About kibbutz Yahel

About

At Yahel we prize our shared social engagement. We celebrate seasonal and traditional holidays, the annual anniversary of the founding of Yahel in 1977, and various other milestones. 

Women’s birthdays are a great example: When any Yahel woman is about to graduate to a new decade of her life, the other Yahel women organize a communal, women-only party to honor her transition. 

Our adolescents celebrate their bat mitzvah and bar mitzvah with a community ceremony in our synagogue. 

And lately, with so many additional young families coming to live here, a new volunteer tradition was launched: Give birth, get a casserole! (Collectively we make sure that, after your baby is born and things are a little busy, the family has plenty of home-cooked meals supplied by friends and neighbors.) 

These are just a few examples of Yahel community spirit in action. Creative new initiatives are always welcome.

Meanwhile, members and residents here also take on a diverse assortment of important roles in managing the day-to-day life of the community. They join committees and coordinate all kinds of tasks large and small that enhance our shared quality of life.  

Work in the Arava

About a 45-minute drive from Eilat, Yahel is part of the Hevel Eilot (southern Arava) region. The regional council is headquartered about fifteen minutes south of us in a complex of buildings that includes our regional clinic, the Hevel Eilot Community Center, and lots more.

The region offers a wide variety of employment opportunities in nearly every sector. If you are contemplating a move to Yahel, employment is a very good place to start exploring your options.

Local job postings are continually updated on the regional website at this link (Hebrew only). 

Education

Early childhood education at Yahel reflects the spirit of kibbutz. The children go on supervised walks around the kibbutz from an early age. They encounter the adults during their workday and become familiar with their surroundings. Early childhood is a foundational stage in developing children’s thinking, their skills and abilities, values, communication, and cooperation with those around them. 

Our Nof Adom primary school (grades 1-6) and Ma’ale Shaharut high school (grades 7-12) are rated among Israel’s top twenty schools by the Pedagogical Authority of the Ministry of Education. The high school is run partly on an innovative PBL (problem-based learning) system.

At Yahel, informal learning for children of school age centers on a kolelet – the place where they spend time as a group, after school and on school holidays. Supervised activities vary with the season and incorporate the annual cycle of holidays. The children go on hikes and field trips and do arts and crafts. They have special Games Days along with routine playground activity. They see films and have discussions and go swimming (in season), and enjoy special activities of many kinds planned just for them. 

Human dignity, tolerance, responsibility, independence and caring for others are the foundational values in a Hevel Eilot education. Our schools aspire to nurture young people to be curious and independent, to think critically and make good choices, and eventually to integrate into and contribute to their society. 

The Desert

Yahel sits in a sheltered spot in a desert wilderness of primal beauty, surrounded by nature trails and hiking routes – including Nahal Vardit, Nahal Barak, Sapir Park and the Ramon craters. South of us are Timna Park, the Pillars of Amram, the Shekhoret Canyon and the Red Canyon. To our west is Nahal Ya’alon, a favorite choice for hiking, mountain biking, and picnics. East of us is the Bulbus Field, with a network of routes strewn with iconic giant round boulders and beloved by off-road cyclists and geology enthusiasts. 

Yahel is about 200 meters (656 feet) above sea level. From here, the land slopes southward toward the Red Sea and northward toward the Dead Sea — but many millions of years ago, the entire area was underwater. Today if you go walking in the hills around Yahel and keep a sharp eye out, you will often find fossilized sea shells perfect for collecting. Hint: kids love fossil-hunting.

Meanwhile, the kibbutz itself is surrounded by groves of date palms and much of the perimeter road is planted with olive trees. There is a splendid view of the Edom Mountains from anywhere on campus. If you love open spaces, fresh air and dramatic natural landscapes, this is a good place to visit. Stay at our guesthouse, Ma’ayan BaMidbar (the name means “a spring in the desert”).