The story of Retamim village begins in 2000, when several members of Mechinat Atzmona, the pre-military preparatory framework, first raised the idea that was then only a distant dream – to establish an orthodox Jewish community in the Negev. Six years later, the dream became a reality. The idea turned into a live and breathing orthodox community; initially, as a temporary community located in a separate part of Kibbutz Tlalim, and later as a permanent autonomous community-settlement.
Since the establishment of the permanent settlement at its present location, in 2009, west of Mashabei Sadeh junction on the Mashabei Sadeh – Ze’elim road, some 36km from Beer Sheba, Retamim Village has been undergoing constant growth. When they first moved to their permanent location, 16 families inhabited the village. Retamim has since multiplied to 76 families, who reflect the entire gamut of orthodox sectors in Israel. Living together in a single community is not to be taken for granted under current Israeli circumstances. But when they all share the affiliation and belief in three guiding principles of the community, it turns out to be entirely possible.
The principles that guide village residents are:
* Settlement and augmenting the Jewish population in the Negev.
* Constructing a diverse religious community that believes in the spirit of the Torah while maintaining harmony, unity and respect for others.
* Social involvement and responsibility along with integration and reciprocal relations with the secular community in Ramat Hanegev Regional Council and nearby cities (Yeruham and Beer Sheba).
Retamim Village has a flourishing, vivacious community spirit, cultural activities, high-quality education system and many public institutions and facilities including: synagogue, members’ club, playground, basketball court and more.
Looking to the future, the residents of Retamim village wish to create a thriving religious community and to continue being involved in the community life in the regional council alongside its non-religious residents. They also wish to create voluntary frameworks that promote social projects and to provide an alternative for orthodox families wishing to live in the Negev in a warm, caring and ideological religious community, founded on consideration and tolerance for others.