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The Trailblazing Agricultural School That Began In A Cave

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It was at Mikve Yisrael Youth Village that the Davidka homemade Israeli mortar was created, and the ‘most Israeli tree’ was first planted.

Israel’s flagship agricultural school had its beginnings in a cave. And Charles (Karl) Netter — the school’s founder — recruited the first student off a Jerusalem street.

Netter was looking for suitable candidates for his project when he spotted a youth lounging on the street eating a watermelon. The boy’s widowed mother, who was barely eking out a living, readily agreed to let him go: not only would it help with the family’s financial difficulties, but it assured her son of an education. And that’s how Mikve Yisrael Agricultural School sprang into action — with one teacher, and one pupil — and in a cave.

Mikve Yisrael Agricultural School was established by Alliance Israelite Universelle, a French organization founded in 1860 to improve the lot of the Jews in communities all over the world. Soon afterwards, the organization began opening Jewish schools in different parts of North Africa.

Ten years after its foundation, “Alliance” decided to set up a network of schools in Palestine. It began by purchasing a tract of empty land from the Turkish sultan slightly southeast of Jaffa, and sent Netter to establish a school.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

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Michael, Sean, Jen, Laura and I want to thank you both for making our family trip to Israel this past December an absolutely amazing experience! We are left with wonderful memories to cherish. Your expertise and dedication to planning our trip, combined with Shmuel’s expertise as our tour guide allowed us to have a perfectly organized, fascinating, adventurous and fun family vacation! Shmuel’s energetic nature and enthusiastic personality made him a pleasure to travel with each day! We truly appreciate all that you both did for us, you had each member of our family’s best interests at heart at all times! We treasure your friendship and we can’t wait to see you again! Todah Rabah!!

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