A summer program for students in Israel, Katif Yisraeli combines agricultural work with learning and enrichment on agriculture, Zionism, and society, in a group setting.
More about the Projet
About the Project
Israel was founded on the ideals of working the land and “avoda ivrit” (Hebrew labor). The current generations, however, are far removed from this sense of belonging and connection to the land. As a result, farmers are hard-pressed to find enough manpower to successfully cultivate their fields and groves. Katif Yisraeli addresses both aspects of the issue by bringing groups of students to work in agriculture during the summer months. The groups live together, work together, and, in the evenings, study together; exploring topics such Zionism, Judaism, agriculture, sustainability, and the environment.
The project was founded in 2014, in partnership with the Students Association and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Social Experience
Young people often seek meaning in community and a sense of belonging, especially in today’s isolating and alienating society, Katif Yisraeli, by enabling young people to live together in a group setting, provides exactly this kind of meaningful social experience. Each group of participants forms strong social bonds and a sense of cohesion that carries beyond the summer months and continues throughout the year.
Learning and Enrichment
During the course of the program, in addition to the agricultural work and social activities, one evening a week is dedicated to learning, study, and discussion. The topics revolve around Zionism, connection to the land, agriculture, Judaism, and social change.
The Agricultural Experience
Among other things, Israeli agriculture is currently suffering from an acute lack of available quality labor. Katif Yisraeli addresses this problem by organizing students to come and work the land during the crucial summer months when much of the produce is ready for picking and would otherwise rot on the trees and vines. Katif Yisraeli participants harvest apples, pears, mangoes and plums, as well as dates and grapes. They give Israeli agriculture a shot of much needed energy in terms of both the number of workers and their quality.
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