At Be’Artzeinu, this was the year the action began. At the beginning of the year we recruited a winning team from all over Israel and started working to encourage young people to make their homes in communities in the Negev and Galilee. We started off with the massive Western Negev Trail event, a delightful initiative of two young women from the IDF community-building group in Kerem Shalom with whom we were happy to collaborate to make their amazing project a reality. We recruited and executed the Afek scholarship program with our students, who shared the gospel of the Negev and Galilee on campuses throughout Israel.
We marketed community projects in Arad and Chatzor HaGlilit, and we directed thousands of interested candidates to rural community-building opportunities from north to south. We put on the Young Cities Hackathon, the first virtual community-building hackathon, in which we tried together with dozens of participants to crack the factors that attract young people to towns in the Negev and Galilee.
At Be’Artzeinu, this was the year the action began
We’re ending the year with successful recruitment for the Amali Forum for young people employed in agriculture, Meizam Charish programs in Shaar HaNegev and the Upper Galilee, and the Derech HaNegev program in Ramat HaNegev for young people going into education, as well as excellent collaborations with many other good partners for the road ahead.
Like everyone else, we had to deal with the coronavirus, including major problems that it created for all the intake programs. The coronavirus is definitely a very complicated challenge, but we also learned from it about the unequivocal advantages of living in the periphery and community support, and we can see the push it gave to more than a few families to take the very smart step of leaving the crowdedness and pressure in favor of a calmer, healthier lifestyle in the Negev or Galilee.