Israel: The Neta Erez Association emerged in 1999 from the social therapeutic centre Kfar Rafael, whose employees wanted to have a legal platform for additional Waldorf educational initiatives. In the period between 2000 and 2007, four kindergartens were established, in order to manage the high demand. In 2005, a first grade was introduced, marking the beginning of today's Waldorf School.
“I will plant a cedar in the desert . . .” Joshua, 41:19) these are the words from the Bible, after which the Erez Neta Association was named. This is suitable due to the fact that the city of Beer Sheva is located at the northern edge of the Negev desert, which is indeed a place in need of life and growth. Here an impulse has been sown, which, supported by the Association Neta Erez, should help the Waldorf initiative, to more and more accustom to the reality in southern Israel.
The four kindergartens - Gan Inbal and Gan Paamon for children aged 4 to 7, Gan Taleh and Gan Yona for two-to four-year-old children - open their doors at half past seven in the morning and close at four in the afternoon. The care and support of children by staff members is being highly appreciated outside of the kindergarten parenthood. Therefore, officials such as the mayor of Beer Sheva are supporting the nurseries.
On a financial level, a part of the parents provide valuable help, as well as the Ministry of Development. In this way, a fund was created, which allows children, coming from less fortunate families, to attend a kindergarten.
A Waldorf School Opens
The married couple Dvir, the founders of Kfar Rafael, quickly realized that the social therapeutic work would have no future, if there would not be a Waldorf school within reach. Furthermore it was no longer possible not to hear the desire of many parents who wished for a Waldorf school for their children. The two sons of the married couple picked up on this desire and founded the first grade of the Waldorf School in 2005. In 2006, the city administration decided that the Waldorf School could use the abandoned buildings of a former school.
Now there were 30 days left between that decision and the start of the new school year and the buildings were very run down, because they had not been used for four years and were marked by fire damage. Through the support of the city administration and the hard work of parents, volunteers and staff, the miracle was achieved to renovate the main building and the school managed to open on the first day of the new school year.
The two sons of the married couple Dvir are working as teachers, one as a class teacher and the other as eurythmy teacher. Every year the school expands by a new first grade. Its existence as well as the constant development is being fully supported by the parenthood, who are very happy that their children can go to kindergarten in a school that follows up on the impulses of Waldorf education, which have been conveyed to the children throughout kindergarten. Furthermore it is fortunate that not only the parents, but also the government supports the school.