When you hear the word “Negev,” images of miles of desert, dunes, desolate surroundings, camels, and, indeed, the saying “Israel made the desert bloom” come to mind.
Today, a trip through that desert’s 4,650 square miles (northwestern) paints a pretty different picture. Incubators for some of Israel’s most cutting-edge social, educational, and technological advancements are flourishing in the Negev’s “Gaza envelope” and Eshkol region, as evidenced by a recent visit to the area.
And not surprisingly, the renowned Jewish National Fund USA contributes a sizable sum of money to these endeavors (JNF-USA).
To assist and develop a wide range of projects that are not government efforts, the organization partners with Israeli organizations and regional councils.
Many projects are intended to assist the citizens of towns on the front lines of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad attacks for decades because the Eshkol region shares borders with Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
The GrooveTech Center, situated on campus with schools that teach 2,500 pupils and just two miles from the Gaza border, is one of the most eye-catching and cutting-edge efforts.
The largest technology center in Israel is a two-story reinforced structure.
There are numerous areas for youngsters to engage in after-school STEM instruction and recreational activities inside the open, bright building devoted to space, technology, and gaming.
Children who live in the Gaza Strip under continual fear of rocket and mortar assaults can use a cybertech lab, space center, planetarium, broadcast studio, robotics workshop, virtual reality arena, professional teaching kitchen, and hydroponics growing area.
In December of last year, GrooveTech televised the launch of NASA’s James Webb Telescope, which was a huge source of entertainment and pride.
The high-ranking Israeli-born NASA scientist who served as a consultant for GrooveTech’s space center was the catalyst for the NASA partnership.
The neighborhood had first requested funding from JNF-USA to assist in the construction of a jungle gym, according to Maydan Peleg, director of the GrooveTech Center.
They advised me to dream greater; this is the outcome, and she continued grinning.
She added that children who come here could forget about the outside world, experience pride and accomplishment, and become engrossed in cutting-edge, thrilling activities that support their continued strength.
They have access to the most advanced technology and are free to pursue their dreams.