The idea of the Midrasha was the brain child of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, when he toured the area of Zin River in 1953. Several years later, when Ben- Gurion was already a member of Kibbutz Sde Boker, the idea materialized and the Midrasha was established overlooking the majestic landscape of the valley.
As activity in the Midrasha gained momentum, the first families settled there in 1962. At the same time, local educational operations were extended. The field school was established first and from the mid 1970’s other educational institutions were added which now operate there – the regional high school for environmental education and pre-military base, along with academic institutions of desert studies.
In the 1980’s, following increased development of the education and research institutions, the settlement rate at the Midrasha increased too and a group was formed of people who wanted to build their own homes. The first homes in this framework, the Nahal Zin neighborhood, were the forerunners of a later venture, in 1998, when another new neighborhood – Neveh Boker – was built. In 2003, Midreshet Ben Gurion officially became an independent community now numbering 400 families, the largest of Ramat Hanegev Regional Council communities.
Midreshet Ben-Gurion is a unique, lively community, the largest in Ramat Hanegev, and houses all types of educational institutions, day care for ages 0-3, kindergartens and Zin Elementary School, all under joint supervision of the council and the local committee, as well as the High School of Environmental Education attended by local teens. The community also houses other educational institutions: Midreshet Sde Boker Association, a government association that operates the environmental education boarding school and field school, the Desert Research Institutes and Ben-Gurion Institute of Israeli Studies (the latter two are affiliated with Ben-Gurion University).
Based on the characteristics of the community, most of its residents are employed at one of the education and research institutes in the Midrasha or nearby, as well as various local business and tourism-related enterprises.
The residents’ love of desert scenery serves as an open invitation to other families interested in realizing their dream to raise their children in a peaceful atmosphere in pleasant, friendly surroundings, enchanted virginal scenery, top-notch education system, personal security and social involvement in a growing community. All of this is present in a community which has realized David Ben-Gurion’s vision of settling the Negev and grants its residents everything the desert has to offer, together with extensive community services including a swimming pool, playgrounds, sports fields, health services, shopping center with supermarket, deli, café, gym, post office and more.