כפר הנוער ניצנה. צילום עזרא צחור

Nitzana is a community in the heart of Pitchat Nitzana, situated between the border with Egypt and Tel Nitzana National Park. It is home to an educational community owned by the Jewish Agency. It began in 1986 as a youth village established by the late Arie Lova Eliav, Knesset member, author, peace activist and winner of the Israel Award for contribution to society. As it evolved, branches that do not characterize a classical youth village developed, including an Ulpan that teaches Hebrew to new immigrants, seminars, environmental and science studies. At the same time, the community developed and grew.


Presently, Nitzana is an educational instruction center that operates seminars and various unique programs including Zionist-Ecological Negev – specializing in desert and Negev studies; Follow the Sun scientific seminar specializing in science studies; innovative programs for young adults from the former Soviet Union and North America; a field school, challenge sports programs and more. The community also houses an interactive scientific solar part, archeological museum with findings from Tel Nitzana, visitors’ and information center, class and lecture rooms, computer rooms, recycling and separation center, hospitality center for groups and families, indoor swimming pool with solar heating, synagogue, dining room and regional health clinic.


Due to the unique character of the community, it is inhabited by the families of the village teaching and administrative staff, volunteers and regional council employees. Family members not employed on the premises are engaged in agriculture, council departments, light industrial plants on neighboring kibbutzim, Nitzana border terminal and desert tourism under development in Ramat Hanegev. Due to its special character, the average age in the village is quite young, between 30 and 35. Educational frameworks for Nitzana family children are located in nearby Kadesh Barnea (kindergartens), Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh (elementary school) and Midreshet Ben Gurion or north of Beer Sheba (high schools).


From a strategic viewpoint, the objective of the community is to serve as a regional educational center for all Pitchat Nitzana settlements – Kadesh Barnea, Kmehin, Ezuz and Beer Milka – and the future town Nitzanit. Its designation in the more distant future is to provide an educational, cultural and sports center for the developing region. The council is promoting a program to build a community neighborhood adjacent to the village to provide housing for new families wishing to relocate to the area.