In the presence of family, friends and the honorable Director-general of the Jewish Agency, Nathan Sharansky, MK Amir Peretz, Israeli author Eli Amir, former MK and culture minister Ofir Pines and 1000 young ‘followers’, who are continuing Lova’s educational vision,
A ceremony was held to name the ‘Nitzana’ education settlement community in the Negev for the late Aryeh (Lova) Eliav, one of the senior leaders of the Israeli Labor Movement, who passed away in May 2010. Lova served as a Labor MK (member of Knesset) and as a deputy-minister in the Israeli government. In 1988 he was awarded the Israel Prize for his special contribution to society and the State. In the framework of his settlement efforts, Lova established the ‘Nitzana’ educational settlement community in 1986, under the auspices of the Jewish Agency for Israel, on Israel’s border with Egypt. In 2003 Lova was granted the Ben-Gurion Award for his lifelong work in absorbing new immigrants in Nitzana and settling newcomers in the Negev.
After the ceremony, an impressive rally took place attended by 1000 young people from pre-military academies, pre-army volunteer service-year and national service frameworks, and members of young communities who aspire to impact the future of the Negev.
David Palmach, the director of ‘Nitzana’, explained that the annual programming in this Jewish Agency-supported educational community impacts the lives of thousands of teens and young adults from Israel and around the world. Among other things, workshops and short educational seminars are held, emphasizing Zionism and ecology, while longer programs are also offered, including “Derech Eretz” – a pre-military academy (“Mechina”); Hebrew Ulpan (immersion language courses) for young new immigrants with high academic ability; MASSA project for Jewish young adults, with an emphasis on challenge sports in the desert.
Moreover, in the spirit of the human values cherished by Lova Eliav, the “Tikkun Olam” (meaning: reparation of the world) boarding school was inaugurated, in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Education, for asylum-seeking Eritrean youth. These African minors, who are completely alone without parents in Israel, had been held in detention. This unique program offers them the path to a better future.
This is the humanistic Jewish and Zionist legacy of Aryeh Lova Eliav.