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Yahel – One More New Home In The Homeland!

editor - 18 July 2018

“אִם אֶרְאֶה אוֹר כִּי יָהֵל וְיָרֵחַ יָקָר הֹלֵךְ” “If ever I saw the light shining, The moon on its course in full glory” – it’s a precise translation from the book of Job (31:26). The word Yahel (Hebr. יָהֵל) can be translated as “shine” or “illuminate”. This word was chosen by the Jewish pioneers from the Reform movement that established in 1977 a new kibbutz in the Arava desert. Located just two kilometers from the Jordanian border, this kibbutz became home for eighty member families and eighty residents, two hundred and fifty people in total. This year Yahel collectively decided to join the First Home in the Homeland program, after a break of 10 years! This kibbutz is an oasis in the desert, a green island in the Arava. Another two kibbutzim in the area are named by the friends of Job – Eliphaz and Zophar. According to one version the land of Uz, mentioned in the book of Job, was located in the “Red Mountains”, maybe it was this very area of Arava…

The first three olim-families arrived to Arava in December 2017, one from France, one from Russia and one from Ukraine.

Pavel and Ekaterina Shapiro from Kherson (Southern Ukraine) already knew what the First Home is. One year prior to their aliyah, the brother of Pavel, Alexander Shapiro with his family arrived at the kibbutz Ein Hashlosha in Eshkol (near the Gaza-strip). Alexander still lives in the region, even in these tough times.

Pavel and Ekaterina decided to follow Alexander’s example and just after their son Yaroslav celebrated his second birthday, the second Shapiro family boarded a plane to head for Israel.

Pavel and Ekaterina Shapiro

“In Kherson we lived in a dilapidated house” – tells Ekaterina – “you cannot imagine our living conditions there”.

“I used to work fourteen hours a day” – tells Pavel – “but it was still not enough to provide for the basic needs of my family. Only here we understood that it’s possible to make ends meet at the end of the month and avoid debts.”

Yahel is a small community and every family became an integral part of it.

Pavel and Ekaterina finished a Hebrew course and are thinking about moving to Ashkelon to be closer to their family.

  • Promise us that you will come and visit us in our kibbuts! – asks the Yahel community.

Shapiros already decided to definitely do that!

In December 2018 this Southern region Hevel Eilot with four kibbutzim Lotan, Eliphaz, Ktura and Yahel are prepared to receive about 20 new families! Are you ready to read their stories?

Thanks to your ongoing support we are able to welcome more olim families from the four corners of the world into our absorption program First Home in the Homeland!

Please support the “First Home in the Homeland” Project. Any amount is welcome!
Assisting a family in the “First Home” program costs € 230 euro / US $ 250 a month.


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