אשלים. צילום: עזרא צחור

Ashalim

Ashalim was established in 1976 on the eastern bank of the Besor River, between Mashabei Sadeh and Nitzana. The community takes its name from the plural Hebrew form for the Eshel (tamarisk), one of the desert plants common to the Negev region.

Ashalim is a peaceful and pastoral secular community, numbering 120 families, who enjoy the unique scenery of Ramat Hanegev, the enchanting desert serenity and a high quality of life.

The well-invested educational system is the very heart of the community. Pre-school children enjoy years of activities, classes, attractions and the supervision of excellent professionals. The older children attend high-quality schools within the regional council (elementary school) and near Beer Sheba (high school), and in the afternoon attend local activities by youth movements and region-wide enrichment classes.

Alongside the investment in education, Ashalim’s residents nurture their communal and cultural activities. They have a swimming pool, playing field, gym, synagogue, minimarket, library, residents’ club, youth club and children’s playgrounds. The community has also attracted Israel’s first student village – Adiel Village. This is a special project initiated by Israel’s Ayalim Student Association, designed to encourage young people to settle in the Negev and conduct a rich social life while also contributing to the local community. Students residing in the village study at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheba, enjoy tuition scholarships, subsidized transportation and life in nature – in a location that provides a quiet study environment and a breath of clean, pleasant desert air. They also enjoy a mutually productive encounter with the surrounding community of Ashalim, its families and children. In return for the scholarships they receive, the students donate some of their time to the community and take responsibility for organizing the informal education there, including extracurricular activities for children, a youth club and contributing to cultural events in whatever ways they can.

Ashalim also enjoys exposure to a wide variety of employment sources. Its residents engage in various occupations including alternative medicine, engineering, education and security, along with numerous private enterprises such as Bed & Breakfasts, art galleries, catering & restaurants, a minimarket, a plant nursery, a moving & delivery company, film making, maintenance etc.

The community is undergoing a spurt of growth and expansion. Recently, 110 lots were sold for housing purposes, including 30 lots large enough for a house and two B&B’s. This is a window of opportunity for those who are interested in a quiet, pleasant life in open spaces, with a sense of community spirit and who wish for self-realization and development of private business initiatives.