In these challenging times, Israel faces a pressing need for fresh initiatives and innovative solutions. One of the sectors most profoundly impacted by the ongoing conflict is agriculture. Since the conflict's onset, farmers cultivating their lands near the Gaza Strip and the northern border of Israel have been compelled to abandon their homes and fields, leaving their crops unattended. The situation took a more severe turn when a significant number of migrant workers from these areas returned to their homes in Thailand, following the abduction and murder of several of their friends and colleagues by Hamas militants.
Yet in the face of these heart-wrenching challenges, the people of Israel are rallying together with a genuine warmth, pouring their efforts into providing steadfast support to these farmers. This urgent situation has triggered a collective response aimed at finding solutions and extending a heartfelt helping hand to those impacted in the agricultural sector.
Local initiatives have also flourished, all with the aim of supporting Israeli farmers. For instance, Pardes-Hanna Karkur resident Eddy Rotenberg, a teacher, has taken on the task of connecting high school students with farmers in need of harvest assistance. Thanks to her efforts, over 20 high schools, including Pardes Hanna's Rimon School, have enthusiastically joined in, sending students to aid farmers in both the south and north.
In Pardes Hanna, a family-owned enterprise known as "Habustan Shel Saba Yossi" (Grandpa Yossi's Garden) led by Topaz Sharon, L2G program alumna, has been lending its support to the local farming community. Every Friday, the Sharon family invites farmers from all over Israel to sell their produce. This includes greens, tomatoes, avocados, pineapples, and mangos from Sde Avraham, Sde Nitzan, and Nativ Ha'asara in the south, bananas, avocados, and eggs from Liman and Ya'ara in the north, and much more.
Furthermore, as a heartfelt tribute to a beloved community member, the fallen Ori Loker, the market saves a special section in his memory. In the upcoming Friday market, they are taking their support even further by enlisting volunteers to bake and sell cakes, with all the profits from these sales dedicated to honoring his memory.
These heartwarming acts of solidarity inspire hope for more beautiful human connections, as we all look forward to brighter days ahead.