Years 10 and 11 students were privileged to receive a presentation from guest speakers of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Australia. It was an engaging morning, with the speakers enlightening students about life in the desert.

The students learnt about JNF in Israel, the world leaders in agricultural development, and about the inspiring start-up cyber technologies being developed in the Negev over the years. Life in Israel is very different to what we know here in the safe confines of Perth.

When asked what made life in the Negev unique, our speakers told us about their meaningful and unique lifestyle. 95% of the time, life is paradise – lush greenery combined with cutting edge agricultural technology makes for a beautiful environment to live in, and to experience Israeli culture. However, the area in the Negev in which JNF operates lies right on the Gaza border. As a result, life in the Negev is not as carefree and relaxed as life is in Perth. Children are taught from a young age to be responsive to the sirens, signaling an imminent danger. Kindergartens are built to be heavily sheltered, with walls designed with double protective layers of brick and metal – slim windows are built as a protective mechanism, preventing wide, arching windows in architectural designs.

The JNF project has an incredibly vital importance in desert communities, however it also illustrated the significance and hardship that comes with it, as one must consider the tradeoff between safety and leisure. We’d like to graciously thank JNF for taking the time to come in and educate us about the Negev lifestyle and can’t wait to meet again at the end of the year!

Written by Ari and Dina
Year 11 students and Judaica Captains for 2023