June 5, 2013
The people of Yerucham are an inspiring bunch. They have a vision that, if fulfilled, will make Yerucham the Negev hot spot. Their unbridled enthusiasm is indeed infectious. We met with the two Yuvals today. Yuval Lavie is primarily responsible for preparing for and bringing Tourism to Yerucham. He took us to the 50 room hotel under construction and slated for a pre- Passover opening next year. We then met at the community pool next door with Yuval Shefi who is the director of the New Yerucham Foundation, the entity ultimately responsible for the costs of that construction. Yuval Shefi told us about Yerucham’s recent history, the creation of his foundation and the impact Amnon Mitzna, the former mayor and Knesset member, had on this community. We were told that the purpose of this foundation created by Shefi in 2006 was to bridge the gap in the community’s financial needs and its resources through philanthropy. We briefly saw an excited graduating class from an Atid Bamidbar programme and then had a wonderful meal at the home of one of the early settlers whose wife is one of the, soon to be famous, Yerucham Culinary Queens. Imagine the opportunity to enjoy a lunch or
At our English class in the afternoon we had an unexpected breakthrough when a Bedouin woman attended class for the first time. It has become obvious that there is a thirst for English in this community that will not diminish after we leave. We must come up with a plan for its continuation.
Each day we become more gratified with the contribution we seem to be making and go to bed even more committed to making a difference.