Dear Members of ARZA and WRJ,
While we on Kibbutz Lotan are geographically outside of the areas which are directly impacted by the violence stemming from Gaza, we of course are connected directly by family, friends and national interest in what is happening minute by minute. Our prayers go to our children – soldiers on the lines, and all of those on both sides of the conflict that simply want to live in peace.
Kibbutz Lotan has become, along with the other kibbutzim in our region, a refuge for women and their children needing a respite from the constant dangers. Our houses and guest accommodations (we wish we had more to offer) are filled and offered gratis. Most of the people we’ve never seen before but some of them are quite familiar: Shanat Sheirut (Israeli gap year leadership training program) participants from years past that now have families have brought their children here. They desperately need a rest from the sirens and missiles but there is no real rest as their husbands and fathers remain at home or in the IDF and the future remains uncertain.
Netzer-NFTY Year Course participants are living in the EcoCampus alongside our Peace, Justice and Environment College Semester students in order to free up houses on the kibbutz for more families from the Gaza region. This past weekend we had all of the Netzer-NFTY group and a visit by the EIE High School students too.
Thank you for your concern. Let’s hope it ends very, very quickly.
Alex Cicelsky is the Director of Research and Development at Kibbutz Lotan.