In an impressive and festive ceremony last week (Sunday, Feb. 24th), the ground-breaking for the establishment of the JNF Israel Education and Technology Center, was held in the Be'er-Sheva River Park. The JNF Center will be the largest international educational-technological center in Israel, open to Jewish youth and adults from around the world.
The event, held in the presence of a large delegation of JNF-USA and local representatives, was attended by the Mayor of Be'er-Sheva, Ruvik Danilovich, JNF-USA CEO Russell Robinson, JNF National President Dr. Sol Lizerbram, Be'er-Sheva Vice and Deputy mayors and members of the City Council, as well as other distinguished international guests.
The prestigious campus for education and technology will span 50 dunam (over 12 acres) and will include a center for Zionist education for adults, a technology center for university students, and the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, which will educate hundreds of Jewish young people from all over the world. The connection to Israel will be developed at the high-school age, and will be carefully adapted to meet the needs of the youth who will arrive in Israel without parents. The level of studies will be very high; but not only that. The connection to Israel will be taught through values and Zionism, imparted to the students through their heads, their feet and through their daily activities. The very ground of the State of Israel will become their classroom.
The educational-technological campus will work in cooperation with the Be'er-Sheva educational system, the youth movements, and it will, of course, be part of the Be'er-Sheva community.
The establishment of the campus is a joint project of JNF-USA, the Be'er-Sheva Municipality and the Rashi Foundation.
Mayor of Be'er-Sheva, Ruvik Danilovich: "On behalf of the residents of Be'er-Sheva and the Negev, I thank JNF-USA, the president of the organization Dr. Sol Lizerbram, the CEO Russell Robinson and all the members of the organization for their important contribution to the development of the Negev. Their many years of work, like what they have invested in this project, once again proves their commitment to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people. Be'er-Sheva has won the prize of an international project that establishes the city as a leading center for knowledge in Israel and around the world."
CEO of JNF-USA, Russell Robinson: "Our success comes from the partnership of JNF-USA and the unique leadership in Be'er-Sheva. When we began the partnership, with the aim of changing the face of the Negev, we knew that we could help promote initiatives because the community in Be'er-Sheva had the intent and will to continue to create change. Today, when you see the development of this metropolitan city, there is no doubt that this is the only place to teach what Zionism is."
President of JNF-USA, Dr. Sol Lizerbram: "The JNF-USA vision for the future of the Negev began in Be'er-Sheva more than a decade ago. Our donors were at the forefront of the support for Be'er‑Sheva and were proud to see how it became one of the most transformative cities in Israel. The JNF Israel Education and Technology Center will be one of the centers of Judaism throughout the world that will bring thousands of people to the heart of the Negev, to learn about Zionism, about Israeli innovation and about the pioneering spirit of the 21st century.
The campus, located in the Be'er-Sheva River Park, will offer unique opportunities to integrate its students and visitors in the southern region."