Jewish National Fund to build $350 million ‘World Zionist Village’

The village will include a second campus of JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School, dorms and a conference center.

By World Israel News Staff

The Jewish National Fund is planning a ‘World Zionist Village’ in the southern city of Beer Sheba. The estimated cost $350 million. JNF announced last week that fundraising will take place over the next five years.

The 21-acre village will include the second campus for JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel; a post-college internship program; adult education opportunities, and more. A planned conference center will draw teachers, adult learners, and scholars from around the world, JNF says.

JNF-USA says it will use its connections through the Lauder Employment Center, Nefesh B’Nefesh, and its relationships with companies such as Dell, Intel, and Cisco to help college graduates and post-graduates obtain internships for one or two years in Beer Sheba.

JNF-USA President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram, said: “The World Zionist Village will become the greatest place to bring our Jewish world together. The Village will feature an internship program that will [support] professional aptitude, strengthen personal character, and provide a door of opportunity to the next generation of technology-driven professionals.

“By investing in internships, we will help young people, especially in today’s competitive environment, get ahead while giving them the opportunity to engage with the people of Israel.”

With more enrollment applications than spaces at JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel, the World Zionist Village will provide a second campus and enable enrollments to increase from 1,400 to 5,000 in the coming years.

JNF-USA Chief Executive Officer Russell F. Robinson called on Zionists from around the world to “join the greatest conversation ever had to build bridges across generations, denominations, and politics as we embark on the first global Zionist education center.”

Be’er Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich said, “We still have many things to do in order to make Beer Sheba central. Not just the center of the country. Not just the center of Israel – but an international center of studies, of education, of technology, academia – a center that creates the future. With [JNF-USA’s] help, we are doing it!”

Envision Tomorrow’s Israel – A competition to design the World Zionist Village was also announced during the launch event. The competition aims to solicit ideas for key elements of this Village, including dormitories, high school classrooms, conference center space, café’s, houses of worship, outdoor gardens, or entranceways.

Additionally, JNF seeks a unique design concept — an iconic structure — as a means for attracting people to the desert city of Beer Sheba.