The Aliyah Return Center (ARC)
The ministry of the ARC located in Beit Zera is likened to a busy, buzzing beehive. In fact, we haven’t seen a place busier in all our years of volunteering our time to serve others.
The ARC is a multi-faceted ministry. One major facet is repairing run-down buildings in a kibbutz. The neighboring kibbutz, Beit Zera (House of Seed), is a communal settlement established in 1927 and 650 residents, typically a farming settlement, within walking distance nearby.
The ARC partnering with the Jewish Agency (JA) has a unique working relationship. Instead of both organizations financing and running the entire Aliyah/Welfare and Renovation/Development on their own, the responsibilities have been divided.
ARC – The property has many run-down buildings and the ARC is the primary fundraiser responsible for rebuilding and renovating and developing the buildings/grounds on the property for the kibbutz in place of paying rent for the property. This renovation is done through the hands of many Volunteers who come anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months for work projects and financing comes through donations. The ARC then provides renovated housing for the incoming Jews (Olim), pre-Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Soldiers, lone-Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Soldiers, and will soon incorporate special needs individuals.
The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) provides the primary funding responsible for administration and immersion programs (providing education and reabsorption training into life here in Israel) deepening the returning Jews (Olim) with their Jewish identity and understanding of Israel.
OUR SERVING PURPOSE:
We came to help get a FAAGRIC program up and running. We have begun seed planting and tree planting and Moringa seedlings. There are some exciting ideas coming, so stay tuned to the progress of FAAGRIC at the ARC.
THE KIBBUTZ HISTORY:
The residents of this kibbutz sent their children to this property, where the Aliyah Return Center (ARC) now resides, years ago when this place housed the kibbutz’s children in a boarding school. This former boarding school called Bikat Kinarot (Valley of Violins) was home to 350 high school students but closed in 2008.
Now it is being transformed as the Bikat Kinarot Center, an educational facility for everyone living and working together through the ARC. So the building we first resided in was a former boarding dorm. The Kibbutz, is a communal settlement established in 1927 and 650 residents, typically a farming settlement, within walking distance nearby. The kibbutz has built a new settlement close by that is not quite ready to move into.