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Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom Lays Cornerstone for School in Halutza

Contact: Ariel Vered • JNF Communications Manager • 212-879-9305 ext. 227 •

September 29, 2010Halutza, Israel – This week, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom laid a cornerstone at a dedication ceremony for a school in Naveh, one of six planned farming communities in the Halutza region.

The school is being built by Gush Katif evacuees, who are rebuilding their lives after losing their homes in 2005 when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. The school marks the next step in JNF’s expansion of the new communities at Halutza, located in the sand dunes on Israel’s borders with Egypt and Gaza.

Part of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign to sustainably develop Israel’s Negev Desert for Israel’s next generation, the uprooted families have taken on the challenge of being 21st century pioneers in a remote corner of the desert that has never before been inhabited or farmed. In no time, they have turned desert fields into impressive yields of produce.

The families have been living in temporary homes for the past five years and are now just beginning to move into their new homes. Sara Hefer, a Halutza resident, sees great promise in the development of the barren desert into a thriving community.

“Despite all the difficulties we have endured, I know that I have a future in Halutza,” she said. “I believe that our community will grow to be three to five times bigger than it was in Gush Katif. We are building vibrant communities upon our strong connection to history and to the land of Israel. In 100 years, this whole area will be green, thanks in large part to JNF.”

With JNF's support, Halutza is flourishing, with construction and development of new parks and buildings, infrastructure, community entranceways, educational facilities, and more.

For more information, contact Ariel Vered at 212-879-9305 ext. 227 or

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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