Glimmer of optimism

About 15 years ago, the Israeli government approached the Eshkol Regional Council with an offer to build a new reinforced school for the region, with the understanding that the kibbutz kids and the moshav kids would unite in the one building.

A few pieces of background information:

1.      With a reinforced building, students and faculty would not need to leave the building to run to bomb shelters in the likely event of rocket fire. They could remain indoors with minimal disruption.

2.      The government was not willing to reinforce the existing buildings, and it was willing to build only one new building.

3.      Until this point, the kibbutz kids and the moshav kids studied separately.

4.      Moshavim and kibbutzim are both settlements, but kibbutzim are historically communal while moshavim are capitalist, usually with some common interest.

To say that there was some skepticism would not be an understatement. Veteran leadership did not see how these two philosophically opposed groups could possibly come together under one roof.

Today, Eshkol students are scattered around the country, with large groups in the Dead Sea area and Eilat and temporary schools built for the kids in those locations.

Now, here is the uplifting story that I promised you last week:

The senior class of Eshkol, toddlers during the contentious merger, refused to be physically separated around the country for their last year together. To their credit, the adults heard the students’ demands and created a boarding school for the graduating class. We visited the school. Seems that whatever issues the kibbutz folks and moshav folks had with each other, it was not passed down to this special group of kids.