Chai Roi on a Learning Field Trip

פורסם: ב' חשון תשע"ח

The Chai Roi program that combines yeshiva Torah study and academic studies for a bachelors' and a masters' degree, conducted "field trips" to broaden their scope and enrich their knowledge of the country, through meeting people active in various important projects throughout the country.
After Sukkot the students went south in order to closely learn about the issue of Jewish settlement in the Negev and the issue of the Bedouin in the Negev. They started the day with a visit to a rancher who lives alone in one of the ranches in the Negev, near Meitar, Shai Daromi. His ranch is spread over 4,000 dunam of state land. Shai told them about the challenges facing him in the last 30 years since he's been on the ranch and the importance of his mission. Afterwards they met with Adi Schwartz, the southern district coordinator of the New Watchman (that helps watch over farmers, ranchers and state lands in their care against hostile criminal and nationalistic encroachments and harm). He started by asking: why help out these ranchers and farmers to begin with and why is it important to preserve the state lands. He described the challenges and events he has become familiar with through his work and the influence of the organization on Israeli agriculture in the area and on the lands of the state of Israel in general.
From there they continued on to "Camp Yattir", the temporary home of a group Bnei David alumni who are slated to establish a new Jewish community in the Negev, to be called Chiran. The beginnings of this community were back seven years ago in a similar Chai Roi field trip. They heard opening remarks from Ron Schechner who is working to advance the cause of Jewish settlement in the area. They also heard from the head of the Chevron Mountain Regional Council, Yochai Damari, who presented to the students his vision for the coming years – how to turn the area south of Chevron to a thriving and peaceful area of Jewish communities.
They went on to Beer Sheva to the "Gate to the Negev" museum, established by the "Ohr" (Light) NGO. There they met Shmuel Bazak, an alumnus of the first class of Chai Roi and one of the founders of the group intending to live in Chiran. He briefly told them the story of the group intended for Chiran, from its inception to the question of recruiting families for the group. To complete the picture they then heard from Yair Maayan, the head of the agency in charge or dealing with the Bedouin. He described before the students the Bedouin issue and the ways to solve problems that have been more or less neglected these last 65 years or so. He spoke about the socio-economic gaps, the deficiencies in the educational system for the Bedouin, lack of investments and the problems with crime in the sector. He reiterated the need to make decisions and move forward with the Bedouin issue. The students went for a quick trip to the Gate to the Negev center and saw a short film about Jewish settlement in the area. Ronnie Palmar, the general director of the Ohr NGO talked about the work of the organization which deals with establishing new Jewish communities in the Negev and the Galil. He shared the vision of bringing about 4 million people to the areas in the next thirty years (when the population is estimated to have become about 17 million). He called on the students to become "civilian officers", to take on themselves the challenges and missions of civil society in Israel, taking part in the century old project of re-building the Jewish state.
At the end of day they also met with Avishai Beck, also a graduate of Bnei David and Chai Roi who is also a member of the Chiran community group. He shared some of his personal dilemmas and choices he had to make at various turning points in his life.

. שי סיפר לנו על.

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