested and received assistance from our Palestinian and Egyptian neighbors, from Cyprus and from many other countries. And such was the case during the Mount Carmel fire in 2010.

“Therefore, there is great operational importance to an exercise involving international cooperation, so that in the event of an emergency, we will be familiar with one another and know how to work in collaboration,” he continued.

“I also believe that a personal relationship between commanders from different countries can be of great value during a large-scale disaster.”

Israeli, Arab, European Firemen Share Cross-border Drill

Leket’s new Binyamina field grows produce only for the needy. Photo: courtesy ISRAEL21c

Leket’s new Binyamina field grows produce only for the needy. Photo: courtesy ISRAEL21c

Singaporean philanthropy enables Israeli food-rescue organization to buy a field for raising staple crops to give to the needy all year around.

By Abigail Klein Leichman

Shalom Israel Asia Pacific (SIAP), a Christian pro-Israel organization based in Singapore, recently gave a donation to food-rescue organization Leket Israel to purchase a field where vegetables will be grown solely for the needy.

The 10-acre field in Binyamina, near Haifa, is one of the only fields in Israel where produce is grown specifically for charitable purposes. It’s the only one that will include a greenhouse to grow staple vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for distribution all year long.

“What makes the Binyamina initiative so unique is our ability to grow the most sought-after vegetables among Israeli society and to supply them to our 195 nonprofit partner agencies throughout the country. We are truly grateful for the substantial donation that made this dream become a reality,” said Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel’s founder and chairman.

“Thanks to Leket, there are thousands who go to bed at night with a full stomach, and that is why we were motivated to create an entire farm to grow produce exclusively for the poor,” said Pastor George Annadorai, director of SIAP.

Leket rescues and distributes 15,000 tons of fruit and vegetables to the needy each year. The vast majority of this bounty is donated by more than 500 farms across Israel.

Gitler said the purpose of growing additional crops in Binyamina is to enrich the variety of produce Leket supplies, as well as to guarantee that even when donations might decrease, as before the fall holiday season, Leket will not have to cut back distribution. Crops such as sweet potatoes, corn, onions and beets will be raised in Binyamina.

In order to engage the public while also reducing expenditures, Leket recruits volunteers from Israel and abroad to assist in the planting and harvesting. For this newest field, members from agricultural youth movements in the Binyamina area are assisting on the farm as part of their regular activities.

As a national food bank, Leket Israel also rescues surplus non-perishable food from manufacturers in addition to fresh perishable food left over on farms, hotels, military bases and catering halls throughout Israel.

The rescued food is distributed by partner organizations to approximately 175,000 Israelis living below the poverty line. Leket Israel also offers nutritional education workshops and consultations through its partners.

 

This Farm’s Veggies are Grown Exclusively for Charity

Students in the GIMI course for Palestinian avocado growers touring the fields.

Students in the GIMI course for Palestinian avocado growers touring the fields.

Galilee International Management Institute enables Palestinian farmers to join Israeli growers in meeting high avocado demand in Europe.

By Abigail Klein Leichman

Cooperation is thriving at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, a city in northern Israel.

This past July, GIMI gave a training course to Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli olive-oil producers, taught farmers from Palestinian Authority territories to grow avocados for export, and began planning a tele-course for Gazan computer engineers meant to lead to remote employment at Israeli companies.

“This is nothing new for us,” says GIMI President Joseph “Yossie” Shevel. “We’ve been cooperating with the Palestinians for the last 30 years.”

Established in 1987, GIMI develops and presents advanced capacity-building courses for professional personnel from all over the world – from more than 170 countries so far — taught in a wide variety of languages. But local and regional needs are never far from GIMI’s radar.

The avocado-growing course came out of GIMI’s awareness that the healthful avocado is in great demand in Europe and that Israelis could help Palestinian farmers join them in offering a quality product for this “green gold” market.

“We thought we should encourage Palestinians to grow avocados based on the excellent Israeli experience. We know there is a problem of exporting agricultural goods from the West Bank to Europe and we hope to help find a way,” Shevel tells ISRAEL21c.

The GIMI course for Palestinian avocado growers was partially funded by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

The GIMI course for Palestinian avocado growers was partially funded by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Israel avocado exports to Europe have grown to roughly 100,000 tons in recent years, comprising about a third of the winter avocado market in EU countries.

GIMI organized a training course designed for Palestinian agricultural extension officers who will then share their newfound knowledge with farmers. Funding was provided by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union through the agency of Economic Cooperation Foundation, a Tel Aviv-based nonprofit think tank founded in 1990 to build, maintain and support Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab cooperation.

“We have many alumni in the West Bank so once we announced the program they helped us spread the word, and 28 people registered,” says Shevel. About 40 percent of the registrants were female, and some already grow avocados for export to Arab countries.

The two-week course began with online classes taught mainly by Arab-Israeli GIMI faculty members and ended with two days of in-person classes and field trips to Israeli avocado farms in the north at the end of July.

Unfortunately, politics got in the way of 20 of the participants making their way to Israel for the final two days because the Palestinian Authority had halted cooperation with the Israeli government over the issue of security on the Temple Mount.

“They had permits and everything was ready,” says Shevel. “We hope to find funding for them to come and complete the course later on. Usually we manage to overcome politics.”

The eight agronomists and agricultural engineers who did manage to make it came from Hebron, Kalkilya, Tibas and Jenin, and “were received very nicely by the Israeli farmers,” Shevel says.

The course did not end with the formal sessions, he adds. “Now we’ll follow up and help them to plant avocados and work with them, especially when the crops are ready, to export to Europe.”

Breakthrough program

Shevel also is looking forward to what he calls a “breakthrough” program intended to ease the unemployment situation in the Gaza strip, which is contiguous with Israel but ruled by Hamas and therefore few people can cross the border in either direction.

Scheduled to begin in October after the Jewish high holidays, this course will train Gazan computer engineers online to qualify for jobs in Israel via remote connection.

“With globalization you can hire an engineer anywhere, so why not in Gaza, to improve their lives?” Shevel says. “At the end of the program we’ll look for Israeli high-tech companies to employ them. Already one large company made a commitment to do so, and we have two sources ready to fund the program.”

How is GIMI publicizing the course in Gaza? “We have a graduate in Gaza who studied here about 10 years ago and is in close contact with us and wants to coordinate this program for us,” says Shevel.

Perhaps surprisingly, he reveals that his efforts to reach out also have been helped by a close personal friend who is the former president of Al Aqsa University in Gaza.

For more information, click here.

Israeli Institute Trains Palestinian Avocado Growers

Lodologic’s team in Sao Paulo, from left, Gabriel Kainuma, Plinio Pimentel and Ayrton Junior. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

Lodologic’s team in Sao Paulo, from left, Gabriel Kainuma, Plinio Pimentel and Ayrton Junior. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

By next year, several Brazilian sewage plants will incorporate Lodologic systems to change sludge into odorless, pathogen-free fertilizer for crops.

By Abigail Klein Leichman

Ready for a really yucky statistic?

Sixty percent of the 6.8 million liters of daily sewage sludge generated in Brazil gets dumped back into nature untreated. And even that is a big improvement over the situation five years ago.

Now the South American country is poised to clean up its sewage problem using an Israeli invention for transforming human waste into odor-free, sterilized farm fertilizer.

Incorporated in February, Lodologic was established by a group of Brazilian companies in partnership with Paulee CleanTec in Israel. (“Lodo” means “sludge” in Portuguese.)

“Paulee CleanTec has a proprietary process to oxidate organic residue. We’re going to apply that process to sludge,” Lodologic CEO Gabriel Kainuma tells ISRAEL21c from his office in Sao Paulo.

“We mix a chemical reagent with the sludge and blend this mix in a high-speed chamber that eliminates all pathogens in the sludge, transforming it into safe, affordable, effective fertilizer,” he says.

“By 2018 we expect to be operating in at least six plants. There are over 400 sewage treatment plants in Brazil, so we have a huge market here to explore.”

A sewage treatment plant in Brazil. Photo courtesy of Lodologic

A sewage treatment plant in Brazil. Photo courtesy of Lodologic

Sludge (biosolids) is a byproduct of sewage treatment plants -- the waste removed from wastewater. While the treated water can be safely discharged to waterways or reused for other purposes, sludge has to be disposed of or treated separately onsite. An environmentally friendly option is composting, but this takes a lot of time and space. And it smells bad.

“Decades ago, when sewage treatment was only taking its first steps, sludge was dumped into international waters,” Paulee CleanTec CEO Ilan Levy tells ISRAEL21c.

In many Latin American countries, he says, dumping sludge into the ocean still is standard practice, and even happens unintentionally in places such as California when heavy rain causes sewage systems to overflow.

“Nobody knows what to do with the enormous amount of sludge generated every day,” says Levy. “The general solution is to send it to landfills. We are changing the logic by turning sludge into something of value.”

Wastewater treatment in Brazil, where Lodologic is changing the paradigm. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

Wastewater treatment in Brazil, where Lodologic is changing the paradigm. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

One technology, three uses

Paulee CleanTec is the Tel Aviv company that developed an invention by Hebrew University Prof. Oded Shoseyov for turning dog dung into sterile, odorless fertilizer pellets on the spot, using a pooper-scooper with an oxidation unit attached. This innovation is now going into production through a partnership with Ohio-based OurPets.

In 2014, Paulee CleanTec partnered with San Francisco-based CB Engineers to create Epic CleanTec,  which will soon install a unique system in a San Francisco high-rise apartment house to treat sewage and use the resulting fertilizer for onsite landscaping. The system will redirect the used water for toilets, irrigation and cooling towers; and will reuse the output heat for the building’s hot-water supply.

Lodologic, Paulee’s second affiliate company, “is a different application, on the municipal level, using totally different machinery,” Levy explains. “Sewage systems are overloaded and new approaches are needed. We need to increase the number of people they can serve. So we attack the problem from different angles.”

Lodologic machinery is designed to convert all types of sludge from sewage treatment plants or biogas plants into odorless, organic, low-cost agricultural fertilizer within minutes.

The Brazilian company, self-financed for now, also will offer its customers a distribution structure for the fertilizer.

“We’re developing equipment to retrofit existing sewage treatment facilities,” says Kainuma. “Usually a conveyor puts the sludge into a truck to take it away. We’re going to position our equipment to receive the sludge from the conveyor in the same place where the truck would have been. So there is very little modification needed to the plant.”

The first operation is expected to go live by the end of 2017.

“We have a team of four and are hiring more to accelerate development,” says Kainuma, a Brazilian robotics engineer who formerly worked in the automotive industry.

Other countries are likely to be watching the project in Brazil closely. While Brazil produces 2.5 million tons of sludge per year, the amounts are much higher in countries such as China (9 million tons per year) and the United States (8 million tons). The European Union generates about 12 million tons of sludge every year.

Lodologic >  

Article Courtesy of  www.Israel21c.org

Article Courtesy of www.Israel21c.org

Brazil Looks to Israeli Tech to Solve a Stinky Problem

The Bedouin village of Hura, where Muhammad al-Nabari has been the mayor since 2005. Photo by Romayan, courtesy Creative Commons

Mayor Muhammad al-Nabari of Hura grew up in this predominantly Bedouin town, but in his teens came to the conclusion that there was no future for him in the Negev. He moved north to attend high school, and then—to his family’s immense pride—went on to attend Hebrew University and later Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. After graduation, he took a job at a prominent pharmaceutical company—but, he says, “I never cut myself off from my identity as a Bedouin.” Al-Nabari was living near Hura, and running an advocacy group for higher education among the Bedouins. In 2005 he ran for mayor of Hura—but didn’t take the idea seriously; in fact, he didn’t even bother leaving his job when he began his campaign. “I never believed I would get elected!” he admits. He was wrong.

I never cut myself off from my identity as a Bedouin.”
— Muhammad Al-Nabari, Mayor of Hura

After more than a decade under al-Nabari’s leadership, Hura—though still one of Israel’s poorest communities—has become a model of how local government can be run. With financial assistance from sources including the Jewish National Fund and other Jewish organizations in the United States and United Kingdom, Hura now boasts a community center, a public library, and the highly successful Ahad High School for Science, which accepts gifted Bedouin students from all over the Negev. Education is central to progress and hope for Hura—as for the entire nation—as al-Nabari well knows. “I have told my principals to be responsible for students even after they graduate,” he says. “We check to see how many go on to college and careers.”

Hura has a way to go: there is still poverty and much unemployment to contend with here, and the Bedouins’ relations with the Israeli government are uneasy at best. But al-Nabari believes that it is a waste of time and energy to dwell on who’s to blame or what is not working. He says: “If you focus on the discourse [of] ‘They screwed me over; they discriminated against me’—then you’ll stay with the problems and have no solutions. . . . It’s very easy to put the blame on others, but if we do our jobs and then fight for what we need from the government, gradually the situation will improve.”

 

Muhammad al-Nabari, the Forward-Thinking Mayor of Hura

A Bedouin family in a still from the Sustainability Laboratory's short film Project Wadi Attir.  Photo courtesy Project Wadi Attir

Project Wadi Attir is located in the northern Negev near the Bedouin town of Hura. It was founded by Michael Ben-Eli, who heads a global initiative called the Sustainability Laboratory. The project’s aim is to find a way to combine Bedouin culture and experience with progressive notions of sustainability and “green” technologies—looking at renewable-energy production, recycling, land stewardship, and much more.

Project Wadi Attir serves as a model for Jewish-Bedouin collaboration. “It is good for the people. It makes them feel good as citizens. It makes them proud to be part of Israel.
— Muhammad al-Nabari, Mayor of Hura

The concept for the project was born in 2007 when Ben-Eli and his colleague Josh Arnow paid a visit to Ben-Gurion University and the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research—centers outfitted with astonishing technologies and facilities, where much of Israel’s world-class research into desert living is being conducted. But during that visit, Ben-Eli and Arnow also saw the harsh living conditions of the growing Bedouin community, trying to make its way in a land of increasing Westernization and urban sprawl. “It did not seem right,” Ben-Eli has observed, “that full citizens in a country like Israel would live in desperate circumstances, when there were such incredible technologies being developed nearby.”

Ben-Eli met with Muhammad al-Nabari, the forward-thinking mayor of Hura, and they teamed up to bring Project Wadi Attir to light. A joint effort between Ben-Eli’s Sustainability Laboratory and the Hura Municipal Council, the project is decidedly holistic in its approach: dealing with social, economic, environmental, as well as tech considerations. Collaborators include Bedouin community members, university scientists and researchers, local nonprofit organizations, a nearby kibbutz, government agencies, and private-sector companies. The hope is that this new vision of environmentally sound development—beneficial to all parties—may impact the entire Middle East region as well as other parts of the world.

At the Project Wadi Attir farm, Bedouins tend goats and sheep organically for the production of dairy products. They grow medicinal plants and herbs (based on traditional Bedouin healing methods), and have developed a line of health products for sale on the mainstream market. Indigenous vegetables were once an important part of the Bedouin diet, but many were nearly eradicated; these have been reintroduced and are cultivated organically, and a seed bank has been established for these precious plants. Hundreds of olive trees have been planted by local Bedouin high-school students, into soil enhanced and irrigated with the help of scientists from the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research.

Women are working and taking part in the project’s planning—this is a real breakthrough among the Bedouins.  Today Project Wadi Attir—the first-ever Bedouin agricultural cooperative in Israel—serves as a hub for eco-tourism, and as a model for Jewish-Bedouin collaboration. As Mayor al-Nabari puts it: “It is good for the people. It makes them feel good as citizens. It makes them proud to be part of Israel.”

Project Wadi Attir >

Learn more about New Israeli tech, old Bedouin ways at Wadi Attir at Israel21c.org.


Project Wadi Attir: Progress for a Bedouin Community

Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center

At the Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center, acacia trees bloom, casting long shadows by the greenhouses, and fat pumpkins ripen on the ground. Everywhere you look, jewel-like cherry tomatoes dangle above the sand, on vines strung to wires, carefully irrigated and nourished. While tiny tomatoes have been around for centuries, certain varieties of cherry tomatoes—including the popular tomaccio—were developed in Israel back in the 1970s. Here they grow in abundance, as do sweet peppers of all colors—yellow, green, red, chocolaty-brown, and purple.

People come here from all over the world to study how we grow things in the desert and how to fight against the desert’s continuing conquest of their land.
— Gadi Grinblat, Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center

The Ramat Negev Regional Council oversees this center, and agricultural experiments are conducted by onsite researchers as well as by scientists from Ben-Gurion University, the agriculture faculty of the Hebrew University, the Volcani Center, and elsewhere, in consultation with the Israeli Extension Service. It is a hotbed of innovation and discovery.

“People come here from all over the world,” Gadi Grinblat explains, “to study how we grow things in the desert and how to fight against the desert’s continuing conquest of their land.” It was here that scientists determined the importance, when irrigating with brackish water, of directing the water underneath the plant, so that it goes directly to the roots and doesn’t touch the upper parts. Otherwise, the salt in the water will harm the plants’ sensitive green leaves. Like most Israeli agricultural endeavors, the Agro-Research Center makes use of the drip-irrigation system, which was developed by the country’s Netafim company—the headquarters of which are also located in the Negev, at Kibbutz Hatzerim (for more on drip irrigation and Netafim, see Innovations).

Like the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research , the Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center is happy to spread the word about its findings with the rest of the world. Israel’s MASHAV (Agency for International Development Cooperation) helps to make that happen through its agricultural/outreach arm, CINADCO (Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation), and with the scientific research capabilities of the Volcani Center. Israeli agro-scientists are regularly sent out to demonstrate their findings, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central Europe, and the Middle East—and farmers and scientists from abroad are brought into Israel to study and share their knowledge as well. Not surprisingly, the focus is on Israel’s areas of expertise: growing food in semi-arid and arid zones, combating “desertification,” irrigation and water management, dairy farming, and strategies for the small farmer. The goals are vast and vital: to ensure food security and economic self-sufficiency.

Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center > 

 

 

 

Teaching the World How to Make the Desert Bloom at the Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center

Kibbutz Degania courtesy Israel Tourism and Creative Commons.

Israel’s cultural psyche is deeply grounded in the idea of group endeavors. The country’s pioneering founders, steeped in socialist ideals, created collectives known as kibbutzim and moshavim, whose communal efforts in agriculture and industry helped build the nation.

Israel’s cultural psyche is deeply grounded in the idea of group endeavors

The kibbutz is a collectively owned and run community where responsibilities and benefits are shared by all members. The traditional moshav is a different model of communal system: a collective of individually owned farms, benefitting from economies of scale through shared equipment and services. Even as the kibbutzim and moshavim have adopted new structures and strategies to survive, most of the nation’s agricultural ventures and successes are still their domain.

Kibbutzim and Moshavim: Two Models of Communal Living