Kedma is launching the first of its kind educator village that will operate in the Eilot Regional Council. Head of Eilot Regional Council Dr. Ginat: "The young educators are offered community life." Tira-El Cohen: "We are connecting young adults to the Arava".
From the Center to the Arava: A new educator village is currently being built in Kibbutz Lotan in the Eilot Regional Council, which will attract and settle dozens of young people who will work in the field of informal education. The goal of the village established by Kedma Youth Settlement is to provide a response to the shortage of young people living in the area, thus creating difficulties in fulfilling standards in the field of informal education.
The Eilot Regional Council identified the changes in the work force and the difficulty of the region's communities in recruiting quality human capital for the social education systems and sought solutions to the shortage. "The educator village currently being built in Kibbutz Lotan will provide a response both to the need of the Eilot communities for quality counselors in informal education and to the desire to develop a vibrant young adult community in the southern Arava," says the Head of the Council, Dr. Hanan Ginat, adding: "We offer young people who will come community life, a unique desert environment that other places do not have, and of course work with our children – which they do not have."
The village is a unique model for the empowerment of informal education, in which every young person absorbed into the village is employed full-time, including volunteer hours in the community, a young work environment and affordable housing. Mifal Hapayis, the Ministry of Education, the World Zionist Organization, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the Open University, Eilot Regional Council and the communities in the region are also partners in the project, with the support of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Representative of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto in Israel, William Kleinbaum:
"UJA and the Jewish Community of Toronto are proud and excited to work shoulder to shoulder with Kedma to breathe life into Israel's most isolated areas and strengthen important rejuvenation in Israel’s remote communities. We have been working in a wonderful partnership with Eilot Regional Council for nearly 40 years to help the Region realize Ben-Gurion's vision for a flourishing Negev, and we look forward to taking a significant part in the new educator village and strengthening the informal education infrastructure in the region."
Tira-El Cohen, Head of Kedma:
"During the coronavirus period, we met with the Head of the Regional Council, Dr. Hanan Ginat, who spoke about the shortage of social education workers in the region's communities. We decided at Kedma to lend a shoulder and work to establish a dedicated and unique youth village that will provide a solution to the problem of informal education. Most of our graduates remain in the national priority communities in which we operate, and I believe that the village will create the communities of young people that the Arava so desperately needs. We connect the young people to the Arava through their feet."