A farm where girls, women, and the land grow together
Kaima Nahalal - About Us
Kaima Nahalal, a non-profit educational farm in Israel’s far flung Jezreel Valley, improves opportunities and choices for vulnerable girls and young women and engages the larger community, especially women’s groups, in the process. We are a proud member of the Kaima Educational Farming Network, which uses the tool of agricultural employment and the power of nature to reengage the young person seeking educational and social frameworks.
Founded in 2016, Kaima Nahalal is a non-profit educational farm, located in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Kaima Nahalal (sustainability in Aramaic) is committed to re-engaging and empowering girls (ages 15-18) who have dropped out of school or are on the cusp of doing so as well as young women (18-21) whose challenges continue into young adulthood. By tapping into the healing power of nature and utilizing the tool of employment, we are able to change the downward trajectory of their lives and redirect them to normative educational and social frameworks.
Our multi-faceted programming combines organic farming, business learning, personal enrichment, and community activities as a means of sustaining the individual and the land. The farm’s yield is sold to the general public through the internationally recognized CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) platform which guarantees an income stream to help underwrite our educational initiatives. We are guided by a multi-generational professional team of social activists, agriculturalists, and pedagogues focused on advancing the first all-girl/women-run farm in the Kaima growing alternative educational network, founded in 2013, just outside of Jerusalem.
Provide employment (a powerful tool for self-improvement) and cultivate other practical skills which foster curiosity, creativity and critical thinking for girls and young women facing significant barriers to social and academic advancement.
Create a safe environment to help heal past traumas and reconnect to society by encouraging people to trust themselves, their peers, and particularly adults.
Encourage teamwork and leadership development and cultivate a sense of personal value, self-confidence, and collective accountability.
Support girls (15-18) in returning to some form of formal educational setting and the pursuit of matriculation and encourage army/national service as a path toward social inclusion.
Provide a transition from adolescence to young adulthood for young women (18-21) not yet equipped to enter society with full autonomy.
Advance the concept of Yesh Meain (“Creating Something from Nothing”) in fostering environmental and social awareness and promoting change regarding agricultural consumption and perceptions of abundance within Israeli society.
Tap into the healing power of nature, promote healthy and mindful eco-friendly lifestyles, and offer the community access to organically-grown vegetables.
Demonstrate that girls and women can assume ownership and leadership in an arena such as agriculture, typically dominated by men.
Serve as a gathering place in a region of diverse communities and ecosystems where the people of all backgrounds can come together to learn about environmentalism and social and agricultural diversity.
Provide high-quality, sustainably-grown vegetables to a public increasingly more interested in farm-to-table produce.
Kaima Nahalal provides critical social and educational interventions for in a region (far from the center of the country) where few resources are devoted to addressing the underserved needs of high-risk girls, and offers opportunities for the wider community to come together.
Lavender - Long-term employment/empowerment activities for girls and young women
Our flagship "employment-as-education" program, Project Lavender, its name chosen for the plant’s restorative properties and holy references, targets two populations registered with Israel’s welfare authorities: girls (15-18) who have left or are at risk of leaving the formal school system, as well as young women (18-21) who have aged-out of other treatment frameworks and are performing a modified form of national service.
Our young farmers learn new skills and earn a salary, incentive which helps them take responsibility for themselves, the team, and the farm. Participants, side-by-side with our adult staff, grow, cultivate, market, and sell the farm's products to our more than 90 CSA customers, through our onsite organic shop, and at area farmers' markets. As part of our integrative approach, we also offer lectures and facilitate discussion on body image, setting healthy boundaries, effective communication, and other aspects related to self-empowerment. Activities take place daily, from 7:00 - 14:00.
Safe Living – Supervised housing for young women
This 12-month undertaking offers supervised group housing and expanded wraparound services for young women who would otherwise be unable to participate in Project Lavender. Most are identified by Tmura, a government-sponsored NGO facilitating alternative national service activities for young people who have aged out of other treatment programs, have exited prostitution, or following incarceration and are unable to be recruited into conventional army or civil service.
Garden of Eve - Short-term educational agricultural workshops and physical expansion
This initiative, named for the Bible’s first woman and humankind’s original mother, in tribute to nature’s life-giving aspects, brings together girls and women in a variety of short-term programs. Each year, some 700 women of all ages and backgrounds (including Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druzim) take part in these programs. Such inter-community activities:
Position Lavender participants front and center as they demonstrate their newfound knowledge by helping to lead agricultural workshops.
Engage women in promoting socially cohesive, mutually responsible communities that gather around universal issues, such as conservation, food security, collaboration, and resource sharing.
Encourage environmentally responsible and sustainable consumerism; teach about the farm’s commercial activities and regional wild biblical plant usage; and provide opportunities to prepare and share meals using ingredients participants harvest from our fields.
Deepen community connections by providing shared society and environmental programming in a region of diverse communities and ecosystems.
Expand our acreage and significantly increase our agricultural yield, thus increasing crop diversity and generating additional income.
Project Earth Care – Short-term outreach to the general community
Such programs include summer youth activities, many offered in partnership with our local regional council, as well as workshops on sustainable farming and environmental stewardship for school and scouting groups, educators, synagogue communities, NGOs, the IDF, family missions, and other visitors from abroad. Each year, approximately 800 people take part in these programs.
Feed my Neighbor – Addressing local food insecurity
Inspired by our Jewish traditions, two years ago we launched an initiative to appreciably expand vegetable donations and model the highest principles of Tzedakah, empowering our participants as responsible, empathic citizens. Each year nearly 10,000 pounds of veggies are donated to people including Holocaust survivors, women suffering from PTSD, single mother-led households, the critically ill, the unemployed, and others.
Meshek 72, Moshav Nahalal