Last week JNF UK’s Project Committee, including members of the Board of Trustees, visited Israel to commit £8 million worth of grants to new projects that JNF UK will be supporting in 2017. The selection process followed an intensive 3-day tour of current and potential new projects all around the Negev.
JNF UK Commits £8 Million to New Projects in Israel
The tour got off to a start to melt hearts as the group called on one of the eight kindergartens in Kiryat Malachi that JNF is renovating as part of a plan to upgrade the town’s facilities.
Further south in the Negev the group had a remarkable encounter with the Principal of a Zionist Bedouin school in the town of Elsayad. This head teacher, who runs a 600-strong ORT school for his Bedouin pupils, presides over a building with hardly any basic facilities. There is no sports field, no library, no science lab, no computer lab and much of the buildings are unfinished.
Day one ended with a whirlwind tour of the purpose built Negev town of Arad, whose enthusiastic Mayor, born and brought up in the town, gave up a highly paid job in Tel Aviv – as did his wife – in order to “put something back” into Arad. JNF UK supports many projects in Arad.
Days two and three were equally as jam-packed with stops including the JNF UK Bikurim Music School and a huge hangar which is destined to be the JNF UK Business Hub in Mitzpe Ramon.
JNF UK Chairman, Samuel Hayek said, “We are proud to be able to commit a significantly increased amount of money to our projects in the south of Israel this year, due to the wonderful generosity of our donors and legators. It is part of the JNF’s commitment to invest in the Negev town by town.”