After over £800,000 in donations, cornerstone of new Derech Eretz campus is laid as part of JNF UK’s Legacy Mission to Israel

In recognition of the huge support of British Jewry through JNF UK to the highly successful social project Derech Eretz, delegates on JNF UK’s Legacy Mission to Israel last week took part in a moving ceremony to lay the cornerstone of a new building in Kmehin. Together with youngsters who will benefit from its programme, JNF UK’s future legacy donors helped to get the building of an exciting new Derech Eretz campus underway.

Derech Eretz is a six month pre-military programme for recent high-school graduates from the middle and lower classes in Israel. The programme encourages social mobility, initiative, pioneering spirit and volunteerism, helping make military service more meaningful whilst also laying the groundwork for a life of success and giving back to the community.

JNF UK has contributed £828,000 to Derech Eretz since 2011.

Operating from campuses in the Negev, Derech Eretz also hopes to engage and inspire its participants to take up the next great pioneering mission of settling and developing the Negev. Derech Eretz began life on a small campus in Nitzana, and with JNF UK’s help has opened up an additional two campuses in Yerucham and Kmehin.

Legacy Mission participants commented that they look forward to coming back in future years to see the growing campus and its successful work.

Carolyn Addleman, Director of Legacies, from JNF UK, said “Projects like Derech Eretz are central to JNF UK’s policy of helping pioneering organisations in Israel. Our legacy mission is just one of many events we hold throughout the year to help strengthen the connection between the Jewish community in the UK and the Jewish homeland in Israel. Those who generously leave a legacy to JNF UK ensure that their support not only connects our our two countries, but also connects generations, with programmes like Derech Eretz ensuring the future of Israel is strengthened through the personal development of its young people.”