Perth and Merhav Am, Different but the Same

Tenth graders from the Carmel School in Perth embark on a Roots journey in Israel, and spend a day with Israeli youth their age in Merhav Am.

July 14, 2016 19:13
2 minute read.

Perth and Merhav Am, Different but the Same. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)


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Tenth graders from the Carmel School in Perth, Australia, come to Israel every year for a roots journey. For three weeks, the visitors traveled all over Israel from north to south, touring sites, meeting people and volunteering. Their visit in Merhav Am was one of the highlights of their trip and gave them another opportunity to see how the green community in the Negev is flourishing, developing and growing.

“The aim of this trip is to strengthen the connection of the students to the people and the land,” explained Simon Lawrence, the Director of Jewish Studies at the Carmel School. “It’s important for us that they get to know different aspects of Israel; past, present and future. It’s great to see them experiencing Israel and loving it.”
This is the fourth roots journey of the Carmel School and the second time their high school students are visiting Merhav Am. Friends of JNF in Western Australia adopted the town in the Negev and, together with the local residents, have been turning the desert green and making it a more beautiful place to live. Projects supported there by JNF Australia include a new playground with equipment for all ages, a green yard for the community center, and landscaping outside the preschools that will be carried out after construction of the preschools has been completed.

“Developing Merhav Am is a major part of our partnership with JNF Western Australia, but it is no less important for us to connect with the young Australians who visit us here,” said Allison Speiser, a resident of Merhav Am. “Merhav Am was founded by a group of people who wanted to build something new, and KKL-JNF has helped us create a green and thriving community here.”

The Australians arrived in Merhav Am toward evening, had dinner prepared for them by their hosts, spent the night at the local inn and started their next day with breakfast at the home of Allison. These are just a few examples of the close personal friendship that has developed over the years between Western Australia and Merhav Am.

For further information, comments or permission please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Internet Department

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